Monday, October 18, 2010
202 B.C. – Roman troops defeat Hannibal at the Battle of Zama, thus ensuring that future lawyers would have to learn maxims in Latin rather than Punic.
1469 – King Ferdinand II of Aragon marries Queen Isabella I of Castile. The union of the two crowns will ultimately lead to the creation of a new country called "Spain."
1789 – Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States. Six years later he’ll resign to take a much more important post, Governor of New York.
1873 – Representatives of four American universities—Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Rutgers—draft the first code of rules for American football.
1862 – French inventor and film producer – Auguste Lumière is born at birth Besançon. Below, the Lumière brothers' famous 1895 film, L'Arrivée d'un train à La Ciotat.
1876 – Baseball Hall-of-Famer Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown is born at Nyseville, Indiana. After a farming accident that takes the index finger off his pitching hand, "Three-Finger" Brown will go on to develop one of the game’s greatest curveballs..
1885 –Charles Edward Merrill is born at Green Cove Springs, Florida. With is friend Edmund Lynch, he’ll go on to form one of the country’s great investment banks.
1935 – The League of Nations places economic sanctions on fascist Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia. Italy immediately withdraws, proving the effectiveness of economic sanctions. Wait, no . . . .
1959 – When the scheduled house band is unable to play, quick-thinking folks at the Scotch Club in Aachen, Germany, decide to play records instead. This leads to the creation of the first discothèque.
1987 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 508 points, or 22 percent. It will subsequently go up again. Then down. And it will continue to fluctuate.