1242 Alexander Nevsky defeated the Teutons and Livonians.
1792 First Presidential veto took place.
1827 Sir Joseph Lister was born. (See August 15th entry.)
1856 Booker T. Washington was born.
On this day, in 1792, President George Washington, for the first time, used his power to veto a bill passed by Congress. He rejected a measure apportioning the number of representative districts. It was a Presidential precedent and Washington’s successors have been far less reluctant to use their veto power. Our system of governmental checks and balances was designed to give all three branches some kind of governance over the other two. Whether this would have continued if the first President had not chosen to exercise the veto is something we will never know.
Today is Booker T. Washington’s birthday. born in 1856 in Franklin County, Virginia, Washington emerged from a childhood in slavery to become a pioneer of African - American education and the first head of the famous Tuskegee Institute. He worked to gain the rights for all African-Americans to receive an education. We now take that right for granted but for many years it was outlawed in this country. His progressive spirit inspired many young people to reach far above public expectations or objections.
Today is the birthday of a pioneer of preventive medicine and the founder of antiseptic medicine. In 1827, Sir Joseph Lister was born in Essex, England. He grew up to become a surgeon at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Placing him in charge of a new surgical block in 1861, the hospital’s managers hoped that the young doctor and the new
Facilities would decrease the incidence of “hospital disease” among postoperative patients. This fatal illness was killing nearly fifty percent of Lister’s Male Accident Ward patients. Dr. Lister tried many methods to combat the outbreak, but it wasn’t until August 12, 1865, that he found a cure. Using an antiseptic barrier to protect surgical wounds from airborne bacteria, Lister reduced patient mortality to less than fifteen percent within a year.
On this day in 1242, Teutonic and Livonian invaders were defeated by a relative handful of soldiers as they advanced on the Russian city of Novgorod. Led by the first non - Mongol czar, Alexander Nevsky, the brave yet ill-equipped Russian army stood on the shores of Lake Pepius awaiting their fate. The Battle of the Ice, as it was later called was just that. As soldiers met in combat, the weight of men and horses weakened the ice on the frozen lake. Miraculously, the ice broke beneath the enemy, taking them to a chilling death. The city was saved. And according to history, the battle signaled the end of the Mongol rule of Russia.