TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1806, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began their return trip east after reaching the Pacific coast.
In 1956, Pakistan became the first Islamic republic.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proposed the "Star Wars" plan for the development of missile-intercepting technology.
In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Joan Crawford (1904-1977), actress; Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998), filmmaker; Roger Bannister (1929-2018), athlete/physician; Ric Ocasek (1949- ), singer-songwriter; Ron Jaworski (1951- ), sportscaster; Chaka Khan (1953- ), singer-songwriter; Kenneth Cole (1954- ), fashion designer; Moses Malone (1955-2015), basketball player; Catherine Keener (1959- ), actress; Michelle Monaghan (1976- ), actress; Keri Russell (1976- ), actress; Kyrie Irving (1992- ), basketball player.
TODAY'S FACT: The Russian space station Mir was pulled out of orbit on this day in 2001. Although it re-entered the atmosphere over Fiji, most of the debris burned up during the descent.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1994, Wayne Gretzky of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings scored the 802nd goal of his career, breaking the record then held by Gordie Howe.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "To be an artist means never to avert one's eyes." -- Akira Kurosawa
TODAY'S NUMBER: 12 -- number of interviews by British journalist David Frost with former President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal. The first of these was videotaped on this day in 1977.