Sep 21, 2019
September 21. In 1170, the Kingdom of Dublin fell to the Norman invaders. In 1780, Benedict Arnold gave the British the plans to West Point. In 1784, the first daily paper, THE PENNSYLVANIA PACKET AND DAILY ADVERTISER, was published. In 1792, the National Convention abolished the monarchy in France. (What a great idea!) In 1893, Frank and Charles Duryea designed and tested the first gasoline-powered automobile. In 1937, Tolkien's THE HOBBIT was first published. In 1942, on Yom Kippur, the Nazis sent 1000 Jews to Belzec extermination camp. That same day, Nazis murdered 2600 Jews in Ukraine. (F*** YOU, Nazis!) In 1957, "Perry Mason" debuted on CBS. In 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female justice on the US Supreme Court. (There were no rapes in her past. No, she was not a lying slimeball.) In 1981, Belize became independent. In 1991, Armenia became independent. Happy Birthday, Barbara Longhi, Shirley Conran, Leonard Cohen, Fannie Flagg, Kay Ryan, Marsha Norman. It's International Day of Peace and National Pecan Cookie Day. Mission: ABOLISH THE MONARCHY IN AMERICA over pecan cookies.
Sep 14, 2019
September 14. In 1741, George Handel completed the "Messiah" in time for an orphans' charity concert. In 1866, the typewriter ribbon was patented. In 1899, Henry Bliss became the first automobile fatality in New York City. In 1901, President McKinley died from an assassin's bullet (anarchist Leon Czolgosz). In 1975, Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first US-born saint. In 1984, Joe Kittinger became the first person to fly a balloon solo across the Atlantic. Happy Birthday, Mae Boren Axton, Constance Baker Motley, Kate Millett, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland,
Amy Winehouse. Mission: Be your own Messiah. Why wait?
Sep 7, 2019
September 7. In 1888, Edith McLean became the first baby to be placed in an incubator. (I joined her 63 years later.) In 1911, poet Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested and jailed on suspicion of stealing the "Mona Lisa" from the Louvre. In 1915, the Raggedy Ann doll was patented. In 1916, US federal employees won the right to Workers' Compensation. In 1936, the last thylacine, a carnivorous marsupial named Benjamin, died in Tasmania. In 1966, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" aired its final episode. In 1978, Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, died of a hemenephirin overdose. In 1996, Tupac Shakur was shot in Las Vegas, dying six days later. Happy Birthday, Grandma Moses, Edith Sitwell, Nancy Keesing, Chrissie Hynde, Uta Pippig. It's Military Intelligence Day (what?) and National Threatened Species Day. Mission: Don't threaten species with your military, dammit--or your greed.
Aug 31, 2019
August 31. In 1895, German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patented the navigable balloon. In 1920, Lincoln Logs were patented (as Toy-Cabin Construction). In 1935, the act of exporting arms to belligerents was prohibited by an act signed by FDR. In 1943, the first US Navy ship to be named after a Black person (USS Harmon) was commissioned. In 1950, Gil Hodges hit 4 home runs by 4 different pitchers in the same game. In 1962, Trinidad and Tobago became independent. In 1991, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kirghiziz declared their independence from the Soviet Union. In 1993, Russia finished removing its troops from Lithuania. In 1994, Russia finished removing its troops from Estonia, East Germany and the Baltics. And a cease-fire was declared by the IRA in Northern Ireland. In 1997, Princess Diana died in a Parisian car crash. And James Brown became the first US artist to appear in Lebanon. . In 2006, Munch's "The Scream" was recovered two years after it was stolen. Happy Birthday, Maria Montessori, LilyLaskine, Van Morrison, Richard Gere, Kim Kashkashian. It's the Day of Solidarity & Freedom in Poland, Independence Day in Kyrgyzstan, Malaya, Trinidad and Tobago, National Language Day in Moldova, and Self-Government Day in Borneo and Sabah. MIssion: Be impeccable with your word. And get free.
