In 1896, Bill Crush orchestrated the spectacle of smashing two trains into each other completely on purpose. Although no one was within 200 yards of the impact, the explosion from the steam engines killed two spectators and injured more. The event was considered a big PR and financial success. mentalfloss.com/article/6…
The Battle of the North Inch was one of Britain's last mass trials of combat. Two Scottish clans settled a dispute by staged combat in front of spectators. Of the 60 who started the battle, only 12 survived en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat…
In 1942 British fighter pilots put on a live-fire demonstration for military personnel. One pilot mistook the spectators for dummies and opened fire on them. Sixteen officers and seven soldiers were killed. dirkdeklein.net/2017/04/1…
The biggest accident in motorsport was the 1955 Le Mans disaster where the race continued after over 80 spectators were killed and 180 more were injured. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/195…
In 1970 Florence, Oregan, traffic officials used 450 kgs of dynamite to remove the carcass of a whale from a beach. This resulted in whale bits covering spectators and even denting cars over 800 ft away. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exp…
Professional cyclists pee while cycling to save time, but are fined if it is in front of spectators or cameras. connexionfrance.com/Archi…
In 1896 two locomotives were deliberately crashed together as a promotional event for the railroad in Crush, Texas. Over 40K people attended. Engineers had assured the organizers that it would be safe, but when both boilers exploded on impact two spectators were killed and several more injured. atlasobscura.com/articles…
The deepest swimming pool in the world is the "Y-40 Deep Joy" in Italy. A staggering 130ft (40m) at it's deepest point, equivalent to the height of a 14 storey building, holding 4300 cubic meters of water! There's even a glass tunnel for spectators running a couple of meters below the surface. independent.co.uk/travel/…
Today I learned about Francine Gottfried, a clerical worker on Wall Street whose curvaceous figure gave her international fame as 'Wall Street's Sweater Girl'. On September 19th 1968 over 5,000 spectators gathered to watch Gottfried walk to work. Trading came to a virtual halt and police shut down the road. sweatergirlsociety.org/fr…
Today I learned of the Targa Florio, an automobile race through small mountain villages in Sicily, where spectators sat, stood right next to, or even on, the road, leading at least one race car driver to call it "totally insane." The race was held annually for around 70 years. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar…
Today I learned about the Bal des Ardents, or the Ball of the Burning Men, a masquerade ball in France in 1393. During the ball, four dancers burned alive when a spectator accidentally brought a torch and set their costumes on fire. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bal…
In 1970, the Oregon Highway Division consulted with the US Navy and decided the best way to dispose of a whale carcass was to blow it up with a 1/2 ton of dynamite. The explosion caused blubber to rain down on spectators for over a 1/4 of a mile. A large chunk demolished a car. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exp…
A "rain check" was originally a ticket given to a spectator at an outdoor event interrupted by rain that provided admission to a later event (instead of a refund), but has since become an informal term for a request to reschedule any event. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glo…
The Ancient Romans held mock sea battles known as naumachia for entertainment. In some cases, whole amphitheaters like the coloseum would be flooded and the ship battles would take place within them while spectators would watch from their seats. nationalgeographic.com/hi…
, Jean-Claude Van Damme's 2nd acting gig was as "gay karate man" in a movie called Monaco Forever. His 3rd gig was as "spectator in dance scene" in the movie Breakin' en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jea…
, After a shockingly unexpected race at the Formula 1 1977 Austrian GP, Australian Alan Jones won. But as no one expected it, the organisers didn't have the Australian national anthem to play. Their solution? They got a drunk Austrian Spectator to play Happy Birthday on the trumpet instead....... youtu.be/65680_3goqk
On July 21, 1861, the first major battle of the American Civil War, known in the North as the First Battle of Bull Run and in the South as the Battle of First Manassas, also earned the nickname the β€œPicnic Battle” because spectators showed up with sandwiches and opera glasses to watch the battle history.com/news/worst-pi…
Pedestrianism was the biggest sport in America before the rise of modern spectator sports npr.org/2014/04/03/297327…
Civil War Reenactments are in a severe decline from their peak in the 1990s, with significantly fewer spectators and Re-enactors at events. 30,000 Re-enactors participated at Gettysburg in 1998. In 2018 there were only 6,000. nytimes.com/2018/07/28/st…
After a Hell's Angels member threw a tire iron at Evel Knievel during a stunt show, he and a majority of the spectators fought back, sending three of the fifteen Hells Angels members to the hospital en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve…
In 1979, a Burma ambassador in Sri Lanka murdered his wife before burning her body in his backyard- in front of spectators and the police. He tried to claim that it was territory belonging to Burma and that the police couldn’t enter. In the end he was removed by the Burma government. theguardian.com/world/blo…
Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, named the aircraft after his mother, Enola Gay Tibbets. Also, when he was 12, Paul Tibbets dropped candy bars in parachutes over a racetrack to spectators from an airplane. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pau…
The Baseball Rule holds that a baseball team cannot be held liable for injuries suffered by a spectator struck by a foul ball batted into the stands as long as the team has offered some protected seating en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bas…
Today I learned of Rosie Ruiz, a 26 year old woman who won the Boston Marathon with one of the best times, only to be found out she had emerged from the spectators near the finish line. She'd previously rode the subway for the New York marathon too. time.com/3822577/rosie-ru…
