FIRST PERSON TO DIE GOING OVER NIAGARA FALLS . (CHARLES STEPHENS) 1920

In 1920, Charles Stephens was the first (recorded) person to die going over Niagara Falls. His arms were strapped to his oak barrel, his feet tied to an anvil; when the barrel hit the water the anvil – and Stephens – went through its bottom. All that was recovered from the barrel was his right arm tattooed with “Forget Me Not Annie”…..

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FIRST MEDICAL OPERATION 1847

The first photographic record of an actual live medical operation: Use of Ether for Anesthesia, 1847 The setting for this daguerreotype is the teaching amphitheater of Bostons Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. John Collins Warren, cofounder of the hospital and professor of anatomy, stands with his hands upon the patients thigh, explaining the proceedings to a student audience seated out of camera range. Dr. Solomon Davis Townsend, who performed the operation, stands behind Warren…….

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TORNADO 1884

Tornadoes have threatened lives on the Great Plains for centuries, but until the late 1800s most Americans had never actually seen one. That changed on April 26, 1884, when unique circumstances allowed a farmer in Anderson County, Kansas, to capture the first known photograph of a tornado. The tornado’s slow progress allowed local fruit farmer and amateur photographer A.A. Adams time to assemble his cumbersome box camera and capture this singular image…….

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ULTRAVIOLET BRANDING TOOL FOR BABIES

No one wants to go home with the wrong newborn, hence the invention of a ultraviolet branding tool that would burn a baby’s initials into its skin to prevent hospital mix-ups. The hand-held lamp would pass ultraviolet rays through stenciled initials, leaving pale marks that would fade away after a couple of weeks. Nothing says heartwarming like baby’s first sunburn…..

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TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

Tennessee Williams was an American playwright who received many of the top theatrical awards for his works of drama. His greatest are A Streetcar Named Desire & Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He suffered with alcoholism, and had a nervous breakdown in 1969. In 1983 he used his mouth to open an eyedrop bottle. He would routinely hold the bottle cap in his mouth while administering drops to his eyes. On this occasion, the lid of the bottle became lodged in his throat and he choked to death……

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DIXIE LEE (1911-1952)

Dixie Lee (1911-1952). Born Wilma Winifred Wyatt. She married Bing Crosby at the age of 18, and had four sons with him, two of whom, Lindsay and Dennis, would eventually commit suicide as adults. Dixie drank socially to keep up with Bing. She succeeded in curbing Bing’s alcohol consumption, but ironically her own alcoholism worsened. She had a brief film career, starring in a few features. She died from ovarian cancer, three days before her 41st birthday……

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