Friday, November 12, 2010
354 – St. Augustine of Hippo is born at Thagaste in Numidia, now Algeria. His drunken early life will later make him the patron saint of brewers.
1002 – Hoping to stop the Viking invasions of England, King thelred II (the Unready) orders all the Norsemen in the country killed. It doesn’t work; he will die as the kingdom is later overrun by Danes under Canute.
1312 – The future King Edward III is born at Windsor Castle. As king, he will battle inflation with wage and price controls, which won’t work.
1724 – John Dickinson (left) is born at Talbot County, Maryland. He will be one of the literary leaders of the American Revolution with his Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania), the President/Governor of two American states (Pennsylvania and Delaware) and the namesake of what is now Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law.
1856 – Future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis is born at Louisville, Kentucky, where the law school named for him is located.
1864 – A new constitution goes into effect in Greece, creating a democratic monarcy.
1956 – The U.S. Supreme Court lets stand the district court decision in Browder v. Gayle, 142 F. Supp. 707 (1956), holding that state laws requiring segregated buses are unconstitutional.
1994 – Swedish voters vote to have their country join the European Union.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
1035 – Canute the Great, King of England, Denmark, and Norway, dies at Shaftesbury in Dorset. Quarrels between his sons will cause his Anglo-Scandinavian empire fall to pieces within a decade of his death.
1595 – Sir John Hawkins, the father of the English slave trade (and the man who introduced the potato to Ireland), dies at sea off the coast of Puerto Rico.
1815 – Future abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton is born at Johnstown, New York.
1840 – François-Auguste-René Rodin, the self-taught sculptor man who will show modern artists how to use art to get wealthy and hang out on equal terms with the rich and famous, is born the son of a police clerk at Paris.
1892 – Three-time All-American William "Pudge" Heffelfinger—whose Yale teams were 54-2 during his time there—becomes the first professional American football player when the Allegheny Athletic Association pays him $500 for a game against archrival Pittsburgh A.A. Allegheny wins 4-0 as Heffelfinger scores the only points..
1908 – Future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun is born at Nashville, Illinois.
1970 – The Oregon Highway Division attempts to remove a dead Sperm whale from the beach using explosives. Below, this turns out to be a bad idea.
1998 – Speaking of bad ideas, Germany’s Daimler-Benz completes a merger with America’s Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
1620 – At Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod, 41 passengers aboard the Mayflower—who had expected to join the existing colony at New York but who were blown off course—sign a Compact to form a new colony in the unsettled stretch of Massachusetts where they landed.
1673 – Forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under Jan Sobieski defeat a larger Muslim army at the Battle of Khotyn in the Ukraine.
1821 – Writer Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky is born at Moscow. His Crime and Punishment is actually much better than the stuff written about it would lead you to think.
1855 – Danish Existentialist philosopher Søren Aabye Kierkegaard dies at Copenhagen. Too bad he can't tell us what he's since discovered about the meaning of life.
1869 – The government of the Colony of Victoria enacts the Aboriginal Protection Act, giving it nearly total control of the housing, employment, education, wages, and children of indigenous Australians. For some reason this doesn't lead to the increased health, wealth, and happiness of the aborigines.
1889 – Washington is admitted as the 42nd U.S. state. They thought about naming the place "Columbia" because it lies between the Columbia River and British Columbia, but were afraid that there would be too much confusion with the existing "District of Columbia." No one could get confused if they called it "Washington."
1904 – Future U.S. lawyer, Supreme Court clerk, bureaucrat, and Russian spy Alger Hiss is born at Baltimore.
1938 – "Typhoid" Mary Mallon—who over her career as a cook would infect more than 50 people with typhoid—dies on North Brother Island in New York . . . of pneumonia.
1964 – Future TV lawyer Calista (Ally McBeal) Flockhart is born at Freeport, Illinois.
1999 – The House of Lords Act goes into effect in Britain, excluding hereditary (i.e., real) peers from sitting in the House.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
1444 – Islamic troops under Sultan Murad II crush the allied armies of Hungary and Poland at the Battle of Varna in what will later become Bulgaria. The victory sets the stage for the Muslim conquest of Constantinople.
1674 – Pursuant to the Treaty of Westminster which ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War, England formally acquires the former Dutch colony of Nieuw-Nederland and its capital, Nieuw-Amsterdam.
1766 – The charter of Queen’s College—founded by the Dutch Reformed Church—is is signed by New Jersey royal governor William Franklin. After the War of 1812 it will be renamed for war hero and school benefactor Colonel Henry Rutgers.
