Franklin Roosevelt became the first US President to travel by airplane on official business. (1943) Roosevelt crossed the Atlantic by plane to meet British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Casablanca for a strategy conference. The trip took over four days, since the plane had to follow an extremely odd route to make sure the trip remained a secret.
The Revolutionary War ended. (1784) The American Continental Congress ratified the Second Treaty of Paris on this day, ending the Revolutionary War. In the treaty, the British officially recognized the independence of the American colonies and agreed to withdraw troops from American soil. In return, Americans agreed to stop confiscating land from British owners. Neither side followed through very well on their agreement.
The Human Be-In started in San Francisco. (1967) A massive protest, the Be-In kicked off the Summer of Love and was an icon of 1960s counter-culture. The Be-In was the first introduction many suburban people had to the Haight-Ashbury culture, and the counter-culture movement in general.
George Wallace was inaugurated as governor of Alabama. (1963) Wallace was best known as the poster boy of the segregationist South and the fight to keep schools from integrating. He literally blockaded the University of Alabama to keep black students from attending. Eventually, President Kennedy had to intervene to lift the blockade and forcibly integrate Alabama schools.
Americans began preparing to place Japanese and Japanese Americans in internment camps. (1942) President Roosevelt issued a series of Presidential Proclamations, which required all Italian, German, or Japanese citizens to register with the Department of Justice. This proclamation also allowed officials to arrest and detain Japanese American citizens without any reason or trial. Over 100,000 people were interned; over 1/2 of those interned were American citizens.
Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio. (1954) Though the marriage between the iconic actress and the baseball star only lasted 274 days, they remained friends over the years. After Monroe's death in 1962, DiMaggio sent flowers to her grave every week until his own death in 1999.
Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery. (1514) Though Leo was unpopular for his "immoderate luxury," which included a pet elephant, he nonetheless gained some followers when he issued a bull — or charter — stating that slavery was unnatural and should be abolished. Despite the bull, the slave trade continued to flourish, but Leo's statement was later referenced by many abolitionists.
The Today Show premiered. (1952) The show was the first American morning talk show, and spawned an entire genre of similar programs. It went on to become one of the most-watched shows in America, and has featured commentators such as Barbara Walters and Tom Brokaw.
The Duchess of Kent converted to Catholicism. (1994) The duchess was the first member of the British royal family to convert to Catholicism in over 300 years, and many believed her conversion was tied to the Church of England's decision to ordain women priests. A year later, Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to attend a Catholic mass in more than 300 years.
The first prototype of the MiG-17 fighter jet made its first flight. (1950) The MiG-17 was widely used against American planes in the Vietnam War, and remains a widely used fighter jet design.