1938 Miami drive-in debuts American drive-in movie theaters experienced their golden era during the 1950s, but some Floridians were watching movies under the stars in their cars even before then: The city of Miami gets its first drive-in on this day in 1938. The Miami drive-in charged admission of 35 cents per person, which was more than the average ticket price at an indoor theater, and soon had to trim the price to 25 cents per person. America’s first-ever drive-in opened near Camden, New Jersey, on June 6, 1933, and was the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, whose family owned an autoparts company. The inaugural feature was a 1932 film called “Wives Beware,” and admission was 25 cents per car and an additional 25 cents per person. The sound for the movies was provided by three large RCA speakers next to the main screen. (The quality of the drive-in experience improved during the 1940s with the advent of the in-car speaker.) Following World War II, the popularity of drive-in theaters increased as America’s car culture grew. By the early 1950s, there were more than 800 drive-ins across the United States. Although they earned a reputation as “passion pits” for young couples seeking privacy, most drive-in customers were families (parents didn’t have to hire babysitters or get dressed up and their children could wear pajamas and sleep in the car) and often featured playgrounds, concession stands and other attractions. Some drive-ins were super-sized, including Detroit’s Bel Air Drive-In, built in 1950, which had room for more than 2,000 cars, and Baltimore’s Bengies Drive-In, which opened in 1956, and claimed the biggest movie screen in the U.S.: 52 feet high by 100 feet wide. Over the years, attempts were made to develop a daytime screen that would enable drive-ins to show movies before it got dark, but nothing proved successful. At their peak in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were some 4,000 drive-ins across America. However, during the 1970s and 1980s the drive-in industry went into decline and theaters shut down, due to such factors as rising real-estate values (which made selling the land for redevelopment more profitable than continuing to operate it as a drive-in) and the rise of other entertainment options, including video recorders, multiplex theaters and cable television. By 1990, there were around 1,000 U.S. drive-ins. Today, they number less than 400 (states with the most remaining drive-ins include Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York). New Jersey has the distinction of being the home of not just the first drive-in but also the first fly-in theater. In June 1948, Ed Brown’s Drive-In and Fly-In opened in Wall Township and had space for 500 cars and 25 planes. 1862 Legal Tender Act passed On this day in 1862, the U.S. Congress passes the Legal Tender Act, authorizing the use of paper notes to pay the government’s bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly Civil War long after its gold and silver reserves were depleted. Soon after the war began, the federal government began to run low on specie. Several proposals involving the use of bonds were suggested. Finally, Congress began printing money, which the Confederate government had been doing since the beginning of the war. The Legal Tender Act allowed the government to print $150 million in paper money that was not backed by a similar amount of gold and silver. Many bankers and financial experts predicted doom for the economy, as they believed there would be little confidence in the scheme. There were also misgivings in Congress, as many legislators worried about a complete collapse of the nation’s financial infrastructure. The papernotes, called greenbacks, worked much better than expected. The government was able to pay its billsand, by increasing the money in circulation, the wheels of Northern commerce were greased. The greenbacks were legal tender, which meant that creditors had to accept them at face value. In 1862, Congress also passed an income tax and steep excise taxes, both of which cooled the inflationary pressures created by the greenbacks. Another legal tender act passed in 1863, and by war’s end nearly a half-billion dollars in greenbacks had been issued. The Legal Tender Act laid the foundation for the creation of a permanent currency in the decades after the Civil War. 1828 John Quincy Adams’ son marries relative at the White House On this day in 1828, John Adams, son of President John Quincy Adams, marries his first cousin and inadvertently follows a pattern of keeping marriages within the family. John Adams’ grandfather, President John Adams, had married his third cousin, Abigail Smith. Intermarriage skipped a generation with John Quincy Adams, who married a non-relative. But, at 25 years old, John Quincy’s second-eldest son, John, married his first cousin on his mother’s side, 22-year-old Mary Catherine Hellen, in a private ceremony at the White House. Exactly nine months and seven days after the wedding, Mary Catherine gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter named Mary Louisa, in the White House family quarters. Mary and John gave her the name Mary, after her mother, and the middle name Louisa after her paternal grandmother Louisa Catherine Adams, the wife of John Quincy Adams. In 1853, Mary Louisa Adams also married a family member–her second cousin, William Clarkson Johnson, the son of her first cousin, Abigail Louisa Smith Adams, and President John Adams’ great-grandson. Both bride and groom descended from President John Adams–the wedding constituted the first marriage between descendants of two presidents. While both Mary Louisa and her new husband were descendants of President John Adams, only Mary Louisa was directly related to President John Quincy Adams. The Adams’ were not the only presidential family to intermarry. In 1905, Franklin Delano Roosevelt married Eleanor, his fifth cousin once removed. Eleanor did not have to change her name upon marrying, since her maiden name was also Roosevelt. Her father, Elliot, was the brother of former President Theodore Roosevelt.