1767 Today is the birthdate of John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States (1825-1829), son of U.S. Founding Father and 2nd President of the United States and 1st Vice President of the United States, John Adams and his wife Abigail. Adams was also one of the great diplomats of our country's history. John Quincy Adams is the only President of the United States to return to a career in Congress, as representative from Massachusetts, after having served as President.
To the right is a copy of an 1818 daguerrotype of Adams, which predates the photo below of President Wilson in 1919 by 101 years.
1776 Captain James Cook begins his 3rd world voyage, which resulted in his death in the Hawaiian Islands in a conflict with native Islanders.
1798 the U.S. Marine Corps - and Marching Band. Semper Fi!
from the 19th century -
1859 Charles Dicken's "A Tale of Two Cities" was published, opening with one of the most famous sentences in literature, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
1895 The appropriately named Lumiere brothers demonstrate early film technology to scientists. Auguste is on the left, Louis is on the right. They pioneered still photographic technology which in turn led to moving picture technical development. Just as the first mundane words over a telephone are recorded in history, the first images recorded by the Lumiere brothers was of workers leaving their factory.
from the 20th century 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Aid Road Act, the first major legislative effort on a national scale to improve U.S. infrastructure, which was in consistently wide ill repair. Previously this had been an exclusively state and local concern. Wilson and the early 20th century progressives recognized the significance of transportation to commerce and national security, as well as anticipating the development of the new automotive industry with the model-T Ford in 1908. Wilson was a leading progressive thinker, an early car 'enthusiast'. In 1907, the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Wilson v. Shaw officially gave Congress the power to construct interstate highways under the constitutional right to regulate interstate commerce, following the 1902 bill to set up a federal Bureau of Public Roads. The 1916 Act gave greater priority to providing and improving roads to rural areas for the better transportation of agricultural products, over priorities for urban paved roadways. This was the precursor for the Federal Highway Act of 1921, and the major project of Eisenhower's Federal Highway Act of 1956 which was responsible for the majority of the interstate highway system. If you go anywhere today on an interstate highway, or use or consume anything transported on an interstate highway, you should appreciate this important act on this date in history, and the ongoing importance of our national infrastructure in roads and bridges. That, and it's fun to focus on him, because so many conservatives seem to despise him - I think unfairly.