Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Today in History....January 9

On this day in …

1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three "mermaids" -- in reality manatees -- and describes them as "not half as beautiful as they are painted."
1768, Englishman Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in London

1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J.

1861, Mississippi seceded from the Union

1894, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson copyrights the first motion picture. The movie, filed in February 1893 at the Edison studio in West Orange, New Jersey, featured 47 images of a man sneezing

1911, George Selden was awarded the first American patent for an internal-combustion automobile, although Selden hadn't yet produced a working model.

1945, during World War II, American forces began landing at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines

1952, State of the Union address, President Harry S. Truman warns Americans that they are "moving through a perilous time," and calls for vigorous action to meet the communist threat

1964, anti-U.S. rioting broke out in the Panama Canal Zone, resulting in the deaths of 21 Panamanians and three U.S. soldiers

1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface

1972, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, said a purported biography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake

1986, the Federal District Court in Boston ordered an injunction barring the Eastman Kodak Company from selling its instant cameras. The injunction brought a close to a vicious court tussle between the venerable photo giant and Polaroid, which had charged Kodak with swiping the patent for its trademark instant camera

2001, two practitioners of that "religion of peace", stormed an Israeli army post near the Gaza Strip, killing four soldiers before being shot dead in a gun battle

2005, "The Phantom of the Opera" leapt past "Cats" to become the longest-running show in Broadway

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