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Thread: Unusual Events in History

  1. #1
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    Do you know of anything that happened in the place where you were born that would stand out from regular historical events?

    I once had a book out from the library that described a great flood in Boston, Massachusetts. BUT what stands out is that it was a flood of molasses. A tank holding 2.3 million gallons, gave way on January 15, 1919.

    People living in the area said that the popping rivets on the tank sounded like a machine gun. As it started flowing through the streets, the level was between 8 and 15 feet deep. The force threw a truck into Boston Harbor, and pulled a train off of its tracks. Before it was finished flowing, the thick liquid killed 21, and injured about 150 people. I have read that it eventually found its way into the sewer system giving the city's rats a nearly un-ending source of food. The rat population exploded.

    Sometimes, when I hear about floods of water, it brings this unique event back to my mind.

  2. #2
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    Could you imagine the mess that was left afterward? The flies and rats would be everywhere. At 8 to 15 feet deep, it would have seeped into peoples homes. Interesting bit of history.

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    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Do you know of anything that happened in the place where you were born that would stand out from regular historical events?
    Does the fact that Butch Cassidy robbed the payroll in the town where I grew up count? It was a coal mining community and all the miners were waiting for their pay which was in cash. As the story was told to me, shots were fired and Butch and his gang rode off with the money. There's some disagreement among my family as to whether or not my grandfather was among the miners waiting for his pay.

    Not quite as unusual as Boston's but that's my story.

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    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I grew up in the first Garden City in the UK, and it also had the first roundabout in the world. It was invented because it was a junction of three roads crossing each other, i.e. 6 exits from the roundabout.

  5. #5
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    The town that I live in has a tiny bit of a colorful history. J.C. Hise (a wieghtlifter) lived here. His brother borrowed his wieghtlifting bar to pry a motor out of a car. When he returned it, it was bent. J.C. tried it out and it worked better than it had before--invention of the buffalo bar still used today. J.C. Hise could dead lift 700lbs.
    Our first Presbyterian Church was built with wood from the local lumberyard, but it wasn't all paid for. The owner of the lumberyard wasn't the least bit shy about spreading the word to anyone that would listen about how much money that "no-good church" still owed him. One day he was talking about it when a lady (?) of questionable character asked just exactly how much was owed. When he told her, she lifted her skirts and petticoats right on Main Street, pulled a large wad of bills from her garter and paid off the Presbyterian's debt then laughed about how their debt had been payed off with his own money.

  6. #6
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston1954
    Do you know of anything that happened in the place where you were born that would stand out from regular historical events?

    I once had a book out from the library that described a great flood in Boston, Massachusetts. BUT what stands out is that it was a flood of molasses. A tank holding 2.3 million gallons, gave way on January 15, 1919.

    People living in the area said that the popping rivets on the tank sounded like a machine gun. As it started flowing through the streets, the level was between 8 and 15 feet deep. The force threw a truck into Boston Harbor, and pulled a train off of its tracks. Before it was finished flowing, the thick liquid killed 21, and injured about 150 people. I have read that it eventually found its way into the sewer system giving the city's rats a nearly un-ending source of food. The rat population exploded.

    Sometimes, when I hear about floods of water, it brings this unique event back to my mind.
    And we thought it was the Tea Party that made Boston famous! Now we all need to search our local history books!

  7. #7
    Pam
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    Rapture, I liked your story about the lumberyard. Too funny!

  8. #8
    Pam
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    I did a quick google search and did not find out anything "different" about Owosso, Michigan, so I will add something that they did NOT write about.

    Once upon a time Owosso was a bustling, growing progressive city in the middle of Michigan and they had cable cars. The only reason I know this is because my great grandfather was struck and killed by one! After my grandfather died and we were cleaning out the memorabilia we found a newspaper article about his father's death, no one in the family had known about this.

    Sorry, no molasses floods, but some water ones!

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    Philadelphia, PA You all know the rest of the story.

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    Junior Member QuiltingQueen's Avatar
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    The largest pot bust in Wisconsin was just outside of my home town on a crop farm. They planted the pot between the rows of corn!

    A couple of years later my girlfriend bought the farm for raising her horses. Every once in a while the her horses would race around their pasture and she figured that they had 'weed' for lunch rather then grass!

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    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingQueen
    The largest pot bust in Wisconsin was just outside of my home town on a crop farm. They planted the pot between the rows of corn!

    A couple of years later my girlfriend bought the farm for raising her horses. Every once in a while the her horses would race around their pasture and she figured that they had 'weed' for lunch rather then grass!
    OMG, that is so funny! Can you imagine watching a horse that had "weed" as their "grass"! :lol: :lol:

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    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Now how is it that I have heard that molasses story before? It's really a memorable event!

    In this area, the memorable event isn't quite so funny. An aluminum smelting plant needed a source of electricity, and a lake nearby was dammed at the outlet. It raised the lake level enough that an entire Indian village was washed away. While they forced everyone to evacuate, they forgot about the people who were away hunting and arrived home to find it gone, and they didn't count on the graveyard releasing the dead. The lake level goes down at some times during the year, and it's fascinating to go walk around the old village area.

  13. #13
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    My home town (a hamlet) was settled on Henry Hudson's second voyage, although it had long been populated by Native Americans. The ship, Half Moon, carried ballast stones from Europe, a red rock that was used as grave markers. Growing up in the 60's, they were still there, in the "Indian graveyard". Now all that was covered over by houses, and if you don't look quick at the historical marker, you'd never know.

