FYI June 24, 2017

On this day:

109 – Roman emperor Trajan inaugurates the Aqua Traiana, an aqueduct that channels water from Lake Bracciano, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north-west of Rome.
The Aqua Traiana (later rebuilt and named the Acqua Paola) was a 1st-century Roman aqueduct built by Emperor Trajan and inaugurated on 24 June 109 AD.[1] It channelled water from sources around Lake Bracciano, 40 kilometers (25 mi) north-west of Rome, to Rome in ancient Roman times but had fallen into disuse by the 17th century. It fed a number of water mills on the Janiculum, including a sophisticated mill complex revealed by excavations in the 1990s under the present American Academy in Rome. Some of the Janiculum mills were famously put out of action by the Ostrogoths when they cut the aqueduct in 537 during the first siege of Rome. Belisarius restored the supply of grain by using mills floating in the Tiber. The complex of mills bears parallels with a similar complex at Barbegal in southern Gaul.

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Born on this day:

1788 – Thomas Blanchard, American inventor (d. 1864)
Thomas Blanchard (June 24, 1788 – April 16, 1864) was an American inventor who lived much of his life in Springfield, Massachusetts, where in 1819, he pioneered the assembly line style of mass production in America, and also invented the major technological innovation known as interchangeable parts. Blanchard worked, for much of his career, with the Springfield Armory. In 1825, Blanchard also invented America’s first car, which he called a “horseless carriage,” powered by steam.[1] During Blanchard’s lifetime, he was awarded over twenty-five patents for his creations.[2][3]


He was born in Sutton, Massachusetts. He had a fondness for mechanical employment, and was associated with his brother in the manufacture of tacks by hand. This process was exceedingly slow and tedious,[4] and his first machine, made and patented in 1806, was a mechanical tack-maker, which could fabricate five hundred tacks per minute, each much better than tacks made by hand. He sold the rights to his machine for $5,000.[5]

Machine tools for gun making and pattern copying lathe
Blanchard then turned his attention to gun barrels, and invented a machine tool that streamlined the process of their manufacture. Hired by the Springfield Armory during its construction, Blanchard finished the machine in 1822.[6] The machine turned and finished gun barrels in a single operation; the octagon portion of the barrel was finished by changing the action of the lathe to vibratory motion. This invention was afterward extended to the turning of all kinds of irregular forms.[4]

He also developed a copying lathe that traced a model to turn gun stocks, producing the desired contour automatically (1818).[6] The copying lathe began being used to make shoe lasts (forms) in the 1850s. By being able to accurately reproduce lasts it was possible to make shoes in standard sizes.[7] [8]

Steam transportation
Turning his attention to transportation, Blanchard invented a “steam wagon” before the introduction of railroads in the United States,[9] and in 1831 created a powerful upriver steamboat that was used on the Connecticut River and the West, both of which he invented and patented in Springfield, Massachusetts.[4][10][11] In 1851, he designed and created a machine that could bend dense and strong wood.[10]

Blanchard also constructed machines for cutting and folding envelopes at a single operation, and several mortising machines.[4]

X0002080 Horizontal shearing machine May 4, 1813 (patent destroyed by fire)
X0003010 Machine for tacks and brads October 3, 1817 (patent destroyed by fire)
X0003131 Turning irregular forms (image only, no text) Patented September 6, 1819 [12]
X0003436 Machine for turning gun stocks September 6, 1819 (patent destroyed by fire)
X0004832 Regulating the speed of carriages December 28, 1825 (patent destroyed by fire) [13]
U.S. Patent 3 Machine for turning, &c., wooden sheaves and pins for ships’ tackle-blocks and pulleys, dated August 1, 1836
U.S. Patent 4 Stock shaving or rounding machine for edges, ends, &c., of ships’ tackle-blocks, dated August 10, 1836
U.S. Patent 5 Machine for mortising solid wooden shells of ships’ tackle-blocks, dated August 10, 1836
U.S. Patent 6 Machine for forming end pieces of plank blocks for ships, &c. dated August 10, 1836
U.S. Patent 7 Machine for boring holes and cutting lanyard-scores in deadeyes. dated August 10, 1836
U.S. Patent 8 Machine for cutting scores round ships’ tackle-blocks and dead-eyes. dated August 10, 1836
U.S. Patent 9 Method of riveting plank or made blocks. dated August 10, 1836

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FYI June 23, 2017



On this day:

229 – Sun Quan proclaims himself emperor of Eastern Wu.
Sun Quan (182–252),[1] courtesy name Zhongmou, formally known as Emperor Da of Wu (literally “Great Emperor of Wu”), was the founder of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period. He inherited control of the warlord regime established by his elder brother, Sun Ce, in 200. He declared formal independence and ruled from 222 to 229 as the King of Wu and from 229 to 252 as the Emperor of Wu. Unlike his rivals Cao Cao and Liu Bei, Sun Quan governed his state mostly separate of politics and ideology, he is sometimes portrayed as neutral considering he accommodated the wills of both his rivals but only when it benefited Eastern Wu and never fully attempted to conquer his rivals, although most of historians would cite his lack of logistical resources to do so.

Sun Quan was born in Xiapi while his father Sun Jian served there. After Sun Jian’s death in the early 190s, he and his family lived at various cities on the lower Yangtze River, until Sun Ce carved out a warlord regime in the Jiangdong region, based on his own followers and a number of local clan allegiances. When Sun Ce was assassinated by the retainers of Xu Gong in 200, the 18-year-old Sun Quan inherited the lands southeast of the Yangtze River from his brother. His administration proved to be relatively stable in those early years as Sun Jian and Sun Ce’s most senior officers, such as Zhou Yu, Zhang Zhao, Zhang Hong, and Cheng Pu supported the succession. Thus throughout the 200s, Sun Quan, under the tutelage of his able advisers, continued to build up his strength along the Yangtze River. In early 207, his forces finally won complete victory over Huang Zu, a military leader under Liu Biao, who dominated the middle Yangtze.

