Bill's Daily News: Today in History

2012, the Facebook social networking website made its debut as a publicly traded company. The company began trading at 38-dollars a share on Nasdaq. The initial public offering made founder Mark Zuckerberg the 29th richest person in the world.  No wonder he is EVERYBODY'S friend!

1980, Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state erupted after lying dormant for more than 100 years. The explosion killed more than 55 people and destroyed 160-thousand acres of forest. Geologists say the eruption was 500 times as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War Two.

1979, an Oklahoma City jury awarded more than ten-million dollars to the estate of Karen Silkwood. She was a laboratory technician who was contaminated by radiation at a Kerr-McGee plutonium plant and then killed in a hit-and-run accident while on her way to pass information about the plant to a newspaper reporter. Her story was the basis for the film "Silkwood."

1896, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed racial separation with its ruling in the Plessy versus Ferguson case. The decision sanctioned separate but equal public facilities for blacks and whites. The ruling was overturned 58 years later with the historic Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. Kind of tears up the concept of “settled law” when a Supreme Court ruling is made, don’t you think?

1860, Abraham Lincoln was nominated for President of the United States by Republican Party leaders.

1652, Rhode Island enacted the first law declaring slavery illegal.  Boy, were they ahead of the curve!

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