History: November 7

1776
Benjamin Franklin’s son-in-law is handed the reins of the Post Office by Congress.
Franklin spent years developing an institutionalized communication system across the American colonies. In 1737 he was named Postmaster General in 1737.
He became the postmaster general of all colonies in 1753, but was fired in 1774 because he opened the correspondence of a British Royal governor.
Some of Franklin’s innovations included overnight postal routes between New York and Philadelphia and a system of charging based on rate and distance.
Franklin gave up the post when he was assigned an ambassadorship to France.

1874
A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly depicts the Republican Party as a giant elephant. It’s considered the first use of the image to symbolize the Grand Old Party.
A fox was used to portray the Democratic Party. A different cartoon by Nast in which the Democratic Party was symbolized by a donkey would solidify that image — the ass — as a representation of the Left.
The red-and-blue map — red for the GOP, blue for the Democrats — was commonly adopted after the 2000 presidential election.

1914
The first issue of left-leaning The New Republic is published.
The editorial board held strong stances on domestic and foreign government intervention. In 1917, the magazine encouraged America to enter World War I with the Allies.
After the Russian Revolution, TNR was largely supportive of Soviet policies, but moved to the mainstream with the advent of the Cold War.

1944
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected to his fourth term as president.
He beat out Thomas Dewey, who was governor of New York — the office FDR held before running for President.
Franklin was a fifth cousin to turn-of-the-century president Teddy Roosevelt.
Three months into his final term, FDR died. After his death, Congress passed term limit legislation, which limited the amount of time a president could spend in office to two terms.

1983
A bomb detonates inside the US Capitol, near the second floor of the Senate side.
The blast took off the door of Robert Byr’d office, and shattered the glass of the republican cloakroom. Damage estimates neared $250,000. No one was injured, and no structural damage was inflicted.
The alleged perpetrators were members of the Armed Resistance Unit, who were protesting American intervention in Granada and Lebanon.
Radical leftist Linda Evans was sentenced to 40 years for planning the attack. Bill Clinton commuted her sentence on his last day in office.

2000
Americans go to the polls in what would become one of the closest elections in history.
George W. Bush eventually beat out Internet Inventor and Global Warming whistleblower Al Gore, though the former Texas governor lost the popular vote.
The victory came after the Supreme Court intervened to end vote recounts in Florida.