His mad painting skeelz are not, however, the reason we have a day named after him. Nope, it was an invention that you’ve all heard of called . . . the toaster. Just kidding, Samuel Morse invented the single-wire telegraph, along with the language, to carry information quickly over vast distances, which we now call Morse Code. It all started back in 1825 in Washington, D.C. While Samuel Morse was painting a portrait of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (the only Marquis de Lafayette in my opinion!) he received an urgent letter from messenger on horse-back, explaining that his wife was sick back in New Haven, CT. Morse immediately departed for his home, leaving the portrait unfinished, but by the time he made it back to Connecticut, his wife was dead and buried. Heartbroken, Morse began working on a method of long distance communication, and the rest, they say, is history.
So, that’s the short of it. You can go and read a whole thing about how he was pro-slavery and anti-immigrant and how he unsuccessfully ran for Mayor of New York. But, that’s not what Morse Code Day is about. So, go and call your friends on your cell phone, email your family, use a CB radio to make fun of other people using CB radios, because without Morse’s crucial first step in developing long distance communication, none of this would be possible.