First Automobile Patent

On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz applied for a patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine.” DRP-37435. The patent number 37435 – is regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile.

In July 1886 the newspapers reported on the first public outing of the three-wheeled Benz Patent Motor Car, model no. 1



Happy Kazoo Day

January 28th is National Kazoo Day!

The kazoo was invented in the 1840’s and first presented to the world at the Georgia State Fair in 1852 as the “Down South Submarine”.

Legend tells us that the kazoo was invented by collaboration of Alabama Vest and Thaddeus Von Clegg.

Commercial production of the Kazoo began many years later in 1912. Manufacturing was started by Emil Sorg in Western New York.  Sorg joined up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo tool and die maker.

Production moved to Eden, NY where the factory museum remains today as a working museum.

STS-51L – Challenger

28 January 1986, 11:38:00 a.m. (EST): The Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-099) lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Mission STS-51L

73 seconds after liftoff, Challenger was accelerating through Mach 1.62 at approximately 46,000 feet (14,000 meters) when it was destroyed by the explosion of its liquid hydrogen fuel tank.

More details here.



STS-51L Crew (l-r): Payload Specialists Christa McAuliffe and Gregory B. Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judith A. Resnik, Commander Francis R. Scobee, Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka.
Credits: NASA

Valentine’s Day at White Castle? Waffle House?

For the 27th year, White Castle is offering up more than just “sliders” and onion chips on Valentine’s Day.

The restaurant chain is taking reservations for special Valentine’s Day dinners between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14.


The somewhat absurd notion of spending a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at a fast food restaurant may be why spending the evening at White Castle has become an annual tradition for many couples over the past 27 years.

“We do have these regulars [who] come,” says Sawyer.  “They’ll bring a vase and [the husband] always brings his wife a dozen roses.  One time they brought a thing of wine.  It was so cute.”

Not up for White Castle?

How about Waffle House?


Waffle House will be taking reservations at about 140 of their locations.


Winter Olympics

On January 25, 1924, the first Winter Olympics take off in style at Chamonix in the French Alps.skiing

The original five sports (broken into nine disciplines) were bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing (consisting of the disciplines military patrol, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping), and skating (consisting of the disciplines figure skating and speed skating).

The Winter Games were held every four years from 1924 to 1936, interrupted in 1940 and 1944 by World War II, and resumed in 1948.

Until 1992 the Winter and Summer Olympic Games were held in the same years, but in accordance with a 1986 decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to place the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years, the next Winter Olympics after 1992 was in 1994.