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Friday, February 25, 2005

Today in history--February 25

1836: Samuel Colt receives a patent for his new multi-shot pistol, called a "revolver. "God made all Men," the saying goes, "but Col. Colt made them equal."

1845: George Houstoun Reid, a barrister who will become Australia's fourth prime minister, is born at Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

1870: Hiram Rhoades Revels (R-Miss) becomes the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate, filling the seat vacated in 1861 by Jefferson Davis.

1888: John Foster Dulles (George Washington Law 1911) is born at Washington, D.C.

1899: Paul Julius Baron von Reuter (born Israel Beer Josaphat), the founder of the the international Reuters news agency, dies at a villa in Nice, France.

1901: Financier J. P. Morgan incorporates United States Steel Corp. It turns out to be a bad long-term investment, since its net worth today (as USX Corp.) is less than its original 1901 capitalization.

1913: The 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified. It creates the federal income tax.

2003: Tom O'Higgins, former Chief Justice of Ireland and twice candidate for president, dies at age 86.

2004: The biggest surprise hit in movie history, Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, opens on Ash Wednesday.  Estimates are that Gibson will net some $400 million from the film, which is the ninth nighest-grossing film in U.S. history.

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