Having been honoured as Norway’s Construction of the Century in 2005, this national tourist route opened on July 7, 1989 and is an 8.3 kilometres (5.2 miles) section of the country road 64 which runs between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde, the two main population centres in the county of More og Romsdal in Fjord, Norway. The route is made atop several small islands and skerries, which are connected by several causeways, viaducts and eight bridges. The Atlantic Road zigzags across low bridges that protrude over the sea, linking the islands between Molde (famous for its annual jazz festival in July) and Kristiansund in the western fjords. The route was originally proposed as a railway line in the early 20th century, but this idea was ultimately abandoned. Serious construction of the road started on August 1, 1983. During construction, the area was hit by 12 hurricanes, but the road ultimately opened, having cost 122 million Norwegian krone (NOK). The road, which is preserved as a cultural heritage site, is a popular site to film automotive commercials and has also been declared as the world’s best road. In 2009, the road merged with the Atlantic Ocean Tunnel from Averøy to Kristiansund to become a second fixed link between Kristiansund and Molde.
Along the way, one can witness several smaller roads branch out to ports with breakwaters giving a sense of closeness to the ocean and the forces of nature at its most intense. The viewing platform on the outer end of the breakwater offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the archipelago, the ocean and the shore. From the rest, a magnificent view unfolds to the shipping lane and the wide ocean. On specially constructed fishing bridges running along each side, you can safely try your hand as an angler. In the strong tidal flow under the bridges, there are good chances that a coalfish, pollock, cod or mackerel may bite.
Called an out-of-place artefact, the London Hammer was found by local hikers in a creek bed near London, Texas in 1936. Max Hahn, along with his wife Emma, found this shiny hammer while walking alongside the creek and decided to take it home. The relic is divided into two parts, with one part carved into a small, limy rock concretion while the pointed edge is not carved and comes slightly out of this piece of rock. It is believed that a miner threw the hammer in the creek bed some hundred years ago which led to its sediment dissolving with the Cretaceous rock formation. The questions raised about this hammer are because of the rock that surrounds it, as it is said to be more than 100 million years old which is why it is believed that the hammer existed even before humans arrived. An Ordovician hammer, it is said to be so old that its edges are turning into pieces of coal. The metal of this hammer is some of the purest forms of iron ever found on this planet.
Born: February 12, 1809, Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States
Star Sign: Aquarius
Famous for: Serving as the 16th President of the United States (1861-1865)
Died: April 15, 1865, Peterson House, Washington, D.C, United States
Born in Hardin County, Lincoln had a modest upbringing by his parents who hailed from Virginia. He lost his mother at a young age while his father moved away to Indiana. Young Abraham worked by splitting logs and doing other manual labour for survival. He had an insatiable thirst for knowledge which made him excel at studies. Thereafter, he worked hard to become a lawyer. Following the completion of his training, Lincoln spent eight years working on the Illinois court circuit. During this time, his practice allowed him to build up skills of public speaking, speech making and thinking on his toes. His interest in public issues motivated him to stand for public office.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
In 1854, he was elected to the House of Representatives after which he tried to gain nomination for the Senate in 1858. Although he lost this election, a speech he gave during his campaign remains one of his best remembered ones. Also known as the ‘House Divided’ speech, Lincoln talked about how the opposition and advocacy of slavery cannot prevail simultaneously; one must win and take over the other, but this difference of opinion could divide the nation nonetheless. His words proved to be prophetic as the United States saw one of the worst wars between the North and South on the issue.
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
The man with a good sense of humour and depreciative of his looks, Abraham Lincoln went on to be elected as Republican nominee for President in 1860. His election as President the following year further aggravated the South as they now had to bear with a president who opposed slavery. The southern states had been pressing to break-free from the union. When Lincoln resolutely opposed the idea, the South and North broke into what history knows as the American Civil War. The president’s initial agenda was to keep the union together, but as the war progressed, he made his intentions to end slavery clear. Eventually, the South surrendered; Lincoln abolished slavery by signing the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and dedicated a ceremony to the end of the war on November 19 of the same year.
“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”
Lincoln was tragically assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, on April 14, 1865. He is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential and important presidents. He is especially known for the ideals that he embodied. Lincoln married Mary Todd and had four children, although three died before reaching maturity.