Apr 20, 2019
April 20. In 1653, Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament. In 1657, the Jews of New Amsterdam (later NYC) were granted freedom of religion. In 1832, Hot Springs National Park was created by an act of Congress, setting it aside as the first recreational preserve. In 1837, the power loom was patented. In 1862, Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard disproved the theory of spontaneous generation. In 1902, the Curies isolated radium. In 1959, Dolly Parton's first single "Puppy Love" was released. In 1972, Apollo 16 landed on the moon. In 1999, 13 people were killed in the Columbine High School massacre. In 2008, Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an indy car race (Indy Japan 300). Happy Birthday, Dinah Craik, George Takei, Betty Cuthbert, Edie Sedgwick, Jessica Lange. It's Cannabis Culture Day and Chinese Language Day. Mission: 劾.
Apr 13, 2019
April 13. In 1613, Samuel Argall captured Pocahontas in Virginia and ransomed her for English prisoners held by her father. In 1796, the first elephant arrived in the US from India. In 1829, the English Parliament granted freedom of religion to Catholics, as well as the right to vote and to sit in Parliament. In 1860, the first mail was delivered via Pony Express--St. Joseph, MO, to Sacramento, CA. In 1919, Eugene Debs was imiprisoned in Georgia for speaking out against the draft during WW1. In 1958, Van Cliburn became the first American to win the Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow. In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win an Oscar for best actor. In 1979, the world's longest doubles ping-pong match ended after 101 hours. In 1990, the Soviet union took responsibility for the WW2 murders of thousands of imprisoned Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, which they had previously blamed on the Nazis. In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest person (21) to win the Masters and to set a record with his 18 under par score. Happy Birthday, Josephine Butler, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Eudora Welty, Ruby Puryear Hearn, Rae Armantrout, Amy Goodman. It's Unfairly Prosecuted Persons Day in Slovakia. Mission: Prosecute the right people. I can think of one in particular.
Apr 6, 2019
April 6. In 1712, the New York Slave Revolt began near Broadway for which 21 men were eventually executed. In 1808, John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company, turning him into the first American millionaire. In 1830, Mexico disallowed emigration into Texas by US settlers (Ha!). In 1903, French Army Nationalists were found to have forged documents to guarantee the conviction of Alfred Dreyfus. In 1916, Charlie Chaplin (26) signed a $675,000 contract making him the highest paid film star in the world. In 1917, America entered World War 1. In 1941, Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Greece. In 1962, the Russian newspaper Pravda warned youth about the dangers of tw isting. In 1963, the Kingsmen recorded "Louie Louie." Happy Birthday, Rose Schneiderman, Dorothy Donegan, Jeanne Hebuterne, Leonora Carrington, Helen Berman. It's Tartan Day. Mission: Twist and shout. Wear plaid.
Mar 30, 2019
March 30. In 1855, 5000 Missourians invaded Kansas and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature. (There's something familiar about this.) In 1858, Hyman Lipman patented the pencil. In 1867, the US bought Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. In 1870, the 15th Amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, was passed by Congress. In 1939, Batman was introduced in the comic book "Detective Comics #27." In 1946, the Allies seized 1000 Nazis trying to revive the party in Frankfurt. In 1950, President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur. In 1958, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater gave its first performance. In 1981, President Reagan, James Brady and two police officers were shot by John Hinckley Jr. Happy Birthday, Astrud Gilberto, Lene Lovich, Tracy Chapman, Secretariat, Norah Jones. It's National Doctors' Day & Spiritual Baptist/Shouter Liberation Day. Mission: Shout against this heinous machine. Denounce the saboteurs of democracy.
