1895: America’s First Driving Race
It was on this day in 1895 that the very first driving race was held created and sponsored by H.H. Kolsaat, the publisher of the Times-Herald. He got the idea after hearing about the first race held in France. Originally planned for July 4, the race began with only six cars competing, four them were gas-powered while the other two were electric and failed shortly after the race began due to the cold. Frank Duryea was the big winner of the day driving 52.4 miles which took about 10 hours and 23 minutes to cross the finish line.
1859: Washington Irving Dies
American writer, Washington Irving who is probably most famous for writing the short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, died at the age of 76 in Sunnyside, New York on this day in 1859. He was buried shortly in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery located in New York. Irving is also famous for writing the story of Rip Van Winkle and a number of Christmas stories found in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Despite his success with fiction, much of his later works were focused on biographies and history.
- 1628: John Bunyan (preacher)
- 1943: Randy Newman (singer)
- 1949: Paul Shaffer (singer)
- 1950: Ed Harris (actor)
- 1987: Karen Gillan (actress)
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