1775 – At Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Samuel Nicholas—commissioned by the Continental Congress only days earlier as the first Captain of Marines—holds the first drive to sign up men for what will become the United States Marine Corps.
1871 – After eight arduous months in the African jungle, reporter Henry Morton Stanley of the New York Herald finally tracks down explorer/missionary Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika. No one knows whether he actually said, "Dr. Livingston, I presume?"
1894 – Future Slovenian lawyer and law school dean Boris Furlan is born at Trieste in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1947 he will be sentenced to 20 years in prison by communist authorities for translating George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
1975 – Seventeen miles from the safety of Whitefish Bay, the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sinks suddenly and without a trace, killing all 29 crew members. No distress signal is ever sent.
1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a $37 billion merger, the biggest in U.S. history to that date. Five years later the whole shooting match will go bankrupt.
Monday, November 8, 2010
1620 – Emigrants aboard the 180-ton cargo vessel Mayflower, trying to find Manhattan Island, instead get their first sign of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
1857 – The Atlantic magazine is founded at Boston. It will later publish an article by Charles W. Eliot that will result in Eliot becoming President of Harvard. Eliot will later select Christopher C. Langdell as Dean of the university’s law school. Great oaks from little acorns come.
1862 – Major General Ambrose Burnside assumes command of the Army of the Potomac in the American Civil War. Burnside will prove to be a much better inventor (the Burnside carbine) and railroad executive, than a general. But his whiskers will make him immortal.
1872 – A fire in the basement of a commercial warehouse on Summer Street gets out of control, and within twelve hours more than 60 acres of downtown Boston are destroyed in the worst fire in the city’s history.
1907 – Britain’s King Edward VII gets a birthday present: the Premier Mining Co.’s 530-carat Great Star of Africa diamond. It will later be mounted into the head of the Royal Scepter.
1935 – The Congress of Industrial Organizations is founded in Atlantic City, New Jersey by eight trade unions belonging to the American Federation of Labor. The CIO and the AFL will battle fiercely for 20 years before merging back again.
1967 – With $7,500 borrowed from family members, 21-year-old college dropout Jann Wenner launches the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine in San Francisco.
1989 – The government of communist East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall allowing its citizens to travel to West Germany.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
1519 – Hernán Cortés enters the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán. Emperor Moctezuma welcomes him with a great celebration, but later will come to regret his hospitality..
1576 – Representatives at the States-General of the Netherlands sign the Pacification of Ghent, the document that will unite them in opposition to Spanish rules.
1836 – Milton Bradley is born at Vienna, Maine. He will forever change American childhood by designing games that do not (like those of his predecssors) teach moral lessons, but rather encourage children to pursue wealth and worldly success.
1848 – Philosopher and logician Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege is born at Wismar in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
1889 – Montana becomes the 41st U.S. state.
1895 – While working with vacuum tubes in his laboratory, Wilhelm Röntgen discovers a new kind of radiation that, for lack of a better word, he temporarily calls the "X" ray.
1966 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law a bill allowing the National Football League and its rival American Football League to merge without violating the antitrust laws.
680 – The Third Council of Constantinople opens. It will subsequently condemn the heresy of monotheletism, the notion that Christ had only a single (divine) will.
1492 – With an explosion that can be heard 80 miles away, a flaming 279-pound rock falls from the sky an smashes into a field near the village of Ensisheim in Alsace. Emperor Maximilian I takes it as a good omen for his wars against the French and the Swiss, but he turns out to be mistaken.
1775 – John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, issues a proclamation offering emancipation to all slaves in the colony who will take up arms on behalf of the Crown against the rebels.
1811 – Near the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers, a mixed force of U.S. regulars and militia under Governor William Henry Harrison defeats a nine-tribe coalition under Tecumseh. Fewer than 1,500 men participate in the battle on both sides—fewer than 100 are killed—but it will lead to the ultimate defeat of Tecumseh’s Confederacy.
1872 – The 300-ton brigantine Mary Celeste sails from New York harbor bound for Genoa with a cargo of 1,700 barrels of commercial alcohol. Less than a month later it will be found drifting of the Azores, its entire crew having disappeared without a trace.
1874 – New York cartoonist Thomas Nast of Harper's Weekly for the first time uses an elephant as a symbol for the U.S. Republican Party.