Mar 23, 2019
March 23. In 1775, Patrick Henry declared "Give me liberty or give me death!" in a speech in Richmond, VA. In 1794, Josiah Pierson patented a rivet machine. In 1806, Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific coast. In 1839, "OK" was first printed in the Boston Morning Post. In 1840, the first successful photo of the Moon was taken. In 1857, Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building in NYC. In 1868, the University of California was founded in Oakland. In 1880, John Stevens patented teh grain crushing mill that increased flour production by 70%. In 1901, Dame Nellie Melba revealed the secret to her toast. In 1912, the Dixie Cup was invented. In 1932, the Norris-LaGuardia Act established workers' right to strike. In 1933, Germany adopted the Enabling Act that effectively granted Hitler dictatorial legislative powers. In 1942, the US government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers. In 1972, Evel Knievel broke 93 bones after jumping 35 cars. In 1998, Germany's largest bank pledged $3.1 million to Jewish foundations as restitution for Nazi looting. Happy Birthday, Susan Jane Cunningham, Emmy Noether, Bette Nesmith Graham, Chaka Khan, Catherine Keener. it's Hungarian-Polish Friendship Day and World Meteorological Day. Mission: Be riveting. P.S. Any Hungarians out there? Wanna be friends?
Mar 16, 2019
March 16. In 1190, the Crusaders began massacring the Jews of York. (I guess they didn't get last week's direction). In 1521, Magellan reached the Phillippines but the natives killed him the next month. In 1850, THE SCARLET LETTER was published. In 1883, Susan Hayhurst became the first woman to graduate from pharmacy school. In 1935, Hitler ordered Germany to re-arm in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1950, Congress voted to remove federal taxes on oleomargarine. In 1963, "Puff the Magic Dragon" was released. In 1968, US troops destroyed a village of women and children in the My Lai massacre. In 1993, France declared ostrich meat fit for human consumption. In 1994, Tonya Harding was fined $100,000 and banned from amateur figure skating for her role in the Nancy Kerrigan attack. In 1995, Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery 130 years after its official ratification. (Mississippi, you shame us over and over.) In 2003, American activist Rachel Corrie was killed in Rafah. Happy Birthday, Anna Atkins, Rosa Bonheur, Fannie Dillon, Ethel Anderson, Nancy Wilson. It's Day of the Book Smugglers in Lithuania. Mission: Use butter.
Mar 9, 2019
March 9. In 1496, Jews were expelled from Carintha, Austria. In 1497, Copernicus recorded the first astronomical observation. In 1562, kissing in public was banned in Nipples, I mean, Naples. In 1689, Thomas Shadwell became the English Poet Laureate after John Dryden refused to swear an oath of allegiance. In 1745, the first carillon bells were shipped to America. In 1822, the first artifical teeth were patented. In 1841, the Supreme Court ruled the kidnapped slaves from the Spanish schooner Amistad were free. In 1842, gold was discovered at Rancho San Francisco. In 1918, the Jews of Seredino Buda were massacred by Ukrainian mobs. In 1926, Bertha Landes became the first female mayor of Seattle. In 1936, the German press warned all Jews who voted would be arrested. In 1959, the first radar contact was made with Venus. On the same day, Barbie made her debut at the American Toy Fair. In 1960, the first shunt was implanted. In 1964, the first Ford Mustang was produced. In 1986, the remains of the Challenger astronauts were found. In 1997, Notorious B.I.G. was killed in LA. Happy Birthday, Vita Sackville-West, Keely Smith, Raul Julia, Keri Hulme, Juliette Binoche. It's Teachers' Day in Lebanon. Mission: Don't sign oaths of allegiance to anything but kindness and generosity and art. And leave the Jews alone, for Christ's sake.
Mar 2, 2019
March 2. In 1127, Charles the Good was assassinated (and it's been downhill ever since). In 1807, Congress passed an act prohibiting the importation of slaves from any foreign country. In 1836, Texas declared independence from Mexico. In 1859, the Great Slave Auction (largest in US history) began. In 1877, although Samuel Tilden won the popular vote, Rutherford Hayes was declared President. (Argggghhh) In 1908, three-dimensional color photography was introduced in Paris. In 1917, the Russian Revolution began. On the same day, citizens of Puerto Rico were granted US citizenship. In 1933, "King Kong" premiered.In 1946, Ho Chi Minh was elected President of North Vietnam. In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points against the Knicks. In 1963, CDs were released for the first time in the US. In 1985, the US approved a screening test for AIDS, keeping contaminated blood out of the blood supply. In 1990, Nelson Mandela was elected deputy President of the African National Congress. In 2017, Moscovium, Tennessine and Oganesson were officially added to the periodic table. Happy birthday, Susanna M. Salter, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Tamara Toumanova, Lou Reed, Karen Carpenter. It's Peasants' Day in Myanmar. Mission: Let's get rid of all this contamination by the greedy.
