Little Bits of History

Bobby Franks

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 21, 2011

Bobby Franks

May 21, 1924: Bobby Franks dies at the hands of two teenaged University of Chicago students who wish to commit the “perfect crime.” Richard Loeb, 18 years old, and Nathan Leopold, aged 19, were both bright, energetic, and wealthy young men. They had both skipped grades and entered college early. Loeb had already finished his undergrad studies and was said to have an IQ of 160. Leopold was a child prodigy who had studied 15 languages speaking 5 fluently and gave lectures on ornithology. His IQ was said to be 200.

Both boys came from over-indulgent families. Loeb’s weekly allowance was $250 while Leopold’s was $125 in an age when the average worker made only $1,228 in a year. Leopold was a fan of Nietzsche and believed he was the famed Superman of that philosophy. Leopold and Loeb had been friends since they were 14 and 13 and they were inseparable. Loeb was interested in breaking laws while Leopold was interested in sex. They traded favors with each other to meet these needs.

Soon Leopold was to leave for a trip to Europe and then go on to Harvard. The pair was splitting up. For one last thrill, they meticulously planned the perfect crime. They plotted for weeks, covering every contingency. They “randomly” chose their victim, but they wanted a male who was Jewish [they were both Jews] and they needed the family of the victim to be wealthy in order to collect the ransom for the planned kidnapping and murder.

They carried out their plan making mistakes almost from the outset. They got Bobby in the car and then hit him in the head and stuffed a rag in his mouth. He died immediately rather than as the young men planned. Their “perfect” hiding place for the body was discovered within hours. Instead of collecting a ransom, headlines from a special edition newspaper cried that the body of Bobby had been found. Leopold dropped his specially made glasses at the scene. Both murderers confessed within weeks. They were defended by Clarence Darrow who managed to get life imprisonment for murder and 99 years for kidnapping rather than the death sentence. Loeb was attacked by another inmate and died of his wounds in 1936. Leopold was released from prison after 33 years in 1958 and died at the age of 66 from a heart attack.

“From Jesse James to Loeb and Leopold, from the perpetrators of the St Valentine’s Day’s massacre to the Lindbergh kidnapper and beyond, our celebrated delinquents have become a part of the national heritage.” – F. W. Dupree

“What a rotten writer of detective stories life is!” – Nathan Leopold

“No other offense has ever been visited with such severe penalties as seeking to help the oppressed.” – Clarence Darrow

“As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.” – Clarence Darrow

Also on this day:
And leave the driving to us! – In 1914 Carl Wickman begins busing.
Amelia – In 1932, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Tagged with: ,

I Feel the Need for Speed

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 20, 2011

Speed limit sign

May 20, 1899: New York City cab driver, Jacob German is arrested and jailed for speeding. His electric taxi was moving at the horrific rate of twelve miles per hour. This led to the first enactment of a speed limit for cars in the US. Connecticut passed a law in 1901 limiting speeds to 12 mph in the city and a much more lenient speed of 15 mph outside city limits. It was not the first speed limit in the New World. In 1652, New Amsterdam passed a law against wagons, carts, and sleighs being run, rode, or driven at a gallop. Drivers and conductors of wagons, carts, and sleighs within the city had to walk next to their vehicles and lead the horse, or be fined what would amount to about $150 today. Fines were doubled and tripled on subsequent infractions and restitution for damages was also enforced.

Up until 1973, speed limits were set by each state rather than for the country as a whole. Some states had limits as high as 75 mph with Kansas lowering to this speed from 80 mph. In 1973, there was an oil crisis when in October OPEC nations plus Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia declared an oil embargo. This was retaliation for the US’s resupply of the Israeli military during the Yom Kippur war. The embargo stayed in place until March 1974.

By the end of November 1973, the country was feeling the effects of a limited crude oil supply. President Nixon proposed a 50 mph national speed limit for cars while trucks and buses could speed along at 55 mph. He also wanted to ban ornamental lighting and gasoline sales on Sunday. Other measures were listed, as well. Truckers stated different speed limits for different vehicle types were not safe. Nixon signed the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act on January 2, 1974 and made it mandatory to lower limits to 55 mph if states wanted to receive federal funding for road repair.

