Thursday, June 9, 2005
1732: James Oglethorpe gets a royal charter for his proposed new colony for transported debtors, which he will call "Georgia" after the man who grants it.
1768: The first industrialist in U.S. history, Samuel Slater, is born at Derbyshire, England. He’ll build the first successful water-powered textile mill in America, and he will be worth about $1 million at death.
1772: Townspeople in Warwick, Rhode Island capture the revenue cutter HMS Gaspée, which has run aground. She will be burned the next day in protest against British tax laws.
1781: Railroad pioneer George Stephenson, the self-taught coal miner who will design the world’s best railway engines and help build most of the important early lines in England, is born at Wylam, near Newcastle upon Tyne.
1790: The first book is registered under the new U.S. Copyright Act: The Philadelphia Spelling Book by John Barry, entered at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
1815: The Congress of Vienna adjourns. Nobody likes the results, but it does manage to stave off a general European war for 100 years.
1870: Charles Dickens, whose Jarndyce and Jarndyce is probably the most famous fictional lawsuit of all time, dies at Gadshill Place, near Rochester in Kent.
1902: The first Horn & Hardart Automat, prototype of America’s first fast-food restaurant chain, opens at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
1916: Robert Strange McNamara, who will decide that the Vietnam War is a bad idea 20 years after it’s too late to do anything about it, is born at San Francisco, California.
1930: Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle discovers that it’s not wise to owe $100,000 in gambling debts to Al Capone, as he’s shot dead during rush hour at the Illinois Central underpass.
1934: Donald Fauntleroy Duck is born in the Walt Disney short, The Wise Little Hen. Trivia: In Iceland, he’s known as Andrés Önd.