ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Monday, August 1, 2005

Today in History: August 1

527: Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus becomes Byzantine Emperor as Justinian I.  The 38 years of his reign will see a tremendous codification and clarification of Roman law.

1492: By the terms of the Alhambra Decree, issued by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, all Jews who do not convert to Christianity must leave Spain.

1619: With tobacco beginning to become a booming industry, the first African slaves are imported to the Jamestown colony in Virginia.

1714: Anne, by the Grace of God, Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc., dies of a fever caused by erysipelas.  Judges in the American colonies go into mourning, wearing black robes, which they later decide to keep.

1774: Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen, which allows everyone to breath more comfortably.

1794: Angry farmers opposed to the federal government's tax on distilled spirits begin the uprising that will come to be known as the Whiskey Rebellion.  It will take 13,000 troops under George Washington to quell it.

1831: London Bridge opens to traffic.  A hundred and fifty years later it will be sold to an American for $2.5 million and moved brick-by-brick to Arizona, where it is now the state's second most popular tourist attraction.

1834: The Slavery Abolition Act abolishes slavery in British dominions, except for areas of India under the control of the East India Company.  Parliament appropriates £20 million to compensate slave owners for their losses.

1876: Colorado is admitted to the Union as the 38th state.

1941: The Willys-Overland Motor Company of Toledo, Ohio, delivers the first model of a new open four-wheeled vehicle designed for military use.  No one knows exactly why it will come to be known as the "Jeep."

1961: The world's largest theme park company begins with the opening of the $10 million Six Flags Over Texas.  The six flags are those of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States, and the Confederate States of America.

1981: MTV Music Television goes on the air.  The hip new medium is a joint venture between corporate titans Warner Communications and American Express.

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