Today in history
1793: During the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, was beheaded.
1846: Dentist William T. Morton demonstrated the effectiveness of ether as an anesthetic by administering it to a patient undergoing jaw surgery before an audience of doctors in Boston.
1859: Radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in western Virginia.
1916: Planned Parenthood had its beginnings as Margaret Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1946: Ten Nazi war criminals condemned at the Nuremberg trials were hanged.
1978: The College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II.