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Four Coin Tosses That Changed History

  • How to choose the name of your new city
  • No, landing on it's side does't count
  • Never toss a coin with Tommy Allsup
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Named after a coin toss

 

Coin tosses are one of the most common means of settling any dispute. Throughout history this simple process has decided many the outcome of many draws or results that were tied. Here are the famous four coin tosses that changed history.

Introduction: Four Coin Tosses That Changed History

In ancient history, coin tosses were used to denote the will of the Gods. The Roman’s called it “navia aut caput” or “ship or head” as many coins had a ship pictured on one side. The early English called it “cross and pile”. Later this evolved into the “heads or tails” we know today. The call for a side is made either before hand ie before the toss, or when the coin is actually airborne. The opponent has the opposite side of the coin by default. You may catch the spinning coin, or catch and invert it or simply allow it to land on the ground. but you’ll enjoy better odds online at Intertops Poker. Of course if you want to gamble today, have a look at our list of online gambling sites in the US.

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City of Portland, Oregon

Four Coin Tosses For Naming of the City of Portland in Oregon

Before Portland was the Portland we know today, it was just a 640 acre plot. It’s name at the time was simply, “The Clearing”. The two New England travelers who founded Portland came from different parts of the States. Pioneer Asa Lovejoy  was from Boston and Francis Pettygrove came all the way from Portland in Maine on the Eastern coast. Both were to claim the site, but being the most genial of gentlemen made the decision to settle the matter with the toss of a coin. Leaving things to Lady Luck is just like playing on Intertops Poker. Pettygrove was the winner out of three coin tosses. The resolution took place in the parlor of the  Francis Ermatinger House in Oregon City. To that end, Portland saw it’s incorporation in 1849. The coin used, a copper one cent piece is on display at the Oregon Historical Society Museum.

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Who got the first flight?

A Toss Decided the First Flight

In 1903, the Wright brothers were preparing for their maiden flight. Both Orville and Wilbur wanted the honor. So they made the determination on the basis of the outcome of a single coin toss. At their camp at the Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina, Wilbur was the winner. Unfortunately, on December the 14th, he stalled the Flyer, diving it headlong into the sands. To that end, Wulbur’s first attempt was a failure. (Today he could try his luck with any of these online gambling sites in the US).After much needed repairs, three days later, a triumphant Orville was able to get air borne at 10.30am. In the famous photo of the event, we can see the poor Wilbur, who had won the toss, running along side the plane.

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Fateful Coin Toss

Ritchie Valens Makes the Ultimate Coin Toss

The last of our three coin tosses happened on February 3rd 1959, when the plane carrying the famous US singer and song writer, Ritchie Valens crashed into a corn field in the early hours. He, along with Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson were to lose their lives. But for Richie, fate could of proved a very different result had he chosen the other side of a coin toss. The previous night, the tour band had decided to charter a plane in Moorhead, Minnesota after many mechanical problems with their tour bus. The band guitarist in Buddy’s band, Tommy Allsup and Richie were both after the last seat in the aircraft. And so, fatefully, they decided to flip a coin. At 12.55am the plane departed from Fargo, North Dekota only to crash, for reasons unknown, just a few minutes later. All three passengers, along with the pilot died were to die instantly. Richie was just 17 years old. The tragedy was to inspire Don McLean to pen the song “The Day the Music Died”.

Secretariat

Though the stallion Bold Ruler had sired many horses, none would go on to be as famous as the Triple Crown winner, Secretariat. when she was born the the two racehorse owners, Penny Chenery and Ogden Phipps decided to assign ownership based on the toss of a coin. Well, Penny won and, as they say, the rest is history. After a short (she only raced for just one years) but illustrious career, she was syndicated for over $6.8 million and sired 450 foals. By the way, Diane Lane played Chenery in the Disney produced 2010 Randall Wallace movie, Secretariat.

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