Today in History

1558 – Smoking tobacco introduced into Europe by Spanish physician Francisco Fernandes

1616 – Nicolaus Copernicus’s book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres was added to the Index of Forbidden Books 73 years after it was first published.

1623 – 1st American temperance law was enacted, Virginia

1743 – 1st US religious journal, The Christian History, was published in Boston

1766 – Don Antonio de Ulloa took possession of Louisiana Territory from the French

1770 – Boston Massacre: Five Americans, including Crispus Attucks, were fatally shot by British troops in an event which contributed to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War (also known as the American War of Independence) five years later.

1774 – John Hancock delivered the fourth annual Massacre Day oration, a commemoration of the Boston Massacre, and denounced the presence of British troops in Boston, which enhanced Hancock’s stature as a leading Patriot

1807 – 1st performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 4th Symphony in B

1836 – Samuel Colt manufactured first pistol, the 34-caliber “Texas” model

1853 – Piano company Steinway & Sons was founded by Heinrich Steinweg (later Henry Steinway) in New York City

1868 – Stapler patented in England by C H Gould

1872 – George Westinghouse Jr patented the triple air brake for trains

1904 – Nikola Tesla described the process of the ball lightning formation in Electrical World and Engineer

1907 – 1st radio broadcast of a musical composition was aired

1934 – Mother-in-law’s day 1st celebrated (Amarillo, Texas)

1946 – Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri, popularized the term and draws attention to the division of Europe

1960 – Elvis Presley ended his 2-year hitch in US Army

1963 – Beatles recorded “From Me to You” & “Thank You Girl”

1963 – American country music stars Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and their pilot Randy Hughes were killed in a plane crash in Camden, Tennessee.

1971 – “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin was first played live at Ulster Hall, Belfast by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones

1994  – Singer Grace Slick was arrested for pointing a gun at a cop

1995 – The graves of Tsar Nicholas II and his family were found in St Petersburg

2015 – Harrison Ford crash-landed his 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR airplane in California

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