Good morning, Whitewater.
Midweek in town will be mostly sunny with a high of eighty-nine. Sunrise is 5:57 AM and sunset 8:02 PM, for 14h 05m 21s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 47% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1846, Pres. Polk signs legislation chartering the Smithsonian Institution:
British scientist James Smithson (d. 1829) left most of his wealth to his nephew Henry James Hungerford. When Hungerford died childless in 1835, the estate passed “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men”, in accordance with Smithson’s will. Congress officially accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation, and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836. The American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. Rush returned in August 1838 with 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns (about $500,000 at the time, which is equivalent to $11,111,000 in 2015).
Once the money was in hand, eight years of Congressional haggling ensued over how to interpret Smithson’s rather vague mandate “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Unfortunately, the money was invested by the US Treasury in bonds issued by the state of Arkansas which soon defaulted. After heated debate, Massachusetts Representative (and ex-President) John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning. Finally, on August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a Secretary of the Smithsonian.
On this day in 1962, Marvel unveils a new character:
Spider-Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics existing in its shared universe. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko, and first appearedin the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962) in the Silver Age of Comic Books. Lee and Ditko conceived the character as an orphan being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and as a teenager, having to deal with the normal struggles of adolescence in addition to those of a costumed crime-fighter. Spider-Man’s creators gave him super strength and agility, the ability to cling to most surfaces, shoot spider-webs using wrist-mounted devices of his own invention, which he calls “web-shooters”, and react to danger quickly with his “spider-sense”, enabling him to combat his foes. And later in his life founded his own company call Parker Industries.
JigZone‘s Wednesday puzzle is of a dog: