This Day in History

Circus Acrobat Otto Witte Crowned King of Albania…or Not (1913)
Witte was a German citizen and circus acrobat who claimed to have impersonated his way into being crowned King of Albania in 1913—by some accounts, on August 13. According to Witte, he enjoyed the royal harem and reigned for several days before being discovered as an impostor. Though he was likely lying, his story was picked up by several publications, including Time magazine. What novel may have given Witte the idea for his story, and what other novel was then based on Witte? Discuss

Isaac Singer Granted Patent for Sewing Machine (1851)
Before the advent of the sewing machine, sewing was a laborious task. Singer's 1851 sewing machine patent made him a very rich man. Several other people laid claim to having invented the sewing machine, notably Elias Howe, who won a lawsuit against Singer for infringement. Nevertheless, Singer's company was already well established and was able to pool its patents with other claimants to avoid litigation. At times, Singer used alternate names to accomplish what scandalous feat?

Mayan Long Count Calendar Begins (3114 BCE)
The Long Count is one of the various ancient Mayan calendars that maintained complicated, cyclical measurements of time. It was intended to provide an accurate record of historical events and counts the days elapsed from a fixed starting point—calculated as August 11, 3114 BCE, the date of creation according to the Maya. Some believe that the calendar predicts the world's end on December 21, 2012, but scholars have widely rejected this claim. What was the significance of that date to the Maya?

Spring snowstorm barging into Colorado, Wyoming
Amounts could vary greatly, but up to 15 inches of snow could fall at higher elevations in Colorado.