Saturday, October 29, 2005
1616: Sir Walter Raleigh, who left the Middle Temple and a potential law career for one of adventure and fame, is beheaded on Tower Hill. There’s a lesson there.
1815: Daniel Decatur Emmett is born at Mount Vernon, Ohio. He'll go on to invent the first truly American art form, the minstrel show.
1877: Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had become one of the richest men in the South as a slave trader before the Civil War wipes out his business, dies at Memphis, Tennessee.
1910: Logical positivist philosopher Alfred Jules Ayer is born at London. “No proposition, other than a tautology,” he will argue, “can possibly be anything more than a probable hypothesis.”
1929: Black Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange - a final collapse of prices that will send the nation spiraling down into the Depression. The Dow Jones index will lose 89 percent of its value of 1932 and will take 25 years to recover to pre-crash heights.
1945: At $12.95 a pop, Gimbels Department Store in New York City sells $100,000 worth of the newfangled "ballpoint" pens the first day they go on sale in the U.S.
1954: Louis B. Mayer, the first U.S. executive to earn $1 million a year in salary (in 1936) dies at age 75.
1969: The first message is sent over the ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet.
1983: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon passes Johnny Mathis’s Greatest Hits to become the longest-charting album in music history.