Today in history

Highlight: In 1954, four Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the spectators’ gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, wounding five members of Congress. The United States detonated a dry-fuel hydrogen bomb, codenamed Castle Bravo, at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands; the explosive yield of 15 megatons, much greater than expected, dropped radioactive fallout on occupied islands hundreds of miles away.

In 1790, President George Washington signed a measure authorizing the first U.S. Census.

In 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first black woman to receive an American medical degree, from the New England Female Medical College in Boston.

In 1867, Nebraska became the 37th state.

In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act creating Yellowstone National Park.

In 1919, a group of Korean nationalists declared their country’s independence from Japanese colonial rule.

In 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was kidnapped from the family home near Hopewell, N.J. (Remains identified as those of the child were found the following May.)

In 1943, wartime rationing of processed foods under a point system began in the U.S.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps.

In 1964, Paradise Airlines Flight 901A, a Lockheed L-049 Constellation, crashed near Lake Tahoe Airport in California, killing all 85 people on board.

In 1974, seven people, including former Nixon White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, former Attorney General John Mitchell and former assistant Attorney General Robert Mardian, were indicted on charges of conspiring to obstruct justice in connection with the Watergate break-in. (These four defendants were convicted in Jan. 1975, although Mardian’s conviction was later reversed.)

In 1981, Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands began a hunger strike at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland; he died 65 days later.

Ten years ago: Rebels rolled into Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, where they were met by thousands of residents cheering the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide the day before. Iraqi officials approved an interim constitution. The California Supreme Court ruled a Roman Catholic charity had to pay for workers’ contraceptive health insurance benefits.

Five years ago: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations concluded its 14th annual summit in Thailand by vowing to push ahead with plans to become a European Union-style economic community by 2015. At a one-day summit in Brussels, European Union leaders flatly rejected a new multibillion euro bailout for eastern Europe.

One year ago: President Barack Obama, still deadlocked with Republican congressional leaders, formally enacted $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts a few hours before the midnight deadline required by law.

Singer Harry Belafonte is 87. Rock singer Roger Daltrey is 70. Actor-director Ron Howard is 60. Actor Javier Bardem is 45. Actress Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) is 21. Pop singer Justin Bieber is 20.