Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
1650 – The Harvard Corporation, the more powerful of the two administrative boards of Harvard, is established. It is the first legal corporation in the Americas.
In 1650, at the request of Harvard President Henry Dunster, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts issued the body’s charter, making it now the oldest corporation in the Americas; detailed provisions for the Corporation’s status and privileges were subsequently written into the charter of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well.[clarification needed] Although the institution it governs has grown into Harvard University (of which Harvard College is one of several components), the corporation’s formal title remains the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
The corporation was probably originally intended to be a body of the school’s resident instructors, similar to the fellows of an Oxbridge college. However, it early fell into the now-familiar American model of a governing board—an outside body whose members are not involved in the institution’s daily life, which meets periodically to consult with the day-to-day head, the president (whom it appoints). The Corporation is self-perpetuating, appointing new members to fill its own vacancies as they arise.
1781 – George Stephenson, English engineer is born.
George Stephenson was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer who built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use steam locomotives, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830. Renowned as the “Father of Railways”, the Victorians considered him a great example of diligent application and thirst for improvement, with self-help advocate Samuel Smiles particularly praising his achievements. His rail gauge of 4 feet 8 1⁄2 inches (1,435 mm), sometimes called “Stephenson gauge”, is the standard gauge by name and by convention for most of the world’s railways.
1836 – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, English physician is born.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, LSA, MD , was an English physician and feminist, the first Englishwoman to qualify as a physician and surgeon in Britain, the co-founder of the first hospital staffed by women, the first dean of a British medical school, the first female doctor of medicine in France, the first woman in Britain to be elected to a school board and, as Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain.
1915 – Les Paul, American guitarist and songwriter is born.
Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock and roll possible. Les taught himself how to play guitar and while he is mainly known for rock music he had an early career in country music. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.
His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s, and they sold millions of records.
Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an “architect” and a “key inductee” along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed. Les Paul is the only person to be included in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
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