It Happened Today: James Madison Gets Writer’s Cramp, KISS Is Indisposed, a Fan Gets Tasered, and Poe Begs Longfellow—”Write for me!”

A look back at Philadelphia history

James Madison, 36, arrives in town on May 3, 1787, for the Constitutional Convention, which will convene for six days a week, from late morning to early evening, for the next four months. Each day, Madison will take notes on the debates in shorthand; he will then transcribe the minutes in longhand, with an eye to “the value of such a contribution for the History of a Constitution on which would be staked the happiness of a people great even in its infancy.” He and his fellow delegates are determined on democracy despite the fact that they walk each day past the Walnut Street Prison, from whose windows the prisoners shout “foul and horrid imprecations.” He should have seen the comments on Bob Huber’s posts.

Other notable happenings on May 3: The first medical school in the United States, the College of the Philadelphia Department of Medicine (now the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine), is established (1765). Edgar Allan Poe, working in Philly as editor of the monthly Graham’s Journal, writes to Harvard prof Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, begging him to contribute. Longfellow turns him down, but does write back that he believes Poe is “destined to stand among the first romance-writers in the country” (1841). KISS plays the Tower Theater, with lead vocalist Paul Stanley wearing sunglasses because of an eye infection. Nasty (1975). The Celtics beat the Sixers, 91 to 90, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on a Larry Bird jumper (1981). And one year ago today, Steve Consalvi, 17, gets tasered by a cop after running onto the field at Citizens Bank Park in the eighth inning of a Phils-Cards game—after first calling home to get his dad’s permission.