On This Day in History: October 18

The United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
[Two places I will probably never see, and I’m okay with that.]

The first long-distance telephone line between New York and Chicago was officially opened (it could only handle one call at a time).
[Kind of like AT&T today.]

The British Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (BBC) was founded.
[I love Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington.]

Inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, N.J., at age 84.
[He was predeceased by Topsy, the elephant he electrocuted.]

James D. Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.

The federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates (SY’-kluh-maytz) because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.
[I had at least three years of ingesting sweets before it was banned.]

Congress passed the Clean Water Act, overriding President Nixon’s veto.
[Once upon a time, the U.S. Congress actually did a good thing.]

Other than that, nothing awesome happened on this day until 1992 when my son was born (see below).

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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