Wednesday, July 20, 2005
1519: Lawyer Gian Antonio Facchinetti de Nuce (Bologna Law 1544) is born to a family of modest means at Cravegna, Italy. In 1591 he'll be elected Pope as Innocent IX.
1861: The new Congress of the Confederate States of America takes up residence at Richmond, Virginia.
1872: Mahlon Loomis of West Virginia receives the first patent for wireless telegraphy. In 1868 he had transmitted signals 18 miles between two mountain tops, using kites as antennas.
1885: England's Footbal Association agrees to allow professionals to compete.
1922: The League of Nations goes happily about parceling out Africa to European powers, giving Togoland (Togo and part of Ghana) to France and Tanganyika (now part of Tanzania) to Britain.
1923: José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, better known as "Pancho Villa," is assassinated at Parral, in Chihuahua, Mexico. Last words: "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."
1925: Clarence Darrow cross-examines William Jennings Bryan outdoors as part of the Scopes Monkey Trial circus at Cleveland, Tennessee. Bryan wins the case, but Darrow gets all the good lines in the play.
1940: Billboard Magazine introduces its Music Popularity Chart, successor to the Hit Parade and forerunner of the Hot 100. The first number one song: Frank Sinatra's I'll Never Smile Again.
1945: The U.S. Senate ratifies the Bretton Woods Agreement, the first international monetary pact in history.
1984: Officials of the Miss America pageant ask Vanessa Williams to turn in her crown after Penthouse magazine publishes nude photos of her. She'll go on to become the most successful former Miss America of recent decades.
2001: The two-hundred year-old London Stock Exchange goes public, with stock trading under the symbol LSE.