On this day:
1846 – The United States House of Representatives votes to stop sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom.
The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. Originally claimed by several countries (See Oregon Country), the region was divided between the UK and US in 1846. When established, the territory encompassed an area that included the current states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, as well as parts of Wyoming and Montana. The capital of the territory was first Oregon City, then Salem, followed briefly by Corvallis, then back to Salem, which became the state capital upon Oregon’s admission to the Union.
Originally inhabited by Native Americans, the region that became the Oregon Territory was explored by Europeans first by sea. The first documented exploration came in 1777 by the Spanish, with British and American vessels visiting the region within a few years. Later, land based exploration by Alexander Mackenzie and the Lewis and Clark Expedition along with the establishment of the fur trade in the region set up a variety of conflicting territorial claims by European powers and the United States.
These conflicts led to several treaties, including the Treaty of 1818 that set up a “joint occupation” between the United States and the British over the region that included parts of the current U.S. states of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Montana as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.
During the period of joint occupation, most activity in the region outside of the activities of the indigenous people came from the fur trade, which was dominated by the British Hudson’s Bay Company. Over time, some trappers began to settle down in the area and began farming, and missionaries started to arrive in the 1830s. Some settlers also began arriving in the late 1830s, and covered wagons crossed the Oregon Trail beginning in 1841. At that time, no government existed in the Oregon Country, as no one nation held dominion over the territory.
A group of settlers in the Willamette Valley began meeting in 1841 to discuss organizing a government for the area. These earliest documented discussions, mostly concerning forming a government, were held in an early pioneer and Native American encampment and later town known as Champoeg, Oregon. These first Champoeg Meetings eventually led to further discussions, and in 1843 the creation of the Provisional Government of Oregon. In 1846, the Oregon boundary dispute between the U.S. and Britain was settled with the signing of the Oregon Treaty. The British gained sole possession of the land north of the 49th parallel and all of Vancouver Island, with the United States receiving the territory south of that line.
The United States federal government left their part of the region unorganized for two years until news of the Whitman massacre reached the United States Congress and helped to facilitate the organization of the region into a U.S. territory. On August 14, 1848, Congress passed the Act to Establish the Territorial Government of Oregon, which created what was officially the Territory of Oregon. The Territory of Oregon originally encompassed all of the present-day states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, as well as those parts of present-day Montana and Wyoming west of the Continental Divide. Its southern border was the 42nd parallel north (the boundary of the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819), and it extended north to the 49th parallel. Oregon City, Oregon, was designated as the first capital.
The territorial government consisted of a governor, a marshal, a secretary, an attorney, and a three-judge supreme court. Judges on the court also sat as trial level judges as they rode circuit across the territory. All of these offices were filled by appointment by the President of the United States. The two-chamber Oregon Territorial Legislature was responsible for passing laws, with seats in both the upper-chamber council and lower-chamber house of representatives filled by local elections held each year.
Taxation took the form of an annual property tax of 0.25% for territorial purposes with an additional county tax not to exceed this amount. This tax was to be paid on all town lots and improvements, mills, carriages, clocks and watches, and livestock; farmland and farm products were not taxed. In addition, a poll tax of 50 cents for every qualified voter under age 60 was assessed and a graduated schedule of merchants’ licenses established, ranging from the peddlar’s rate of $10 per year to a $60 annual fee on firms with more than $20,000 of capital.
Oregon City served as the seat of government from 1848 to 1851, followed by Salem from 1851 to 1855. Corvallis served briefly as the capital in 1855, followed by a permanent return to Salem later that year. In 1853, the portion of the territory north of the lower Columbia River and north of the 46th parallel east of the river was organized into the Washington Territory. The Oregon Constitutional Convention was held in 1857 to draft a constitution in preparation for becoming a state, with the convention delegates approving the document in September, and then general populace approving the document in November.
On February 14, 1859, the territory entered the Union as the U.S. state of Oregon within its current boundaries. The remaining eastern portion of the territory (the portions in present-day southern Idaho and western Wyoming) was added to the Washington Territory.
