On this date in history:
In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision that determined "separate but equal" racial policies are constitutional.
In 1917, President Wilson signed the Selective Service Act of 1917 by which the United States raised an army for service in Europe during World War I.
In 1927, the legendary Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in Hollywood with the premiere of The King of Kings. The iconic theater -- a favorite for major studio openings -- was renamed the TCL Chinese Theatre in 2013.
In 1933, the U.S. Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority for flood control and rural electrification.
In 1944, Allied troops captured Monte Cassino in Italy after one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II.
In 1969, Apollo 10 blasted off into space to perform a test run of what would become the Apollo 11 moon landing, coming to within 51,200 feet of the moon's surface. The mission also sent back the first televised color images of earth.
In 1980, Mount St. Helens in southwestern Washington state erupted, blowing the top off the mountain and killing 57 people.
In 1991, chemist Helen Sharman became the first Briton in space when she blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soviet spacecraft.
In 2018, 10 people -- eight students and two teachers -- died after a fellow student opened fire at Santa Fe High School, near Houston.
In 2020, Japan slipped into a recession after its economy sank for a second-straight quarter, making it the strongest economy to see its productivity greatly decline amid the coronavirus pandemic.