Scopes Systems’ ‘on this day in history’ page says that these events occurred on this day:
1006 Brightest supernova in recorded hist ory is observed
1492 Columbus is given royal commission to equip his fleet
1789 George Washington inaugurated as 1st President of US
1798 Department of the Navy is established
1803 US doubles in size through the Louisiana Purchase ($15 million)
1889 1st US national holiday, on centennial of Washington’s inauguration
1904 Ice cream cone makes its debut
1937 General Douglas MacArthur marries Jean Faircloth
1945 Concentration camp München-Allag freed
And they list as born on this day:
1870 Franz Lehar operetta composer (Naughty Marietta)
And as died on this day:
1900 John Luther [Casey] Jones dies in Cannonball Express train wreck
Which event inspired The Ballad of Casey Jones:
John Luther “Casey” Jones (March 14, 1863 – April 30, 1900) was an American railroad engineer from Jackson, Tennessee who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad (IC). On April 30, 1900, he alone was killed when his passenger train collided with a stopped freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi on a foggy and rainy night. His dramatic death trying to stop his train and save lives made him a folk hero who became immortalized in a popular ballad sung by his frien d Wallace Saunders, an African American engine wiper for the IC. Due to the enduring popularity of this classic song, he has been the world’s most famous railroad engineer for over a century.
There is an old version of the song (“The Ballad of Casey Jones”, Billy Murray (Edison Blue Amberol 1550, 1912)) on the University of California at Santa Barbara Library’s Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project‘s website. The lyrics can be found on Trainweb.org.
The Grateful Dead had a song entitled Casey Jones, too.