Thursday, December 9, 2004
1425: Pope Martin V founds the Catholic University of Leuven (left), now the oldest university in the Netherlands.
1842: French economist Pierre Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, who argued against both collectivisim and protectionism, is born at Saumur.
1869: The Noble Order of the Knights of Labor is founded in Philadelphia. It is the first labor union to try to organize women, and is open to all working people except bankers, lawyers, stockbrokers, physicians, and liquor manufacturers.
1878: Joseph Pulitzer, an immigrant from Budapest, buys the St. Louis Dispatch for $2,700; he will combine it with the Post, acquired six years earlier, and will go on to invent Yellow Journalism—awards for which, called "Pulitzer Prizes," are still given out today.
1886: "The Father of Frozen Food," Clarence Birdseye, is born. Birdseye’s contribution was the discovery that quick-freezing at very low temperatures make food much tastier than than traditional slow-freezing.
1907: The first Christmas Seals are sold in Wilmington, Delaware.
1965: The Cincinnati Reds trade future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles.
1974: Stocks hit bottom in the great bear market of the early 1970s, as the Dow Jones average sinks to 570.01. As usual, nobody accurately calls the bottom.
1975: President Ford authorizes $2.3 billion in loans for financially troubled New York City; this after an October speech in which he blamed the city’s bankers for its problems.
1983: Attorney General Edwin Meese invokes Econ 101, explaining that people go to eat at soup kitchens because the food is free.
1988: The New York Yankees baseball team signs a 12-year $500 million television contract with MSG Television.
1992: The New Jersey Devils hockey team announces that it will change its team colors from red, green, and white to red, black, and white, perhaps in an attempt to emulate the success of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.