Did You Know...
The nursery rhyme Ring Around the Rosey is a rhyme about the plague. Infected people with the plague would get red circular sores ("Ring around the rosey..."), these sores would smell very badly so common folks would put flowers on their bodies somewhere (inconspicuously), so that it would cover the smell of the sores ("...a pocket full of posies..."), People who died from the plague would be burned so as to reduce the possible spread of the disease ("...ashes, ashes, we all fall down!")
- 1916, California road race kills five. At the Boulevard Race in Corona, California, an early racing car careens into a crowd of spectators, killing the driver and two others. At the time, racing events were still a relative rarity and the fatal accident helped encourage organizers to begin holding races on specially built tracks instead of regular streets. The first organized race of "horseless carriages," as they were then called, was held in France in 1894. The winning speed was less than 10 miles per hour and the winner was disqualified because his steam-driven tractor was deemed not to be a practical vehicle. The first Grand Prix was held 12 years later.
- 1920, Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar is born. "East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," goes the famous Rudyard Kipling quotation. It's a statement that certainly applied in the world of pop music prior to the 1960s, when a handful of influential British groups brought the sound of Indian classical music into rock and roll. Experimentation with the sitar by Brian Jones and George Harrison gave songs like "Paint It, Black" and "Norwegian Wood" their distinctive sound, and that experimentation was inspired almost entirely by the work of one man: Ravi Shankar. A classically trained sitar virtuoso who influenced a generation of Western pop stars and introduced millions of listeners to the music of his native India, Ravi Shankar was born in Varanasi, India, on April 7, 1920.
- 1933, A dirigible crashed in New Jersey, killing 73 people in one of the first air disasters in history. The Akron was the largest airship built in the United States when it took its first flight in August 1931. In its short life of less than two years, it was involved in two fatal accidents
- 1946, An undersea earthquake off the Alaskan coast triggered a massive tsunami that killed 159 people in Hawaii.
Resources: history.com, various magazines