On this day: Louisa May Alcott was born

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888), American novelist, at age 20

Alcott at age twenty.

American writer Louisa May Alcott, famous for her book Little Women, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on the 29th of November, 1832.


On this day: the Johnstown Flood

The aftermath of the Johnstown Flood (Johnstown, Pennsylvania). The Debris above the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge. In History of the Johnstown Flood by Willis Fletcher Johnson, 1889.

The Johnstown Flood, otherwise known as the Great Flood of 1889, occurred in Pennsylvania on the 31st of May, 1889. 2209 people were killed when a dam broke and unleashed 20 million tons of water on the surrounding area.

SchultzSchultz house at Johnstown, PA in 1889, after the Johnstown Flood. Six people inside survived.

The six people who were inside this house all survived. X

Heavy rain hit the area in the days before the flood, and despite attempts to save the dam before it broke, nothing could be done and everybody retreated to wait. The flood began at about 3:10pm.

A house that was almost completely destroyed in the 1889 Johnstown Flood. Most of the house fell to the ground, but one small piece remained standing, soon to be piled underneath more debris.

The wave of water that hit surrounding towns was said to have reached 18 metres (60 feet) in height.


On this day: Pennsylvania State University Founded

Pennsylvania State University was founded on the 22nd of February, 1855. At the time it was known as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. It is located in Centre County.

Old Main, part of the university, is photographed here in 1855.


Farmer's_High_School_and_Old_MainFarmer's High School, which is now the Old Main in Pennsylvania State University. 1855.

On this day: the US Marine Corps was formed

Sketch of Tun Tavern in the Revolutionary War, birthplace of the Continental Marines, from which is descended the USMC.

The Tun Tavern as it was during the American Revolution

On the 10th of November, 1775, a meeting was held at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two battalions of Marines were needed for the American Revolution.

This meeting is generally recognised as the day the US Marine Corps was formed, though it is possible the location is not accurate.

The tavern played a part in a number of significant moments in US history. Others who met there include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

The Tun Tavern burnt down in 1781. Today the U.S. Marine Corps National Museum has a Tun Tavern-themed restaurant.