Last Activity: December 19, 2012
On this day in 1961, Pres. Kennedy urged every "prudent family" to build a bomb shelter to protect them from the atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. The first discovery of a planet orbiting a star similar to the sun was announced on October 6, 1995. It was a Jupiter-sized planet around the star 51 Pegasus, some 50 light-years away.
On this day in 1264, The Great Comet of 1264, (one of the brightest comets on record) that was said to predict the death of Pope Urban IV was last seen. Also, on this date a 1% Federal Income Tax was signed into law (1913), and Elvis Presley made his first public appearance at age 10, singing "Old Sheep" in the Alabama Dairy Talent Show ('45), winning $5 (2nd prize).
It was on this date in 1989 that 2 men went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. They weren't the first to attempt the feat, but they were the among the first to live. Returning their 888-page findings on JFK's death, the Warren Comission declared Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone ('64) (of course we all know he didn't) and the first School for Santa Clauses opened in Albion, NY ('37).
On this day in 1963, the science-fiction anthology series, The Outer Limits, debuted on ABC. Who could forget the eerie opening of each episode that featured the image of an oscilloscope? "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission...We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure.. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits."
John Lennon reported seeing a UFO from his New York balcony (1974), and Mars moved closest to the Earth since the 10th century, a mere 34.6 million miles away (1924). Perusing the record book for this date, Sylvia Brett, 80 years old, successfully parachuted ('86), Marie Ashton played the piano non-stop for 133 hours ('58), and the world's' largest frog was caught (7.28 lbs, Equatorial Guinea, 1960).
Happy birthday to H.P. Lovecraft, the brilliant writer of horror, fantasy, and science-fiction, which was known back in his day as simply "weird fiction." He introduced the Cthulhu Mythos, in which characters had encounters with powerful and horrendous prehistoric beings, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical and forbidden lore.