On this day in 1517 Lisa Simpson created Lutherans. No wait, that was 400 or so years before television. Ok, what really happened was a priest named Martin Luther (not King) posted his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This was the beginning of the Protestant Revolution. In a nut shell Luther was sick of the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. He didn't believe God would absolve you of your sins if you made a payment to the Pope, for example. I wish I was Pope.
On this day in 1892 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published for the first time in book form. Doyle had been submitting his stories in magazines for the previous 5 years, but he went global with this book. History's most famous detective was inspired by the works of Edgar Alan Poe and from Doyle's own life experiences. It just gives me another excuse to see Jude Law on the big screen again.
On this day in 1993 River Phoenix died outside the Viper Room in Los Angeles from an overdose. He was one of Hollywood's most promising young actors at the time of his death, appearing in movies like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sneakers, and Stand by Me. His death sent shock waves through his generation only surpassed by the death of Kurt Cobain.
On this day in 1926 Harry Houdini died from a burst appendix brought on from being punched in the stomach 11 days prior. The injury remained undetected until the day of his death when doctors rushed to save the famous magician. By no means a humble man, Houdini bragged about the strength of his stomach muscles to a group of students. Is it so surprising that one of them would test him on this statement?