Friday, April 8, 2005
1730: The first synagogue in New York City, Shearith Israel, is founded, about 50 years before the first Catholic church.
1820: A peasant named Yorgos finds the Venus de Milo on the island of Melos in the Ottoman Empire. He's the only person in the chain of title who won't get rich or famous off of it.
1859: Philosopher Edmund Husserl is born at Prostějov, Moravia, in what is now the Czech Republic.
1892: Gladys Louise Smith is born at Toronto, Ontario. As "Mary Pickford" she will become the first woman in Hollywood to earn $1 million a year, and the first to be a top executive at a major studio, United Artists.
1899: Martha Place, who smothers her 17-year-old step-daughter than then takes an axe to the remains, becomes the first woman to die in an electric chair when she is executed at Sing Sing.
1904: In one of the earliest and most successful corporate naming deals, Longacre Square in New York City is renamed "Times Square."
1913: The 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, requiring direct election of Senators in all states. The caliber of Senators was supposed to be improved.
1952: President Truman calls for seizure of all the nation's steel mills, to avert a threatened strike by workers.
1971: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Donahue of Wethersfield, Connecticut, are surprised when a six-pound meteorite hits their house. No one is hurt.
1973: The creator of the modern mass-produced-but-very-expensive art collectibles industry, Pablo Picasso, dies near Cannes.
1985: The Indian government sues Union Carbide in the wake of the Bhopal disaster. Relatively little of the settlement money will ever get to victims.