Feb 23, 2019
February 23. In 1813, the first American raw-cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham, MA. In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began. In 1861, President Lincoln arrived secretly in DC to take office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore. That same day, Texas seceded from the Union.(Babies.) In 1886, Charles Hall completed his invention of aluminum. In 1896, the Tootsie Roll was introduced. In 1898, Emile Zola was imprisoned for accusing the French government of anti-Semitism in the jailing of Alfred Dreyfus. In 1919, the Fascist Party was formed in Italy. (In 2019, 100 years laters, it continued to flourish in America.) In 1941, plutonium was first produced and isolated. In 1974, the SLA demanded a $4 million ransom for the release of Patty Hearst. In 2000, Robby Knievel jumped 200 feet over an oncoming train on a motocycle. Happy Birthday, Emma Willard, Agnes Royden, Mary Francis Shura, Sylvia Chase, Rebecca Goldstein. Mission: Leap. Chew. Smash the patriarchy.
Feb 16, 2019
February 16. In 1918, Lithuania declared independence. In 1923, Howard Carter unsealed King Tut's tomb. In 1932, the first fruit tree patent was issued for a late-blooming peach tree. In 1933, Prohibition ended in America. In 1937, nylon was patented. In 1958, the ironing board was patented. In 1959, Castro became Premier of Cuba with the overthrow of Batista. In 1968, Aretha Franklin Day was declared in Detroit. Happy Birthday, Vera Menchik, Vera-Ellen, Marlene Hagge, Natalie Angier, Cathy Freeman. It's Lithuanian Independence Day. Mission: Valgykite persiku. (Eat [or drink] a peach. )
Feb 9, 2019
February 9. In 1870, the National Weather Service became an official entity. In 1895, Volleyball aka Mintonette, was invented. In 1950, Senator Joseph "Dumbass" McCarthy charged the State Department of being riddled with Communists. In 1954, McCarthy was proved a fool, censured, and died an alcoholic three years later. In 1907, 3000+ women marched in the Mud March in London, the first procession organized by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. In 1960, Joanne Woodward received the first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1997, "The Simpsons" became the longest-running primetime animated series, knocking off "The Flintstones." In 1964, the Beatles made their American TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." In 1971, Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Happy Birthday, Aletta Jacobs, Amy Lowell, Carole King, Barbara Lewis, Alice Walker. Mission: Wanna buy a snow shovel? Cheap?
Feb 2, 2019
February 2. In 1653, New Amsterdam (later New York City) was incorporated. In 1848, the Mexican War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. We got 525,000 square miles, including all or parts of Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado and Wyoming for $15 million. In 1848, the first Chinese emigrants arrived in San Francisco. In 1863, Samuel Clemens started using the pseudonym Mark Twain. In 1892, the bottle cap was patented. In 1949, the first 45 RPM record was released ("Texarkana Baby" by Eddy Arnold). In 1979, Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose at age 21. In 1990, FW de Klerk annouced the unbanning of the African National Congress and promised to release Nelson Mandela. Mandela was released nine days later. In 1993, Willie Nelson cleared up his $13 million tax debt. In 1998, President Clinton introduced the first balanced budget in 30 years. Happy Birthday, Julia Nava de Ruisanchez, Gertrude Blanch, Judith Viorst, Mary-Dell Chilton, Eva Cassidy. It's Groundhog Day, Inventor's Day, World Wetlands Day and Le Jour des Crepes. Mission: Eat crepes.
