Happy Birthday Superman!

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s a man in spandex and underwear leaping over tall buildings in a single bound!

On April 18, 1938 the first issue of “Action Comics” was published.  This also marked the first appearance of Superman and launched the superhero comic genre.

Action Comics 1.jpgRaid your grandma’s attic, because Action Comics #1 is considered the most valuable comic of all time.  In 2014, a copy sold for over Three Million Dollars!

Though Action Comics #1 is the the introduction to Superman as we know him, including his backstory of being sent to Earth as a baby and fighting for truth and justice, this wasn’t the first time that creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster attempted to tell a story of a “superman” with extreme powers.  In the short story “The Reign of the Superman” the titular character is actually a super villain with telepathic powers bent on ruling the world.

We’re glad Siegel and Shuster had a change of heart.  Otherwise, we may not have socks with capes today.

The Red Coats (and Sox) Are Coming!

Two Hundred and Forty years ago today Paul Revere made history with his “Midnight Ride” from Boston to Lexington and Concord.  Yet, few know that the ride nearly didn’t happen.  And it was because Paul couldn’t find his socks – well, his left sock to be precise.  From his diary:

“…twas dozing in a peaceful slumber, my bare feete warmed by the crackling fire, when I receiv’d word from Joe1 that the Red Coats had taken to march.  Springing to my feet, I dress’d hurredly but was halted by the absense of a stocking…”

Paul goes on to explain that, after enlisting his wife, children, and a servant to help search, he was finally left with the only option of borrowing his wife’s sock, described as “being of a rose hue with a sort of lace and frill.”  But if it weren’t for that pink sock, we may still be subjects of Her Majesty.

River Island Pink cable knit velvet frill ankle socks

1. Dr. Joseph Warren, President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress

Lady Icarus

On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel – and she did it in less than an hour.  Plus, this was just seven months after becoming the first woman to earn an aviator’s certificate from the Aero Club of America.

But, Ms. Quimby wasn’t just a pioneer of aviation.  She was also one of the first screenwriters of Hollywood.  Seven of her short screenplays were directed by D.W. Griffith in 1911.

Unfortunately, Harriet flew too close to the sun, so to speak.  Less then three months after her historic flight in the UK, she flew in the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet.  But this was to be her final flight, as her brand-new monoplane crashed and both Harriet and her passenger died.

Harriet is often overshadowed by Amelia, but she still holds a special place in history.