Monday, September 19, 2005

This Week in History . . .

History highlights for the week include the birth of the Old Grey Lady and CBS, infamous murderers, traitors, explorers, and internet milestones. Some very interesting things have happened this week in history - check it out!

September 18

1851 - The New-York Daily Times, which will become The New York Times, begins publishing.

1873 - The Panic of 1873 began on September 18 with the failure of the Philadelphia investment house of Jay Cooke. Cooke had played a large role in financing the Union war effort by marketing federal bonds to farmers and workers.

1927 - Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the air.

1932 - Actress Peg Entwistle commits suicide by jumping from the H in the Hollywood sign, forever turning the sign into a symbol for the paradox of the American film industry.

1975 - Patty Hearst is arrested after a year on the FBI Most Wanted List. I was 14 when Patty Hearst was arrested. I remember reading everything I could find during the time she was missing and after her arrest. My own opinion at the time was that she was telling the truth about her experiences, and I felt sorry for her. I'm a little less idealistic at 43, but she now seems to be living an exemplary life.

1998 - ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is formed.

September 19

1692 - Giles Corey is pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials.

1796 - George Washington makes his farewell address. George Washington was not a fan of the political party system - he believed that "It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration....agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one....against another....it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption...thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another." Imagine that!

1959 - Nikita Khrushchev is barred from visiting Disneyland.

1982 - Scott Fahlman posts the first recorded instance of the emoticon :-) to an online bulletin board

September 20


1737 - Runner Edward Marshall completes his journey in the Walking Purchase forcing the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 kmĀ²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony.

1954 - First program compiled from FORTRAN runs (FORmula TRANSlator/TRANSlation)

1984 - Suicide bomber in a car attacks the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing twelve people

September 21


1780 - Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans to West Point

1897 - The Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus letter is published in the New York Sun.

1937 - J. R. R. Tolkien publishes The Hobbit. If you haven't read Tolkien, you haven't lived! Just for fun, check out your Hobbit name! Mine is Lila Sandybanks of Frogmorton

1942 - B-29 Superfortress makes its debut. Most famous was the Enola Gay - check out the restoration site!

September 22


1776 - Nathan Hale is hanged by British General William Howe for spying during American Revolution.

1862 - A preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation is released.

1893 - The first American-built automobile, built by the Duryea Brothers, is displayed.

1961 - Peace Corps is formed.

1985 - The Plaza Accord devaluing the US dollar was signed in New York City.

September 23


1642 - First commencement exercises occur at Harvard University. Colonial Era Graduates

1780 - British Major John Andre arrested as a spy by American soldiers exposing Benedict Arnold's treason

1806 - Lewis and Clark return, after exploring the Pacific Northwest. Interesting factoid - Meriwether Lewis father died when he was five. By age eight, it was not uncommon for him to explore the forests and caves in the Albemarle County, VA area alone; sometimes camping overnight.

1875 - William Bonney ("Billy the Kid") is arrested for the first time.

1962 - The Jetsons aired for the first time.

1981 - Jack Henry Abbott, best-selling author, is arrested for murder. Of course, the reason Jack Abbott became a best selling author was that Norman Mailer helped Abbott, who was in jail for armed robbery and killing another inmate, win parole in 1981. Abbott landed back in prison six weeks later for murder, and in 2002 hung himself in his cell.

September 24


1493 - Christopher Columbus departs on his second expedition to the New World

1869 - "Black Friday". Gold prices plummet as stock manipulators Jay Gould and James Fisk plotted to control the market.

1908 - The first Ford Model T is built

1957 - President Dwight Eisenhower sends United States National Guard troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce desegregation.

1962 - United States court of appeals orders the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith. Interesting to note that James Meredith distanced himself from the Civil Rights movement in the late 60's, became a stockbroker, joined the republican party and made several attempts to be elected to congress. In 1988, he accused "liberal whites" of being the greatest enemy of African Americans.

1993 - Broderbund releases the computer game Myst.

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