Today in 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the United States constitution.
Today in 1822, Mexico was officially recognized as an independent nation by the United States.
Today in 1871, Jules Janssen discovered dark lines in solar corona spectrum.
Today in 1874, Hawaii’s King David Kalakaua was the first to visit the United States as guest of Ulysses S. Grant – at the first-ever state dinner at the White House.
Today in 1901, Guglielmo Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland.
Today in 1925, the world’s first motel opened in San Luis Obispo, California. It was called “The Motel Inn.”
Today in 1953, Chuck Yeager reached Mach 2.44 (or 1,650-miles-per-hour) in the Bell X-1A rocket plane…becoming the “fastest man alive.”
Today in 1968, Arthur Ashe became the first Black male player to be ranked #1 in tennis.
Today in 1984, a nativity scene was displayed near the White House for the first time since courts ordered it removed in 1973.
Today in 1985, 248 US soldiers and eight crewmembers died in an Arrow Air charter crash. The caused was ultimately deemed to be too much weight, ice contamination on the wings' leading edges and upper surfaces – and operator error that resulted from those conditions.
Today in 2000, the Supreme Court found that the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in that year’s Presidential election was unconstitutional. Vice President Al Gore conceded the election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush the next day.
Today in 2000, Timothy McVeigh, over the objections of his lawyers, abandoned his final round of appeals and asked that his execution be set within 120 days. McVeigh was convicted of the April 1995 truck bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that killed 168 and injured 500. He got his wish on June 11, 2001 – and was executed by lethal injection.
Today in 2001, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would implement minimum federal election standards and provide funding to help states modernize their voting systems.
Today in 2001, actress Winona Ryder was arrested at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, California for shoplifting and possessing pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. The numerous items of clothing and hair accessories were valued at $4,760. While her attorney called the situation a “misunderstanding,” a jury ultimately felt differently – and she was convicted of grand theft, shoplifting, and vandalism (but was acquitted on the third felony charge, burglary). Sentenced to community service and probation, Ryder later said she was clinically depressed at the time – but she’s since made a full rebound personally and professionally.
Today in 2002, North Korea announced plans to reactivate a nuclear power plant that US officials believed was being used to develop weapons.
Today in 2018, Michael Cohen, former lawyer for President Donald Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison for campaign-finance violations and tax fraud.
Today in 2018, American Media Inc. publisher of "National Enquirer" admitted paying hush money to mistresses of President Donald Trump.