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.
1. Dr. Joseph Warren, President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress ↩
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, the star of silent cinema, was born today in 1889.
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.