September 16, 2021

#ThrowbackThursday – 16 September

From an unsolved bombing mystery to televised legal antics, take a look at these five historical events that went down in history on 16 September:

1736 – The Death of Fahrenheit

Two hundred and eighty-five years ago, Fahrenheit died … that’s to say, the man after whom the Fahrenheit scale borrows its name.

Born in 1686 in the city of Danzig, Prussia, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was initially a bookmaker who later went down in history as a physicist, engineer and glass-blower who invented the mercury-in-glass thermometer when he was 28.

Ten years later, he also developed a temperature scale now named after him – in the United States of America and in some countries, as well as in many laboratories, the Fahrenheit scale was the primary temperature standard for climatic, industrial and medical purposes.

Unfortunately, Fahrenheit passed away at the age of 50 following a brief bout with an illness.

1920 – Wall Street Bombing Whodunnit

It’s a mystery that has confounded investigators, the public and history buffs for over 90 years: the bombing that shook up New York City’s most famous financial district.

According to reports, a man driving a heavily loaded horse cart stopped in front of the US Assay Office in Wall Street. Minutes later, the cart exploded, instantly killing 30 people and injuring 300 others as they were bombarded by metal fragments. The death toll ultimately climbed to 40 as ten more people later died from their wounds.

Cited as the earliest known terrorist attack to ever occur in New York City, the Wall Street Bombing has raised a plethora of questions, mainly around the identity of the perpetrator(s) and the motive. Italian anarchists, made up of Italian immigrants who carried out acts of violence, were suspected, although it could never be proved.

The investigation carried on for three years before it was found that all available leads ran to nowhere. It is safe to say that the person or persons responsible took their secrets to the grave.

1991 – When Dennis Married Meg

Before Brangelina, TomKat and Kimye dominated the headlines, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid were Hollywood’s most formidable A-list couple.

In 1988, Ryan met Quaid on the production set of the film “Innerspace”; three years later, they tied the knot. For nine years, their marriage seemed blissful, and together they raised a son named Jack.

Come 2000, however, the actors separated when rumours spread that Ryan engaged with her “Proof of Life” co-star, Russell Crowe. Although it was later confirmed by Ryan that Crowe only became romantically involved with her afterwards, the “When Harry Met Sally” star’s marriage to Quaid was all but over when the divorce became finalised in 2001.

1996 – All Rise for Judge Judy

Smart, sharp-witted and spicy like no other, it’s no wonder that Judith Sheindlin became an instant hit when her television show, “Judge Judy”, debuted in 1996.

Formerly a family court judge in Manhattan, Sheindlin – accompanied by ever-present bailiff, Petri Hawkins-Byrd – presided over real small-claims cases inside a televised courtroom. Although the show was slow to take off, it swiftly gained momentum as viewers became enamoured with (and not least amused by) her outspoken, no-nonsense attitude towards the litigants.

“Judge Judy” shot Sheindlin to stardom, cementing her as a pop culture icon who revolutionised the TV courtroom genre. Today, the show has spanned 25 seasons, with the eponymous judge set to debut a new spin-off, “Judge Justice”, in November 2021.

2002 – Dr Phil Makes His Debut

Starting out on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in his own segments, psychologist Phil McGraw landed his own talk show, “Dr Phil”, which debuted exactly 19 years ago.

The show sees McGraw drawing from his psychological experience to chat with a variety of people around various topics, such as weight loss, failed marriages and mental illness. However, over its 20-season run, it has drawn criticism for its sensationalist scenes and exploiting guests for melodramatics.

Nevertheless, “Dr Phil” was – and continues to be – a ratings juggernaut, and is considered one of the most popular talk shows in the USA, if not in the world.

Image Credit: Source