April 01, 2005
Today in history—April 1
527: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus—known to history as Justinian I—becomes co-ruler of the Eastern Empire. His greatest monument will be his revisions to the Roman legal code.
1204: Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose decision to divorce the King of France and marry the King of England created a major English presence in France and will lead to several hundred years of intermittent war, dies at 82.
1789: Meeting in New York, the new U.S. House of Representatives elects a Pennsylvania Lutheran clergyman, Frederick Muhlenberg, as its first speaker.
1815: Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, who will study law at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin and qualify as a laywer in 1835, is born at Schönhausen in Brandenburg.
1826: Samuel Morey of New Hampshire patents a new device that no one can figure out any immediate use for. It’s called the "internal combustion engine."
1834: Financier James "Big Jim" Fisk is born at Bennington, Vermont. His attempt, with Jay Gould, to corner the gold market in 1869 will lead to a major financial panic.
1891: The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is founded at Chicago. Its original products will be soap and baking powder, but it will find success when, as a promotion device, it starts including a stick of "chewing gum" with each can of baking powder.
1909: President Taft appoints Billings Learned Hand to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
1949: Newfoundland becomes Canada’s tenth province.
1970: In a great boon to newspapers and billboard owners, President Nixon signs the law banning cigarette advertising on television and radio.
1970: American Motors Corp. introduces the Gremlin in an attempt to boost its flagging sales. It helps a little, but not enough.
1976: Steven Paul Jobs, age 21, and Stephen Wozniak, 25, found Apple Computer, Inc.
1999: The Canadian Parliament creates Nunavut Territory from part of the Northwest Territories. It is as big as Western Europe but has less than 30,000 residents.
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