1775 Paul Revere made his legendary ride. (Paul Revere Day) (See January 1st and April 19th entries.)
1858 A sixty-day-long rainfall began in Chicago.
1906 The San Francisco earthquake occurred.
1924 Simon & Schuster published the first crossword puzzle book.
1934 The first laundromat opened.
On this day in 1775, Paul Revere rode to Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, conveying the message that the British were coming. Even though Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem centered on this patriotic silversmith’s feats, the truth of the matter is that Revere didn’t ride alone. He and William Dawes both rode to Lexington;
Revere was captured by the British on the way to Concord and Dawes was not. Perhaps Longfellow decided that there weren’t enough words that rhyme with Dawes.
Solutions often create more problems which require more solutions. Today we salute the opening of the first laundromat. In 1934, the great American pastime of literally washing your dirty linen in public started in Fort Worth, Texas. Luckily, in 1924, Simon & Schuster published the first crossword puzzle book, which meant you could at least do something more thought-provoking while your clothes got clean than watch them tumble dry.
This is the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The tremor’s center was actually located in the small town of Olema, California, north of the city. Olema grew another forty feet north to south as the earth shifted. But the greatest damage occurred in the bayside metropolis where the quake and subsequent fires razed the city. All seemed lost on this day in 1906, but it is heartening to note that only a few years later, San Francisco was the site of a great World’s Fair.
This day marks the anniversary of a rainfall of biblical proportions. The spring rains started in Chicago, Illinois, on this date in 1858. A few days later, citizens began to worry when it didn’t stop. It poured for forty days and forty nights. Fifty days went by without a break. Sixty days and sixty nights later, the rains that had drenched both body and spirit stopped.