ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Today in history—April 13

814: Krum, the Khan of Bulgaria who created the first written Bulgarian laws, dies on a campaign against the Byzantines. One of his idiosyncrasies was to drink his wine from the silver-lined skull of a Byzantine emperor he had defeated.

1180: Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa issues the Gelnhausen Charter, an important step in German constitutional history.

1732: Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, the British Prime Minister (1770-82) who will perhaps do more than any other man for the cause of American independence, is born at Wroxton Abbey, Oxfordshire.

1743: Thomas Jefferson, a sometime lawyer who will also play a role in the War of Independence, is born at Shadwell, Virginia.  Trivia fact: He’s the only former vice president to serve two full terms as President.

1771: Richard Trevithick is born at Illogan, Cornwall.  He'll develop the first railway steam locomotive (for the Pen-y-Darren ironworks near Merthyr Tydfil in Wales), but will have difficulty raising capital and will die penniless.

1852: Frank Winfield Woolworth is born at Rodman, New York. His first store will fail, but his second will not.

1873: John W. Davis (Washington & Lee Law 1895), the Wall Street (Davis, Polk) lawyer and Democratic presidential candidate whose 140 Supreme Court arguments will culminate with a loss in Brown v. Board of Education, is born at Clarksburg, West Virginia.

1902: On Frank Woolworth’s fiftieth birthday, James Cash Penney, a former farm boy from Hamilton, Missouri, opens his first store at Kemmerer, Wyoming, a one-room frame building where he and his family live in the attic.

1907: Harold Stassen (Minnesota Law 1929), a future president of the University of Pennsylvania, though not of the United States, is born at West St. Paul, Minnesota.

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