This Weekend In History

Benjamin Franklin Flies a Kite

June 10, 1752

Reportedly on this day, flying his kite, Benjamin Franklin identifies lightning as electricity.
According to Franklin’s description of the experiment, a silk kite with string that led to a key was to be flown during the early stages of a storm. The kite had a separate silk string that was attached to the kite string near the key. The kite flyer was to stand under a shelter so that he and the silk string stayed dry protecting them from the electric charge. It is unlikely the kite was struck by lightning, as this would have probably seriously injured Franklin, but simply gathered electricity from the storm as Franklin predicted it would.

Detroit Burns to the Ground

June 11, 1805

A fire that started in the morning burned Detroit to the ground by afternoon. All that remained were a few brick chimneys. The fire is believed to have started when a local baker failed to extinguish the ashes from his pipe when he knocked the tobacco out. The residents tried to save the city by engaging in a “bucket brigade,” in which a line of people formed between the river and the burning buildings, passing buckets of water to throw on the fire, but it was to no avail. Amazingly, no one died in the fire.

O.J. Simpson Murders

June 12, 1994

Football Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson‘s ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman are murdered at her home. Simpson was later arrested for the murders and then subsequently found not guilty in what was called “The Trial of the Century.” Goldman was there returning glasses Nicole’s mother had left at the restaurant where he worked.