Sunday, June 26, 2005
1721: At the urging of Rev. Cotton Mather, Dr. Zabdiel Boylston gives the first smallpox inoculations in American history at Boston. Mather had read of the procedure in a paper by a Turkish physician published in the proceedings of the Royal Society.
1819: William K. Clarkston, Jr., of New York receives the first U.S. patent for a velocipede, the forerunner of the bicycle.
1854: Nova Scotia lawyer Sir Robert Laird Borden, the future prime minister and the man on the Canadian $100 bill, is born at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia.
1894: The first U.S. patent for a gasoline-driven automobile is issued to German Karl Benz.
1909: Andreas Cornelius van Kuijk is born at Breda in the Netherlands. As "Colonel Tom Parker," the former dogcatcher and circus performer will become singer Hank Snow's manager, and in 1955 will sign Snow's opening act, Elvis Presley, to a contract.
1934: President Roosevelt signs the Federal Credit Union Act, creating a group of tax-exempt institutions to compete with banks.
1959: The St. Lawrence Seaway officially opens, connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic.
1963: President Kennedy, speaking in West Berlin, famously announces "Ich bin ein Berliner," or "I am a jelly donut."
1977: At Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Elvis Presley gives his last live concert performance.
1997: Bloomsbury Publishing issues a new novel by a first-time writer. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling will launch a series so popular that the New York Times will have to create a separate best-seller list to prevent all of its spots being filled by Potter books.