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Henry Robert, engineer and parliamentarian, born in South Carolina


On this day in 1837, Henry Martyn Robert was born in Robertville, South Carolina. As an engineer, he was involved in most of the major river and harbor improvement and fortification projects undertaken by the U.S. government in the later nineteenth century. After the Galveston hurricane of 1900 he served as consulting chairman of the board of engineers to design means of protection against future tidal waves. The result was a seawall that successfully saved the city of Galveston in two subsequent hurricanes, in 1909 and 1915. Robert also became this country's leading parliamentarian. Robert's Rules of Order, first published in February 1876, remains in print in 2001 as an authoritative reference work on parliamentary procedure.

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