December 18, 2004
Today in history—December 17
1737: Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari proves the economic insight the price reflects scarcity by dying. He made only about 1,200 violins during his lifetime—a collection of four Stradivarius instruments was recently appraised at $50 million.
1776: North Carolina ratifies its constitution.
1787: New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1865: The U.S. Secretary of State announces that the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, has been ratified by the states.
1888: Robert Moses, the city planner who more than anyone else shaped the modern New York City, is born in New Haven, Connecticut. His motto? “If the end does not justify the means, what does?”
1890: Edwin Howard Armstrong is born in New York City. He will subsequently invent FM radio, which permits NPR to compete against Rush Limbaugh.
1946: Steven Allan Spielberg, perhaps the most commercially successful film director of all time and co-founder of Dreamworks Studios, is born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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