October 12, 2005
Today in History: October 12
1492: Christopher Columbus’s expedition to the Indies strikes land in the Caribbean, probably San Salvador in the Bahamas.
1823: Scotsman Charles Macintosh begins selling raincoats made of rubber. They don’t become popular until the discovery vulcanization keeps the rubber from being stiff in winter and sticky in summer.
1860: Inventor and entrepreneur Elmer Ambrose Sperry is born at Cortland, New York. His various electronic and gyroscope enterprises will later become Sperry Corp. and then Unisys.
1937: Radio’s longest-running detective show, Mr. Keen: Trace of Lost Persons, debuts. Sponsors over the years will include Anacin, Kolynos toothpaste, BiSoDol antacid mints, Hill’s cold tablets, Heet liniment, Dentyne, Aerowax, RCA Victor, and Chesterfield cigarettes.
1940: Tom Mix, the Western star who made $6 million in motion pictures over a 26-year career, is killed by a suitcase.
1944: Some 25,000 teenage girls block the streets around Times Square, screaming for Frank Sinatra, who is scheduled to perform at the Paramount Theater.
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