The drop in speed limits were supposed to save gas during this crisis but were also supposed to saves lives as we all traveled at safer speeds. There was, according to one study, an 83% noncompliance rate with the new law. Speeding tickets were lucrative for the patrols monitoring the nation’s highways. Some states were less amenable to federal interference and while they lowered the speed limits, they did not enforce them. There were minimal fines unless one was ticketed for exceeding the speed limits than had been in place before the enactment of the Act. The law was repealed in 1995 with many states resuming their limits pre-1974, a few raising them, and few lowering them.

“A lot of cars are built to go faster than the speed limit allows, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal to do so.” – Wayne Dellinger

“I have never had an accident, but I really have to be cautious. I drive slower now, and I also watch the speed limit.” – Arlene Melton

“There’s already a law in place for speed limits, and that’s a safe operating speed. It (a speed limit) doesn’t solve a darn thing. We just knew it was a Band-Aid fix to a much larger problem.” – Jim Marsh

“The speed limit will be 22 miles per hour, day-to-day, and 28 (mph) for corporate outings and go-cart clubs. At 22 mph, you’ll think you’re flying.” – Dan Taylor

Also on this day:
Where’s … Waldo? – In 1570 the first modern atlas is published.
We Believe – In 325, the Council of Nicea opened.

Tagged with: ,

Longest Tunnel

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 19, 2011

Simplon Tunnel (Photo by Markus Schweiss)

May 19, 1906: The world’s longest tunnel begins operation. Simplon Tunnel connects Brig, Switzerland with Domodossola, Italy. It is used for rail traffic and remained the world’s longest railway tunnel until 1988 when Seikan Tunnel took the top spot. When first constructed it was a single track and nearly twenty years later, a second single track tunnel was built so trains could go in both directions at once.

Work on the first tube was begun in 1898. Shortly after the first railway was built in Switzerland, a north-south link with Italy was seen as desirable. The issue was the Alps. These colossal mountains were a barrier and a route through them was sought. Eastern Switzerland was interested in Lukmanier Pass, Central Switzerland and Zurich liked Gotthard Pass, and Western Switzerland favored Simplon. Italy and France were connected by rail in 1871 when the Frejus Rail Tunnel opened. This spurred on the Swiss.

A conference was held in 1889 between the Swiss and Italians looking for a way to build this connection. By 1895, the Swiss government signed a treaty with Italy to build at Simplon. The team of Brandt & Brandau were the engineers behind the construction project. There were, on average, 3,000 people working daily. Most workers were Italians and they worked under abysmal conditions. Sixty-seven workers were killed during the construction efforts. Many more died later from diseases contracted at the work site. Work had begun at each end and on February 24, 1905, the two teams came together. The tracks were off by only 7.9 inches horizontally and 3.4 inches vertically. The tunnel is 64,633 feet long and took only 5.5 years rather than 7.5 to build.

On this day, the rails began operation. All trains were powered by electricity. Steam engines would not have worked in the long tunnel. This decision was made only six months prior to the completion of the project. Brown, Boveri & Cie were given the task of electrification. Between 1912 and 1921, a second tube was constructed and is known as Simplon II. During World War II, both sides had to protect and guard the tunnel. As Germans withdrew from Italy in 1945, they planned to blow the tunnel but were thwarted by Italian partisans, Swiss officials, and Austrian deserters.

“If you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are looking the wrong way.” – Barry Commoner

“She had a penetrating sort of laugh. Rather like a train going into a tunnel.” – P. G. Wodehouse

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” – Corrie Ten Boom

“When I was a kid, I went to the store and asked the guy, Do you have any toy train schedules?” – Steven Wright

Also on this day:
Duty Calls – In 1780 the Dark Day arrives, bringing fear to many.
Fingerprints – In 1911, the first US conviction was brought on the basis of fingerprint evidence.

Tagged with: ,

The Count

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 18, 2011

First edition of Dracula

May 18, 1897: Bram Stoker publishes the novel, Dracula. Abraham Stoker was born on November 8, 1847 outside of Dublin, Ireland. He was an invalid as a toddler, but made a complete recovery by the age seven when he first went to school. He was a isolated child and spent much time daydreaming. He eventually went to Trinity College in Dublin and graduated with honors with a degree in mathematics. He was also interested in history and philosophy.

