Dorothea Lynde Dix was born on April 4, 1802, in Hampden, Maine. She spent much of her life improving and establishing new mental asylums. Dix also served as the Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War.
Explorer Adolphus Washington Greely was born on March 27, 1844, in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He served with the Union Army during the Civil War and later led a polar expedition. Greely was the second person in history to receive a Medal of Honor for “lifetime achievement.”
On March 21, 1916, a group of mostly American pilots formed the Escadrille Américaine. Later named the Lafayette Escadrille, they flew several high-profile missions that encouraged more Americans to join their ranks.
Oveta Culp Hobby was born on January 19, 1905, in Killeen, Texas.
On January 15, 1943, construction on the Pentagon, the world’s largest office building, was completed.
Statesman Everett McKinley Dirksen was born on January 4, 1896, in Pekin, Illinois.
On December 24, 1955, NORAD’s predecessor tracked Santa Claus for the first time.
On December 18, 1777, the United States celebrated its first national Thanksgiving. The celebration was in reaction to the recent victory at the Battle of Saratoga.