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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Today in History: July 17

1787: Friedrich Krupp, the patriarch of one of the world's great industrial families is born at Essen, Germany, to a family of gunmakers.  In 1811 he'll start a small steel foundry in Essen.

1790: Scots economist and philosopher Adam Smith dies at Edinburgh.

1889: California trial lawyer Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of Perry Mason, is born at Malden, Massachusetts.

1897: The Klondike Gold Rush begins as news reaches the United States of a gold strike at Rabbit Creek near Dawson, Yukon Territory.  By the end of 1898, 40,000 gold-seekers and hangers-on will arrive.

1899: Nippon Electric Corp. (now NEC) becomes the first Japanese joint venture created with foreign capital.  Its partner is the Western Electric division of AT&T.

1917: In the middle of a war with Germany, Britain's royal Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family (a branch of the ancient Wettin family) changes its name to "Windsor."

1955: Walt Disney's widely ridiculed Disneyland park opens at Anaheim, California.  The Disney board had opposed the project, so Walt built it with his own money.

1961: Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb, the greatest player of baseball's "dead ball" era, dies at Atlanta, Georgia.  Cut from his first professional team, the Augusta Tourists, his contract was sold to the Detroit Tigers in 1905 for $750.

1995: The Nasdaq stock market index, which had started at a base of 100 in 1971, closes above 1,000 for the first time.  Less than five years later it will hit 5,000; today it's 2,156.78.

1997: The Wal-Mart of its day, the 117-year-old F.W. Woolworth Co. closes its its last handful of U.S. stores.

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