Welcome to the Weekend Edition of Today in History. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the post. Have an awesome weekend.
Ireland allows sale of contraceptives
In a highly controversial vote on February 20, 1985, the Irish government defies the powerful Catholic Church and approves the sale of contraceptives.
Up until 1979, Irish law prohibited the importation and sale of contraceptives. In a 1973 case, McGee v. The Attorney General, the Irish Supreme Court found that a constitutional right to marital privacy covered the use of contraceptives. Pressured by strong conservative forces in Irish society, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, the government was slow to change the law to reflect the court’s decision, and a number of proposed bills failed before reaching the books.
Tara Lipinski becomes youngest Olympic figure skating gold medalist
On February 20, 1998, 15-year-old Tara Lipinski wins the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and becomes the youngest gold medalist in her sport. Lipinski donned her first pair of skates at age six. In 1994, at age 12, she won a gold …read more
John Glenn becomes first American to orbit Earth
From Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Herschel Glenn Jr. is successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut. Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National …read more
Kramer on “Seinfeld” adopts a highway
An episode of the hit TV sitcom “Seinfeld” titled “The Pothole” airs for the first time on February 20, 1997; it includes a story line in which the character Kramer adopts a stretch of the fictional Arthur Burghardt Expressway through the real-life Adopt-a-Highway program. The …read more
Postal Service Act regulates United States Post Office Department
On February 20, 1792, President George Washington signs legislation renewing the United States Post Office as a cabinet department led by the postmaster general, guaranteeing inexpensive delivery of all newspapers, stipulating the right to privacy and granting Congress the …read more