William Seward accepts President-elect Abraham Lincoln’s invitation to become secretary of state. Seward became one of the most important members of Lincoln’s cabinet and engineered the purchase of Alaska after the Civil War.
Seward became one of the moderate voices in the Lincoln cabinet. His careful politicking helped to counter the public perception that the administration was dominated by radicals. Although he supported the end of slavery, Seward downplayed the effects of emancipation to gain support from Democrats and conservative Republicans during the presidential campaign of 1864.
A drilling derrick in Texas produces thousands of barrels of oil for the first time, marking the unofficial start of the oil industry in America. It was the first major recorded discovery in the U.S.
The derrick produced 100,000 barrels of oil a day. It took 9 days to camp, with black gold spilling all over the Texas landscape. As oil started to be used to power motors, it became more valuable than just a lubricant or lamp fuel source.
Four years after the end of World War I, President Warren G. Harding orders U.S. occupation troops stationed in Germany to return home.
U.S. troops, along with other Allied forces, were to occupy the defeated Central Powers nations to enforce the terms of the peace agreement. In Germany, Allied occupation and stiff war reparations levied against the country were regarded with increasing bitterness, and in 1923, after four years of contending with a resentful German populace, the American troops were ordered home.
The first General Assembly of the United Nations, comprising 51 nations, convenes at Westminster Central Hall in London, England. One week later, the U.N. Security Council met for the first time and established its rules of procedure. Then, on January 24, the General Assembly adopted its first resolution, a measure calling for the peaceful uses of atomic energy and the elimination of atomic and other weapons of mass destruction.
Saddam Hussein never got that memo.
Tata Motors debuts the Nano, billing it as the world’s cheapest car at around $2,500. Tata, which is India’s largest automaker, called the four-door, 5-foot-by-10-foot car the “People’s Car” and declared that it would be a vehicle for families who previously hadn’t been able to afford a car. Even recently, it wasn’t uncommon to see an entire family packed onto a single motorcycle.