Today in 1647, public education was born as the Massachusetts Bay Colony authorities ordered that every township with 50 or more householders assign at least one person to teach children to read and write. The teachers would be paid by the children's parents or the general village population. Towns of 100 or more householders were required to establish schools with headmasters and instruction to prepare children for still higher education. Educating the young has been a growing priority for state and local governments ever since.
Today in 1908, the first Gideon Bible was presented to the Superior Hotel in Iron Mountain, Montana. They can be found now in almost every hotel room in America.
Today in 1951, the first direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone call was made, as the mayor of Englewood, New Jersey called the mayor of Alameda, California.
Today in 1969, “Sesame Street” officially debuted on PBS.
Today in 1982, the newly-finished Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC opened to its first visitors.
Today in 1993, John Wayne Bobbitt was acquitted of marital sexual assault. His wife, Lorena, said she cut off his penis because he’d been trying to force himself on her. Bobbitt was later acquitted of “malicious wounding.”
Today in 1993, the House of Representatives passed the Brady Bill, which called for a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases.
Today in 1997, in his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays, Roger Clemens won the American League Cy Young Award for an unprecedented fourth time.
Today in 1997, a judge in Cambridge, Massachusetts reduced Louise Woodward's murder conviction to manslaughter and sentenced the English nanny to the 279 days she'd already served in the shaking death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen.
Today in 2012, the final US presidential election results were declared after Barack Obama won Florida to defeat Mitt Romney 332-206 in Electoral College votes…four days after the election.
Today in 2018, amid Californian forest fires, President Donald Trump accused state forest management of "gross mismanagement," and threatened to withhold federal funding.