February 26, 2015

Thursday Open Line

Car insurance is both required and a major item in the budget of many households. The idea of insuring cars against accidents began this month in 1898 when the Traveler’s Insurance Company issued a policy to Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo. His policy cost $12.25 and gave him $5,000 in coverage. Martin was chiefly concerned […]

Wednesday Open Line

Paper money has circulated in North America since 1690, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony issued some to paper over — so to speak — the shortage of coins. But these were just promissory notes from governing bodies. That changed on this date in 1862 when Congress passed the Legal Tender Act, fixing paper money as […]

Tuesday Open Line

Every time we use a phone, drive a car, watch TV, turn on our computers, or do myriad everyday activities, we are benefitting from the accumulated work of a most important, broad profession — engineering. To note its contribution to our way of life, this is National Engineers Week. During this time, engineering societies and […]

Monday Open Line

The nation’s first college of pharmacy was founded in Philadelphia on this date in 1821, an appropriate anniversary to note that many health care organizations prescribe February as Wise Health Care Consumer Month. The “Rx” for Americans is to invest at least as much time in researching their health care options as they do for […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

One of the first chain stores in the U.S. opened its doors this week in 1879 in Utica, New York. For generations of Americans, Woolworth’s was known simply as the “five and dime” in tribute to its low-cost merchandise. Inside were wooden floors and display tables stacked with items that sold for up to a […]

Thursday Open Line

On this date in 1942, some two and a half months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order requiring Japanese-Americans living along the Pacific Coast to be relocated inland. This order affected some 77,000 citizens and 43,000 resident aliens. The internment lasted throughout the Second World War, and the […]

Wednesday Open Line

Although Canada has been self-governing since 1867, it wasn’t until this date in 1927 that the U.S. established formal diplomatic relations through recognition of a Canadian ambassador in Washington. Until that date, the Dominion of Canada’s foreign relations remained under the control of London. The relations since have been sterling, as Canada is our greatest […]

Tuesday Open Line

This month — and some sources cite this date — is the anniversary of the 1766 birth of Thomas Malthus in Dorking, England. Given that birthplace, he perhaps naturally became an economist, demographer and statistician. He’s remembered for “The Principle of Population,” a 1798 essay foretelling widespread famine caused by population growth far outstripping the […]

Monday Open Line

The nation’s first college for deaf students traces its beginning to this date in 1857, when Congress incorporated the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind. In 1864, the school was federally chartered to confer degrees, the first three of which were awarded in 1869. Those diplomas were signed by President […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

This date marks the anniversary in 1635 of the idea of America’s first public school — the Boston Latin School — long before there was a United States. Established in April that year, among its later students were Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams. And this month in 1897, Phoebe Hearst and Alice Birney founded what […]

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