Born in none other than Pawtucket, Sam was named after his infant brother that died. Mayo Greenleaf Patch was his dad’s name. I just really like that name. Sam started work as a child laborer spinning cotton in a mill in Pawtucket. He moved to Jersey in his 20s and continued with mill work and jumping off tall shit for fun. Dreaming of living the dare devil lifestyle.
On September 30, 1827 he jumped off Passaic Falls which was 70 feet, had a large crowd and they started to advertise his jumps in a local paper, calling him Patch the Jersey Jumper. And he started to get paid for doing it. He would do walls, bridges and ship masts too.
Two years later he did Niagara, 125 feet tall. He did this a couple more times getting crowds of 8000ish to gather. That’s like a college football stadium, I’ve been to Niagara falls and I have no idea how people could see what was happening.
Then he went to Rochester and jumped a 94 foot tall waterfall called High Falls. He threw a bear cub that was his pet over first and it swam to shore. He didn’t get as much cash as he wanted from this. So he scheduled another jump for Friday November 13, 1829. He added to the height by building a 25 foot stand. He didn’t go into the water feet first like he normally did. But a loud impact was heard and he never came up. Spectators thought he was fucking with them and just hiding in a secret cave. They didn’t find his body until next spring, totally frozen. Local preachers blamed the crowds for his death. He was 22. Andrew Jackson, mr. 20 dollar bill, actually named his pet horse Sam Patch.
Friday the 13, October 1972, a rugby team chartered a flight from Montevideo, Uruguay to Santiago, Chile for a game they had scheduled against a team called the Old Boys. The flight had the 19 rugby guys and their friends and family, The copilot mistakenly thought they were closer to their destination than they were and wound up crashing the plane into a glacier in the remote Andes. The plane bounced off the mountain peaks knocking the wings and tail off, Two were sucked out the back of the plane, another one fell out and landed in the snow where he froze to death. When the plane hit the glacier, the impact caused all the seats to shift forward crushing people. It was essentially a giant sled through the snow.
There’s a movie called Alive based on this and I think I would shit my pants if I watched it on an airplane. Among the 45 people on board, 28 survived the crash.
The survivors had extremely little food: eight chocolate bars, a tin of mussels, three small jars of jam, a tin of almonds, a few dates, candies, dried plums, and several bottles of wine. During the days following the crash, they divided this into very small amounts to make their meager supply last as long as possible. Parrado ate a single chocolate-covered peanut over three days.
Facing starvation and death, the survivors reluctantly resorted to cannibalism.
The Bhola cyclone of 1970 took the lives of as many as 500,000 people in Bangladesh.
On the night of September 7, 1996, NOT FRIDAY THE 13th, Shakur was in Vegas for his business partner Tracy Danielle Robinson's birthday and went to the Seldon/Tyson boxing match with Suge Knight (not to be confused with Suge White) at the MGM Grand. Afterwards, one of Knight's associates spotted a dude that Tupac had a feud with earlier in the year. Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, a Crip from Compton, in the lobby. Earlier that year, Anderson and a group of Crips had robbed a member of Death Row's entourage in a Foot Locker store.
Later that night, Shakur was shot and he wound up dying on Friday the 13th.
I mean, Friday the 13th isn't all that bad, is it?!
There are multiple versions of this steel roller coaster scattered throughout different theme parks in the US. Some incidents have caused us to question how super the ride really is.
In 2011, Sgt. James Hackemar, an Iraq War vet and double amputee sat in the front row of the coaster- obviously the coolest seat- but was thrown from his car throughout the ride and fell to his death.
In 2004, Stanley Modarsky (5'2" 230 lbs if you're curious) was killed when he fell out of his seat on the last turn of the coaster. Almost made it. He suffered from cerebral palsy and his belly was too big for the constraints to properly secure so his family sued the Connecticut park saying that he should never have been allowed to ride. The park refuted that the Americans with Disabilities Act forbids them from denying service to someone with a disability who can get on the ride themselves.
Batman doesn't fare much better than Superman in its history. This coaster decapitated teenager Asia Leeshawn Ferguson in 2008 when he hopped a fence to grab his hat that had fallen off.
In 2002, Samuel Miltion Guyton was killed by a dangling leg of a passenger on the Batman ride. Guyton, a groundskeeper, had apparently wandered into a restricted area.
In 2013, an overweight woman was getting strapped into the the New Texas Giant coaster when she expressed concern that she only heard hers click once when everyone around her had heard theirs click three times. She was thrown from her seat and landed on top of the metal roof of one of the coaster's tunnels. The ride was shut down for a month and reopened with additional seat belts. Her family reached a settlement with Six Flags and the German company that designed the structure.
Senior year of high school is supposed to be a groundbreaking time to figure out the future. For a group of 33 seniors in 1997, it became more of a nightmare. They tried to break their school record of having the most riders on a water slide at one time. They piled on to the Banzai Pipeline and exceeding its maximum capacity. The ride collapsed, crushing a 17 year old in the mayhem.
Monorails seem like they should be the safest rides at an amusement park, but not when your mother throws you onto the tracks. In 1990, an arguing teenage couple wound up doing just that and the Busch Gardens in Orlando. The parents were prosecuted for child endangerment.