Sunday, July 25, 2010

Odd Moments in History

July 2, 1843 is remembered as the time an alligator fell from the sky during a thunderstorm in Charleston, SC. And do you know why July 22 is known as Ratchatcher’s Day? Legend has it that in 1376, that’s the day the Pied Piper led rats out of Hamelin.

Ever since I started researching the Today in History feature for the Media Room page of I’ve been amazed at the crazy things that get recorded for posterity. Like, on July 18, 1994, Crayola introduced scented crayons. Gee. That should be worth a few firecrackers. This certainly would: that same day back on 64 AD, the great fire of Rome began. No, it wasn’t due to unruly crowds at Nero’s violin concert.

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard of the Month is Pecan Pie because – guess what! – July 12 is National Pecan Pie Day.

July 19, 1994 is famous for the first game ever cancelled due to falling tiles. That happened at Seattle’s Kingdome.

July 13, 1568 is in the books as the day the art of bottling beer was perfected at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

July 17, 1070, Arnulf the Hapless became the Earl of Flanders. Are we having fun yet?

Almost every day commemorates some bizarre thing or other. July 17, for instance, is Yellow Pig Day. Yes, it is. It’s a mathematician’s holiday of sorts – a day when all the Lennys and Sheldons of the world consider the interesting properties of the number 17. The designation arose in the early 1960s when certain geeks at Princeton U discovered that yellow pigs have 17 eyelashes.

Obviously I just started this in July (National Ice Cream Month and National Anti-Boredom Month, among other things) so I am only scratching the surface of what’s Out There. Can’t wait for August…

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