Today In History: US troops leaves Vietnam, U.S. space probe Mariner 10 visits planet Mercury....

1827 - Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was buried in Vienna amidst a crowd of over 10,000 mourners.

1867 - The United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars

1886 - Coca-Cola went on sale for the first time at a drugstore in Atlanta. Its inventor, Dr. John Pemberton, claimed it can cure anything from hysteria to the common cold.

1917 -
Prime Minister Hjalmar Hammarskjold of Sweden, father of the famous future United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold resigned after his policy of strict neutrality in World War I —including continued trading with Germany, in violation of the Allied blockade— led to widespread hunger and political instability in Sweden.

1936 - Italy firebombs the Ethiopian city of Harar.

1941 - The British sank five Italian warships off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean.

1951 - On this day, a homemade device exploded at Grand Central Station in New York City, startling commuters but injuring no one.

1971 - Lt. William L. Calley was found guilty of premeditated murder at My Lai by a U.S. Army court-martial at Fort Benning, Georgia.

1973 - U.S. withdraws from Vietnam: Under the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords signed on January 27, 1973, the last U.S. troops departed South Vietnam, ending nearly 10 years of U.S. military presence in that country, as Hanoi freed the remaining American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam.

1974 - The unmanned U.S. space probe Mariner 10, launched by NASA in November 1973, became the first spacecraft to visit the planet Mercury, sending back close-up images of a celestial body usually obscured because of its proximity to the sun.

1976 - Eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted for shooting four Kent State students during an anti-war protest on May 4, 1970.

1982 - The combination of an earthquake and a volcanic eruption at El Chichon in southern Mexico converted a hill into a crater, killing thousands of people and destroying acres of farmland.

2005 - After a yearlong negotiation process, the Walt Disney Company ended its productive but sometimes contentious relationship with Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the founders of Miramax Films.





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