1974 – Warmest reliably measured temperature below the Antarctic Circle of +59 °F (+15 °C) recorded at Vanda Station
Vanda Station was an Antarctic research base in the western highlands (Victoria Land) of the Ross Dependency, specifically on the shore of Lake Vanda, at the mouth of Onyx River, in the Wright Valley. The four original station buildings were constructed in the austral summers of 1967–1968 and 1968–1969, just prior to the first winter-over by a five-man team from January to October 19, 1969. Subsequent wintering parties occupied the station in 1970 and 1974. During summer seasons, Vanda station was fully staffed until 1991. Scientific programs principally included meteorology, hydrology, seismology, earth currents, and magnetics. The station was administered by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), and was supported logistically by the permanent New Zealand research base of Scott Base on Ross Island.
Vanda Station was well known for The Royal Lake Vanda Swim Club. Visitors to Lake Vanda Station could dip into the high salinity waters when the icecap edge melted out during summer to form a “moat”, and receive a Royal Lake Vanda Swim Club shoulder patch. Vanda staff would assist the melt by hacking out a “pool”. Many dignitaries and politicians were inducted into the club, The dip had to be naked (Rule 1), complete immersion (Rule 4), witnessed by a “Vandal” (Vanda Station staffer) and with no restrictions on photography (Rule 6) to qualify. Rule 10 allowed a natural figleaf, but it had to be natural and also naturally green without artificial aid.
In 1995, environment concerns resulted in the base being closed. Various activities associated with the base’s occupation, including excavations, the erection of buildings, disturbances caused by vehicle movements, the storage of consumables, waste disposal, and accidental spills, led to the effort to remove the station. Since removal, analysis of the lake water and algae was performed for a number of years to ensure the lake was not contaminated by greywater and other wastes.
Vanda Station is the location of the highest temperature ever recorded south of the Antarctic Circle, which was 59 °F (15 °C) on January 5, 1974.
There is now a street named after this base in Queenstown, New Zealand, called Vanda Place, and it is located just a few hundred metres from Scott Place.
Today, an automatic weather station is at the site of former Vanda Station, and Lake Vanda Hut, a shelter that is periodically (summer only) occupied by 2 to 8 New Zealand stream researchers.
Born on this day:
1838 – Camille Jordan, French mathematician and academic (d. 1922)
Marie Ennemond Camille Jordan (French: [ʒɔʀdan]; 5 January 1838 – 22 January 1922) was a French mathematician, known both for his foundational work in group theory and for his influential Cours d’analyse.
Jordan was born in Lyon and educated at the École polytechnique. He was an engineer by profession; later in life he taught at the École polytechnique and the Collège de France, where he had a reputation for eccentric choices of notation.
He is remembered now by name in a number of foundational results:
The Jordan curve theorem, a topological result required in complex analysis
The Jordan normal form and the Jordan matrix in linear algebra
In mathematical analysis, Jordan measure (or Jordan content) is an area measure that predates measure theory
In group theory the Jordan–Hölder theorem on composition series is a basic result.
Jordan’s theorem on finite linear groups
Jordan’s work did much to bring Galois theory into the mainstream. He also investigated the Mathieu groups, the first examples of sporadic groups. His Traité des substitutions, on permutation groups, was published in 1870; this treatise won for Jordan the 1870 prix Poncelet.
The asteroid 25593 Camillejordan and Institut Camille Jordan (fr) are named in his honour.
1846 – Rudolf Christoph Eucken, German philosopher and author, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1926)
Rudolf Christoph Eucken (German: [ˈɔʏkn̩]; 5 January 1846 – 15 September 1926) was a German philosopher. He received the 1908 Nobel Prize for Literature “in recognition of his earnest search for truth, his penetrating power of thought, his wide range of vision, and the warmth and strength in presentation with which in his numerous works he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life”, after he had been nominated by a member of the Swedish Academy.
Eucken was born on 5 January 1846 in Aurich, then in the Kingdom of Hanover (now Lower Saxony). His father, Ammo Becker Eucken (1792–1851) died when he was a child, and he was brought up by his mother, Ida Maria (1814–1872, née Gittermann). He was educated at Aurich, where one of his teachers was the classical philologist and philosopher Ludwig Wilhelm Maximilian Reuter (1803–1881). He studied at Göttingen University (1863–66), where Hermann Lotze was one of his teachers, and Berlin University. In the latter place, Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg was a professor whose ethical tendencies and historical treatment of philosophy greatly attracted him.
