A Blast from the Past

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, Un ited Press International   |   Nov. 7, 2001 at 12:42 PM

Today is Nov. 7.

A political milestone for African-Americans occurred on this date in 1989, when Democrat David Dinkins was elected as the first black mayor of New York City. In Virginia, Democrat Douglas Wilder claimed victory in a razor-thin race to become the first black elected governor in America.

Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on this date in 1916.

In 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected to a fourth term on this date in 1944, defeating Thomas Dewey. FDR was the first and only person elected to four terms as U.S. president. However, he only served 53 days after his Jan. 20, 1945, inauguration, dying April 12.

It was on this date in 1874 when a real political institution began in America. Thomas Nast used an elephant to represent the Republican Party in a satirical cartoon published in Harper's Weekly. Today, the elephant is still recognized as a symbol of the GOP.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at the Pacific Ocean on this date in 1805.

Federal Judge Douglas Ginsburg's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court went up in smoke on this date in 1987. Ginsburg withdrew his name following criticism of his judicial ethics and his admission that he had used marijuana.

And it was on this date in 1991 that basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson disclosed he was infected with the virus that causes AIDS, and announced he was retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson would play for the U.S. Olympic basketball team in 1992 and briefly consider rejoining the Lakers, only to retire for good later that year.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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