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Today in history: The invention of 'first lady'
The term was first used to describe Lucy Hayes
First Lady Michelle Obama walks through the U.S. Capitol Building crypt to watch President Obama be sworn in for a second term.
First Lady Michelle Obama walks through the U.S. Capitol Building crypt to watch President Obama be sworn in for a second term. Getty Images

March 5, 1877: Newspaper columnist Mary Clemmer used the term "first lady" to describe Lucy Hayes. It was the first time the term was used to describe a current president's wife.

March 5, 1933: In one of his first moves to end the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a four-day bank holiday in order to stop large amounts of money from being withdrawn from banks. FDR thought the dramatic move was necessary, because in the prior four weeks, Americans had been withdrawing money from banks at an alarming rate. To maintain liquidity in the nation's financial system, the new president closed the banks temporarily, giving the system a breather. In addition to the bank holiday, Congress also passed the Emergency Banking Act on March 9; FDR used the act's emergency currency provisions to encourage the Federal Reserve to create deposit insurance in the reopened banks, thus guaranteeing the safety of customer deposits. The banking system, Roosevelt told Americans in his first "Fireside Chat" radio address, was safe. When the banks reopened on March 13, Americans stood in line to re-deposit their cash. FDR's moves, in the first two weeks of his administration, re-established the integrity of the U.S. banking system.

March 5, 1977: With Walter Cronkite moderating, Jimmy Carter participated in the first "Dial-a-President" phone in radio show. Some 9 million people tried to call in to ask Carter a question. He said the questions were "the kind you would never get in a press conference."

Quote of the day

"May the boldest fear & wisest tremble when incurring responsibilities on which may depend our country's peace and prosperity."
-James Polk

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