Today in 1820,S. Navy Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer discovered the frozen continent of Antarctica.
Today in 1883, the four standard US time zones were adopted and put in effect by the nation’s railroads. Created by Charles Dowd, a Connecticut schoolteacher, they were not officially recognized until Congress passed the U.S. Standard Time Act in 1918.
Today in 1909, the US invaded Nicaragua, later overthrowing President Jose Santos Zelaya.
Today in 1949, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers was awarded the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Today in 1963, Bell Telephone introduced push button telephones.
Today in 1978, California Congressman Leo J. Ryan and four other people were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the People’s Temple. He and his team had gone to Guyana to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the alleged cult. Those killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by 912 cult members. Initial reports said the members drank Kool-Aid laced with cyanide, but a report from the Guyanese coroner said that hundreds of the bodies showed needle marks, indicating foul play. The U.S. government has not released all the documents pertinent to their investigation of the incident, further complicating the long-held conspiracy theory that Jonestown was a mind-control experiment conducted by the CIA.
Today in 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides.
Today in 1991, Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon released church envoys Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland.
Today in 1999, 12 people were killed and 28 injured when a huge bonfire under construction collapsed at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
Today in 1999, Shawn Allen Berry was spared the death sentence and instead – sent away for life in prison in Jasper, Texas – for his role in the dragging murder of James Byrd Jr. Earlier in the year, John William King and Lawrence Russell Brewer both received the death penalty for their roles in the crime.
Today in 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that barring gays and lesbians from marrying violates the state constitution.
Today in 2004, $165-million Clinton Presidential Library opened in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bono and The Edge played at the dedication.
Today in 2006,Whitney Houston lost her homes in Atlanta and New Jersey to foreclosure.
Today in 2011, the Minecraft video game was officially released by Mojang.
Today in 2021, we saw the longest partial lunar eclipse since 1440 – it lasted three-hours, 28-minutes and 23-seconds.
Today in 2021, Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam – the two men convicted of killing of Malcolm X in 1965 – were exonerated with the judge saying they were "wrongly convicted.” The following month, they received a $36-million settlement from the City of New York.