On This Day
1639 – William Coddington founds Newport, Rhode Island.
Newport is an American seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island. It is located in Narragansett Bay, approximately 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Providence, 20 miles (32 km) south of Fall River, Massachusetts, 74 miles (119 km) south of Boston, and 180 miles (290 km) northeast of New York City. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its historic mansions and its rich sailing history.
It was the location of the first U.S. Open tournaments in both tennis and golf, as well as every challenge to the America’s Cup between 1930 and 1983. It is also the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and an important Navy training center. It was a major 18th-century port city and boasts many buildings from the Colonial era.
The city is the county seat of Newport County, which has no governmental functions other than court administrative and sheriff corrections boundaries. It was known for being the location of the “Summer White Houses” during the administrations of presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. The population is 25,163 as of the 2020 census.
1726 – Five men arrested during a raid on Mother Clap’s molly house in London are executed at Tyburn.
Margaret Clap (died c. 1726), better known as Mother Clap, ran a coffee house from 1724 to 1726 in Holborn, Middlesex, a short distance from the City of London. As well as running a molly house (an inn or tavern primarily frequented by homosexual men), she was heavily involved in the ensuing legal battles after her premises were raided and shut down. While not much is known about her life, she was an important part of the gay subculture of early 18th-century England. At the time sodomy in England was a crime under the Buggery Act 1533, punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or the death penalty. Despite this, particularly in larger cities, private homosexual activity took place. To service these actions there existed locations where men from all classes could find partners or just socialize, called molly houses, “molly” being slang for a gay man at the time. One of the most famous of these was Clap’s molly house.
Born On This Day
1913 – Bob Clampett, American animator, director, and producer (d. 1984)
Robert Emerson Clampett Sr. (May 8, 1913 – May 2, 1984) was an American animator, director, producer and puppeteer. He was best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros. as well as the television shows Time for Beany and Beany and Cecil. Clampett was born and raised not far from Hollywood and, early in his life, showed an interest in animation and puppetry. After leaving high school a few months shy of graduating in 1931, Clampett joined the team at Harman-Ising Productions and began working on the studio’s newest short subjects, titled Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
Clampett was promoted to a directorial position in 1937 and during his fifteen years at the studio, directed 84 cartoons later deemed classic and designed some of the studio’s most famous characters, including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and Tweety. Among Clampett’s most acclaimed films are Porky in Wackyland (1938) and The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946). Clampett left Warner Bros. Cartoons in 1945 and turned his attention to television, creating the puppet show Time for Beany in 1949. A later animated version of the series, titled Beany and Cecil, was initially broadcast on ABC in 1962 and was rerun until 1967. The series is considered the first fully creator-driven television series and carried the byline “a Bob Clampett Cartoon”.
In his later years, Clampett toured college campuses and animation festivals as a lecturer on the history of animation. His Warner cartoons have seen renewed praise in decades since for their surrealistic qualities, energetic and outrageous animation, and irreverent humor. Animation historian Jerry Beck lauded Clampett for “putting the word ‘looney’ in Looney Tunes.”
1836 – Ferdinand Monoyer, French ophthalmologist, invented the Monoyer chart (d. 1912)
Ferdinand Monoyer (9 May 1836 – 11 July 1912) was a French ophthalmologist, known for introducing the dioptre in 1872.
Monoyer chart. Reading upwards on both ends (ignoring the last line), the name “Ferdinand Monoyer” can be seen
He invented the Monoyer chart, used to test visual acuity. He inserted his name in the random letters of the chart. It appears when one reads vertically from bottom to top on each side.
Monoyer was of Alsatian heritage by his mother and his father was a French military doctor.
He was an associate professor of medical physics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Strasbourg in 1871. Later, he was the director of the Ophthalmic Clinic of the Faculty of Medicine, Nancy-Université from 1872 to 1877. He was also professor of medical physics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lyon, from 1877 to 1909.
Monoyer died at the age of 76 years. His tomb is located in the Cimetière de la Guillotière in Lyon. On Saturday 13 July 1912, a long procession of friends and members of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lyon accompanied Professor Monoyer to his final resting place; Professor Hugounenq traced Monoyer’s career as chair at the University of Lyon, Associate Professor Nogier spoke on behalf of the students of the late master and Louis Dor made a speech on behalf of the Ophthalmological Society of Lyon.
The speech made in Monoyer’s honour by the president of Société nationale de Médecine de Lyon during 11 November 1912 session of the Société was concluded as such: “To the memory of this scholar, the Medical Society bows with respect and sadness; it has lost a friend who was also her counselor who knew to think and to reflect.”
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