15 Things You Might Not Know About Wyoming


1. In 1872, Yellowstone, the majority of which lies in Wyoming, was designated as the first National Park in the nation.

2. Another first for the state is Devil’s Tower, the monolithic rock protrusion in the Black Hills mountain chain, which was declared the first-ever United States National Monument on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt.

3. Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. Suffrage was approved on September 30, 1889, and when Wyoming was officially admitted to the Union the following year, it became the first state where women could vote. The vastly male-dominated frontier state hoped to attract more women by extending them basic democratic equality.

4. Continuing the trend: Wyoming had the first female governor. After her husband died just a year into his governorship, Nellie Tayloe Ross ran in a special election and won his spot easily. She was sworn in as the first woman to serve as governor in January 1925. Although she was defeated in her campaign for reelection, Ross went on to be the first female director of the United States Mint.

5. Wyoming is the least populous state in the country; an estimated 582,658 people lived there in 2013.

6. Wyoming is home to the pronghorn, which is the second fastest land animal in the world (after cheetahs) and the fastest in the Western Hemisphere. They use their 60 mph speeds to migrate 150 miles each way between Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin and Grand Teton National Park.

7. Wyoming, specifically Yellowstone Park, is also home to the nation’s largest hot spring, and the third largest in the world. Grand Prismatic Spring is 250 by 300 feet and derives its name from its rainbow of rich colors, which is created by bacteria.

8. In the 1800s, the Oregon Trail stretched across what is now Wyoming (and its neighboring states). At one particular point along the way, near modern day Guernsey, Wyoming, emigrants carved their names into the cliff so friends and family traveling behind them would know they had survived the perilous trail (at least until that point). The sandstone rock face became known as Register Cliff and is now recognized as a historic landmark.

9. Before it was sold to two Vietnamese businessmen in 2013, Buford, Wyoming, was the smallest town in American. Don Sammons had been its only resident—and owner of the town—since his son left in 2008, but in 2013 year he decided to move closer to his son and put the town up for auction.

10. Buford—now officially called “PhinDeli”—may be lacking in people, but it is home to one unique roadside attraction. First discovered in the 1860s by railroad workers who were laying track for the Union Pacific, the "tree in the rock" is, well, exactly that: a skinny pine tree that appears to grow directly out of a large rock.

11. In 1994, NASA learned that Jupiter was in some danger of being hit by errant pieces of a comet. The fine folks of Green River, Wyoming, were immediately concerned for the welfare of any Jupiterians who needed to escape. So the city officially renamed their small, 5,000-foot landing strip the "Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport” as a way of welcoming these extraterrestrial immigrants.

12. The jackalope has twice been nominated for recognition as the Official Mythical Creature of Wyoming. The story of the jackalope has been traced to a pair of hunters in Douglas, Wyoming, who used taxidermy to graft deer antlers onto a jackrabbit carcass.

13. The horse on the Wyoming license plate is a legendary rodeo bronco named Old Steamboat. The man riding him is thought to be Clayton Danks, who was actually a Nebraska native.

14. The Red Desert in south central Wyoming is home to two unique geological features: Killpecker Sand Dunes, the largest living dune system in the United States, and the Great Divide Basin, which is an endhoric basin, meaning water from precipitation collected there doesn’t drain into any ocean, directly or indirectly.

15. Wyoming is the leading producer of coal in the United States, accounting for 40 percent of the nation’s total coal production in 2010. The eight largest U.S. coal mines are all in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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7 People Killed by Musical Instruments

On occasion, a piano has been a literal instrument of death.
On occasion, a piano has been a literal instrument of death.
Pixabay, Pexels // Public Domain

We’re used to taking it figuratively. One “slays” on guitar, is a “killer” pianist, or wants to “die” listening to a miraculous piece of music. History, though, is surprisingly rich with examples of people actually killed by musical instruments. Some were bludgeoned and some crushed; others were snuffed out by the sheer effort of performing or while an instrument was devilishly played to cover up the crime. Below are seven people who met their end thanks to a musical instrument.

1. Elizabeth Jackson // Struck with a Flute

A German flute.The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments (1889), Metropolitan Museum of Art // Public Domain

David Mills was practicing his flute the night of March 25, 1751, when he got into a heated argument with fellow servant Elizabeth Jackson. A woman “given to passion,” she threw a candlestick at Mills after he said something rude. He retaliated by striking her left temple with his flute before the porter and the footman pulled them apart. Jackson lived for another four hours, able to walk but not make sensible speech. Her fellow servants decided to bleed her, a sadly ineffective treatment for skull fractures. “Her s[k]ull was remarkably thin,” the surgeon testified at Mills’s trial.

