According to Periodni.com, radium gets its name from the Latin word "radius," meaning "ray" because it gives off gamma rays of radiation. It was discovered by Marie S. Curie and Pierre Curie in 1898.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, radium was once used in the glow-in-the-dark paint that was used in clock and watch faces so that they could be read in the dark. Radium was also once used to produce the radon gas used as a cancer treatment. Both of these applications have since been discontinued because the high radioactive output of radium is considered too hazardous.