Sure, this isn’t exactly Earth-shattering history for most of you, but it certainly is to me.
On January 23, 1789, John Carroll, Robert Molyneux and John Ashton completed the purchase from Threlkeld and William Deakins, Jr. for “seventy five pounds current money” about an acre and a half of land at Georgetown Heights in Maryland for construction of an academy. Carroll, a former Jesuit who was the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States, wrote that
“We shall begin the building of our Academy this summer. On this Academy are built all my hopes of permanency and success of our holy religion in the United States.”
Carroll had succeeded beyond his wildest expectations.
Founded simply as a school to foster Catholic education in an overwhelmingly Protestant nation, Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic university in the United States. Its programs in government, international affairs and law are world-renowned. Its alumni include numerous members of Congress, Senate, and Supreme Court Justices. It includes heads of state from over a dozen countries and one US President (Bill Clinton).
It was the site of numerous movies and television shows, such as The Exorcist and St. Elmo’s Fire.
Oh yeah, it also has a pretty good basketball team, too.
Yet most importantly, it is my alma mater, and I do mean it literally. I learned an awful lot at the Hilltop, and not just about government and history. My four years at Georgetown were an exercise in self-determination and discovery, and I will never forget my time here.
So if I’m being selfish with this Day in History, I really don’t care…especially if you’re an Orangeman.
…and if you are, I have a certain finger lifted for you