The Eiffel Tower was only supposed to stand in Paris for 20 years... but experiments in "wireless telegraphy" helped convince the powers that be to keep the tower in place. Plus: this gallery of the weirdest-looking cars to ever roll off the assembly line is maybe not the aesthetic equal of the Eiffel Tower, but it sure is fun.
It's the birthday of Augusta Van Buren, who joined her sister Adeline for a cross-country motorcycle trip in 1916 to win support for the suffragist movement. And what a trip it was. Plus: if you're one of the many people stocking up on bathroom tissue these days, note that the largest roll ever made is in Missouri - but it's not for sale.
On this day in 1876, a Mrs. Crouch was outside making soap when “suddenly there descended upon her a gentle shower of meat.” What the heck happened to cause meat to fall from the sky over Bath County, Kentucky? Plus: Lincoln, the goat mayor of Fairhaven, Vermont, runs for reelection against his challenger, Sammy the police dog.
November 18, 1883 is when railroads across the United States adopted a uniform system of time, more or less getting all of us in sync with each other. But what was time like before then? Plus: Japan has had cat cafes, hedgehog cafes and bunny cafes. Now there's a minipig cafe!
Lots of music news to go over with you today.
Around the same time John Fitzgerald Kennedy was rising through the ranks of the US Congress, a guy called John Francis Kennedy decided to put his name on the ballot to run for Massachusetts state treasurer. In a few years, there would be other John Kennedys trying to win public office in the state.
It’s Spinach Festival weekend in Lenexa, Kansas, a time for games, crafts, music, the world’s largest spinach salad and a visit from noted cartoon spinach addict Popeye the sailor. That’s fitting, since it was Popeye’s popularity that helped make Lenexa’s spinach famous in the first place.
Summer is through, which means the start of our annual time to consume and/or complain about products flavored with pumpkin spice. It was in the mid-90s that this blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves started its rise to power, and there's no stopping it now, really. Plus: did you know that hundreds of years ago pumpkin spice may have given us New York City?
An enslaved woman in 18th century Massachusetts overheard all the talk about freedom and equality and decided it should be put to the test. On August 22, 1781, a court found the woman known as Mum Bett, later as Elizabeth Freeman, could not be the property of another human being and therefore was free and equal.
It’s National Rollercoaster Day. The history of the rollercoaster is even longer than the tracks they use to get around.