Friday, March 04, 2011

POPnews (US) - March 4th: Yankee Doodle Dandy Special Edition

[Since March 4th was the Inauguration Day of every US President from Washington's second term in 1793 to FDR's first in 1933 - which point I've made about twelve times today by now - and since this is also the day that the fledgling Republic first began operating under its new Constitution in 1789, I felt smug enough to award this edition of POPnews (US) with a special subtitle. Despite having done this now two days in a row, the POPnews subtitle is actually a rare and prestigious thing; not like being named a Gratuitous Brunette or People's Sexiest Man Alive at all, but rather like earning a similar title from The New Yorker.]

1681 - England's King Charles II granted a land charter to William Penn for the area that would later become Pennsylvania.

1776 - During the American Revolution a force of 1200 under General George Washington 'fortified' Dorchester Heights - wresting control over the port of Boston from Great Britain's General William Howe.

1789 - The first US Congress met in New York City and declared the new US Constitution to be in effect, making this the first day the US government was in operation under the Constitution.

1791 - The Republic of Vermont became the 14th US state.

1794 - The 11th Amendment to the US Constitution - limiting judicial powers over foreign nationals as well as the rights of individuals to sue states - was passed by Congress.

1797 - In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams was inaugurated, succeeding George Washington.

1814 - American and British troops clashed in Ontario at the Battle of Longwoods, between London and Thamesville; the battle is considered an American victory, even though American Captain Andrew Holmes withdrew his forces to Detroit following the battle.

1837 - The city of Chicago was incorporated.

1845 - James Knox Polk was inaugurated as the 11th President.

1861 - The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the Stars and Bars) was adopted - on the same day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th President.

1863 - The Idaho Territory was created by an Act of Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, with its first capital at Lewiston.

1865 - The third (and last) national flag of the Confederate States of America was adopted, shortly before its surrender to the Union.

1925 - Calvin Coolidge became the first President to have his inauguration broadcast on radio.

1929 - Charles Curtis became the first Native-American Vice President on the occasion of Herbert Hoover's inauguration; despite this, Curtis' Indian name was not 'Executive Branch'.

1933 - Frances Perkins was appointed Secretary of Labor, first female member of the Cabinet.

1959 - Pioneer 4, launched to detect lunar radiation, missed the Moon and thus detected no such thing, although as far as anyone knows it's still orbiting the sun.

1994 - Space Shuttle mission STS-62 (the 16th for NASA's ill-fated Columbia) launched into orbit; an otherwise routine mission, it was filmed for the Discovery Channel, rendered all the more poignant after Columbia's February 2003 disintegration.

1998 - The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in the case of Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services (with Justice Clarence Thomas concurring) that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.

2006 - A final contact attempt was made with Pioneer 10 by the Deep Space Network, 34 years and a day after its March 1972 launch; no response was received.

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