Thursday, June 23, 2005
1611: Henry Hudson, on a voyage co-sponsored by the Virginia Company and the British East India Company, is set adrift among the ice in James Bay with several other crew members by mutineers who refuse to continue his exploration. They're never seen again.
1713: The British government, which has acquired Acadia (now Nova Scotia) in the Treaty of Utrecht, orders all French settlers to swear allegiance to Britain or leave the colony within one year.
1757: An army of 3,000 East India Company troops (only 800 of them Europeans) under 26-year-old Robert Clive routs 68,000 troops of the Nawab of Bengal, marking the real start of British India. The battle shows that commercial armies have some advantages, since the key to the victory is Clive’s secret bribery of a large part of the Nawab’s army to abandon him.
1810: John Jacob Astor forms the Pacific Fur Co., which opens for business just in time to get wiped out by the British in the War of 1812.
1894: Baron Pierre de Coubertin founds the International Olympic Committee, for the purpose of providing enormous advertising venues for giant multinational corporations.
1894: Entomologist Dr. Alfred Kinsey is born at Hoboken, New Jersey. He’ll later discover that sex outsells bugs by a several orders of magnitude.
1940: Future Lord Chancellor Alexander Andrew Mackay Irvine, Lord Irvine of Lairg, is born at Inverness, Scotland.
1944: Apparently feeling that the U.S. does not have enough really depressing intellectuals who want to talk about themselves and what they’re feeling, Thomas Mann becomes an American citizen.
1948: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Yale Law 1974) is born at Pin Point, Georgia, population 275.
1969: Former law professor Warren Earl Burger (William Mitchell Law 1931), is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
1989: Warner Bros. releases its $35 million Batman, which at $251 million will become the third -highest-grossing superhero film of all time. It doesn’t return anything to the net profits participants, though, in part because Jack Nicholson’s slice of the gross will net him a tidy $55 million.