2. Louis Vierne // Exhausted by an Organ Recital

Louis Vierne plays the organ of St.-Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris, France.Source: gallica.bnf.fr, Bibliothèque nationale de France // Public Domain

Reputed to be the king of instruments, the organ requires a performer with an athletic endurance—more than 67-year-old Louis Vierne had to give during a recital at Notre Dame cathedral on June 2, 1937. He collapsed (likely of a heart attack) after playing the last chord of a piece. With a Gallic appreciation for tragedy, one concertgoer noted the piece “bears a title which, given the circumstance, seems like fate and takes on an oddly disturbing meaning: ‘Tombstone for a dead child’!” As Vierne’s lifeless feet fell upon the pedalboard “a low whimper was heard from the admirable instrument, which seemed to weep for its master,” the concertgoer wrote.

3. James “Jimmy the Beard” Ferrozzo // Crushed by a Piano

The exterior of the Condor Club in 1973.Michael Holley, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Getting crushed by a piano is usually the stuff of cartoons, but what happened to James Ferrozzo is somehow even stranger than a cartoon. “A nude, screaming dancer found trapped under a man’s crushed body on a trick piano pinned against a nightclub ceiling was too drunk to remember how she got there,” the AP reported the day after the 1983 incident. The dancer was a new employee at San Francisco’s Condor Club (said to be one of the first, if not the first, topless bar). The man was her boyfriend, the club’s bouncer. And the trick piano was part of topless-dancing pioneer Carol Doda’s act—a white baby grand that lowered her from the second floor. During Ferrozzo’s assignation with the dancer, the piano’s switch was somehow activated, lifting him partway to heaven before deadly contact with the ceiling sent him the rest of the way.

4. Linos // Killed with a Lyre

A student and his music teacher, holding a lyre—potentially Herakles and Linos.Petit Palais, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.5

One of the greatest music teachers of mythic Ancient Greece, Linos took on Herakles as a pupil. According to the historian Diodorus Siculus, the demi-god “was unable to appreciate what was taught him because of his sluggishness of soul,” and so after a harsh reprimand he flew into a rage and beat Linos to death with his lyre. Herakles dubiously used a sort of ancient stand-your-ground law as a defense during trial and was exonerated. Poor Linos: an honest man beaten by a lyre.

5. Sophia Rasch // Suffocated While a Piano Muffled her Screams

Pixabay, Pexels

No one better proves George Bernard Shaw’s quip that “hell is full of musical amateurs” than Susannah Koczula. “I have seen Susannah trying to play the piano several times—she could not play,” 10-year-old Carl Rasch testified at Koczula’s 1894 trial. Susannah, the Rasch’s caregiver, distracted little Carl, sister Clara, and their neighborhood friend Woolf with an impromptu performance while a gruesome scene unfolded upstairs: Koczula’s husband tied and suffocated Carl and Clara’s mother, Sophia Rasch, before making off with her jewelry. “She banged the piano,” explained Woolf. “I heard no halloaing.”

6. Marianne Kirchgessner // A Nervous Disorder Acquired Playing the Glass Armonica

According to one doctor, Ben Franklin's instrument caused "a great degree of nervous weakness."Ji-Elle, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Benjamin Franklin invented the glass harmonica, or armonica, in 1761, unleashing a deadly scourge upon the musical world. “It was forbidden in several countries by the police,” wrote music historian Karl Pohl in 1862, while Karl Leopold Röllig warned in 1787 that “It’s not just the gentle waves of air that fill the ear, but the charming vibrations and constant strain of the bowls upon the already delicate nerves of the fingers that combine to produce diseases which are terrible, maybe even fatal.” In 1808, when Marianne Kirchgessner, Europe’s premiere glass armonica virtuoso, died at the age of 39, many suspected nervousness brought on by playing the instrument.

7. Charles Ratherbee // Lung Disease Possibly Caused by Playing the Trumpet

A valve trumpet made by Elbridge G. Wright, circa 1845.Purchase, Robert Alonzo Lehman Bequest (2002), Metropolitan Museum of Art // Public Domain

One summer day in 1845, Charles Ratherbee, a trumpeter, got into a fight with Joseph Harvey, who rented space in a garden from Ratherbee and was sowing seeds where the trumpeter had planned to plant potatoes. When confronted, Harvey became upset and knocked Ratherbee to the ground with his elbow. Two weeks and five days later, Ratherbee was dead.

Harvey was arrested for Ratherbee’s death, but a doctor pinpointed another killer: An undiagnosed lung disease made worse by his musical career. “The blowing of a trumpet would decidedly increase [the disease],” the surgeon testified at Harvey’s manslaughter trial. When asked if he was “in a fit state to blow a trumpet” the surgeon replied bluntly, “No.” Harvey was acquitted and given a suspended sentence for assault. The trumpet was never charged.