On this day in history, May 23, 1785, Benjamin Franklin announced his new “double spectacles” which are now known as bifocals.
The quest for perfect vision has a long history, and numerous advancements were required to provide the range of products and services that today help millions of people keep the world in focus. The history of vision correction deserves to be remembered.
Using a line painted down the center of a road to denote lanes seems to be merely common sense. But it was an innovation that took a surprising amount of time to develop. The history of lane markings is a study in the rapid effect of new technologies, and the ability of a few people with a good idea to have a large impact.
The History Guy remembers the surprising history of lane markings.
In 1928 Joe “The Boss” Masseria, boss of the New York Morello gang, took the title “capo dei capi,” or “Boss of all Bosses.”: But being on top paints a target on your back, and by 1930 a new boss had entered the field, with the goal of taking down Masseria. The war that followed was not your typical mob war, but one that would result in transforming the leadership, and changing the very nature, of organized crime in America, leading to one of the most significant events in American mob history: the founding of the “Commission.”
At countless stops along the old highways travelers could find all manner of attractions like the “World’s Largest Ball of Paint”, “Cadillac Ranch”, and “The Thing”, giving birth to an entire culture of kitsch, monuments to the mammoth, and shrines to the strange. The history of these roadside attractions – or less charitably, tourist traps – predates even the highways they dotted.
Robert Wadlow, the “Alton Giant,” was the opposite of what fairy tales say a giant should be. His astonishing height still holds the world record for the tallest man in recorded history. The History Guy remembers an extraordinary man and his extraordinary life!
Outdated and crewed by naval reservists, USS Ward played a unique role at Pearl Harbor and beyond. Her brave service represents the spirit of the United States Navy and the determination of the nation through two wars. It is history that deserves to be remembered!
In a game on May 15, 1894, a fight between Baltimore third baseman John McGraw and Boston first baseman Tommy Tucker became heated. As the fans watched the fight, everything else in the stadium became heated as well.
The Battle of Moscow was truly epic in scope, and represented a desperate effort by a people defending their homeland. One of the great legends of the battle- the brave last stand of Panfilov’s Twenty-Eight Guardsmen, stands as a symbol of the sacrifice of the soldiers of the Red Army in the Great Patriotic War, and the story of that legend raises unique questions about the nature of heroism, and the importance of legends themselves.