Today in 1845, Florida became the 27th state admitted to the Union.
Today in 1845, the U.S. Congress appropriated $30,000 to ship camels to the western U.S.
Today in 1849, Congress organized the territory of Minnesota.
Today in 1879, attorney Belva Ann Lockwood became the first woman allowed to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Today in 1931, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, officially became the national anthem of the United States. It is still ranked as the most difficult national anthem on earth to sing.
Today in 1957, Cardinal Strich, the head of the Catholic archdiocese of Chicago, banned rock & roll from Catholic schools and "recreations" in his district. He cited the "tribal rhythms" and "encouragement to behave in a hedonistic manner," as his reason for the ban.
Today in 1969, Sirhan Sirhan admitted that he killed Robert Kennedy in a Los Angeles court. He was later sentenced to death, but that was was later commuted to life. He remains incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County, California. He has been denied parole 15 times – but is up again in 2021.
Today in 1969, "Apollo 9" blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a mission to test the lunar module (LM). They performed the first manned flight of a LM, the first docking and extraction of a LM, two spacewalks (EVA), and the second docking of two manned spacecraft — two months after the Soviets performed a spacewalk crew transfer between Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5.
Today in 1986, the President's Commission on Organized Crime, ending a 32- month investigation, called for drug testing of most working Americans, including all federal employees.
Today in 1987, Congress rejected a proposal to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. In response, the American government began secretly selling arms to Iran in order to support the Contras, in what became known as the Iran-Contra Scandal.
Today in 1991, in a case that sparked a national outcry, motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers in a scene captured on amateur video.
Today in 1998, Larry Doby, the first black player in Major League Baseball’s American League, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He entered the hall the following August.
Today in 1999, Monica Lewinsky first recounted some of her fondest, as well as her most painful aspects of her relationship with President Clinton, for Barbara Walters in an ABC interview timed to coincide with the publication of her book.
Today in 2005, Steve Fossett became the first person to fly an airplane all around the world without refueling.
Today in 2013, it was announced that a 2-year-old girl from Mississippi, who had been born HIV-positive, was cured.