In American news, a young George Washington, married Martha Dandridge Custis in early January, 1759. Martha was the initial First Lady of the United States, a term that wasn’t used until after her death. She was known during her lifetime as “Lady Washington.”
In other American news from 1759, William Thornton was born on May 20th in the British Virgin Islands, West Indies. Thornton is best remembered as the architect who designed the United States Capitol. He was the first to hold the positions of Architect of the Capitol and Superintendent of the United States Patent Office.
On May 1, 1759, Josiah Wedgwood founded Wedgwood, a British pottery firm located in England that continues to this day. During the mid-1980s Wedgwood merged with Waterford Crystal to form Waterford Wedgwood. Its long history has sustained its reputation as one of the more distinguished British businesses.
In other English news, German composer George Frideric Handel died in London at the age of 74. One of the most famous composers of the 18th Century, he was given full state honors and buried at Westminster Abbey. Over three thousand mourners attended the funeral. Handel’s “Messiah” is one of several of his works that has been in continuous performance since his lifetime.