Published: 13th October 2021
What happened on October 13: The White House construction officially began and a comet was discovered using a photograph
The White House was not always called that and the comet that went AWOL. October 13 has been a weird day in the past
What is the United States Executive Mansion, you might ask? Well, it was the previously used name for the White House. It was on October 13 in 1792 that the cornerstone of the fabled residence of every US President ever since was laid. But they took their fare share of time to construct it. It was only in 1800 that President John Adams became the first leader to occupy the White House. Before that, the US President lived temporarily in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for ten years while the permanent capital was built. And even before that, the capital used to be none other than New York city. Imagine that.
The day is also renowned for being the time when 206P/Barnard-Boattini became the first ever comet to be discovered by photographic means. It was discovered by American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard, after whom it is partially named. Interestingly, after this sighting, the comet was lost and not sighted until 2008 when Andrea Boattini rediscovered it. Funnily enough, it has not been seen since January 2009.