On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley appeared nationwide on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, performing Don’t Be Cruel and Love Me Tender. Sullivan, the most popular TV variety host of the day, had relented after previously vowing never to allow the performer on his show. (1956)

  • The Continental Congress officially named its new union of sovereign states the United States (1776)
  • The capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., was named after President George Washington (1791)
  • The first glass plate photograph was taken by John Herschel (1839)
  • The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was finalized (1886)
  • The first computer bug: a moth was found lodged in a relay at Harvard University (1947)
  • The first Civil Rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1957)
  • 20 black students entered public schools in Alabama, following a standoff between federal authorities and Gov. George C. Wallace, who resisted integration (1963)
  • Tajikstan gained independence from the Soviet Union (1991)
  • The Palestine Liberation Organization officially recognized Israel’s right to exist as a legitimate state, and Israel agreed to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people (1993)
  • Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army’s political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland’s future (1997)
  • The Dubai Metro, the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula, is ceremonially inaugurated (2009)

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