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Connect the Dates: Amazing Achievements

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Connect the Dates: Amazing Achievements

October 19-25

There are threads that weave throughout history, connecting people and events and dates. The way those threads come together can be surprising and fascinating. In this new series, we're exploring some of the intersections of history and discovering the connections between notable people and events, each week in history.

This week in history, humanity rose to the challenge and produced amazing achievements. Some created beautiful and useful things; others took on daring feats; others were recognized for a lifetime of service. Some of the achievements were practical, while others were crucial (and a couple were just plain fun), but they're all connected by history this week.

October 22, 1879: Thomas Edison creates and tests his light bulb. His wasn't the first light bulb invented, but it was the one that was designed just right, so it could become successful and sparked a worldwide love affair with electric light. When he plugged his blub in, it burned for 13.5 hours before going out – nowhere near as long as today's energy-efficient options, but an impressive feat all those years ago.

October 24, 1901: Annie Edson Taylor conquers Niagara Falls in a barrel. Taylor was the first daredevil to plunge over the falls in a barrel, though she inspired many imitators. She hoped the stunt would bring her fame and fortune, though the fortune didn't follow. She was very clear about just how fun the plunge was when she stated, after exiting her barrel, "No one ought ever do that again."

October 24, 1945: The United Nations is founded. Countries of the world had previously cooperated in the less-effective League of Nations, but when it couldn't prevent the atrocities of World War II, a new, more comprehensive organization was formed in the war's wake. The UN continues to unite the world as it provides peacekeeping forces to war-torn nations, promotes human rights and works to eradicate a variety of health risks.

October 21, 1959: Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum opens. Wright designed the museum to curl around itself in a spiral, inviting visitors to follow its curves as they explored its artistic treasures. He was delighted with the final result, famously commenting that it would make the neighboring Metropolitan Museum of art "look like a Protestant barn," but he wouldn't live to see its completion – he died six months before opening day.

October 22, 1966: The Supremes become the first all-female group to have a No. 1-selling album. The Supremes A' Go-Go was released in August, and music lovers sent the catchy single "You Can't Hurry Love" to No. 1 in September. By October, the album topped the Billboard chart, and Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard went down in history as the first all-female group to hit that high note.

October 19, 2003: Mother Teresa is beatified. Mother Teresa inspired the world as she helped the poor, and six years after her death, the Catholic Church began the process of elevating her to sainthood. The first step is beautification, and she is now known as Blessed Teresa.