Aug 24, 2019
Saturday Morning Post. August 24. In 79, Mt Vesuvius erupted, burying Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum in ash. In 410, the Visigoths overran Rose, symbolizing the fall of the Roman Empire. In 1349, 6000 Jews were killled in Mainz, Germany, after being blamed for the bubonic plague. (Oh, where was our King when we needed him?) In 1572, the Catholics began slaughtering French Protestants (Wait! Religion is good???) In 1814, the British forces set the White House and Capitol on fire. In 1869, the waffle iron was patented. In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across America. In 1941, Hitler announced he was stopping the systematic killing of the mentally ill and handicapped due to protests, although the killings continued for the remainder of the war. In 1950, Edith Sampson became the first black US delegate to the UN. In 1963, John Pennel broke the 17-foot barrier in pole-vaulting.In 1967, The YIPPIES, led by Abbie Hoffman, disrupted trade on the NYSE by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing trading to cease as brokers scrambled for cash. In 1989, Voyager 2 photographed Neptune. In 2006, Pluto got demoted to dwarf planet. Happy Birthday, Zonia Baber, Jean Rhys, Maria Zubreeva, Ida Cook, Tosia Altman, Ava DuVernay. It's National Waffle Day and International Strange Music Day. Mission: Turn on some John Cage and eat some waffles.
Aug 10, 2019
August 10. In 1776, word of the Declaration of Independence reached London. In 1792, French revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace, arresting Louis XVI. In 1793, the Louvre opened. In 1897, German chemist Felix Hoffman discovered an improved way to synthesize aspirin. In 1921, FDR was stricken with polio. In 1945, the day after the Nagasaki bombing, Japan announced they would surrender. In 1961, Operation Ranch Hand began, during which the US Army sprayed 20 million gallons of defoliants andd herbicides all over South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong of food. In 1969, the Manson crazies continued their killing spree the day after killing Sharon Tate. In 1990, the Magellan space probe reached Venus. Happy Birthday, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, Era Bell Thompson, Anita Lonsbrough, Betsey Johnson, Ronnie Spector. It's International Biodiesel Day. Mission: Storm the White House. Arrest them all.
Aug 3, 2019
August 3. In 70 AD, the fire resulting from the destruction of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem was extinguished. (Hey, thanks.) In 1914, Germany declared war on France, leading to the onset of WW1 the following day when Britain declared war on Germany. In 1933, the first Mickey Mouse watch was sold for $2.75. In 1936, Jesse Owens won his first Olympic gold. In 1946, Santa Claus Land, the world's first themed amusement park, opened in Santa Claus, Indiana. In 1949, the NBA was formed. In 1963, the Beatles appeared for the final time at the Cavern Club in Liverpool--their 300th show. Happy Birthday, Regina Jonas, Dolores Del Rio, Maggie Kuhn, P.D. James, Beverly Lee. It's International Beer Day. Mission: Rest up in preparation for tomorrow--my birthday, along w/Barack Obama's, Louis Armstrong's, and my close personal friend, Billy Bob Thornton's.
Jul 27, 2019
Saturday Morning Post. July 27. In 1689, the Battle of Killiecrankle ended in what was called the Glorious Revolution. In 1890, Vincent Van Gogh shot himself. He died two days later. In 1921, insulin (and its ability to regulate blood sugar) was discovered. In 1940, Bugs Bunny debuted in "A Wild Hare." In 1944, Guam was liberated. In 1953, the Korean War was officially ended. In 1965, a law requiring health warnings on cigarette packs was signed into law. In 1974, Congress started impeachment procedures against Nixon for obstruction of justice. In 1976, John Lennon was allowed permanent residency in the US. The same day, Tina Turner filed for divorce from Ike. In 1999, Col. Eileen Collins completed a five-day US space shuttle commander, completing a five-day mission. In 2003, the BBC reported that there was no Loch Ness monster. Happy Birthday, Lyudmila Rudenko, Irene Fischer, Elizabeth Hardwick, Peggy Fleming, Janet Eilber, Cassandra Clare. It's Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers Day in Vietnam. Mission: Gloriously revolt against the monsters.
