On this day in history...
|Edgardo Mortara Kidnapped from Jewish Family after Secret Baptism (1858)|
|Mortara, the son of a Jewish couple living in the Papal States, was secretly baptized Catholic as an infant by a panicked servant during an infantile illness. The baptism was deemed valid by the Catholic Church and, because canon law forbade non-Christians from raising Christian children, Pope Pius IX ordered the six-year-old Mortara to be taken to Rome as his ward. Several countries objected to the pope's decision and called for the boy to be returned to his parents. What became of Mortara? Discuss|
|The Hammond Circus Train Wreck (1918)|
|On the morning of June 22, 1918, a locomotive pulling empty passenger cars rear-ended the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus train near Hammond, Indiana. The wreck and subsequent fire—likely ignited by the oil lamps in the circus train's wooden sleeping cars—resulted in 86 deaths and 127 injuries. Most of the dead were buried five days later in a nearby cemetery, their graves marked with nicknames like "Baldy" and "Smiley" since many bodies could not be formally identified. What caused the collision?|
|SpaceShipOne Completes First Privately Funded Human Spaceflight (2004)|
|Unlike its privately funded predecessors, SpaceShipOne was actually manned, by a pilot and two passengers, when it flew to the edge of space in 2004. Developed by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan and funded by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the suborbital space plane won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for launching three people—or their weight equivalent—into space twice within two weeks in a privately developed, reusable spacecraft. Where is SpaceShipOne currently on display?|