While most major oil discoveries were in other parts of the nation, the first successful oil well in the United States was drilled near Titusville, Pa., on this date in 1859. That first well struck oil after only 69 feet.
In its first attack on the royal family, the IRA killed Lord Louis Mountbatten, a cousin of the queen, by blowing up his boat on this date in 1977.
Fifteen nations signed the Kellog-Briand Pact on this date in 1928, outlawing war as a means of settling international disputes. A good idea but one that withered about a decade before the onslaught of World War II.
Heavy fog in southeastern Wisconsin was blamed for the helicopter crash on this date in 1990 that killed all five persons aboard -- including blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and members of rock star Eric Clapton's entourage. The chopper had slammed into a ski hill after taking off from the Alpine Valley entertainment complex.
Two Russian cosmonauts and a French astronaut left Mir to return to Earth on this date in 1999 -- leaving the orbiting Russian space station unmanned for the first time in 13 years.
We now return you to the present, already in progress.