Today in 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he called the "Sandwich Islands." They later became Hawaii.
Today in 1896, the x-ray machine was formally exhibited for the first time.
Today in 1943, commercial bakers in America stopped selling sliced bread. Only whole loaves were sold during the ban until the end of World War II.
Today in 1958, Willie O'Ree made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins. He was the first black player to enter the league.
Today in 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," was convicted of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses in Massachusetts. He was sentenced to life in prison. Desalvo was killed in 1973 by a fellow inmate. While his guilt was debated for years, DNA conclusively linked him to the crimes in 2013.
Today in 1985, Mary Decker broke a world, indoor record when she ran the women’s, 2,000-meter race in 5:34.2. She also ran the outdoor mile in 4:16.7.
Today in 1990, a jury in Los Angeles, acquitted former McMartin preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges.
Today in 1990, following an FBI sting, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for drug possession along with his girlfriend, Rasheeda Moore. During the videotaped arrest, Barry infamously said of Moore, "Bitch set me up...” He was later convicted of a misdemeanor.
Today in 1993, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 states for the first time.
Today in 1995, the "yahoo.com" domain was created.
Today in 1998,Beth Hogan, the first woman to enroll at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), withdrew from the school.
Today in 2012, Wikipedia began a 24-hour "blackout" in protest against proposed anti-piracy legislation (S. 968 and H.R. 3261) known as the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Many websites, including Reddit, Google, Facebook, Amazon and others, contended would make it challenging if not impossible for them to operate. It became the largest such blackout in history.
Today in 2017, Baseball Hall of Fame elected Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez to their roster of inductees.
Today in 2017, NASA and NOAA announced that 2016 was the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 which itself topped a record set in 2014.