Lincoln’s Dog Followed Him Even in Death

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) knew the value of a faithful friend. Maybe that's why he acquired a yellow mixed-breed dog in 1855 when he lived in Springfield, Illinois. The future President named the dog Fido, and they quickly became inseparable. Their connection would unite them in life -- and in death.  Fido accompanied Lincoln everywhere in... Continue Reading →

Was Tycho a Psycho? Weird Facts About One of History’s Greatest Astronomers

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was one of the greatest astronomers to ever live. He was also probably at least a little bit off his gourd, if history is to judge. The Danish astronomer who brought a new level of exactitude to astronomical observations and applied that specificity to the theories and observations of Copernicus and Ptolemy,... Continue Reading →

Meeting Death on His Feet — Just to Prove a Point

Branwell Brontë was the brother of Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë. He is historically noteworthy in his own right as a painter and writer. He would perhaps be better remembered had he not hastened his death through abuse of alcohol and opium. The approach of his own death really illustrated his tenacity. Although suffering from depression and... Continue Reading →

The 20-Year Flight of the Killer Bullet

   Sometimes you just can't escape fate. Take Henry Ziegland, for example. When he broke up with his girlfriend in 1893, she committed suicide. Her brother blamed Ziegland for his sister's death and vowed revenge. He confronted Ziegland, pulled a gun, and took a shot at him. Fortunately for Ziegland, the bullet only grazed his... Continue Reading →

Just as Popular in Death

  Eva Duarte Peron, the wife of one-time leader of Argentina Juan Peron, was immensely popular as the nation's First Lady. Her life inspired the musical play and motion picture Evita. Upon her death, her popularity only increased, and her body went on a long and sometimes-mysterious journey, including a period of time where Eva's... Continue Reading →

The Dangers of Long Hair on a Hair-Raising Ride

Roller coasters are supposed to be scary, but they aren't supposed to actually be dangerous. In August 2003 Doug McKay was working at the Island County Fair at Whidbey Island, Washington. His job was to spray lubricant on the roller coaster's tracks. Unfortunately, his long hair got caught in one of the coaster's cars as... Continue Reading →

Defending His Client to the Extreme

Attorney Clement Vallandigham (former US Congressman from Ohio and famously deported to the South by President Lincoln during the Civil War) was defending Thomas McGehan, who was accused of shooting a man to death during a fight in a saloon. Vallandigham argued that his client was innocent and that the victim had accidentally shot himself.... Continue Reading →

They Always Said His Inventions Would be the Death of Him

Thomas Midgley, Jr. held over one hundred patents for his mechanical engineering and chemistry advancements. Certainly not winning any prizes from environmentalists, it was Midgley who developed the lead-based additive for gasoline, as well as some of the first chlorofluorocarbons. His work with chlorofluorocarbons resulted in the first non-combustible and non-flammable refrigerant: freon. His work... Continue Reading →

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire. Really. As in, “Help! Fire!”

Every year the firemen of Gillingham, in Kent, England, would construct a makeshift house out of wood and canvas for the popular fire-fighting demonstration at the fundraiser for St. Bartholomew's Hospital. As part of the festivities  several local boys would typically be selected to help out by playing the parts of members of a wedding... Continue Reading →

The Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919

On January 15, 1919, the city of Boston suffered a tragedy when a large tank of molasses burst, triggering a major flood of syrup through the city streets. The incident, known as the Boston Molasses Disaster, the Great Molasses Flood, and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, killed 21 people and injured over 150 others. At 12:30 in the... Continue Reading →

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