Jul 20, 2019
July 20. In 1801, a 1235-lb cheese ball was presented to President Jefferson by farmer Elisha Brown, Jr. (Hmm, I wonder what kind of damage a 1235-lb cheeseball could do to a 250-lb cheeseball??) In 1807, Nicephore Niepce was awarded a patent for the world's first internal combustion engine. In 1848, the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls concluded. In 1881, Sitting Bull surrendered to federal troops in Montana. In 1903, Ford shipped its first car. In 1934, the National Guard was called out to quell a longshoremen's strike on Portland's docks. In 1940, the first freeway opened in California (Arroyo Seco Parkway). In 1944, an assassination attempt by German officials on Adolf Hitler unfortunately failed. In 1965, "Like a Rolling Stone" was released. In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr walked on the moon (as I sulked in the basement). In 1977, the CIA revealed it had engaged in mind-control experiments. In 2005, Canada legalized same-sex marriage. In 2012, James Holmes opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, CO, killing 12. In 2017, OJ Simpson was paroled. Happy Birthday, Julie Vinter Hansen, Cindy Walker, Natalie Wood, Judy Chicago, Sandra Oh. It's International Chess Day and Tree Planting Day. Mission: THIS SHIT IS SERIOUS. VOTE THESE GREEDY, ETHICLESS, THICKBRAINED FASCISTS OUT! Then, plant a tree for the restoration of democracy in America.
Jul 13, 2019
July 13. In 587 BC, Babylon's siege of Jerusalem ended with the destruction of Solomon's Temple. In 1793, journalist and revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat was assassinated in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday, a member of the opposition. In 1836, patent #1 was issued for a locomotive traction wheel. (There were 9957 previous unnumbered patents.) In 1863, anti-Civil War draft protestors began three days of rioting in NYC. There were 1000 casualties. In 1956, the first AI workshop was held at Dartmouth. In 1977, there was a 24-hour electrical blackout in NYC. All hell broke loose. In 1978, Lee Iococca was fired by Henry Ford II. In 1984, Terry Wallis was left comatose after a car accident, only to awaken 19 years later. Happy Birthday, Margaret Murray, Emma Asson, Dorothy Round, Marcia Brown, Naomi Shemer. Mission: Awaken.
Jul 6, 2019
July 6. In 1358, Pope Clement VI issued a papal decree protecting the Jews accused of having caused the Black Death. In 1858, Lyman Blake patented the shoe manufacturing machine. In 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully tested an anti-rabies vaccine. In 1917, Lawrence of Arabia (TE Lawrence), Auda ibu Tayi and their troops captured Aqaba from the Ottoman Empire. In 1919, the first Atlantic Ocean crossing was made by a blimp. In 1928, the first all-talking movie premiered ("The Lights of New York"). In 1942, the Franks went into hiding in Amsterdam. In 1944, Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court-martial. In 1947, the AK-47 went into production. In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first Black athlete to win Wimbledon. On the same day, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met. In 1981, Isabel Peron was freed. In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled retirement plans could not pay women smaller monthly payments because of their gender. In 2003, the Yevpatoria Planetary Radar sent messages to five stars, scheduled to arrive in 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2049. Happy Birthday, Sophie Adlersparre, Frida Kahlo, Molly Yard, Mary Peters, the Dalai Lama. It's National Fried Chicken Day. Mission: Talk to the stars. (PS Stop blaming the Jews.)
