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History of the Day for:
- 1804: The U.S. frigate Philadelphia, held captive by Barbary pirates at Tripoli, was destroyed by an American party led by Stephen Decatur, thus denying its use by the Tripolitans.
- 1857: The National Deaf Mute College was incorporated in Washington, D.C. Later renamed Galluadet University, it was the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf.
- 1862: During the Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered at Fort Donelson, Tenn., earning Gen. Ulysses S. Grant the nickname "Unconditional Surrender Grant."
- 1883: Ladies Home Journal began publication.
- 1923: The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen's recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt.
- 1937: Nylon was first developed by Dr. Wallace Carothers and his U.S. research team.
- 1938: To protect farmers from poor crop production because of bad weather, Congress created the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
- 1950: The longest-running prime-time game show, "What's My Line," debuted on CBS.
- 1959: Fidel Castro was sworn in as prime minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla campaign that ousted right?wing dictator Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1.
- 1968: The nation's first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.; Beatles George Harrison and John Lennonand their wives flew to India for two months of transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
- 1987: The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being the "Ivan the Terrible" of the Treblinka death camp in World War II, began in Israel.
- 1997: At age 25, Jeff Gordon became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history.