On this date:
In 1570, Pope Pius the Fifth excommunicated England's Queen Elizabeth the First.
In 1793, the department heads of the US government met with President Washington at his home for the first Cabinet meeting on record.
In 1836, inventor Samuel Colt patented his revolver.
In 1901, United States Steel Corporation was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.
In 1919, Oregon became the first state to tax gasoline.
In 1940, a hockey game was televised for the first time, by New York City station W2XBS, as the New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 6-to-2, at Madison Square Garden.
In 1948, Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.
In 1986, President Ferdinand E. Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency.
In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a US barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
In 1994, American-born Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank, killing 29 Muslims before he was beaten to death by worshipers.
Ten years ago: Nicaraguans went to the polls in an election that resulted in an upset victory for the alliance opposed to the ruling Sandinistas.
Five years ago: Former President Jimmy Carter wound up a 54-hour visit to Haiti, denying he'd been given a chilly reception by Haitians whom he'd helped save from a potentially bloody US-led intervention.
One year ago: A jury in Jasper, Texas, sentenced white supremacist John William King to death for chaining James Byrd Junior, a black man, to a pickup truck and dragging him to pieces. Israel's Supreme Court blocked the extradition of American teenager Samuel Sheinbein to the US to face charges stemming from a grisly slaying in Maryland, a move that threatened to revive a strain on US-Israeli relations.
"Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom."
-- Herbert Spencer, British philosopher (1820-1903).