October 13 54
Roman Emperor Claudius I consumes a favorite mushroom dish prepared by his fourth wife, Agrippina. What he does not know is that the meal is laced with the toxin of the Amanita phalloides mushroom. Feeling ill the next morning, Claudius summons his personal physician. Unfortunately, the dOctoberor happens to be a co-conspirator in the scheme, administering a colocynth enema which kills Claudius instantly.
October 13 1972
Due to poor visibility, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying the Montevideo Old Christians Rugby Club crashes high in the Chilean Andes. Of the 45 people aboard the flight, only 27 survive the crash, and just 16 make it to their rescue 72 days later. Their secret? Cannibalism. According to one survivor, “the slight browning of the flesh gave it an immeasurably better flavor, softer than beef but with much the same taste.”
October 13 1988
A report published in the journal Nature declares the Turin shroud to be a 13th century fake. Although carbon-14 testing places the shroud’s fabrication somewhere between 1260 and 1390 AD, true believers spend much of the next several years attempting to explain away the radiocarbon test results.
October 13 1997
Nike, Inc. fines one of its shoe factories in Vietnam $5,000 after it becomes known that plant management ordered workers to create 51 rubber penises. Although the schlongs were produced strictly as gag gifts for a company official’s birthday, Nike sees no humor in the matter.