History: October 24, 2018

1648
The Thirty Years War comes to an end.

The Treaty of Westphalia ended squabbling between a handful of disorganized European countries and fiefdoms.

The fighting began in 1618, when future-king Ferdinand II began imposing Catholicism in all corners of the continent. Protestants weren’t a fan of the policy, and every knight and Lord who disagreed took up arms.

Upon the signing of the treaty, the Netherlands became independent from Spain, Sweden took control of the Baltic Sea, and France was declared a sovereign nation. Most importantly, the Holy Roman Emperor lost much of his influence.

The infrastructure of the Treaty helped form the modern-day powers and influences in Europe.

1901
The first documented person spills over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Annie Edson Taylor was a widowed school teacher. She was seeking thrills and fame, and way to get rich by telling her story.

The trip was made in a 5-by-3 foot pickle barrel, padded on the inside.

She survived the tumble, but a bit shaken.

Following the adventure, she had her 15 minutes of fame, including a smattering of photo ops and public appearances. It never made her much money, either.

Today, it’s illegal to try to survive falling down the Falls.

1939
Nylon stockings are first sold to women.

They were distributed to women at the DuPont factory in Delaware. Nylon was the first synthetic material made from mineral sources that was actually somewhat comfortable.

It was designed as an alternative to silk, for women seeking comfortable undergarments.

1945
In order to prevent any future wars, the U.N. is established.

The five permanent members of the Security Council ratified the charter, with a handful of other countries. China, Russia, France, the U.S. and the U.K. hold those permanent seats.

The first general assembly opened in London the following January.

Construction began on the headquarters in New York on this date in 1949.

1970
Salvador Allende takes power in Chile.

He was elected president following a campaign espousing Marxism.

His previous campaigns in ’58 and ’64 weren’t quite left-wing enough, based on his initial socialist policies.

Since it was during the Cold War, the U.S. actively supported Allende’s opposition.

One of Allende’s first acts was to formally recognize North Korea, North Vietnam, and Cuba. He also propped up leftists throughout South America.

Three short years later Augusto Pinochet would lead a military coup to unseat Allende. Pinochet led Chile to years of economic prosperity.