1. 1991: Michael Schumacher started his first Formula One race
It was on this date in 1991 that the most winningest driver in Formula One history, Michael Schumacher, made his debut. His first race was the Belgium Grand Prix, which is held at the famous Spa Francorchamps race track. Schumacher had started racing go-carts professionally at a young age because his father managed a go-cart track in the small town of Kerpen, Germany. In 1990, he would win the Formula Three championship, and even though the cars weren’t nearly as powerful as the F1 cars, he still made the jump to the big time the following year. He initially started racing for the Eddie Jordan’s team but he never actually signed a contract. Because of that, the Benetton team went ahead and swooped him up and got him to sign with them instead. There, he would go on to win the drivers championship, which is technically the top honor an F1 driver can achieve. In 1996, he moved over to the Ferrari team where he stayed for the remainder of his career before retiring in 2006.
2. 1875: First person to swim across the English Channel
For some people swimming long distances is actually an enjoyable thing to do even though logic tells us that shouldn’t be the case. Take Matthew Webb for example, he was the first known person to swim across the English Channel and he did so on this date in 1875. “As the crow flies” it would’ve been a 21 mile swim, but with tidal currents it ended up being more like 35-40 miles Webb had to of swam. He apparently covered himself in porpoise fat then a bright red swimming costume to help insulate him from the frigid waters. The entire ordeal would take just under 22 hours which just seems so unrealistic to be swimming, continually for that long. According to report there were small boats that followed him throughout the entire swim giving him coffee, brandy and beef tea to help keep him energized. Upon completing this monumental task Webb became one of the most well-known men in the world and apparently received a substantial amount of money. However by 1883 his situation took a dire turn for the worse and soon found himself broke and trying to get back into the spotlight. He came up with the wild idea to attempt to swim across an extremely dangerous, and deadly, section of the Niagara Falls. July 24th, 1883 he put on the same red swimming costume that he wore the day he crossed the Channel and dove in with high hopes of reclaiming the fame and fortune he once had. However things didn’t go according to plan and Webb ended up being sucked into a whirlpool and his body wasn’t found for roughly five days.
3. 1939: The Wizard of Oz released in Theaters
It was on this date in 1939 that one of the most famous movies of all time hits movie theaters across the country. Starring the young actress Judy Garland playing “Dorothy”, The Wizard of Oz was not a huge hit at the box office when it was first released. But after it was first aired on the television in 1956 it suddenly began to drastically increase in popularity. The first part of the movie started in the traditional black and white format, but when Dorothy starts her dream the movie suddenly switches to Technicolor which was a fairly new technology at the time. The Wizard of Oz was nominated for the Academy Award in the Best Picture quality and many thought it was shoe-in to win. But in the end it was Gone with the Wind that took home the honors. However Garland did receive a special award that night for being the best Juvenile performer.