Robert Wadlow, was known as the Alton Giant, or the Giant of Illinois, and Bob, was an American who became famous as the tallest person in recorded history for which there is irrefutable evidence. He was born and raised in Alton, Illinois.
Wadlow reached 8' 11.1" in height and was 439 lbs when he died, at the age of only 22. His growth continued into adulthood and showed no signs of stopping. His height was due to, hyperplasia; of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone.
Not only was he the world's largest boy scout, but he still holds the Guinness Book World record for being the tallest man. He was taller than his father by the age of 8, and in elementary school, they had to make a special desk for him due to his size. As an adult, he was a member of the Freemasons and his Freemason ring was the largest ever made.
Wadlow became a celebrity after his 1936 U.S. tour with the Ringling Brothers Circus. He appeared with Ringling Brothers at Madison Square Garden and the Boston Garden in the center ring, never in the sideshow. In 1938, he did a promotional tour with the International Shoe Company. They provided him his shoes free of charge. Wadlow figured that he was working in advertising, not being exhibited as a freak.
Wadlow's massive size began to take a toll: he required leg braces to walk and had little feeling in his legs and feet. Despite these difficulties, he never used a wheelchair. He possessed great physical strength but was known as a “gentle giant” until the last year of his life, when his strength and his health, in general, began to deteriorate rapidly. In July of 1940, during a professional appearance at a Forest Festival, a faulty brace irritated his ankle, causing a blister and subsequent infection. his condition worsened due to an autoimmune disorder, and 11 days after contracting the infection, he died.
His coffin measured 10' 9" long by 2' 8" wide by 2' 6" deep, weighed 1000 lbs and was carried by 12 pallbearers and eight assistants. Setting on final record, for the world's largest coffin His body was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Upper Alton.
I drew a lot of inspiration from a visit to the "Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum". This is a must-see attraction if you find yourself nearby.
This video is a modern look at the Gettysburg Address. We draw a lot of parallels from the 1860s and today, It's easy to get caught up in divisions and partisan politics. But, it hard to forget Abe Lincoln's words and how we should draw inspiration from them today:
The Gettysburg Address
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
~ Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
Photos from "The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library":
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Balloonfest '86 was an event held by the United Way of Cleveland in Ohio. They set out to raise funds for the less fortunate and beat a world record by releasing almost one and a half million balloons, However; they stopped at a little over 1.4 million.
The event was intended to be a harmless fundraising publicity stunt, but the balloons drifted back over the city, Lake Erie and landed in the surrounding area, and caused problems for traffic and nearby airports.
The balloon also interfered with a United States Coast Guard search for two boaters who were later found drowned. In consequence, the organizers and the city faced lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages, and cost overruns put the event at a net loss
The stunt was coordinated by BalloonMart by Treb, a Los Angeles-based company headed by Treb Heining (shown in the video above). Tereb spent six months preparing for the launch. He and his team constructed a rectangular structure the size of a city block. It measured 250' x 150' and grew to three stories high. All of this was then covered by a simple piece of netting material.
Inside the structure over, 2,500 students and other volunteers spent grueling days and hours filling the balloons with helium. United Way did not approve of Balloonmart or Treb Heining's handling of the situation.
Children sold sponsorships to benefit United Way at the price of $1 for every two balloons. Beyond that, the event was a failure. The lawsuits caused by Treb and his team exceeded funds raised for the needy.
All of that aside, Ted is doing well and following his dream and the United Way is still able to provide help to the less fortunate.
Ted's Latest Video:
The Piasa Bird is a local legend in the river bend area of Illinois. The first record of the beast dates back to 1673. Father Jacques Marquette, while recording his journey down the Mississippi River with Louis Joliet. Described the "Piasa" as a birdlike monster painted high on the bluffs along the Mississippi River, where the city of Alton, Illinois now stands.
According to the journey log, the Piasa "was as large as a cow with horns like a deer, red eyes, a beard like a tiger's, a face like a man. The body was covered with green, red and black scales and a tail so long it passed around the body, over the head, and between the legs."
The creature was given its name by the Illini Indians, "The Piasa", meaning a bird that devours men.
