Topic: Fear and Loathing in the Heavens: The 1910 Return of Halley’s Comet
Speaker: Richard J. Goodrich
In 1705, Edmond Halley liberated humanity from the belief that comets were portents of doom; two centuries later, in 1910, as Halley’s Comet returned to perihelion, newspapers and magazines, religious leaders, misguided theorists, and shameless grifters managed to rekindle that fear. When astronomers announced that the earth would pass through the comet’s tail, opportunists exploited human anxiety—often with fatal consequences.
Richard J. Goodrich (Ph.D., University of St Andrews) is an author and historian. After twenty years teaching in British and US universities, Richard resigned his position to pursue a full-time writing career. His interests range from Ancient History (the Roman Empire and early Church history) to the modern age. Learn more at his website: https://RichardJGoodrich.com.