Photo: Alfred Butts, born 13 April 1899, was a jobless architect in the Depression when he invented the board game Scrabble. The game was just a fad for Butts’s friends until a Macy’s executive saw the game being played at a resort in 1952, and the world’s largest store began carrying it. Manufacturing of the game was turned over to Selchow & Righter when 35 workers were producing 6,000 sets a week. Butts received three cents per set for years. He said, “One-third went to taxes. I gave one-third away, and the other third enabled me to have an enjoyable life.” Butts was born at Poughkeepsie, NY. He died 4 April 1993, at Rhinebeck, NY.
On April 12, 1955, Dr. Jonas E. Salk announced that a polio vaccine developed was “safe, potent and effective.” Incidence of the dreaded infantile paralysis, or poliomyelitis, declined by 95 percent following introduction of preventive vaccines. The first mass innoculations of children with the Salk vaccine had begun in Pittsburgh, PA, 23 February 1954.
On 11 April 1968, exactly one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (protecting civil rights workers, expanding the rights of Native Americans and providing antidiscrimination measures in housing) was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who said: “[ T] he proudest moments of my presidency have been times such as this when I have signed into law the promises of a century.”
Our popular interview series – May I Introduce To You – will be on a short hiatus beginning Monday 10 April 2017 and will return on Monday 24 April 2017!
The Smokey Robinson episode of Who Do You Think You Are? which aired Sunday, April 9th on TLC is now available for viewing online!
Apr 10, 1866. American diplomat Henry Bergh, angry at the widespread abuse of animals (cockfighting, whipping of cart horses, starving of working dogs and more) sought its end through the creation of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the New York State legislature. On this day, the charter was passed, and on Apr 19, 1866, the first animal cruelty laws were passed. Bergh based the formation of the ASPCA on Britain’s Royal Soceity for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that had been founded in 1840. “It is a moral question in all its aspects,” Bergh persuasively argued.
The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries is an AMAZING resource for US genealogical research – offline for nearly two years, it is now back and ready to use!
On 9 April 1865 at 1:30 PM General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, commander in chief of the Union Army, ending four years of civil war. The meeting took place in the house of Wilmer McLean at the village of Appomattox Court House, VA. Confederate soldiers were permitted to keep their horses and go free to their homes, while Confederate officers were allowed to retain their swords and sidearms as well. Grant wrote the terms of surrender. Formal surrender took place at the courthouse on 12 April. Death toll for the Civil War is estimated at 500,000 men.
There are 2 newly-discovered genealogy blogs the week ending 8 April 2017 at GeneaBloggers covering all types of genealogy!
Photo: On 8 April 1974, Henry (“ Hammerin’ Hank”) Aaron hit the 715th home run of his career, breaking the record set by Babe Ruth in 1935. Playing for the Atlanta Braves, Aaron broke the record at Atlanta in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished his career in 1976 with a total of 755 home runs. At the time of his retirement, Aaron also ranked first in RBIs, second in at bats and runs scored and third in base hits. On 7 August 2007, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 756th home run to break Aaron’s record.