This Day in History

The First British Open Is Held in Scotland (1860)
The Open Championship of the British Isles, or the Open, is the oldest and one of the most prestigious golf championship tournaments in the world. It began in 1860 at Scotland's Prestwick course and is now rotated among select courses in England and Scotland. The first tournament was won by Willie Park, who also recorded the tournament's highest single-hole stroke total—21. Though today the Open has a multimillion-dollar prize fund, there was no prize money initially. Instead, Park won what? Discuss

Marie Antoinette Guillotined (1793)
The daughter of Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, Marie Antoinette was the queen of France and wife of King Louis XVI. Her devotion to Austria, reputation for extravagance, and connection to scandals made her unpopular and helped to provoke the French Revolution. After the storming of the Tuileries palace, she and Louis were accused of treason. The king was executed, and Marie was tried, found guilty, and guillotined. Did she really say "Let them eat cake"?

Graf Zeppelin Completes Its First Transatlantic Flight (1928)
The Graf Zeppelin was a German, hydrogen-filled, passenger airship—the largest built up to that time. It inaugurated transatlantic flight service in 1928, making its first crossing in 111 hours. During its years of service, it completed 590 flights, including 64 to South America, two to the Middle East, and one around-the-world tour. It was retired from service in 1937, when the Hindenburg disaster brought an end to commercial zeppelin travel. Why was the airship destroyed during WWII?

Today

Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel (1938)
Knievel was an American daredevil and icon of the 1970s. He began doing motorcycle stunts as a teenager, then embarked on an incredibly varied career that included professional hockey, a stint in the army, work in copper mines, and eventually crime—safecracking and holdups. In 1965 he "went straight" and took up performing dangerous and thrilling stunts, which did not always go smoothly and eventually earned him the record for most broken bones in a lifetime. What canyon did Knievel try to jump? Discuss

William Orville Douglas (1898)
Douglas, a US Supreme Court justice and author, practiced and taught law early in his career, before becoming a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1936. As SEC chairman, he engineered the reorganization of US stock exchanges, instituted measures aimed at protecting small investors, and began government regulation of the sale of securities. In 1939, the president appointed him to the Supreme Court. For what controversial act did Congress attempt to impeach Douglas?

Evangelista Torricelli (1608)
An Italian physicist and mathematician, Torricelli served as secretary to Galileo during the last three months of Galileo's life. Two years later, pursuing a suggestion by Galileo, he filled a glass tube with mercury and inverted the tube into a dish. He noted that some of the mercury did not flow out and that the space above the mercury was a vacuum. He concluded that the variation of the height of the mercury from day to day was caused by changes in atmospheric pressure. What had he invented?