Thursday, January 03, 2008

Today in History...January 3

* 1496, Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine

* 1777, American general George Washington defeats British general Charles Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton

* 1815, Austria, the United Kingdom, and France form a secret defensive alliance treaty against Prussia and Russia

* 1823, Stephen F. Austin receives a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico

* 1870, construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins

* 1871, Henry W. Bradley patents oleomargarine (butter substitute)

* 1888, the 91 cm refracting telescope at Lick Observatory of the University of California is used for the first time. It was the largest telescope in the world at the time. ALSO: Marvin C. Stone patents the drinking straw

* 1899, the first known use of the word automobile, in an editorial in The New York Times

* 1924, English explorer Howard Carter discovers the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt

* 1925, Benito Mussolini announces he is taking dictatorial powers over Italy

* 1947, proceedings of the U.S. Congress are televised for the first time

* 1953 , Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, become the first mother and son to serve simultaneously in the U.S. Congress

* 1961, the United States severs diplomatic relations with Cuba

* 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died in a Dallas hospital

* 1988, Margaret Thatcher becomes the longest-serving British Prime Minister in the 20th Century

* 1990, former leader of Panama Manuel Noriega surrenders to American forces 10 days after taking refuge in the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City

* 1993, in Moscow, George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin sign the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)

* 2000, the last new daily "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers

* 2004, NASA's Mars rover, Spirit, touched down on the red planet

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