1752 - Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, opens in Philadelphia.
1809 - Robert Fulton patents his steamboat.
1812 - Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signs a law that redraws district lines in his party's favor, thus giving rise to the term "gerrymandering."
1861 - President-elect Abraham Lincoln leaves Springfield, Illinois, for Washington, D.C., saying, "I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return" – he never does.
1933 - President Hoover designates Death Valley as a national monument.