Today in History
The First Battle of St Albans -- the first battle of the Wars of the Roses -- in the town of St Albans. Richard, Duke of York and his ally, Richard, Earl of Warwick defeated the Lancastrians under Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, who was killed. York captured King Henry VI and had himself appointed Constable of England.
The first life insurance policy in the United States was issued, in Philadelphia.
A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason for attempting to form a republic in the Southwest of which he was to be the head. He was aquitted in September due to lack of the constitutionally required two witnesses.
Composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany.
Birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The "Great Train Robbery" took place near Marshfield, Indiana, as seven members of the Reno gang made off with $96,000 in loot.
Death of French author Victor Hugo, age 83, in Paris. His best known works are: "Les Miserables" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini signed a "Pact of Steel" committing Germany and Italy to a military alliance.
In an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. The act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece.
The lunar module of Apollo 10 separated from the command module and flew to within nine miles of the moon's surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.
The island nation of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka with the adoption of a new constitution.
With an average speed of more than 188 miles an hour, Janet Guthrie became the first woman driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
Johnny Carson, after nearly 30 years of hosting NBC's "Tonight Show," bade his audience "a very heartfelt goodnight." Jay Leno succeeded him as the show's host.
Annika Sorenstam became the first woman since 1945 to tee off against the men on the pro tour, playing in the first round of the Colonial golf tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.