It Happened On #100!

This is it folks. It Happened On’s final instalment. After 100 editions, I think it’s time to put it to rest. No more history bites..on this blog anyway

It happened on January 5 1933, construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge, as workers began excavating 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt for the structure’s huge anchorages

Although the idea went back as far as 1869, the proposal took root in 1916. A former engineering student, James Wilkins, working as a journalist with the San Francisco Bulletin, called for a suspension bridge with a center span of 3,000 feet, nearly twice the length of any in existence. Wilkins’ idea was estimated to cost an astounding $100 million. So, San Francisco’s city engineer, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy, began asking bridge engineers whether they could do it for less

Engineer and poet Joseph Strauss, a 5-foot tall Cincinnati-born Chicagoan, said he could

Eventually, O’Shaughnessy and Strauss concluded they could build a pure suspension bridge within a practical range of $25-30 million with a main span at least 4,000 feet. The construction plan still faced opposition, including litigation, from many sources

The Golden Gate Bridge officially opened on May 27, 1937, the longest bridge span in the world at the time. The first public crossing had taken place the day before, when 200,000 people walked, ran and even roller skated over the new bridge

Also on January 5 1982, a series of landslides near San Francisco, California, kills up to 33 people and closes the Golden Gate Bridge. In all, an amazing 18,000 different landslides took place in the San Francisco Bay Area following a very heavy rain storm

Meanwhile, in Canada, on January 5 1982, Elizabeth Bagshaw dies at age 100. Bagshaw was one of Canada’s first female doctors; she graduated from the University of Toronto in 1905, and practiced medicine for over 60 years

That’s it. It’s done. I may do a few entries here and there, but no more daily editions. R.I.P. It Happened On


It Happened On #99

I didn’t win the lottery today either. How sad. However, like yesterday, I got 2 more lenses in the mail. I can’t use any yet because I need to buy adaptors

It happened on January 4 1999…for the first time since Charlemagne’s reign in the ninth century, Europe is united with a common currency when the “euro” debuts as a financial unit in corporate and investment markets. Eleven European Union (EU) nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), representing some 290 million people, launched the currency in the hopes of increasing European integration and economic growth. Closing at a robust 1.17 U.S. dollars on its first day, the euro promised to give the dollar a run for its money in the new global economy. Euro cash, decorated with architectural images, symbols of European unity and member-state motifs, went into circulation on January 1, 2002, replacing the Austrian schilling, Belgian franc, Finnish markka, French franc, German mark, Italian lira, Irish punt, Luxembourg franc, Netherlands guilder, Portugal escudo and Spanish peseta. A number of territories and non-EU nations including Monaco and Vatican City also adopted the euro.

Conversion to the euro wasn’t without controversy. Despite the practical benefits of a common currency that would make it easier to do business and travel throughout Europe, there were concerns that the changeover process would be costly and chaotic, encourage counterfeiting, lead to inflation and cause individual nations to lose control over their economic policies. Great Britain, Sweden and Demark opted not to use the euro. Greece, after initially being excluded for failing to meet all the required conditions, adopted the euro in January 2001, becoming the 12th member of the so-called eurozone

Also on January 4 1974, President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over tape recordings and documents that had been subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. Marking the beginning of the end of his Presidency, Nixon would resign from office in disgrace eight months later

Meanwhile, in Canada, on January 4 1983, Criminal Code changes replace rape with 3 categories of sexual assault. The changes give equal protection to men and women. Women are now allowed to charge their husbands with sexual assault

This is the second last It Happened On, so enjoy while you can!

It Happened On #98

Another day, another edition of It Happened On

It happened on January 3 1999…after three days of high winds and heavy snow, people in the Great Lakes region begin digging out from one of the worst blizzards on record

The storm caused treacherous road conditions throughout the region. A 60-car pile-up on January 2 in Wisconsin resulted in scores of injuries and one death. In Indiana, a 100-mile stretch of Interstate 65 was closed for a full two days. When the snow finally stopped on January 3, record cold temperatures arrived. In Congerville, Illinois, a state record low of -36 degrees was reached. In the aftermath, President Bill Clinton declared Illinois and Indiana disaster areas and sent federal relief.

