This Day in History

Today is Monday, January 7th, the seventh day of the year.  There are 358 days until the end of the year.

On this day:

In 1785, balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard completed the first crossing over the English Channel. 

In 1789, the first presidential election was held.  The people voted for electors who later selected George Washington as the first president and John Adams as vice president. 

In 1894, W.K. Dickson received a patent for motion picture film. 

In 1927, the legendary Harlem Globetrotters played their first game in Hinckley, Illinois.

In 1953, President Harry S. Truman announced in his State of the Union address, that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.

In 1958, the Gibson Guitar Company patented the "Flying V" guitar.

In 1959, the United States recognized Fidel Castro's new government in Cuba.  Diplomatic relations were cut off after two years.

In 1970, neighboring farmers sued Max Yasgur for 35-thousand dollars in damages caused by a music festival he hosted.  His legendary musical event became known as Woodstock.

In 1990, Pro Football Hall-of-Famer "Bronco" Nagurski died at the age of 81.

In 1990, officials closed the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy to tourists after learning that the tower was leaning too far and becoming structurally unsafe.  After eleven years of construction to fix the dangerous tilt and stabilize its foundation, the tower reopened to the public on December 15th, 2001. 

In 1990, Miami Dolphins founder Joe Robbie died at the age of 73.

In 1994, Nancy Kerrigan withdrew from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, a day after her right leg was severely bruised in an attack following a practice session.  Kerrigan's skating rival, Tonya Harding, went on to win the U.S. Women's title in Kerrigan's absence.  It was later revealed that Harding's ex-husband hatched the plot to injure Kerrigan in an attempt to keep her off the Olympic team. 

In 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate.  President Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.  He was later acquitted.

In 2016, the White House rejected a petition to pardon the man at the center of the Netflix series "Making a Murderer."  Over 100-thousand people signed a WhiteHouse.gov petition demanding Steven Avery's release, but the White House rejected it, pointing out that President Obama can't issue pardons in state cases.

In 2016, Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and catcher Mike Piazza were elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Griffey received a record 99.3-percent of the vote by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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