1. 1929: Soviet Union signs agreement with Ford Motor Company
On this day in 1929 the Soviet Union signs and agreement with Ford Motor Company worth and estimated $30 million over the course of nine years. The USSR had been struggling in the automotive world making only 20,000 cars in 1928 and maybe more importantly, only one truck factory so they were very quick to get Fords help. The deal wold allow Ford to oversee the the construction of a new factory that would produce Model A’s located on the banks of the Volga River as well as a plant in Moscow that would be start work immediately upon signing the deal. To get Henry Ford and company to come to the aid of the communist country they had to agree to the purchase of 72,000 unfinished Ford cars and trucks, as well as all the spare parts that come with em.
2. 1859: Big Ben bell rings for the first time.
The famous clock tower in downtown London was designed by Edmund Beckett Denison who was known for his extensive knowledge of the Science of measuring time. The royal astronomer, George Airy, had requested to have clock that had incredible accuracy be built. He wanted the clock to be checked and calibrated to the Royal Greenwich Observatory twice a day and while most clock makers claimed this wasn’t possible, Denison took the job. The name Big Ben was originally just the name of the massive 13 ton bell but over time has morphed into the name of the entire tower. On this day in 1859 the project was completed and the bell rang for the first time.
3. 1889: Flood in Johnstown Pennsylvania
More than 2,200 people die on this day 1889 when the South Fork Dam located roughly 60 miles East of Pittsburgh collapses. The damn was the largest man made dam using materials straight from the earth like dirt and rocks versus the steel and concrete used on today’s dams. The South Fork Dam was said to be about 900 feet long and 72 feet tall and due to some heavy rains in the days leading up to the disaster had clogged the spillway with debris. Because the overflow had nowhere to go the pressure continued to build, one dam worker noticed the obvious signs that the dam was about to give way so he went to use the telegraph lines to warn the town of Johnstown but due to the previous weather they weren’t working. So he attempted to reach the town by horse to provide warning but was too late. At an estimated 3:10 pm the dam broke sending a massive wall of water, mud rocks and debris careening for the small town destroying everything in its path.