TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1846, Elias Howe patented the first sewing machine.
In 1977, France used a guillotine in carrying out a death sentence for the last time.
In 2002, Switzerland became a member of the United Nations.
In 2008, the Large Hadron Collider was powered up for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Adele Astaire (1896-1981), dancer; Arnold Palmer (1929-2016), golfer; Charles Kuralt (1934-1997), TV journalist; Roger Maris (1934-1985), baseball player; Buck Buchanan (1940-1992), football player; Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), biologist/writer; Chris Columbus (1958- ), film director; Colin Firth (1960- ), actor; Randy Johnson (1963- ), baseball player; Guy Ritchie (1968- ), filmmaker; Ryan Phillippe (1974- ), actor; Ben Wallace (1974- ), basketball player.
TODAY'S FACT: The United Nations, which included 193 member states as of August 2020, began in 1945, when representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco to draw up the charter.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1972, the U.S. men's basketball team fell for the first time in Olympic competition, suffering a controversial 51-50 loss to the Soviet Union team on a last-second shot in the gold medal match.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The world, unfortunately, rarely matches our hopes and consistently refuses to behave in a reasonable manner." -- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Panda's Thumb"
TODAY'S NUMBER: 106 -- countries that have abolished the death penalty as of 2020, according to Amnesty International.