Friday, October 14, 2005
1066: On a hill six miles from Hastings, King Harold II takes an arrow in the eye and loses the battle that will change the course of English history.
1586: Queen Mary I of Scotland goes on trial in England for conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth I. Things won’t go well.
1651: Outraged members of the Massachusetts legislature pass a new sumptuary law:
And, although we acknowledge it to be a matter of much difficulty, in regard of the blindness of men's minds and the stubbornness of their wills, to set down exact rules to confine all sorts of persons, yet we cannot but account it our duty to . . . commend unto all sorts of persons the sober and moderate use of those blessings which, beyond expectation, the Lord has been pleased to afford unto us in this wilderness. And also to declare our utter detestation and dislike that men and women of mean condition should take upon them the garb gentlemen by wearing gold or silver lace, or buttons, or points at their knees, or to walk in great boots; or women of the same ran to wear silk or tiffany hoods, or scarves which, though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberal education, we cannot but judge it intolerable.
1906: German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt is born at Hanover. Her thesis that fascism and communism are related will be very controversial for many years.
1911: Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan dies at age 78. He accomplished the judicial equivalent of the Daily Double, dissenting in both Plessy v. Ferguson and Lochner v. New York.
1912: John Schrank, acting on spectral orders from the dead William McKinley, shoots former President Theodore Roosevelt during a campaign stop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bullet grazes TR, who goes on to deliver a 90-minute speech despite the bullet hole in the manuscript.
1996: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 6,000 for the first time in history. It will nearly double again in less than four years, creating many investment geniuses.