This week in history: December 4th - December 10th

Monday, 4 December 2017
by Graham Pierrepoint -

It’s time to get back in the time machine and to take a closer look at some of the most important – and sometimes most fascinating – moments that have taken place across the length and breadth of human history. We take a look every week at what went down decades and centuries ago – and this week is no different. Strap in and let’s go travelling!

December 4th, 1872 – The Mary Celeste is Discovered
One of the most famous – and mysterious – shipwrecks of all time, the Mary Celeste was found abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean almost 150 years ago this week – a mystery that has tantalized many.

December 5th, 1933 – US Prohibition Repealed
In a rare moment of constitutional amendment and re-amendment, the US found itself allowed to drink alcohol once again – ending the speakeasy era in what was only the 21st amendment made.

December 6th, 1877 – The Human Voice First Recorded
The human voice has come a long way – and while we can all stream radio and music freely today, it was Thomas Edison who first recorded his own voice – ahead of all others – back in 1877, 140 years ago. He recorded his own recital of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’.

December 7th, 1909 – The Plastics Industry Kicks Off
It’s thanks to Leo Baekeland that plastic has become so popular – and perhaps so nefarious for the environment – as it’s on this day in 1909 that his invention, Bakelite, was first patented.

December 8th, 1966 – No Chance of Space Nukes
Believe it or not, the US and the USSR signed a treaty agreeing to withholding nuclear weapons from being used in outer space on this day – consigning intergalactic war to science fiction.

December 9th, 1868 – Traffic Lights Debut
A relatively new invention – if you can call 149 years new – we first started taking our streets and highways a little more safely thanks to the emergence of traffic lights outside Westminster Palace, London, in 1868 – lit by gas and used to help pedestrians safely find their way around the capital.

December 10th, 1884 – ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ Published
One of the most famous pieces of Western literature ever written, Twain’s most famous work (among many) found its way to Canadian and British bookshelves first; with the US receiving their copies the following February due to problems during printing.

We love travelling back in time – why not check in with us again next week for more timely traversing?


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