Monday, February 16, 2009

On February 16

On this day in ...
... 1937, a synthetic fiber called "nylon" was patented by the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. Inc. "One of the first consumer uses of this new wonder plastic was replacing hog bristles in tooth brushes," but the 2d consumer use, yarn for hosiery, so eclipsed it that to this day women's stockings are commonly called "nylons" (left).
... 1804 (205 years ago today), amid the Barbary Wars in which the United States battled pirates who assailed ships in the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. armed forces destroyed a U.S. ship that had run aground at Tripoli Harbor, in what's now Libya, after which it had been seized and hundreds aboard held captive. (image credit) Though this raid was a success, the months of military efforts to free the hostages were not. Eventually President Thomas Jefferson secured release by returning "Tripolitan captives" and paying $60,000.

(Prior February 16 posts are here and here.)

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