5 of the Strangest Days in History

  • Conceptual image of time
Conceptual image of time
DKosig/ iStock

There have been 91,310 days in the last 250 years, but only a few of them stand out as singularly odd. Unexplained phenomena, surprising coincidences, and, in some cases, a strange quiet, don’t happen every day — especially on a massive scale.

From the day an entire region thought the apocalypse was coming, to the day apparently nothing of note happened at all, some days really stand out.. Next time you’re having an eerie day, put it in perspective with these five dates. 

Photo credit: duncan1890/ iStock

May 19, 1780: New England’s Dark Day

This Friday in May started out like any other, with the sun rising and bringing daylight with it. But if you happened to be in the northeastern United States or small parts of southeastern Canada, the sky was yellow by midmorning and completely darkened by noon. This would be disorienting at best even today, but in the 18th century, without the benefit of modern science to explain what happened, it was even more harrowing. 

People left work and school and flooded into churches and taverns. Some believed it was the second coming of Christ. Others decided to stay put; one state legislator famously said, in response to his colleagues calling for adjournment, “The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.”

The moon came out around midnight that night, much to the relief of those who thought it was judgment day. Nobody knew what caused the darkness at the time, but the likely culprit, based on reports from the period and physical evidence on older trees, was wildfire smoke blowing in from Canada.

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