On This Day
1784 – The Treaty of Paris, ratified by the United States Congress on January 14, 1784, is ratified by King George III of the Kingdom of Great Britain, ending the American Revolutionary War. Copies of the ratified documents are exchanged on May 12, 1784.
The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States of America on September 3, 1783, officially ended the American Revolutionary War and overall state of conflict between the two countries. The treaty set the boundaries between the British Empire in North America and the United States of America, on lines “exceedingly generous” to the latter. Details included fishing rights and restoration of property and prisoners of war.
This treaty and the separate peace treaties between Great Britain and the nations that supported the American cause—France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic—are known collectively as the Peace of Paris. Only Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States’ existence as a free, sovereign, and independent state, remains in force.
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Born On This Day
1806 – Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English engineer, designed the Clifton Suspension Bridge (d. 1859)
Isambard Kingdom Brunel FRS MInstCE (/ˈɪzəmbɑːrd bruːˈnɛl/; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was an English civil engineer who is considered “one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history,” “one of the 19th-century engineering giants,” and “one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions.” Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway (GWR), a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.
Though Brunel’s projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river (the River Thames) and the development of the SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.
On the GWR, Brunel set standards for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, and the two-mile-long (3.2 km) Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the “broad gauge” of 7 ft 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm), instead of what was later to be known as “standard gauge” of 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm). He astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SS Great Western (1838), the SS Great Britain (1843), and the SS Great Eastern (1859).
In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the “100 Greatest Britons.” In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200.
Rare Historical Photos: These photos show the destruction of the Belgian city of Leuven in the aftermath of the German Army reprisal, 1914
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By Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post: The Growing Debate Over Spaying and Neutering Dogs Fixing dogs has been dogma for decades. Here’s why some pet owners are skipping it.
By Stephen Adams, 10 Tampa Bay: ‘Marcel The Shell With Shoes On’ movie is coming to theaters The first theatrical trailer has been released for the mockumentary-style full-length film about the world’s favorite mollusk.
From mild-mannered High School math teacher to UFC Hall of Famer. That’s this week’s Team Never Quit special guest, Rich Franklin. Rich and Marcus kick it around in an entertaining discussion about the transition from teaching high school math to UFC fighting on a world-class level. His childhood days of taking Karate lessons brought about an interest in Thai Boxing and Jiu-Jitsu, which further developed into a full-time MMA fighting career. Rich has also coached in The Ultimate Fighter, launched a clothing brand, a juice café, and is a prime example of one classy dude.
Nice guys can finish first.
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