In winter of that year, the northern warlord Cao Cao led an army of some 830,000 to conquer the south to complete the reunification of China. Two distinct factions emerged at his court on how to handle the situation. One, led by Zhang Zhao, urged surrender whilst the other, led by Zhou Yu and Lu Su, opposed capitulation. Eventually, Sun Quan decided to oppose Cao Cao in the middle Yangtze with his superior riverine forces. Allied with Liu Bei and employing the combined strategies of Zhou Yu and Huang Gai, they defeated Cao Cao decisively at the Battle of Red Cliffs.

In 220, Cao Pi, Cao Cao’s son and successor, seized the throne and proclaimed himself to be the Emperor of China, ending and succeeding the nominal rule of the Han dynasty. At first Sun Quan nominally served as a Wei vassal with the Wei-created title of King of Wu, but after Cao Pi demanded that he send his son Sun Deng as a hostage to the Wei capital Luoyang and he refused, in 222, he declared himself independent by changing his era name. It was not until the year 229 that he formally declared himself emperor.

Because of his skill in gathering important, honourable men to his cause, Sun Quan was able to delegate authority to capable figures. This primary strength served him well in gaining the support of the common people and surrounding himself with capable generals.

After the death of his original crown prince, Sun Deng, two opposing factions supporting different potential successors slowly emerged. When Sun He succeeded Sun Deng as the new crown prince, he was supported by Lu Xun and Zhuge Ke, while his rival Sun Ba was supported by Quan Cong and Bu Zhi and their clans. Over a prolonged internal power struggle, numerous officials were executed, and Sun Quan harshly settled the conflict between the two factions by exiling Sun He and forcing Sun Ba to commit suicide. Sun Quan died in 252 at the age of 70. He enjoyed the longest reign among all the founders of the Three Kingdoms and was succeeded by his son, Sun Liang.

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Born on this day:

1625 – John Fell, English churchman and influential academic (d. 1686)
John Fell (23 June 1625 – 10 July 1686) was an English churchman and influential academic. He served as Dean of Christ Church, Oxford,[1][2] and later concomitantly as Bishop of Oxford.

Born at Longworth, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), the eldest son of Samuel Fell, who would himself be installed as Dean of Christ Church in 1638, and his wife Margaret née Wylde, he received his early education at Lord Williams’s School at Thame in Oxfordshire. In 1637 aged only 11 he became a student at Christ Church, and in 1640 because of his “known desert”, he was specially allowed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, to proceed to his degree of B.A. when wanting one term’s residence. He obtained his M.A. in 1643 and took Holy Orders (deacon 1647, priest 1649).

English Civil War
During the Civil War he bore arms for King Charles I of England and held a commission as ensign. In 1648 he was deprived of his studentship by the parliamentary visitors, and during the next few years he resided chiefly at Oxford with his brother-in-law, Thomas Willis, at whose house opposite Merton College he and his friends Richard Allestree and John Dolben kept up the service of the Church of England throughout the Commonwealth.

After the Restoration, Fell was made prebendary of Chichester, canon of Christ Church (27 July 1660), dean (30 November), master of St Oswald’s hospital, Worcester, chaplain to the king, and D.D. (see Doctor of Divinity). He filled the office of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1666 to 1669,[3] and was consecrated bishop of Oxford, in 1676, retaining his deanery in commendam. Some years later, he declined the primacy of Ireland.

Fell showed himself a capable administrator. He restored good order in the university by the archbishop, which during the Commonwealth had given place to a general disregard of authority. He ejected the intruders from his college or else “fixed them in loyal principles.” “He was the most zealous man of his time for the Church of England,” says Anthony Wood, “and none that I yet know of did go beyond him in the performance of the rules belonging thereunto.” He attended chapel four times a day, restored to the services, not without some opposition, the organ and surplice, and insisted on the proper academic dress which had fallen into disuse. He was active in recovering church property, and by his directions a children’s catechism was drawn up by Thomas Marshall for use in his diocese. “As he was among the first of our clergy,” says Thomas Burnet, “that apprehended the design of bringing in popery, so he was one of the most zealous against it.”

He made many converts from the Roman Catholics and Nonconformists. On the other hand, he successfully opposed the incorporation of Titus Oates as D.D. in the university in October 1679; and according to the testimony of William Nichols, his secretary, he disapproved of the Exclusion Bill. He excluded the undergraduates, whose presence had been irregularly permitted, from convocation. He obliged students to attend lectures, instituted reforms in the performances of the public exercises in the schools, kept the examiners up to their duties, was present in person at examinations. He encouraged the students to act plays. He entirely suppressed “coursing,” i.e. disputations in which the rival parties “ran down opponents in arguments,” and which commonly ended in blows and disturbances.

He was a disciplinarian, and possessed a talent for the education of young men, many of whom he received into his own family. Tom Brown, author of The Dialogues of the Dead, about to be expelled from Oxford for some offence, was pardoned by Fell on the condition of his translating ex tempore the 32nd epigram of Martial:

“Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere – quare; Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.”

To which he immediately replied with the well-known lines:

I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Dr Fell.

Delinquents were not always treated thus mildly by Fell, and Acton Cremer, for the crime of courting a wife while only a bachelor of arts, was punished by having to translate into English the whole of Scheffer’s history of Lapland. As Vice-Chancellor, Fell personally visited the drinking taverns and ordered out the students. In the university elections he showed great energy in suppressing corruption.

Building operations
Fell’s building operations were ambitious. In his own college he completed in 1665 the north side of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey’s great quadrangle, already begun by his father but abandoned during the Commonwealth; in 1672, he rebuilt the east side of the Chaplain’s quadrangle “with a straight passage under it leading from the cloister into the field,” occupied now by the new Meadow Buildings; the lodgings of the canon of the third stall in the passage uniting the Tom Quad and Peckwater Quadrangle (c.1674); a long building joining the Chaplain’s quadrangle on the east side in 1677–1678; and lastly the great Tom Tower gate, begun in June 1681 on the foundation laid by Wolsey and finished in November 1682, to which the bell “great Tom,” after being recast, was transferred from the cathedral in 1683. In 1670 he planted and laid out the Broad Walk.

