Today in 1692, the town of Salem, Massachusetts began hanging “witches.”
Today in 1943, after many years of heated debate, Congress finally authorized payroll tax withholding.
Today in 1980, actor/comedian Richard Pryor suffered almost fatal burns at his San Fernando Valley, California home when a mixture of "free-base" cocaine exploded. He was hospitalized more than two months.
Today in 1986, the Rogers Commission released its report on the "Challenger" disaster, criticizing NASA and rocket-builder Morton Thiokol for management problems leading to the explosion that claimed the lives of seven astronauts.
Today in 1993, US officials admitted veterans of the Gulf War were suffering from a mystery illness. Later dubbed “Gulf War Syndrome,” the illness is a chronic multi-symptom disorder with a wide range of acute and chronic symptoms, including fatigue, muscle pain, cognitive problems, rashes and diarrhea. Approximately 250,000 of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War are afflicted with it.
Today in 2001, Patrick Roy became the first NHL player to win three Conn Smythe Trophies (and he’s the only one to do so).
Today in 2013, Edward Snowden publicly made his identity known as the leaker of NSA documents.
Today in 2014, Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to appear on the cover of "Time" Magazine.
Today in 2016, President Barack Obama officially endorsed Hillary Clinton as Democratic Presidential nominee. In a video he posted online, Obama added: “Look, I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it.”
Today in 2019, Ali Stroker became the first actress in a wheelchair to win a Tony award for her role in the musical, "Oklahoma!"