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Today in history: May 28
President Obama became the first president to sign a bill without actually signing it, in 2011
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

May 28

On this day. 1937: President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington, allowing the first vehicles to cross the new Golden Gate Bridge.

On this day. 2003: President George W. Bush signed a law cutting tax rates on capital gains and dividends. Supporters of the measure said it would boost the economy and create jobs; opponents said it would increase the federal deficit.

On this day. 2011: President Barack Obama became the first president to sign a bill without actually signing it. From Europe, he ordered that an autopen be used to extend the Patriot Act through 2015 (usually bills are flown to the president if he is away from the White House). Obama's extension of President George W. Bush's Patriot Act gave the federal government ongoing powers on roving wiretaps, surveillance of suspicious individuals, and more.

Quote of the day

"As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it." -Martin Van Buren


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