He spent large sums of his own on these works, gave £500 for the restoration of Banbury church, erected a church at St Oswald’s, Worcester, and the parsonage house at Woodstock at his own expense, and rebuilt Cuddesdon Palace. Fell disapproved of the use of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin for secular purposes, and promoted the building of the Sheldonian Theatre by Archbishop Gilbert Sheldon. He was treasurer during its construction, presided at the formal opening on 9 July 1669, and was nominated curator, along with Christopher Wren, in July 1670.

Oxford University Press
In the theatre was placed the Oxford University Press, the establishment of which had been a favourite project of Laud and now engaged a large share of Fell’s energy and attention, and which as curator he practically controlled. “Were it not you ken Mr Dean extraordinarily well,” wrote Sir Leoline Jenkins to John Williamson in 1672, “it were impossible to imagine how assiduous and drudging he is about his press.” He sent for type and printers from Holland, declaring that “the foundation of all success must be laid in doing things well, which l am sure will not be done with English letters.”

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FYI June 22, 2017



On this day:

1813 – War of 1812: After learning of American plans for a surprise attack on Beaver Dams in Ontario, Laura Secord sets out on a 30 kilometer journey on foot to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon.
Laura Secord (née Ingersoll; 13 September 1775 – 17 October 1868) was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812. She is known for having walked 20 miles (32 km) out of American-occupied territory in 1813 to warn British forces of an impending American attack. Her contribution to the war was little known during her lifetime, but since her death she has been frequently honoured in Canada. Though Secord had no relation to it, most Canadians associate her with the Laura Secord Chocolates company, named after her on the centennial of her walk.

Laura Secord’s father, Thomas Ingersoll, lived in Massachusetts and fought on the side of the Patriots during the Revolutionary War (1775–1783). In 1795 he moved his family to the Niagara region of Upper Canada after he had applied for and received a land grant. Shortly after, Laura married Loyalist James Secord, who was later seriously wounded at the Battle of Queenston Heights early in the War of 1812. While he was still recovering in 1813, the Americans invaded the Niagara Peninsula, including Queenston. During the occupation, Secord acquired information about a planned American attack, and stole away on the morning of 22 June to inform Lieutenant James FitzGibbon in the territory still controlled by the British. The information helped the British and their Mohawk warrior allies repel the invading Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams. Her effort was forgotten until 1860, when Edward, Prince of Wales awarded the impoverished widow £100 for her service on his visit to Canada.

The story of Laura Secord has taken on mythological overtones in Canada. Her tale has been the subject of books, plays, and poetry, often with many embellishments. Since her death, Canada has bestowed honours on her, including schools named after her, monuments, a museum, a memorial stamp and coin, and a statue at the Valiants Memorial in the Canadian capital.

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1839 – Cherokee leaders Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot are assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota, which had resulted in the Trail of Tears.
The Treaty of New Echota (7 Stat. 488) was a treaty signed on December 29, 1835, in New Echota, Georgia by officials of the United States government and representatives of a minority Cherokee political faction, the Treaty Party.[1]

The treaty established terms under which the entire Cherokee Nation ceded its territory in the southeast and agreed to move west to the Indian Territory. Although the treaty was not approved by the Cherokee National Council nor signed by Principal Chief John Ross, it was amended and ratified by the U.S. Senate in March 1836, and became the legal basis for the forcible removal known as the Trail of Tears.

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Born on this day:

1427 – Lucrezia Tornabuoni, Italian writer and wife of Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici (d. 1482)
Lucrezia Tornabuoni (22 June 1427[1] – 25 March 1482[2]) was a writer and influential political adviser.[3] Connected by birth to two of the most powerful families in 15th-century Italy,[3] she later married Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici, connecting herself to another of the most powerful families in Italy and extending her own power and influence.[3] She had significant political influence during the rule of her husband and then of her son, Lorenzo. She worked to support the needs of the poor and religion in the region, supporting several institutions. She was a patron of the arts, and also wrote poems and plays herself.

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Political importance

Since she, in contrast to her husband, was of a noble line, she helped creating bridges between her husband’s family and the nobility.[19] Her advice was sought by many and she received both high and low-born people.[19] Her father-in-law admired her skills in deciding issues.[20] In 1450 she and her husband visited Rome for an audience with Pope Nicholas V, who gave them permission to build an altar in their family chapel.[21]

When Piero took over the government in 1464, his health kept him confined to bed.[22] This transformed their bedroom into something resembling a noble court.[23] His confinement meant that as Lucrezia was more free to move about, that she was often asked by others to bear their requests to him.[24] This included appeals to end the exile or imprisonment of petitioners, and to stop attacks by soldiers.[25] She was also called on to mediate disputes among others in the area, once ending a feud between two families that had gone on for twenty years.[26] In spring 1467, she again visited Rome and the Pope, while also looking for a wife for Lorenzo.[27][28] For a woman to travel without her husband and meet with the Pope and other influential officials like this was unusual, and commented upon by contemporaries.[28] In October 1467, as part of a rivalry between Piero and Luca Pitti, there was an assassination attempt against Lucrezia and her son Giuliano.[29]

Lucrezia’s husband, Piero, died in 1469.[30] After his death, she gained additional political influence as an advisor to her son.[30] Lorenzo freely admitted at her death that she had been one of his most important advisors.[30] She also gained more freedom to conduct business and own property.[31] She bought houses, shops, and farms in and around Pisa and Florence.[31] She would lease the shops out to different businesses, and thereby extended her patronage network.[32] In 1477, she took a lease on a public bath facility near Volterra, which she renovated into a profitable venture.[13][33] Her investments in communities around Florence helped spread the family influence and support network.[33]

She became well known for supporting religious convents, and working with them to help widows and orphans.[34] Often this assistance was provided by helping a family member to get a good position in the church or government.[35] She would also use her own income to provide dowries for women from poor families so that they could marry.[36]

Lucrezia died on 25 March 1482 after suffering an illness.[2] By the time of her death, she had many grandchildren.[9]

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FYI June 21, 2017



On this day:

533 – A Byzantine expeditionary fleet under Belisarius sails from Constantinople to attack the Vandals in Africa, via Greece and Sicily.

