On this day in 1829, William Austin Burt recieved a U.S. patent for the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter. The device was operated by hand to make the letter print onto paper.
Maybe we shouldn’t complain the next time Word does someething squirrely.
In other news, Historic Occasions designs are now available on Amazon.
The Signing of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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The document, which belonged to James Madison, is one of 200 facsimiles commissioned in the 19th century
From the Smithsonian Magagine.
Within 40 years of its signing in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was starting to show signs of aging and wear. So in 1820, John Quincy Adams commissioned printer William Stone to make 200 facsimiles of the precious document. As Michael E. Ruane reports for the Washington Post, one of these meticulous copies, long believed to have been lost, recently resurfaced in Texas.
The Jefferson Davis Memorial, Richmond, Virginia
If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a Theory.
On this day in 1861 the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis as its president.
Davis represented Mississippi in the United States Senate and House of Representatives prior to becoming president of the Confederacy. He also served as United States Secretary of War under U.S. President Franklin Pierce from 1853 to 1857.
Davis was born in Kentucky, but grew up on his brother’s large cotton plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. Prior to the Civil War, he operated a large cotton plantation in Mississippi where he owned over seventy slaves.
Davis opposed secession, he believed in the states’ right to leave the Union. He was not considered an effective leader and some consider that to be the reason for the weakness of the Confederacy.
Davis was captured in 1865 after fleeing the fall of Richmond. Accused of treason, he was imprisoned for two years at Fort Monroe. By the late 1880s, Davis encouraged reconciliation and called for Southerners to be loyal to the Union.
Davis died on December 5, 1889. Although initially laid to rest in New Orleans in the Army of Northern Virginia mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery, in 1893 Davis was re-interred in Richmond, Virginia at Hollywood Cemetery, per his widow’s request.
On this day in 1693 the College of William and Mary was founded under a royal charter “make, found and establish a certain Place of Universal Study, a perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good arts and sciences…to be supported and maintained, in all time coming.”
It was named for reigning monarchs King William III and Queen Mary II and is the second oldest college in the United States (after Harvard University, 1636) and the oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
According to Wikipedia: William & Mary educated American Presidents Thomas Jefferson (third), James Monroe (fifth), and John Tyler (tenth) as well as other key figures important to the development of the nation, including the fourth U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall of Virginia, Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay of Kentucky, sixteen members of the Continental Congress, and four signers of the Declaration of Independence, earning it the nickname “the Alma Mater of the Nation.”
In other news, American composer, conductor, and pianist, John Williams, was born on this day in 1932. Williams is known and recognized for film scores that include the Star Wars series, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman: The Movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, the first two Home Alone films, the first two Jurassic Park films, Schindler’s List, and the first three Harry Potter films.
On this day in 1990, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union agreed to give up its monopoly of power based on the recommendation of General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
In the aftermath, fifteen of the constituent republics of the USSR held their first competitive elections. the CPSU lost six of those republics.
According to Wikipedia:
The constituent republics began to declare their national sovereignty and began a “war of laws” with the Moscow central government; they rejected union-wide legislation that conflicted with local laws, asserted control over their local economy and refused to pay taxes. President Landsbergis of Lithuania also exempted Lithuanian men from mandatory service in the Soviet Armed Forces. This conflict caused economic dislocation as supply lines were disrupted, and caused the Soviet economy to decline further.
To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible?
Queen Elizabeth II
On this day in 1952, Britain’s King George VI passed away, leaving his daughter Elizabeth to ascend to the throne. George became king upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII in 1936.
Elizabeth and her husband Philip were at Treetops Hotel in Kenya when they received the news of her father’s passing. Her private secretary, Martin Charteris asked her what she would choose as her regnal name. She replied “Elizabeth, of course.”
Her coronation occured on June 2, 1953. She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch.
The Netflix series, The Crown, dramatizes the early reign and marriage of Elizabeth II.