1. 1981 Pete Rose breaks National League hit record
Infamous professional baseball player, Pete Rose, set the National League hit record on this date in 1981. Rose was playing for the Philadelphia Phillies at the time and the record hit would happen in the 8th inning against the St.Louis Cardinals. August 10th also happened to be the first day back after a seven week player strike regarding the compensation for free agents starting on June 12th. Previous record holder was Stan Musial, who ironically played his entire career for the Cardinals. Interestingly when Musial got his last two hits of his career, they happened to be playing the Cincinnati Reds in 1963 which who had a rookie second baseman that was none other than Pete Rose.
2. 1993 Three ships collide which caused massive oil spill
In Tampa Bay, Florida there was a rare occurrence of three ships colliding which resulted in more than 336,000 gallons of oil seeping into the ocean on this date in 1993. Two fuel barges were apparently heading into the Tampa Bay Harbor at roughly 6 a.m. when a phosphate freighter was that was heading out collided into them. One of the barges, Ocean 225, had a payload of over 8 million gallons of gas and diesel fuel, so when it caught fire it was a major problem. Luckily their wasn’t any casualties, but it did take more than 16 hours to get the blaze under control. Even though there was a massive oil spill the overall damage was fairly minimal thanks to optimal weather conditions and the quick response of clean up crews.
3. 1846: The Smithsonian founded
After an interesting series of events taking place over a decade, President James K. Polk signs the law that would establish the Smithsonian Institute on this date in 1846. It all started with James Smithson, who was highly respected in the scientific world. Smithson had acquired quite the fortune in his life as well as many other ancient artifacts and documents. When Smithson dies in 1829 he left a will that had a very peculiar footnote attached. It stated that if his only nephew were to die without having any heirs, his entire collection and fortune would be given to the United States of America. He was quite specific about what he wanted, he decreed that his whole state would go towards “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson’s nephew, Henry James Hungerford, passed away just six years after his uncle and was left without an heir. By the 1st of July, 1836 Congress finally authorized the acceptance of Smithson’s estate. The estate consisted of an estimated $500,000 worth of gold and countless books, artifacts and mineral collection as well as some personal effects. The Smithsonian has morphed into this massive learning organization with a total of 19 museums and galleries, a zoo, and as many as 9 research facilities scattered all over the world. Some of the most important pieces of American history and history in general sit safely behind the walls of the Smithsonian.