As the 11th month gets under way, Graeme Donald, author of On This Day in History, reveals 10 of the strangest things that have happened in November…
November 1, 2017 at 9:09 am
The collapse of the German mark in November 1923 resulted in an economic crisis. This store’s rent increased so much as to force the owner to close down after one last sale. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)
6 November 1810: A union of drinking and medicine
Only in Australia would one find a Rum Hospital. On 6 November 1810 Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales, gave the valuable rum monopoly to a consortium of local businessmen on condition that part of their profits were used to build the Sydney Rum Hospital, parts of which still stand today.
6 November 1923: Germany inflated too far
There were riots in Germany over hyperinflation. The German mark sank to 4,210,500,000,000 to the American dollar, temporarily making bank robberies and mugging crimes of the past: money was just not worth stealing anymore. A loaf of bread cost 200 million marks: workers taking their wages home in wheelbarrows was a common sight.
7 November 1872: The beginning of a mystery
The Mary Celeste – not Marie Celeste – sailed out of New York and into maritime lore. She was later found abandoned, but tales of the table being set for a meal and still-warm cups of tea are the stuff of fantasy. The ship’s sextant and chronometer are missing, as is the only lifeboat, so apparently something caused the crew to abandon ship.