Today In History
On this day:
In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state of the Union.
In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States.
In 1883, Oberlin College in Ohio became the first coed institution of higher learning in the United States.
In 1894, author Robert Louis Stevenson died at the age of 44. He penned the classic "Treasure Island."
In 1931, Alka Seltzer hit the market.
In 1938, Alfred Lennon married Julia Stanley. They eventually had one son, named John.
In 1947, "A Streetcar Named Desire" opened on Broadway. The Tennessee Williams play starred Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy.
In 1950, legendary radio newsman Paul Harvey began broadcasting his national radio program.
In 1955, Elvis Presley's first release on RCA records was announced. The two songs were "Mystery Train" and "I Forgot to Remember to Forget."
In 1960, the Lerner and Lowe musical "Camelot" first opened on Broadway. It starred Richard Burton and Julie Andrews.
In 1962, Edith Spurlock Sampson became the first American black woman judge. She was elected associate judge of the Municipal Court of Chicago.
In 1964, the Christmas classic "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" aired on television for the first time.
In 1967, the world's first human heart transplant operation was performed in Cape Town, South Africa. The patient lived for 18 days.
In 1968, the Major League Baseball rules committee decided to lower the pitcher's mound from 15 to ten-inches. The move was made in an effort to "get more batting action."
In 1979, eleven people died during a rush for unreserved seats to The Who concert at Cincinnati's Riverfront Colosseum.
In 1983, former DePaul Blue Demons basketball coach Ray Meyer won game number 700. It was his final year of coaching.
In 1984, former Miss America 1971 Phyllis George signed a multi-year contract with CBS. George began work as co-anchor of "CBS Morning News."
In 1986, a lawsuit was filed against the rock group Judas Priest and CBS Records. The suit alleges two fans shot themselves after listening to the group's music for nearly six hours.
In 1986, Indiana Hoosiers basketball coach Bobby Knight used a zone defense for only the second time in his 22-year career. The Hoosiers beat Notre Dame 67-to-62.
In 1988, Oklahoma State University running back Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy.
In 1994, American cyclist Greg LeMond announced his retirement. He won the Tour de France three times during his racing career.
In 1997, Pierce Brosnan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1999, Tori Murden became the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean alone. Murden arrived at the French Caribbean island of Guadelupe, 81 days after leaving the Canary Islands near the coast of Africa.
In 1999, billionaire banker Edmond Safra and his nurse died in smoke-filled closet in his Monaco apartment after a fire was set. American nurse Ted Maher later confessed to setting the fire that killed the 67-year-old billionaire.
In 1999, after a long bout with cancer comedic-actress Madeline Kahn died at the age of 57.
In 2000, poet and novelist Gwendolyn Brooks died on this date at the age of 83. Brooks was the first black Pulitzer Prize winner.
In 2003, actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced she was pregnant with her first child. The father was Paltrow's boyfriend rocker Chris Martin of the British band Coldplay.
In 2004, "The San Francisco Chronicle" reported that San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds admitted to unwittingly taking steroids during a testimony before a federal grand jury in 2003. Bonds' attorney says the baseball star's personal trainer and best friend Greg Anderson gave him two substances that Bonds did not think were steroids. A day earlier it was reported that New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi had also admitted to taking the performance-enhancing substances.
In 2004, while under investigation for accusations of child molestation, investigators conducted a surprise raid on pop star's Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in Southern California.
In 2006, former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet suffered a heart attack. The 91-year-old had been in frail health. Pinochet had been accused of human rights abuses and fraud connected with his regime. More than three-thousand people died in political violence during his reign.
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