1907 – Mexican railway engineer Jesús García Corona, 27, saves the entire Sonoran town of Nacozari de Garcia from destruction by by heroically driving a blazing train full of dynamite four miles out of town where it explodes. He is killed in the process.
1916 – Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
Friday, November 5, 2010
1789 – Pope Pius VI confirms the appointment of John Carroll as Bishop of Baltimore, the first Catholic bishop in the United States. A proponent of education Carroll, will later found Georgetown University.
1835 – Future Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso is born at Verona. His cutting-edge scientific theory that criminal behavior is inherited and can be discerned from physiology will become extremely popular.
1844 – Following its successful war of independence from Haiti, the Dominican Republic gets its first constitution, which is patterned on the U.S. model.
1861 – Mississippi Senator and former U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America. Voters will later wish they had made him a general instead.
1869 – In the first intercollegiate football match, Rutgers College defeats the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) 6-4 at New Brunswick.
1935 – Parker Brothers acquires the rights to a board game called "The Landlord’s Game" from designer Elizabeth Magie Phillips. It will subsequently get revised and renamed "Monopoly."
1999 – By a 55-45 margin, Australian voters reject the idea of forming a republic and dispensing with the Queen.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
1605 – Guy Fawkes is discovered lurking in the cellar below the House of Lords , where he was carrying out a plan to blow up Parliament. Understandable, though unwise.
1688 – William of Orange lands at Brixham with a force of 11,000 Dutch and foreign mercenaries, the last foreign invasion of Britain and the first completely successful one since 1066.
1862 – Former railroad president George B. McClellan, who before the Civil War had succeeded at everything he had ever tried to do, is removed as commander of the Union Army for the second and final time.
1895 – Lawyer and inventor George B. Selden is granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile. He will turn out to be a better inventor than a businessman, and he won’t be the one to get rich of the new automobile industry.
1911 – The future "King of the Cowboys," Roy Rogers is born Leonard Franklin Slye in Cincinnati, Ohio. Roy and Dale and Nelliebelle were a huge part of my childhood:
1928 – The man who fixed the 1919 World Series, Arnold "the Brain" Rothstein dies suddenly and unexpectedly while being shot.
1938 – Future Singapore Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong is born at Ipoh, Perak, in what was then the Federated Malay States.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
1677 – Mary Stuart, niece of King Charles II, marries William, Prince of Orange. She and William will later invade England and drive her father, James II, from the throne. "How sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful chil," as an earlier English king noted.
1809 – Future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis is born in Watertown, Massachusetts. He’ll become the first law school graduate to serve on the Court.
1816 – Another future Justice, Stephen Johnson Field, is born at Haddam, Connecticut.
1861 – The Territorial University of Washington opens in Seattle. It will close and reopen three or four times before finally settling down to become the University of Washington.
1890 – The City & South London Railway opens between King William Street and Stockwell. It si the first deep-level underground railway in the world.
1922 – Workers led by British archaeologist Howard Carter find the door to what they will later discover is the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun's.
1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming (top right) becomes the first woman elected governor of a U.S. state.
1969 – Future music and fashion entrepreneur Sean John Combs is born in a housing project in Harlem.
2004 – The first "web log" aimed at contract law professors, ContractsProf, opens for business. Over the next six years it will have nearly a million page views.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
1600 – Theologian Richard Hooker dies at Bishopbourne in Kent. The "via media" he articulated in his Lawes of Ecclesiastical Pietie, with its emphasis on both tradition and reason, will have enormous influence on English thought, and his clear prose style will be a model for future English writers.
1783 – Tyburn Gallows hosts its last public execution, highwayman John Austin. Austin’s last words: "Good people, I request your prayers for the salvation of my departing soul. Let my example teach you to shun the bad ways I have followed. Keep good company, and mind the word of God. Lord have mercy on me. Jesus look down with pity on me. Christ have mercy on my poor soul!"
1793 – Future lawyer, real estate speculator and Texas founder Stephen Fuller Austin is born in Wythe County, Virginia.
1801 – Karl Baedeker is born, the son of a printer, at Essen in Prussia. Later he will invent the modern travel industry.
1817 – Canada’s oldest bank, the Bank of Montreal, Canada's oldest chartered bank, opens in Quebec. For some idiotic reason, it will later call itself BMO, pronounced BEE-mo.
1845 – Future U.S. Chief Justice Edward Douglass White is born at his family's plantation in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.
1883 – English-born American stagecoach robber Charles "Black Bart" Boles, who likes to leave little poems with his victims, robs his last coach, near Copperopolis, California.
