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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Today in history -- June 14

British_east_india_flag 1777: The Continental Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the new United States. Its pattern of alternating red and white strips is similar to the flag of the British East India Company (left).

1789: Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal sailors reach Timor after a 4,000 mile trip in an open boat following the mutiny aboard HMAV Bounty.

1832: Nikolaus August Otto is born at Holzhausen auf der Heide in Germany.  His N.A. Otto & Cie. (now Deutz AG) will become the first firm to manufacture internal-combustion engines.

1872: The government of Canada legalizes trade unions.

1920: Sociologist and political economist Maximilian "Max" Weber dies of pneumonia at Munich.

1925: Pierre Emil George Salinger is born at San Francisco, California. Today he’s best known for the eponymous "Pierre Salinger Syndrome," the tendency to believe that if it’s on the Internet it must be true.

1936: Gilbert Keith Chesterton dies at Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. "Thieves respect property," he once wrote. "They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it."

1952: The U.S. Census Bureau dedicates the first commercial computer, the Remington Rand "Universal Automatic Computer," or UNIVAC I. It weighs nearly 15 tons, requires 350 square feet, costs upwards of $1 million (in 1952 dollars), and has a memory that can store 1,000 words.

1954: President Eisenhower signs legislation adding the words "under God" to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.

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