Saturday, December 11, 2004
1620: A group of "pilgrims" who sailed from England on the Mayflower land at Plymouth Rock, just in time for a Massachusetts winter that will decimate them.
1816: Indiana becomes the 19th U.S. state.
1838: Industrialist Emil Rathenau is born in Berlin. He will found a company to license Thomas Edison’s patents in Germany, which will later become known as Allgemeine-Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft, or AEG.
1888: The first French Panama Canal Company fails and goes into liquidation.
1902: Matthias Hohner is born. A clockmaker by training, at age 24 he founded a company to manufacture harmonicas. Among early enthusiasts were Abraham Lincoln, Wyatt Earp, and Billy the Kid. The Hohner company today makes 70 different models..
1904: Future bookmaker Joe Coral is born. His betting empire continues under the name Coral Eurobet.
1919: The citizens of Enterprise, Alabama, dedicate a monument (left) to the boll weevil, the insect that destroyed the region’s cotton industry and thus forced farmers to engage in diversified agriculture—ultimately bringing much new prosperity to the region.
1931: Japan abandons the gold standard for its currency.
1934: Baseball’s National League votes to permit games to be played at night.
1946: Singer/songwriter Hiram King "Hank" Williams begins his recording career with Sterling Records.
1967: The Beatle’s Apple Records label signs its second group, a band called Grapefruit.
1970: Art makes a major advance as John Lennon releases an album whose songs include the word "fuck."
1985: General Electric Corp. acquires RCA and its broadcast subsidiary, NBC.
1995: Thomas Hicks pays $84 million to buy the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League.