National Merry-Go-Round Day
The first rudimentary carousel was developed in France in the 1860s as a training device for young princes readying themselves for the ring-spearing portion of the “carrousel” tournament. The earliest known use of the term “merry-go-round” is found in a poem written by Englishman George Alexander Stevens in 1729. Between 2,000 and 3,000 carousels were produced in the U.S. during its “golden age” of wooden carousels (early 1880s to early 1930s). Today, there are only 165-175 still left operating. The oldest operating platform carousel in the United States, named the “Flying Horses,” dates from 1876 and is located on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Measuring 80 feet wide, weighing 35 tons, and containing 269 hand-crafted animals, the carousel at The House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin, USA, is the world’s largest.
National Day of the Cowboy
Though there have been cowboys both before and after, the golden age of the American cowboy started in 1866. The civil war had finished, the Union Army had exhausted the availability of beef within the North and a steer that was worth $4 a head in Texas—where millions ran wild—could bring $40 within the North. So, in 1866, men began driving herds of longhorn cattle, 4 million of them, toward the railroads and also the hungry North. The long cattle drives, and the era of the American cowboy, had begun
Today’s Birthdays of Note….
Matt LeBlanc – Actor – Joey on Friends – 52 – born in Newton, Massachusetts
Walter Payton – Pro Football Chicago Bears – 45 – born in Columbia, Mississippi