Last Activity: December 19, 2012
The Great Fire of 1901 took place on this date in Jacksonville, Florida--it swept through 146 city blocks, and destroyed over 2,368 buildings. The Old Man of the Mountain, a series of granite cliff ledges in New Hampshire that resembled a face in profile, collapsed on this day in 2003.
On this date in 1860, the discovery of the planet Vulcan was announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris. Mathematician Urbain Le Verrier believed Vulcan orbited between Mercury and the sun. Doubts about its existence began to surface almost immediately after Le Verrier's proclamation.
On this day in 1964, the U.S. spacecraft Mariner 4 launched on a flyby mission of Mars, providing the first ever close-up images of another planet. Many credit Mariner 4 images/data with altering the course of science fiction, shifting the home of intelligent aliens from Mars (or other planets in our solar system) to planets circling distant stars
The " Piltdown Man" discovered in 1912 was revealed as a hoax on this date in '53. Edison announced his invention of the hand cranked cylinder phonograph dubbed the "talking machine" (1877)-- Mary Had a Little Lamb was the first recording made for it... Also on this date, Bob Atheney began bowling for 265 hours spread over 11 days ('75), and the Freedom of Information Act was passed into law ('74).
On November 19, 1959, Ford announced it was discontinuing the unpopular Edsel. "It was the first victim of Madison Avenue hyper-hype. Ford's marketing mavens had led the public to expect some plutonium-powered, pancake-making wondercar; what they got was a Mercury," Dan Neil wrote of the automotive lemon.
Legend has it that on this day in 1307, William Tell shot the apple off his son's head. He'd been ordered to do this as punishment for disrespecting an authority figure. On November 18, 1978, more than 900 people died in Jonestown, Guyana after cult leader Jim Jones convinced them to drink cyanide-laced grape punch.
November 3rd is a day of remembrance for the prophet St. Malachy, dubbed the "Irish Nostradamus." There was a great panic in Europe over the close approach of a comet, on November 3, 1679. Controversial psychiatrist and scientist, Wilhelm Reich, died in prison at the age of 60, on this date in 1957.
On November 2nd, the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a holiday observed in Mexico and the United States, focusing on the remembrance of family and friends who have died. Traditions include creating altars to the deceased using their favorite foods, sugar skulls, and marigolds, as well as visiting their graves with these gifts.