Fort Blunder, The Military Installation Built In The Wrong Country (Cool Weird Awesome 646)

Today in 1816, the US military awarded to built a contract for a fort next to Lake Champlain, near the border with Canada. For years crews worked to make the fort strong, until one day when they realized there was a big problem. Plus: people on Tumblr say today is the 1000th birthday of a medieval monk's brother named Werner. 

By |2021-11-01T11:27:46-04:00November 1, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Statue Of Liberty Sat In Pieces Until A Crowdfunding Campaign Got The Job Done (Cool Weird Awesome 644)

Today in 1886, the U.S. dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York. It was hard times when Lady Liberty first arrived in the country, but eventually a 19th century-style crowdfunding efforts raised enough money to raise the statue onto a pedestal. Plus: the statue came from France, and if you head to Paris you'll see that city has a Lady Liberty too! 

By |2021-10-28T07:49:53-04:00October 28, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Grace Bedell, The Girl Who Got Abe Lincoln To Grow A Beard (Cool Weird Awesome 635)

Today in 1860, an 11 year old wrote to not-yet-president Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he grow some whiskers because "your face is so thin." Later, a bearded Abe visited the letter writer, Grace Bedell of Westfield, New York, and showed off his new look. Plus: today in 1957, an unusual demonstration in Port Washington, Wisconsin: the “Power Mower of the Future”!

By |2021-10-15T08:51:51-04:00October 15, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Indiana Bell Rotated And Moved Its Office Building – And Kept Working There During The Move (Cool Weird Awesome 634)

This week in 1930, a phone utility in Indianapolis started moving its headquarters and rotating the building 90 degrees, all while keeping service going for customers and workers in the building. Plus: a state with no sharks brags that it has the fewest shark attacks of any state. 

By |2021-10-14T06:51:53-04:00October 14, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

A Liner Note Detective Wants The World To Know Something About The “London Calling” Cover Photo

The famous cover of The Clash's landmark album "London Calling" was taken on September 21, 1979, according to the liner notes. Except that Dave Marin, a concertgoer who was there when the photo was taken, has a concert stub that says September 20th. And he's spent decades trying to get the world to notice that the album credits are a day off. Plus: today in 1940, a bomb explodes in London, and the locals decide to turn the crater it left behind into something special. 

Benny Benson, The 13 Year Old Who Designed Alaska’s Flag (Cool Weird Awesome 570)

Today in 1929, the then-territory of Alaska flew its flag for the first time. That flag, which is still used today, was designed by a 13 year old of Aleutian descent, Benny Benson. Plus: it was this day in 1872 that John F. Blondel of Maine made pastry history. 

By |2021-07-09T09:22:20-04:00July 9, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

When Maasai Herders Call The Wrong Number, They May End Up Making A New Friend (Cool Weird Awesome 566)

When most of us get wrong number phone calls, we get off the line pretty quickly. But new research finds Maasai herders in Tanzania often strike up a conversation, and get to know the person who accidentally called them. Plus: on this day in 1294, the cardinals of the Catholic Church respond to a letter from a hermit monk in a way that may have made the monk wish he hadn't written them at all. 

By |2021-07-05T09:29:52-04:00July 5, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Stephen Bishop Explored Mammoth Cave And Shared It With The World (Cool Weird Awesome 557)

The man now known as “First Guide & Explorer of Mammoth Cave," had been enslaved in the 19th century and sent to explore what was becoming a hot tourist site. He set the bar for every guide who came after him. Plus: today in 1976, a baseball game at the Houston Astrodome was called off... due to weather?!?

By |2021-06-15T09:18:25-04:00June 15, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Norton I Of San Francisco Declared Himself Emperor Of The United States (Cool Weird Awesome 545)

On the anniversary of the opening of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, here's the story of another one of the city's icons: Norton I, a man who proclaimed himself emperor of the United States and people went along with it. Plus: a Chinese millionaire has bought a soccer team and has added himself to the roster, and people are going along with it. 

By |2021-05-27T09:22:52-04:00May 27, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

How Chuck E. Cheese Became The World’s Top Animatronic Mouse Video Gamer And Pizza Restaurateur (Cool Weird Awesome 537)

Today in 1977, Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre opened in California, co-founded by Atari's Nolan Bushnell as a kid-friendly way to promote video gaming and bring the world closer to animatronic mice. Plus: this week in 1905, a film camera documents the funeral procession of the last known surviving veteran of the War of 1812. 

By |2021-05-17T09:20:23-04:00May 17, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |
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