Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday in History: Look Out, London

There are some Thursdays when I find something fun to write about and immediately dig in to the information to learn everything about it. There are some Thursdays when there are so many awesome things to write about that I'm not sure which to pick. And then there are other Thursdays when nothing good has ever happened, and year after year, something horrible occurred. On those days, I can usually pick out a pattern. Today is one of those days.
So, look out, London.
On this day in history in 1091, a freak tornado ripped through the city, taking out a church, flattening everyone’s homes, and demolishing London Bridge. Despite the fact that it was equal in magnitude to an F4 tornado, it only killed two people.
On this day in history in 1814, a floor gave way in a brewery that was located in the midst of some tenements. A huge vat fell to the basement below, crashing into more large beer-filled containers. The resulting flood washed into the lower levels of surrounding buildings, and at least seven people were killed.
But it’s not all “centuries past” havoc. On this day in history in 2000, a train careened off of the tracks just north of London in the town of Hatfield. Railtrack, the company responsible for railway infrastructure, had been at odds with government safety regulators about their slacking.
October 17th has historically been a day of disasters in and around London, both by natural means and because of negligence. So if you’re in or near the capital of the United Kingdom today, be on your guard.
I suppose that it also bears mentioning that today is the anniversary of the opening of the first commercial nuclear power station in England in 1956, but it’s far to the north in Cumbria. Although, depending on the fallout, that could still be disastrous. Don’t forget that on this day in history in 1860, the first British Open was held, and if that’s not sinister, I don’t know what is.

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