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This Day In History, April 25th, 2022 – “License Plates”


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It was just 121 years ago today, April 25, 1901, when requirements for license plates on American cars became mandated. New York became the first state, when on this date, Governor Benjamin Odell Jr. signed into law that everyone in the state must register their vehicles with the local government.

this day in history signals az april 25

Governor Benjamin Odell Jr. Image courtesy of Wikicommons, Public Domain.

However, the modern idea of state licenses as we know them today did not take off right away. In fact, though you did have to register with the state of New York, your proof of registration was really just your initials on the car somewhere. Literally, some people just painted their “registration” initials right onto their automobiles. Still, at least it was a start, and it all happened, 121 years ago, today.

What was happening yesterday, on April 24th?


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