Just the fact ma’am…

History Swirlies. There is a lot which happened on this date. Some days are like that. Busy in the cycle of the Universe.

Take 1939 for example. This was a big dang day for Ducks. The University of Oregon Ducks. They beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. Oregon routed OSU, 46-33. Busted them up! And hence the beginning of March Madness. (Which I might add, college basketball has become the most popular sporting gig among gamblers, after the Super Bowl. You can bank on that.) So yes. Oregon won the first one ever, for your next Trivia Night standoff.

More for the Trivia Bag of Tricks.

Elsewhere in History. Spaniard Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first got sight Florida in the year 1513. Albeit, Indigenous People, had lived there for 12,000 years. And new research is indicating that it was even earlier, like 13,500 years. So Ponce, and Columbo, and the rest of the Europeans in big boats were not finding anything new. They were just vacationing, really. With terrible vacationing habits. Like pillaging and spreading disease.

Vacationing. Traveling. It switched from boat to air. Most of the time, it goes off without a hitch. But. Some 400 years later, in 1977, it took a wrong turn. 583 died in a plane crash. Two Boeing 747s collided at Tenerife airport in Spain. It was aviation’s worst-ever-disaster. It resulted because of a terrorist incident at Gran Canaria Airport. That deal caused many flights to be diverted over to Tenerife airport. And. When all those planes started flying in, the airport quickly became congested. There were many parked aircraft blocking the only taxiway. There was fog. Planes backed up, as they were taking off and landing from wrong runways. And that’s how it happened. Almost 600 people, just like that.

But there is not all bad news on this day in history. In 1845, a guy named Wilhelm Röntgen was born. He hailed from Germany, and became a physicist. Old Wilhelm was a pretty smart cookie. He discovered X-rays (and won the Nobel in 1901). Here’s the thing about this guy. Röntgen refused to take out patents related to his discovery of X-rays. And I will tell you why. He wanted society as a whole to benefit from practical applications of the phenomenon and his discovery.

I’m saying he was the first Superman. X-Ray vision and all. Hey, I wonder if any of those guys in the Oregon vs. OSU game, broke a bone. They would have needed an X-Ray, I’ll bet you.

And all of this, happened on this date. Years apart. For Trivia’s Sake. So. Just as John Muir said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

That includes us. You. Me. And the all of us. Connected. If by chance, it comes up in your next game of questions and answers.


“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery


“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.”
― John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf


“For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses. ”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values