Jan 26, 2019
January 26. In 1784, Ben Franklin wrote to his daughter expressing his unhappiness over the eagle as America's symbol, suggesting, instead, the turkey (which would certainly fit now). In 1802, Congress passed an act calling for a library within the US Capitol. (Apparently, it has not been used in two years.) In 1863, the Secretary of War gave permission for the creation of a militia of African American men. In 1875, the dental drill was patented by George Green. In 1926, the first television was demonstrated. In 1940, Frank Sinatra made his first public appearance. In 1956, Buddy Holly made his first official recording "Blue Days, Black Nights." In 1961, JFK apointed Dr. Janet Travell to be his personal physician--the first woman. In 1970, John Lennon wrote and recorded "Instant Karma." (Karma seems to be working, but so slowly!) In 1992, Boris Yeltsin said he would stop targeting US cities with nuclear weapons. In 1998, Bill Clinton denied having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. In 2009, the Icelandic government collapsed. Happy Birthday, Jules Feiffer (90), Angela Davis (75), Susan Friedlander (73), Lucinda Williams (66), Ellen DeGeneres (61). It's Liberation Day in Uganda and International Customs Day. Mission: Liberate your customs while waiting for it--karma, that is.
Jan 19, 2019
January 19. In 1793, King Louis XVI was found guilty of treason and sentenced to the guillotine. (Ideas? Thoughts? Prayers?) In 1825, Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett patented a canning process for salmon, oysters and lobsters. In 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union, joining South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. (Ideas?) In 1915, Georges Claude patented the neon tube. In 1920, the ACLU was founded. In 1940, YOU NAZTY SPY!, a film satirizing Hitler and the Nazis, premiered starring the Three Stooges. In 1945, the Lodz Ghetto was liberated by the Russians. Less than 900 of 200,000 survived. In 1953, 72% of American TV sets were tuned to "I Love Lucy" as Lucy had a baby boy. In 1957, Johnny Cash debuted on the "Jackie Gleason Show." In 1977, President Ford pardoned "Tokyo Rose." In 1983, Klaus Barbie, Nazi barbarian, was arrested in Bolivia (Limerick?). Happy Birthday, Edgar Allen Poe, Patricia Highsmith, Janis Joplin, Dolly Parton, Cindy Sherman. It's Husband's Day in Iceland. Mission: Eat some oysters. Kiss your husband.
Jan 12, 2019
Saturday Morning Post. January 12. In 1773, the first public museum in America opened in Charleston, SC. In 1904, Henry Ford set a new land speed record at 91.37 mph. In 1915, the US House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote (Yes, the dissension led by Mitch McConnell.). In 1928, Vladimir Horowitz debuted as a soloist with the NY Philharmonic. In 1932, Hattie Caraway became the first woman to be elected to the US Senate. In 1959, Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown. In 1966, "Batman" debuted on ABC. In 2006, a stampede during the Stoning of the Devil ritual in Saudi Arabia killed at least 362 Muslim pilgrims. Happy Birthday, Priscilla Bury, Laura Adams Armer, Ruth Benerito, Jennifer Johnston. It's Prosecutor General's Day in Russia and Zanzibar Revolution Day in Tanzania. Mission: Hurry! Smash this deplorable patriarchy!
Dec 29, 2018
December 29. In 875, Charles the Bald was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1170, St. Thomas Becket was murdered in his own cathedral by four knights on Henry II's orders. In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, NY. In 1845, the US annexed Texas. In 1848, President Polk turned on the first gas light at the White House. In 1890, the US Cavalry massacred over 400 men, women and children at Wounded Knee Creek, SD. In 1940, Germany began bombing London. In 1952, the first transistorized hearing aid went on the market. In 1998, Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the genocide in Cambodia. In 2003, the Akkala Sami language went extinct with the death of its last speaker. In 2006, the UK settled its post-WW2 loan debt with America. Happy Birthday, Mary Tyler Moore, Molly Bang, Marianne Faithfull, Paula Poundstone, Katy Munger. It's Independence Day in Mongolia. Mission: STOP KILLING EACH OTHER. Act Mongolian.
