Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Today in History: May 6

  • 1527 Spanish and German troops sack Rome; the Pope's Swiss guard (147) die to ensure his escape; he (yet another Medici Pope (YAMP)) was captured a month later.
  • 1742 Swiss botanist Jean Senebier born; demonstrated that green plants in sunlight transform carbon dioxide into oxygen.
  • 1916 American physicist Robert Dicke born; invented the lock-in amplifier, which can extract a signal out of overwhelming noise; explained the cosmic microwave background radiation accidentally discovered by Penzias and Wilson (using one of his lock-in amplifiers) when they heard that Dicke was beginning a search for it.
  • 1935 FDR's Executive Order 7034 creates the Works Progress Administration (WPA), requiring more taxes to pay for freshly-minted government service manual labor jobs -- rather than lowering taxes to let legitimate companies hire those workers and expand the economy out of the Great Depression.
  • 1941 Bob Hope performs his first USO show, prior to the U.S. entry into WWII.
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