Milk sickness afflicts individuals who ingest dairy products or meat from a cow that has fed on white snakeroot, a plant with a poisonous cluster of small white flowers. It is characterized by trembling, vomiting, and severe intestinal pain. Although rare today, such poisoning killed thousands in the early 19th century, including Abraham Lincoln's mother. A doctor first described it in 1809, but its exact cause remained elusive. According to legend, how was its cause discovered?
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Back in the day
The tragic story of Christopher McCandless begins in southern California and ends in the wilds of Alaska, where the 24-year-old's emaciated remains were found weeks after he had apparently starved to death while trying to live off the land on his own. His journal, in which he chronicled his 113 days in the wilderness, has shed some light on his final months, including where he sheltered—an abandoned bus—and what he last ate, but much will never be known. What was his final message to the world?
Born on a day like today
A German artillery officer during World War I, Dornberger was captured and spent two years in a French prisoner-of-war camp. After his release, he studied engineering, and, beginning in 1932, directed construction of the V-2 rocket, the forerunner of all post-war spacecraft. Along with other German scientists, Dornberger was brought to the US as part of Operation Paperclip and worked as an advisor on guided missiles for the US Air Force. He became a key consultant on what major American venture?