Saturday, October 25, 2014
1993: The master of macabre, classic horror film actor Vincent Price, well known for his creepy characters and distinctly chilling voice, dies of lung cancer. And Halloween just wasn’t the same without him.
Friday, October 24, 2014
1901: With her only child dead and her only husband killed in the Civil War, aging schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor feared she was destined to end up in the poorhouse. But then she came up with a brilliant plan. First, she would pay professional coopers to construct a heavy duty, elongated and well-cushioned barrel. Then, on October 24th, her 63rd birthday, she would climb inside and ride it over the edge of Niagara Falls, a feat that would hopefully bring enough publicity and wealth to carry her comfortably into senectitude.
The stunt is a resounding success, and Annie becomes the first person ever to accomplish it, emerging from the certain-death-capsule with only a small gash on her head, though she made it clear she would rather “walk up to the mouth of a cannon” than ever try it again. Unfortunately, the story ends with Annie spending most of her earnings on private detectives in a futile search for the missing barrel, no doubt sold by her concurrently absent manager. Still, Annie Edson Taylor remains one of the most gutsy people in the history of daredevilry.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
That’s right, the Smurfs are actually French.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
1926: Smarty-pants J. Gordon Whitehead sucker punches legendary magician, escapologist and stunt performer Harry Houdini in the stomach several times, rupturing his appendix. Houdini refuses medical attention and goes on to perform what would be his final show, collapsing several times in the duration. He dies a few days later in a Detroit hospital on Halloween. And this time it was no trick (or treat.)
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
1978: Australian pilot Frederick Valentich vanishes somewhere over the Bass Straight after reporting an unidentified aircraft hovering above him. Dude got jacked by some punk aliens.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
1867: The United States moves in with Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for 7.2 million clams. They live together for 92 years before finally making the relationship official in 1959. Meanwhile, Canada insists they are carrying Alaska’s baby.
Friday, October 17, 2014
1814: The London Beer Flood occurs in, you guessed it, London, killing nine and inebriating several others.