Today in 1870 Thomas Mundy Peterson of Perth Amboy, New Jersey became the first African American to vote in the US (in a local election on town's charter).
Today in 1880, Wabash, Indiana became the first town to be completely illuminated with electric light.
Today in 1918, the U.S. switched to Daylight Savings Time for the first time. The time change left enough light for many activities, especially in farming areas.
Today in 1973, the Mississippi River reached a record level in St. Louis during a 77-day flood. 33 people died because they refused to evacuate and millions of acres of farmland were unusable for a whole year.
Today in 1973, Ken Norton defeated Muhammad Ali in a 12-round split decision. Ali had his jaw broken during the fight.
Today in 1987, a judge in Hackensack, New Jersey awarded custody of "Baby M," born to a surrogate mother, to her natural father, William Stern, and his wife. The judge stripped the birth mother, Mary Beth Whitehead, of all her parental rights and upheld the $10,000 contract under which she agreed to give up the child. A year later, key elements of the case were overturned and Whitehead eventually gained visitation,though custody remained with the Sterns. As a result of this case, New York state banned surrogacy.
Today in 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of actor Bruce Lee, died of abdominal wounds after being shot by a .44 caliber bullet from a gun that was supposed to be rigged with blanks. He was filming a scene for the movie “The Crow” in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Today in 1995, GRAMMY award-winning Mexican American singer Selena Quintanilla Pérez was shot and murdered by the president of her fan club in a motel room. Jennifer Lopez played Selena in a film depiction of Selena’s life. Fans said farewell at public service April 2nd, 1995.
Today in 2004, four American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA,were killed after being ambushed in Fallujah, Iraq. Their bodies were mutilated and they were strung up on a bridge.
Today in 2007,two-million people took part in the first Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia.
Today in 2011,a deadly Egyptian cobra was found alive after it escaped an enclosure New York’s Bronx Zoo. It was found alive in the zoo’s reptile house a week after her escape.Her adventures haven’t stopped yet, however. During her breakout, she opened a Twitter account, which “she” still maintains:@bronxzooscobra.