1775 The U. S. Naval Fleet was authorized.
1792 President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Executive Mansion.
1860 The first aerial photograph was taken.
1925 Lady Margaret Thatcher was born. (See February 11th entry.)
Some people lay down cornerstones for others to build upon. On this day in 1792, President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Executive Mansion in Washington, D. C. He started the project, but he wasn’t around to see it completed. He died in 1799. John Adams became the mansion’s first resident in 1800.
The United States Navy was officially authorized on this day in 1775. The first fleet consisted of a handful of sailing ships as our sole sea-going line of defense. In the centuries that have followed, we have expanded our naval might to include aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines, and any number of transport freighters. All great nations have been measured by the size of their naval fleet from Great Britain and Spain in the past to our own U. S. Navy.
You might say that the concept of looking at the big picture began on this day. In 1860, the first aerial photo was taken in the United States from a hot air balloon floating over Boston, Massachusetts.