March 16, 2005
Today in history—March 17
1673: Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet begin their explorations. They will subsequently find that the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico, spurring French businessmen to begin planning colonization of the region.
1756: New York City holds its first St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Crown & Thistle Tavern.
1777: Roger Taney is born to a slave-owning, tobacco-planting family in Calvert County, Maryland. He will later be rejected by the Senate as Secretary of the Treasury, but will be confirmed to the less important job of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
1845: Rubber manufacturer Stephen Perry of London invents the rubber band.
1834: Automobile entrepreneur Gottlieb Daimler, who will invent both the motorbike and the automobile, is born at Schorndorf, Germany.
1866: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler, who will become one of the leading business lawyers of his day, is born at Pine Bend, Minnesota.
1931: Looking for a way to lure folks to its wide open spaces, Nevada legalizes gambling. It works.
1959: The Missouri Court of Appeals makes one of the first major uses of promissory estoppel in a straight commercial setting when it decides Feinberg v. Pfeiffer Co.
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