When newspapers report that the General Grant National Memorial is falling into critical disrepair, 67-year-old hustler George Parker gets an idea. In 1928, he poses as President Ulysses S. Grant’s grandson and “sells” the tomb to a number of businessmen, all of whom dream of making a fortune by eventually charging entry to the majestic monument.
But Grant’s Tomb wasn’t the only monument Parker had “sold.” He began his scheme back in 1883 when he posed as the owner of New York City’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge and “sold” it to unsuspecting immigrants.
Police frequently had to roust so-called “owners” of the bridge as they attempted to put up tollbooths. The police finally resorted to handing out pamphlets at ports warning all immigrants that they can’t “buy public buildings.”
The Statue of the Republic, commemorating the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, reminds passers-by of the exhibition, but also its dark history. During the fair, a man going by the name of H.H. Holmes built a “hotel” where he lured young women, most of whom never came out.
In 1937, Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe were the first 2 prisoners to successfully make it to the shore of the San Francisco Bay after breaking out of Alcatraz.
Officials quickly concluded that the pair had drowned in the San Francisco Bay, but many reports of future sightings suggest otherwise.
On June 24, 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying at 9,200 feet near Mt. Rainier on a mission to find a missing transport airplane when he encountered something extraordinary … he saw a shimmering light followed 30 seconds later by a series of bright flashes north of the mountain range.
Arnold then observed flat crescent-shaped objects flying in a chain formation, which he describes as “saucers on water.” The supersonic speed of the unidentified flying objects and the strangely-shaped discs grab both the media and the public’s attention, and the term “flying saucer” makes its debut.
April 14, 1865. Just 5 days after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln decides to take in a show at Ford’s Theatre in the nation’s capital.
At 10:13 p.m., a well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer -- John Wilkes Booth -- enters the president’s box and shoots him in the back of the head. In the ensuing chaos, he flees Washington on horseback. Twelve days later, Union soldiers track him down and shoot him. Soldiers claim he died, but did he?
Buried at the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Exeter, RI, is the body of a girl who was believed to be a vampire.
In January 1892, 19-year-old Mercy “Lena” Brown succumbed to a strange disease – one that caused her to cough up blood as her body wasted away. At the time, many claimed that Lena was a vampire, and they exhumed her body to prove it.