After graduation, he worked as a civil servant. He also worked as a theater reviewer and wrote for The Dublin Mail. He met and married Florence Balcombe, Oscar Wilde’s paramour. During this time he also befriended Henry Irving. The Stokers moved to London where Irving introduced Bram to the elite of the area. Stoker managed the Lyceum Theatre for 27 years.

He also wrote many thrilling novels while living in England. After researching European folklore and vampire history for eight years, he wrote his most famous novel – Dracula. It is written as a collection of diary entries, telegrams, letters, and clippings from various newspapers. The book itself is a study of Victorian history, culture, and mores. There are sub themes revealing then-current views on women, sexuality, and immigration.

While Stoker invented Count Dracula, it is not the first literary mention of the name Dracula. During his research, he read a book from 1820 that mentioned Voivode Dracula or Vlad the Impaler. In the book, it was stated that Dracula meant devil in the language of the area. Vlad the Impaler did fight the Turks. He was not, however, a vampire. Nor was he a count. But he had a really catchy name.

“I wish I had a kryptonite cross, because then you could keep both Dracula and Superman away.” – Jack Handy

“This is an area you always need to address when you’re dealing with Dracula is the fact that there is something kind of attractive in his darkness – which there isn’t in other horror characters.” – Richard Roxburgh

“How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.” – Bram Stoker

“I sometimes think we must all be mad and that we shall wake to sanity in strait-waistcoats.” – Bram Stoker

“I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome . . .” – Bram Stoker

Also on this day:
3,858 Years Old? – In 1952 Professor Libby dates the building Stonehenge.
Vicksburg – In 1863, the Siege of Vicksburg began.

Tagged with: , ,

Computational Device

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 17, 2011

Antikythera mechanism

May 17, 1902: Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism. Stais was a Greek archaeologist. He studied medicine but switched to archaeology and became the director of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. He led excavations in several areas including the Greek island of Antikythera where this mechanism was found. The mechanism was found and recovered from the Antikythera wreck which itself was discovered by sponge divers. The ship was holding several statues as well as this early analog computer.

At the time of the discovery, it was simply an unknown device. However, it contained many gears and was of a sophistication on par with a 19th century Swiss clock. It was flawlessly made leading some to speculate that it was not the first of its kind. There may be others of the Hellenistic Period waiting to be discovered. It is estimated it was constructed around 150-100 BC. All instructions are written in Koine Greek and may have been built in Rhodes by Posidonius. Others believe it may have originated in Corinth and might be connected with Archimedes.

The complex mechanism contains more than 30 gears. There is speculation it may have contained up to 72 gears. A date would have been selected using a crank which has been lost to us. The mechanism would then calculate the position of the Sun, Moon, or other astronomical information [including the position of the known planets or wandering stars]. It was built to position astronomical bodies in the celestial sphere and was based on a geocentric or Earth centered universe.

Such devices are referenced in ancient literature. Cicero mentioned two machines that could predict the movement of the Sun, Moon, and five planets that were known at the time. Both of these had been built by Archimedes. Because of the great respect given to Archimedes, when Syracuse was under siege, the machine built there by the great man was spared from destruction. It is unsure whether the found device was based on an earlier model and improved – or possibly a new device all together. Attempts have been made to rebuild the entire mechanism in the last half of the 20th century.

“He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.” – Cicero

“Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion, or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute.” – Cicero

“Eureka! – I have found it!” – Archimedes

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” – Archimedes

Also on this day:
And They’re Off”
 – In 1875 the first Kentucky Derby is run.
That was Quick – In 1963, a fight ended after 48 seconds.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 16, 2011

Henry Fonda from the trailer for The Lady Eve

May 16, 1905: Henry Jaynes Fonda is born in Grand Island, Nebraska to William Brace Fonda and Elma Hibetta Fonda (nee Jaynes). He was raised as a Christian Scientist in a close and supportive family. He was a short, bashful boy, especially around girls. He was an avid skater, swimmer, and runner. He grew to over six feet tall his senior year in high school. He worked at his father’s print plant and went off to the University of Minnesota to become a journalist. He did not graduate, however. At age 20, he began his acting career at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Fonda moved East in 1928 where he met both is first wife and James Stewart. He soon switched wives, but he and Stewart remained lifelong friends. Fonda continued with theatrical productions until 1934. He got his first Hollywood break with the 1935 movie, The Farmer Takes a Wife, where he continued the lead role he had played on Broadway. After America entered World War II, Fonda enlisted in the Navy and served on the destroyer, USS Satterlee, before moving to Air Combat Intelligence in the Central Pacific.

