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The law required that they do the job at night because venting a cesspool was very stinky and considered "too disturbing" to do during daylight.

The "night soil men" were required to climb into the cesspools, shovel out the waste, put it in a wicker basket, and place it on a cart to remove it.

During the Elizabethan era, English folks used chamber pots and dumped their waste onto the streets of London. By the 1840s, approximately 150 million tons of waste were poured into the River Thames each year. Finally, when the smell and disease got really bad, the British government decided to step in to eradicate the problem.

The Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean and the Red seas, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony attended by French Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III.

In 1854, Ferdinand de Lesseps, the former French consul to Cairo, secured an agreement with the Ottoman governor of Egypt to build a canal 100 miles...

In the heat of that summer, sewage basically cooked and fermented itself, and the smell became so bad, residents could no longer tolerate going through every day activities with such a stench in the air.

The British government was forced to hire an expert engineer to help combat the problem.

In 1531, King Henry VIII – yes, the one whose wives couldn't manage to keep their heads – signed a decree known as the "Bill of Sewers." In it, he made provisions for London to be divided into eight sewer districts, each with its own commissioner.

Each of these commissioners was in charge of keeping their part of the sewer system clean and in working order.Before sewer treatment plants were built in London in the 19th century, raw sewage was sent directly into the River Thames, which flows through London and Southern England.While that alone is disgusting, what's worse is that people used the river as a source of drinking water.Bickering over land claims between Virginia and Maryland delayed final ratification for almost four more years. On this day in 1998, the brand-new Daimler Chrysler began trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.The company had formed five days earlier, when the American Chrysler Corporation merged with the German conglomerate Daimler-Benz AG.On this day in 2003, the actor and former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as the 38th governor of California at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

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