Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1409 – Frederick, Elector of Saxony, opens the University of Leipzig. One of its first four faculties is a law school, today one of Europe's oldest.
1763 – At Newport, Rhode Island, the Touro Synagogue is dedicated. It is today the oldest synagogue in North America.
1775 – Lieutenant John Paul Jones hoists the Grand Union Flag—the first national flag of the United States—aboard the USS Alfred. As befits the first nation largely founded by business corporations, the flag is based on that of the British East India Company.
1804 – Corsican artillery officer Napoleon Buonaparte, the son of a small-town lawyer, crowns himself Emperor of the French at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
1859 – Abolitionist John Brown is hanged for treason at Charles Town in what is now West Virginia. On the day of his death, he writes,"I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood."
1927 – After 19 years of manufacturing the Model T, Ford Motor Co.—facing heavy competition from companies offering more modern vehicles—announces plans for a new car it will call the Model A.
1930 – Future Nobel Prize economist Gary Stanley Becker is born at Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
1961 – Cuban caudillo Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism. He will go on to turn the island into a workers’ paradise with a vibrant economy and great respect for human rights..
2001 – After being named "America’s Most Innovative Company" five times by Fortune magazine, Enron Corp. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.