A change in the mechanism for hiring and retaining government employees sounds like a rather small time affair. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was actually monumental, and the chief accomplishment of Chester A. Arthur's presidency. It also came directly on the heels of the assassination of Arthur's predecessor, James Garfield, by a demented office seeker, Charles Guiteau. The reform bill ended one of the major divisions within the parties, while also changing the very nature of campaigning, government business, and money in politics. All because Arthur signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act into law.
Which is What Happened Today, January 16, in 1883.