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Battery, Baghdad, 250 BCE. The Baghdad Battery is believed to be about 2000 years old (from the Parthian period, roughly 250 BCE to CE 250). The jar was found in Khujut Rabu just outside Baghdad and is composed of a clay jar with a stopper made of asphalt. Sticking through the asphalt is an iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder. When filled with vinegar - or any other electrolytic solution - the jar produces about 1.1 volts.

McCarren Park Pool, NYC via nytimes: Opened in the 1936, the McCarren pool had room for 6,800 bathers in its 55,400 square foot basin and offered an alternative for cooling off to the polluted rivers and bays. It was closed in 1984 and the basin turned into a hipster playground but has recently undergone a major renovation, and is scheduled to open this summer. image from NYC Parks Photo Archive #McCarren_Pool #NYC #nytimes

Building style influenced by taxation policy. The shotgun house in New Orleans can trace its roots directly to tax policy. First, taxes were levied on street frontage, so the houses were kept narrow and deep. As tax revenues fell because of all of these narrow houses, the tax man started to levy taxes on the number of rooms, with hallways and closets counting as rooms. The solution, eliminate hallways and closets.

Mabel Dodge Luhan--In 1919 Mabel Dodge Stern and her husband Maurice moved to Taos, NM. On the advice of Tony Luhan, a Native American whom she married in 1923, she bought a 12 acre property. Tony set up a teepee in front of the house and drummed there each night until Mabel came to him. Maurice bought a shotgun and was going to chase Tony off the property, but he was unable to use it and simply took to insulting Mabel. Mabel sent him away, and supported him until their divorce 4 years later.

“On the evening of May 20, members of the Young Women’s Republican Club of Milford, Conn., explored the pleasures of tobacco, poker, the strip tease and such other masculine enjoyments as had frequently cost them the evening companionship of husbands, sons and brothers.” So begins an article in the June 16, 1941 issue of LIFE chronicling the shenanigans that erupt when a group of GOP women get together for an old-school “smoker” (noun: an informal social gathering for men only) for one memorable night.