1911 – Ousted General Motors president Billy Durant and Swiss auto racer Louis_Joseph launch the Chevrolet Motor Car Co. Chevy will become America’s most popular car. And then things will go wrong.
1913 – Following the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment. The United States introduces an income tax. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
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.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
1604 – William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice has its first performance, at Whitehall Palace in London.
1765 – The British Parliament enacts the Stamp Act (right) on the 13 colonies in order to help pay for British military operations in North America. Among other things, it puts a £10 tax on attorney licenses. That's about $20,000 in current U.S. dollars.
1802 – Thirty-five delegates gather at a raw hamlet on the Scioto River called Chillicothe to draft a constitution for what wll become the State of Ohio.
1848 – Dr. Samuel Gregory, who believes it inappropriate for men to be attending women at childbirth, opens the first medical school for women, Boston Female Medical College.
1946 – The new Basketball Association of America, forerunning of the NBA, opens its inaugural season at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, where the visiting New York Knickerbockers down the Toronto Grizzlies 68-66. The Knicks will be one of 6 BAA teams to survive to the present day.
1950 – Pope Pius XI formally defines the dogma of the Assumption of Mary in his Apostolic constitution, Munificentissimus Deus.
1959 – Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first goaltender to wear a protective mask in regulation play.
1968 – Looking for ways to add more more nudity, profanity, and violence to American films, the Motion Picture Association of America's scraps its old Hays Code and replaces it with a film rating system that categorizes films as G, M, R, and X.
1982 – Honda opens a factory in Marysville, Ohio, making it the first Japanese auto maker to build cars in the United States.
1993 – The Maastricht Treaty establishing the European Union goes into effect. This turns out to be the easy part. Getting everyone actually united will prove to be more difficult.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
1618 – The father of the tobacco industry, Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded at Whitehall at the age of 66 for alleged treason.
1787 – Mozart's opera Don Giovanni premieres at the Estates Theater in Prague. Turn up the volume and enjoy the incredible Overture.
1815 – Songwriter Daniel Decatur Emmett, the author of the Southern anthem "Dixie,"is born at Mount Vernon, Ohio. A staunch opponent of Secession, he will go on to write the fife and drum manual for the Union Army.
1901 – Leon Czolgosz, the anarchist who assassinated President William McKinley, is executed by electrocution at Auburn Prison in New York.
1911 – Joseph Pulitzer, a wealthy businessman who made a great deal of money campaigning against wealthy businessmen, dies on his yacht while traveling to his winter home in Georgia.
1929 – The day after Black Monday, October 28, stocks continue to tumble on "Black Tuesday." The Great Depression is under way.
1955 – The creator of the Hollywood studio system, Louis B. Mayer (born Lazar Meir in Minsk) dies of leukemia at Los Angeles. On his watch Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer became the most profitable film studio in the world.
1968 – UCLA student Charley Kline transmits the first message ever sent from one computer to another over the new ARPANET system. The system crashes in the middle of the transmission.
2004 – European heads of state sign the Treaty Establishing a European Constitution, which will be submitted to member states of the European Union for ratification. It will fail.
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.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
312 – Constantine I sees in the sky a vision of the Cross with the words, In hoc signo vinces. The next day he will defeat his rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber River and become undisputed emperor of Rome..
1275 – A small fishing village near a dam on the Amstel River in Holland receives a charter from Count Floris V. During the Golden Age of the Netherlands, the city of "Amsterdam" will become the commercial capital of Europe
1795 – The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Madrid, which defines the borders between the young nation and the Spanish colonies in America. The treaty doesn’t last long.
1810 – United States annexes Spanish West Florida, which it claims is part of the Louisiana Purchase. It will later snap up the rest of Florida in 1819, in exchange for $5 million and renunciation of American claims to Texas.
1811 – Isaac Merritt Singer is born at Pittstown. New York. After he fails at his first career choice, acting, he’ll make a fortune from inventing the first practical sewing machine at age 39.
1966 – Matthew Nathan Drudge is born at Takoma Park, Maryland. He’ll later create a news web site that makes more profit than the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe, combined.
1975 – Rex Todhunter Stout, creator of fictional detectives Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, dies at age 88.
2004 – A bad day for curses: the Boston Red Sox win the World Series after an 86-year drought. The Series MVP is Manny Rodriguez, who will lead the club to another title in 2007 but then will be traded as a “cancer” on the team.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
1400 – The father of English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer dies of unknown causes at age 57.
