Today in Hazmat History – May 10

Hazmat History

By Richard T. Cartwright, PE, CHMM, (IHMM, AHMP and APICS) Fellow

The saying, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” is more than a cliché. It is a reminder that we must constantly be learning from the past. Here’s a look back at major historical events that happened today in the world of hazardous materials.

May 10, 1964

The American Cancer Society announced a new study linking smoking to increases in heart attacks. The study shows that blood clots grow faster after smoking.

May 10, 1933

Hitler’s Nazis began to publicly burn censored books. Paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit. This inspired Ray Bradbury to write his book, Fahrenheit 451, on public censorship.

May 10, 1869

The last spike was driven in at Promontory, Utah, connecting the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. This made it possible for transcontinental transportation of hazardous materials in a few days instead of months.

May 10, 1860

German chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchoff announced the discovery of the element Cesium. It was first noticed by its characteristic blue spectral lines, the color for which it was named.

May 10, 1852

English chemist Sir Edward Frankland unveiled the Valence theory. It states that any atom can combine with a certain, limited number of other atoms. This theory is fundamental to understanding inorganic chemical structure.

May 10, 1752

Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, author and inventor, first tested his lightning rod.

Historical hazardous materials management events are posted 365 days a year at this LinkedIn discussion group.

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