On this day in 1954, the first round of Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin first at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia.
On April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis TN to have dinner with colleagues and discuss the march planned in support of the striking Memphis sanitation workers. Seconds later a single shot was fired and sparked what may go down as the bloodiest and most violent year in American history.
On this day in 1825, the Erie Canal opens, finally connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River and a man-made waterway spanning 425 miles. Visionary Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York led the opening ceremonies and rode the canal boat Seneca Chief from Buffalo to New York City.