1838 – The Anti-Corn Law League is established by Richard Cobden.
The Anti-Corn Law League was a successful political movement in Great Britain aimed at the abolition of the unpopular Corn Laws, which protected landowners’ interests by levying taxes on imported wheat, thus raising the price of bread at a time when factory-owners were trying to cut wages.
The Corn Laws were taxes on imported grain designed to keep prices high for cereal producers in Great Britain. The laws indeed did raise food prices and became the focus of opposition from urban groups who had far less political power than rural Britain. The corn laws imposed steep import duties, making it too expensive for anyone to import grain from other countries, even when food supplies were short. The laws were supported by Conservative landowners and opposed by Whig industrialists and workers. The League was responsible for turning public and elite opinion against the laws. It was a large, nationwide middle-class moral crusade with a utopian vision. Its leading advocate Richard Cobden, according to historian Asa Briggs, promised that repeal would settle four great problems simultaneously:
First, it would guarantee the prosperity of the manufacturer by affording him outlets for his products. Second, it would relieve the ‘condition of England question’ by cheapening the price of food and ensuring more regular employment. Third, it would make English agriculture more efficient by stimulating demand for its products in urban and industrial areas. Fourth, it would introduce through mutually advantageous international trade a new era of international fellowship and peace. The only barrier to these four beneficent solutions was the ignorant self-interest of the landlords, the ‘bread-taxing oligarchy, unprincipled, unfeeling, rapacious and plundering.'
The League was founded in 1838 by Richard Cobden and John Bright. Cobden was the chief strategist; Bright was its great orator. The League was controlled by a handful of rich sponsors. The main tactic of the league was to defeat protectionists at by-elections by concentrating its financial strength and campaign resources. The idea was that it would gain nationwide publicity from a handful of election campaigns every year. The strategy resulted in numerous defeats, which the League blamed on the tyrannical power of the landlords. The tactic also required very expensive subsidies so that League supporters would have a 40 shilling freehold and thus become enfranchised. In any case the League had no capability of contesting 150–200 seats in a general election. Furthermore, Peel neutralized the League’s strategy by ramming repeal through Parliament without a general election. 
The League marked the emergence of the first powerful national lobbying group into politics, one with a centralized office, consistency of purpose, rich funding, very strong local and national organization, and single-minded dedicated leaders. It elected men to Parliament. Many of its procedures were innovative, while others were borrowed from the anti-slavery movement. It became the model for later reform movements.
The League played little role in the final act in 1846 when Sir Robert Peel led the successful battle for repeal. It then dissolved itself. Many of its members continued their political activism in the Liberal Party, with the goal of establishing a fully free-trade economy.
1779 – Joseph Story, American lawyer, jurist, and politician (d. 1845)
Joseph Story (September 18, 1779 – September 10, 1845) was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845. He is most remembered for his opinions in Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee and The Amistad case, and especially for his magisterial Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, first published in 1833. Dominating the field in the 19th century, this work is a cornerstone of early American jurisprudence. It is the second comprehensive treatise on the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and remains a critical source of historical information about the forming of the American republic and the early struggles to define its law.
Story opposed Jacksonian democracy, saying it was “oppression” of property rights by republican governments when popular majorities began (in the 1830s) to restrict and erode the property rights of the minority of rich men. R. Kent Newmyer presents Story as a “Statesman of the Old Republic” who tried to be above democratic politics and to shape the law in accordance with the republicanism of Alexander Hamilton and John Marshall and the New England Whigs of the 1820s and 1830s, including Daniel Webster. Historians agree that Justice Joseph Story reshaped American law—as much or more than Marshall or anyone else—in a conservative direction that protected property rights.
He was uniquely honored in the historical Steven Spielberg film Amistad when he was portrayed by retired Associate Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court Harry Blackmun. Justice Blackmun portrays Justice Story reading the Supreme Court’s decision in the case in which the film was based, and for which Justice Story was most widely remembered, United States v. The Amistad Africans, et al. This is the only time in known film history that an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court has portrayed another Associate Justice.
By Matt Novak: Man Who Saved the World From Nuclear Armageddon in 1983 Dies at 77
Petrov reasoned that if the Americans were going to launch a first strike they’d send more than five missiles, despite the fact that they could still do an enormous amount of damage. He also believed that since the alert system was relatively new it seemed likely that it could be sending a false alarm.
Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (Russian: Станисла́в Евгра́фович Петро́в; 9 September 1939 – 19 May 2017)
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By Gary Price: Reference: A Selection of Recently Published or Updated Data-Rich Reports Available on the Web
This roundup is under development (August 3, 2017). New items will added daily so please bookmark this page and check back often. The most recent completed roundup includes more than 100 items can be accessed here.
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