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Dictionary of US History
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|Marquette, Father Jacques
Father Jacques Marquette (1637-1675) was a French Jesuit priest and explorer. He sailed to Quebec in 1666 and in 1671 started a Chippewa mission at Chequamegon Bay (at the western end of Lake Superior). Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette (and five others) found the Mississippi River in 1673; they were the first Caucasians to see the Mississippi River. They travelled along Lake Michigan to Green Bay, canoed up the Fox River, and went downstream on the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi River. They travelled almost to the mouth of the Arkansas, and then stopped because they were warned of hostile Indians and Spanish explorers. They returned via the Illinois River, then the Chicago River to Lake Michigan. Marquette died of dysentery on his way to the Kaskaskian Indians, to whom he had planned on preaching.
Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe (1948-1986) was an American schoolteacher who was chosen to be the first teacher in space.
McAuliffe was killed, along with her six fellow astronauts (Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, and Gregory B. Jarvis), when the NASA's Space Shuttle Challenger Mission 51-L exploded only 73 seconds after its launch on the morning of January 28, 1986.
McAuliffe was born on September 2, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. She taught at Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire, before being chosen for the Space Shuttle mission (she was chosen from over 11,000 applicants). McAuliffe was married and had two children.
The parking meter is a device for generating money from a parking spot. When you put money in the meter, you are allowed to park for a given amount of time - after that, you can be given a parking ticket.
The parking meter was invented by Carl C. Magee of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. The first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City. Magee holds a patent (#2,118,318) for a "coin controlled parking meter," filed on May 13, 1935 and issued on May 24, 1938.
Othniel C. Marsh (1831-1899) was a US paleontologist from Yale University who named the dinosaur suborder Theropoda (1881), Sauropoda (1878). He named named roughly 500 new species of fossil animals (they were found by Marsh and his many fossil hunters). Marsh named the following dinosaur genera: Allosaurus (1877), Ammosaurus (1890), Anchisaurus (1885), Apatosaurus (1877), Atlantosaurus (1877), Barosaurus (1890), Camptosaurus (1885), Ceratops (1888), Ceratosaurus (1884), Claosaurus (1890), Coelurus (1879), Creosaurus (1878), Diplodocus (1878), Diracodon (1881), Dryosaurus (1894), Dryptosaurus (1877), Labrosaurus (1896), Laosaurus (1878), Nanosaurus (1877), Nodosaurus (1889), Ornithomimus (1890), Pleurocoelus (1891), Priconodon (1888), Stegosaurus (1877), Torosaurus (1891), Triceratops (1889), Tripriodon (1889). He named the suborders Ceratopsia (1890), Ceratosauria (1884), Ornithopoda (1881), Stegosauria (1877), and Theropoda. He named the families Allosauridae (1878), Anchisauridae (1885), Camptosauridae (1885), Ceratopsidae (1890), Ceratosauridae, Coeluridae, Diplodocidae (1884), Dryptosauridae, Nodosauridae (1890), Ornithomimidae (1890), Plateosauridae (1895), and Stegosauridae (1880). He also named many individual species of dinosaurs. The dinosaur Othnielia was named in 1977 by P. Galton as a tribute to Marsh, as was Marshosaurus bicentesmus (Madsen, 1976).
Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 - Jan. 24, 1993) was the first African-American justice of the US Supreme Court. Marshall was on the team of lawyers in the historic Supreme Court trial concerning school desegregation, Brown v. Board of Education (1954). As a result of this trial, the "separate but equal" doctrine in public education was overthrown. After a successful career as a lawyer and judge fighting for civil rights and women's rights, Marshall was appointed to the high court in 1967 (by President Lyndon Baines Johnson). On the high court, Marshall continued his fight for human rights until he retired on June 27, 1991.
Larry D. Martin is a paleontologist, author, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Kansas. Martin has theorized that birds evolved not from dinosaurs, but from another group of reptiles - this theory has been rejected by most paleontologists.
Ruth Mason ( -1990) found a huge dinosaur fossils bone bed (a collection of thousands of fossils) on her family's Harding County, South Dakota, USA, ranch when she was 7 years old. Since then, tens of thousands of dinosaur fossils have been found at the "Ruth Mason Quarry," near Faith, SD. The dinosaurs include huge numbers of Edmontosaurus annectens ( duck-billed, plant-eating dinosaurs), T. rex teeth, and others.
|Mauchley, John William
ENIAC stands for "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer." It was one of the first all-purpose, all-electronic digital computers. This room-sized computer was built by the physicist John William Mauchly (Aug. 30, 1907 - Jan. 8, 1980) and the electrical engineer John Presper Eckert, Jr. (April 9, 1919 - June 3, 1995) at the University of Pennsylvania. They completed the machine in November, 1945.
|McCormick, Cyrus Hall
Cyrus Hall McCormick (February 15, 1809 - May 13, 1884) was an American inventor (of Irish descent) who developed the mechanical reaper. His new machine combined many of the steps involved in harvesting crops, greatly increased crop yields, decreased the number of field hands needed for the harvest, lowered costs, and revolutionized farming.