There are many legends regarding its origin. Somewhere the creature dies, others where the beast still stalks in caves. In this video I cover the more popular telling:
Many moons ago, there existed a birdlike creature of such great size, he could carry off a full-grown deer in his talons. His taste, however, was for human flesh. In fact, hundreds of warriors attempted to destroy the Piasa and failed. Whole villages were destroyed and fear spread throughout the Illini tribe.
At this time Ouatoga separated himself from his tribe, fasted in solitude for an entire moon and prayed to the Great Spirit to protect his people from the Piasa.
On the last night of his fast, the Great Spirit appeared to Ouatoga in a dream and directed him to select 20 warriors, arm them each with a bow and poisoned arrow, and conceal them in a specific location. An ill-fated warrior was to stand in an open view, as a victim of the Piasa.
When the chief awoke in the morning, he told the tribe of his dream. The warriors were quickly selected and gathered. Ouatoga offered himself as the victim. Placing himself in open view, he soon saw the Piasa perched on the bluff eyeing his prey. Ouatoga began to chant the death song of a warrior. The Piasa took to the air and swooped down upon the chief. The Piasa had just reached his victim when every bow was sprung and every arrow sent sailing into the body of the beast. The Piasa uttered a fearful scream that echoed down the river and died. Ouatoga was safe, and the tribe saved.
A piece of Colorado's forgotten history- Guiraud (now called Garo) was a small settlement near Fairplay. Today the Buffalo Peaks Ranch and the old General Store and Post Office which dates to the 1880's are all that marks the spot, The schoolhouse was moved to the South Park City Museum in South Park, Colorado. The now ghost town is five miles north of Hartsel and seven miles south of Fairplay on Colorados Highway 9.
Adolphe Guiraud & his wife Marie, we're the original settlers of the area. They were born in France and made there way to America through the port of New Orleans. They spent some time in Ohio and Kansas before settling in Garo, Colorado. They established the first homestead in South Park in 1863. The Guiraud Ranch still stands and is now called the "Buffalo Peaks Ranch".
Adolphe is most known as the proprietor of the original general store, the "Guirauds General Store". However; he is less known for his ties to the American Confederacy.
Adolphe Guiraud played a role in the failed Confederate incursion into Colorado Territory in 1864 when he allowed the nine remaining men of Company A, Well's Battalion, 3rd Texas Cavalry, Confederate Army to stay in July of '64.
The nine men that made it to Guiraud's ranch were the remnants of fifty Confederate soldiers that set out from Texas, in June of that year. These men were under orders to disrupt the union's supply trains that ran through the Colorado territory. Their second order was to raise a Confederate army from the mining towns that surrounded Park County.
Fortunately, the men disbanded from the Confederacy and became outlaws and bandits. They were dubbed "The Reynolds Gang" and in newspaper accounts of the day.
On July 29th the Gang of men were cornered in Geneva Gulch near Grant, Colorado. One was killed, five were taken prisoner, and two died of bullet poisoning. The five who were captured were tried and convicted of rape and stagecoach robbery. Furthermore, they were convicted of treason for their involvement in the Confederate army. They were put to death on direct orders of Colonel John Chivington.
Later that year in a related incident a man named "Chub" Newitt ran the General Store and Post Office at Garo. Chub was showing a customer some pistols at the store, he was shot with one, he died a short time later.
Adolphe Guiraud died without being convicted or charged for aiding the Confederacy. His wife Marie, had a 34-year widowship and went on to become weathly. She grew the ranch from 640 achers to over 5,000 achers. She sold about 1,500 pounds of beef each year (which is about 1 millions dollar in todays money)
Three years after her death she was recognized by the US Department of Agriculture in a release called, "The Importance of Women on ranches & Homesteads".
Garo faded and died in the late 1920's and was abandoned except for the ranches that surround it by 1936.
The Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion murders occurred on July 23, 2007. Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters were raped and murdered, while her husband, Dr. William Petit, was injured during a home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut.
The Hartford Courant referred to the case as "possibly the most widely publicized crime in the state's history". In 2010, Steven Hayes was convicted of the murders and sentenced to death.
His accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky, was found guilty on October 13, 2011, and sentenced to death on January 27, 2012. In August 2015, the state of Connecticut abolished the death penalty. Therefore, on that date, all death sentences were changed to life-in-prison, even if that sentencing took place prior to the date that the death penalty was abolished.
Thank you for visiting! This is a collection of media from the lost and abandoned corners of the world. Please have a look around, I hope you enjoy.