On this day in 1935 president Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. Social Security was initially designed to help the unemployed, but today it's a safety net for retirees and the disabled. The system has remained relatively unchanged since it became law. Damn taxes, it's not like I'll ever see any of the money I'm putting into it.
On this day in 1933 the first of five major fires know as the Tillamook Burn was started inadvertently by loggers in northwest Oregon. All told the fires burned nearly 500 square miles of prime timber, and created a scar on the landscape still visible today.
On this day in 1985 Michael Jackson purchased the publishing rights to the vast majority of the Beatles' publishing rights. Paul McCartney himself advised Jackson that publishing rights were a wise investment, but when Jackson outbid McCartney for the Beatles' catalog, it wasn't what he had in mind.