Elijah McCoy (1843 or 1844-1929) was a mechanical engineer and inventor. McCoy's high-quality industrial inventions (especially his steam engine lubricator) were the basis for the expression "the real McCoy," meaning the real, authentic, or high-quality thing.
|McVicker, Noah and Joseph
Play-Doh, a popular children's modeling clay, was invented by Noah W. McVicker and Joseph S. McVicker. They patented Play-Doh in 1956 (patent # 3,167,440). The original Play-Doh was sold in only one color, off- white. Eventually, many colors were marketed. Over 700 million pounds of Play-Doh have been sold, but the formula is still a secret.
Peter Minuit (1580-1638) was the first director general of New Amsterdam, a Dutch colony in America. Minuit was sent to the area by the Dutch West India Company. Minuit is famous for buying the island of Manhattan (in what is now New York, USA) from Native Americans in 1626. He bought the island with trinkets valued at about $24. He founded New Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan. In 1631, Minuit was dismissed from the Dutch West India Company, and in 1638 headed a Swedish group that founded New Sweden (the first European settlement on the Delaware River). Minuit bought land from the Native Americans and founded Fort Christina (near what is now Wilmington, Delaware, USA). Minuit died in a hurricane in the West Indies while on a trading mission in 1638.
Maria Mitchell (August 1, 1818 -June 28, 1889 ) was the first woman Professor of Astronomy of the United States. In 1865, Maria Mitchell became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York (she had previously been a librarian) . She discovered a comet (in 1847), studied the planets Jupiter and Saturn, and photographed many stars. Despite her accomplishments, when she visited the Vatican Observatory in Italy, she was only allowed to enter the observatory during the day. Maria Mitchell was the first woman accepted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1848), the Association for the Advancement of Science (1850), and the American Philosophical Society (1869). Mitchell was one of the founders of the American Association for the Advancement of Women (1873).
The Monroe Doctrine was issued by President James Monroe in his annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823, stating that the USA should be closed to European colonization, free from European influence, and neutral in any European wars.
James Monroe (1758-1831). The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Virginia to James and Nelly Conway Madison. He was one of 10 children. Madison fought in the Continental Army and practiced law in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Monroe , an anti-Federalists, participated in the Virginia Convention that approved the Constitution of the United States. In 1817, his first term as president began. In 1819, the USA purchased Florida from Spain for $5,000,000. Madison was re-elected in 1820, serving until 1825. In 1823, he established the Monroe Doctrine, limiting European power and influence in the Americas. Monroe died on July 4, 1831, in New York City, New York.
The push pin ("a thumbtack with an elongated handle that makes it easier to put in and remove") was invented by the Pennsylvanian inventor Edwin Moore in 1900. Moore started a company producing these useful pins in 1900. After years of growing, his company incorporated on July 19, 1904, and was called the "Moore Push-Pin Company." The company 1912 through 1977, the Company was located in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Garrett Augustus Morgan (March 4, 1877 - August 27, 1963), was an African-American inventor and businessman. He was the first person to patent a traffic signal. He also developed the gas mask (and many other inventions). Morgan used his gas mask (patent No. 1,090,936, 1914) to rescue miners who were trapped underground in a noxious mine. Soon after, Morgan was asked to produce gas masks for the US Army.
For more information on Morgan, click here.
|Morse, Samuel F. B.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872) was an American inventor and painter. After a successful career painting in oils (first painting historical scenes and then portraits), Morse built the first American telegraph around 1835 (the telegraph was also being developed independently in Europe).
A telegraph sends electrical signals over a long distance, through wires. In 1830, Joseph Henry (1797-1878) made the first long-distance telegraphic device - he sent an electric current for over a mile on wire that activated an electromagnet, causing a bell to ring.
Morse patented a working telegraph machine in 1837, with help from his business partners Leonard Gale and Alfred Vail. Morse used a dots-and-spaces code for the letters of the alphabet and the numbers (Morse Code was later improved to use dots, dashes and spaces: for example E is dot, T is dash, A is dot-dash, N is dash-dot, O is dash-dash-dash, I is dot-dot, S is dot-dot-dot, etc.). By 1838, Morse could send 10 words per minute. Congress provided funds for building a telegraph line between Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, in 1843. Morse sent the first telegraphic message (from Washington D.C. to Baltimore) on May 24, 1844; the message was: "What hath God wrought?" The telegraph revolutionized long-distance communications.
The medicine ball is a weighed ball used in strength training; medicine balls range from 2 to 60 pounds in weight. The medicine ball was invented by William "Iron Duke" Muldoon, a nineteenth-century wrestling champion and boxing trainer.
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