1820 – The U.S. Congress passes the Missouri Compromise. Okay Missouri go ahead and be a slave state, but no one else! Or, no one else in the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36th parallel. This band-aid worked for more than 30 years, which sucks.
1857 – Second Opium War: France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.
1882 – Charles Ponzi (Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi), Italian fraud convict (d. 1949) He was considered to be one of the greatest swindlers in American history. Since I live under a rock, I had no idea “Ponzi Scheme” was named after a dude. I assumed it was a specific con, like, nothing comes to mind. Bernie Madoff, something something.
1887- Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller. Helen’s parents sought the advice of Alexander Graham Bell (who was born this day in 1847), who was an authority on the deaf and telephones, when Helen lost her sight and hearing. He suggested the Perkins Institution and they sent out Anne Sullivan as a teacher. Sullivan began trying to teach by spelling out words in Keller's hand. Initially, the finger spelling meant naught to Keller. However, a breakthrough occurred when Sullivan held one of Keller's hands under water from a pump and spelled out "w-a-t-e-r" in Keller's palm. Keller went on to learn how to read, write, and speak. That is how it happened in the movie, as far as I can remember.
1923 – TIME magazine is published for the first time. When TIME was created it was the first weekly news magazine in the United States.
1934 - John Dillinger breaks out of jail using a wooden pistol.
1952- U.S. Supreme Court (6-3) upholds a New York law that prohibits communists from teaching in public schools. Oh hai, Red Scare, I can chanz lawz.
The majority decision upholding the Feinberg Law, declared the New York Times, supported the belief that "the state had a constitutional right to protect the immature minds of children in its public schools from subversive propaganda, subtle or otherwise, disseminated by those 'to whom they look for guidance, authority and leadership.'" The Feinberg Law remained in force until another Supreme Court decision in 1967 declared most of its provisions unconstitutional.
1991 – George Holliday captures on video the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers. On April 29, 1992, the jury acquitted three of the officers, which triggered the Los Angeles riots. Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley said, "the jury's verdict will not blind us to what we saw on that videotape. The men who beat Rodney King do not deserve to wear the uniform of the L.A.P.D."
I know, I know. Today was tough.