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Eli Whitney is granted a US patent for the cotton gin, a machine that vastly simplifies cotton harvesting. It will lead to huge profits for the cotton-rich South, but will also increase the demand for slaves to pick the expanded cotton crops.
Max Brand, perhaps the most prolific writer of western stories, publishes his first novel, The Untamed.
With input from field offices across the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation releases its rogues’ gallery of the nation’s most dangerous criminals. In the decades to follow, the list will contribute to the capture of hundreds of suspects.
The Recording Industry Association of America awards first Gold Record to Perry Como for “Catch A Falling Star”
A Dallas, Texas, jury convicts nightclub owner Jack Ruby of shooting and killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy. The verdict is the first to be televised in the US.
Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.
1914 Lee Petty, American race car driver (d. 2000)
1920 Hank Ketcham, cartoonist (Dennis the Menace)