1790 The U. S. Patent law was approved.
1849 The safety pin was patented.
1866 American Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was chartered.
1945 Buchenwald concentration camp was liberated.
Today marks a few important anniversaries for those who have built better mousetraps. In 1790, the first U. S. patent law was approved to protect inventions against piracy. And in 1849, the safety pin was patented by Walter Hunt of New York, thanks to that law.
Some enlightened New Yorkers obtained an important charter on this date in 1866. They founded the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The mistreatment of animals, particularly cart horses and beasts of burden, was so commonplace that it wasn’t generally regarded as cruel behavior at the time. More than a century later, the ASPCA is still championing the rights of abandoned pets; and the safety of wild animals that have been abused.
Cruelty is not peculiar to a particular era. Seventy-nine years to the day after the New York anti-cruelty movement began fighting for animal rights, the victorious Allies in the Second World War came upon the horror of the Nazi concentration camps. Today marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. In
1945, the U. S. Army’s Eightieth Division found piles of corpses, living skeletons, crematoria, gas chambers, and paraphernalia which made the tortures of the Inquisition look like kindergarten. On this day, civilization discovered that barbarism was not dead. But it was not the last time such atrocities against human beings were discovered.