Today

History

Highlight: In 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, Calif.

In 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

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

In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreated because of artillery fire.

In 1931, Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper broke an endurance record for female aviators as they returned to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.

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

In 1951, the United Nations headquarters in New York officially opened.

In 1960, on his 47th birthday, Vice President Richard Nixon became a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 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.

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

In 1987, the White House released a Jan. 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.

In 1993, the two owners of a fast food restaurant in Palatine, Ill., and five employees were found shot and stabbed to death. (Two suspects were arrested in May 2002; both were convicted in separate trials and sentenced to life in prison.)

In 1997, a Comair commuter plane crashed 18 miles short of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 people on board.

Ten years ago: U.N. weapons inspectors said there was no “smoking gun” to prove Iraq had nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, but they demanded that Baghdad provide private access to scientists and fresh evidence to back its claim that it had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush, on his first visit to Israel as president, warned Iran of “serious consequences” if it meddled again with U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

One year ago: Iranian state radio reported that a court had convicted former U.S. Marine Amir Mirzaei Hekmati of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death.