90 years ago today, Charles Curtis became first Native-American Vice President of the United States. A Kansas attorney and the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate, Curtis was a member of the Kaw Nation and served in the White House under Herbert Hoover after they won in a landslide victory. ‘Charley’ employed a woman there as secretary, instead of the customary man—a small step for gender equality. WATCH a mini bio… (1929)
His secretary, Lola M. Williams, had worked for Curtis in the Congress for a long time, and was one of the first women to set foot on the Senate floor.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Antonio Vivaldi, the great Baroque composer and virtuoso violinist who wrote the popular “The Four Seasons” violin concertos, was born (1678)
- The first US Congress met fulfilling the new Constitution (1789)
- Swan Lake, a ballet composed by Tchaikovsky, was first performed in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, a Russian folk tale about Princess Odette who is turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer who also tricks a young prince into betraying her (1877)
- Victor Berger of Wisconsin became the first socialist in the US Congress (1911)
- Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress (1917)
- “Happy Birthday To You” was first published by Clayton Summy (1924)
- The British empire signed an agreement with Mohandas Gandhi to release political prisoners and allow the free use of salt by the poorest Indians (1931)
- Bertha Wilson was first woman appointed as Supreme Court Justice in Canada (1933)
- Ernest Hemingway completed his novel The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
- A Boston hospital announced the first successful kidney transplant (1954)
- The US Supreme Court ruled that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex (1998)
And, on this day in 1791, Vermont became the 14th U.S. state. A destination for tourists searching for fall foliage, 75% of Vermont (which means ‘green mountain’) is covered by forest. It’s also known for being home to over 100 historic covered bridges, and a major producer of maple syrup. Its thousands of acres of alpine terrain offer Easterners stellar ski resorts like Stowe and Killington. Vermont, which you can differentiate from New Hampshire because it is shaped like a “V”, was also the first state to partially abolish slavery.
It is the second least populous of the 50 United States, containing roughly 40,000 more people than Wyoming. Some of the most famous Vermonters include President Calvin Coolidge, John Deere, Brigham Young, baseball great Carlton Fisk, and two presidential candidates who used internet-based fundraising and online grassroots organizing to amass small donations and national movements—former governor Howard Dean in 2003 and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016.
As the first female member of a U.S. president’s cabinet, Frances Perkins began work with Franklin Roosevelt to establish Social Security on her first day as Labor Secretary. For 12 years in that job, she built a reputation as the woman behind The New Deal. She also established the first minimum wage and overtime laws for American workers, reformed workplace safety regulations after a tragic factory fire, and defined the standard 40-hour work week. WATCH a short video to learn about her amazing legacy…. (1933)
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