Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grant and Kearns

     One was awarded lots of money and one is on some money.  Robert Kearns and Ulysses S. Grant.  Today, they share something in common.  Today.  Sixty-three (63) years difference, but today.

     Today in 1927, Robert Kearns was born.  Who is Robert Kearns you ask?  Have you SEEN the movie Flash of Genius (2008) with Greg Kinnear?  This movie is about Robert's fight against Chrysler and Ford for stealing his idea for the intermittent windshield wiper.  In all, juries awarded him $30 million in the lawsuits against Chrysler and Ford.  From the time that he went to court over patent infringement to the time the first jury ruled in his favor was 20 years.  His quest for recognition and an apology from the automakers cost him his marriage.  I still wonder if all that he went through was worth it.  In February of 2005, Robert died of cancer at age 77 in Maryland.

     Now for somewhat of a shorter story.  Well, it depends on your point of view.  President Abraham Lincoln had reached a point, after 3 long years of bloody conflict with the Confederacy, where he needed to pick someone to finally be the one to lead...and win.  Today was the day that Ulysses S. Grant was promoted from Major General to Lieutenant General.  And leading general of the whole Union Army.  The Civil War ended a year later and Grant was the one that managed to get the job done.  He had a rough side, but he understood what it took to win a war.  Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House in April of 1865.  Grant's fame and military prowess helped propel him toward the U.S. Presidency in 1869.  Many schools have been named after him.  One Federal Reserve Note features him.

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