This Day in History

Federal Emergency Declared at Love Canal in New York (1978)
In the 1940s and 50s, an abandoned canal in Niagara Falls, New York, became a dumping ground for chemical waste. It was later filled in, and after the land was given to the city of Niagara Falls by the chemical company, houses and an elementary school were built there. By the late 1970s, toxic chemicals had risen to the surface, and residents were found to have a high incidence of chromosome damage. A federal emergency was declared in 1978, and residents were evacuated. What happened to them? Discuss

Gertrude Ederle Becomes First Woman to Swim across the English Channel (1926)
Only five men had managed to swim across the 35-mile (56-km) English Channel by the time Ederle became the first woman to make the trip. On her second attempt, the 19-year-old Olympic medalist from America made the swim from France to England in 14 hours and 31 minutes—beating the male record-holder by two hours. Hours before Ederle reached England, the weather deteriorated. A supporter following her by boat called out and urged her to get out of the water. What was Ederle's reply?

First Electric Traffic Light Is Installed (1914)
Prior to 1914, there had been several attempts to create automobile traffic signals similar to those used by railroads, but it was only after a four-way electric signal was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, that the modern traffic light system began to take root. The signal had only two colors, green and red, but the three-color version still in use today was not far off. Besides railroad signals, what earlier application of red and green might have led to the use of these colors in traffic lights?