Today in 1807, Congress passed Embargo Act and President Thomas Jefferson signed it into law. The law prohibited American ships from trading in foreign ports, as result of involvement in hostilities between France and Britain.
Today in 1882, the first electric Christmas tree lights were demonstrated in New York City at the home of Ed Johnson, one of Thomas Edison's associates.
Today in 1894, the United States Golf Association was formed in New York City.
Today in 1956, Colo became the first gorilla to be born in captivity at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. She passed away in January 2017 at the age of 60.
Today in 1975, Mike and Gloria Stivic (Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers) welcomed their son, Joey, on the hit CBS sitcom, "All in the Family." While a television couple having a baby may not seem like a big deal – the fact that the Ideal Toy Company released a 14-inch "Joey Stivic doll" (called "Archie Bunker's Grandson") in 1976 did. Why? It was controversially billed as the "first anatomically correct male doll.”
Today in 1984, Bernhard Goetz shot four black teenagers on a New York City subway – he said they were trying to rob him. Later charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and several firearms offenses, a jury found him not guilty of all charges – except for one count of carrying an unlicensed firearm. He served eight months of a one-year sentence on that conviction
Today in 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit near San Simeon, California. Damage was significant in some areas, and two people were killed when a historic building collapsed.
Today in 2010, President Barack Obama signed the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, the 17 year-old policy, which had banned on LGBT servicepeople from serving openly in the United States Military, into law. The policy was originally introduced by President Bill Clinton.
Today in 2016, the experimental Ebola vaccine VSV-EBOV was found to be 70-100% effective in a study published in The Lancet, becoming the world's first proven vaccine against Ebola