(1987) Lynne Cos became the first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union, making the trip through frigid waters of the Bering Strait.
(1978) President Carter declares a federal emergency because of toxic waste that was negligently disposed of.
(1976) The Viking spacecraft enters orbit around Mars.
(1971) Apollo 15 retuns Earth after a manned moon mission.
(1896) Marjorie Rawlings Pulitzer Prize winner is born on this day. For more than ten years she tried her hand at writing fiction and made no real progress. She told a reporter I want to stop writing, then I thought I'll try an idea I have and then make a decision. She then wrote "The Yearling," and gained plenty of readers and the Pulitizer Prize. While critics thought her writing lacked depth and "tough mindedness," as if we don't have enough of that already, they praised her skill in creating color, characters, and local customs about rural life and the readers adored her work.
(1789) The U.S Department of War is created.