Crinoline is a stiff fabric made with cotton warp and horsehair. By the 1850s, the term was being applied to a large, steel-framed underskirt used to give skirts a fuller shape. This sort of crinoline enjoyed widespread popularity for over a decade despite the fact that it could endanger one's life. It is believed that a number of women burned to death in part because their crinolines made their garments more flammable. How, according to legend, did a crinoline save the life of one jilted lover?
Back in the day
Charlemagne was king of the Franks (768–814) and emperor of the West (800–814). With the exception of the British Isles and parts of Italy and Spain, he united in one vast state almost all the Christian lands of Western Europe. After restoring Leo III to the papacy, he was crowned emperor in Rome on Christmas Day, 800 CE, finalizing the split between the Byzantine and Roman empires and marking the revival of the empire that was the forerunner of the Holy Roman Empire. What language did he speak?
Born on a day like today
Born in Switzerland, Chevrolet was an auto mechanic who emigrated to the US in 1900 to race cars. In 1905, he drove a mile in a record 52.8 seconds. In 1911, he founded the Chevrolet Motor Company with support from General Motors founder William C. Durant and designed its first car. He sold his interest in 1915 but continued making racecars. His cars won the Indy 500 in 1920 and 1921. He later formed an aircraft company with his brother, but the venture failed. Who drove his winning car in 1920?