On this day in 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick receives a patent for his reaping machine, a fine complement to the sowing machine.

On this day in 1932, when heavyweight Max Schmeling loses a title fight by decision to Jack Sharkey, Schmeling's manager Joe Jacobs exclaims: "We was robbed!" "We were robbed," finicky grammarian E.B. White corrects him in a lengthy piece in The New Yorker.

On this day in 1973, the Supreme Court rules that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards, causing a virtual fire sale of back issues of Playboy at the Supreme Court.

On this day in 1989, the Supreme Court rules that burning the American flag as a form of political protest is protected by the First Amendment. Burning the First Amendment, however, is another matter.

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