Friday, August 12, 2011

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

August 12th
On this day in 1939 the Wizard of Oz premiered in Oconowomac, Wisconsin. Adapted from a book published in 1900, the theatrical version became popular due to its popular songs that resonate still to this day. Judy Garland's "Somewhere over the Rainbow" was chosen as the #1 song of the 20th century. Who can forget the scene where Dorothy step out of her house into the land of Oz, changing from black and white to color?

On this day in 1961 construction on the Berlin Wall is started. The iconic symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall divided not only the city of Berlin but symbolized the rift between east and west. Soviet controlled East Berlin built the wall to try and stem the tide of refugees fleeing the communist portion of the city. President John F. Kennedy commented that "A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war". People attempting to cross over the wall were shot on sight.

On this day in 1985 the worst airline crash in history occurred when Japan Air Lines flight 123 flies into Mount Oksuka, killing 520 of the 524 on board. A major malfunction near the tail of the aircraft caused an explosion that disabled all of the hydraulic lines in the plane. The pilot radioed that he had not control over the plane as it descended toward the ground.

On this day in 1990 the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton is discovered in South Dakota. Named "Sue", the fossilized skeleton was over 90% complete. As there have been only 22 T-Rex skeletons found to date, this was a major find. It was the first skeleton to have an intact wishbone, which furthered the argument that dinosaurs evolved into birds.

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