Wednesday’s History: October 7
Today, October 7, a TV show premieres, fire in Peshtigo, a double-decker steamboat arrives, and a running back sets a record, from history.com.
Shipbuilder Henry Shreve launched the double-decker steamboat Washington in Pittsburgh to dock in New Orleans on this date.
The Washington, with its stern-mounted paddle wheel and shallow flat-bottomed hull, was designed for the shallow rivers in Mississippi and Missouri. In the spring, it arrived in Louisville after 25 days going 15-25 mph.
The Ohio and Mississippi Rivers saw a peak of 740 steamboats in 1850 that moved more than 3 million passengers.
Peshtigo, Wisconsin, had one of the largest wood-products factory and many of the structures were timber framed, roads were covered in sawdust and the main bridge was made of wood.
In 1871, a blaze began in a forest, spreading to the village of Sugar Bush, killing everyone. When the fire reached the neighboring town of Peshtigo, it burned so hot that trees exploded. On October 8, people died in a tavern, others fleeing to the river drowned. More than 1,000 people died and 2 billion trees burned.
However, it was the Great Chicago Fire, which started the next day, that made headlines. Michigan's Upper Peninsula had a fire that burned 2 million acres as a side note in the papers the next day.
In 1960, Buz and Tod in a Corvette traveling from town to town was the premiere of "Route 66."
In four years on the air, 116 episodes in 25 states were shot. Stirling Silliphant, creator and writer, arrived six weeks in advance to each location, then wrote the episode on-site.
The real "Route 66" ran from Chicago to Los Angeles and Bobby Troup recorded in 1946 "Get Your Kicks on Route 66."
It was 1984, Chicago Bears versus Dallas Cowboys, running back Walter Payton needed 66 yards to break Jim Brown's record set in 1965.
October 7 at Soldier Field it was Chicago versus New Orleans. Walter Payton gets the ball from quarterback Jim McMahon to complete the record in the second half. He gave the ball to a Pro Football Hall of Fame representative and continued to play. In that year, Payton rushed for a total of 12,400 yards, ending his career with 16,726. That record stood until 2002 when Dallas Cowboy's Emmit Smith rushed for 18,355 yards.
Walter Payton died in 1999 of cancer.