This week in history, our founding fathers argued the merits of the Constitution and were immortalized in the rock face of Mount Rushmore. And a party of pioneers ate each other.
“Federalist Papers” First Published
Democratic debate came into form on this day in 1787 when the first of the “Federalist Papers” was published in a New York newspaper. The “Federalist Papers,” written by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, advocated for the adoption of a national constitution. These essays were pivotal in the ratification process of the U.S. Constitution. Similarly, those opposed to the Constitution published documents called the “Anti-Federalist Papers.” There are 85 Federalist Papers, the last of which appeared on April 4, 1788.
Donner Party Famine Begins
On their way from Springfield, Illinois, to untouched lands of California, 90 people led by Jacob and George Donner and James F. Reed encountered the worst that the West had to offer. Tough terrain and Indian attacks slowed them down, but trouble began in earnest when winter weather hit and stopped their progress on this day in 1846. Supplies dwindled; the party eventually resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. Only 45 people reached California in the spring of 1847.
The first connections in what would eventually become the Internet were created on this day in 1969. Bits of data transferred between facilities at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute. This helped created ARPANET, a Defense Department project that eventually grew into the Internet. ARPANET connected UCLA, the Stanford Research Institute, the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Utah. Email became a useful form of communication, and these institutions helped create what you are now reading this article on. And while former vice president Al Gore did not invent the Internet, he did support ARPANET’s development.
Ezra Pound Birthday
One of America’s most revered modernist poets was born ion this day in 1885. Born in Idaho, Ezra Pound was a professor and editor before he got involved with Italian Fascist politics while living abroad. He was arrested for broadcasting Fascist propaganda. Pound is best remembered for his evocative poetry; he developed a style called Imagism, which focused on clarity and cleanness. He is well known for having assisted T. S. Eliot in editing “The Wasteland.” Some of Pound’s poems include “In a Station of the Metro” and “Portrait d’une Femme.”
Mount Rushmore Completion
Completed some 14 years after it was begun, the eyes of Mount Rushmore looked unto American wilderness on this day in 1941. Memorializing four of the best-loved and important presidents in U.S. history—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln—Mount Rushmore represents ideals of progress, stability, founding philosophy and conservation of the country. Each sculpture is 60 feet tall. It is a national memorial. Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the famous carvings.
European Union Founded
The Treaty of Maastricht was enforced on this day in 1993, thereby establishing the European Union. The European Union is an economic and political alliance of nearly 30 European nations. They work together for the mutual benefit of the continent and for the perseverance of their common currency, the euro. When this treaty was ratified, 12 nations were a part of then union. Three more signed by 1995. The Union has grown substantially in the years since. The idea for the European Union was developed in 1958.
Daniel Boone Birthday
One of America’s most famous frontiersmen was born on this day in 1734. Daniel Boone, a Pennsylvania native, is known for his exploration of Kentucky following an expedition during the French and Indian War, discovering parts of the Cumberland Gap. Boone built a fort at Boonesborough, but was met with resistance from the local Shawnee and Cherokee tribes. He and his daughter were kidnapped by American Indians at separate times. Boone was robbed on the way to buy land permits; this caused his fellow settlers to grow angry with him and call for repayment. Boone moved to West Virginia after these events where he served as a legislator. A true man of adventure, Boone died in Missouri in 1820.