On this day in …
* 1778, English navigator Captain James Cook reached the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the "Sandwich Islands."
* 1788, the first English settlers arrived in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal colony
* 1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it. (Scott and his party perished during the return trip.)
* 1919, the World War I Peace Congress opened in Versailles, France
* 1943, during World War II, the Soviets announced they'd broken the long Nazi, ym"sh, siege of Leningrad. ALSO: A wartime ban on the sale of pre-sliced bread in the U.S. -- aimed at reducing bakeries'
demand for metal replacement parts -- went into effect
* 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler,"
was convicted in Cambridge, Mass. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed by a fellow inmate in 1973.)
* 1990, a jury in Los Angeles acquitted former preschool operators Raymond Buckey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges
* 1995, Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced that 82 hostages were freed when his forces wiped out Chechen fighters in Pervomayskaya, ending a weeklong standoff; however, he said 18 other hostages were missing. ALSO: Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson filed for divorce from Michael Jackson
* 2000, President Clinton, in a farewell from the Oval Office, told the nation that "America has done well" during his presidency, with record-breaking prosperity and a cleaner environment.
Electricity-strapped California saw a second day of rolling blackouts. ALSO: Jesse Jackson revealed an extramarital affair that resulted in the birth of a bastard daughter
* 2004, the world's largest commercial jet, an Airbus A380 that can carry 800 passengers, was unveiled in Toulouse, France