1. 1947: President Truman signs the National Security Act
It was on this date in 1947 that one of the most important pieces of legislation from the Cold War is signed by President Truman. Called the National Securities Act, it was designed to lay the bureaucratic framework of foreign policies for the next 40 years. It would consist of three main parts, one being the setup of the CIA that officially took over the Central Intelligence Group that was established in 1946. The CIA would not only gather intelligence, but also conduct covert operations on foreign soil. Second, it would unify the the nation’s military by combining the War and Navy Departments, making it the Department of Defense. Lastly, it would establish the coordinating agency that would sift through all of the intelligence and diplomatic information to provide to the President. It would be based out of the White House and would go by the name National Security Council.
2. 1998: Tragedy at the Michigan Speedway
Open wheel racing like IndyCar and Formula 1 is some of the fastest auto racing in the world reaching speeds in excess of 230mph. Back in late 1970’s CART Racing was created that was essentially a form of Indy. On this date in 1998 there was a CART race at the Michigan Speedway, it happen to be the U.S. 500 which was the most prestigious event of the entire series. Adrian Fernandez was rounding the fourth turn of the two mile oval track and was said to be traveling nearly 200 mph. Just as he was about to exit the turn, he lost control and hit the retaining wall. At those speeds, even the slightest bump could be catastrophic. The entire car was ripped to shreds and the front tire and pieces of the suspension went flying over the 15 foot tall fence that was installed to keep spectators safe. However the flying debris would strike a group between the 8th and 10th rows, killing two people instantly and a third moments later. It was reported that as many as six other people received injuries. Later that year, speedway officials raised the fence another two feet with hopes of preventing this tragedy from happening again.
3. 1775: United States Postal System founded
Benjamin Franklin becomes the first Postmaster General on this date in 1775 when the Second Continental Congress establishes the U.S. postal system. Franklin had already been the postmaster for the Philadelphia area, but when he took over the official title of Postmaster General he would implement many key changes in the system. One of the main problems at the time was there were no post offices; if you needed to mail something you had of left it at a tavern or Inn with hopes that it would eventually get delivered. Some reports say that it would be months before letters would be delivered, if they were delivered at all. He would make the colonial routes more efficient, and by having the weekly mail wagon ride day and night he was able to cut delivery time in half. Franklin was also said to be responsible for the first rate chart that would standardize delivery costs by the weight of the package.