A Historical Day

(1872) The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York City

1872 Founded two years previously, the Metropolitan officially unveils to the public its total collection: a Roman sarcophagus and 174 paintings. The museum will go on to become the largest in the United States, acquiring a staggering collection of more than 2 million works..

(1943) The first of Rockwell’s ‘Four Freedoms’ is published

1943 Inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union speech, artist Norman Rockwell creates four iconic scenes of mid-20th-century American values. All will appear in The Saturday Evening Post..

(1962) First American orbits the earth

1962 The Friendship 7 spacecraft and its pilot, Major John Glenn, make three orbits around the Earth and travel 65,763 nautical miles in just under five hours. Glenn’s flight, called the Mercury-Atlas 6, comes just months after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s successful orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961..

(1985) Ireland legalizes sale of birth control

1985 Defying the Catholic Church’s wishes on a social issue for the first time, Ireland’s government legislators reverse the ban on importation or sale of contraceptives. .