On this day:
1569 – First recorded lottery in England.
Although the English probably first experimented with raffles and similar games of chance, the first recorded official lottery was chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, in the year 1566, and was drawn in 1569. This lottery was designed to raise money for the “reparation of the havens and strength of the Realme, and towardes such other publique good workes”. Each ticket holder won a prize, and the total value of the prizes equalled the money raised. Prizes were in the form of silver plate and other valuable commodities. The lottery was promoted by scrolls posted throughout the country showing sketches of the prizes.
Thus, the lottery money received was an interest free loan to the government during the three years that the tickets (‘without any Blankes’) were sold. In later years, the government sold the lottery ticket rights to brokers, who in turn hired agents and runners to sell them. These brokers eventually became the modern day stockbrokers for various commercial ventures. Most people could not afford the entire cost of a lottery ticket, so the brokers would sell shares in a ticket; this resulted in tickets being issued with a notation such as “Sixteenth” or “Third Class”.
Many private lotteries were held, including raising money for The Virginia Company of London to support its settlement in America at Jamestown. The English State Lottery ran from 1694 until 1826. Thus, the English lotteries ran for over 250 years, until the government, under constant pressure from the opposition in parliament, declared a final lottery in 1826. This lottery was held up to ridicule by contemporary commentators as “the last struggle of the speculators on public credulity for popularity to their last dying lottery”.
1949 – The first “networked” television broadcasts took place as KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania goes on the air connecting the east coast and mid-west programming.
The station went on the air on January 11, 1949, as WDTV (“W DuMont TeleVision”) on channel 3; it was owned and operated by the DuMont Television Network. It was the 51st television station in the U.S., the third and last DuMont-owned station to sign on the air, behind WABD (now WNYW) in New York City and WTTG in Washington, D.C., and the first owned-and-operated station in the state of Pennsylvania. To mark the occasion, a live television special aired that day from 8:30 to 11 p.m. ET on WDTV, which began with a one-hour local program broadcast from Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh. The remainder of the show featured live segments from DuMont, CBS, NBC, and ABC with Arthur Godfrey, Milton Berle, DuMont host Ted Steele, and many other celebrities.
2003 – Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois’s death row based on the Jon Burge scandal.
George Homer Ryan, Sr. (born February 24, 1934) was the 39th Governor of the U.S. state of Illinois from 1999 until 2003. He was a member of the Republican Party. Ryan received national attention for his 1999 moratorium on executions in Illinois and for commuting more than 160 death sentences to life sentences in 2003. He was later convicted of federal corruption charges and spent more than five years in federal prison and seven months of home confinement. He was released from federal prison on July 3, 2013.
Jon Graham Burge (born December 20, 1947) is a convicted felon and former Chicago Police Department detective and commander who gained notoriety for torturing more than 200 criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991 in order to force confessions. A decorated United States Army veteran, Burge served tours in South Korea and Vietnam and continued as an enlisted United States Army Reserve soldier where he served in the military police. He then returned to the South Side of Chicago and began his career as a police officer. Allegations were made about the methods of Burge and those under his command. Eventually, hundreds of similar reports resulted in a decision by Illinois Governor George Ryan to declare a moratorium on death penalty executions in Illinois in 2000 and to clear the state’s death row in 2003.
The most controversial arrests began in February 1982, in the midst of a series of shootings of Chicago law enforcement officials in Police Area 2, whose detective squad Burge commanded. Some[quantify] of the people who confessed to murder were later granted new trials and a few[quantify] were acquitted or pardoned. Burge was acquitted of police brutality charges in 1989 after a first trial resulted in a hung jury. He was suspended from the Chicago Police Department in 1991 and fired in 1993 after the Police Department Review Board ruled that he had used torture.
