Wednesday, June 21, 1893
The first Ferris wheel opens to the public at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Approximately two minutes into the wheel's first revolution, the first young child dropped the first handful of cotton candy from the top of the ride—and watched as the light-as-air concoction floated 264 feet down to the ground. (Okay, we made that last factoid up. But try it this summer!)
Wednesday, July 31, 1901
The ship Discovery departs London on the National Antarctic Exploration, launching the career of doomed polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton who became the almost-but-not-quite first man to reach the South Pole—and an example to all of us during those times when we get stuck in the proverbial ice.
Wednesday, December 10, 1930
A Pittsburgh company called P. Duff and Sons applies for a patent that will change everyone's life (and birthday) forever. It's an "invention [that] relates to a dehydrated flour for use in making pastry products and to a process of making the same." In other words, the first cake mix.
Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Wednesday, December 28, 1934
The actress Maggie Smith is born in Essex England. She will perform Shakespeare with Laurence Olivier, win an Oscar for her role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, appear in the Harry Potter films and, perhaps most enjoyably of all, serve up zinger after zinger as the stodgy-yet-sassy Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the BBC period drama Downton Abbey.
Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Wednesday, April 6, 1938
Readers of The New Yorker are introduced to the family that makes every other clan look like the Cleavers. The Addams family members are nameless until the strip is being developed for television, when the cartoonist dubs them Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Pugsley and, of course, Wednesday.
Published on Jan 27, 2014