In all, more than 100 deaths – as many as 36 from heart attacks – were attributed to the terrible blizzard of January 1999

Also on January 3 1924, two years after British archaeologist Howard Carter and his workmen discovered the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen near Luxor, Egypt, they uncover the greatest treasure of the tomb–a stone sarcophagus containing a solid gold coffin that holds the mummy of Tutankhamen

Meanwhile, in Canada, on January 3 1992, miss Canada Pageant scrapped after 45 years, due to changing tastes and politics. Nicole Dunsdon, crowned Oct 1991, was the last Miss Canada


It Happened On #97

How’s 2013 going for you thus far? I didn’t bother making any resolutions this year. I think I did pretty good with last years

According to my Heart & Stroke calendar, January is New Year’s Resolution month, so I got all of January left to make one

It happened on January 2 2009…a rare unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S bugattiAtalante Coupe was found in the garage of a British doctor. A month later, on February 7, the car sold at a Paris auction for some $4.4 million

The black two-seater, one of just 17 57S Atalante Coupes ever made by Bugatti, had been owned by English orthopedic surgeon Harold Carr since 1955. Carr, who died in 2007, reportedly had kept the rare vehicle parked in his garage since the early 1960sand hadn’t driven it in five decades. The car was built in May 1937 and originally owned by Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon. Curzon was the first president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and a winner of the 24 Hour Le Mans race

When it was built, the 57S Atalante Coupe was capable of reaching speeds of more than 120 miles per hour at a time when the average car couldn’t do more than 50 miles per hour. It was also notable for its low-slung frame and V-shaped radiator and featured pig-skin upholstery. At the time of the auction, Carr’s car was said to be in good condition and had 26,284 miles on its odometer

Also on January 2 1971, 66 soccer fans are killed in a stampede at a stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, as they attempt to leave a game after a late goal by the home team. Initial reports suggested that the disaster was caused by fans returning to their seats after hearing of the last goal, but in fact it was simply the crush of spectators all leaving at the same time on the same stairway that led to tragedy

Meanwhile, in Canada, on January 2 1826, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland was founded

Man, Canada is boring

It Happened On #95

Happy New Year’s Eve! Bundle up if you’re heading out tonight, it’s a cold one – in Toronto, Canada

It happened on December 31 1972…Roberto Clemente, future Hall of Fame baseball player, is killed along with four others when the cargo plane in which he is traveling crashes off the coast of Puerto Rico. Clemente was on his way to deliver relief supplies to Nicaragua following a devastating earthquake there a week earlier

Also on December 31 1968, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War comes to an end. At year’s end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967

Estimates from Headquarters U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam indicated that 181,150 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese were killed during the year. However, Allied losses were also up: 27,915 South Vietnamese, 14,584 Americans (a 56 percent increase over 1967), and 979 South Koreans, Australians, New Zealanders, and Thais were reported killed during 1968. Since January 1961, more than 31,000 U.S. servicemen had been killed in Vietnam and over 200,000 U.S. personnel had been wounded

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 31 1683, a lunar eclipse in Huron country panics natives, who place blame on Jesuits

I never heard the term “Jesuits” before. My friend Google says it’s a member of the Society of Jesus

It Happened On #94

It’s a sunny and beautiful Sunday. It might be cold but it looks great from indoors

I spent most of the morning taking pictures and hunting for a lamp

I needed a lamp so I could read at night. I got most of the Jack Reacher novels and borrowed my sister’s Kindle (that she never uses because she doesn’t read). I tried to read a few nights ago but I discovered the Kindle can’t be used it the dark. The screen has no backlight which renders it useless in the dark. But today I rescued my lamp from the wasteland that is my closet

It happened on December 30 1988…Stacy Allison of Portland, Oregon, becomes the first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. Allison, a member of the Northwest American Everest Expedition, climbed the Himalayan peak using the southeast ridge route

Also on December 30 1957, a passenger train collides with an oil-tanker train in the Gambar province of western Pakistan, killing 300 people and seriously injuring another 150 on this day in 1957

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 30 1981, Wayne Gretzky scores five goals, including his 50th of the season into an empty net, leading the Oilers to a 7-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Scoring in only his 39th game of the season, Gretzky becomes the first player to reach the mark in fewer than 50 games, shattering Maurice Richard’s NHL record

It’d be sweet to summit Everest. Knowing you’re on the highest point on earth. The view must be amazing!

