1756 Over one hundred British prisoners suffocated at the Black Hole of Calcutta.
1782 The Great Seal of the United States was adopted by Congress.
1837 Victoria became Queen of England. (See January 2nd, January 22nd, February 10th, and May 24th entries.)
1893 Lizzie Borden was acquitted of murder.
1993 The Chicago Bulls became the first team to win three successive NBA championships in twenty-seven years. (See June 12th and June 19th entries.)
1907 Lillian Heilman was born. (See May 27th entry.)
It would be wonderful if some events never happened. But we cannot change history, only keep it as reminder so that we might never let it repeat itself. Today is the anniversary of an incident known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. One hundred forty-six British soldiers were placed in a tiny dungeon that was so crowded only twenty-three survived the fateful night in 1756. The governor of Bengal, Narwab Suraj ad Dawlah, had ordered his army to overtake the East India Company’s garrison in Calcutta to protest Great Britain’s expansion into India.
The Great Seal of the United States was adopted on this very day by the U. S. Congress back in 1782. That was before we even had a constitution! The nation’s symbol featured an eagle holding an olive branch, and the legend, “E Pluribus Unum,” which, in Latin, means “one from many.”
Every generation has its crime of the century. Today we have the anniversary of a not - guilty verdict handed down for such a crime. This verdict did not, however, put an end to the strangely persistent legend. In 1893, Lizzie Borden was acquitted in New Bedford, Massachusetts, of the murders of her father and her stepmother. You may not know that she was acquitted. You are more likely to know the children’s rhyme which goes: “Lizzie Borden took an ax. / Gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done. / She gave her father forty-one.”
On this day in 1905, a champion of human rights was born in New Orleans. Playwright Lillian Heilman became a well-known playwright and screenwriter penning stories that
Blatantly attacked injustice, exploitation, and selfishness in human nature. The Children’s Hour, Little Foxes, and Watch on the Rhine exposed the effect a malicious child, a manipulating family, and an irresponsible, carefree generation had on individual lives and on their surroundings.