November 27, 2014

Thursday Open Line

Today is Thanksgiving Day, one of the most traditional of American holidays, thought to have begun in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The holiday became national in scope in 1863, and the fourth Thursday of the month has been the official day since 1941. It’s a time for family gatherings that combines solemnity and joy — […]

Wednesday Open Line

The first traffic signal with indicators for stop, go and caution was patented this month in 1923. The green light went to African-American inventor Garrett Morgan, who decided to do something after witnessing a collision between a car and a horse-drawn wagon on a Cleveland street. At the time, there were already more than 15 […]

Tuesday Open Line

It’s a time to celebrate one of life’s simple, viscous pleasures — it’s Peanut Butter Lovers Month. The stuff of one of America’s favorite sandwiches, peanut butter was first offered to the public at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904. But as we currently know it — with the peanuts roasted and the product churned […]

Monday Open Line

This month marks the 150th anniversary of absentee ballot voting in the U.S. This measure was introduced during the Civil War to permit Union army soldiers in the field to choose between re-electing Abraham Lincoln or sending his opponent George McClellan to the White House. But on this date in 1896, Vermont became the first […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

The first automatic toll collection station went into service this month in 1954. It was installed at the Union Toll Plaza on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway. Motorists dropped coins into a wire mesh hopper, triggering a green light that told them to go ahead. The idea soon caught on at toll roads around the […]

Thursday Open Line

One of the most renowned of America’s historically black colleges was founded on this date in 1866 as the Howard Theological Seminary. Named after Civil War general and post-war Freedmen’s Bureau director Oliver O. Howard, the seminary changed its name to Howard University just two months after its founding. While not the first college to […]

Wednesday Open Line

Today is Geographic Information System Day, falling squarely in the middle of Geographic Awareness Week. Both the GIS industry, and geographers overall, hope to increase understanding of geospatial issues and the relationships between people and their environments. Concurrent with these occasions is the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic […]

Tuesday Open Line

We still use the word “dial” to refer to the act of calling someone on the phone — even though likely most of us now have never used a rotary phone or seen one, except in old movies and TV shows. Push-button, or touch-tone, phones made their debut on this date in 1963. At the […]

Monday Open Line

We still use the word “dial” to refer to the act of calling someone on the phone — even though likely most of us now have never used a rotary phone or seen one, except in old movies and TV shows. Push-button, or touch-tone, phones made their debut on this date in 1963. At the […]

Friday / Weekend Open Line

The often impressive or alarming appearing swings in the New York stock exchange must be kept in perspective. In the long run, the market has made steady advances. Recently closing at over 17,000, it was on this date 42 years ago that the Dow Jones Industrial Average first topped the 1,000 level. Developed by Charles […]

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