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Today in History ...

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1775 – The USS Alfred becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones. 1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years. 1848 – Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria. 1927 – Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile. 1954 – The United States Senate votes 65 to 22 to censure Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."

1970 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency begins operations. 1980 – U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, are murdered by a military death squad. 1991 – Canada and Poland become the first nations on earth to recognize the independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union. 1999 – Seven passengers are killed when two trains collide near Sydney, New South Wales. 1999 – The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive. 2001 – Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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