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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Today in history—January 12

1729: Philosopher and member of Parliament Edmund Burke is born at Dublin.

1822: The man who will develop the first commercially successful internal combustion engine, Jean-Joseph-Étienne Lenoir, is born at Mussy-la-Ville, Belgium.

1885: Canal and railroad engineer John Bloomfield Jervis, the man who proposed the first railroad in the U.S. and designed the first working American locomotive, dies at Rome, New York.

Ruth_rogan_benerito 1916: American chemist Ruth Rogan Benerito is born in New Orleans.  Her contribution?  Wash-and-wear cotton fabrics.

1932: The Yankee steps down from Olympus, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., retires from the U.S. Supreme Court

1943: The U.S. Office of Price Administration announces that the "frankfurter" and the "wiener" are being replaced by the "victory sausage."

1951: The man who will resurrect AM radio and make station owners a ton of money, Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, is born to a family of lawyers in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

1954: The man who will do for the FM band what Limbaugh did for the AM band, Howard Allen Stern, is born at Jackson Heights, New York.

1965: Scientists accidentally create a radioactive cloud over Los Angeles, when at 10:58 a.m., PST, they conduct a controlled burn-up of a nuclear rocket in Nevada. That explains a lot.

1970: The hugely popular American television program, All in the Family—an American version of a British comedy, Till Death Us Do Part—debuts.  NBC had paid for the pilot but decided it wasn’t likely to be a hit, so producer Norman Lear sells it to CBS instead.

1999: Baseball slugger Mark McGwire’s record 70th home run ball sells at auction for $3 million.

Antitrust 2001: MGM's AntiTrust, the fictional film version of the Microsoft litigation (with Mission Impossible sequences added), debuts in the U.S.  From the reviews: "Clearly, someone involved with the production is a passionate believer in the film’s basic message. . . . ‘All computer companies are Evil! Evil! Evil!’"

2001: William Hewlett, the guy who co-founded Hewlett-Packard, dies at age 88. The two partners started in a garage with $528 in 1939; the order of their names was chosen by a coin toss.

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