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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Today in History: October 18

1009: On orders of Caliph Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is razed down to the bedrock.

1767: Astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon complete their survey of the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.

1851: Richard Bentley of London publishes a new book by Herman Melville called The Whale.  It flops, as does the later American Harper & Bros. edition, called Moby-Dick.

1921: Various British and U.S. electrical companies pool their resources and create the British Broadcasting Co. monopoly, with an office in the General Electric building in London.  It will come under government control as a Crown-chartered non-commercial corporation in 1927.

1931: Thomas Alva Edison, who was once named by Life Magazine as the most important person of the last 1,000 years, dies at West Orange, New Jersey.

1943: CBS Radio debuts a new daily 15-minute program featuring Erle Stanley Gardner's invincible defense attorney, Perry Mason.

1952: Industrial Development Engineering Associates of Indianapolis, Indiana, introduces the Regency  T-1, the first commercial transistor radio.  It's $49.95, battery not included.

1961: Henri Matisse's Le Bateau goes on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  It's 47 days before someone realizes it's been hung upside-down.

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