After the war, Fonda returned to movies. Overall, he appeared in 106 films, TV programs, and shorts from 1935 through 1981. He won and Academy Award for Best Actor for On Golden Pond (1981) and a Lifetime Achievement Oscar that same year. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for 12 Angry Men (1958) and a Golden Globe in 1982 for On Golden Pond as well as another Lifetime Achievement Award. He received a Tony for Best Actor for Mister Roberts in 1948 (and much preferred the live performance to the movie) as well as a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 1979.

Henry had five wives. First, Margaret Sullivan in 1931. They soon separated and divorced in 1933. He then married Frances ford Seymour in 1936 and they had two children, Jane and Peter. Frances committed suicide in 1950. Next he married Susan Blanchard and the couple adopted daughter Amy, but divorced in 1956. He then had a short marriage to Countess Afdera Franchetti (1957-1961) after which he married Shirlee Mae Adams. They remained married until his death from a heart attack on August 12, 1982 at the age of 77.

“Love scenes are difficult for me not just because they’re in front of a camera. I’ve never felt like a terrific lover on screen or in private.”

“It’s difficult for me to meet new people. I’m not easy to talk to. I don’t have ready conversation.”

“I’m not a religious man, but I thank God every morning that I lived long enough to play that role. On Golden Pond, how can I describe the experience? Magic, I think. Magic!”

“I’m a not a very interesting person. I haven’t ever done anything except be other people. I ain’t really Henry Fonda! Nobody could be. Nobody could have that much integrity.”

“I’m not that pristine pure, I guess I’ve broken as many rules as the next feller. But I reckon my face looks honest enough and if people buy it, Hallelujah!” – all from Henry Fonda

Also on this day:
“Oh-oh! SpaghettiOs!” – In 1965 Franco-American puts SpaghettiOs on the market.
Sedition – In 1918, a new Sedition Act was put into place in the US.

Tagged with: ,

Puckle Gun

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 15, 2011

Schematic of a Puckle gun

May 15, 1718: A London lawyer, James Puckle, patents the world’s first machine gun. The lawyer was interested in defense and invented his gun which was first demonstrated in 1718. The multi-shot gun was mounted on a tripod and could fire up to nine times per minute. It was a single barrel flintlock weapon fitted with a revolving cylinder. It was intended for use aboard ships. The barrel was three feet long and each cylinder held 11 charges. It could fire 63 shots in seven minutes while the best a man loading his own weapon could achieve was three shots per minute. There were two versions of the Puckle gun produced. One was for use on Christians while the other with square bullets was to be used against Muslims.

While this was the first machine gun patented, it was not adopted or produced. It did help with future designs of revolvers, however. In 1777 Philadelphia  gunsmith Joseph Belton offered a “new improved gun” to the Continental Congress which could fire twenty shots in five seconds. Congress asked for a modified gun firing fewer times per minute but withdrew their order when the cost was too high. More refinements took place and by the mid-1800s there was a flurry of multi-shot guns being offered.

The Agar Gun or coffee-mill gun, was invented early in the US Civil War era. Ammo was loaded into a hopper above the weapon and a hand crank loaded the single barrel. President Lincoln was impressed with a demonstration and order 10 [at a cost of $1,300 each or about $33,000 each today] right away. Eventually 54 Agar Guns were used. At the same time, Richard Jordan Gatling patented his Gatling gun. This gun had machine loading of prepared cartridges and also used a hand-operated crank for rapid firing. It saw limited use in the Civil War, but was improved and used extensively in the Franco-Prussian War.

