Today in 1777, General George Washington's revolutionary army defeated British forces at the Battle of Princeton, in New Jersey.
Today in 1935, Bruno Hauptmann went on trial in the kidnapping case of the Lindbergh baby. He was later convicted and executed – though he proclaimed his innocence until the end.
Today in 1946, Governor Thomas E. Dewey commuted Charles "Lucky" Luciano's pandering sentence as a reward for his wartime cooperation. The one condition? That he wouldn’t resist deportation to Italy.
Today in 1959, Alaska was admitted as the 49th US state.
Today in 1961, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Today in 1984, Syria freed captured American pilot Bobby Goodman after an appeal made by Rev. Jesse Jackson. He had been shot down over Lebanon on December 4th, 1983 – and was captured upon ejection from his stricken plane.
Today in 1987, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first female artist – Aretha Franklin.
Today in 1989, 55-year-old Rev. Barbara C. Harris of Boston, Massachusetts was elected as the first female bishop in the 450-year history of the Anglican Church. She was consecrated on February 11th, 1989.
Today in 1990, Panamanian leader General Manuel Noriega surrendered to US authorities. He was later tried on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering – and on September 16th, 1992, he was sentenced to 40 years in prison (which was later reduced to 30 years). Noriega's U.S. prison sentence ended in September 2007.
Today in 1993, the Buffalo Bills pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history when, after spending the game 32 points behind, they rallied and beat the Oilers in overtime 41-38.
Today in 1996, the first flip phone – the Motorola StarTAC – went on sale.
Today in 1999, the Mars Polar Lander launched. Communication with Earth was lost the following December.
Today in 2007, Vietnam War veteran Wesley Autrey became a hero at home when he dove on top of a man who'd fallen in the path of an oncoming New York City subway train and pinned him in a groove between the tracks while the train passed over them. Autrey was later mentioned in George W. Bush's State of the Union address and is on the 2007 edition of Time 100 “Most Influential People in the World list. The text about him was written by Donald Trump.
Today in 2016, Jimmy Butler broke Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls record for points in a half, scoring 40 of his 42 points in the second half to lead the Bulls in a 115-113 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Today in 2018, lawyers of President Trump tried to stop the publication of "Fire and Fury" by Michael Wolff – an alleged expose of the Trump's administration. The publisher responded…by moving up the release date.
Today in 2018, the first bionic hand with a sense of touch, for use outside a lab was unveiled in Rome.