Jul 14, 2018
July 14. In 1789, the citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille sparking the French Revolution and the overturning of the French monarchy. (Quelle bonne idee!) In 1868, the tape measure was patented. In 1881, Pat Garrett shot and killed Billy the Kid. In 1933, all German political parties except the Nazi Party were outlawed. In 1943, the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri, opened, becoming the first national monument honoring an African American. In 1960, Jane Goodall arrived in Tanzania to begin her legendary chimpanzee study. Happy Birthday, Kate Gordon, Gustav Klimt, Woody Guthrie, Ingmar Bergman, Polly Bergen. It's Bastille Day! Mission: This land is OUR land--not his. Storm the failing White House.
Jul 7, 2018
July 7. In 1456, Joan of Arc was acquitted of heresy 25 years after her death. In 1863, the US began its first military draft--exemptions cost $300. In 1911, the US, Great Britain, Japan and Russia banned open-water seal hunting (no doubt, the current administration has reversed this). In 1928, sliced bread was sold for the first time in Missouri. In 1946, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini was canonized as the first American saint. In 1954, Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips became the first DJ to play Elvis ("That's All Right"). In 1967, the Monkees started a national tour with Jimi Hendrix as their opening act. In 1981, President Reagan nominated the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor. In 1985, Boris Becker won Wimbledon at 17. In 1992, the New York Court of Appeals ruled women had the same right as men to go topless in public. In 1994, Amazon.com, Inc. was founded as "Cadabra." Happy Birthday, Nettie Stevens, Marc Chagall, Satchel Paige, Ringo Starr, Lisa Leslie. It's World Chocolate Day. Mission: Take it off. Then eat chocolate. Then smash the patriarchy.
Jun 30, 2018
June 30. In 1859, Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In 1908, a meteor explosion in Siberia struck people unconscious 40 miles away. In 1934, during "The Night of the Long Knives," Hitler violently purged Germany of his political rivals. In 1935, Fascists caused an uproar at the League of Nations when Haile Selassie spoke. In 1950, President Truman ordered US troops into Korea. In 1953, the first Corvette rolled off the Chevy assembly line in Flint. It sold for $3,250. In 1966, NOW (National Organization of Women) was founded. In 1971, the US Supreme Court ruled the government could not prevent the Washington Post or the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers. In 1974, Mikhail Baryshnikov defected in Toronto. In 1994, Tonya Harding was stripped of her championship and banned from the US Figure Skating Association for life. Happy Birthday, Eleanor Ross Taylor, Shirley Fry Irvin, Lena Horne, Joan Murrell Owens, Vincent D'Onofrio. Mission: Purge the zombie, I mean, GOP infestation. Cause an uproar against fascists.
Jun 23, 2018
June 23. In 1829, the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter, was patented. In 1840, the province of Canada was created. In 1903, Ford sold its first car. In 1926, the first lip reading tournament was held in Philadelphia. In 1929, the Fascist government in Italy banned the use of foreign words. In 1942, Treblinka opened. In 1972, Nixon and Haldeman started discussing plans to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI's Watergate investigation. In 1980, Pham Tuan became the first Vietnamese citizen (and first Asian) in space. Happy Birthday, Vera Rubin, Rene Ricard, Janis Siegel, Slash, Joel Stein. It's Revolution Day in Egypt. Mission: Act Egyptian. And say as many foreign words as you can: Mensch, tamale, babka, schmuck, etc.
Jun 16, 2018
June 16. In 455, Rome was sacked by the Vandals. In 1884, the first roller coaster in America opened at Coney Island. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl was published in America. In 1961, Rudolf Nureyev defected. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first female space traveler. In 1985, Willie Banks broke the world record for the triple jump. In 1993, the USPS released stamps depicting Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Clyde McPhatter, Otis Redding, Ritchie Valens, Dinah Washington and Elvis Presley. In 2008, California began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 1967, the legendary Monterey Pop Festival began at which Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin rocked the freakin' house. Happy Birthday, Geronimo, Katharine Graham, Joyce Carol Oates, Laurie Metcalf, Tupac Shakur. Mission: Picture me rollin'. Then leap.
Jun 9, 2018
June 9. In 68, Nero committed suicide after quoting the Iliad, starting the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. In 1915, William Jennings Bryan resigned as Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State over the sinking of the Lusitania. (Bryan opposed American imperialism and entering WW 1.) In 1934, Donald Duck made his debut in the cartoon "The Wise Little Hen." In 1968, President Johnson declared a national day of mourning following the assassination of Bobby Kennedy on June 5. In 1973, Secretariat won the Triple Crown. In 1980, Richard Pryor was severely burned in a free-basing accident. In 1998, the Ronettes sued Phil Spector for not paying royalties for 35 years. Happy Birthday, Cole Porter, Jackie Wilson, Letty Pogrebin, Patricia Cornwell, Natalie Portman. It's Coral Triangle Day. Mission: Sink Swampy Scott Pruitt before he sinks us.
