This Day In History, July 5th

What happened on this day in history: The U.S. Secret Service is founded at the end of the Civil War, Dolly the sheep is born, and more.

1810: P.T. Barnum Is Born

Phineas Taylor Barnum, later known as P.T. Barnum, is born in Bethel, Connecticut. A showman, Barnum acquired New York’s American Museum and filled it with “curiosities” like conjoined twins. He later joined with James A. Bailey to create Barnum and Bailey’s Circus, which operated until 2017.

1865: The U.S. Secret Service Is Founded

Secret Service

Library of CongressSecret Service members protecting President Theodore Roosevelt.

The U.S. Secret Service is founded as a part of the Treasury Department to combat widespread counterfeiting during the Civil War. In 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley, the Secret Service took on the new task of protecting the president. It operates to this day.

1943: Boise City ‘Bombing Raid’ Takes Place

Pilots at the Dalhart Army Air Base in Texas accidentally drop six dummy bombs on the town of Boise City, Oklahoma, during a practice flight. The so-called Boise City Bombing Raid lasted just 30 minutes and, miraculously, didn’t inflict any damage on the town or its residents. Boise City even erected a bronze plaque to commemorate the bombing in 1993.

1971: The 26th Amendment Of The U.S. Constitution Grants Suffrage To All Citizens Over 18

The 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants suffrage to all citizens over the age of 18. Prior to this amendment, states were able to determine their own minimum voting age, and only four had a minimum voting age below 21. American men were strong proponents of lowering the voting age to 18, as many of them had been drafted into the Vietnam War without the ability to vote. The amendment was ratified in four months — the fastest ratification of an amendment in U.S. history.

1996: Dolly The Cloned Sheep Is Born

Dolly The Sheep

Jeroen Kransen/FlickrDolly the Sheep’s preserved body at the National Museum of Scotland.

Dolly the sheep is born at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland. The first successfully cloned mammal from an adult cell, her birth proved that scientists could use cells to make a “copy” of an animal. She lived for six years before dying of a lung disease unrelated to her cloning.