North and South Dakota become the 39th and 40th states admitted to the union.
The Dakotas became populated by Americans after railroads were laid and transportation of goods became easier and cheaper, in the late 19th century.
The Enabling Act of 1889 built the framework to admit these states, as well as Montana and Washington. Following Benjamin Harrison’s election, he officially admitted North and South Dakota to the Union.
Since then, there’s been animosity over which was was actually admitted first. President Harrison wanted the official signed documents making them states pulled at random. No one knows which was officially first — but since N comes before S alphabetically, North Dakota usually gets credit for being Number 39.
Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” takes flight.
It was the largest aircraft ever built. Hughes designed the project, and was at the helm for the maiden flight.
It had been commissioned in 1941, at the outset of America’s entrance into World War II. $23 million and 5 years later, it was finished, after fighting ended.
President Truman holds the presidency, after defeating Thomas Dewey.
Truman won by just more than two million votes.
It was a squeaker election, but many had thought the win was a lock for Dewey. The Chicago Tribune infamously pulled the trigger on the wrong headline before the results were in: Dewey Defeats Truman.
Charles Van Doren admits to Congress that the game show “Twenty One” was rigged, and that he had been given the questions and their answers before appearing on the show.
Twenty One celebrated great ratings and regular captive audiences, but it turned out the progression of contestants through the ranks was entirely rigged.
Van Doren would go on to be a well-published academic and writer, who actively edited the Encyclopedia Britannica.
The first short-term residents of the International Space Station enter the orbiting capsule.
One American and two Russians began the four-month mission. They were running on limited power and living out of only two rooms. In December, Shuttle Endeavor would arrive carrying full solar panels, in order to allow expansion and full power.