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Against the Vandals
Main article: Vandalic War

For his efforts, Belisarius was rewarded by Justinian with the command of a land and sea expedition against the Vandal Kingdom, mounted in 533–534. The Romans had political, religious and strategic reasons for such a campaign. The pro-Roman Vandal king Hilderic had been deposed and murdered by the usurper Gelimer, giving Justinian a legal pretext. The Arian Vandals had periodically persecuted the Nicene Christians within their kingdom, many of whom made their way to Constantinople seeking redress. The Vandals had launched many pirate raids on Roman trade interests, hurting commerce in the western areas of the Empire. Justinian also wanted control of the Vandal territory in north Africa, which was one of the wealthiest provinces and the breadbasket of the Western Roman Empire and was now vital for guaranteeing Roman access to the western Mediterranean.

In the late summer of 533, Belisarius sailed to Africa and landed near Caput Vada (near Chebba on the coast of Tunisia). He ordered his fleet not to lose sight of the army, then marched along the coastal highway toward the Vandal capital of Carthage. He did this to prevent supplies from being cut off and to avoid a great defeat such as occurred during the attempt by Basiliscus to retake northern Africa 65 years before, which had ended in the Roman disaster at the Battle of Cap Bon in 468.

Ten miles from Carthage, the forces of Gelimer (who had just executed Hilderic) and Belisarius met at the Battle of Ad Decimum on September 13, 533. It nearly turned into a defeat for the Romans; Gelimer had chosen his position well and had some success along the main road. The Romans seemed dominant on both sides of the main road to Carthage. At the height of the battle, Gelimer became distraught upon learning of the death of his brother in battle. This gave Belisarius a chance to regroup and he went on to win the battle and capture Carthage. A second victory at the Battle of Tricamarum on December 15, resulted in Gelimer’s surrender early in 534 at Mount Papua, restoring the lost Roman provinces of north Africa to the empire. For this achievement, Belisarius was granted a Roman triumph (the last ever given) when he returned to Constantinople. According to Procopius in the procession were paraded the spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem (the Vandal treasure, including many objects looted from Rome 80 years earlier, the imperial regalia and the menorah of the Second Temple among them) which had been recovered from the Vandal capital along with Gelimer himself before he was sent into peaceful exile. Medals were stamped in his honor with the inscription Gloria Romanorum, though none seem to have survived to modern times. Belisarius was also made sole Consul in 535, being one of the last persons to hold this office, which originated in the ancient Roman Republic. The recovery of Africa was incomplete; army mutinies and revolts by the native Berbers plagued the new praetorian prefecture of Africa for almost 15 years.

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The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe, or group of tribes, who were first heard of in southern Poland, but later moved around Europe establishing kingdoms in Spain and later North Africa in the 5th century.[1]

The Vandals are believed to have migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC.[2][3][4] They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were possibly the same people as the Lugii. Expanding into Dacia during the Marcomannic Wars and to Pannonia during the Crisis of the Third Century, the Vandals were confined to Pannonia by the Goths around 330 AD, where they received permission to settle by Constantine the Great. Around 400, raids by the Huns forced many of the Germanic tribes like the Goths to migrate to the Roman Empire, and fearing that they might be targeted next, the Vandals were pushed westwards crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406.[5] In 409, the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia (northwest) and Baetica (south central) respectively.[6]

After the Visigoths invaded Iberia, the Iranian Alans and Silingi Vandals voluntarily subjected to the rule of Hasdingian leader Gunderic, who was pushed from Gallaecia to Baetica by a Roman-Suebi coalition in 419. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa. By 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearic Islands. They fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province, and sacked the city of Rome in 455. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Justinian I managed to reconquer the province for the Eastern Roman Empire.

Renaissance and Early Modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, “sacking and looting” Rome. This led to the use of the term “vandalism” to describe any senseless destruction, particularly the “barbarian” defacing of artwork. However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture.[7]

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Born on this day:

1706 – John Dollond, English optician and astronomer (d. 1761)
John Dollond FRS (10 June O.S. (21 June N.S.) 1706 – 30 November 1761) was an English optician, known for his successful optics business and his patenting and commercialization of achromatic doublets.

Dollond was the son of a Huguenot refugee, a silk-weaver at Spitalfields, London, where he was born. He followed his father’s trade, but found time to acquire a knowledge of Latin, Greek, mathematics, physics, anatomy and other subjects. In 1752 he abandoned silk-weaving and joined his eldest son, Peter Dollond (1730–1820), who in 1750 had started in business as a maker of optical instruments; this business is now Dollond & Aitchison. His reputation grew rapidly, and in 1761 he was appointed optician to the king.

In 1758 he published an “Account of some experiments concerning the different refrangibility of light” (Phil. Trans., 1758), describing the experiments that led him to the achievement with which his name is specially associated, the discovery of a means of constructing achromatic lenses by the combination of crown and flint glasses, which reduces chromatic aberration (color defects). Leonhard Euler in 1747 had suggested that achromatism might be obtained by the combination of glass and water lenses. Relying on statements made by Sir Isaac Newton, Dollond disputed this possibility (Phil. Trans., 1753), but subsequently, after the Swedish physicist, Samuel Klingenstierna (1698–1765), had pointed out that Newton’s law of dispersion did not harmonize with certain observed facts, he began experiments to settle the question.

Early in 1757 he succeeded in producing refraction without colour by the aid of glass and water lenses, and a few months later he made a successful attempt to get the same result by a combination of glasses of different qualities (see History of telescopes). For this achievement the Royal Society awarded him the Copley Medal in 1758, and three years later elected him one of its fellows. Dollond also published two papers on apparatus for measuring small angles (Phil. Trans., 1753, 1754).[2]

Priority of invention
See also: Achromatic lens: History
John Dollond was the first person to patent the achromatic doublet.[3][when?] However, it is well known that he was not the first to make achromatic lenses. Optician George Bass, following the instructions of Chester Moore Hall, made and sold such lenses as early as 1733.[4] In the late 1750s, Bass told Dollond about Hall’s design; Dollond saw the potential and was able to reproduce them.[3]

Dollond appears to have known of the prior work and refrained from enforcing his patent.[4] After his death, his son, Peter, did take action to enforce the patent. A number of his competitors, including Bass, Benjamin Martin, Robert Rew and Jesse Ramsden, took action. Dollond’s patent was upheld, as the court found that the patent was valid due to Dollond’s exploitation of the invention while prior inventors did not. Several of the opticians were ruined by the expense of the legal proceedings and closed their shops as a result. The patent remained valid until it expired in 1772.[4] Following the expiry of the patent, the price of achromatic doublets in England dropped by half.[5] More details on this invention are in History of the telescope.

