Today in 1691, Yorktown, Virginia was founded.
Today in 1869, the Colored National Labor Union convened its first Black labor conventionin Washington, D.C.
Today in 1897, the Klondike gold rush was set off by George Carmack discovering gold on Rabbit Creek in Alaska.
Today in 1920, the one and only recorded baseball fatality happened in the major leagues. Cleveland Indian's shortstop Ray Chapman was hit in the head and killed by a fastball thrown by Yankees pitcher Carl Mays.
Today in 1939, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge awarded actor Jackie Coogan $126,000 in his suit against his mother and stepfather for the $4,000,000 the actor claimed he earned as a minor. While you may not know his name now, he was a huge child actor who starred in silent films in the 1920s and whose parents squandered his earnings. His case led to the 1939 enactment of the California Child Actor's Bill – also known as the Coogan Act. This law mandate that a child actor's employer set aside 15% of the earnings in a trust (called a Coogan account), and specified the actor's schooling, work hours, and time off.
Today in 1960, Joseph Kittinger set the free-fall world record. He fell more than 16-miles (about 84,000 feet) before opening his parachute of New Mexico. Felix Baumgartner attempted to break it in October 2012, but pulled his parachute early – though he did become the first person to break the sound barrier. Still, Kittinger’s record stood until October 2014 when Alan Eustace (whose official title was Senior Vice President of Knowledge at Google), successfully completed a jump from 135,908 feet. Eustace now hold the record for highest-altitude free-fall jump.
Today in 1998, a day before President Clinton was to face a criminal Grand Jury concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, his lawyer said, "The truth is the truth, and that's how the President will testify."
Today in 1999, four months after two gunmen sent them fleeing in horror, students reclaimed Columbine High School in Colorado for the start of the school year as classes resumed.
Today in 2008, Usain Bolt set a new world record of 9.69-seconds at the Beijing 2008 summer Olympics in the 100-meter dash.
Today in 2012, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was given political asylum by Ecuador. He was later granted citizenship, though in April 2019, his asylum was withdrawn following a series of disputes with the Ecuadorian authorities.
Today in 2017, the Baltimore city council removed four confederate statues under cover of darkness in response to Charlottesville violence.
Today in 2021, the first official water shortage was declared at Lake Mead, major reservoir on Colorado river supplying 40-million people, with cuts mandated mainly for Arizona.