Archive for the ‘History’ Category

First Native American Newspaper!

February 21, 2019

Today marks the day (in 1828) the first Native American newspaper was published.  The Cherokee Phoenix, a bilinguual weekly newspaper (English and Cherokee), was published between February 21, 1828 through October 1835.  It was published in New Echota, Georgia (capital of the Cherokee nation), and printed using the Cherokee writing symbols that were invented by Sequoyah (Sikwayi).

In addition, February 21st was the day for several other “firsts,” such as the first . . .

  • telegrapher who was a woman (Sarah G. Bagley, Lowell, MA, 1846)
  • Burglar alarm (installed by Edwin Thomas Holmes, Boston MA, 1858)
  • execution for slave trading carried out by the federal government (hanging of Nathaniel Gordon, Tombs prison, New York City, 1862)
  • dentist who was a woman to obtain the D.D.S. degree (Lucy B. Hobbs, Ohio College of Dental Surgery, Cincinnati, OH, 1866)
  • telephone directory (New Haven, CT, 1878)
  • bacteriology laboratory (Hoagland Laboratory, Brooklyn, NY, 1887)
  • transcontinental airplane flight made within 24 hours (William Devoe Coney, San Diego, CA, to Jacksonville, FL, 1921)
  • camera exposure meter (William Nelson Goodwin, Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation, Newark, NJ, 1932)
  • instant camera (Polaroid [Edwin Herbert Land], 1947

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Fun Fact Friday, Number One Hundred Thirteen!

February 8, 2019

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “world history.”  Do you know . . . Cleopatra’s nationality?

Despite being the daughter (eldest) of an Egyptyian King, Ptolemy XIII (ruler of Egypt during Julius Caesar’s reign), Cleopatra was not Egyptian.  In reality, she was part Macedonian, park Greek, and part Persian.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Ancient History, Number Six!

January 27, 2019

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from Janjary 27th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • King Henry IV of Germany is defeated at Flarchheim and compelled to abandon Saxony.  (1080 AD)
  • the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa takes and destroys the Italian town of Crema, near Cremona.  (1160 AD)
  • Florence V, Count of Holland, is murdered after renouncing the Anglo-German pact.  (1295 AD)
  • the Black faction of the propapal Guelph party, which has seized power in Florence, sentences its opponents the Whites (including the poet Dante) to death or exile. (1302 AD)
  • the “bad parliament” meets in Englad and reverses the acts of the “good parliament,” and grants a poll tax of four shillings on everyone over the age of 14 to fund the continuation of the French wars. (1377 AD)
  • King Alfonso V of Aragon joins the league against Milan. (1426 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

First Heart Transplant!

January 6, 2019

Today marks the day (in 1968) of the very first heart transplant to an adult in the United States.  This event took place at the Stanford Medical Center, in Palo Alto, California.  The patient: Mike Kasperak; the surgeon: Dr. Norman Shumway.

In addition, January 6th was the day for several other “firsts,” such as the first . . .

  • crop surplus destruction ordered by a government (tobacco, Virginia General Assembly, 1639)
  • State legislator who was African-American to represent a constituency with a white majority (Bishop Benjamin William Arnett, Ohio State Legislature, 1885)
  • electoral vote for a woman (Roger L. McBride, for Theodora Nathan [VP Candidate for Libertarian Party], 1973)
  • woman legislator from the Democratic Party to serve in both houses of Congress (Barbara Ann Mikulsi [Maryland], House 1977, Senate 1987)
  • year in which two different coins showed portraits of the same president  (Abraham Lincoln [penny, IL quarter], 2003)

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Ancient History, Number Five!

December 27, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from December 27th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • Ferdinand I of Castile and León dies.  He is succeeded by his sons, Sancho II in Castile and Alfonso VI in León.  (1065 AD)
  • in a diet (legislative assembly) at Augsburg, King Rudolf I of Germany invests his sons Albert and Rudolf of Habsburg with the duchies of Austria and Styria respectively.  (1282 AD)
  • Francesco Spinola leads a rebellion in Genoa which recovers the city’s independence from Milan.  (1435 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

The First Annulment!

December 9, 2018

Annulments have traditionally fallen within the realm/jurisdiction of the Church from the beginning.  But on this date in 1639, the first annulment of a marriage by court decree occurred in Boston, Massachusetts, as stated . . .

“James Luxford, being presented for haveing two wifes, his last marriage was declared voyde, or a nullity thereof and to bee divorced, not to come to the sight of her whom hee last tooke, and hee to be sent away to England by the first opportunity; all that hee hath is appointed to her whom hee last married for here and her children; he is also fined 110t. and to bee set in the stocks an houre upon a market day after the lecture, the next lecture day if the weather permit, or else the next lecture day after (3rd of the 10th month 1639).”

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Ancient History, Number Four!

November 27, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from November 26th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • Saladin, aspiring to take over the late Nurad-Din’s Zangid empire, takes possession of the Syrian city of Damascus.  (1174 AD)
  • King Alfonso X of Castile and León and King Philip III of France make a truce by the mediation of King Edward I of England.  (1279 AD)
  • Pope Urban V dismisses Cardinal Albornozas legate in the papal states.  (1363 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

That Was Quite a Bounty!

November 5, 2018

Twenty years ago today was the first time in history that a bounty of $5 million was offered (by the State Department) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a certain “enemy of the United States.”  At the time, this was the largest bounty ever offered by the State Department.

Who: Saudi Arabian national Osama bin Laden.
What: charged in a Manhattan court (238-count indictment) for masterminding the August 7th bombings of American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Ancient History, Number Three!

October 27, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from October 27th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • King Athelstan of England dies and is succeeded by his brother, Edmund.  (939 AD)
  • Alexander II is declared  to be the true pope in a synod held in Augsburg, defeating his challenger, Honorius II. (1062 AD)
  • Muhammed ad-Damiri, Muslim theologian and mystic, author of a noted encyclopedia of animals, dies in Cairo.  (1405 AD)
  • Grand Duke Vitold of Lithuania dies.  Svidrigello, brother of King Wladyslaw Jagiello of Poland, is elected as his successor.  (1430 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

See the Organs Working!

October 2, 2018

Today marks the day in 1937 that the very first x-ray movie of human organs in action was created.   A movie camera had been placed in front of a flouroscopic screen; the pictures showed the motion of assorted internal organs, including the heart, stomach, diaphragm, and lungs.

Where: New York City.
Who: Dr. William Holmes Stewart, Dr. William Joseph Hoffman, and Dr. Francis Henshall Ghiselin.
What: at the convention of the American Roentgen Ray Society.

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell