" Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish. "
Mark Twain

Back in the day


Murder, Inc., Mobster Louis "Lepke" Buchalter Is Executed

In the early 1930s, American gangster Louis "Lepke" Buchalter joined "Lucky" Luciano in forming a national crime syndicate. Buchalter came to control the enforcement arm of the Syndicate—Murder, Inc.—which carried out contract killings across the US. He went into hiding during a government crackdown on organized crime in the mid-1930s but eventually surrendered himself, stood trial for various crimes, and was sentenced to die. Which of his associates were executed on the same day as he was?



Suspension Bridges

A suspension bridge, like San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge, features a roadway suspended from vertical cables. Though an early version of the suspension bridge existed in 15th-century Tibet, the first Western design dates back to 16th-century Italy. While suspension bridges are ideal for spanning long distances, their tendency to vibrate during heavy winds can have devastating consequences. Which suspension bridge collapse—caused by severe winds—was caught on film in 1940?

Born on a day like today


Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr.

Born into poverty and having had little formal education, Morgan nevertheless became a successful inventor and entrepreneur. In 1914, he patented his "breathing device," a hood that allows one to breathe safely in the presence of smoke, gas, and other pollutants. He worked hard to market it, especially to fire departments, and often demonstrated its reliability, most famously using it to rescue several men from an Ohio tunnel accident in 1916. What did he invent after he had gone nearly blind?

Last updated on Tuesday, 4th March 2014

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