Jun 2, 2018
June 2. In 1537, Pope Paul III banned the enslavement of Indians. In 1692, Bridget Bishop became the first person tried for witchcraft in Salem, MA. She was found guilty & hanged. In 1851, Maine became the first state to enact a law prohibiting alcohol. In 1886, Grover Cleveland had the first wedding in the White House. In 1924, all American Indians were granted US citizenship. In 1953, Elizabeth was crowned queen of England. In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted on 15 counts of murder & conspiracy for the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people. Happy Birthday, Karl Gjellerup, Thomas Hardy, Barbara Pym, Jerry Mathers, Cornel West. It's International Sex Workers Day. Mission: Resist the destruction of democracy in America.
May 26, 2018
May 26. In 1647, a new law banned Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts because the Puritans believed them to be idolatrous blasphemers destined for eternal damnation. The penalty was banishment or death for a second offense. In 1812, a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win re-election. In 1913, Actors' Equity Association was organized in New York. In 1942, the first female prisoners arrived at Auschwitz. In 1946, the H Bomb was patented. In 1959, the frisbee was trademarked. In 1969, John and Yoko began their second Bed-In for Peace in Montreal. In 1974, 1000 people needed medical treatment and one girl died when a crowd lost control at a David Cassidy concert in London. In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled Ellis Island was mainly in New Jersey, not New York. Happy Birthday, Tennessee Williams, Sandra Day O'Connor, Peggy Lee, Miles Davis, Sally Ride. Mission: Resist mightily the destruction of democracy in America by corrupt thugs with small brains.
May 19, 2018
May 19. In 1536, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was beheaded for adultery, treason & incest. In 1926, Mussolini announced democracy was dead and Rome became a fascist state. In 1935, Lawrence of Arabia died in a motorcycle crash. In 1962, Marilyn Monroe sang her legendary version of “Happy Birthday” to JFK. In 1974, Erno Rubik invented the Rubik’s Cube. Happy Birthday, Ho Chi Minh, Tina Strobos, Malcolm X, Nora Ephron, Grace Jones. It’s Hepatitis Testing Day. Mission: Learn from history. Resist. #fakechristians #zombieapocalypse #NRAwhores [Royal wedding fun fact: I stayed & dropped acid at the Cliveden estate (now hotel). It was Stanford’s campus in England in the early 70s.]
May 12, 2018
May 12. In 1846, the ill-fated Donner Party left Missouri for California. In 1847, William Clayton invented the odometer. In 1940, the Nazis entered France. In 1950, the American Bowling Congress abolished its white males-only restriction. In 1963, Bob Dylan walked out of dress rehearsals for “The Ed Sullivan Show” when censors told him he could not Perform “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.” In 1965, West Germany & Israel established diplomatic relations. In 2002, President Carter went to Cuba for the first American visit in 53 years. Happy Birthday, Florence Nightingale, Dante Rossetti, Katherine Hepburn, George Carlin, Stevie Winwood. It’s Day of the Finnish Identity and International Nurses Day. Mission: Act Finnish. And take care.
May 5, 2018
May 5. In 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman awarded a patent for her technique for weaving straw with silk and thread. In 1865, the 13th Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery in America (sort of). In 1891, Carnegie Hall had its grand opening with Tchaikovsky as guest conductor. In 1925, John Scopes, a biology teacher in Tennessee, was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. In 1936, Edward Ravenscroft received a patent for the screw-on bottle cap with a pour lip. In 1945, a Japanese balloon bomb exploded on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, killing a pregnant woman and five children—the only Americans killed in the continental US during WW 2. In 1956, Jim Bailey became the first American runner to break the 4-minute mile. In 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space. In 1968, Buffalo Springfield performed their final concert. Happy Birthday, Nellie Bly, Helen Maud Merrill, James Beard, Stan Goldberg, Annette Bening. It’s International Midwives’ Day. Mission: Don’t fear knowledge. Science Is not a liberal conspiracy.
Apr 28, 2018
April 28. In 1881, Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln County Jail in Mesilla, NM. In 1896, the Addressograph was patented. In 1914, the air conditioner was patented. In 1932, the yellow fever vaccine was announced. In 1945, Mussolini and his mistress were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee. In 1967, Muhammad Ali refused induction into the US Army on religious grounds and was stripped of his boxing title. In 1973, Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” began its 741-week run at the top of the US charts. In 1986, high levels of radiation from the Chernobyl disaster were detected in Sweden, leading Soviet authorities to publicly announce the accident. Happy Birthday, Na Hye-sok, Oskar Schindler, Blossom Dearie, Harper Lee, Kim Gordon. It’s Workers’ Memorial Day & World Day for Safety & Health at Work. Mission: Be transparent. Why not? Secrets infect.