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FYI June 19, 2017



On this day:

1934 – The Communications Act of 1934 establishes the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The Communications Act of 1934 is a United States federal law, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1934, and codified as Chapter 5 of Title 47 of the United States Code, 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq. The Act replaced the Federal Radio Commission with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It also transferred regulation of interstate telephone services from the Interstate Commerce Commission to the FCC.

The first section of the Act reads: “For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States a rapid, efficient, nationwide, and worldwide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges, for the purpose of the national defense, and for the purpose of securing a more effective execution of this policy by centralizing authority theretofore granted by law to several agencies and by granting additional authority with respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wire and radio communication, there is hereby created a commission to be known as the ‘Federal Communications Commission’, which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided, and which shall execute and enforce the provisions of this Act.”[1]

On January 3, 1996, the 104th Congress of the United States amended or repealed sections of the Communications Act of 1934 with the new Telecommunications Act of 1996. It was the first major overhaul of American telecommunications policy in nearly 62 years.

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Born on this day:

1771 – Joseph Diaz Gergonne, French mathematician and philosopher (d. 1859)
Joseph Diaz Gergonne (19 June 1771 at Nancy, France – 4 May 1859 at Montpellier, France) was a French mathematician and logician.


In 1791, Gergonne enlisted in the French army as a captain. That army was undergoing rapid expansion because the French government feared a foreign invasion intended to undo the French Revolution and restore Louis XVI to the throne of France. He saw action in the major battle of Valmy on 20 September 1792. He then returned to civilian life but soon was called up again and took part in the French invasion of Spain in 1794.

In 1795, Gergonne and his regiment were sent to Nîmes. At this point, he made a definitive transition to civilian life by taking up the chair of “transcendental mathematics” at the new École centrale. He came under the influence of Gaspard Monge, the Director of the new École polytechnique in Paris.

In 1810, in response to difficulties he encountered in trying to publish his work, Gergonne founded his own mathematics journal, officially named the Annales de mathématiques pures et appliquées but generally referred to as the Annales de Gergonne. The most common subject of articles in his journal was geometry, Gergonne’s specialty. Over a period of 22 years, the Annales de Gergonne published about 200 articles by Gergonne himself, and other articles by many distinguished mathematicians, including Poncelet, Servois, Bobillier, Steiner, Plücker, Chasles, Brianchon, Dupin, Lamé, even Galois.

Gergonne was appointed to the chair of astronomy at the University of Montpellier in 1816. In 1830, he was appointed Rector of the University of Montpellier, at which time he ceased publishing his journal. He retired in 1844.

Gergonne was among the first mathematicians to employ the word polar. In a series of papers beginning in 1810, he contributed to elaborating the principle of duality in projective geometry, by noticing that every theorem in the plane connecting points and lines corresponds to another theorem in which points and lines are interchanged, provided that the theorem embodied no metrical notions. Gergonne was an early proponent of the techniques of analytical geometry and in 1816, he devised an elegant coordinate solution to the classical problem of Apollonius: to find a circle which touches three given circles, thus demonstrating the power of the new methods.

In 1813, Gergonne wrote the prize-winning essay for the Bordeaux Academy, Methods of synthesis and analysis in mathematics, unpublished to this day and known only via a summary. The essay is very revealing of Gergonne’s philosophical ideas. He called for the abandonment of the words analysis and synthesis, claiming they lacked clear meanings. Surprisingly for a geometer, he suggested that algebra is more important than geometry at a time when algebra consisted almost entirely of the elementary algebra of the real field. He predicted that one day quasi-mechanical methods would be used to discover new results.

In 1815, Gergonne wrote the first paper on the optimal design of experiments for polynomial regression. According to S. M. Stigler, Gergonne is the pioneer of optimal design as well as response surface methodology.

He published his “Essai sur la théorie des définitions” (An essay on the theory of definition) in his Annales in 1818. This essay is generally credited for first recognizing and naming the construct of implicit definition.[1][2]

“It is not possible to feel satisfied at having said the last word about some theory as long as it cannot be explained in a few words to any passer-by encountered in the street.”[3]



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Founded by former members of Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta), The Range Complex offers Tier 1 customized training and consulting solutions for government, military, law enforcement, corporate clientele and the public. Our expansive range facility is ideally located and equipped for tactics and marksmanship training, including two Tactical Pistol and Rifle ranges out to 100 yds, a 600 yd Long-Distance rifle range, a 50yd competition training range, and ballistic live-fire shoot houses with internal hallways, exterior breaching capability, and an overhead catwalk. Training can be arranged with our instructors, or yours.
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FYI June 18, 2017

June 18th is International Picnic Day
NATIONAL DAY FLAVOR – Week of June 18-24

On this day:

1178 – Five Canterbury monks see what is possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the Moon’s distance from the Earth (on the order of meters) are a result of this collision.
Giordano Bruno is a 22 km lunar impact crater on the far side of the Moon, just beyond the northeastern limb. At this location it lies in an area that can be viewed during a favorable libration, although at such times the area is viewed from the side and not much detail can be seen. It lies between the craters Harkhebi to the northwest and Szilard to the southeast.

When viewed from orbit, Giordano Bruno is at the center of a symmetrical ray system of ejecta that has a higher albedo than the surrounding surface. The ray material extends for over 150 kilometers and has not been significantly darkened by space erosion. Some of the ejecta appears to extend as far as the crater Boss, over 300 km to the northwest. The outer rim of the crater is especially bright, compared to its surroundings. To all appearances this is a young formation that was created in the relatively recent past, geologically speaking. The actual age is unknown, but is estimated to be less than 350 million years.[1]

This feature was named after the Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno.

