This Day In History
Sunday, May 20, 2018
On This Day

1889

Events

March 31, 1889

The Eiffel Tower is...
The Eiffel Tower is officially opened. The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest building in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair.
Eiffel Tower

May 31, 1889

Over 2,200 people die...
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The Johnstown Flood occurred on May 31, 1889. It was the result of the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam situated 14 miles (23 km) upstream of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, made worse by several days of extremely heavy rainfall. The dam's failure unleashed a torrent of 20 million tons of water (4.8 billion U.S. gallons; 18.2 million cubic meters; 18.2 billion litres). The flood killed more than 2,200 people and caused US$17 million of damage. It was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton. Support for victims came from all over the United States and 18 foreign countries. After the flood, victims suffered a series of legal defeats in their attempt to recover damages from the dam's owners. Public indignation at that failure prompted a major development in American law—state courts' move from a fault-based regime to strict liability.
Johnstown Flood, flood, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

June 6, 1889

The Great Seattle fire...
The Great Seattle fire destroys the entirety of downtown Seattle, Washington. On the afternoon of June 6, 1889, John E. Back, a worker in Victor Clairmont's cabinet-making shop near Front Street and Madison Avenue, was heating glue over a gasoline fire. Sometime around 2:30 pm, the glue boiled over and caught fire. The fire soon spread to the wood chips and turpentine covering the floor. Back attempted to douse the fire with water which only served to spread the fire further. The fire department arrived by 2:45, but by that time the area was so smokey that the source of the fire could not be determined. At first it was assumed to have begun in the paint shop above Clairmont's woodworking shop and the Seattle newspaper erroneously ran this story the next day.
Great Seattle fire, fire, Seattle, Washington

November 23, 1889

The first jukebox goes into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media. The classic jukebox has buttons with letters and numbers on them that, when entered in combination, are used to play a specific selection.
jukebox, San Francisco





Births

February 23, 1889
Victor Fleming

Victor Lonzo Fleming was an American film director, cinematographer, and producer. His most popular films were The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Gone with the Wind (1939), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director.
April 16, 1889
Charlie Chaplin

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era.
June 23, 1889
Anna Akhmatova

Anna Andreyevna Gorenko better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.
November 19, 1889
Clifton Webb

Clifton Webb was an American actor, dancer, and singer known for his Oscar-nominated roles in such films as Laura, The Razor's Edge, and Sitting Pretty. In the theatrical world he was known for his appearances in the plays of Noël Coward, notably Blithe Spirit.
November 20, 1889
Edwin Hubble

Edwin Powell Hubble was an American astronomer who profoundly changed the understanding of the universe by confirming the existence of galaxies other than our own, the Milky Way.

Deaths

March 16, 1889
Wilhelm Tempel

Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel, normally known as Wilhelm Tempel, was a German astronomer who worked in Marseille until the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, then later moved to Italy.
June 8, 1889
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.
October 6, 1889
Jules Dupre

Jules Dupré, French painter, was one of the chief members of the Barbizon school of landscape painters. If Corot stands for the lyric and Rousseau for the epic aspect of the poetry of nature, Dupré is the exponent of her tragic and dramatic aspects.
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