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Today’s Notable U. S. Birthdays
Thomas Edison – Influential American inventor and businessman
Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large teamwork to the process of invention, and therefore is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
Melville Fuller – 8th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Melville Weston Fuller (February 11, 1833 – July 4, 1910) was the eighth Chief Justice of the United States between 1888 and 1910. On April 30, 1888, President Grover Cleveland nominated him for the Chief Justice position when Morrison Waite died in 1888.
On the bench, he oversaw a number of memorable or important opinions. The famous phrase “Equal Justice Under Law” apparently paraphrases his opinion in Caldwell v. Texas, 137 U.S. 692 (1891) where Fuller discussed “equal and impartial justice under the law.” The equally famous (and much criticized) phrase “separate but equal,” justifying segregation in the South, was made famous by the Fuller Court case Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).