Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Today in Entrepreneurial History: October 31

Happy Halloween. Happy Reformation Day!

For more on the history of Halloween read Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween.

Every year, children and adults alike take to the streets dressed as witches, demons, animals, celebrities, and more. They carve pumpkins and play pranks, and the braver ones watch scary movies and go on ghost tours. There are parades, fireworks displays, cornfield mazes, and haunted houses—and, most important, copious amounts of bite-sized candy. The popularity of Halloween has spread around the globe to places as diverse as Russia, China, and Japan, but its association with death and the supernatural and its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most misunderstood holidays. How did it become what it is today?

For more on Reformation Day, read and watch R.C. Sproul’s Luther and the Reformation.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther tacked up 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg. With this act, he hoped to provoke a discussion among the scholars about the abuses of the indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. He was not trying to create a public furor by any means, but within a fortnight, these theses had spread through the country like wildfire. The last thing Luther had in mind was to start some kind of major controversy, but nevertheless major controversy did begin.

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013 00:00

Today in Entrepreneurial History: October 30

·  1864Helena, Montana is founded after four prospectors discover gold at “Last Chance Gulch”.

·  1894 – Domenico Melegatti obtains a patent for a procedure to be applied in producing pandoro industrially.

·  1925John Logie Baird creates Britain’s first television transmitter.

·  1960Michael Woodruff performs the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Pandoro is a traditional Italian sweet yeast bread, most popular around Christmas and New Year. You can order yourself, or a loved one, some at Amazon.

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013 00:00

Today in Entrepreneurial History: October 29

Want to decorate your office with your very own ticker tape machine? This replica stock ticker tape machine is a great little piece for any Wall Street desk. The ticker has a metal base with a acrylic dome. This novelty stock ticker is a great little piece for any Wall Street desk.

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Thursday, 24 October 2013 13:35

Today in Entrepreneurial History: October 24

On this day in 1861, the First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States is completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

For more on the Pony Express, I recommend that you read Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express.

As one reviewer wrote:

Chances are you never heard of the great nineteenth century freight-hauling firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell. You never heard the official name of the firm’s most famous effort, the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company. You have certainly heard of the popular name of the endeavor: the Pony Express. You know the Pony Express, because from its beginning, it was the stuff of legend, and the legend has never stopped growing. That is the main point of Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express (Broadway Books) by Christopher Corbett. Corbett has given as good a history as can be written about the Pony Express because he has shown what difficulties there are in digging up such history. “We know that much to be true” becomes a frequent refrain in his work to emphasize how little we really know of the truth. It isn’t important. The legends about the Pony Express may not be literally true, but they are real and they mean something, and Corbett’s book is about them as much as it is about plain facts.


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