June 30, 2011

June 30: Tunguska Event

It was the largest meteoroid explosion in recorded history. But it wasn't investigated until long after the event. Read article here.

Pictured: photograph by member of the Kulik Expedition, 1927.

June 29, 2011

June 29: Little Eva Born, 1943

It was a number one hit in 1962 -- The Loco-Motion. 

There were dance moves to it, but I doubt if anyone remembers what they were.

Today is the birthday of Eva Boyd, "Little Eva", who recorded the hit single. The song was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

Read article here.

Picture by Miguel Ugalde. 

June 28, 2011

June 28: Ned Kelly Captured, 1880

Was he a criminal, or a folk hero? A little of both. Read the story of Ned Kelly here.

Pictured: Ned Kelly had his portrait taken just before his execution. Photo from the Australian News and Information Bureau, Canberra. 

Below:  The Kelly gang designed and built their own armor. It wasn't quite good enough, though. This helmet was worn by Dan Kelly. Photo contributed by Petedownunder on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

June 27, 2011

June 27: Seven Sleepers Day

They were seven young Christians who hid in a cave to escape persecution. When they awoke, it was 200 years later.

Read article here.

The weather on Seven Sleepers Day is said to determine the weather for the next seven weeks.

Above: Medieval manuscript representation of the Seven Sleepers.
Below: Another kind of Siebenschlafer (Seven-Sleeper), the Glis glis or Edible Dormouse. Illustration by Gustav Mutzel, 1927.

June 26, 2011

June 26: Branwell Bronte Born, 1817

Branwell was the brother of Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte. He was talented in his own right, but he wasted his talent.

Read article here.

Pictured: Branwell's picture of his sisters, left to right: Anne, Emily, and Charlotte. Branwell was in the picture, between Emily and Charlotte, but he painted himself out. You can still faintly see his "ghost."

Below: Self-portrait by Branwell Bronte.

June 25, 2011

June 25: Creator of the Kewpie Doll Born, 1874

Rose O'Neill was the artist behind the amazingly successful Kewpies -- those cute little fat baby dolls that you can't help smiling over.

Read article here.

Pictured: 1907 photograph of Rose O'Neill, from the studio of Gertrude Kasiebier.

Below: Celluloid Kewpie, photograph by Galessa, from Wikimedia Commons.

June 24, 2011

June 24: Dancing Sickness in Aachen, Germany, 1374

When the Dancing Sickness struck, the victims couldn't stop dancing. Sometimes they died -- of exhaustion, heart failure, or dehydration. What caused this phenomenon?

Read article here.

Pictured: Dance at Molenbeek, by Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

June 23, 2011

June 23: Vincent Chin Killed in Highland Park, 1982

Vincent Chin was a Chinese-American who was beaten to death with a baseball bat in 1982. His assailant thought he was Japanese, and blamed him for the downturn in the American auto industry. Read article here.

June 22, 2011

June 22: Tom Dula Born, 1845

In the area where he was born, his name was pronounced "Tom Dooley." You've all heard the song. The details of the crime, however, are not quite as clear-cut as you might think.

Read article here.

Pictured: Tom Dula sign, erected by U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
Photo by Jan Kronsell

June 21, 2011

June 21: Alexander J. Dallas Born, 1759

Alexander J. Dallas was the first Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court. It was an unofficial position, and unpaid. He got to profit by publishing his work, however.

Read article here.

Pictured: Alexander J. Dallas. Portrait by Freeman Thorp.

June 20, 2011

June 20: British Soldiers Die in Black Hole of Calcutta

On June 20, 1756, 146 men were crammed into a guard room meant to hold, at most, 3. Most of them died. Read article here.

Pictured: Memorial to the Black Hole of Calcutta. The room itself was destroyed shortly after the incident, when the fort was rebuilt.
Picture by Stereo-Travel Company, 1908.

June 19, 2011

June 19: Settlers Leave Roanoke Island, 1586

This was the first colony on Roanoke Island, not the famous "Lost Colony."

And it all got started because Sir Walter Raleigh wanted to establish a home base for privateering operations.

Read article here.

Pictured: Sir Walter Raleigh, 16th century portrait, by unknown artist of the French School.

June 18, 2011

June 18: Birthday of James Montgomery Flagg, 1877

James Montgomery Flagg was the man who created the famous recruiting poster seen here. It was based on Britain's poster, but Flagg used himself as a model.

Read article here.

June 17, 2011

June 17: Statue of Liberty Arrives in New York, 1885

On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York. Read article here.

Photo: by Derek Jensen, as posted on Wikimedia Commons. 

June 16, 2011

June 16: Bloomsday

Today is Bloomsday, the day on which the events of James Joyce's Ulysses take place. Read article here.

Pictured: 1922 Paris edition of Ulysses.

