" Are not there little chapters in everybody's life, that seem to be nothing, and yet affect all the rest of the history? "
William Makepeace Thackeray

Back in the day


T. A. Gillespie Company Shell Loading Plant Explosion

On the night of October 4, 1918, an explosion rocked the T.A. Gillespie Company's ammunition plant in Sayreville, New Jersey, one of the largest such plants in the world at the time. The blast triggered a series of explosions, which continued for three days, killing 100 people. Sayreville and nearby South Amboy and Perth Amboy were evacuated, displacing about 62,000 people who thus became more vulnerable to the catastrophic flu epidemic of 1918. What remnant of the accident was found in 2007?



The Snowy Owl

Easily recognized by its snow-white plumage, the snowy owl is most commonly found in the Arctic tundra but is sometimes seen in Europe, Asia, and North America. It is even the official bird of Quebec. The large owl has broad wings, a round head, and may have some dark markings. After snowy owl eggs hatch, both parents feed and protect their young. Their alarm call is almost like a bark, and they often clap their beaks when threatened. What popular book series features a snowy owl?

Born on a day like today


Charlton Heston

An iconic Hollywood leading man and six-term president of the Screen Actors Guild, Heston distinguished himself as an actor playing larger-than-life heroes in films like The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes, El Cid, and Ben-Hur. The strapping performer also used his sonorous voice to speak out against racism and other political issues of his day. A staunch opponent of gun control, he made what phrase famous at a 2000 National Rifle Association convention?

Last updated on Saturday, 5th October 2013

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