Eucken received his Ph.D. in classical philology and ancient history at Göttingen University in 1866 with a dissertation under the title De Aristotelis dicendi ratione. However, the bent of his mind was definitely towards the philosophical side of theology. In 1871, after five years working as a school teacher at Husum, Berlin und Frankfurt, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Basel, Switzerland, succeeding another of his former teachers at Göttingen, Gustav Teichmüller. He stayed there until 1874 when he took up a similar position at the University of Jena. He stayed there until he retired in 1920. From 1913–1914 he served as guest lecturer at New York University. During World War I, Eucken, like many of his academic colleagues, took a strong line in favour of the causes with which his country had associated itself.
Birthplace of Rudolf Eucken in Aurich, Osterstraße 27 (September 2015)
Eucken’s philosophical work is partly historical and partly constructive, the former side being predominant in his earlier, the latter in his later works. Their most striking feature is the close organic relationship between the two parts. The aim of the historical works is to show the necessary connexion between philosophical concepts and the age to which they belong; the same idea is at the root of his constructive speculation. All philosophy is philosophy of life, the development of a new culture, not mere intellectualism, but the application of a vital religious inspiration to the practical problems of society. This practical idealism Eucken described by the term “ethical activism.” In accordance with this principle, Eucken gave considerable attention to social and educational problems.
He maintained that humans have souls, and that they are therefore at the junction between nature and spirit. He believed that people should overcome their non-spiritual nature by continuous efforts to achieve a spiritual life, another aspect of his ethical activism and meaning of life.
Later life and death
He married Irene Passow (1863–1941) in 1882 and had a daughter and two sons. His son Walter Eucken became a famous founder of ordoliberal thought in economics. His son Arnold Eucken was a chemist/physicist.
Rudolf Eucken died on 15 September 1926 in Jena at the age of 80.
1909 – Stephen Cole Kleene, American mathematician and computer scientist (d. 1994)
Stephen Cole Kleene /ˈkliːniː/ KLEE-nee (January 5, 1909 – January 25, 1994) was an American mathematician. One of the students of Alonzo Church, Kleene, along with Alan Turing, Emil Post, and others, is best known as a founder of the branch of mathematical logic known as recursion theory, which subsequently helped to provide the foundations of theoretical computer science. Kleene’s work grounds the study of which functions are computable. A number of mathematical concepts are named after him: Kleene hierarchy, Kleene algebra, the Kleene star (Kleene closure), Kleene’s recursion theorem and the Kleene fixpoint theorem. He also invented regular expressions, and made significant contributions to the foundations of mathematical intuitionism.
Although his last name is commonly pronounced /ˈkliːniː/ KLEE-nee or /ˈkliːn/ kleen, Kleene himself pronounced it /ˈkleɪniː/ KLAY-nee. His son, Ken Kleene, wrote: “As far as I am aware this pronunciation is incorrect in all known languages. I believe that this novel pronunciation was invented by my father.”
Kleene was awarded the BA degree from Amherst College in 1930. He was awarded the Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1934. His thesis, entitled A Theory of Positive Integers in Formal Logic, was supervised by Alonzo Church. In the 1930s, he did important work on Church’s lambda calculus. In 1935, he joined the mathematics department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he spent nearly all of his career. After two years as an instructor, he was appointed assistant professor in 1937.
While a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, 1939–40, he laid the foundation for recursion theory, an area that would be his lifelong research interest. In 1941, he returned to Amherst College, where he spent one year as an associate professor of mathematics.
During World War II, Kleene was a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy. He was an instructor of navigation at the U.S. Naval Reserve’s Midshipmen’s School in New York, and then a project director at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
In 1946, Kleene returned to Wisconsin, becoming a full professor in 1948 and the Cyrus C. MacDuffee professor of mathematics in 1964. He was chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, 1962–63, and Dean of the College of Letters and Science from 1969 to 1974. The latter appointment he took on despite the considerable student unrest of the day, stemming from the Vietnam War. He retired from the University of Wisconsin in 1979. In 1999 the mathematics library at the University of Wisconsin was renamed in his honor.
Kleene’s teaching at Wisconsin resulted in three texts in mathematical logic, Kleene (1952, 1967) and Kleene and Vesley (1965), often cited and still in print. Kleene (1952) wrote alternative proofs to the Gödel’s incompleteness theorems that enhanced their canonical status and made them easier to teach and understand. Kleene and Vesley (1965) is the classic American introduction to intuitionist logic and mathematics.
Kleene served as president of the Association for Symbolic Logic, 1956–58, and of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, 1961. In 1990, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. The importance of Kleene’s work led to the saying that “Kleeneness is next to Gödelness”.