Five monks from Canterbury reported to the abbey’s chronicler, Gervase, that shortly after sunset on June 18, 1178, (25 June on the proleptic Gregorian calendar) they saw “the upper horn [of the moon] split in two”. Furthermore, Gervase writes:

From the midpoint of the division a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals and sparks. Meanwhile the body of the Moon which was below writhed, as it were in anxiety, and to put it in the words of those who reported it to me and saw it with their own eyes, the Moon throbbed like a wounded snake. Afterwards it resumed its proper state. This phenomenon was repeated a dozen times or more, the flame assuming various twisting shapes at random and then returning to normal. Then, after these transformations, the Moon from horn to horn, that is along its whole length, took on a blackish appearance.[2]

In 1976, the geologist Jack B. Hartung proposed that this described the formation of the crater Giordano Bruno.[3]

Modern theories predict that a (conjectural) asteroid or comet impact on the Moon would cause a plume of molten matter rising up from the surface, which is consistent with the monks’ description. In addition, the location recorded fits in well with the crater’s location. Additional evidence of Giordano Bruno’s youth is its spectacular ray system: because micrometeorites constantly rain down, they kick up enough dust to quickly (in geological terms) erode a ray system,[4] so it can be reasonably hypothesized that Giordano Bruno was formed during the span of human history, perhaps in June 1178.

However, the question of the crater’s age is not that simple. The impact creating the 22-km-wide crater would have kicked up 10 million tons of debris, triggering a week-long, blizzard-like meteor storm on Earth – yet no accounts of such a noteworthy storm of unprecedented intensity are found in any known historical records, including the European, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean astronomical archives.[5] This discrepancy is a major objection to the theory that Giordano Bruno was formed at that time.[6]

This raises the question of what the monks saw. An alternative theory holds that the monks just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see an exploding meteor coming at them and aligned with the Moon. This would explain why the monks were the only people known to have witnessed the event; such an alignment would only be observable from a specific spot on the Earth’s surface.[7]

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Born on this day:

1932 – Dudley R. Herschbach, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
Dudley Robert Herschbach (born June 18, 1932) is an American chemist at Harvard University. He won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Yuan T. Lee and John C. Polanyi “for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.”[1] Herschbach and Lee specifically worked with molecular beams, performing crossed molecular beam experiments that enabled a detailed molecular-level understanding of many elementary reaction processes. Herschbach is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Early life and education
Herschbach was born in San Jose, California on June 18, 1932. The eldest of six children, he grew up in a rural area. He graduated from Campbell High School, where he played football. Offered both athletic and academic scholarships to Stanford University, Herschbach chose the academic. His freshman advisor, Harold S. Johnston, hired him as a summer research assistant, and taught him chemical kinetics in his senior year. His master’s research involved calculating Arrhenius A-factors for gas-phase reactions.[2] Herschbach received a B.S. in mathematics in 1954 and an M.S. in chemistry in 1955 from Stanford University.[3]

Herschbach then attended Harvard University where he earned a A.M. in physics in 1956 and a Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1958 under the direction of Edgar Bright Wilson. At Harvard, Herschbach examined tunnel splitting in molecules, using microwave spectroscopy.[2] He was awarded a three-year Junior Fellowship in the Society of Fellows at Harvard, lasting from 1957 to 1959.[4]

In 1959, Herschbach joined the University of California at Berkeley, where he was appointed an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and became an Associate Professor in 1961.[3] At Berkeley, he and graduate students George Kwei and James Norris constructed a cross-beam instrument large enough for reactive scattering experiments involve alkali and various molecular partners. His interest in studying elementary chemical processes in molecular-beam reactive collisions challenged an often-accepted belief that “collisions do not occur in crossed molecular beams”. The results of his studies of K + CH3I were the first to provide a detailed view of an elementary collision, demonstrating a direct rebound process in which the KI product recoiled from an incoming K atom beam. Subsequent studies of K + Br2 resulted in the discovery that the hot-wire surface ionization detector they were using was potentially contaminated by previous use, and had to be pre-treated to obtain reliable results. Changes to the instrumentation yielded reliable results, including the observation that the K + Br2 reaction involved a stripping reaction, in which the KBr product scattered forward from the incident K atom beam. As the research continued, it became possible to correlate the electronic structure of reactants and products with the reaction dynamics.[2]

In 1963, Herschbach returned to Harvard University as a professor of chemistry. There he continued his work on molecular-beam reactive dynamics, working with graduate students Sanford Safron and Walter Miller on the reactions of alkali atoms with alkali halides. In 1967, Yuan T. Lee joined the lab as a postdoctoral student, and Herschbach, Lee, and graduate students Doug MacDonald and Pierre LeBreton began to construct a “supermachine” for studying collisions such as Cl + Br2 and hydrogen and halogen reactions.[2]

His most acclaimed work, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 with Yuan T. Lee and John C. Polanyi, was his collaboration with Yuan T. Lee on crossed molecular beam experiments. Crossing collimated beams of gas-phase reactants allows partitioning of energy among translational, rotational, and vibrational modes of the product molecules—a vital aspect of understanding reaction dynamics. For their contributions to reaction dynamics, Herschbach and Lee are considered to have helped create a new field of research in chemistry.[1] Herschbach is a pioneer in molecular stereodynamics, measuring and theoretically interpreting the role of angular momentum and its vector properties in chemical reaction dynamics.[2][5]

In the course of his life’s work in research, Herschbach has published over 400 scientific papers.[6] Herschbach has applied his broad expertise in both the theory and practice of chemistry and physics to diverse problems in chemical physics, including theoretical work on dimensional scaling. One of his studies demonstrated that methane is in fact spontaneously formed at high pressure and high temperature environments such as those deep in the Earth’s mantle; this finding is an exciting indication of abiogenic hydrocarbon formation, meaning that the actual amount of hydrocarbons available on earth might be much larger than conventionally assumed under the assumption that all hydrocarbons are fossil fuels.[7] His recent work also includes a collaboration with Steven Brams studying approval voting.[8]

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FYI June 17, 2017

June 17th is National Apple Strudel Day

On this day:

1596 – The Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz discovers the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen.
Svalbard (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈsʋɑ(ː)lbɑː];[3] formerly known by its Dutch name Spitsbergen) is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya.