Jun 29, 2019
Saturday Afternoon Post. June 29. In 1888, George Edward Gouraud recorded Handel's "Israel in Egypt" onto a phonograph cylinder, thought to be the oldest known recording of music. In 1925, Marvin Pipkin patented the frosted light bulb. In 1926, Fascists in Rome added an hour to the work day. In 1956, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were married. In 1974, Mikhail Baryshnikov defected to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet. In 2007, the first iPhone went on sale. Happy Birthday, Celia Thaxter, Yvonne Lefebure, Little Eva, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kawhi Leonard. It's Independence Day in Seychelles. Mission: Enough is enough. Yay, Mikhail.
Jun 22, 2019
Saturday Morning Post. In 1772, slavery was outlawed in England. In 1868, Christopher Sholes patented the "type-writer." In 1926, the first SAT exam was given. In 1933, Germany became a one-political-party country (Nazis--not fine people). In 1946, mail was delivered by jet for the first time. In 1960, the FDA approved Enovid as the first oral contraceptive in the world. In 1964, the US Supreme Court voted to NOT ban TROPIC OF CANCER. In 1972, Nixon and Haldeman were taped talking about using the CIA to obstruct the FBI's investigation into the Watergate break-ins (back when America cared about such things like obstruction and collusion). In 1978, Pluto's moon Charon was discovered. In 1981, Mark David Chapman pled guilty to killing John Lennon. In 2013, Nik Wallenda became the first man to tightrope across the Grand Canyon. Happy Birthday, Ann Lindbergh, Magda Herzberger, Wilma Rudolph, Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand. It's International Widows' Day and International Public Service Day. Mission: Remember that it helps to help.
Jun 15, 2019
June 16. In 763, the Assyrians recorded a solar eclipse. In 1381, the English peasant revolt, was crushed in London. In 1648, Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft--the first such execution in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1667, the first fully-documented human blood transfusion took place when a 15-year-old boy was transfused with the blood of a sheep. In 1752, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite that sparked an idea--electricity. In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first licensed female African-American pilot. In 1970, Charles Manson went on trial fo the murder of Sharon Tate. In 1983, the US Supreme Court reinforced its position on abortion by striking down state and local restrictions. In 1986, Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper, reported that the chief engineer at Chernobyl was dismissed for mishandling. In 1992, Dan Quayle misspelled potato. In 2012, Nik Wallenda successfully tightroped over Niagara Falls. Happy Birthday, Lisa del Giocondo (Mona Lisa model), Adah Isaacs Menken, Margaret Abbott, Hilda Terry, Ruby Nash Garnett. It's Global Wind Day and National Salvation Day. Mission: GO TO IMPEACHMENT RALLY AT TERRY SCHRUNK PLAZA AT 10:30. Pass wind and you will be saved.
Jun 8, 2019
June 8. In 1786, commerically produced ice cream first came on the market. In 1869, the suction vacuum cleaner was patented. In 1887, the punched-card calculator was patented. In 1949, Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March, John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson were named Communists by the then-misguided FBI. In 1949, Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was published. In 1953, segregated restaurants were outlawed in DC. Happy Birthday, Marguerite Yourcenar, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Joan Rivers, Sara Paretsky, Mary Bonauto. It's Engineer's Day in Peru, Bounty Day in the Norfolk Islands and World Oceans Day. Mission: Figure, appreciate, swim & lick.
Jun 1, 2019
June 1. In 1495, a monk named John Cor recorded the first known batch of Scotch. In 1779, Benedict Arnold was court-martialed for malfeasance, that damn malfeasance. In 1869, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine (argggh). In 1938, baseball helmets were worn for the first time. In 1954, Linus' security blanket made its debut in the "Peanuts" comic strip. In 1962, Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel. In 1974, the Heimlich maneuver was published in Emergency Medicine. In 1980, CNN began broadcasting. Happy Birthday, Julie Tatham, Marilyn Monroe, Morgan Freeman, Alanis Morissette. It's Global Day of Parents and World Milk Day. Mission: Do not malfease.
