Sally Ride

This Day in History: Jan. 16

This Day in History: Jan. 16

In 1978, NASA named 35 candidates to fly on the space shuttle, including Sally K. Ride, who became America's first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America's first black astronaut in space.

1865: Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman decreed that 400,000 acres of land in the South would be divided into 40-acre lots and given to former slaves. (The order, later revoked by President Andrew Johnson, is believed to have inspired the expression, “Forty acres and a mule.”)

1883: The U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.

1957: Three B-52's took off from Castle Air Force Base in California on...