1776 The Declaration of Independence was first read to the public.
1835 The Liberty Bell cracked.
1885 The Wall Street Journal was first published.
1896 William Jennings Bryan gave his “cross of gold” speech.
On this day in 1835, the Liberty Bell cracked while it chimed in honor of Chief Justice John Marshall who had recently died. This day is now observed as Liberty Bell Day. The Liberty Bell stands silent in Philadelphia. It rings only in our memories and our hearts.
We sometimes forget how different our times are from those in the past. Today brings a reminder. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, but it took four more days before it was publicly read. Today marks the anniversary of that first public reading in Philadelphia. The next day it was read aloud to General George Washington’s troops in New York. It took two days to prepare copies for shipment to all the colonies. It took another month until all the copies were signed.
Today marks the anniversary of a speech made at the 1896 Democratic National Convention. At this assembly, Nebraska delegate William Jennings Bryan said: “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” His oratory electrified the convention. A few days later, this thirty-six-year-old Demosthenes was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate.
Today, in 1885, was the day that the first Wall Street Journal was published. Even the daily that generations of financial wizards have relied upon to forecast the future couldn’t have predicted the state of the world today. But as it has already established an Internet edition, it is once again showing us the direction the world is heading.