Today in 1829, the Tremont Hotel opened in Boston. It was the first bona fide first-class hotel in America and the first hotel to have indoor plumbing. For $2 a night the patrons received four meals, a private key, a washbowl, and access to bathrooms in the basement.
Today in 1846, the painkiller ether was used for the first time at Boston’s General Hospital. William Horton of Charleston, Massachusetts had invented the drug, which changed anesthesia forever. Prior to 1846 alcohol, opium, and other substances were used but they didn't work in every case and were not nearly as effective.
Today in 1901, Booker T. Washington and his family dined at the White House with Teddy and Edith Roosevelt, prompting condemnation from the South. Noting the reaction is important – as no other African American was invited to dinner at the White House for almost thirty years. It’s also worth pointing out that Roosevelt had already made common practice of treating Black Americans equitably – as when he was the governor of New York, he ad frequently had Black guests over for dinner and sometimes invited them to sleep over in the Governor’s mansion. Still, Roosevelt wasn’t “the first.” That honor goes to John Adams, who in 1798, had dined in the President's House in Philadelphia with Joseph Bunel, a white representative of the Haitian government, and his free-black Creole wife, Marie Fanchette Estève.
Today in 1908,the world's first international beauty contest was held at the Pier Hippodrome at Folkestone, England.
Today in 1916, the first “birth control” clinic was opened by Margaret Sanger in New York City. An avowed eugenicist, her writings and speeches showed that her inspiration for birth control and abortion was to minimize the non-white population in America. The clinic was closed by police 10 days later…reopened and closed for good on November 16th.
Today in 1923, Walter E. Disney and Roy O. Disney founded the Disney Brothers Studio.
Today in 1978, Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla [[woe-TEE-yah]] was elected “Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.” As Pope, he took the name “John Paul the Second.”
Today in 1987, a 58-and-a-half-hour drama in Midland, Texas ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl who had been trapped in abandoned well for nearly three days.
Today in 1995, nearly 1-million black men gathered in Washington DC for the "Million Man March" led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Today in 1999, a New York Air National Guard plane rescued Dr. Jerri Nielsen from a South Pole research center after she'd spent five months isolated by the Antarctic winter, which forced her to treat herself for a breast lump.
Today in 2013, the United States ended its 16-day government shut down and avoided default through a bipartisan deal in the Senate. Late in the evening of October 16th, 2013, Congress passed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, and the President signed it shortly after midnight on October 17th, ending the government shutdown and suspending the debt limit until February 7th, 2014.
Today in 2014, San Francisco Giants beat St. Louis Cardinals, 4 games to 1 in the MLB National League Championship.
Today in 2016, Ed Whitlock – at 85 years of age – became the oldest person to complete a marathon under 4 hours, at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. His finish? Three-hours, 56 minutes, 33-seconds.
Today in 2018, President Trump said that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denied knowledge of the death of “Washington Post” journalist Jamal Khashoggi...and that he believed him.
Today in 2021, NASA’s Lucy probe was launched on mission to fly-by eight Trojan asteroids circling the sun.