What Happened on January 5?

  • Henry Ford instituted a minimum wage and maximum working hours in his factories. (1914) Ford limited the workday of his employees to 8 hours a day, and almost doubled their salary with a minimum wage of $5 US Dollars (USD) a day. At the time, such measures were almost unheard of, and Ford's actions were one of the first to put the spotlight on the need for fair working conditions.

  • Eisenhower proposed sending American soldiers to the Middle East. (1957) The Middle East was experiencing strong anti-Western sentiments due to the Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser's close ties with the USSR. Eisenhower's plan was to provide an American presence in the Middle East to try to stop the spread of Communism. It was the beginning of a long series of controversial US interactions with the Middle East.

  • The first American divorce took place. (1643) Anne Clark was granted a decree of divorce from her adulterous husband, Denis Clarke. Clarke had actually abandoned his wife and started a family with another woman. When he refused to return to Anne, the court granted her a divorce.

  • The kamikaze suicide bombers in Japan got their first order. (1945) Referencing an old Japanese legend of a protective kamikaze (divine wind), Japanese commanders instructed pilots to crash planes full of explosives into American ships. More than 5,000 Americans were killed in kamikaze attacks.

  • The first female governor in US history took office. (1925) Nellie Ross became the first female governor in the US when she succeeded her late husband as the governor of Wyoming. Wyoming was also the first state to grant suffrage to women — nearly 40 years before the rest of the US.

  • US President Truman delivered the Fair Deal speech. (1949) Truman announced that every American had the right to expect a "fair deal" from the government, which included a series of liberal social reforms. Among Truman's reforms were an extension of the Social Security System and a huge increase in minimum wage. Truman also proposed a national health care system, but it was shot down in Congress.

  • All My Children premiered. (1970) The show was the first daytime network drama to debut in the 1970s, and attracted a strong male following along with the female fans — in the 1970s, 30 percent of AMC watchers were male.

  • The first hip-hop song made it to the Top 40. (1980) The song was the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight." Before the song took off, it was almost impossible to buy hip hop albums in record stores, and it was almost unheard of to play hip hop on the radio.

  • Construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge. (1933) Planned as early as 1869, when the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 it was the longest bridge in the world. It has since become an American landmark.

  • Benedict Arnold captured and burned Richmond. (1781) Remembered today as a traitor, Arnold led more than 1,000 men to sack Richmond, Virginia. Thomas Jefferson briefly tried to defend the city with some 200 men, but was forced to flee.

Discussion Comments


When I was in high school I remember learning about kamikaze suicide bombers, and it was definitely some intense stuff, and it really showed how many of the bombers in Japan had absolutely no limits, especially if they were willing to give up their lives that easily.


According to the third bullet point, even though the divorce that happened in 1643 was the first one, does anyone know what the first actual divorce was, and when it happened?

The reason why I ask is because I've always found the concept to be very interesting, and even more so because many people don't understand how serious it is, especially if they've never been through one themselves.

When you get married, not only do you have to sign papers, but even more so, you are supposed to be legally and spiritually bonded. That's why before you're officially declared married, there's a person who bonds these vows together.

Based on this, what makes a divorce so serious is the fact that it's like a death in your marriage. All of those bonds are completely broken.

Considering that the incident described in the bullet point was mentioned to be the first American divorce, I can't help but wonder what the first one ever was, and how did the concept of a divorce come about.

Perhaps it was created as a way out, if a marriage partner didn't want to be with his/her spouse anymore. Either way, I think it's interesting to think about.

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