Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash…..
October 20, 1977…..
Six people die, including three members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band, when their chartered plane runs out of fuel and crashes in Mississippi. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines (Steve’s older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were killed on impact. Twenty people survived the crash. The fuel gauge in the plane was known to malfunction and the pilots had neglected to manually check the tanks before taking off. Drummer Artimus Pyle survived the crash and went looking for help and found a farmhouse. When the farmer saw a bloody Pyle coming towards him, he fired a warning shot that hit Pyle in the shoulder. After Pyle explained he was coming from a plane crash, the farmer helped him inside and sent for help.
Just three months earlier, the band Aerosmith had considered using the same plane for touring, but rejected it because, while inspecting the plane, they saw the pilots drinking Jack Daniels and felt both the plane and its crew were not up to standards. This was going to be Lynyrd Skynyrd’s last flight on the plane, as they felt the 30-year-old plane was too old and were planning on upgrading after that flight.
October 21, 1879…..
Thomas Edison succeeds in making his electric light. It had taken about 1,200 experiments and cost more than $40,000 (about $850,000 in today’s money). It operated for 13 hours. Although incandescent lights had been around for about 40 years, Edison’s was the first practical one.
Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach…..
October 22, 1926…..
The famous magician Harry Houdini is struck four times by a college student challenging his ability to withstand blows to the stomach. Houdini, who was unprepared for the attack and had acute appendicitis, died nine days later. Houdini was famous for his ability to take blows to the stomach. While Houdini was reclining on a coach having his portrait sketched, a college student asked, “if he believed in the miracles of the Bible” and “whether it was true that punches in the stomach did not hurt him?” Before Houdini could prepare, the student then began punching Houdini in the abdomen. It is believed that these blows aggravated an existing case of appendicitis that Houdini was unaware of. Houdini remained in pain and on October 24th he developed a 104 °F (40 °C) fever. However, he refused medical help and performed his act that night. Afterwards he was hospitalized and died on October 31st.