Today in 1783, General George Washington bade farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York. In a choked voice, the departing chief commander of the Continental Army reportedly said, quote, "With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you."
Today in 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth President of the United States.
Today in 1942, President Roosevelt ordered liquidation of the Works Progress Administration, created during the Depression to provide work for the unemployed.
Today in 1950, the University of Tennessee defied court rulings by rejecting five black applicants. The students took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court in March, 1952.
Today in 1965, the United States launched "Gemini Seven" with Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Frank Borman and Navy Commander James A. Lovell aboard. They returned to earth 14 days later.
Today in 1992, President George H. W. Bush ordered 28,000 US troops to Somalia.
Today in 1996, NASA's first Mars rover launched from Cape Canaveral.
Today in 1998, the space shuttle "Endeavour" and a crew of six blasted off on the first mission to begin assembling the international space station.
Today in 1999, NASA scientists continued to wait in vain for a signal from the Mars Polar Lander, raising questions about the whereabouts of NASA's $165-million probe. It's believed the spacecraft was destroyed after it plunged toward the Red Planet.
Today in 2014, state and federal officials promised a "fair" investigation into the death of African American Eric Garner, after a white New York City police officer held him in a choke-hold faced no charges. The family later settled with the city for $5.8-million, while the NYPD filed Departmental charges in July 2018.
Today in 2017, the US Supreme Court allowed President Trump's travel ban to go into effect for six mostly Muslim countries.
Today in 2017, New York's Metropolitan Opera suspended conductor James Levine amidst allegations of sexual misconduct. He was fired the following March – and sued for $5.8-million in damages in the aftermath…the matter remains in litigation.
Today in 2017, the Thomas fire began and spread to city of Ventura, California. It burned until January 12th and by the time it was contained, the blaze scorched 281,893 acres and cause $2.2-billion in damage.