May 28, 2016

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

Friday, May 27th. The difficulty of neatly painting cars two different colors led to the patenting of one of the world’s most practical on this date in 1930. Five years earlier, Richard Drew, while working for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, had developed an easy-to-peel, glue-backed masking tape.  It considerably eased the task of […]

Thursday Open Line

The first public high school in the U.S. was founded this month in 1820. The English Classical School opened in 1821 with 101 male students in Boston, which also was the seat for America’s first high school of any kind, the Boston Latin Grammar School. Boston Latin, beginning in 1635, sought to prepare young men […]

Wednesday Open Line

The first criminal case in the U.S. in which fingerprint evidence alone won conviction occurred this month in New York City in 1911. Burglary suspect Caesar Cella, alias Charles Crispi, was undone by prints identified by detective Joseph Faurot. The first known crime case solved by fingerprint matching occurred in 1898 in India, but the […]

Tuesday Open Line

In a way, today marks the 172nd birthday of the World Wide Web. Only it was electro-mechanical, not digital. On this date in 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse activated the first telegraph line, sending a dots-and-dashes code message from the U.S. Capitol building to a receiver in Baltimore. By the late 1850s, the first telegraph cable […]

Monday Open Line

There are few bonds in nature as gratifying as that between pets and their owners. Most pets are rewarded for their loyalty and devotion with shelter, food, and welcome attention. Though less welcome, they are also rewarded with medical care. The first state sponsored veterinary school in the U.S. opened on this date in 1879 […]

Friday / Weekend Open Line

Friday, May 20th. Gas prices are a frequent cause for consumer complaint — but at least purchases aren’t restricted, as they were beginning this month in 1942. That’s when 17 states began rationing gasoline to help the fight World War II. By December, rationing was nationwide and remained in effect until the end of the […]

Thursday Open Line

Spam, the pork product in a can, debuted in 1937, and World War II spread its fame, such as it is, around the globe. Spam, the unsolicited email message, debuted this month in 1978, and the World Wide Web has spread its infamy everywhere. The first cyberspam was an invitation to a computer system demonstration […]

Wednesday Open Line

The New York Stock Exchange, by signaling business prospects through share prices, has long been a bellwether of the nation’s economic health. The exchange started this week in 1792, as some two dozen merchants and brokers established an organized approach to their buying and selling. In good weather, they operated under a Buttonwood tree on […]

Tuesday Open Line

On this date in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one of its most historic decisions, changing the social landscape of the nation. The justices ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation of public schools based solely on race was unconstitutional. The ruling effectively did away with the “separate but equal” concept […]

Monday Open Line

The first disc-type phonograph record was demonstrated publicly on this date in 1888. The invention of Emile Berliner of Washington, D.C. was called a gramophone and used a flat disc of grooves to reproduce sound, rather than the cylinders of the day. These proved easier to duplicate for the mass market. In 1899, 151,000 phonograph […]

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