Administratively, the archipelago is not part of any Norwegian county, but forms an unincorporated area administered by a governor appointed by the Norwegian government. Since 2002, Svalbard’s main settlement, Longyearbyen, has had an elected local government, somewhat similar to mainland municipalities. Other settlements include the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research station of Ny-Ålesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. Ny-Ålesund is the northernmost settlement in the world with a permanent civilian population. Other settlements are farther north, but are populated only by rotating groups of researchers.

The islands were first taken into use as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, after which they were abandoned. Coal mining started at the beginning of the 20th century, and several permanent communities were established. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognizes Norwegian sovereignty, and the 1925 Svalbard Act made Svalbard a full part of the Kingdom of Norway. They also established Svalbard as a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone. The Norwegian Store Norske and the Russian Arktikugol remain the only mining companies in place. Research and tourism have become important supplementary industries, with the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault playing critical roles. No roads connect the settlements; instead snowmobiles, aircraft and boats serve inter-community transport. Svalbard Airport, Longyear serves as the main gateway.

The archipelago features an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. Seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, natural environment. Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords.

Svalbard and Jan Mayen are collectively assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code “SJ”. Both areas are administered by Norway, though they are separated by a distance of over 950 kilometres (510 nautical miles) and have very different administrative structures.

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1631 – Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, will spend the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal.

Mumtaz Mahal ([mumˈt̪aːz mɛˈɦɛl]; meaning “the elect of the palace”; born Arjumand Banu) (27 April 1593 – 17 June 1631)[1] was Empress consort of the Mughal Empire from 19 January 1628 to 17 June 1631 and was the chief consort of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Taj Mahal in Agra, often cited as one of the Wonders of the World,[2] was commissioned by her husband to act as her final resting place.[3]

Mumtaz Mahal was born Arjumand Banu Begum in Agra to a family of Persian nobility. She was the daughter of Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, a wealthy Persian noble who held high office in the empire, and the niece of Nur Jahan, the wife of Emperor Jahangir and the power behind the emperor.[4] She was married at the age of 19 on 30 April 1612 to Prince Khurram,[5] later known by his regnal name, Shah Jahan, who conferred upon her the title “Mumtaz Mahal”. Although betrothed to Shah Jahan since 1607, she ultimately became his second wife in 1612. Mumtaz bore her husband fourteen children, including Jahanara Begum (Shah Jahan’s favorite daughter), and the Crown prince Dara Shikoh, the heir-apparent, anointed by his father, who temporarily succeeded him, until deposed by Mumtaz Mahal’s sixth child, Aurangzeb, who ultimately succeeded his father as the sixth Mughal emperor.

Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631 in Burhanpur, Deccan (present-day Madhya Pradesh), during the birth of her fourteenth child, a daughter named Gauhara Begum.[6] Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built as a mausoleum for her, which is considered to be a monument of “undying love”.[7]

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Born on this day:

1571 – Thomas Mun, English writer on economics (d. 1641)
Sir Thomas Mun (17 June 1571 – 21 July 1641) was an English writer on economics and is often referred to as the last of the early mercantilists. Most notably, he is known for serving as the director of the East India Company. Due to his strong belief in the state and his prior experience as a merchant, Mun took on a prominent role during the economic depression which began in 1620. To defend the East India Company and to regain England’s economic stability, Mun published A Discourse of Trade from England unto the East-Indies.

Through mercantilist principles, Mun created a proposed set of “means to enrich a kingdom” which centred on ensuring that exports exceeded imports. In other words, Mun advocated for achieving a positive balance of trade which would cause England’s wealth to steadily increase. Thomas Mun is also widely considered to be a sophisticated thinker and has become a hugely important part of the history of economic theory.

Life and background

Thomas Mun was born in June 1571. He was the third child of a substantial London family based in the vicinity of St Andrew Hubbard, where he was baptised on 17 June 1571. His father, John Mun, and his stepfather both earned their livings as mercers. His grandfather, also named John Mun, was provost of moneyers in the Royal Mint of England. Through his family ties It can be assumed that Thomas gained insight into matters pertaining to currency and to the economy as a whole. At the age of forty-one, Thomas married Ursula Malcott and together they had three children: John, Ann and Mary. They chose the parish of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate as their home.[1]

Nothing is known about his education, but Thomas’s own career as a merchant started around 1596 where he was a member of the Mercers’ company and engaged in Mediterranean trade, especially with Italy and the Middle East. He was successful as a practising merchant and was able to amass a large fortune. In 1615, due to his prosperity, Mun was elected as the director of the East India Company and in 1622 was appointed as a member of the standing commission on trade. The rest of his professional career was spent advocating for and promoting the East India Company’s interests.[2]

Director of the East India Company
In conjunction with the British Crown, The East India Company was a trading business established to colonise new lands and to pursue trade with the East Indies. In 1615 Mun was elected as the director of the company and set out to ensure that it was operating at full capacity. To achieve this meant that wealth would be maximised and exports would be increased. In 1620, during the onset of the depression, Mun’s role within the economy was greatly enhanced. He was forced to not only defend the East India Company and its practices, but also aid the government in correcting the economy.

The trade crisis that eventually led to the depression stemmed from two separate events. First, through the East India Company, England was importing from India at a much higher rate than it was exporting. This negative balance of trade, or trade deficit, meant that England was sending out more money than it was bringing in, a clear detriment to the economy. Second, to pay for all of their imports, England sent precious metals to India. As the only real determinant of affluence in the 1600s, due to the fact that paper money was not yet in use in Northern Europe, exporting precious metals was generally unheard of. For the East India Company, however, the exportation restrictions on bullion were reduced.[3] Due to this stipulation, the exchange of silver for luxuries brought a lot of negative attention to the East India Company; citizens believed that it was a large factor in the economic downturn. Mun was thus put forward as a representative of the enterprise. His task was to clear the name of his company while also convincing his clients, and the general public, that the actions taken were ultimately for the best. He conveyed his views through his first published book, A Discourse of Trade from England Unto the East Indies.

