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Here are the top ten articles for the Today in History Site! These rankings are live and get reset at the beginning of each month, so check back often to see what your fellow visitors are most interested in!
1. May the 4th is the Start of Star Wars Days
Jedi fans celebrate Star Wars Day this week because the pun is irresistible: ďMay the 4th be with you.Ē And itís a trilogy, of course, as Vader devotees continue to geek out for the two days after that. Join me, and together weíll find out how it all started.
2. 16 Things We Love about Shakespeare
The greatest playwright in history shuffled off this mortal coil on his 52nd birthday: April 23, 1616. Exactly 400 years on, this eventful day still arouses excitement in all corners of the world. What merit lived in Shakespeare that we should love after his death?
3. The Samuel Applegate Alarm Clock
Heavy sleepers could have thanked Samuel S. Applegate for his invention, which was patented on April 11, 1882. Too bad it was just too weird to be constructed!
4. The Bizarre Belly Flop of Devon Loch
Youíve heard of Seabiscuit and Secretariat, and maybe even Red Rum and Black Caviar. But do you know what happened to Devon Loch? On March 24, 1956, this racehorse also made history, but not as a winner.
5. The Last Days of Edgar Allan Poe
ďThere at length they found me lying, weak and íwildered, sick and dying, / And my shattered wreck of being to a kindly refuge bore Ö Ē These are just a few lines from a poem entitled ďThe Streets of Baltimore.Ē Hauntingly, they evoke the mysterious death of its purported author on October 3, 1849.
6. Gershwin Debuts Rhapsody in Blue
The Jazz Age had begun, but in 1924 the music was not considered a serious art form. Then, on February 12, an octave-surfing clarinet glided into Rhapsody in Blue, and it made musical history. And to think Gershwin almost didnĀít write it Ö
7. First Day of George Orwellís 1984
Published in 1949, George Orwellís most famous novel starts on April 4, 1984. Thankfully, the postwar world did not coalesce into totalitarian superstates, and thoughtcrime is mostly fictional. Yet why is Nineteen Eighty-Four still relevant today? What Orwellian future do we still fear?
8. February Ends on a Leap Day
So rare that maybe it should be a national holiday, February 29 leaps out when we glance at the calendar this year. But did you know there were once too many leap days?
9. Zany October Holidays
October is chock-full of fun celebrations! Most famous for Halloween and Oktoberfest, this month also sees such celebrations as Sweetest Day, Bossís Day, and Leif Eriksson Day. October is also a month for awareness. What should you be aware of? Read on and find out!
10. A Tolkien Book and a Birthday Coincidence
The final volume of J. R. R. Tolkienís fantasy masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, was published on this date in history. But thereís more: an actor from the film versions also celebrates his birthday on October 20.
Be sure to visit the Today in History Archives for all the articles!
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