Today in 1850, flogging was abolished as a form of punishment in the US Navy.
Today in 1904, a woman was arrested for smoking a cigarette in an open car on 5th Avenue, in New York City. As the story goes, a policeman on horseback reportedly stopped her and gasped, “Ma’am, you can’t do that on Fifth Avenue!” At that time, in much of the country, it was also illegal for an unescorted woman to be served in hotels and restaurants. And no woman, anywhere, had the right to vote. That changed in 1920, of course, and soon after, cigarette manufacturers began featuring women prominently in their advertisements, and some even began urging women to smoke instead of eat.
Today in 1924, two U.S. Army planes landed in Seattle, Washington, having completed the first round-the-world flight in 175 days.
Today in 1955, "The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC" was heard for the first time as the World Series was telecast in color. The New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first game, 6-5.
Today in 1974, First Lady Betty Ford underwent a mastectomy at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland, following discovery of a cancerous lump in her breast. Her willingness to go public about her condition encouraged many women to become more aware of breast cancer – as discussing such things was considered taboo at the time.
Today in 1982, the first deaths from cyanide-laced Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules were reported. In all, seven people died and the case resulted in tamper-proof packaging for consumer products. The case remains unsolved.
Today in 1989, two men, Jeffrey Petkovich and Peter Debernardi, went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. They were the first pair ever to go over the 176-foot-high Horseshoe Falls and live.
Today in 1997, during the 103rd convention of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in New York City, the official debut of the DVD format was featured.
Today in 1999, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether a state can give visitation rights to grandparents when, after a divorce or some other family split, the children's parents say no. In June 2000, the court ultimately decided in favor of parents deciding grandparents’ visitation.
Today in 2000, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration approved the use of RU-486, a pill used to induce an abortion.
Today in 2008, SpaceX launched the first-ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1, into orbit.
Today in 2015, the research team from Exeter and Cambridge universities revealed so-called DNA controllers for the age women go into menopause in the journal, "Nature Genetics.”
Today in 2015, NASA scientists announced the discovery of flowing water on Mars.
Today in 2019, Elon Musk unveiled the SpaceX spacecraft Starship, designed to travel to Mars and the solar system and land back on earth.
Today in 2021, the National Inventors Hall of Fame announced it would induct two Black women for the first time; Engineer Marian Croak and ophthalmologist Dr. Patricia Bath.