This Weekend In History…

Tacoma Bridge Collapse

July 1, 1940

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is opened to the public. It would dramatically collapse four months later. It was located in the U.S. state of Washington and was the word’s third-longest suspension bridge at the time. Even while being constructed, winds caused the bridge to sway with the workers calling it the Galloping Gertie. The following November during 40 mph (64 km/h) winds, the bridge began oscillating in an alternating twisting motion that gradually increased in amplitude until the deck tore apart.
The only fatality of the collapse was a dog named Tubby who was a passenger in the last car to drive onto the bridge. The driver of the car was unable to rescue the dog from the car due to the swaying and car sliding back and forth. He was barely able to make it off the bridge himself. During a lull in the winds, another attempt was made to save the dog, but failed when the frightened dog bit one of the would-be rescuers.

President Garfield Assassination

July 2, 1881

U.S. President James A. Garfield is shot and mortally wounded by Charles J. Guiteau at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. Guiteau believed he deserved an appointed position due to his support of Garfield’s presidential campaign. When that didn’t happen, he decided to kill the President. Garfield died in September after extensive medical treatment. Guiteau was apprehended at the shooting and was tried and hanged for his crime.

Jim Morrison Dies of Overdose

July 3, 1971

Jim Morrison, the lead singer with The Doors, dies of a drug-induced heart attack. Although various stories are given, it is believed he snorted heroin, believing it was cocaine, and immediately suffered a heart attack. His long-term girlfriend, Pamela Courson, helped put him in a bathtub of warm water in an effort to revive him, but it was too late. Pamela would die of a heroin overdose three years later. Like Morrison, she was also 27 when she died.