Thursday, February 17, 2005
1801: The U.S. House of Representatives breaks an electoral college tie by electing Thomas Jefferson president over Aaron Burr.
1819: The first version of the Missouri Compromise passes the U.S. House of Representatives, but it will fail in the Senate over a clause restricting attempting to restrict slavery in the new state.
1844: Aaron Montgomery Ward is born. While working as a salesman for the Marshall Field store, he will get the idea of selling goods by mail, and will create the first mail-order business at age 28 in 1872.
1874: Thomas J. Watson, the man who is credited as the true creator of the modern IBM, is born at Campbell, New York. His best-known statement, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers," said to have been made in 1944, is an urban legend.
1919: Sir Wilfrid Laurier (McGill Law 1864), Canada’s seventh prime minister, dies at Ottawa.
1933: Newsweek magazine goes on sale for the first time.
1958: Pope Pius XII declares St. Clare of Assisi the patron saint of television. It doesn't help.
1972: Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle go past the 15 million mark, surpassing the Ford Model T.
1981: Celebrity heiress Paris Whitney Hilton is born at New York City.