Monday, November 1, 2010
1602 – British merchant Edward Colston is born at Bristol. He will make an enormous fortune from the slave trade, but will use philanthropy to clean up his name—a lesson that many future plutocrats will take to heart.
1772 – Samuel Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren form the Committee of Correspondence that will play a major role in uniting the American colonies in opposition to British misrule.
1796 – Future lawyer, House Speaker, Tennessee governor, and U.S. President James Knox Polk is born at Pineville, North Carolina.
1889 – North and South Dakota are admitted as the 39th and 40th U.S. states.
1920 – Westinghouse Electric Co. takes to the air with the world’s first commercial radio station, KDKA in Pittsburgh.
1936 – Future California Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird is born near Tucson, Arizona. She will later become the first appellate judge ever removed by voters in California, going down by a 67-33 margin.
1947 – Hughes Aircraft Co. conducts the first flight of the H-4 Hercules transport plane, a plywood airplane that could carry 750 troops or a Sherman tank. Skeptics will call it ths "Spruce Goose," although it’s actually made from laminated birch.
1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity for publishing the dullest obscene novel in history, Lady Chatterley's Lover.
2004 – Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh (top right) is shot to death by a Muslim terrorist angered by Van Gogh’s film exploring treatment of women in Islamic society. An attempted decapitation fails, however.