Kleene and his wife Nancy Elliott had four children. He had a lifelong devotion to the family farm in Maine. An avid mountain climber, he had a strong interest in nature and the environment, and was active in many conservation causes.
1919 – Herb Peterson, American businessman (d. 2008)
Herbert Ralph “Herb” Peterson (January 5, 1919 – March 25, 2008) was an American fast food advertising executive and food scientist most known for being the inventor of the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin in 1972. The breakfast business that he pioneered with this item had grown to an estimated $4–5 billion in annual revenues for the fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s by 1993.
Life and career
Born and raised in Chicago, Petersen, who served in the United States Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of Major in three years during World War II, began his career with McDonald’s as vice president at D’Arcy Advertising in Chicago, which was McDonald’s in-house advertising arm, Peterson coined McDonald’s first national advertising slogan, “Where Quality Starts Fresh Every Day.”
He later became a franchise co-owner and the operator of six McDonald’s restaurants in and around Santa Barbara, California.
Peterson developed the Egg McMuffin, which has become a McDonald’s breakfast signature item, in 1972. Peterson was said to like eggs benedict, so he worked to develop a breakfast item which was similar to it for the fast food chain. Peterson eventually came up with the Egg McMuffin, which was an egg sandwich consisting of an egg formed in a Teflon circle with the yolks broken, topped with Canadian bacon and a slice of cheese. The Egg McMuffin was served as an open faced sandwich on a buttered and toasted English muffin.
The Egg McMuffin was created and first sold at a McDonald’s in Santa Barbara, California (Milpas St. location with placard outside marking the location) which Peterson co-owned with his son, David Peterson.
Peterson died in Santa Barbara on March 25, 2008, at the age of 89. He was survived by his wife, son and three daughters. A memorial service for Peterson was held on April 23, 2008, in Montecito, California. Herb Peterson is the grandfather of professional surfer Lakey Peterson.
The McMuffin is a family of breakfast sandwiches in various sizes and configurations, sold by the fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s. The Egg McMuffin is the signature breakfast sandwich. It was invented by Herb Peterson and brought into stores in 1972.
1923 – Sam Phillips, American radio host and producer, founded Sun Records (d. 2003)
Samuel Cornelius “Sam” Phillips (January 5, 1923 – July 30, 2003) was an American musician, businessman, record executive, music producer, and disc jockey who played an important role in the emergence and development of rock and roll and rockabilly as the major form of popular music in the 1950s. He was a producer, label owner, and talent scout throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
He was the founder of both Sun Studio and Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Through Sun, Phillips discovered such recording talent as Howlin’ Wolf, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. The height of his success culminated in his launching of Elvis Presley’s career in 1954. He is also associated with several other noteworthy rhythm and blues, country, and rock and roll musicians of the period. Phillips sold Sun in 1969 to Shelby Singleton. He was an early investor in the Holiday Inn chain of hotels. He also advocated racial equality and helped break down racial barriers in the music industry.
Phillips was the youngest of eight children, born on a farm near Florence, Alabama, to poor tenant farmers, Madge Ella (Lovelace) and Charles Tucker Phillips. As a child, he picked cotton in the fields with his parents alongside black laborers. The experience of hearing workers singing in the fields left a big impression on the young Phillips. Traveling through Memphis with his family in 1939 on the way to see a preacher in Dallas, he slipped off to look at Beale Street, at the time the heart of the city’s music scene. “I just fell totally in love,” he later recalled.
Phillips attended the former Coffee High School in Florence. He conducted the school band and had ambitions to be a criminal defense attorney. However, his father was bankrupted by the Great Depression and died in 1941, forcing Phillips to leave high school to look after his mother and aunt. To support the family Phillips worked in a grocery store and then a funeral parlor.
The Memphis Recording Service and Sun Records
Sun Studio, at junction of Sam Phillips Avenue, Memphis
In the 1940s, Phillips worked as a DJ and radio engineer for Muscle Shoals radio station WLAY (AM). According to Phillips, this radio station’s “open format” (of broadcasting music from both white and black musicians) would later inspire his work in Memphis. Beginning in 1945, he worked for four years as an announcer and sound engineer for WREC.
