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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Friday, April 15, 2005

Today in history—April 15

1452: Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci is born, coincidentally, during the Renaissance. He is widely regarded as genius, but he didn’t know squat about contract law.

1858: Sociologist/educationist David Émile Durkheim is born at Épinal, France.

1865: Tailor Andrew Johnson becomes the first regular working person—not a lawyer, wealthy planter, or war hero—to become President of the United States.

1883: Barrister Stanley Melbourne Bruce, who will become the 8th Prime Minister of Australia, is born at Melbourne, Victoria.

1920: Somebody murders a shoe company’s paymaster and guard and makes off with some $16,000.  Ballistics tests will later show that the killer was Nicola Sacco, but his friend Bartolomeo Vanzetti may well have been innocent.

1920: Future lawyer and German president Freiherr Richard von Weizsäcker is born at Stuttgart, the son of a prominent Nazi diplomat.

1924: Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas.

1927: In a splendid publicity stroke, owner Sid Grauman has Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Norma and Constance Talmadge put their hand- and footprints in wet cement in front of his new Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

1952: The plaintiff in Lonergan v. Scolnick claims a contract was made.

1980: Existentialist Jean-Paul (Nausea) Sartre dies in Paris. His life may mean something, or it may not.

1983: The House of Mouse hits Asia, as Tokyo Disneyland opens its doors. It’s not actually owned by Disney, but by Oriental Land Company, Ltd., which licenses the "theme" from Disney.

1994: After eight years of discussion, the Uruguay Round of trade talks ends with the signing of the Marrakesh Agreement, which among other things creates the World Trade Organization.

2002: Byron Raymond White, the only former Pittsburgh Steelers player to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, dies at age 84.

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