Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On April 15

On this day in ...
... 1873 (135 years ago today), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Bradwell v. Illinois that Illinois had not violated the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by refusing to admit Myra Bradwell to the state bar for the reason that she was a married woman. (Bradwell, left, had read law with her husband, Judge James Bradwell, and had passed the bar examination). Justice Joseph P. Bradley elaborated:
The paramount destiny and mission of women are to fulfill the noble and benign office of wife and mother.
The state relented long afterward, so that in 1892 Bradwell became the first woman lawyer in Illinois.
... 1923 (85 years ago today), insulin became available for general use to treat persons afflicted with diabetes. The utility of insulin, a natural hormone that aids humans' metabolism for carbohydrates, had been discovered a year earlier by Frederick Banting and Charles Best in the laboratory at right at Canada's University of Toronto. As one with generations of ancestors who've endured diabetes, I mark this anniversary with special gratitude.

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