On August 31, 1897, Thomas Alva Edison received his patent for the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector. Oddly enough, by 1897, both the kinetograph camera and the kinetoscope were approaching obsolescene. The patent's date was somewhat late, but Edison secured it anyway in order to take legal action against his competitors. For a variety of reasons, the decision to grant Edison this patent was highly controversial.
Library of Congress American Memory: Today in History, 1897: Edison Patents the Kinetoscope
A Sneeze Caught on Film (from the Library of Congress; includes stills from the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture, starting Fred Ott as the sneezer