1793 – Jean-Pierre Blanchard becomes the first person to fly in a balloon in the United States.
On 9 January 1793, Blanchard conducted the first balloon flight in the Americas. He launched his balloon from the prison yard of Walnut Street Jail in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and landed in Deptford, Gloucester County, New Jersey. One of the flight’s witnesses that day was President George Washington, and the future presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were also present. Blanchard left the United States in 1797.
1859 – Carrie Chapman Catt, leader of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, is born.
In 1887, Catt returned to Charles City, where she had grown up, and became involved in the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association. From 1890 to 1892, Catt served as the Iowa association’s state organizer and groups recording secretary. During her time in office, Catt began working nationally for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and was even a speaker at its 1890 convention in Washington D.C. In 1892, Catt was asked by Susan B. Anthony to address Congress on the proposed woman’s suffrage amendment. Catt would go on to succeed Anthony as NAWSA president. She was elected president of NAWSA twice; her first term was from 1900 to 1904 and her second term was from 1915 to 1920. She resigned after her first term to care for her ailing husband. She would resume leadership of NAWSA in 1915, which had become badly divided under the leadership of Anna Howard Shaw. During her later years of leadership she increased the size of the organization and raised many dollars of funds. In 1916, at a NAWSA convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Catt unveiled her “Winning Plan”. Catt established this plan in 1916 to have senators and representatives from different states support the suffrage amendment. Her campaign’s goals were to obtain suffrage on both the state and federal levels, and to compromise for partial suffrage in the states resisting change. Under Catt’s leadership, NAWSA won the backing of the U.S. House and Senate, as well as state support for the amendment’s ratification. Under Catt’s leadership the movement focused on success in at least one eastern state, because previous to 1917 only western states had granted female suffrage. Catt thus led a successful campaign in New York state, which finally approved suffrage in 1917. During that same year President Wilson and the Congress entered World War I. Catt made the controversial decision to support the war effort, which shifted the public’s perception in favor of the suffragists who were now perceived as patriotic. The suffrage movement received the support of President Woodrow Wilson in 1918. After endless lobbying by Catt and NAWSA, the suffrage movement culminated in the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920.[
1870 – Joseph Strauss, chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge, is born.
As Chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, Strauss overcame many problems. He had to find funding and support for the bridge from the citizens and the U.S. military. There were also innovations in the way the bridge was constructed. It had to span one of the greatest distances ever spanned, reach heights that hadn’t been seen in a bridge, and hold up to the forces of the ocean. He placed a brick from the demolished McMicken Hall at his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, in the south anchorage before the concrete was poured.
1894 – New England Telephone and Telegraph installs the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.
The New England Telephone and Telegraph Company was formed February 12, 1878, by investors in the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island at the behest of an agent of Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the father-in-law of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell.
2007 – Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the original iPhone at a Macworld keynote in San Francisco.
iPhone is a line of smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc. They run Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. The first-generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007, and there have been multiple new hardware iterations with new iOS releases since.