[Daily article] December 18: Interstate 496

Interstate 496 (I-496) is an auxiliary Interstate Highway that passes
through downtown Lansing in the US state of Michigan. Also a component
of the State Trunkline Highway System, the loop route runs east from
I-96 to the downtown area, turning south concurrently with US
Highway 127. It passes a former assembly plant used by Oldsmobile and
runs along or crosses parts of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers.
Construction started in 1963, and the freeway opened on December 18,
1970. Segments south of downtown were built near a historically black
neighborhood that dates from the early 20th century. Community leaders
opted not to fight the construction of the freeway, instead seeking
affordable housing and relocation assistance for displaced residents.
The city named the freeway in honor of a former mayor when it opened in
1970, but the local historical society proposed that the state rename it
after Ransom E. Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile and the REO Motor Car
Company, after his mansion was demolished to make way for the freeway.
The Michigan Legislature approved the name “Olds Freeway” two years

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


In Angola, New York, US, the last coach of a Lake Shore Railway
train derailed, plunged 40 ft (12 m) down a gully, and caught fire,
resulting in 49 deaths.


The first performance of the fairy-tale ballet The Nutcracker
was held at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.


The French defeated German forces around the city of Verdun-
sur-Meuse in northeast France, ending the longest battle and one of the
bloodiest in World War I.


Programmer Larry Wall released the first version of the
programming language Perl via the comp.sources.misc newsgroup.


The most recent Chadian Civil War began when rebel groups,
allegedly backed by neighbouring Sudan, launched an attack in Adré.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. Standing elevated, on or as if on the tips of one’s toes.
2. Moving carefully, quietly, warily or stealthily, on or as if on the tips
of one’s toes.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field
created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It
binds the galaxy together.  
–Star Wars

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