News

Moments in Time

The History Channel

• On April 19, 1775, at about 5 a.m., 700 British troops march into the Massachusetts town of Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen waiting for them. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. The American Revolution had begun.

• On April 14, 1912, just before midnight in the North Atlantic, the RMS Titanic hits an iceberg, rupturing five watertight compartments along her starboard side. Hours later the massive vessel sank, and more than 1,500 people died in the icy North Atlantic waters.

• On April 15, 1927, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Norma and Constance Talmadge become the first celebrities to leave their footprints in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The future Hollywood landmark was still under construction at the time.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

By Samantha Weaver

• It was noted wit Oscar Wilde who made the following sage observation: “Biography lends to death a new terror.”

• You may not realize it, but you have almost certainly engaged in sternutation at some point in your life -- and if you’re like me, you do it regularly every spring when the pollen count is high. Sternutation is simply the act of sneezing.

• Iconic fashion designer Ralph Lauren started out his career as a glove salesman.

• Songwriter Dion McGregor achieved only very modest success, notably co-writer of the Barbra Streisand song “Where Is the Wonder.” He did achieve notoriety in some circles, however, for a very strange characteristic: He talked in his sleep. Somniloquy is not rare, but McGregor took it to new levels. He spoke very clearly, essentially narrating his bizarre dreams, such as flying to the moon with a group of children on a hot-air balloon. You might wonder how I know what his dreams were like, and that’s where his notoriety comes into play: In 1964, Decca Records released the album “The Dream World of Dion McGregor (He Talks in His Sleep),” perhaps the only commercial recording during which the performer is not conscious at all.

(c) 2008 King Features Synd. Inc.

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