Tuesday, March 15, 2005
1521: Fernão de Magalhães, a/k/a Ferdinand Magellan, on an expedition looking for a trade route to the Far East, reaches the Philippines. That’s as far as he will get, though a few of his crew will finish the trip around the world.
1660: England’s Long Parliament, which had sat throughout much of the Civil War and the Commonwealth since 1641, is dissolved.
1751: The man on the $5,000 bill, James Madison, is born to a wealthy planting family in King George County, Virginia.
1802: President Thomas Jefferson signs legislation creating the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Before the quasi-war with France in 1798-1801 he had considered it unconstitutional, but apparently changed his mind.
1819: Dr. John Boston of London discovers hay fever.
1900: Arthur Evans, the heir of a Welsh paper manufacturer, completes his purchases of land around the ruins of Knossos on Crete, preparatory to his excavation of one of the most important Bronze Age civilizations.
1903: "Judge" Roy Bean, the saloonkeeper who as justice of the peace in Langtry, Texas, was the "Law West of the Pecos," dies in bed after an unusually heavy bout of drinking.
1972: Twenty-two years after it is opened as a triumph of modern architecture, the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis is demolished. Even poor people don’t like giant cement cubes designed by Bauhaus architects.