The Curious Case of the Cascadia Earthquake

On January 26th, 1700, a major earthquake occurred off today's western coast of Canada and the US, with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.7–9.2. It entered Native American oral history, of course, as a major event. But they did not use written records, nor the (European) Gregorian Calendar. How do modern historians then know the precise date of the earthquake? Well, it comes from a combination of records. The earthquake caused a tsunami which struck the coast of Japan, who recorded the day it hit and the magnitude of the waves. The earthquake also impacted tree rings in the Pacific Northwest, which modern scientists can use to estimate year and time of year. Between the Native American oral histories, the Japanese records, and the tree rings, historians are pretty sure they have the date right!

Fishy Business

First opened in 1805, the Maine Avenue Fish Market in Washington, DC, is the oldest fish market in the United States.

The 1950s hit song “Splish Splash” (I Was Takin’ A Bath) was written because Murray Kaufman bet Bobby Darin that he could not write a song beginning with the words, "Splish Splash, I was takin' a bath." So Darin wrote the song.

In North Korea, the supermarket escalator where Kim Jong Il was last seen in public has been turned into a shrine to his memory.

A Very Important History Fact

Sonny Bono is the only person in American history to have been a US Senator -- and have a had a number-one pop single on the US Billboard Hot 100.

How To Make Maps

This is a map of Mexico City, showing flight paths planned overhead for a cartographic flyover. Made by Aerofoto in 1936.


"Woe to all of us if ever as a people we grow to condone evil because it is successful."

Theodore Roosevelt, American president


"To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity; the next is, to strive, and deserve to conquer; but he whose life has passed without a contest, and who can boast neither success nor merit, can survey himself only as a useless filler of existence; and if he is content with his own character, must owe his satisfaction to insensibility."

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784). English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. In addition to writing for magazines, poems, plays, and a biography, he also wrote a dictionary! After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755.  It had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been acclaimed as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship". Until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson's was the pre-eminent British dictionary.

Charity Hospital is the second oldest hospital in the United States. It was founded when Louisiana was still French, in May of 1736, using money from the will of Jean Louis, a French sailor and shipbuilder who died in New Orleans the year before. His last will and testament was to finance a hospital for the poor in the colony of New Orleans. Only Bellevue Hospital in New York City is older (just barely) since it was founded a month earlier in March of 1736. Charity Hospital was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina flooding and evacuation in 2005. Technically, the new University Medical Center New Orleans has taken over its functions. But the Charity Hospital's imposing, decaying remains still stand in New Orleans, a reminder of what was lost and the work still needing to be done.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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