Today in 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to a friend in which he now-famously said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Today in 1843, Mount Rainier, which is in Washington State, erupted.
Today in 1914, New York socialite Mary Jacobs patented the brassiere, which she originally developed from two handkerchiefs, a strand of ribbon, and a length of cord.
Today in 1930, the first revolving milk platform – aka rotolactor – was used in Plainsboro, New Jersey. For the first time, 1,680 cows could be milked in seven hours.
Today in 1940, the Walt Disney animated movie "Fantasia" had its world premiere in New York. The film cost $2.28-million to make. This was Mickey Mouse’s feature film debut, in the Silly Symphony "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." This 10.5-minute segment alone cost $125,000 to create. The film, which introduced stereophonic sound to motion pictures (via a special sound system called Fantasound), was originally a flop, but it was re-released in 1967 and became a hit.
Today in 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation on public transportation was illegal in the Browder v Gayle decision.
Today in 1969, Vice President Spiro Agnew accused the television networks of manufacturing the news for the sake of sensationalism in regards to the war in Vietnam. Newscasters were not allowed to show body bags.
Today in 1974, Karen Silkwood, an employee at an Oklahoma Kerr-McGee nuclear plant, was killed on her way to meet a "New York Times" reporter after her car crashed off the road. Adding to the mystery surrounding her death, the evidence she had uncovered of defective fuel rods, also disappeared. The event was the basis for the film, "Silkwood," which was released in 1983.
Today in 1979, former California Governor Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in New York.
Today in 1982, the Vietnam War Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., following three days of ceremonies and marches in the nation's capitol.
Today in 1992, the movie, "Bram Stoker's Dracula," directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, and Keanu Reeves, opened in theaters.
Today in 1997, Walt Disney's "The Lion King" opened at the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway and over that weekend earned about $4-million to become the fastest, biggest ticket-seller in New York theater history.
Today in 1998, President Clinton agreed to pay Paula Jones $850,000 to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit – with no apology or admission of guilt – ending the four-year legal battle that spurred the impeachment proceedings against him. The same day, Monica Lewinsky signed a deal with St. Martin's Press for the North American rights to her story about her affair with President Bill Clinton.
Today in 1998, the movies, "Meet Joe Black" and "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" opened in theaters nationwide.
Today in 1999, Lennox Lewis became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, winning a unanimous decision over Evander Holyfield in Las Vegas.
Today in 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order that would allow for military tribunals to try any foreigners captured with connections to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. It was the first time since World War II that a President had taken such action.
Today in 2012, Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone of Golan Heights.
Today in 2015, orchestrated terror attacks in Paris at three locations left at least 129 dead. Isis claimed responsibility.
Today in 2017, Italy failed to qualify for 2018 Football World Cup for the first time since 1958, after play-off defeat against Sweden.
Today in 2017, the world's earliest wine-making materials were found in Khramis Didi Gora, Georgia (that’s the country in Eastern Europe), contained in clay pots dating back to 6,000BC.
Today in 2017, the first Barbie doll to wear a hijab – modeled on Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad – was unveiled in New York.