Today in 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Today in 1822, Mexico was officially recognized as an independent nation by the United States.
Today in 1871 Jules Janssen discovered dark lines in the solar corona spectrum.
Today, in 1874, Hawaii’s King David Kalakaua was the first to visit the United States as the guest of Ulysses S. Grant—at the first-ever State Dinner at the White House.
Today in 1901 Guglielmo Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland.
Today in 1925 the world’s first motel opened in San Luis Obispo, California. It was called The Motel Inn.
Today, in 1953, Chuck Yeager achieved Mach 2.44 (or 1,650 miles per hour) in the Bell X-1A rocket plane… becoming the “Fastest Man Alive.”
Today, in 1968, Arthur Ashe became the first black male player to rank number 1 in tennis.
Today, in 1984, a crib has been on display near the White House for the first time since courts ordered its removal in 1973.
Today in 1985, 248 US soldiers and eight crew members died in an Arrow Air charter crash. Ultimately, the causes were considered to be too much weight, ice contamination on the leading edges and top surfaces of the wings and the resulting operator errors.
Today in 2000, the Supreme Court found that the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in that year’s presidential election was unconstitutional. Vice President Al Gore conceded the election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush the next day.
Today in 2000, despite objections from his lawyers, Timothy McVeigh abandoned his latest round of appeals and asked that his execution be scheduled within 120 days. McVeigh was found guilty of the April 1995 bombing of Alfred P. Murrah’s Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which killed 168 and injured 500. His wish was granted on June 11, 2001 – and he was executed by lethal injection.
Today, in 2001, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would implement minimum standards for federal elections and provide funding to help states modernize their electoral systems.
Today in 2001, actress Winona Ryder was arrested at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, California for shoplifting and possession of drugs without a prescription. The numerous clothing items and hair accessories were valued at $4,760. While her attorney called the situation a “misunderstanding,” a jury ultimately saw a different opinion — and she was convicted of grand larceny, shoplifting and vandalism (but acquitted of the third charge of the crime, burglary). Sentenced to community service and probation, Ryder later said she was clinically depressed at the time – but has since made a full recovery personally and professionally.
Today, in 2002, North Korea announced plans to reactivate a nuclear power plant that US officials believed was being used to develop weapons.
Today in 2018, Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance violations and tax fraud.
Today in 2018, American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, admitted to paying hush money to loved ones of President Donald Trump.