1: 1977: Oil starts flowing in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline
Starting at the largest oil field in North America located near Prudhoe Bay runs an oil pipeline that is over 800 miles long. The pipeline is roughly 48 inches in diameter allowing more than 800,000 barrels of oil to flow through it every day. It’s commonly known as the Trans-Alaska pipeline and it’s also the worlds largest privately-funded construction project at an incredible $8 billion to build. Environmentalists fought tooth and nail to prevent the pipeline from happening because of the impact it would have on the animals and beautiful landscape Alaska has to offer. However, the money to be made by both the state of Alaska and the oil companies was far too much to overlook. It was on this day in 1977 when the switch was flipped into the on position, sending oil on the 800 mile journey to be loaded onto massive tankers.
2 1947: “Bugsy” Siegel is killed
It was on this date in 1947 that three bullets were fired through a window striking Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in the head and killing him instantly. Bugsy was born in Brooklyn, New York where he grew up in the gangster lifestyle. Before long he had businesses all over New York that involved gambling and bootlegging, eventually leading him to become one of the major players in the organized crime syndicate. In the 1930’s, Bugsy was ordered to take $500,000 and start generating business in Los Angeles, California. He was immediately drawn to the Hollywood lifestyle where he befriended stars such as Clark Gable and Cary Grant. Siegel was very successful in this time period, and later in 1945 he had the brilliant idea to utilize a small desert town just a few short hours from L.A. – Las Vegas. There he spent roughly $6 million to build the Flamingo Hotel, which many believed led to his downfall. Many attribute his murder to an argument with renowned gangster Lucky Luciano over paying back the money used to build the hotel.
3. 1979: President Carter has solar panels installed in the White House.
It was on this date in 1979 that President Jimmy Carter installed a $28,000 solar panel heating system in the White House. Carter was a major proponent for alternative energy sources, so it was quite fitting for him to be the first President to do so. Using a total of 32 photovoltaic panels, the system was able to generate enough energy to provide enough hot water for the entire house. When President Reagan replaced Carter in the White House, he had them removed in 1986 claiming that there would not be an energy crisis while he was in office. The panels were put into storage where they sat until 1992 when the Unity College in Maine had them installed to provide hot water to the student dining hall. Interestingly, Greenpeace apparently requested to use the panels in a homeless shelter but the request was denied.