Used by judges, presiding officers, and auctioneers, gavels are small ceremonial mallets often struck against a block to call for attention or punctuate rulings. Because it is often used forcefully and therefore broken, the gavel in the US House of Representatives is plain, wooden, and easily replaced. The US Senate gavel is made of solid ivory and is actually a replica. Which US Vice President splintered the originalâ€”which had been used since 1789â€”during a heated debate on nuclear energy?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Back in the day
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the US. It is presented by the president for "gallantry and intrepidity at the risk ofâ€¦life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy." Members of all branches of the US military are eligible to receive the medal, but each branch has its own special design. The medal, first awarded during the Civil War, was designed by the Philadelphia Mint. How many soldiers have received the medal twice?
Born on a day like today
In the late 1800s, George Eastman invented roll film and founded the Eastman Kodak Company, offering affordable cameras marketed under the motto "you press the button and we do the rest." His invention made motion pictures possible and allowed early pioneers such as Edison and the LumiÃ¨re Brothers to develop filmmaking. Later in his career, he donated $100 million to a number of different institutions. How did Eastman come up with the brand name Kodak?