Today in History – volcano go boom

Today’s History Channel lead story is on the August 24th, 79 A.D. eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in southern Italy, destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum.  The people in the region lived there to take advantage of the fertile ground.  They had no idea why the land was so fertile.

The ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived near the base of Mount Vesuvius at the Bay of Naples. In the time of the early Roman Empire, 20,000 people lived in Pompeii, including merchants, manufacturers, and farmers who exploited the rich soil of the region with numerous vineyards and orchards. None suspected that the black fertile earth was the legacy of earlier eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Herculaneum was a city of 5,000 and a favorite summer destination for rich Romans. Named for the mythic hero Hercules, Herculaneum housed opulent villas and grand Roman baths. Gambling artifacts found in Herculaneum and a brothel unearthed in Pompeii attest to the decadent nature of the cities. There were smaller resort communities in the area as well, such as the quiet little town of Stabiae.

At noon on August 24, 79 A.D., this pleasure and prosperity came to an end when the peak of Mount Vesuvius exploded, propelling a 10-mile mushroom cloud of ash and pumice into the stratosphere.

Also of note today in history is the last tank produced by Cadillac came of the line today in 1945, and in 1954 the Communist Control Act was passed, coming to effect not long after the disgrace of Sen. McCarthy (who, BTW, was correct on many of his accusations).
Read the entire account and see what else of note occurred today in history, thanks to The History Channel.

[tags]Today in History, The History Channel, Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii[/tags]