May 24, 1883 -
The Brooklyn Bridge (originally the New York and Brooklyn Bridge), one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, stretches 5,989 feet (1825 m) over the East River connecting the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn opened for business today. On completion, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York Skyline and is still considered one of the Wonders of the Modern World.
The first person to jump from the bridge was Robert E. Odlum (and not Steve Brodie) on July 23, 1886.
This showed him.
May 24, 1968 -
The Rolling Stones released Jumping Jack Flash, in Britain, on this date.
The Rolling Stones have played Jumping Jack Flash during every tour since its release; it ranks as the number the band has played in concert most frequently.
May 24, 1989 -
The third movie in Steven Spielberg's salute to Saturday afternoon serials, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, premiered nationwide on this date.
Steven Spielberg is on record as saying he made the film for two reasons: 1) to fulfill a three-picture obligation he had with George Lucas, and, 2) to atone for the criticism that he received for the previous installment, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Today in History:
May 24, 1610 -
Buggery was criminalized for the first time in North America by Sir Thomas Gates, when the Virginia colony declares that "no man shall commit the horrible, and detestable sinnes of Sodomie upon pain of death."
May 24, 1626 -
Peter Minuit was the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland who was credited with the purchase of the island of Manhattan on this date.
According to legend, he persuaded the natives—perhaps a Metoac band of Lenape known as the Canarsee, who were actually native to what is now Brooklyn—to "sell" the island for a handful of trade goods worth approximately 60 guilders (appx. $24.)
I've often said that there are those in Congress looking to give New York back to the Indians.
May 24, 1686 -
Gabriel Fahrenheit was born on the date. Mr Fahrenheit did pioneering work in the field of temperature. It was his dream to develop a more sophisticated temperature measurement system than the accepted worldwide standard of his era, which consisted of only seven gradations: brr!, cold as hell, chilly, warm, hot, hot as hell and ow!.
May 24, 1819 -
Queen Victoria was born as Princess Alexandria Victoria at Kensington Palace, London on this date. Through a series of accidents, debauched living and bad planning on the part of her uncles, she became Queen. She reigned for 64 years, and lent her name to an era best remembered for its prudery and chastity.
Remember, this was the time when one put skirts on piano legs for fear of arousing the passions of young men. This pent up frustration resulted in so many citizens having to stay home and care for their children, since Victoria's reign also saw the largest population explosion in British history.
May 24, 1844 -
Samuel F. B. Morse formally opens America’s first telegraph line, when he demonstrated a magnetic telegraph, sending a message from the chambers of the Old Supreme Court courthouse in Washington D.C. to his partner, Alfred Vail, at the Mount Clare Depot of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in Baltimore, Maryland, on this date.
Vail responded by retransmitting the same message back to Morse. The message, "What hath God wrought?" was the first message sent on a commercial telegraph line.
May 24, 1856 -
A small gang led by abolitionist John Brown murdered five unarmed pro-slavery homesteaders in Franklin County, Kansas, on this date, hacking them to pieces with swords.
The event comes to be known as the Pottawatomie Massacre.
May 24, 1920 -
Senile French President Paul Deschanel fell off a train bound for Montbrison, and is later discovered wandering along the track in his pajamas. The Station master's wife later commented that she knew he was a gentleman because he had such "clean feet."
As I mentioned yesterday, The French, they are a strange race. (Interesting side note - the actress Zooey Deschanel is related to the former president.)
May 24, 1941 -
Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham Zimmerman, a young boy from a small shtetl in the great state of Minnesota, don't ya know, who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades, was born on this date.
A loyal reader informed me that little Shabtai had his bar mitzvah at the Androy Hotel in downtown Hibbing, MN. Please be sure to use this info to win bar drinks this weekend.
May 24, 1941 -
During the Battle of the Denmark Strait (World War II,) the German battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood on this date
More than 1,400 crewmen died; only three survived.
May 24, 1976 -In France two California wines won a tasting event over several French classics for the first time. Stephen Spurrier, English owner of a wine shop and wine school in Paris, held a competition tasting of French and American wines.
The best white wine was a 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, owned by Jim Barrett. The best red wine was a 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.
And so it goes.