Today in strangeness, According to tradition, January 6th is the date Joan of Arc was born (1412). On this day in 1851, Foucalt’s Pendulum experimentally proved that the Earth rotates on its axis.
Today in strangeness, On January 7, 1610, Galileo made his great discovery of Jupiter’s major moons including Io, Europa, and Ganymede. This date also saw the lonely death of scientific genius Nikola Tesla in Room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel, in 1943.
Today in strangeness, On this date in 1880, the “ruler” Emperor Norton passed away in San Francisco. The eccentric Joshua Abraham Norton proclaimed himself “Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico.” During his 20-year “reign,” he was humored by the locals, and currency was even issued in his name.
Today in strangeness, On this day in 1493, while sailing near the Dominican Republic, Christopher Columbus described seeing three “mermaids” who were “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” In reality, he was actually observing manatees! In 1643, Giovanni Riccioli first reported the elusive phenomenon known as the Ashen Light of Venus, a faint luminescence on the night side of our sister planet.
Today in strangeness, Accentuate your eccentricities- January 10th is Peculiar People Day. Clara Peller, the now-deceased Wendy’s mouthpiece, first uttered ‘Where’s the Beef?’ on broadcast TV (1984), and the first known physical contact with the moon was instigated by the US Army as radar signals bounced off the lunar surface all the way from New Jersey (1946).
Today in strangeness, January 11 has seen a number of interesting firsts over the years: the first lottery took place in England in 1569, milk was first delivered in bottles in 1878, and snowfall was recorded for the first time in Los Angeles in 1949. Also on this date, in 1973, the designated hitter was adopted by baseball’s American League, sparking a debate over the rule that continues to this day.