Today in 1637,the first battle of Pequot at Mystic, Connecticut took place with Colonial forceskilling 500 Indian men, women and children.
Today in 1647, Alse Youngbecame the first recorded person to be executedfor being a witch in the colonies.
Today in 1647,a new lawbanned Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts. The penalty was banishment or death for a second offense. The English Puritans, who settled the colony, feared the Jesuits for a number of reasons. First, simply because they were Catholic. To Puritans, Catholicism was nothing less than idolatrous blasphemy, and Catholics were destined for eternal damnation. Secondly, because the Jesuits were French, and France and England were engaged in a bitter struggle for control of North America.
Today in 1836,the U.S. House of Representativesadopted what has been called the Gag Rule.
Today in 1896,the Dow Jones Industrial Averageappeared for the first time in the "Wall Street Journal."
Today in 1908,the first oil strike was made in the Middle East in Persia (what is now known as Iran).
Today in 1927,Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Companyproduced the last Model T Ford (aka Tin Lizzie).
Today in 1938,the House Committee on Un-American Activitiesbegan its work of searching for subversives in the United States.
Today in 1940,theevacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, beganduring World War II.
Today in 1948,Congresspassed Public Law 557, which permanently established the Civil Air Patrol as the Auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force.
Today in 1956,aseries of explosions on board the aircraft carrier USS Benningtonkilled 103 crewmembers off Narragansett Bay, in Rhode Island.
Today in 1961,the civil rights activist groupFreedom Ride Coordinating Committeewas established in Atlanta, Georgia.
Today in 1961,a U.S. Air Force bomber flewacross the Atlantic from New York to Paris in a record time of just over three hours.
Today in 1969,the Apollo 10 astronautsreturned to Earth after a successful rehearsalfor the first manned moon landing.
Today in 1994,President Clintonrenewed trade privileges for China, and announced that his administration would no longer link China's trade status with its human rights record.
Today in 1998,SCOTUSruled that police officers in high-speed chases are liable for bystander injuries onlyif their "actions shock the conscience." The case - County of Sacramento v. Lewis - concerned a high-speed chase between Sacramento County sheriffs deputies and two men on a motorcycle. The chase reached speeds up to 100-miles per hour and ended when the driver lost control and the bike spilled. The passenger was killed when one of the deputies couldnt stop in time and hit him.
Today in 1998,the United States Supreme Courtruled that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
Today in 2002,theMars Odyssey found signsof large ice deposits on the planet Mars.
Today in 2004,the New York Timespublished an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skepticism towards sources during the buildup to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
Today in 2004,United States Army veteran Terry Nicholswas found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing. The jury spent just five hours deliberating before announcing the verdict. He remains incarcerated at ADX Florence, a SuperMax security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef (one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber).
Today in 2012,Pope Benedict XVI's butlerPaolo Gabriele was charged with allegedly leaking confidential Church documents. He wastried and convicted later that year sentenced to 18 months, to be served inside the Vatican (as opposed to an Italian Prison). Why the arrangement? Concerns about him leaking more information. Still, it didnt last long - Gabriele was pardoned by Benedict XVI that December.
Today in 2014,the World Health Organization (WHO)confirmed that Ebola had reached Sierra Leone. By the following month, the disease was considered out of control and by July had been declared an international emergency.
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