On This Day, November 8th
1: 1895: X-Ray technology discovered
While testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass at his lab in Wurzburg, Germany, Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen accidentally stumbled upon a glow coming from a chemically coated screen. Not knowing at the time what exactly he had just discovered, he called the glowing rays, X-rays. It turns out that he had discovered electromagnetic energy waves that reacted similarly to light rays, only 1,000 times shorter wavelengths. As he experimented further he realized that he could see the bones in his hand. Apparently, he became obsessed and would not leave his lab trying to further his experiment. He soon realized that these x-rays could penetrate soft materials like flesh and not dense matter such as bones, and most importantly that they could be photographed. Just two short years later, his x-ray technology was used on a military battlefield and labeled a medical miracle.
2: 1974: Utah resident narrowly escapes abduction by Ted Bundy
It was on this date in 1974 that Ted Bundy approached an 18-year-old Carol DaRonch while she was shopping at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Bundy was apparently dressed as a Murray Police Officer, calling himself “Officer Roseland”, and told DaRonch that there had been an attempted break-in of her vehicle and wanted her to accompany him to the station to file a report. DaRonch being familiar with the area immediately noticed that they weren’t driving towards the Police Station and asked what was going on. According to reports Bundy pulled over and attempted to place DaRonch in handcuffs but mistake placed both cuffs on one wrist. This allowed her to escape where she fled to authorities. However later that evening, Debra Jean Kent wasn’t so lucky as she was abducted outside the auditorium of Viewmont High School in Bountiful, roughly 20 minutes north. Investigators found a set of handcuff keys where the second abduction took place and it unlocked the cuffs that were placed on DaRonch earlier that day. Bundy wasn’t caught until August 16th the following year and went down in history as one of the most brutal serial killers of all time.
3. 1892: Grover Cleveland elected to non-consecutive terms
It was on this date in 1892 that Grover Cleveland became the first President to be elected in non-consecutive terms. He served as the 22nd President from 1885-1889, and the 24th from 1893-1897. He was not your ordinary commander in chief because he felt that being president didn’t mean running the country, but instead to prevent “bad things” from happening. He apparently used his veto power more so than any other president with as many as 400+ bills during his first term. He had a very strong opinion about being against subsidies to veterans, farmers, and businesses, even going on to say in one of his veto messages “while the people should support the government, the government should not support the people”.