It was on this day in 1908 that George Reynolds struck oil, despite having been ordered to stop looking for it. He was a geologist who had spent the last several years prospecting the Iranian desert on behalf of the Burmah Oil Company but had zero results. At the beginning of the month he received a telegram stating that there were no longer any funds available anymore and he was to dismiss his staff, wrap up affairs, and return to England. Reynolds decided to put off doing so for just a little bit longer, and ended up making the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East.
The first event Wiki makes note of that occurred on this day is “17 – Germanicus returns to Rome as a conquering hero; he celebrates a triumph for his victories over the Cherusci, Chatti and other German tribes west of the Elbe” and the most recent is “2004 – The United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.”
A couple other things that also happened are:
1647 – First execution of a “witch” in the British colonies.
1896 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average debuts.
Happy birthday to Matt Stone, Helena Bonham Carter, Bobcat Goldthwait, Hank Williams Jr., Pam Grier, Stevie Nicks, Garry Peterson, Levon Helm, Brent Musburger, and Jack Kevorkian.