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Saturday, December 4, 2004

Today in history—December 4

1154: Nicholas Breakspear becomes the first and only English pope, as Adrian IV.  He allegedly "gives " Ireland to the English King Henry II, but his reign is short and the documents on which the crown subsequently relies are questionable.

1674: The foundations of several great law schools are laid as Fr. Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, creates the first dwelling in what will become the city of Chicago.

1682: The Pennsylvania General Assembly holds its first meeting in Chester.

1781: The first Sunday newspaper, the Observer, is founded in Britain.  Comics come later.

1864: Jews in Romania are forbidden to practice law.

1902: The U.S. Senate confirms Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., to the Supreme Court.

1906: Seven new black students at Cornell University, aware that none of the black students from the previous year had returned, decide to create an organization for mutual support; they form the first black Greek fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.

Walter_johnson 1914: Baseball star Walter ("The Big Train") Johnson of the Washington Senators is threatened with a breach of contract action by team owner Clark Griffith, after Johnson accepts money from the Chicago Whales of the rival Federal League.

1961: The Museum of Modern Art hangs Matisse’s Le Bateau upside down. It is 47 days before someone notices.

1964: Major League Baseball votes to institute a free-agent draft.

1942: President Roosevelt disbands the Works Progress Administration; unemployment is no longer a problem.

1970 Speaking of departing news anchors, Frank Reynolds departs ABC News and co-anchor Howard K. Smith. Reynolds to Smith: "Due to circumstances beyond my control, the unemployment statistics rose yesterday."

1988: The Baltimore Orioles trade future Hall of Fame first baseman Eddie Murray to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pan_am 1991: Twenty-three years after director Stanley Kubrick showed it literally flying to the moon in his 2001: A Space Odyssey, Pan American airlines closes up shop.

2003: President Bush rolls back the protectionist steel tariffs he had previously imposed.

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