May 24, 1883: Brooklyn Bridge opened after 13 years & 27 deaths while being constructed. Airtight underwater chambers called caissons were used to construct the foundations. Many of the laborers who worked in these dangerous conditions succumbed to what was then called caisson disease. With its unprecedented length & two stately towers, it was major breakthrough in suspension-bridge technology that was dubbed “eighth wonder of the world.”
May 24, 1964: Spectator riot during soccer match between Argentina & Peru, 300+ fans died & 500 were injured.
May 24, 1844: Samuel Morse inaugurated America’s telegraph industry via tapping out Morse Code message, “What hath God wrought!” that was sent from Washington, DC to Baltimore, MD.
May 24, 1686: Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, German physicist & maker of scientific instruments was born. He is best known for inventing alcohol & mercury thermometers & developing Fahrenheit temperature scale. He discovered that water can remain liquid below its freezing point & that boiling point of liquids varies with atmospheric pressure.
May 24, 1544: William Gilbert, English scientist was born. He is best known as “father of electrical studies”. He coined names of electric attraction, electric force & magnetic pole. Noting that a compass needle not only points north & south, but also dips downward, he thought Earth acts like a bar magnet. Like Copernicus, he believed Earth rotates on its axis & that fixed stars were not all at same distance from the earth. Gilbert thought it was form of magnetism that held planets in their orbits.