Today in History

1521

German reformer Martin Luther, 34, arrived at the Diet of Worms, where he afterward defended his "Ninety-Five Theses," first advanced in 1517. At the Diet, Luther refused to recant his ideas 'unless overcome by Scripture.'

1789

President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.

1862

President Abraham Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.

1867

Birth of inventor Wilbur Wright, in Millville, Indiana. An American aviation pioneer, Wilbur and his brother Orville invented the first powered airplane, "Flyer", capable of sustained, controlled flight (17 Dec 1903).

1912

American aviator Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to become a licensed pilot, became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1917

Revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia after years of exile.

1947

Financier and presidential confidant Bernard M. Baruch coined the term "cold war" in a speech at the South Carolina statehouse, "Let us not be deceived. We are today in the midst of a cold war."

1972

Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon. The Command Module Pilot, Ken Mattingly, had been scheduled to fly on Apollo 13 but, because he had inadvertently been exposed to German measles, he was replaced at the last minute.

2003

Michael Jordan played his last NBA game as his Washington Wizards ended their season with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

2007

A student killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., before taking his own life in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.