Today in 1881, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell formed the Oriental Telephone Company.
Today in 1915, the first transcontinental telephone call was placed by Alexander Graham Bell in New York…to his assistant, Tom Watson, in San Francisco.
Today in 1924, the first Winter Olympics opened in Chamonix, France.
Today in 1949, the first Emmys were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
Today in 1950, the Korea War began.
Today in 1959, American Airlines opened the jet age in the United States with the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707. The cost for a one-way ticket? Including a $10 surcharge for jet service, it was $115.50…or $231 round trip.
Today in 1961, President John F. Kennedy became the first president to hold a live, nationally televised news conference.
Today in 1971, Charles Manson and three female members of his "family" were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit murder and seven counts of murder in the first degree. They were all sentenced to at least life imprisonment for the 1969 killings (Patricia Krenwinkel got death, for example, but the sentence was commuted to life after the Supreme Court overturned the death penalty). Manson died in 2017, the others remain incarcerated.
Today in 1974, Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald's fast-food empire, bought the San Diego Padres for $12-million.
Today in 1979, the United States saw its first documented case of a robot killing a human. The victim –25-year-old Ford Motor Company factory worker Robert Williams. The “perp?” A five-story robot designed to retrieve castings.
Today in 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days were returned to the United States.
Today in 1984, in his State of the Union address, President Reagan announced his intention to deploy a permanently manned space station "within a decade." The International Space Station was launched in 1998.
Today in 1985, Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie of Boston College signed a $7-million, five-year contract with the New Jersey Generals. At the time, the deal made him the highest paid football player and the best paid rookie ever – in any sport.
Today in 1993, after 93 years in operation, Sears Roebuck & Co. announced it was shutting down its pioneering catalog operation.
Today in 1998, the Denver Broncos won their first Super Bowl title in four tries, defeating the Green Bay Packers, 31 to 24. A spontaneous Super Bowl street party, which started peacefully, ended with helmeted police using tear gas to disperse revelers who were overturning cars and looting. Twenty people were arrested and 40 were injured during the celebration by an estimated 20,000 jubilant fans.
Today in 1999, a Kentucky man received the United States’ first hand transplant. The best news? The man – Matthew David Scott – is still enjoying a successful result.
Today in 2000, under government orders, the Florida relatives of Elian Gonzalez agreed to make the boy available for a meeting with his Cuban grandmothers at a neutral site.
Today in 2000, Martina Navratilova was selected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She was officially inducted the following July.
Today in 2004, the Opportunity rover landed on Mars.
Today in 2018, the Doomsday clock moved by 30-seconds to 2-minutes to midnight by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It’s the closest it’s been to midnight since the 50s.
Today in 2019, the longest-ever US government shutdown ended after 35 days when President Trump agreed to three weeks of negotiations on border security by a House-Senate conference committee.