Dec 22, 2018
December 22. In 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven conducted and performed in the premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (he soloed) and Choral Fantasy. in Vienna In 1864, Union General William Sherman sent Lincoln a message: "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah." In 1877, the AMERICAN BICYCLING JOURNAL debuted. In 1894, French officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason, which triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. Dreyfus was eventually vindicated after 12 years on Devil's Island. In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Rontgen made the first x-ray (his wife's hand). In 1956, Colo became the first gorilla to be born in captivity at the Columbus, OH, zoo. In 1961, the first soldier died in Vietnam (James Davis). In 1989, Communist President Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania was overthrown. In 1990, Lech Walesa was sworn in as Poland's first popularly elected president. In 2016, the VSV-EBOV vaccine was proven to be 70-100% effective against the Ebola virus. Happy Birthday, Jean Racine, Teresa Carreno, Lady Bird Johnson, Barbara Billingsley, Jean-Michel Basquiat. It's National Mathematics Day in India. Mission: Compare a duck.
Dec 15, 2018
December 15. In 1791, the Bill of Rights went into effect. In 1877, Thomas Edison patented the phonograph. In 1890, Sioux Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in South Dakota by Indian police working for the US government. In 1938, ground was broken for the Jefferson Memorial. In 1941, German troops murdered 15,000 Jews in a ravine outside of Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 1961, Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death in Jerusalem. In 1970, the Soviet Venera 7 landed on Venus. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders. In 1977, the Sex Pistols were denied visas to enter the US two days before their scheduled appearance on SNL. In 2000, the Chernobyl atomic power plant was shut down. Happy Birthday, Betty Smith, Eliza Atkins Gleason, Muriel Rukeyser, Edna O'Brien, Heather Booth. It's International Tea Day. Mission: Just listen to some music and stop killing each other.
Dec 8, 2018
December 8. In 1660, a woman appeared on an English public stage for the first time, playing Desdemona in "Othello." In 1941, the US declared war against Japan. In 1952, a pregnancy was acknowledged in a TV show ("I Love Lucy") for the first time. In 1960, Fabian visited Elvis at Graceland and lent him his pants when Elvis ripped his demonstrating karate. In 1962, the Workers of the International Typographical Union went on strike, closing down nine NYC newspapers for 114 days. In 1968, Graham Nash quit the Hollies and announced the formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash. In 1980, John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman. In 1982, Norman Mayer held the Washington Monument hostage, demanding an end to nuclear weapons. He was shot to death by police after threatening to blow up the monument. In 1984, Larry Flynt was found innocent of libeling Jerry Falwell with a parody ad. In 1993, President Clinton signed NAFTA into law. In 1997, New Zealand swore in their first female prime minister, Jenny Shipley. In 1999, a jury found MLK Jr. had been the victim of a vast murder conspiracy, not a lone assassin. In 2013, Metallica performed in Antarctica, making them the first band to perform on all seven continents. Happy Birthday, Camille Claudel, Julia Robinson, Carmen Martin Gaite, Margaret Geller, Mary Gordon. It's the Day of Finnish Music. Mission: Repeat after me: Kalliolle, kukkulalle/Rakennan minä majani/Tule, tule tyttö nuori/Jakamaan se mun kanssani/Jollen minä sinua saa/Niin lähden täältä kauas pois/Muille maille vierahille/Etten sua nähdä vois/Kalliolle, kukkulalle/Rakennan minä majani/Tule, tule tyttö nuori
Dec 1, 2018
December 1. In 1865, Shaw Univeresity, the first historically black university in the South, was founded in Raleigh. In 1913, Ford Motor Co started using a movable assembly line, ushering in the era of mass production. On the same day, Crete was annexed by Greece. In 1918, Transylvania united with Romania. In 1919, Lady Astor became the first female Member of Parliament. In 1952, it was announced in Denmark that the first successful sex-change operation had been performed on Christine Jorgensen. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man in Montgomery. In 1960, Paul McCartney & original Beatle Pete Best were arrested in and later deported from Germany for arson. In 1969, the first draft lottery since WW2 was held in America. Happy Birthday, Julia Moore, Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Sarah Silverman, Janelle Monae. It's Rosa Parks Day, Self-Governance Day, World AIDS Day, Freedom & Democracy Day in Chad, Restoration of Independence Day in Portugal. Mission: Freedom, Democracy, Self-Governance, Independence, etc., etc., etc. [P.S. Happy Birthday, Jan Beran.]