On January 3, 1950, Phillips opened the Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. The Memphis Recording Service let amateurs perform, which drew performers such as B.B. King, Junior Parker, and Howlin’ Wolf. Phillips then would sell their performances to larger record labels. In addition to musical performances, Phillips recorded events such as weddings and funerals, selling the recordings. The Memphis Recording Service also served as the studio for Phillips’s own label, which he launched in 1952.
Phillips combined different styles of music. He was interested in the blues and said: “The blues, it got people—black and white—to think about life, how difficult, yet also how good it can be. They would sing about it; they would pray about it; they would preach about it. This is how they relieved the burden of what existed day in and day out.”
Phillips recorded what music historian Peter Guralnick considered the first rock and roll record: “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, a band led by 19-year-old Ike Turner, who also wrote the song. The recording was released on the Chess/Checker record label in Chicago, in 1951. From 1950 to 1954 Phillips recorded the music of James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon, Little Milton, Bobby Blue Bland, and others. B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf, among others, made their first recordings at his studio. Phillips deemed Howlin’ Wolf his greatest discovery, and Elvis Presley his second greatest.
Sun Records produced more Rock and Roll records than any other record label of its time during its 16-year run, producing 226 singles.
Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison
Phillips and Elvis Presley opened a new form of music. Phillips said of Elvis: “Elvis cut a ballad, which was just excellent. I could tell you, both Elvis and Roy Orbison could tear a ballad to pieces. But I said to myself, ‘You can’t do that, Sam.’ If I had released a ballad I don’t think you would have heard of Elvis Presley.”
Although much has been written about Phillips’ goals, he can be seen stating the following: “Everyone knew that I was just a struggling cat down here trying to develop new and different artists, and get some freedom in music, and tap some resources and people that weren’t being tapped.” He didn’t care about mistakes, he cared about the feel.
Phillips met Elvis through the mediation of his long-time collaborator at the Memphis Recording Service, Marion Keisker, who was already a well-known Memphis radio personality. On 18 July 1953, eighteen-year old Elvis dropped into the studio to record an acetate for his mother’s birthday; Keisker thought she heard some talent in the young truck driver’s voice, and so she turned on the tape recorder. Later, she played it for Phillips, who gradually, through Keisker’s encouragements, warmed to the idea of recording Elvis.
Elvis Presley, who recorded his version of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s All Right” at Phillips’s studio, became highly successful, first in Memphis, then throughout the southern United States. He auditioned for Phillips in 1954, but it was not until he sang “That’s Alright (Mama)” that Phillips was impressed. For the first six months, the flip side, “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, his upbeat version of a Bill Monroe bluegrass song, was slightly more popular than “That’s All Right (Mama).” While still not known outside the South, Presley’s singles and regional success became a drawing card for Sun Records, as singing hopefuls soon arrived from all over the region. Singers such as Sonny Burgess (“My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It”), Charlie Rich, Junior Parker, and Billy Lee Riley recorded for Sun with some success, while others such as Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins would become superstars.
Phillips’s pivotal role in the early days of rock and roll was exemplified by a celebrated jam session on December 4, 1956, which came to be known as the Million Dollar Quartet. Jerry Lee Lewis was playing piano for a Carl Perkins recording session at Phillips’s studio. When Elvis Presley walked in unexpectedly, Johnny Cash was called into the studio by Phillips, leading to an impromptu session featuring the four musicians. Phillips challenged the four to achieve gold record sales, offering a free Cadillac to the first, which Carl Perkins won. The contest is commemorated in a song by the Drive-by Truckers.
By the mid-1960s, Phillips rarely recorded. He built a satellite studio and opened radio stations, but the studio declined and he sold Sun Records to Shelby Singleton in 1969.
Phillips launched radio station WHER on October 29, 1955. Each of the young women who auditioned for the station assumed there would only be one female announcer position, as was the case with other stations at that time. Only a few days before the first broadcast did they learn of the “All Girl Radio” format. It was the first all girl radio station in the US, as almost every position at the station was held by a woman.
WHER1430 kHz AM) was the first “All-Girl” radio station when it went on the air in October 1955. Staffed almost exclusively by women (including broadcasting pioneer Vida Jane Butler), the station spawned a series of imitators, but later evolved into a mixed-gender staff rechristened WWEE.
The radio station was the brainchild of Sam Phillips, who used a portion of the $35,000 he made from the sale of Elvis Presley‘s recording contract to RCA Records to finance the station. A portion of the balance of the funding came from Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson, who also provided the station’s first home, in a part of the third Holiday Inn ever built.