    Later, in the mid-to late 1800s, it was known as the Violet growing capital.

    Isn't that molasses story the origin of the old saying about "Slow as molasses in January"?

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    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It is really interesting reading these kind of stories :D:D:D

    raptureready, I am still chuckling over your story :lol::lol:

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    Well, I was born in St. Helens, OR. I think we've heard about what happened to that mountain (Mt. St. Helens). It still makes me so sad that Spirit Lake no longer exists. I spent a lot of time there with my grandparents.

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    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    We live in South Dakota. There were a lot of towns that were filled up with water and lakes were formed. The structures of the towns are still there under the water. Divers will go down and explore sometimes. The Sheridan Lake which is not far from Rapid City use to be a town called Sheridan.

  17. #17
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    It is really interesting reading these kind of stories :D:D:D

    raptureready, I am still chuckling over your story :lol::lol:
    It is fun to read everyone's stories. I forgot to mention that we used to have an opera house. It was used for various things but once a month or so they would have a "talent" night. People would come from miles around to show off their talents or watch others. One of the families that consistantly won were the Van Dykes---Dick, Jerry and other family members. And the Doug Wilson that used to be on one of those home makeover shows worked for me for a short time while he attended the U of I. Great guy, hard worker. He grew up about 10 miles from here.

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    My hometown is famous for vacationers. We have a beautiful beach and good weather (most of the time). And lots of resturants.

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    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    There's a town south of where I was born that's the only place in the U.S to have been bombed during WWII. In the town where I was born there the tale of how the county court house was stolen during the middle of the night from the next little town over so the county seat would be there. The little town the court house building was stolen from doesn't exist anymore. There was also a "famous" bank robbery where I was born and it's on the Santa Fe trail so there's lots of history from that too.

  20. #20
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    One more thing in our little town history. About 25 years ago our town doctor had his house remodeled, no one thought anything about it. We didn't realize that he was having bullet proof glass installed. Come to find out he'd gone a little too far over the hill and left his mind somewhere out there. He booby trapped his home, yard, and garage. For several days there was a bomb squad here digging, disarming and disposing. The worst thing was that the yard had some small homemade explosive devises and it was on the direct route to the school. No one got hurt, some people set up a booth nearby selling t-shirts that were printed with a bomb and said, "Homer, Illinois Boomtown, USA" LOL

  21. #21
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    I grew up in what some would call a hollerp (even if it was in Wisconsin). A very small village between two hills. Most of the people came from Kentucky around 1900. It was all virgin timber at that time so there was a lot of logging AND there was a lot of moonshining. Once, the feds came looking for a particular still. They were given such cockeyed directions that they ended up lost in the hills for 3 days. They never came back. My Grandpa always made his own brandy and according to my Dad, sampled it quite often!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Beth33's Avatar
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    We received almost seven feet of snow in five days. It wasn't too long ago, but historic.

    * A total of 81.5 inches fell from Monday morning through Friday afternoon at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in suburban Cheektowaga, where the city's weather records are kept. Buffalo gets an average of 93.5 inches a year.

    * In a city that had seen only five days that had a least a 20-inch snowfall in more than 100 years of recorded weather history, there were three in five days.

    * The city went from having its lowest December snowfall ever -- 1.2 inches before Dec. 24 -- to its highest in any month in history.

  23. #23
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth33
    We received almost seven feet of snow in five days. It wasn't too long ago, but historic.

    * A total of 81.5 inches fell from Monday morning through Friday afternoon at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in suburban Cheektowaga, where the city's weather records are kept. Buffalo gets an average of 93.5 inches a year.

    * In a city that had seen only five days that had a least a 20-inch snowfall in more than 100 years of recorded weather history, there were three in five days.

    * The city went from having its lowest December snowfall ever -- 1.2 inches before Dec. 24 -- to its highest in any month in history.
    I remember hearing about that, I couldn't even imagine. The news tonight said that Denver got a FOOT of hail today---said that it was golf to baseball sized and that it hailed for 40 minutes!!! Wacko weather.

  24. #24
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    There's a town south of where I was born that's the only place in the U.S to have been bombed during WWII. In the town where I was born there the tale of how the county court house was stolen during the middle of the night from the next little town over so the county seat would be there. The little town the court house building was stolen from doesn't exist anymore. There was also a "famous" bank robbery where I was born and it's on the Santa Fe trail so there's lots of history from that too.
    How and who bombed it? I thought Pearl Harbor was the only one, then again, maybe Pearl Harbor doesn't count because it was bombed before we entered the war.

  25. #25
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    There's a town south of where I was born that's the only place in the U.S to have been bombed during WWII. In the town where I was born there the tale of how the county court house was stolen during the middle of the night from the next little town over so the county seat would be there. The little town the court house building was stolen from doesn't exist anymore. There was also a "famous" bank robbery where I was born and it's on the Santa Fe trail so there's lots of history from that too.
    How and who bombed it? I thought Pearl Harbor was the only one, then again, maybe Pearl Harbor doesn't count because it was bombed before we entered the war.
    The planes were on a practice run and were off course and mistook the town for the practice bombing range and actually dropped 6 bombs on the town. No one was killed at least. It's Boise City Oklahoma. (rhymes with voice)

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