Pony Express Day
According to Mentalfloss.com, the Pony Express plays a bit of an oversized role in the popular imagination, considering how long it actually existed. Launched in April 1860, it operated for less than 19 months before the first trans-continental telegraph line was completed, connecting California to East Coast cities. Pony Express riders typically rode for 75 to 100 miles at a stretch, but they changed horses many times over the course of their journey to ensure that their steeds could go as fast as possible. The stations were about 10 miles apart, and at every station, they changed horses, swapping out their steeds up to 10 times a ride; the whole enterprise involved about 400 horses.
In 1943, Richard James, an engineer for the U.S. Navy, designed the Slinky after attempting to create a spring for use in sensitive watercraft equipment, when he accidentally discovered the spring’s ‘walking’ properties. The Slinky became available commercially in 1945, after some alterations to the spring, although it was relatively unsuccessful until a public demonstration in Philadelphia’s Gimbels department store, in the United States, where the toy became an instant hit and sold out within an hour or two. The name ‘Slinky’, meaning ‘sleek and graceful’, was given by the inventor’s wife, Betty, who found the word, which she thought represented the invention, after paging through the dictionary.
Today’s Birthdays of Note….
William Buffett – Investor – born in Omaha, Nebraska
Cameron Diaz – Actress – born in San Diego, California