Bear Grylls took snow from the peak of Everest and later used it to baptize his son. Pretty cool

It Happened On #93

It happened on December 29 1980…my second sister, Ramandeep, was born. I wasn’t born yet. I came along to add fulfilment to both my sisters’ lives about 2 years later

My sister doesn’t read my blog, but Happy Birthday!!

It Happened On #91

It’s It Happened On 91, only 9 left before I stop so enjoy while you can

We got a decent amount of snow last night, the first real snowfall of this winter. It missed Christmas by one day. Would have been nice to get a white Christmas

It happened on December 27 2004…in a game against the San Diego Chargers, quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts finds wide receiver Brandon Stokely in the end zone for his 49th touchdown pass of the season, breaking the previous NFL single-season record held by Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins

Manning’s record stood until 2007, when Tom Brady of the New England Patriots threw 50 touchdowns in a single season

Also on December 27 1941, the federal Office of Price Administration initiates its first rationing program in support of the American effort in World War II: It mandates that from that day on, no driver will be permitted to own more than five automobile tires

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 27 1972, Lester B. ‘Mike’ Pearson dies at age 75. Pearson was a diplomat and Liberal Prime Minister. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Suez Crisis of 1956, setting up a UN peacekeeping force to help the British and French extract themselves from Egypt. His government is credited with bringing in medicare and the Canada Pension Plan

What the heck is “The Office of Price Administration”? Never heard of it before. Sounds made up


It Happened On #90

Do any Boxing Day shopping? I didn’t

I did my shopping online. The best form of shopping

It happened on December 26 1973…The Exorcist, a horror film starring the actress Linda Blair as a girl possessed by an evil spirit, makes its debut in theatres. It would go on to earn a reputation as one of the scariest movies in history. The Exorcist was based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, about the last sanctioned Catholic exorcism to take place in the United States, in the late 1940s. In the film, Blair played Regan, a sweet 12-year-old girl who begins suffering bouts of bizarre behaviour. When her concerned mother (Ellen Burstyn), contacts a priest, he recommends performing an exorcism. Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller played the two priests who eventually conduct the exorcism at the home where Regan is living in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.

Also on December 26 1908, Jack Johnson becomes the first African American to win the world heavyweight title when he knocks out Canadian Tommy Burns in the 14th round in a championship bout near Sydney, Australia. Johnson, who held the heavyweight title until 1915, was reviled by whites for his defiance of the “Jim Crow” racial conventions of early 20th-century America

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 26 1991, Northwest Airlines buys 20 Dash 8 Series 100 aircraft from de Haviland, a divison of Boeing, for $190 million

Pretty boring stuff, especially in Canada. Oh well

It Happened On #89

Merry Christmas to all! (Or Happy Holidays – whichever applies)

I helped (somewhat) my sister bake yesterday so stay tuned for pictures. We’re hosting a family party tonight. It’s basically going to look like an immigration office tonight

It happened on December 25 1914…just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing

At the first light of dawn, many of the German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. In 1915, the bloody conflict of World War I erupted in all its technological fury, and the concept of another Christmas Truce became unthinkable

Also on December 25 2000, a Christmas party at an unlicensed disco is the site of a tragic fire that kills more than 300 people in Luoyang, China, on this day in 2000. It was the deadliest fire in China since a December 1994 fire in a Xinjiang concert hall killed 324 people

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 25 1535, Jacques Cartier and his crew celebrate Canada’s first recorded Christmas at Stadacona