1894 –  A. C. Richardson, a black inventor, invented the casket lowering device, patent #529,311


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Inventor of the Butter Churn and a casket lowering device.

Albert Richardson was one of those rare inventors who not only created numerous devices, but created devices that were completely unrelated to one another.

Until 1891 anyone wanting to make butter would have to do so by hand in a bowl. On February 17, 1891 Richardson patented the butter churn. The device consisted of a large wooden cylinder container with a plunger-like handle which moved up and down. In doing so, the movement caused oily parts of cream or milk to become separated from the more watery parts. This allowed for an easy way to make butter and forever changed the food industry.

In 1894, Richardson saw a problem with the way the bodies of dead people were buried. It was common at that time to simply bury bodies in small, shallow graves or to try to lower their caskets with ropes into a deeper hole. Unfortunately, this required several people to work in unison to ensure that the casket was lowered evenly. Failure to do so could cause the casket to slip out of one of the ropes and to be damaged from hitting the ground. On November 13, 1894, Richardson patented the casket lowering device which consisted of a series of pulleys and ropes or cloths which ensured uniformity in the lowering process. This invention was very significant at that time and is used in all cemeteries today.

In addition to these devices, Richardson patented a hame fastener in 1882, an insect destroyer in February of 1899 and an improvement in the design of the bottle in December of 1899.

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1940 – On this day, the Supreme Court ruled in Hansberry v. Lee that whites can’t bar African Americans from white neighborhoods


November 13th in African American History – Hansberry v. Lee

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The ruling states that whites could not bar African Americans from white neighborhoods, but did not rule that restrictive covenants based on race were void.

It ruled for Hansberry on a legal technicality that Lee did not represent the entire class because a number of the homeowners (approximately 46%) disagreed with the covenant. Restrictive covenants based on race were completely outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 3, 1948 in the case of Shelley v. Kraemer.

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 November 13 -1913 – The first Black elected to the American College of Surgeons was Dr. Daniel Hale Williams and the first person to perform open heart surgery. blackfacts.com 


 1775 – During the American Revolution, U.S. forces captured Montreal.

1789 – Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

1805 – Johann George Lehner, a Viennese butcher, invented a recipe and called it the “frankfurter.”

1894 – A. C. Richardson, a black inventor, invented the casket lowering device, patent#529,311 blackfacts.com

1913 – The first Black elected to the American College of Surgeons was Dr. Daniel Hale Williams who was also the first person to perform open heart surgery. blackfacts.com 

1927 – The Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.

1933 – In Austin, MN, the first sit-down labor strike in America took place. 

1940 – On this day, the Supreme Court ruled in Hansberry v. Lee that whites can’t bar African Americans from white neighborhoods blackfacts.com

1940 – The Walt Disney movie “Fantasia” had its world premiere at New York’s Broadway Theater.
Disney movies, music and books

1942 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

1956 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses. 

1971 – The U.S. spacecraft Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet, Mars. 

1977 – The comic strip “Li’l Abner” by Al Capp appeared in newspapers for the last time.

1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC

1984 – A libel suit against Time, Inc. by former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon went to trial in New York.

1986 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly acknowledged that the U.S. had sent “defensive weapons and spare parts” to Iran. He denied that the shipments were sent to free hostages, but that they had been sent to improve relations.

1991 – Roger Clemens won his third Cy Young Award for the American League.

1994 – Sweden voted to join the European Union.

1995 – Greg Maddox (Atlanta Braves) became the first major league pitcher to win four consecutive Cy Young Awards.

1997 – Iraq expelled six U.N. arms inspectors that were U.S. citizens.

2001 – U.S. President George W. Bush signed an executive order that would allow for military tribunals to try any foreigners captured with connections to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. It was the first time since World War II that a president had taken such action. 

2006 – A deal was finalized for Google Inc. to acquire YouTube for $1.65 million in Google stock.

2009 – NASA announced that water had been discovered on the moon. The discovery came from the planned impact on the moon of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).