Browsing: June 24

A Brief History On June 24, 1947, veteran pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing what he described as a line of shiny UFO’s flying past Mount Rainier (Washington) at a rate of “at least 1200 miles per hour.” The incident, known later as the Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting, was widely reported and became the first post-World War II UFO incident, becoming the first in what is considered the “modern era” of UFO sightings. Arnold’s description of the flat, metallic shiny objects led to the term “flying saucer” that became so familiar with UFO sightings. The incident and worldwide reporting spawned many other…

A Brief History On June 24, 1916, Canadian born Gladys Louise Smith, age 24, became the first Hollywood actor or actress to sign a contract worth at least $1 million when she signed with Adolph Zukor, founder of what would become Paramount Pictures. Digging Deeper Better known as Mary Pickford, the actress was by 1916 the most popular actress in the world of film, only barely surpassed by Charlie Chaplin as most popular overall.  (Chaplin got a million dollar contract in 1918 and is sometimes erroneously listed as the first actor to get such a contract.)  Pickford’s contract included $10,000…

A Brief History On June 24, 109 AD, Roman Emperor Trajan opens the aqueduct known as Aqua Traiana, bringing water to Rome from Lake Bracciano 25 miles away.  The ancient Romans are known for their architectural achievements, but other societies also built some pretty impressive projects as well.  Here we list 10 impressive examples of ancient architecture, not necessarily the most famous, but ones we hope you will like.  Which ones would you add to the list? Digging Deeper 10.  The Mound Builders, 3400 BC to 1500 AD. Along the Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley, Native American civilizations built a…

A Brief History On June 24, 1374, the German city of Aachen experienced a sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance, a bizarre condition where masses of people experience hallucinations, jump and twitch (dance) until they fell from exhaustion!  And this fiasco was not the only time or place. Digging Deeper The Aachen incident seems to have spread across Europe that year and into the next 2 years, affecting many other cities.  Italy had their own brand of this disorder that they called “tarantism” where the dancers, presumably bit by a tarantula spider, would dance off the poison by dancing a “tarantella.”…

A Brief History On June 24, 1779, the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War began at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea at the British Fortress of Gibraltar.  Spanish and French forces greatly outnumbered the British forces, in men, guns, and ships, and yet after almost 4 years of siege the British had held firm and Gibraltar is known as a metaphor for an impenetrable fortress.  Spain and France had attempted to take advantage of British preoccupation with its war in America to gang up on their old foe, and had gone to war in a back handed support…

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