Today In History Spotlights Mar. 4, 1789, The First US Congress Convenes

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Today’s History Spotlight

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The first US Congress convenes for the first time at Federal Hall in New York City. It was during this time that the new Constitution officially took effect. The Bill of Rights, as well as the 11th and 12th Amendments, were later introduced.

The leading positions included John Adams as Senate President, John Langdon as Senate President pro-tem, and Frederick Muhlenberg as House Speaker. US Congress relocated to Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1790. They later moved to Washington DC in 1800 and have remained there since.

What Happened On This Day – March 4

  • 2007 The world’s first national internet election is held. Estonia was the first country to allow its citizens to vote in a parliamentary election through the world wide web.
  • 1980 Robert Mugabe becomes Zimbabwe’s first black prime minister. A hero of the black struggle against the white minority rule in his country, Mugabe won a landslide victory. More recently, his oppressive style of leadership has been condemned domestically and internationally.
  • 1977 The Vrancea earthquake claims over 1500 lives. Most of the victims were residents of Romania’s capital Bucharest.
  • 1918 The first documented cases of the Spanish flu herald a deadly worldwide pandemic. The disease quickly spread around the world, causing over 25 million deaths.
  • 1789 The U.S. Constitution is put into effect. The law is one of the world’s oldest constitutions still in use. The oldest is the Constitution of San Marino, which was issued in 1600.

Births On This Day – March 4

  • 1968 Graham Westley – English footballer, manager
  • 1951 Chris Rea – English singer-songwriter, guitarist
  • 1950 Rick Perry – American politician, 47th Governor of Texas
  • 1932 Ryszard Kapuściński – Polish journalist
  • 1678 Antonio Vivaldi – Italian violinist, composer

Deaths On This Day – March 4

  • 2008 Gary Gygax – American game designer, writer, co-created Dungeons & Dragons
  • 1977 Anatol E. Baconsky – Romanian poet, author, critic
  • 1888 Amos Bronson Alcott – American educator, philosopher
  • 1852 Nikolai Gogol – Ukrainian/Russian author, playwright
  • 1811 Mariano Moreno – Argentinian lawyer, journalist, politician

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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