FYI December 24, 2018

On This Day

1826 – The Eggnog Riot at the United States Military Academy begins that night, wrapping up the following morning.
The Eggnog Riot, sometimes known as the Grog Mutiny, was a riot that took place at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, on 24–25 December 1826. It was caused by a drunken Christmas Day party in the North Barracks of the academy. Two days prior to the incident, a large quantity of whiskey was smuggled into the academy to make eggnog for the party, giving the riot its name.

The riot eventually involved more than one-third of the cadets by the time it ceased on Christmas morning. A subsequent investigation by academy officials resulted in the implication of 70 cadets and the court-martialing of 20 of them and one enlisted soldier. Among the participants in the riot—though he was not court-martialed—was future Confederate States President Jefferson Davis.


Born On This Day

1895 – Marguerite Williams, American geologist (d. 1991)
Marguerite Thomas Williams (24 December 1895 – 1991?)[1] was an African American geologist. She was the first African American to earn a doctorate in geology in the United States.[2]

Early years and education
Williams was born in Washington D.C. in 1895. She taught in Washington D.C. elementary schools for seven years before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in 1923.[2] Williams was mentored by African American biologist Ernest Everett Just.[1] From 1923–1933 she was chair of the division of geography at the Miner Teachers College (Normal School for Colored Girls) in Washington, D.C., incorporated into the University of the District of Columbia since 1976.[3][4]

She was granted a leave from Miner Teachers College to pursue her master’s degree in geology at Columbia University, which she completed in 1930.[5]

In 1942, she completed her PhD dissertation at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The title of her dissertation was A History of Erosion in the Anacostia Drainage Basin.[6] Her dissertation was published by the Catholic University of America Press.[7][8]

In her dissertation, A History of Erosion in the Anacostia Drainage Basin, Williams sought to explore on the factors that eventually lead to the erosion observed in the Anacostia River. Little had been done in terms of examining the upper and lower regions of the river and the basin sedimentation. The flooding of Bladensburg, Maryland precipitated the erosion, and had caused the necessity for an investigation. She concluded that in addition to natural erosion, human activities including deforestation, agriculture and urbanization accelerated the process.[9]

Williams spent most of her career teaching courses on geology and the social sciences. After gaining her PhD in 1942, she was appointed a full professor at Miner Teachers College. In addition to teaching and serving as chair of the Geology Department at Miner Teachers College (1923–1933), she also taught at Howard University during the 1940s.[5] She retired in 1955.




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