After 30 years spent fighting the white man who had invaded his homeland, legendary Apache Geronimo finally surrendered in Arizona on this day in 1886. The fierce, vengeance-driven warrior's surrender was peaceful, as he simply looked at the numbers, weighed the odds and decided that further resistance was futile.
Between his surrender and the time of his death, twenty three years would pass. In those years, Geronimo - whose Apache name was Goyalkla - served time in jail, then moved to Oklahoma, converted to Christianity, farmed a homestead, and occasionally worked for the United States Army as a scout.
At the dawning of the 20th century, during those final, dying days of the "frontier" West, a great nostalgia was already brewing for those "simpler" times and the binary ethics they necessitated. Already aware that the ferocity of Geronimo's early career was partly due to the massacre of his wife and children by Mexican soldiers, the American public showed themselves willing to forgive his role in the killings of hundreds of white settlers, militiamen, and cavalry. In his old age, he made a good living touring world's fairs, and he even rode in President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade in 1905. He died in 1909.
In 1918, less than ten years after his death, Geronimo's skull was stolen from its tomb during a grave-robbing expedition by Prescott Bush - Nazi-bankrolling father to "41" and grandfather to "43" - as a morale-boosting stunt for the Skull and Bones Society he belonged during his time at Yale.
On this day in the year 1618, a massive avalanche destroys the entire town of Plurs, Switzerland, leaving 1,500 dead. On the plus side, the snow-packed corpses couldn't rot, so they were real easy to handle during the recovery operation.
On this day in 1972, American swimmer Mark Spitz becomes the first athlete to win seven Olympic gold medals during a single Olympics. What most people don't know, however, is that two of those gold medals were awarded to his sexy moustache!