This Day in History

Ireland Legalizes Divorce (1997)
The culture of Ireland has long been strongly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, to which most of the country belongs. Thus, until 1997, the Republic of Ireland had no legal provision for divorce—and though many couples were living apart, they were not free to remarry other people. Once the divorce legislation was passed, the number of separated couples in Ireland did increase but not dramatically. Despite the position of the Church in Ireland, what pagan customs still persist there? Discuss

The Buffalo Creek Flood (1972)
More than 100 people were killed and thousands more left injured or homeless when a dam in West Virginia's rural Buffalo Creek Valley gave way. It had been built out of sediment left over from coal mining and collapsed after a heavy rainfall, sweeping away two more dams in its path. The collapse unleashed approximately 130 million gallons of black waste water onto the residents of the valley below. A study done 17 years later found that residents still suffered what lasting psychological effect?

The Calaveras Skull Hoax Begins (1866)
What began as a practical joke became a famous, decades-long scientific hoax when a prominent geologist not only fell for it, but vigorously defended it as real. After miners in Calaveras County, California, claimed to have found a human skull deep within a mine, Harvard University Professor Josiah Whitney—then the State Geologist of California—announced that it was the earliest evidence of humans on the continent. Where might the miners who planted the skull have obtained it in the first place?