1st Us Firsts

Today in History, Historical 1sts: 1829 – Tremont Hotel, 1st US modern hotel opens in Boston. The Tremont House, desugned by artichtect Isiah Rogers, was a four-story, granite-faced, neoclassical building, […]
October 16, 2015

Today in History, Historical 1sts:

1829 – Tremont Hotel, 1st US modern hotel opens in Boston.

The Tremont House, desugned by artichtect Isiah Rogers, was a four-story, granite-faced, neoclassical building, located at the corner of Tremont and Beacon Streets, with its main entrance on Tremont. It incorporated many hotel “firsts”:

Indoor plumbing
Indoor toilets and baths
Reception area
Locked rooms for the guest
Free soap

The hotel’s water was raised by steam-powered pump to a storage tank on its roof, where it fed by gravity to the taps. Eight water closets (toilets) were provided on the ground floor. Bathrooms for bathing were located in the basement, and served by cold running water. Bathtubs were copper or tin, with local gas heating for the tub’s water. Running water was also provided to the kitchen and laundry. A simple system removed the waste water to the sewage system.

1848 – 1st US homeopathic medical college opens in Pennsylvania.

The history of homeopathy begins with the discoveries of its founder Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician. Hahnemann first coined the word “homeopathy” (“homoios” in Greek means similar, “pathos” means suffering) to refer to the pharmacological principle, the law of similars, that is its basis. Actually, the law of similars was previously described by Hippocrates and Paracelsus and was utilized by many cultures, including the Mayans, Chinese, Greeks, Native American Indians, and Asian Indians, but it was Hahnemann who codified the law of similars into a systematic medical science.

In 1848, the Homeopathic College of Pennsylvania was established by Constantine Hering, Jacob Jeanes and Walter Williamson to provide training in what was then an emerging system of medicine called homeopathy. In 1869, the Homeopathic College was renamed in honor of Samuel Hahnemann, one of the pioneers of homeopathic medicine, as Hahnemann Medical College. In 1982, Hahnemann Medical College gained university status as Hahnemann University.

1850 – Oldest Existing County Fair

On this date the Walworth County Fair was held for the first time in the village of East Troy. This is the oldest existing county fair on record in Wisconsin.


1903 – Homel, 1st Jewish self defense organization founded in Russia

The Jewish Defense League (JDL) is a Jewish far-right religious-political organization in the United States, whose stated goal is to “protect Jews from antisemitism by whatever means necessary”.

The JDL upholds five fundamental principles:

“LOVE OF JEWRY, one Jewish people, indivisible and united, from which flows the love for and the feeling of pain of all Jews.”
“DIGNITY AND PRIDE, pride in and knowledge of Jewish tradition, faith, culture, land, history, strength, pain and peoplehood.”
“IRON, the need to both move to help Jews everywhere and to change the Jewish image through sacrifice and all necessary means—even strength, force and violence.”
“DISCIPLINE AND UNITY, the knowledge that he (or she) can and will do whatever must be done, and the unity and strength of willpower to bring this into reality.”
“FAITH IN THE INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE, faith in the greatness and indestructibility of the Jewish people, our religion and our Land of Israel.”

Homel is a District town in the government of Moghilef, Russia, situated on the right bank of the River Sozh, an affluent of the Dnieper. In 1902 its Jews numbered 26,161 in a total population of 40,446, or 56.4 per cent. It is not certain when Jews first settled in Homel; but as it came into the possession of Lithuania in 1537.

Anti-Jewish outbreaks occurred in Homel in Sept., 1903. Rumors of impending riots had been circulated in the latter part of the previous month. The trouble arose on Friday, Sept. 11, when a watchman wished to buy from a Jewish woman a barrel of herring worth six rubles for one ruble fifty copecks. In the fight which followed between the Jewish pedlers of the market-place and the Christians who came to the aid of the watchman, one of the Christians was injured and died the same day. The riot was renewed on the following day, and when it had been quelled the town was practically under martial law.

On Monday, 14 SEP. about 100 railway employees gathered and began to break the windows and to enter and plunder the houses of the Jews in the poorest quarters of the town, one of which is called “Novaya Amerika” (=”New America”). A number of Jews armed and began to defend themselves; but the soldiers prevented them from entering the streets where the plundering was going on, and forced them back to their homes, beating and arresting those who resisted. According to a reliable report, other soldiers and the police looked on in an indifferent way while the mob continued its plundering and committed all kinds of excesses. The shrieks of children could be heard in the streets which the soldiers had blocked against the Jews without; and when some of the Jews tried to force their way down the side-streets, the soldiers fired on them, wounding several among them and killing six.

The JDL officially formed a month later on 16 Oct 1903.


1940 – Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr, becomes the US’s fist black general.
Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr., was the first black general for the US Army, after starting as a volunteer in the Spanish-American War. Following many years of service he became an adviser for the military on racial discrimination, pushing for full integration of the armed forces. He earned a Bronze Star Medal and Distinguished Service Medal.

Born on 10 July 1877 in D.C. He entered the military service on July 13, 1898, during the War with Spain as a temporary first lieutenant of the 8th United States Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered out on 06 March, 1899, and on June 18, 1899, he enlisted as a private in Troop I, 9th Cavalry, of the Regular Army. He then served as corporal and squadron sergeant major, and on 02 February 1901, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry in the Regular Army.

He was promoted to 1LT on 30 March 1905; to captain on 24 December 1915; to MAJ (temporary) on August 5, 1917; and to LTC (temporary) on 01 May 1918. He reverted to his permanent rank of cpt on 14 October 1919, and was promoted to ltc on 01 July 1920; to COL on 18 February 1930; to BGEN (temporary) on 16 October 1940. He was retired on 31 July 1941, and recalled to active duty with the rank of BGEN the following day.

1940 – Registration begins for the draft according to the provisions of the Selective Service Act. The first drafts will be balloted on October 29th. This is the first peacetime draft in US history.

1968 – Milwaukee Bucks Play First Game

On this date the Milwaukee Bucks opened their first season with an 89-84 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The loss was witnessed by 8,467 fans in the Milwaukee Arena. The starting lineup featured Wayne Embry at center, Fred Hetzel and Len Chappell at forward, and Jon McGlocklin and Guy Rodgers in the backcourt. Larry Costello was the head coach. The Bucks had its first win in their sixth game of the season with a 134-118 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

1988 – Orel Hirsheiser, 1st to pitch shutout in playoff & World Series.
1992 – The 1964 “Gilligan’s Island” TV pilot 1st shown on TV

Due to the three significant character and casting changes between the pilot episode and the first series, the pilot was not shown when the first series was aired in 1964.

Four of the original seven pilot characters were identical to those of the series (including the actor/actress cast for each role): Gilligan, the Skipper, and the two Howells.

The three remaining original pilot characters differed from those of the series (including the actor/actress cast): In the pilot, the Professor was instead a high school teacher played by John Gabriel; Ginger the movie star was instead Ginger, a practical secretary with red hair, played by Kit Smythe; and Mary Ann the Kansas farm girl was instead Bunny, a stereotypically cheerful “dumb blonde” secretary, played by Nancy McCarthy.

The pilot’s opening and ending theme songs, two similar Calypso-styled tracks written by John Williams and performed by Sherwood Schwarz himself impersonating Sir Lancelot with differing lyrics, were quite different from those of the actual series. The short scenes during the opening theme song (which is longer than the series opening theme song) include Gilligan taking the Howells’ luggage to the boat before cast-off and Gilligan attempting to give a cup of coffee to the Skipper during the storm that would ultimately maroon the boat.


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