Paper money issued ….

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The U. S. government first issued paper money this date yesterday in 1862. Paper currency was issued by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to fund military expeditions. Other colonies quickly took up the practice of issuing paper notes. The Continental Congress issued paper currency to finance the Revolutionary War in 1775.

Development of the banknote began in the Tang Dynasty during the 7th century, with local issues of paper currency, although true paper money did not appear until the 11th century, during the Song Dynasty. Its roots were in merchant receipts of deposit during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), as merchants and wholesalers desired to avoid the heavy bulk of copper coinage in large commercial transactions.

Most banknotes are made from cotton paper, sometimes mixed with linen, abaca, or other textile fibers. Generally, the paper used is different from ordinary paper: It is much more resilient, resists wear and tear, and also does not contain the usual agents that make ordinary paper glow slightly under ultraviolet light. Unlike most printing and writing paper, banknote paper is infused with polyvinyl alcohol or gelatin, instead of water, to give it extra strength.

In the United States, banknotes last an average of three years until they are no longer fit for circulation, after which they are collected for destruction, usually recycling or shredding. A banknote is removed from the money supply by banks or other financial institutions because of everyday wear and tear from its handling. Banknote bundles are passed through a sorting machine that determines whether a particular note needs to be shredded or are removed from the supply chain by a human inspector if they are deemed unfit for continued use – for example, if they are mutilated or torn. (from Wikipedia)

Barbie’s birthday …

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Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by American toy-company Mattel, Inc., and American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll as her inspiration.

Ruth Handler watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls and noticed that she often enjoyed giving them adult roles. At the time, most children’s toy dolls were representations of infants. Realizing that there could be a gap in the market, Handler suggested the idea of an adult-bodied doll to her husband, a co-founder of the Mattel toy company. He was unenthusiastic about the idea, as were Mattel’s directors.

During a trip to Europe in 1956 with her children Barbara and Kenneth, Ruth Handler came across a German toy doll called Bild Lilli. The adult-figured doll was exactly what Handler had in mind, so she purchased three of them. She gave one to her daughter and took the others back to Mattel. The Lilli doll was based on a popular character appearing in a comic strip drawn for the newspaper Bild. Lilli was a blonde bombshell, a working girl who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it. The Lilli doll was first sold in Germany in 1955, and although it was initially sold to adults, it became popular with children who enjoyed dressing her up in outfits that were available separately.

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Upon her return to the United States, Handler redesigned the doll (with help from an engineer), and the doll was given a new name, Barbie, after Handler’s daughter. The doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York this date in 1959, the date also used as Barbie’s official birthday.

The first Barbie doll wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail, and was available as either a blonde or brunette. The doll was marketed as a “Teen-age Fashion Model,” with her clothes created by Mattel fashion designer Charlotte Johnson. Around 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold during the first year of production.

Louis Marx and Company sued Mattel in March 1961. After licensing Lilli, they claimed that Mattel had “infringed on Greiner & Hausser’s patent for Bild-Lilli’s hip joint, and also claimed that Barbie was “a direct take-off and copy” of Bild-Lilli. The company additionally claimed that Mattel “falsely and misleadingly represented itself as having originated the design.” Mattel counter-claimed and the case was settled out of court in 1963. In 1964, Mattel bought Greiner & Hausser’s copyright and patent rights for the Bild-Lilli doll for $21,600.

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Ruth Handler believed that it was important for Barbie to have an adult appearance, and early market research showed that some parents were unhappy about the doll’s chest, which had distinct breasts. Barbie’s appearance has been changed many times. In January 2016, Mattel announced that it would add tall, curvy, and petite body shapes to its line-up of dolls. Alternative skin tones, hairstyles, and hair colors were also added.

Barbie was one of the first toys to have a marketing strategy based extensively on television advertising, which has been copied widely by other toys. It is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that three Barbie dolls are sold every second. (from Wikipedia)

Telephone patented

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Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone this date in 1876.

Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices that eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U. S. patent for the telephone on this date in 1876. Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. Later, on March 10th that same year, Bell first successfully transmitted speech, saying “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” using a liquid transmitter.

An inventor named Elisha Gray had filed “an intent” to get a patent for a very similar invention earlier that same day with the U. S. Patent Office. Bell made his application several hours later and, since it was an actual application rather than just an intent to file an application, Bell was awarded the patent. The U.S. Patent Office’s decision to award the patent to Bell remains a point of contention among historians and members of the Gray family to this day. (from Wikipedia)

Silly putty invented…

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Silly Putty is a toy based on silicone polymers that have unusual physical properties. It bounces, but breaks when given a sharp blow and can also flow like a liquid. It contains a viscoelastic liquid silicone, a type of non-Newtonian fluid, which makes it act as a viscous liquid over a long time period but as an elastic solid over a short-time period. It was originally created during research into potential rubber substitutes for use by the U.S. in World War II, but did not find a market until March 6th in 1950. (Posting today so I can post National Dentists Day tomorrow)

The name Silly Putty is a trademark of Crayola, though similar substances are available by other manufacturers. (from Wikipedia)

Constitution of U.S. goes into effect….

 

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The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles entrench the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six entrench concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments and of the states in relationship to the federal government. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it.

Since the Constitution came into force this date in 1789, it has been amended twenty-seven times to meet the changing needs of a nation profoundly different from the eighteenth-century world in which its creators lived. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government. The majority of the seventeen later amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others address issues related to federal authority or modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the end of the document. All four pages of the original U.S. Constitution are written on parchment.

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The Constitution’s first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, and of the federal and state governments.

The first constitution of its kind, adopted by the people’s representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted, supplemented, and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, and has influenced the constitutions of other nations. (from Wikipedia)

The Star Spangled Banner

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Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet, wrote the lyrics to the United States national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

During the War of 1812, Key watched the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of September 13-14, 1814. At dawn, he was able to see an American flag still waving and inspired, wrote a poem about his experience, which was soon published. A music publisher adapted it to the rhythms of composer John Stafford Smith’s “To Anacreon in Heaven,” a popular tune Key had already used as a setting for an earlier song.

Though somewhat difficult to sing, the song became increasingly popular, competing with “Hail, Columbia” (1796) as the de facto national anthem by the time of the Mexican-American War and American Civil War. More than a century after its first publication, the song was adopted as the American national anthem, first by an Executive Order from President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 (which had little effect beyond requiring military bands to play what became known as the “Service Version”) and then by a Congressional resolution this date in 1931, signed by President Herbert Hoover.  (from Wikipedia)

 

First National Park

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Yellowstone National Park is located primarily in Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho, and was established by the U. S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on February 29, 1872. Yellowstone was the first National Park in the U.S. and is also widely held to be the first national park in the world. The park is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of its most popular features.

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Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468 square miles, comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges, Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellow Stone caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent, and is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone.

 

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Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. Grizzley bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of  bison and elk live in the park. The Park’s bison herd is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas, as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobiles. (from Wikipedia)

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