Wednesday, October 27, 2010
1538 – The first university in the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, is founded by Papal bull on the island of Santo Domingo. It will close in 1832.
1636 – A vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony appropriates £400 and charters the first corporation in what will become the United States, Harvard College. The school’s first motto will be "Truth for Christ and the Church." It will later be shortened to just the first word.
1848 – The first railroad in Spain opens. It runs 31 km from Barcelona north to Mataró.
1883 – English pottery manufacturer Thomas Twyford creates the first one-piece porcelain toilet, the "Unitas" (right), thus dispensing with the traditional wooden cabinet. Twyford’s is still in business today, and is by Royal Warrant the official toilet provider to HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Really.
1886 – On Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor, President Grover Cleveland dedicates the new Statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World. "
1919 – Just one day after President Wilson vetoes the Volstead Act, the veto is overridden by votes in the House of Representatives (175-55) and the Senate (65-20), paving the way for national Prohibition. It seemed like a good idea.
1929 – The Dow Jones industrial index drops nearly 13 percent; the day will later become known as Black Monday.
1936 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, running for reelection, rededicates the Statue of Liberty.
1948 – Swiss chemist Paul Müller is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT. It seemed like a good idea.