On this day: what happened on June 9
68 – With the provinces and his own Praetorian Guard rebelling against him, and having been declared a public enemy by the Roman Senate, Emperor Nero committed suicide saying “What artist is losing the world on me!”
1623 – British negotiators, who were finalizing a treaty with the Indians near the Potomac River in North America, offered a toast “symbolizing eternal friendship.” Chief Chiskiack, his family and his advisers, 200 in all, drank the toast and died immediately from the poisoned drink. The British drank their toast from a different container.
1870 – Charles Dickens died after suffering a stroke the day before. At the time he was writing chapter 22 of his fifteenth novel “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” a 44-chapter work that he wrote in monthly installments. As a result, the actual outcome of the story remains a mystery to this day!
1902 – Frank Hardart and Joe Horn started the fast food business with the opening of the first Automat restaurant at 818 Clarence Street in Philadelphia. By inserting three nickels (15 cents) into a slot and turning a handle, diners could help themselves to a fabulous selection of food, all freshly made that morning. They had gotten the idea of the automaton when they saw a restaurant without waiters in Berlin. The last Horn and Hardart Automat, located in New York, closed its doors in April 1991.
1910 – A passenger on board the steamer “SS Arawatta” wrote a message that was placed in a bottle and thrown overboard between Cairns and Brisbane. It was found on June 6, 1983 – 73 years later almost to the present day – on Moreton Island off the coast of Queensland. (At the time, this set a world record for the longest time between sending and searching for a message in a bottle. Since then it was broken in 1996 when a fisherman found a bottle in the North Sea that had been in the water for 82 years and that he made the offer of a small reward if he returned. The fisherman collected £ 1 from the British government.)
1934 – Donald Fauntleroy Duck made his first appearance. She was featured in a cartoon titled “The Wise Chicken” in which Donald and his friend, Peter Pig, the only members of the Idle Hour Club, refuse to help a chicken plant and harvest corn. When everything is finished and the corn delicacies are on the table, Donald and Peter, now interested, are not invited. Walt Disney had wanted to add a duck named Donald to the Mickey Mouse gang for some time, but it wasn’t until he heard Clarence Nash on a radio show doing his now famous “nash language” that he was able to achieve his goal. He hired Clarence Nash and the rest is history.
1994 – In North Yorkshire, England, car thieves stole British Home Secretary Michael Howard’s bulletproof car while he was attending a meeting of police chiefs. The car was later found without all four wheels.