Today in 1842, the first wire suspension bridge was opened to traffic in Fairmount, Pennsylvania.
Today in 1890, the first woman was employed at the White House. Alice Sanger was a stenographer for President Benjamin Harrison, and her salary was $1400 a year.
Today in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt shut down post office in Indianola, Mississippi for refusing to accept its appointed postmistress Minnie M. Cox because she was black.
Today in 1906, Willis Carrier received a US patent for the world's first air conditioner.
Today in 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Today in 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. began a drive to register black voters.
Today in 1974, President Nixon signed legislation requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 miles-an-hour. However, federal speed limits were abolished in 1995.
Today in 1991, Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in as mayor of Washington DC, becoming the first black woman to head a city of Washington's size and prominence.
Today in 1996, former Interior Secretary James Watt pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of attempting to sway a grand jury investigating 1980s influence-peddling at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Watt was later fined and sentenced to five years' probation.
Today in 1998, the defense in the Terry Nichols trial rested its case in the penalty phase after calling nine witnesses who pleaded for his life. Nichols had already been convicted of conspiracy, which carried a potential death sentence and involuntary manslaughter for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Today in 1999, a brutal snowstorm smashed into the Midwest, causing 14-inches of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 19-inches in Chicago, where temperatures plunged to -13°F. By the time it was over, 68 deaths were reported.
Today in 2007, Oprah Winfrey fulfilled a promise she’d made six years earlier to Nelson Mandela when she opened a school for girls in South Africa.
Today in 2017, House Republicans voted to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, a public uproar forces them to back down the next day.