MLK's Birthday Declared A Federal Holiday On This Date In 1983

Today in 1870, the first African American was elected to US House of Representatives. Garnering more than 86% of the vote, in a special election to fill the seat for the remainder of the 41st Congress, Republican Joseph Rainey was sworn in the following December. The first African American elected to the US Senate was Republican Hiram Rhodes Revels, who (in 1869) filled the seat vacated by Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Today in 1944, the United States Navy approved black women to join the WAVES.

Today in 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. and 51 others were arrested at a sit-in after refusing to leave a cafeteria in an Atlanta department store.

Today in 1983, the United States Senate passed a bill making Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a public holiday. President Reagan signed the bill in November 1983…and the first celebration of the holiday was in 1986.

Today in1983, General Motors agreed to hire more women and minorities for five years as part of a $42-million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Today in 1988, the Senate passed a bill curbing ads during children's TV shows. It was vetoed by President Reagan the following November on freedom of expression grounds.

Today in 1998, the Earth Liberation Front set fire to Vail Mountain ski resort in Colorado, causing $12-million in damage – they even claimed responsibility in the aftermath. Chelsea Dawn Gerlach and Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff both pleaded guilty to the attack in 2006. Then in August 2018, suspect Joseph Dibee, who had been on the run for 12 years, was apprehended in Cuba, while was en route to Russia – and returned to the United States. Josephine Sunshine Overaker, believed to have fled to Europe in 2001, remains at large and is on the FBI's list of Most Wanted Terrorists.

Today in 1999, the Atlanta Braves won the National League pennant by beating the New York Mets, 10-to-9, in Game Six of their championship series.

Today in 2005, MLB National League Championship: Houston Astros beat St. Louis Cardinals, 4 games to 2.

Today in 2006, MLB National League Championship: Louis Cardinals beat New York Mets, 4 games to 3.

Today in 2008, MLB American League Championship: Tampa Bay Rays beat Boston Red Sox, 4 games to 3.

Today in 2014, a working human intestine was generated from stem cells in a laboratory.

Today in 2015, scientists from University of California said they found evidence life on earth may have begun 4.1-billion years ago…about 300-million earlier than previously thought.

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