The Very First . . . !

Did you know that July 24th represents the month and day of the year with several significant “firsts?”

  • in 1824, the first opinion poll was conducted (the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian asked voters their preference between presidential candidates Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams).
  • in 1860, the first doctoral degree was awarded by an American University (Yale University — the degree was “authorized” in 1860 but not actually awarded until 1861).
  • in 1866, the Union readmitted the first state following the Civil War (Tennessee).
  • in 1934, the first ptarmigan that was hatched and reared in captivity (Ithaca, New York).
  • In 1946, the first atomic bomb underwater explosion (Pacific Ocean, three miles off Bikini).
  • in 1950, the first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral (U.S. armed forces and General Electric Company, Bumper 2).
  • in 1956, the first adaptable railroad freight car (the Adapto Car; Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company; operating between St. Louis, MO, and Wichita, KS).
  • in 1998, the first Capitol Police Officers killed in the line of duty (Special Agent John Michael Gibson and Police Private First Class Jacob Joseph Chestnut).

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

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