On September 12, 1848, Switzerland became a unified federal state with a constitution limiting central government powers and providing decentralized state (canton) power patterned on the U.S. Constitution.
In 1880 on this date, H.L. Mencken was born. One of his earliest books was a debate with a socialist, The Men versus The Man (1910); his greatest lasting contribution was probably The American Language (1919) and its supplements (1945, 1948). His work has been collected in numerous anthologies, such as Alistair Cooke’s Vintage Mencken (1955) and the author’s own Mencken Chrestomathy.