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Today in History
Famous Birthdays
 Encyclopaedia Britannica

*1931Born this day in 1931, Boris Yeltsin, president of Russia from 1990 to 1999, became in 1991 the first popularly elected leader in Russian history and guided his country through a decade of political and economic transition.  
*1901American motion-picture star Clark Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio. 
2003On this day in 2003, while returning to Earth from an orbital mission, the U.S. space shuttle Columbia broke up catastrophically at an altitude of about 60 km (40 miles) over Texas, killing all seven crew members.  
2001Three Scottish judges found Abdel Basset al-Mergrahi guilty of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people. The court said that Megrahi was a member of the Libyan intelligence service. Al-Amin Khalifa, who had been co-accused, was acquitted and freed.  
1999Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky gave a deposition that was videotaped for senators weighing impeachment charges against U.S. President Clinton.  
1998Stuart Whitman received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  
1996Visa and Mastercard announced security measures that would make it safe to shop on the Internet.  
1994Jeff Gillooly plead guilty in Portland, OR, for his role in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding.  
1991A USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane at Los Angeles International Airport. 35 people were killed.  
1987Terry Williams won the largest slot machine payoff, at the time, when won $4.9 million after getting four lucky 7s on a machine in Reno, NV.  
1979Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was welcomed in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.  
1979Patty Hearst was released from prison after serving 22 months of a seven-year sentence for bank robbery. Her sentence had been commuted by U.S. President Carter.  
1979The spacecraft Voyager 1 photographed Jupiter from a distance of 32.7 million km (20.3 million miles). 
1976"Sonny and Cher" resumed on TV despite a real life divorce.  
1968During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. The scene was captured in a news photograph.  
1960Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.  
1958The United Arab Republic was formed by a union of Egypt and Syria. It was broken 1961.  
1957P.H. Young became the first black pilot on a scheduled passenger airline.  
1954CBS-TV showed "The Secret Storm" for the first time.  
1953CBS-TV debuted "Private Secretary."  
1951The first telecast of an atomic explosion took place.  
1951The first X-ray moving picture process was demonstrated.  
1946Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.  
1930The Times published its first crossword puzzle.  
1929Weightlifter, Charles Rigoulet of France, achieved the first 400 pound ‘clean and jerk’ as he lifted 402-1/2 pounds.  
1923The private army of Blackshirts that had helped Benito Mussolini come to power in Italy was officially transformed into a national militia, the Voluntary Fascist Militia for National Security. 
1921Carmen Fasanella registered as a taxicab owner and driver in Princeton, New Jersey. Fasanella retired November 2, 1989 after 68 years and 243 days of service.  
1920Canada's Royal North West Mounted Police changed their name to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The organization was commissioned in 1873.  
1920The first armored car was introduced.  
1919The first Miss America was crowned in New York City.  
1913Grand Central Terminal (also known as Grand Central Station) opened in New York City, NY. It was the largest train station in the world.  
1900Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.  
1898The Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, CT, issued the first automobile insurance policy. Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo, NY, paid $11.25 for the policy, which gave him $5,000 in liability coverage.  
1896Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin.  
1893Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ.  
1884The first of 10 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary was published in London, the final volume being published April 19, 1928. 
1867In the U.S., bricklayers start working 8-hour days.  
1862"The Battle Hymn of the Republic," by Julia Ward Howe was first published in the "Atlantic Monthly."  
1861Texas voted to secede from the Union.  
1820In a battle fought at Cepeda, Argentina, federalist forces defeated unitarios, who were advocates of strong central government. 
1793France declared war on Britain and Holland.  
1793Ralph Hodgson patented oiled silk.  
1790The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City.  
1788Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat.  
Asterisks (*) denotes birthday

Famous Birthdays
1984 - Lee Thompson Young
1975 - Big Boi
1969 - Joshua RedmanJazz Musician
1968 - Lisa Marie Presley
1968 - Pauly Shore
1965 - Sherilyn Fenn
1965 - Brandon Lee
1965 - Stephanie of MonacoPrincess
1954 - Charles William Mumy, JrActor (Original Lost In Space (Will Robinson))
1948 - Rick James
1939 - Joe SampleJazz Musician
1938 - Sherman Hemsley
1937 - Don Everly
1937 - Garrett Morris
1931 - Boris Yeltsin
1909 - George Beverly SheaGospel Singer
1904 - S.J. Perelman
1902 - Langston Hughes
1901 - Clark Gable
1895 - John Ford

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