A 1 carat diamond weighs 200 milligrams, or 3.086 grains troy. The measurement originally represented the weight of a seed of the carob tree.
The first transatlantic flight was made by Albert C. (“Putty”) Read and crew aboard the Lame Duck, May 16 to 27, 1919. They flew, with stops, from Trespassey Bay, Canada, to Plymouth, England. The first nonstop flight was that of John William Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, June 14 to 15, 1919. Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 […]
The Saint Petersburg, Tampa Airboat Line of Saint Petersburg, Florida, began flight operations on January 1, 1914. The twice-a-day service took passengers one at a time across 20-mile-wide Tampa Bay. The complete trip in a Benoit flying boat covered 36 miles and cost $5. The service ran for four months.
The first spacecraft to land on the moon was Luna 2, launched by the USSR on September 12, 1959. It crash-landed between the craters Archimedes and Autolycus in the Mare Imbrium on September 14. A successful landing was made by Luna 9 on February 3, 1966.
The first personal ad might well have been a matrimonial advertisement that appeared in a British publication called the Collection for the Improvement of Husbandry and Trade on July 19, 1695. The ad read: A Gentleman about 30 Years of Age, that says he has a Very Good Estate, would willingly Match Himself to some […]
Cigarette advertising on television and radio was prohibited as of January 2, 1971.
Las Vegas-style casinos were approved by New Jersey voters and became legal on Tuesday, November 2, 1976.
The first woman in space was Valentina V. Tereshkova of the USSR. She made 48 orbits of the earth in a three-day mission in Vostok 6, June 16 to 19, 1963.
The first used-car dealership was the Motor Car Company of London, which opened in September 1897. It offered 17 secondhand vehicles, ranging in price from £30 to £335.
Silent-picture actress Norma Talmadge (1897-1957) started the tradition when she accidentally stumbled onto a freshly laid cement sidewalk in front of the theater in 1927.
To assess voters’ preferences in the 1824 presidential election, citizens were asked whom they preferred. This was the first public opinion poll. The results, published in the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian on July 24, 1824, gave Andrew Jackson a commanding lead over John Quincy Adams and all others. However, Adams won the election.
Carl B. Stokes (b. 1927) was the first black mayor. He was the great-grandson of a slave and was mayor of Cleveland from 1967 to 1971.
The first news event to be televised was the nomination of Alfred E. Smith for the presidency in Albany, New York, on August 22, 1928. The program was transmitted by Schenectady’s WGY. The first regular news reports were 15-minute daily programs transmitted over New York’s WCBS and WNBT, beginning on July 1, 1941.
The first monopoly in the United States is considered to have been John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. The company made him the wealthiest person in the United States. This allowed him to found the Astor Library, one of the cornerstones of the New York Public Library.
Airplanes were first used by the U.S. armed forces unsuccessfully in 1916 against Pancho Villa in Mexico. In 1917, the First Aero Squadron, the first air unit, fought in World War I.
The first urban shopping center was Roland Park Shopping Center, built in 1896 in Baltimore, Maryland. The first suburban shopping center was built in 1928 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Called Suburban Square, it offered two department stores, doctors’ offices, a movie theater, and 17 other shops.
Elizabeth P. Hoisington was the first female general in the U.S. armed forces. She was appointed to the post of director of the Women’s Army Corps in June 1970.
The first person to die in the gas chamber was Gee Jon. He was convicted of assassinating a member of a rival Chinese tong and died in a gas chamber in Nevada State Prison in Carson City on February 8, 1924. The idea of the gas chamber was introduced by Major D. A. Turner of […]
The Lincoln Highway was the first coast-to-coast paved road in the United States. Opened in 1913, it ran from New York to California.
The first female to hold a post in the U.S. Cabinet was Frances Perkins. She served as Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1945.
On June 26, 1896, the 400-seat Vitascope Hall was opened at the corner of Canal Street and Exchange Place in New Orleans by William T. Rock. For 10 cents, viewers could peer into the projection room; for another 10 cents, they could see the Edison Vitascope projector. A popular film of the time was May […]
Hiram Revels (1822-1901) of Mississippi became the first black senator on February 25, 1870. He completed the term begun by Jefferson Davis, who had resigned to become the president of the Confederacy. Aside from Blanche K. Bruce, who represented Mississippi from 1875 to 1881, there were no other black senators until 1966, when Edward Brooke, […]
In 1972, Jean Westwood became the first woman to head the Democratic party. In 1974, Mary Louise Smith became the first woman to head the Republican party.
On November 2, 1920, the radio station KDKA in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, broadcast for the first time. Its initial newscast reported that Warren Harding had been elected president of the United States.
The first showboat was William Chapman’s Floating Theatre, built at Pittsburgh in 1831. It traveled the system of waterways dominated by the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, bringing entertainment to America’s river frontier. Once the river frontier closed and other entertainments beckoned, showboats declined. The last authentic showboat in operation was the Golden Rod in 1943.