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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Today in history--January 29

1737: Thomas Paine, who will give up a career as a corset maker to write political pamphlets, is born at Thetford, Norfolk.

Mckinley 1843: William McKinley is born in Niles, Ohio.  He will later attend Albany Law School, will be admitted to the bar in 1867, and will ultimately become the 25th President of the United States.

1859: American clock entrepreneur Seth Thomas dies at age 73.  He had founded his first clock factory at Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut, in 1812.

1861: Kansas is admitted to the Union as the 34th state.

1886: The first gasoline-powered automobile is patented by German Karl Benz.

1900: Baseball's American League is organized in Philadelphia, with eight founding teams: Baltimore Orioles (now New York Yankees); Boston Americans (now Red Sox); Chicago White Sox; Cleveland Blues (now Indians); Detroit Tigers; Milwaukee Brewers (now Baltimore Orioles); Philadelphia Athletics (now in Oakland); and Washington Senators (now Minnesota Twins).

1901: Allen Balcom Du Mont, the television millionaire, is born in Brooklyn.  He will go on to invent the first practical cathode ray tube, will found (in 1939) the first company for manufacturing television receivers, and finally the old Du Mont television network, which will later become Metromedia.

1924: Carl R. Taylor of Cleveland receives a patent for "machine for forming thin, freshly baked wafers while still hot into cone shaped containers" for ice-cream.

Honus_wagner 1936: Baseball's Hall of Fame (founded with financial support from the Singer Co.), announces its first five inductees:  Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner (left), Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson.

1959: The Walt Disney Co. releases the last of its fairy tale animated films, Sleeping Beauty.

1963: The most quoted poet in law school applicants' "personal statements," Robert ("The Road Not Taken") Frost, dies at age 88.

1999: "Exotic dancer" Lili St. Cyr (born Willis Marie Van Schaack), dies at age 80.  "Sex is currency," she liked to say.  "What's the use of being beautiful if you can't profit from it?"

2004: Gas from decomposition causes a 50-ton beached sperm whale to explode in Tainan, Taiwan.  A spattered bystander says, "The smell is really awful."

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