Next came the Maxim gun, invented in 1884 by Sir Hiram Maxim. It was the first self-powered machine gun. The recoil action of the previous bullet loaded the next to be fired. This offered a much higher rate of firing. He also used water to cool the gun by having a water jacket around the barrel. This gun was used extensively in World War I. During that time, the Vickers machine gun and the Hotchkiss machine gun were also put on the market. Submachine guns were also used for the first time during World War I.

“In front of us was not a line but a fortress position, twenty miles deep, entrenched and fortified, defended by masses of machine-gun posts and thousands of guns in a wide arc. No chance for cavalry!” – Philip Gibbs

“On the steps is a machine-gun ready for action. The square is empty; only the streets that lead into it are jammed with people. It would be madness to go farther – the machine-gun is covering the square.” – Erich Maria Remarque

“We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.” – George Orwell

“Anyone with a gun can go out and commit an act of terrorism, even without a political affiliation.” – Aaron McGruder

Also on this day:
A Cattle Trail Grows Up – In 1905 Las Vegas is established.
Friends Hospital – In 1817, the first private psychiatric hospital in the US opened.

Tagged with: , ,

Summer Olympics

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 14, 2011

Poster for the Summer Olympics in Paris in 1900

May 14, 1900: The Summer Olympics open in Paris, France. The games were associated with the World’s Fair, also running during the summer. There were no opening or closing ceremonies to the Olympic games which ended on October 28. There were 997 athletes competing from 24 different nations in 95 event divided into 19 sports. Not all winners received medals, some were given cups or trophies.

Baron de Coubertin worked for many years to get the Olympic games from ancient Greece started again. He succeeded in 1896 when the games were held in Athens at the expense of a local businessman. No city had time to adequately prepare for the events. Athletes also came to play without national backing, either financially or by training. There were slightly more than 200 men participating in the first games.

Paris hosted the 1900 games and women were included. Equestrian long and high jumps, a swimming obstacle course, and live pigeon shooting were all sports in 1900 and never again. France took the most medals with 26 first place wins, a total of 95 medals, and 184 points. The United States came in second with 18 firsts, 47 total, and 97 points. Third place went to Great Britain with 16 firsts, 30 total, and 68 points.

Alvin Kraenzlein, USA, won the most gold medals (4) while two other Americans won five medals each, but not all golds. Contests were held on Sunday and some athletes refused to participate on the Sabbath. Myer Prinstein refused to take his shot at the long jump, he was in the lead. Instead Kraenzlein bested him by 1 cm. Charlotte Cooper of Great Britain was the first woman to ever received a medal, and in fact won two golds in tennis. Margaret Abbot won a golf tournament in October in Paris and was the first US woman to receive an Olympic medal. Except that she did not get a medal and she died without ever knowing that she was an Olympic champion.

“When should a college athlete turn pro? Not until he has earned all he can in college as an amateur.” – Will Rogers

“There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.” – Anthony Robbins

“There has never been a great athlete who died not knowing what pain is.” – Bill Bradley

“I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn’t in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.” – Jesse Owens

Also on this day:
Lewis and Clark – In 1804 the Expedition begins their 28 month journey.
Gerardo – In 1939, five year old Lina gave birth to a son.

Tagged with: ,

Red Fort

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 13, 2011

Red Fort (photo by Svnitbharath)

May 13, 1648: Construction on Delhi’s Red Fort is complete. It is also sometimes called Lal Qil’ah or Lal Qila. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the walled city of Old Delhi and served as the home to the Imperial Family of India. It was also the capital of the Mughals until 1857. At that time, the Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, found himself exiled by the British Indian government.

Red Fort is a complex of buildings and is comprised of not only beautiful architecture, but much ornamental work as well. It merges Persian, European, and Indian artistic influences which resulted in a uniquely Shahjahani style. Even before national efforts to maintain the historic site, the buildings were maintained locally leaving them in better condition today than otherwise would have occurred. One enters the compound by the Lahore Gate which leads to a long covered bazaar lined with shops. This street is called Chatta Chowk and it leads to a large open space originally used for the fort’s military functions. The military was on the west and the palace was located in the east. The southern end is the Delhi Gate.

