1875 Henry James published 'Roderick Hudson,' his first novel. Not read this one, but have read The 'Ambassadors,' 'The American,' 'The Bostonians,' 'The Princess Casamassima,' 'The Turn of the Screw,' and 'Washington Square.' A master of fine detail but ever so orotund. What I remember is the dedication of the hall in 'The Bostonians,' the door opening (where there is no door) in 'The Turn of the Screw,' and a gentleman who is sitting down (when he should be standing) in 'The Ambassadors.'
Rod Hudson.jpg


1914 US State Department required photographs on passports as shown below. I look like my picture. Gulp! Somewhere -- lost to me now --- Georg Hegel recommended pictures to go with travel papers in the 1820s.
Passport 1914.jpg


1923 Garrett Morgan patented the three-position traffic signal with buffer between stop and go, making the transition safer. He was the child of two former slaves. This butter evolved into the amber light, which in some jurisdictions follows the red, and in others the green. In both cases it means 'sped up!'
Garrett Morgan T.jpg


1945 Nuremberg Trials began with 24 individuals.
Numremberg trials.jpg

1985 Windows 1.0 was released two years late, and has continued in that manner. I left the PC world about ten years ago for the Mac World and will not go back.
oswindows-10-3-728.jpg

1805 Lewis and Clarke reached the Pacific Ocean, having started in Washington D.C., and using Pittsburgh as the base camp.
Lewis and Clarke map.png


1863 Sixteenth President Abraham Lincoln delivered 272 words at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Here's a fun exercise time-wasters. Imagine how Faux News would bastardise this speech today.
Gettysburg address.jpg


1872 Edmund Barbour of Boston patented the first adding machine capable of printing totals and subtotals. One of his early model is pictured.
Barbour model.jpg

1903 Carrie Nation attempted to address the Senate on demon rum from the visitor’s gallery. Earlier she had tried to corner President Theodore Roosevelt in the White House but he was too fast for her. She was 6 feet tall and led numerous hatchetations in which saloons were destroyed from Kentucky, Kansas, to Texas and back.
Carrey-Nation-206x300.jpg


1926 At the Imperial Conference in London the Balfour Declaration proclaimed Britain and its dominions to have equal constitutional status. In led to the 1931 Statue of Westminster which made it official that the dominions were sovereign.
Balfour dominions.jpg

When What

1477 William Caxton published the first printed book in England, Earl Rivers’s 'Sayings of the Philosophers.' Books, we have read a few.
Caxton book.jpg

1838 Scottish businessman and chairman of the South Australian Company, George Fife Angas, sponsored twenty-one German Lutherans who arrived in South Australia. More followed in short order. Some settled in Hahndorf which we visited in August 2018.
Lutherans SA.jpg

1865 Mark Twain published his first story, ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.’ Read it in high school.
frog.jpg


1883 At noon American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. US Congress enacted time zones in 1918. It ended the distinction between town time and railroad time in thousands of places. See Jo Barnett's 'Times Pendulum' (1999) tells some of this story. I found the book unfocussed and did not discuss it on the blog.
Time zones 1883.jpg

1963 Bell Telephone in the US began to market push button telephones to replace rotary dial phones. The charm of the pulse dial was lost, replaced by tone. No doubt Luddites mourned its passing.
Pushbutton ohone.jpg

1558 Elizabeth became queen of England at twenty-five and so began the Elizabethan Age.
QE1.jpg

1869 The Suez Canal opened to shipping traffic. A Pharaonic canal once existed but was lost due to neglect. This canal began in 1854 employing 2.5 million workers, of whom 125,000 died on the job! That is from Wikipedia. Today 14% world trade passes through it, mainly to the states of the Persian Gulf.
suezcanal1869opening.jpg

1875 Occult spiritualist Mme Helena Blavatsky founded the American Theosophical Society. Let the table rapping begin! Spiritualism with spectres, table raps, séances, and more became a trope in the popular culture. The harvest of dead in the Great War gave it re-newed impetus.
Blavvv.jpg


1913 The first ship passed through the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean. It was an enormous strategic asset to the United States for three generations. I read McCullough's book years ago and found it excellent.
Path between seas.jpg

1970 Douglas Engelbart patented the first computer mouse. It was ridiculed and disparaged by the experts. Behold below Mouse Number One.
Mouse number one.jpg

534 Justinian declared his code of laws. It codified and simplified Roman law as it stood at the time for the Eastern Empire at Constantinople. Been there and see some of his works.
Justinain code.jpg

1821 William Becknell reached Santa Fe on the route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail. Kate's mother grew up in New Mexico.
Santa Fe Trail.jpg


1913 Marcel Proust published ‘Swann’s way,’ the first volume of 'Á recherche du Temps perdue.' Read most of it.
Swannn.jpg

1945 UNESCO founded in Geneva. It has done many good works.
UNESCOo.jpg


1989 South African government of F. W. de Klerk rescinded the Separate Amenities Act, the first step in dismantling apartheid.
ZA amentieis.png

1791 At Rose Hill in NSW grape vines were planted which survived and started Australian wine cultivation. The site is a race course now and the grapes have gone to the Hunter Valley.
Rose Hill.jpg


1881 American Federation of Labor was founded in Pittsburg uniting crafts unions for the first time. Samuel Gompers became its president and remained that for twenty years. We have a graduate of Samuel Gompers High School down the street.
Gompers.jpg

1904 King Gillette patented the Gillette razor blade. Royalty indeed. King was a family name which his parents bestowed on him as a first name. I never use anything else but Gillette.
Gillette-patentare.jpg


1920 Forty-one nations opened the first League of Nations session in Geneva. Below is the unofficial logo of the League.
League of Nations.png


1948 Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King retired after 22 years in office. His anointed successor was Quebecois Louis St-Laurent. King was never without a dog as a familiar. He no doubt occulted his long dead mother, as he frequently did. I meant to type 'consulted his mother' but, well, 'occulted' fits. His peculiarities are discussed in other posts on this blog. Go for it!
Mckenzie king and dogs.jpg

1732 First professional librarian in North America, Louis Timothee, was hired in Philadelphia at the Library Company which still exists. He was a multi-lingual protegé of Benjamin Franklin. Hmm, librarians.
Library_Company_of_Philadelphia_seal.jpg

1889 The American journalist, Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman), followed the footsteps of fictional character Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days. She started in Hoboken and came back 72 days later. She had made a career as an undercover journalist whose exposés of the conditions in a workhouse, an asylum, and a factory made her name. I have flown around the world a couple of times when those tickets were cheaper than point-to-point return tickets.
Nellie Bly.jpg

1922 The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) began the first daily radio broadcasts from Marconi House which I have walked by it in Aldwych a few times. Still listening to the BBC4.
MarconiHouseEntrance.jpg

1971 NASA's Mariner 9 entered Mars' orbit after 167 days in space. This was the first craft to orbit Mars and returned 7329 images over the course of its mission. Confession time: I have small Mars globe on my desk which is partly based on the data from Mariner 9.
mariner-9-mars-orbit-granger.jpg

1994 The Eurostar passenger trains between London, Paris and Brussels was launched carrying passengers through the newly completed Channel Tunnel, the train reaches speeds of 186 MPH or 299 KPH. Ridden EuroStar a couple of times but not the one pictured below mysteriously abandoned in the Ardenne forest of Belgium.
EuroStar.jpg

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Thoughts on the canon of poltical theory and life.
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