Today in 1612, Galileo observed and recorded a "fixed star" without realizing it was a planet…it was the first observation of Neptune.
Today in 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first VP to resign – he had differences with President Jackson.
Today in 1846, Iowa became the 29th state of the Union.
Today in 1849, dry-cleaning was accidentally discovered when a tailor named Jolly-Bellin knocked over a lamp containing turpentine and oil onto his clothing and noticed it had a cleaning effect.
Today in 1860, Harriet Tubman arrived in Auburn, New York, on her last mission to free slaves, having evaded capture for eight years on the Underground Railroad.
Today in 1945, Congress made "The Pledge of Allegiance" the official oath of The United States.
Today in 1975, with 32 seconds left in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw a desperate 50-yard winning touchdown pass to Drew Pearson to defeat the Minnesota Vikings, and the "Hail Mary" play was born.
Today in 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia. Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby, had arrived in England in 1978.
Today in 1993, Energy Secretary, Hazel O'Leary, publicly said that people wrongfully exposed to radiation through federally funded experiments more than 40 years ago deserved to be compensated.
Today in 2000, retail giant Montgomery Ward announced it was going out of business after 128 years.