1495 – The "Perfect Prince," John II of Portugal (right), dies at Alvor at age 40 after a 14-year reign. Inheriting a bankrupt kingdom, his encouragement of trade and exploration had made Portugal the financially strongest country in Europe by the time of his death.
1616 – On a voyage to Batavia (now Jakarta) for the Dutch East India Co., Captain Dirk Hartog goes off course runs into an unexpected shore—and discovers the western coast of Australia.
1828 – The St Katharine Docks—construction of which destroyed more than a thousand homes and made 11,000 people homeless—open in London. They turn out to be poorly designed.
1861 – Twenty-four men gather in a Masonic Hall in Toronto to create what will become the Toronto Stock Exchange, now the third-largest in North America.
1921 – Legendary gunfighter turned sportswriter Bat Masterson dies at his desk in the offices of the New York Telegraph.
1983 – U.S. and Caribbean troops invade Grenada six days after the assassination of its prime minister. Although the invasion will be widely condemned by the United Nations, Grenadians will later make the date a national holiday, called "Thanksgiving."
1992 – Seventy-five percent of Lithuanians vote to adopt a new post-Soviet democratic constitution.
1147 – Crusaders led by Afonso Henriquez, Count of Portugal, retake Lisbon from the Moors after a four-month siege. Afonso will later be named the first King of Portugal.
1648 – The Peace of Westphalia is signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years' War and creating the basis for the modern relationships among nation-states..
1852 – Daniel Webster dies at age 70 at Marshfield, Massachusetts.
1855 – Future lawyer, businessman, and U.S. Vice President James Schoolcraft "Sunny Jim" Sherman is born at Utica, New York.
1861 – A consortium of companies led by Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States. The Pony Express goes out of business two days later.
1901 – Sixty-three year-old Annie Edson Taylor – looking for a good way to pay for her upcoming retirement –becomes the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
1917 – An armed Bolshevik uprising in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) triggers the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia. The October date is "Old Style"; in the West the revolution will start on November 7.
1929 – In what comes to be called "Black Thursday," the New York Stock Exchange plunges amid massive volume. By the end of the following week the markets will be devastated.
Friday, October 22, 2010
1456 – St. John of Capistrano, who gave up a successful legal and political career to preach, and who at age 70 successfully led troops that broke the Muslim siege of Belgrade, dies of bubonic plague at Ilok in Croatia.
1642 – A Parliamentary force under the Earl of Essex fights a draw against an army under King Charles I at Edgehill in Warwickshire. This is the first major battle of the English Civil War.
1707 – The first Parliament of the new Kingdom of Great Britain – which has just been created by the union of England and Scotland – meets at Westminster.
1867 – Pursuant to the new Constitution Act, the Crown summons 72 men to make up the new Senate of Canada.
1869 – Football legend John William Heisman is born at Cleveland, Ohio. He’ll go on to become the first college football coach to be paid like a star, getting $2,250 a year plus 30 percent of the gate receipts from Georgia Tech in 1904.
1935 – Gunmen from Murder, Inc. cut down gangster Dutch Schultz and three of his associates at the Palace Chophouse on 12 East Park St. in Newark, New Jersey. Schultz’s last words: "French-Canadian pea soup."
2001 – Apple, Inc. releases the iPod. Since that time the company’s stock has risen from $12 to $308 a share.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
741 – Frankish Mayor of the Palace Charles "the Hammer" Martel – the man who stemmed the tide of Muslim invasion at the Battle of Tours – dies peacefully at Quierzy-sur-Oise in Picardy.
1633 – A Chinese fleet defeats the Dutch East India Co. at the Battle of Liaoluo Bay off Taiwan.
1746 – A new Presbyterian school for training ministers receives its charter as the College of New Jersey. It will later move and be renamed Princeton University.
1784 – Fur trader Grigory Ivanovich Shelikhov founds the first Russian settlement in North America at Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island, Alaska. His Shelihov-Golikov Company will later become the basis of the first Russian joint-stock company, the Russian-American Company.
1797 – Inventor André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first demonstration of his new creation, the parachute, by jumping out of a hot-air balloon 3,200 feet above Paris.
1836 – Sam Houston is inaugurated as the first President of the Republic of Texas.
1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre wins the Nobel Prize for Literature. But what does that really mean?
1976 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans the use of Red Dye No. 4. It is still used in Canada, which is presumably why Canadians are much less healthy than Americans.