After Burge was fired, there was a groundswell of support to investigate convictions for which he provided evidence. In 2002, a special prosecutor began investigating the accusations. The review, which cost $17 million, revealed improprieties that resulted in no action due to the statute of limitations. Several convictions were reversed, remanded, or overturned. All Illinois death row inmates received reductions in their sentences. Four of Burge’s victims were pardoned by then-Governor Ryan and subsequently filed a consolidated suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the City of Chicago, various police officers, Cook County and various State’s Attorneys. A $19.8 million settlement was reached in December 2007, with the “city defendants”. Cases against Cook County and the other current/former county prosecutors continue as of July 2008. In October 2008, Patrick Fitzgerald had Burge arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury in relation to a civil suit regarding the torture allegations against him. On April 1, 2010, Judge Joan Lefkow postponed the trial, for the fourth time, to May 24, 2010. Burge was convicted on all counts on June 28, 2010. He was sentenced to four-and-one-half years in federal prison on January 21, 2011 and was released in October 2014.
Born on this day:
Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and The New York Post newspaper. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton was the main author of the economic policies of the George Washington administration. He took the lead in the funding of the states’ debts by the Federal government, as well as the establishment of a national bank, a system of tariffs, and friendly trade relations with Britain. His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch,:3–4 a strong commercial economy, with a national bank and support for manufacturing, plus a strong military. This was challenged by Virginia agrarians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who formed a rival party. They favored strong states based in rural America and protected by state militias as opposed to a strong national army and navy. They denounced Hamilton as too friendly toward Britain and toward monarchy in general, and too oriented toward cities, business and banking.
Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Charlestown, British West Indies, to a mother of French Huguenot and British ancestry,:8–9 and a Scots father, James A. Hamilton, the fourth son of Scottish laird Alexander Hamilton of Grange, Ayrshire. Orphaned as a child by his mother’s death and his father’s abandonment, he was taken in by an older cousin, and later by a prosperous merchant family. He was recognized for his intelligence and talent, and sponsored by a group of wealthy local men to travel to New York City and pursue his education. Hamilton attended King’s College (now Columbia University), choosing to stay in the Thirteen Colonies to seek his fortune.
After graduation, Hamilton played a major role in the American Revolutionary War. At the start of the war in 1775, he joined a militia company. In early 1776, he raised a provincial artillery company, to which he was appointed captain. He soon became the senior aide to General Washington, the American forces’ commander-in-chief. Hamilton was dispatched by Washington on numerous missions to convey plans to his generals. After the war, Hamilton was elected as a representative to the Congress of the Confederation from New York. He resigned to practice law, and founded the Bank of New York.
Alice Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American suffragist, feminist, and women’s rights activist, and the main leader and strategist of the 1910s campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote. Along with Lucy Burns and others, Paul strategized the events, such as the Woman Suffrage Procession and the Silent Sentinels, which led the successful campaign that resulted in its passage in 1920.
After 1920, Paul spent a half century as leader of the National Woman’s Party, which fought for her Equal Rights Amendment to secure constitutional equality for women. She won a large degree of success with the inclusion of women as a group protected against discrimination by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She insisted that her National Woman’s Party focus on the legal status of all women and resisted calls to address issues like birth control.
Another view of Alice Paul:
Alice Paul, American National Biography Online:
Although many feminists adored Paul, she also aroused strong negative feelings. She was elitist, autocratic, and domineering. Shy and often aloof, Paul operated with an abruptness that appeared as insensitivity, and she rarely expressed the appreciation that hard-working colleagues felt they deserved. Although Paul had cordial relationships with Mary Church Terrell and other African-American women and calculated the value of their support for suffrage and the ERA, she did not hesitate to dilute black women’s participation in party events in order to appease southern members. Paul rebuffed pleas to have the NWP concern itself with violations of black women’s right to vote; that was a racial, not a feminist, issue, she asserted, and beyond the scope of her organization. She also expressed anti-Semitism even though she had at least one close friendship and working relationships with a number of Jewish women. Paul believed that a single-minded focus on legal equality could unite all women. However, such a strategy could not encompass the loyalties and needs of many women that were related to their race, class, or other identifications. Consequently, the NWP practiced a very exclusive form of feminism.
Roy Emile Alfredo Innis (June 6, 1934 – January 8, 2017) was an American activist and politician. He had been National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) since his election to the position in 1968.
One of his sons, Niger Roy Innis, serves as National Spokesman of the Congress of Racial Equality.