Today in 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union.
Today in 1937, Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record. He flew from Los Angeles to New York City in 7-hours, 28-minutes and 25-seconds.
Today in 1949, the salary of the President of the United States was increased from $75,000 to $100,000 with an additional $50,000 expense allowance for each year in office.
Today in 1953, Lucille Ball gave birth to Desi Arnaz Jr. On this same day, as luck would have it, the episode of “I Love Lucy” in which she gave birth to Little Ricky was broadcast. The writers had gambled that Lucy would have a boy in real life, and wrote the script accordingly. It was seriously a big deal for folks at home, too, as 44-million viewers (or 68 % of all TV sets) tuned in to watch the arrival of Little Ricky.
Today in 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower allowed a filmed news conference to be used on television (and in movie newsreels) for the first time.
Today in 1978, the Volkswagen Beetle was discontinued after selling 19-million had been sold since the first in 1938. It was reintroduced in 1998, and will ultimately be put back to bed this year.
Today in 1989, President Reagan pardoned George Steinbrenner for providing Richard Nixon with illegal funds.
Today in 1998, legendary rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins died in Nashville from complications following a series of strokes. Perkins' songwriting and guitar work influenced Elvis Presley and the Beatles, among others. He wrote and recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1956 and his version sold 2 million copies before Elvis' version became a hit. In 1987, Perkins was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Today in 1999, President Clinton delivered his State of the Union address, in which he proposed to protect Social Security by using huge budget surpluses and announced the government would sue the tobacco industry for smokers' health costs. Hours earlier, at the president's impeachment trial in the Senate, White House Counsel Charles Ruff opened the defense with statements of Clinton's innocence.
Today in 2000, Michael Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy, was charged with bludgeoning to death 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1975, at the age of 15. After serving some time and a number of appeals, his cased was vacated in 2018.
Today in 2000, a dormitory fire at Seton Hall University in New Jersey killed 3 people and injured 62.
Today in 2012, the FBI shut down Megaupload.com for alleged copyright infringement…and hacker group Anonymous responded by attacking government and entertainment industry websites.