Daily TWiP ArchivesSomething interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.
More in "Daily TWiP"
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 23: National Mole Day
- Daily TWiP - June 18: International Picnic Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30, 1859: The Great Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 1, 1761: Famed wax sculptor Madame Tussaud born
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 8: National Fluffernutter Day
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 7, 1936: "Benjamin," the last thylacine, dies
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 12, 1933: First photograph of the Loch Ness Monster taken
- Daily TWiP - April 1, 1957: The BBC pulls off its infamous spaghetti tree hoax
- Daily TWiP - April 11, 1954: The most boring day of the 20th century
- Daily TWiP - May 3, 1978: The first spam email is sent
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 28, 1939: The non-word “dord” is discovered in Webster’s New International Dictionary
- Daily TWiP - March 3, 1931: "The Star-Spangled Banner," set to the tune of an English drinking song, becomes the U.S. national anthem
- Daily TWiP - May 16, 1777: The American with the most valuable autograph is fatally wounded in a duel
- Daily TWiP - May 25: Towel Day and Geek Pride Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
- Daily TWiP - July 22: Spoonerism Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 13: International Left-Handers' Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 23, 1784: The short-lived state of Franklin declares its independence from North Carolina
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 5, 1897: The Indiana General Assembly unanimously votes to change the value of pi
- Daily TWiP - March 10: International Day of Awesomeness and Chuck Norris' birthday
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 25: National Irish Coffee Day
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 30, 1954: Ann Hodges becomes the first person hit by a meteorite
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 6, 1582 does not happen in certain countries
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 17, 1859: Joshua A. Norton declares himself Emperor of the United States
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 30, 2004: First images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 27, 1896: The shortest war in recorded history is fought
- Daily TWiP - July 30, 1419: Czechs chuck politicians (literally) during the First Defenestration of Prague
- Daily TWiP - July 21, 356 B.C.: Herostratus destroys one of the Seven Wonders of the World to ensure his own fame
- Daily TWiP - May 14: National Dance Like A Chicken Day
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 26, 2004: Dead whale unexpectedly explodes in Tainan, Taiwan
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 8, 1835: U.S. national debt hits zero for the first and only time
Daily TWiP – Jan. 8, 1835: U.S. national debt hits zero for the first and only time
Yup, you read that headline correctly. On Jan. 8, 1835, the public debt of the United States contracted to zero for the first and only time in our nation’s history. President Andrew Jackson was in office at the time. The contracting of the debt seems to have had more to do with the financial markets of the time than with Jackson’s leadership, but it’s still a distinction any president would be proud to have, regardless of the circumstances.
The United States has carried a public debt since its inception. The colonies didn’t have enough funds of their own to wage a successful war for independence against Great Britain, so our Founding Fathers issued loan certificates (similar to modern-day bonds) that enabled them to borrow money from France, the Netherlands, and private soon-to-be U.S citizens.
By Jan. 1, 1791, the U.S. had racked up $75,463,476.52 in debt in order to fund the American Revolution and set up its own government. The next time someone speaks philosophically about the price of freedom, you can give them the exact number down to the penny.
The debt shrank steadily, disappearing completely for that one momentous day in 1835, but it began to mount once again when the Civil War erupted in 1861. The 20th century didn’t help matters much, what with two world wars, the Cold War, and conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, as well as increased expenses for social programs brought on by tough economic times.
As of January 2010, thanks in part to a struggling economy and continuing conflict in the Middle East, the U.S. faces a public debt of $12,302,080,159,963.01. We’ll gladly pay that penny if someone else doesn’t mind picking up the other 12.3 trillion.
To keep track of the public debt to the penny, check out the following page on the Department of the Treasury’s Web site: http://www.treasurydirect.