Economic policies
According to Mun, foreign trade was the best way to increase the wealth of a nation. More specifically, it was necessary for exports to exceed imports. All other corrective economic policies were secondary. As he says in England’s Treasure by Foreign Trade, we must “sell more to strangers yearly than we consume of theirs in value.” To achieve this positive balance of trade, Mun laid out a list of criterion which he urged England to follow[4]

Imported goods that can be produced domestically should be banned.
Reduce luxurious imported goods by making Englishmen have a taste for English goods.
Reduce export duties on goods produced domestically from foreign markets.
If no alternatives are available to its neighbours, England should charge more money for its exports.
Cultivate wasteland for higher production and to reduce the amount of imports needed from abroad.
Shipping should be completed solely on English vessels.

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By John Paul Titlow: It’s Not Just Taylor Swift—Streaming Music’s Biggest Holdouts Are Caving In
Today Bob Seger, one of the longest streaming holdouts, is finally coming to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and other all-you-can-stream music-subscription services. The 72-year-old rock legend, famously slow to adopt new music distribution formats, has long been wary of streaming because of its low royalty payouts. Something obviously sparked a change of heart, as 13 of Seger’s albums are now available to stream.


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FYI June 16, 2017

June 16th is National Fudge Day

On this day:

1836 – The formation of the London Working Men’s Association gives rise to the Chartist Movement.
The London Working Men’s Association was an organisation established in London in 1836.[1] It was one of the foundations of Chartism. The founders were William Lovett, Francis Place and Henry Hetherington. They appealed to skilled workers rather than the mass of unskilled factory labourers. They were associated with Owenite socialism and the movement for general education.

Chartism was a working-class movement for political reform in Britain that existed from 1838 to 1857. It took its name from the People’s Charter of 1838 and was a national protest movement, with particular strongholds of support in Northern England, the East Midlands, the Staffordshire Potteries, the Black Country, and the South Wales Valleys. Support for the movement was at its highest in 1839, 1842, and 1848, when petitions signed by millions of working people were presented to the House of Commons. The strategy employed was to use the scale of support which these petitions and the accompanying mass meetings demonstrated to put pressure on politicians to concede manhood suffrage. Chartism thus relied on constitutional methods to secure its aims, though there were some who became involved in insurrectionary activities, notably in south Wales and in Yorkshire.

The People’s Charter called for six reforms to make the political system more democratic:

A vote for every man (earlier, every person but this was dropped due to middle-class pressure)[1] twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for a crime.
The secret ballot to protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.
No property qualification for Members of Parliament in order to allow the constituencies to return the man of their choice.
Payment of Members, enabling tradesmen, working men, or other persons of modest means to leave or interrupt their livelihood to attend to the interests of the nation.
Equal constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing less populous constituencies to have as much or more weight than larger ones.
Annual Parliamentary elections, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since no purse could buy a constituency under a system of universal manhood suffrage in each twelve-month period.

Chartists saw themselves fighting against political corruption and for democracy in an industrial society, but attracted support beyond the radical political groups for economic reasons, such as opposing wage cuts and unemployment.[2][3]

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Born on this day:

1738 – Mary Katherine Goddard, American publisher (d. 1816)
Mary Katherine Goddard (June 16, 1738 – August 12, 1816) was an early American publisher and the postmaster of the Baltimore Post Office from 1775 to 1789. She was the first to print the Declaration of Independence with the names of the signatories.

Mary Katherine Goddard was born in Southern New England in 1738.[1] She was the daughter of Dr. Giles Goddard and Sarah Updike Goddard. Her father was the postmaster of New London, which could explain why Mary and her brother had long careers and natural interest in the postal system and the printing business.

Her brother, William Goddard (1740-1817), was a few years younger and had served an apprenticeship in the printing trade. The Goddards (Mrs. Goddard, William Goddard and Mary Goddard) set up a printing press and published Providence’s first newspaper, the Providence Gazette. However, William left Rhode Island to start a newspaper in Philadelphia. William also had been the publisher and printer of a revolutionary publication, the Maryland Journal. Mary Goddard took control of the journal in 1774 while her brother was traveling to promote his Constitutional Post; she continued to publish it throughout the American Revolutionary War until 1784. Her brother forced her to give up the newspaper amid an acrimonious quarrel.[2] In 1775, Mary Katharine Goddard became postmaster of the Baltimore post office. She also ran a book store and published an almanac in offices located around 250 Market Street (now East Baltimore Street, near South Street).

When on January 18, 1777, the Second Continental Congress moved that the Declaration of Independence be widely distributed, Goddard was one of the first to offer the use of her press. This was in spite of the risks of being associated with what was considered a treasonable document by the British. Her copy, the Goddard Broadside, was the second printed, and the first to contain the typeset names of the signatories, including John Hancock. During the American Revolution, Goddard opposed the Stamp Act vehemently, recognizing it would increase the cost of printing.

Goddard was a successful postmaster for 14 years. In 1789, however, she was removed from the position by Postmaster General Samuel Osgood despite general protest from the Baltimore community.[3] Mary Katherine Goddard generally did not take part in public controversies, preferring to maintain editorial objectivity; therefore, few articles contain her personal opinions, and her defense was not mounted publicly. Osgood asserted that the position required “more traveling…than a woman could undertake” and appointed a political ally of his to replace her. On November 12, 1789, over 230 citizens of Baltimore, including more than 200 leading businessmen, presented a petition demanding her reinstatement. It was, however, unsuccessful.[4] Following her dismissal, Goddard sold books, stationery, and dry goods. She died August 12, 1816, still beloved by her community.[5]

She was posthumously inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998.[6]

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Ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, father of German reunification, dies aged 87

Adam Clark Estes: How Rich Neighbors May Have Factored Into London’s Deadly Tower Fire [UPDATED]
Update 06/15/2017 8:40 AM – The BBC now reports that that the aluminum cladding was filled with a flammable polyethylene core, the same material found in high-rise fires in France, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia. Ideally, a more expensive but non-flammable material would be used for a project like this.

Meanwhile, the new agency says that Rydon, the contractor responsible for the Tower’s recent renovation has changed its statement. The company originally claimed that it had met all “fire regulation” when refurbishing Grenfell but omitted that phrase in a later statement.

It’s also come to light that former London mayor Boris Johnson decided to slash London’s fire services in 2015. This could have had an effect on both inspections of Grenfell Tower and the fire brigade’s response. The chair of the London Housing Committee told the press that fire testing has become “less rigorous” in recent years, especially at council towers.

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