62. 1947: Death of Evelyn Francis McHale
On the morning of May 1st, 1947, 23-year-old Evelyn Francis McHale was returning home from a visit to her fiance. As far as her fiance Barry could tell, she was perfectly fine. She wrote a note, however, expressing her wish that no one, not even her family, see her body and that it be cremated. She bought a ticket to the 83rd floor of the Empire State Building Observatory, left the note and some photos of her family in her coat pocket on the floor beside the railing, climbed over, and jumped. She landed in a terribly beautiful position, with the string of pearls around her neck clutched in her hand. Despite her wishes, her photograph was taken, and she became a pop culture phenomenon overnight.
61. 1964: Pouring Acid on Civil Rights Protestors
In Augustine, Florida, the owner of the Monson Motor Lodge poured acid into the ‘Whites Only’ pool in an attempt to rid it of the black and whiteCivil Rights protestors that had carried out a ‘swim-in’. James Brock, the owner was not arrested, though the protestors were. The acid he poured in the pool was not harmful, but to the media and to those in the pool, the word ‘acid’ was crucial. The Civil Rights Act was approved the following day. It seemed that the incident finally made LBJ realize how bad things really were.