Dead and definitely gone

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Henry the VIII executed some 72,000 subjects. His favourite method was boiling people to death.
  • The ashes of astronomer Eugene Shoemaker were put aboard the 1999 Lunar Prospector flight and was "control" crashed into a crater to give him a moon burial.
  • Only four U.S. states are on record as having never engaged in a lynching - Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  • William Kemmler was the first person to be executed in the electric chair in 1890, at Auburn Prison in New York. It was a disaster. The executioner had to administer several rounds of electricity while Kemmler kicked, seared, smoked, thrashed and convulsed, finally dying after eight minutes. An autopsy showed he literally cooked to death, from the inside out.
  • Lethal injection was first used in 1982. Three separate drugs are used, starting with a barbiturate that knocks the victim out.
  • When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, it was not a federal felony to kill a president of the United States.
  • Singer Steve Goodman had his ashes buried under the home plate in Chicago's Wrigley Field.
  • An eternal flame lamp at the tomb of a Buddhist priest in Nara, Japan, has been tended to and kept burning for 1,132 years.
  • Utah and Ohio are the only U.S. states that still can execute by firing squad.
  • The first drive-in mortuary in the USA was opened in 1968 by Hirschel Thornton. While the deceased rested behind a glass wall, those wanting to pay their last respects could drive by without having to get out of their cars.
  • From the 1850s to the 1880s, the most common reason for death among cowboys in the American West was being dragged by a horse while their foot was still caught in the stirrups.
  • Tens of millions of people died of smallpox but now there are only two live samples of the virus left in the world. Both are in sealed test tubes; one is in a lab in Moscow and the other is at the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The last reported case of smallpox was in 1978 in England, when the virus accidentally escaped from the lab.
  • The leading cause of death among military personnel in peace time is drunk driving.
  • Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, CA is the largest in the U.S. - 1,200 acres in four parks.
  • Crematoria ovens heat typically to 1,100-1,300 F and will burn up a 180 lb. man in about an hour and a half. There are always bones and chunks left; everything is then ground up, and those are the "ashes" you get back.
  • The word "mausoleum" comes from the memorial tomb of Mausolus, who died in 353 BC. When he died his wife had him cremated, mixed his ashes with water, and drank him.
  • The tradition of funeral wreaths originated from the belief that the wreath would encircle the spirit of the dead and keep it at bay.

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