There are several important structures included at the site. The Diwan-i-Aam is a gate. Behind it lies a second open space used for large imperial audiences. The Diwan-i-Khas is a pavilion. It is clad completely in marble and the pillars are beautifully carved and set with semi-precious stones. The Nahr-i-Behisht are the imperial private apartments. Running through all these pavilions is a continuous water channel running to the river Yamuna. Zenana is the women’s quarters and Moti Masjid is the mosque. Hayah Bakhsh Bagh is a large formal garden.

Today, the Red Fort is a tourist attraction with thousands of visitors coming each year. On August 15 each year, the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation and does so from this location. There is a sound and light show describing the Mughal history and is part of the tourist attractions offered each evening. While it is still in great shape overall, some of the features have decayed with time and others have been harmed by vandals and looters. At one point home to 3,000 people, the residential palaces were destroyed by the British after they captured the fort in 1857.

“But nothing in India is identifiable, the mere asking of a question causes it to disappear or to merge in something else.” – E. M. Forster

“Europe is merely powerful; India is beautiful.” – Savitri Devi

“I like the evening in India, the one magic moment when the sun balances on the rim of the world, and the hush descends, and ten thousand civil servants drift homeward on a river of bicycles, brooding on the Lord Krishna and the cost of living.” – James Cameron

“In India, one has to plan according to the monsoons.” – Roland Joffe

Also on this day:
Knork? Spork? – In 1637 Cardinal Richelieu changes table settings.
Star Light, Star Bright – In 1861, the Great Comet was first discovered.

Tagged with: ,

Dvorak v. QWERTY

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 12, 2011

Dvorak keyboard

May 12, 1936: Patent # 2,040,248 is granted. Dr. August Dvorak and his brother-in-law, William Dealey, created a new keyboard for typewriters. The original or QWERTY keyboard was created by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1873 for the Sholes and Glidden typewriter. This was sold to Remington in the same year and became very popular. Actually, it was a bit different than the keyboard we all know today. As sold to Remington, the keys were arranged like this:


Remington made the adjustments to look like today’s standard keyboard.

They standard keyboard was dealing with a different technology than what we usually use today for data entry. Even before computers were invented and the different method for data input became nearly universal, typewriters were perfected to the point where keys jammed less frequently. Dvorak developed several permutations of his keyboard and they are collectively called Simplified Keyboard or American Simplified Keyboard. They have also been called the Dvorak keyboard or Dvorak layout. Advocates claim the Dvorak system reduces finger distance traveled and is supposed to allow for a faster word rate of typing. Claims have been made that it also reduces carpal tunnel syndrome.

The standard keyboard is still in use worldwide but all computer systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, and BDS) have ways to convert the keyboard from standard to Dvorak for those who wish to use the other system. The issues addressed were the awkward keystroke combination and same fingers repeatedly used with the standard system. The home key row is used only a small portion of the time with 52% of keystrokes on the top row and another 30% done on the bottom row. Also most typing is done with the left hand.

With the Dvorak layout, letters are usually typed using alternate hands which should increase speed and reduce errors. The most common letters and digraphs should be the easiest to reach and so these letters are located on the home row. The least common letters should be on the bottom row and since most people are right handed, that hand should do most of the typing. Digraphs, or two letters typed in conjunction, should not be typed with adjacent fingers. Stroking should generally move from the edges of the keyboard and move toward the middle. These issues were all addressed as the keyboard was designed.

“Over the years, I’ve trained myself to speak using the same language I would use if I were typing: meaning using full sentences in the way that paragraphs and scenes are arranged.” – Kevin J. Anderson

“Writing can be a very solitary business. It’s you sat at a desk typing words into a computer. It can get lonely sometimes and lots of writers live quite isolated lives.” – Paul Kane

“To this day, I get rewrite offers where they say: ‘We feel this script needs work with character, dialogue, plot and tone,’ and when you ask what’s left, they say: ‘Well, the typing is very good.’” – John Sayles

“That isn’t writing at all, it’s typing.” – Truman Capote

Also on this day:
¿Yo quiero Taco Bell? – In 1989 Joe Valdez Caballero dies.
Strike! – In 1950, the American Bowling Congress dropped the white males only requirement for membership.