Where nobody cares about first place!
German athlete Luz Long is quite possibly the ultimate Silver Medalist. He is the athlete who finished second to American Jesse Owens in the long jump competition at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but more than that, he made sports history with a gesture that stunned many who witnessed it. After their competition, Long, a white man, enthusiastically embraced Owens, a black…read more
French Corporal Jules André Peugeot was 21 years old when he was shot and killed by a German patrol. Although he was the first soldier to get shot in WWI, he ended up being the second person to die. The guy who shot Peugeot, German Lieutenant Albert Mayer, was the first person to actually die in WWI, with Peugeot himself…read more
As most of us all know, in American politics, it is the Electoral College and not the popular vote that determines the winner in a presidential election. This odd fact of government has long been a burr in the butt of those unfortunate candidates who’ve found themselves with a majority popular vote but on the losing end of an electoral vote….read more
Thomas William Burgess got up on the morning of September 5, 1911, ready to make history. Having already tried and failed 15 times before, he knew what he was up against. He wanted to become the second person to swim across the English Channel, and the first to do so since 1875 when Captain Matthew Webb breast-stroked his way across the…read more
From the game manual — “Help Pitfall Harry find his niece Rhonda, the cowardly cat Quickclaw and the great Raj diamond. On the way grab all the gold bars you can (and be on the lookout for a pesky stone-aged rat). There is no time limit in the caverns!” I never understood the allure of Activision’s 1982 game Pitfall! for the…read more
Helium is almost like magic with the things it can do—it keeps blimps and balloons aloft, makes our voices sound funny1 when we huff it, and it makes all sorts of industrial processes possible. Helium is just plain fun. And for its place among the silver medalists, helium is the second-most abundant element in the universe and the number 2…read more
The College of William & Mary, chartered in 1693, is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States—second only to Harvard University (http://www.harvard.edu), which was established in 1636. Although it’s the second-oldest college in the U.S., William & Mary isn’t without its own firsts: it was the first to receive a Royal Charter; the first U.S. college to become a university; the first law school in the U.S.