Samuel Morse gave the first successful demonstration of the telegraph. (1838) Morse's invention revolutionized long-distance communication, and was the first step toward a convenient means of global communication. The last telegraph was sent by Western Union in 2006.
The US Congress certified George W. Bush as the winner of the 2000 election. (2001) The election had been plagued by recounts and talk of "hanging chads," for several months before Gore finally conceded the election.
Franklin Roosevelt gave his speech on the Four Freedoms. (1941) Roosevelt insisted that all people should have the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship God in his own way, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Though the speech was originally intended to move Americans towards involvement in World War II, the four freedoms played a large role in the subsequent creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The first around-the-world trip by a commercial airplane was finished. (1942) The Pan Am Pacific Clipper flew over 30,000 miles (over 48,000 km) in four days. It had to complete the end of the trip in secrecy, since the Pearl Harbor bombing occurred while they were en route, and the captain was not sure how friendly American airspace would be.
Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves. (1540) Anne was Henry's fourth wife and was chosen for political reasons, since Henry needed an ally in Germany, Anne's homeland. Henry had seen pictures of Anne before she came to England, but was reportedly bitterly disappointed with the real Anne, whom he found fat and ugly. The marriage only lasted a few months before it was annulled and Henry married again.
The first Catholic mass was celebrated in the New World. (1494) Only two years after Columbus discovered the Americas, the first mass was celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola (modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic). The mass was held in a small, temporary church for Columbus and his men by Fray Bernal Buil.
The UK recognized the People's Republic of China. (1950) Britain was one of the first countries to recognize the government of Mao Zedong, who had come to power the year before. America had sided with Chiang Kai Shek and the Republic of China (Taiwan), and refused to recognize the PRC for almost 30 years after that.
Joan of Arc is believed to have been born. (1412) Joan became a national icon when she led France to victory in several battles against the British in the Hundred Years War. Though she was later burned at the stake for heresy by her political rivals, Joan became one of the most beloved French saints.
Olympic skater candidate Nancy Kerrigan was attacked. (1994) Kerrigan was clubbed several days before the Olympic trials. When it came out that Kerrigan's rival, Tonya Harding, had set up the attack, a media frenzy ensued, though both women went on to compete in the Olympics.
Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta. (1929) The famous nun worked in India until her death in 1997. She became a symbol of the power of love and compassion against all odds.