On this day in history
1835: Texas officially proclaims its independence from Mexico, and calls itself the Lone Star Republic, after its flag, until its admission to the Union in 1845.
1851: The London-to-Paris telegraph begins operation.
1862: Lewis Carroll writes in his diary, “Began writing the fairy-tale of Alice–I hope to finish it by Christmas.”
1878: New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace offers amnesty to many participants of the Lincoln County War, but not to gunfighter Billy the Kid.
1907: Paul Corno achieves the first helicopter flight.
1927: New York’s Holland Tunnel officially opens for traffic.
1940: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Hansberry v. Lee that African-Americans cannot be barred from white neighborhoods.
1941: A German U-boat, the U-81, torpedoes Great Britain’s premier aircraft carrier, the HMS Ark Royal. The ship sinks the next day.
1945: Charles de Gaulle is elected president of France.
1947: The Soviets complete the development of the AK-47.
1952: Harvard’s Paul Zoll becomes the first man to use electric shock to treat cardiac arrest.
1956: The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously strikes down two Alabama laws requiring racial segregation on public buses.
1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC.
2001: U.S. President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to planned or actual terrorist acts against the U.S.