The city of Crush, Texas was a temporary one day city created as a publicity stunt to exhibit two trains go full speed and collide. The impact caused engine boilers to explode resulting in a shower of flying debris on 40000 spectators. It killed 2 or 3 people and caused numerous injuries. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cru…
Dave Chappelle quit Chappelle’s Show during filming of a sketch about magic pixies that embody stereotypes about races. Chappelle thought the sketch funny, but a white spectator laughed loud and long during taping. He wondered if he’d gone from sending up stereotypes to reinforcing them. thefader.com/2016/07/29/s…
Auto polo, a car based version of the equestrian sport, was a Ford Model T publicity stunt and popular at fairs in the 1910's and 20's. It never took off due to costs and the risk injury and death to the participants and spectators. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aut…
In 1847 Robert Liston amputated a mans leg in under 2.5 minutes, operaterating so quickly he amputated the fingers of his assistant as well. Both later died from gangrene, and a spectator reportedly dropped dead from fright, making it the only known operation with a 300% mortality rate. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob…
In the month before the ancient Olympics no wars were permitted so that spectators could travel from across Greece unharmed, ancient.eu/Olympic_Games/
In 1970, a dead whale washed up on Florence Beach, Oregon. Instead of cremating or burying the creature, authorities decided to blow it up with dynamite. The explosion caused bits of whale and chunks of blubber to rain from the sky, injuring spectators and damaging cars. wweek.com/culture/2016/09…
The 1952 Farnborough Airshow didn't get canceled/interrupted after a jet fighter crashed, killing 29 ground spectators. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/195…
Today I learned of the 1903 Paris - Madrid auto race that killed at least 5 drivers and 3 spectators. grandprixhistory.org/pari…
Brooks Koepka exploded a female spectator's eye with an errant tee shot resulting in permanent blindness. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bro…
There was a 3-day Go championship game ongoing in Hiroshima when the city was nuked. The building was damaged and several spectators were injured, but play resumed normally after lunch break and concluded later that day. wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o…
In 1912, hall of fame baseball player Ty Cobb entered the stands and assaulted a handicapped spectator whom had been heckling him. metrotimes.com/the-scene/…
Rat-baiting: A now illegal blood sport, which involves placing captured rats in a sunken pit surrounded by spectators and then betting on how long it takes a dog, usually a terrier, to kill them. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat…
In 1916, over 10,000 spectators in Waco, TX watched as a black teenager was mutilated and burned alive. Afterwards, parts of his charred body were sold as souvenirs. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyn…
In the 1800s, one of the most popular sports in the world was distance walking which attracted huge crowds and gambling. Thousands of spectators would turn up to watch challenges such as walking 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ped…
In 2008, Iran tried to make the world's largest sandwich, a 1,500 metre long ostrich and chicken combo. The record attempt failed because spectators started eating the sandwich before officials could take a measurement. telegraph.co.uk/news/worl…
Robert Liston is the only surgeon in history to have performed an operation with a 300% mortality rate, losing his patient to infection, accidentally amputating his assistant's fingers, who also died of infection, and slashing a spectator who died from shock en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob…
Pedestrianism (endurance walking) was a huge spectator sport back in the 19th century, not only because of the incredible feat of walking for days, but for the gambling. Most spectators came in hopes of seeing the contestants break down mentally and physically. playingpasts.co.uk/articl…
In November 1783, when he was in Paris, Benjamin Franklin witnessed the flight of one of the first hot-air balloons. As the balloon soared into the air, a spectator asked Franklin what this new invention could be used for. Franklin responded by saying β€œWhat good is a new-born baby?” schillerinstitute.org/edu…
During WW2, there was an Edinburgh derby (in soccer/football) that was so foggy, neither the commentator or the spectators knew what was going on. The commentator couldn't mention the fog, incase Germans were listening. He described a fake game but under the fog it ended 6-5. scotsman.com/sport/footba…
Today I learned about the 1955 Le Mans disaster in which 83 spectators were killed from a race car crash, many of whom were decapitated by the hood of the car. The race continued despite such a catastrophic event. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/195…
During a protest over the base jumping ban in Yellowstone national park a Woman's shoot didn't open. She fell 3600 ft to her death in front of 150 spectators. sfgate.com/news/article/P…
Judas Priest is banned for life (even as spectators to other events!) at Madison Square Garden after a riot at a 1984 concert cost the arena $250,000 in damages ultimateclassicrock.com/j…
There's a sport in Ireland called "road bowling" similar to golf where players have to throw a 800g (28oz) cannonball across active country roads, amidst car, lorry and tractor traffic as well as spectators. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iri…
Switzerland banned nearly all forms of motor-racing after the tragic 1955 Le Mans disaster, where fragments of a crashed car flew in the stands, killing 83 spectators, the most deadly accident in motorsport history. Despite numerous attempts to lift it, the ban is still in place to this day. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spo…
There was a 3-day Go championship game ongoing in Hiroshima when the city was nuked. The building was damaged and several spectators were injured, but play resumed normally after lunch break and concluded later that day. senseis.xmp.net/?AtomicBo…
In the famous 1912 chess match Levitsky vs Marshall, legend has it that spectators were so impressed with Marshall's brilliant winning move that gold coins showered the board. Contesting Marshall's claim, his wife Caroline "disclaims even a shower of pennies." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev…

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