Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Today in History.....May 3

On this day in …

* 1802, Washington, D.C., was incorporated as a city

* 1921, West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax

* 1944, U.S. wartime rationing of most grades of meats ended

* 1945, during World War II, Japanese forces on Okinawa launched their only major counteroffensive, but failed to break the American lines

* 1948, the Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups were legally unenforceable

* 1971, anti-war protesters began four days of demonstrations in Washington aimed at shutting down the nation's capital

* 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain's first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary elections

* 1986, in NASA's first post-Challenger launch, an unmanned Delta rocket lost power in its main engine shortly after liftoff, forcing safety officers to destroy it by remote control

* 1996, an international conference in Geneva ended 30 months of arduous negotiations over whether to ban land mines with a weak compromise treaty giving countries nine years to switch to detectable, self-destructive devices

* 2001, the United States lost its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in
1947

* 2005, the first democratically elected government in the history of Iraq was sworn in. ALSO: Iran told a United Nations nonproliferation conference it would press on with its uranium-enrichment technology

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