Today in law and literature

In Ireland, the first day of February is the feast day of St Bridget, and it is traditionally regarded as the first day of Spring. For the day that’s in it, here’s an image of St Bridget’s Cross:

St Bridget's Cross, via wikipedia

According to the font of all wisdom and knowledge, Wikipedia, on this day in

  • 1552 – Edward Coke, English jurist and Member of Parliament, was born (d. 1634).
  • 1709 – Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
  • 1790 – In New York City, the Supreme Court of the United States convenes for the first time.
  • 1851 – Mary Shelley, English author, died (b. 1797)
  • 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude, though it was was not ratified by the states until later; as a consequence, today is National Freedom Day in the United States.
  • 1884 – The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
  • 1904 – S. J. Perelman, American humorist, was born (d. 1979)
  • 1976 – Werner Heisenberg, German physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1901) and George Whipple, American scientist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1878) both died.
  • 1996 – The Communications Decency Act is passed by the U.S. Congress.
  • 2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in the death of all seven crew members.