Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Today in History: Rodney King Verdict

On this day in 1992, a jury in Simi Valley, CA found three of the four arresting officers innocent of use of excessive force during the arrest of Rodney King. The trial brought to close a year-long investigation of King's arrest during a traffic stop.

After the announcement of the verdict, rioting and looting broke out across Los Angeles, causing fifty-four deaths, thousands of injuries, over 7000 arrests, and close to $1 billion in property damage.

The National Guard was mobilized by then Governor Pete Wilson to quell the violence and restore order. President George H.W. Bush hinted at a federal prosecution, which would end in April 1993 with a split verdict between the four officers.

“20 Years Ago, the Rodney King Traffic Stop Changed L.A. Forever.” N.p., 2 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

"King, Rodney (1965--2012)." Culture Wars in America: An Encyclopedia of Issues, 
Viewpoints, and VoicesEds. Roger Chapman and James Ciment. London: Routledge, 
2013. Credo Reference. Web. 29 Apr 2015.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Samuel Morse!

On this day in 1791, the inventor of the telegraph and the standardized code used to transmit messages (later called Morse code) was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts. A Yale graduate, Morse was also a renown historical style and portrait painter.

The burgeoning field of electricity became a hobby, and began working on the telegraph in 1830s. The first message, sent from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. in 1844, was "What hath God wrought!"

For more information:

"Morse, Samuel Finley Breese." The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia 

     University Press, 2015. Credo Reference. Web. 27 Apr 2015.

"Samuel F.B. Morse." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online 

     Academic Edition. Encyclop√¶dia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.