June 15, 2011

June 15: General Slocum Disaster, 1904

The PS General Slocum was an excursion paddle-wheeler that burned with over 1400 people on board. Most of them died. Read article here

Pictured: The General Slocum. Picture by Samuel Ward Stanton, 1895.

June 14, 2011

June 14: International Steampunk Day

Today is International Steampunk Day. I'm not sure why the date was chosen -- several sources indicate that it's H. G. Wells's birthday, but it's really not.  It is, however, the anniversary of the day Charles Babbage proposed his "Difference Engine" to the Royal Society.

Read article here.

Pictured above: Steampunk pendant, created by Vaughn and Sean Saball. Photo by Vaughn Saball, posted on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

June 13, 2011

July 13: Death of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria, 1886

Pictured: Neuschwanstein Castle, inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. Photo by Konrad Kurzacz, published under the GNU Free Documentation License on Wikimedia Commons

Was he mad, or just eccentric? One thing's for sure -- he built a lot of castles! Read article here

Above: the Linderhof Castle. Photo by Tony Castle, published under the GNU Free Documentation License on Wikimedia Commons

Above: the Munich Residenz. This one he just spruced up a little. Photo by Jelly, posted under the GNU Free Documentation License on Wikimedia Commons

June 12, 2011

July 12: New Richmond Tornado, 1899

The New Richmond tornado was the ninth most devastating in American history. Read article here.

Picture: public domain photo from New Richmond Heritage Center. Posted on Wikimedia Commons.

June 11, 2011

June 11: Committee of Five Appointed to Write Declaration of Independence, 1776

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress appointed the Committee of Five to write the Declaration of Independence. So how did all that work out? Read article here.

Pictured: Painting by John Trumbull, 1819. The five gentlemen clustered in the center of the drawing are the Committee of Five. From left to right: John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.

June 10, 2011

June 10: Laszlo Biro Patents Ball Point Pen, 1943

Photo: by Samsara, released into public domain. Per Wikimedia Commons. 

On June 10, 1943, Laszlo Biro patented his ballpoint pen. It wasn't the first ballpoint pen ever patented, but it did have some unique features. Read article here

June 9, 2011

June 9: Donald Duck's Film Premiere, 1934

Today is the anniversary of Donald Duck's first screen appearance, in the film, The Wise Little Hen. Read article here.

Pictured: Donald's star on the Walk of Fame. Photo by Shaka, and posted on Wikimedia Commons.

June 8: Lindisfarne Raided by Vikings, 793

They killed the monks and took all the jewels and gold they could find. But all they
wanted of the Lindisfarne Gospels was the cover. Read article here

June 7, 2011

June 7: Carrie Nation Destroys Her First Saloon, 1899

She didn't use hatchets when she started out. First, it was rocks.

Today is the anniversary of the day that Carrie Nation destroyed her first saloon. Read article here.

Pictured: Carrie Nation. Photograph by Philipp Kester, before 1911.

June 6, 2011

June 6: First Drive-In Opens, 1933

Photo by Billy Hathorn, 2010. Posted on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Shake Alike 3.0 Unported License. 

On June 6, 1933, the first movie drive-in opened in Cramden, New Jersey. Read article here

June 5, 2011

June 5: Beginning of World War I Conscription, 1917

Although patriotism was high during World War I, more than half of the servicemen were drafted. Read article here.

Pictured: Sheet music cover from 1917, Joe Morris Music Company.

June 4, 2011

June 4: Suffragette Run Down by Horse, 1913

Emily Davison had done some pretty strange things in her life. She'd attacked a man she though was the Chancellor of the Exchequer. (He wasn't.) She'd hidden in a cupboard and spent the night at the House of Commons, just so she could give it as her address on the 1911 census. But her big mistake was running out onto the track at the Epsom Derby, just so she could get a suffragette flag on the King's horse. Read article here.

Pictured: The Emily Davison mishap at the Epsom Derby. Davison later died of her injuries. From the Hulton Archive, 1913.

June 3, 2011

June 3: The Midnight Ride of Jack Jouett, 1781

Jack Jouett was the Paul Revere of the South. He rode to Monticello to warn Jefferson the British were coming.

And the British might have caught him if they hadn't stopped for breakfast.

Read article here.

Pictured: Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, leading the British Cavalry. Picture by Joshua Reynolds, 1782.

June 2, 2011

June 2: Grover Cleveland Marries Frances Folsom, 1886

On June 2nd, 1855, Grover Cleveland married his 22 year old ward. He was 49 years old.

Cleveland was the only President to every marry in the White House. Read article here.

Pictured: Francis Folsom Cleveland, ca. 1886.

June 1, 2011

June 1: Mary Dyer Hanged on Boston Common, 1660

Pictured: Mary Dyer on her way to execution. My unknown 19th century artist.

Mary Dyer was a Quaker who couldn't be silenced. On June 1, 1660, he was hanged on Boston Common. Read article here