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|1529||Ottoman armies under Suleiman end their siege of Vienna and head back to Belgrade.|
|1582||The Gregorian (or New World) calendar is adopted in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal; and the preceding ten days are lost to history.|
|1783||Francois Pilatre de Rozier makes the first manned flight in a hot air balloon. The first flight was let out to 82 feet, but over the next few days the altitude increased up to 6,500 feet.|
|1813||During the land defeat of the British on the Thames River in Canada, the Indian chief Tecumseh, now a brigadier general with the British Army (War of 1812), is killed.|
|1863||For the second time, the Confederate submarine H L Hunley sinks during a practice dive in Charleston Harbor, this time drowning its inventor along with seven crew members.|
|1878||Thomas A. Edison founds the Edison Electric Light Co.|
|1880||Victorio, feared leader of the Minbreno Apache, is killed by Mexican troops in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.|
|1892||An attempt to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kan., ends in disaster for the Dalton gang as four of the five outlaws are killed and Emmet Dalton is seriously wounded.|
|1894||Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer, is arrested for betraying military secrets to Germany.|
|1914||Congress passes the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which labor leader Samuel Gompers calls “labor’s charter of freedom.” The act exempts unions from anti-trust laws; strikes, picketing and boycotting become legal; corporate interlocking directorates become illegal, as does setting prices which would effect a monopoly.|
|1924||A German ZR-3 flies 5000 miles, the furthest Zeppelin flight to date.|
|1941||Odessa, a Russian port on the Black Sea which has been surrounded by German troops for several weeks, is evacuated by Russian troops.|
|1945||Vichy French Premier Pierre Laval is executed by a firing squad for his wartime collaboration with the Germans.|
|1950||President Harry Truman meets with General Douglas MacArthur at Wake Island to discuss U.N. progress in the Korean War.|
|1964||Nikita Khrushchev is replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the Soviet Union.|
|1966||Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale establish the Black Panther Party, an African-American revolutionary socialist political group, in the US.|
|1969||Rallies for The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam draw over 2 million demonstrators across the US, a quarter million of them in the nation’s capital.|
|1987||The Great Storm of 1987 strikes the UK and Europe during the night of Oct 15-16, killing over 20 people and causing widespread damage.|
|1989||Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky makes his 1,851st goal, breaking the all-time scoring record in the National Hockey League.|
|1990||Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the USSR, receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in making his country more open and reducing Cold War tensions.|
|1997||Andy Green of the UK becomes the first person to break the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere, driving the ThrustSSC supersonic car to a record 763 mph (1,228 km/h).|
|2003||China launches its first manned space mission, Shenzhou I.|
|2007||New Zealand police arrest 17 people believed to be part of a paramilitary training camp.|
|2008||The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 733.08 points, the second-largest percentage drop in the Dow’s history.|
|2011||Protests break out in countries around the globe, under the slogan “United for Global Democracy.”|
Though a few earlier examples exist in literature, the first known visual Dance of Death comes from around 1424. It was a large fresco painted in the open arcade of the charnel house in Paris’s Cemetery of the Holy Innocents. Stretched across a long section of wall and visible from the open courtyard of the cemetery, the fresco depicted human figures (all male) accompanied by cavorting skeletons in a long procession. A verse inscribed on the wall below each of the living figures explained the person’s station in life, arranged in order of social status from pope and emperor to shepherd and farmer. Clothing and accessories, like the pope’s cross-shaped staff and robes, or the farmer’s hoe and simple tunic, also helped identify each person.From there, the images spread all over Europe. Atlas Obscura traces the evolution of the Dance Macabre from the Paris fresco to David S. Pumpkins.
Located in a busy part of Paris near the main markets, the cemetery wouldn’t have been a quiet, peaceful place of repose like the burial grounds we’re used to today, nor would it have been frequented only by members of the clergy. Instead, it was a public space used for gatherings and celebrations attended by all sorts of different people. These cemetery visitors, on seeing the Dance of Death, would certainly have been reminded of their own impending doom, but would also have likely appreciated the image for its humorous and satirical aspects as well. The grinning, dancing skeletons mocked the living by poking fun at their dismay and, for those in positions of power, by making light of their high status. Enjoy it now, the skeletons implied, because it’s not going to last.
At the center of the historic section of Glenwood Cemetery, Yazoo City’s public burial grounds, there’s a grave surrounded by a chain link fence. Local lore claims that the grave belonged to a witch who lived along the Yazoo River, who used to lure fishermen to the shore to torture them. When the Yazoo County sheriff came to arrest her, she fled into the swamp and fell into quicksand. The sheriff found her half sunk. Before she drowned, she swore to take revenge on Yazoo City. No one thought much of her threat, but they fenced in her grave just in case. Then, on May 25, 1904, a fire nearly wiped out the entire city, spreading quickly on unusually fierce winds. After the fire, Yazoo City residents found the chain link around the witch’s grave cut open.How does your state's scariest ghost story stack up against that one? Read a ghost tale from each of the 50 states at Mental Floss.
But most of the variants that Tishkoff’s team identified, for both light and dark skin, have an ancient African origin. They likely arose in hominids like Homo erectus long before the dawn of our own species, and have coexisted in balance for hundreds and thousands of years. In many cases, the older variant is responsible for lighter skin, not darker. That’s consistent with an idea from Nina Jablonski, an anthropologist from Pennsylvania State University, who thinks that the ancient ancestors of humans—much like other primates—had pale skin. “As our ancestors moved out of the forest and into the savannah, they lost their hair and evolved darker skin,” says Nick Crawford, a researcher in Tishkoff’s lab.The study doesn't pretend to answer all questions about skin color, but it opens some doors for further research. Read more details about the genetic study at The Atlantic.