Route-66 Opened On This Date In 1926

Today in 1839, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) officially opened in Lexington, Virginia.

Today in 1865, Mary Edward Walker, the first Army female surgeon, was awarded Medal of Honor – the only female to ever receive the honor. It was rescinded in 1917…because she’d never actually been enlisted (as women weren’t allowed). She refused to return the medal, however, and died two years later. The wrong was ultimately made right in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter – and he officially restored her honor.

Today in 1926, US Route 66 was established.

Today in 1938, following Kristallnacht, all Jews in Germany were forced to wear the Star of David.

Today in 1939, Kate Smith first performed Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" for Armistice Day.

Today in 1918, World War One came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany.

Today in 1921, President Warren G. Harding dedicated the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Today in 1938, Mary Mallon – aka the infamous "Typhoid Mary" She was a cook in New York City who was believed to have passed on the disease to at least 53 people in America alone. How and why? Pretty simple. As the first "healthy carrier" of typhoid fever in the United States, she didn’t understand how someone ‘not sick’ could spread disease.

Today in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

Today in 1983, President Reagan became the first US President to address the Japanese legislature.

Today in 1985, NBC-TV premiered "An Early Frost," the first important TV movie to deal with AIDS. The film starred Aidan Quinn, Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara.

Today in 1987, Judge Anthony Kennedy was nominated to Supreme Court.

Today in 1993, a bronze statue honoring the more than 11,000 American women who had served in the Vietnam War was dedicated in Washington D.C.

Today in 1994, Bill Gates bought Leonardo da Vinci's "Codex" for $30.8-million. It was the most expensive book ever sold.

Today in 2000, 155 skiers and snowboarders died when a cable car caught fire in an alpine tunnel near Kaprun, Austria.

Today in 2002, Bill Gates pledged $100-million to fight AIDS in India.

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