Today in 1863, the first black Civil War regiment mustered into the Union Army – they were the South Carolina Volunteers.
Today in 1865, Congress passed 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in America (121-24). It was ratified the following December.
Today in 1940, the first Social Security check was issued by the U.S. Government. It went to Ida May Fuller…and totaled $22.40.
Today in 1958, the first U.S. Earth satellite, Explorer I, was put into orbit around the Earth.
Today in 1961, the first chimp was launched into space with the "Ham." He was the first monkey in orbit during the project Mercury phase.
Today in 1971, astronauts Alan B. Shepard Junior, Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
Today in 1986, Mary Lund of Kensington, Minnesota, who was the first female recipient of an artificial heart received the real thing. She survived until the following October.
Today in 1988, the Washington Redskins crushed the Denver Broncos, 42-to-10, to win Super Bowl 22 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. That wasn’t the only notable mark for the date. Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins became the first African-American QB to play in a Super Bowl (in fact, he scored four of his team’s five touchdowns).
Today in 1990, McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in the Soviet Union – in Moscow.
Today in 1995, President Clinton invoked presidential emergency authority to provide a $20-billion loan to Mexico in order to stabilize its economy.
Today in 1999, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented what they called convincing proof that the AIDS virus originated in chimpanzees and spread to people in Africa.
Today in 1999, Super Bowl XXXIII: Denver Broncos beat Atlanta Falcons 34-19 at Pro Player Stadium, Miami. John Elway was named MVP.
Today in 2000, baseball commissioner Bud Selig suspended Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker for disparaging foreigners, gays and minorities in a "Sports Illustrated" interview the previous month. The suspension was later reduced in arbitration.
Today in 2000, Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis was charged with murder in the deaths of two people outside an Atlanta nightclub hours after the Super Bowl. Lewis ended his trial early by pleading guilty to obstruction of justice; two co-defendants were acquitted at trial.
Today in 2001, a Scottish court in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that occurred in 1988. Judges found that Abdel Basset al-Mergrahi guilty of the 1988 bombing, which killed 270 people. The court said that Megrahi was a member of the Libyan intelligence service. Al-Amin Khalifa, who had been co-accused, was freed.
Today in 2006, Samuel Alito was confirmed as the replacement for the retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Today in 2015, Lydia Ko became the youngest golfer in men's or women's golf history to be ranked number one in the world – she was 17.
Today in 2015, Junior Seau, Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Will Shields, Tim Brown and Mick Tingelhoff were elected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They were officially inducted the following August.
Today in 2017, President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Sally Yates after she instructed Justice Department officials not to defend Trump's travel ban.
Today in 2018, the Trump administration formally suspended the Clean Water Act.
Today in 2018, Houston Rockets guard James Harden became the first player in NBA history to log a 60-point triple-double. Harden finished with 60-points, 10-rebounds, 11-assists, four steals and a block in a 114-107 win against the Orlando Magic. Additionally, Harden set the Rockets' franchise record for points in a game, besting Calvin Murphy's 57-point mark set on March 18, 1978.
Today in 2019, Catholic leaders in Texas named 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, dating back to 1940.