May 25, 2019
May 25. In 1787, the Constitutional convention opened in Philadelphia w/George Washington presiding. (Yes, they are all rolling over in their graves.) In 1844, the gasoline engine was patented. In 1895, Oscar Wilde was convicted of a morals charge and sentenced to two years in prison. In 1925, John Scopes was indicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in Tennessee (early MAGA zombies led the charge). In 1935, Babe Ruth hit his final homerun (714th) and Jesse Ownes broke three world records and tied a fourth in Michigan. In 1978, Keith Moon performed with the Who for the last time. In 1981, Danile Goodwin scaled Chicago's Sears Tower wearing a Spiderman costume. In 1986, 7 million Americans participated in Hands Across America to raise money for the hungry. In 2006, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted of conspiracy and fraud for the downfall of Enron (back in the day when corporate monsters were actually held accountable and convicted of their crimes. Lay died before serving time. Skilling was recently released to a halfway house.). In 2011, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" went off the air. Happy Birthday, Mathilde Verne, Theodore Roethke, Raymond Carver, Jamaica Kincaid, Amy Klobuchar. It's National Tap Dance Day, Geek Pride Day and International Missing Children's Day. Mission: Dance shamelessly and search vigorously.
May 18, 2019
May 18. In 1096, in the First Crusade, 800 Jews were massacred in Worms, Germany. In 1593, Christopher Marlowe was arrested for heresy. In 1652, Rhode Island passed the first law making slavery illegal in North America. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed emperor of France. (Ban emperors!) In 1860, Abe Lincoln won the Republican nomination. In 1911, Mahler died and his last word was "Mozart." In 1953, Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier. In 1974, India became the 6th nation to explode an atomic bomb. (Big whoop!) In 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted, killing 57 and causing $3 billion in damages. (Felt like the end of the world!) In 1998, the federal government and 20 states filed an antitrust case against Microsoft for controlling in a "choke hold" 90% of the market. In 2005, a photo revealed Pluto had two additional moons, Nix and Hydra. In 2018, a school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas killed 8 students and 2 teachers. Happy Birthday, Gertrude Kasebier, Margo Fonteyn, Lillian Hoban, Jeana Yeager, Tina Fey. It's Revival, Unity and Poetry Day in Turkmenistan. Mission: Act Turkmenistani. And laugh. And REGULATE GODDAMNED GUNS IN AMERICA.
May 11, 2019
May 11. In 1792, Robert Gray commanded the first expedition (by white people) down the Columbia River. In 1934, a two-day dust storm stripped the topsoil from the Great Plains and created the "Dust Bowl." In 1947, the tubeless tire was created. In 1949, Siam became Thailand. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann was captured in Buenos Aires by Israeil agents. In 1972, John Lennon was on "Dick Cavett" and said the FBI was tapping his phone. In 1987, Klaus Barbie went on trial for WW2 war crimes. Happy Birthday, Harriet Quimby, Martha Graham, Gladys Davis, Anna Marguerite McCann, Carla Bley. It's National Technology Day. Mission: Not to be contrary, but why not put the technology down?
May 4, 2019
May 4. In 1715, the first folding umbrella debuted. In 1776, Rhode Island was the first colony to declare its freedom from England two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted. In 1886, the gramophone was patented. In 1919, Chinese students demonstrated in Tiananmen Square in protest of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1961, the Freedom Riders began their ill-fated bus trip through the South. In 1970, four students were killed by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State. In 1987, live models were used for the first time in Playtex bra ads. Happy Birthday, Marianna Martines, Jane Jacobs, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Audrey Hepburn, Oleta Adams, Alison Britton. It's Dave Brubeck Day and International Firefighters' Day, Restoration of Independence Day in Latvia, Star Wars Day, World Give Day, World Naked Gardening Day and Youth Day in Fiji. Mission: Restore independence for your whole body and get naked. Soar. Give. Then take five.