Today in 1620, the Pilgrims landed near what is now called Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Today in 1891, James Naismith officially created the game of basketball.
Today in 1898, scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element, radium.
Today in 1913, the first crossword puzzle was published in the “New York World” newspaper.
Today in 1956, black Americans won the right to sit in the front of buses with whites in Montgomery, Alabama as the city came into compliance with the Supreme Court’s action. This followed a yearlong boycott of the city’s buses.
Today in 1968, NASA launched the Apollo 8 spacecraft on America's first manned lunar orbital mission. During the mission, astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders became the first men to see the “dark side” of the moon.
Today in 1970, Elvis Presley went to the White House to volunteer his services to President Nixon to help fight the nation's drug problems. He gave Nixon a chrome-plated Colt .45, and Nixon gave Presley a Narcotics Bureau badge.
Today in 1978, police in Illinois arrested John Wayne Gacy for murder. He was responsible for sexually assaulting and murdering at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Convicted of 33 murders, Gacy was sentenced to death for 12 of these killings on March 13, 1980. He spent 14 years on death row before being executed by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.
Today in 1988, 270 people were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard Pam Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Following a three-year joint investigation by Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and the FBI, arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals in November 1991. In 1999, Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi handed over the two men for trial at Camp Zeist, Netherlands after protracted negotiations and UN sanctions. In 2001, Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was jailed for life after being found guilty of 270 counts of murder in connection with the bombing. In August 2009, he was released by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died in May 2012. In 2003, Gaddafi accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and paid compensation to the families of the victims, although he maintained that he had never given the order for the attack. During the Libyan Civil War in 2011, a former government official claimed that the Libyan leader had personally ordered the bombing.
Today in 1991, the Soviet Union formally dissolved – as 11 of 12 republics signed treaty forming Commonwealth of Independent States. It went into effect Christmas Day.
Today in 1996, AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho was named “Time” magazine's "Man of the Year." He pioneered a specific drug “cocktail” to fight the disease.
Today in 2012, Gangnam Style" became the first video to reach one-billion views on YouTube.
Today in 2017, UN General Assembly voted 128 to 9 to denounce US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Today in 2020, the US Department of Justice announced charges against Libyan Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, accusing him of involvement in constructing the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The announcement falling on the 32nd anniversary of the disaster. Earlier this month, he was taken into custody.