Apr 21, 2018
April 21. In 1506, the Lisbon Massacre ended after the slaughter of 1900 suspected Jews by the Portuguese Catholics. (And once again, it was proven that religion is the most hypocritical bane of humanity [#fakechristians].) In 1892, the first buffalo was born in Golden Gate Park. In 1918, the “Red Baron” (Manfred von Richthofen) was shot down. In 1984, French doctors announced finding the AIDS virus (HIV). In 1986, creepy old Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s vault and found nothing. Happy birthday, Charlotte Bronte, John Muir, Elaine May, Sister Helen PreJean, Iggy Pop. It’s Local Self Government Day. Mission: Get a handle on yourself. AND end this corruption in America.
Apr 14, 2018
April 14. In 1775, Ben Franklin and Ben Rush organized the first abolition society “The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held In Bondage. In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster’s dictionary was published. In 1860, the first Pony Express rider arrived in San Francisco with mail from St. Joseph, MO. In 1865, Abe Lincoln was assassinated. In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store in Kemmerer, WY, called the Golden Rule Store. In 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink. In 1927, the first Volvo premiered in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 1939, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was published. In 1963, the Beatles met the Stones in Richmond, England. In 1984, the Texas Board of Education required textbooks describe evolution as a theory, not a fact. In 2003, the Human Genome Project was completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to 99.99% accuracy. In 2005, the Oregon Supreme Court nullified marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples a year earlier in Multnomah County. In 2014, 276 school girls were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Happy Birthday, Anne Sullivan, Elizabeth Huckaby, Loretta Lynn, Frank Serpico, Julie Christie. It’s South and Southeast Asian New Year. Mission: Stop this “ostentatious corruption.” De-sleaze American government. Lock them up.
Apr 7, 2018
April 7. In 1712, there was a slave revolt in NYC. In 1827, John Walker sold his first friction match. In 1864, the first camel race took place in Sacramento. In 1933, Prohibition ended in the US. In 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first Black man on a postage stamp. In 1969, the US Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting possession of obscene material. In 1990, Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center displayed Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos. Later that day, the director of the center was indicted on obscenity charges, although later acquitted. In 2000, President Clinton signed the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act, which allowed seniors to earn money without losing Social Security benefits. Happy Birthday, William Wordsworth, Billie Holiday, Daniel Ellsberg, Freddie Hubbard, Janis Ian. It’s Genocide Memorial Day in Rwanda, Motherhood and Beauty Day in Armenia, National Beer Day in America and World Health Day. Mission: A toast to beauty.
Mar 31, 2018
March 31. In 1492, Ferdinand & Isabella of Spain issued an edict expelling all Jews who were unwilling to convert to Christianity (Happy Passover!). In 1776, Abigail Adams told her husband John that women would revolt if the Declaration of Independence didn’t guarantee their rights. In 1870, Thomas Peterson of New Jersey became first Black man to vote. In 1966, 200,000 anti-war demonstrators marched in NYC. In 1995, Selena was killed by the president of her fan club. In 1999, Fabio was hit in the face by a bird while promoting a roller coaster in Virginia. In 2004, Gmail launched. Happy Birthday, Nikolai Gogol, Mary Abigail Dodge, Octavio Paz, Al Gore, Sandra Morgen. It’s International Transgender Day of Visibility. Mission: SHOW IT!
Mar 24, 2018
March 24. In 1401, Turco-Mongol emperor Timor sacked Damascus. In 1712, Bach published the Brandenburg Concertos. In 1832, Mormon founder Joseph Smith was beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio, possibly for molesting his sister—NOT due to religious persecution. In 1837, Canada gave Blacks the right to vote. In 1921, the first international women’s sports event, the Women’s Olympiad, began in
Monte Carlo. In 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted.
In 1960, a US court ruled LADY CHATTERLY’S LOVER was not obscene and could be mailed. In 1973, Lou Reed was bitten on his ass by a fan in Buffalo. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Happy Birthday, Fanny Crosby, Harry Houdini, Dorothy Height, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (99!), Tig Notaro. Mission: Resist this rampant unethical sleaze. March for Your Lives.
Mar 17, 2018
March 17. In 461, St. Patrick died in Saul. (Saul wasn’t that happy about it.) In 1780, George Washington granted the continental Army a holiday as an act of solidarity with the Irish fight for independence. In 1868, the postage stamp canceling machine was patented. In 1917, St. Louis held America’s first women’s bowling tournament. In 1930, construction began on the Empire State Building. In 1944, America bombed Vienna. In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet. In 1966, a missing hydrogen bomb was found off the coast of Spain. In 1969, Golda Meir was sworn in as premier of Israel. In 1992, South Africa passed a referendum ending apartheid. In 1999, a medical panel concluded marijuana was beneficial for those with cancer and AIDS. Happy Birthday, Cornelia Clapp, Nat King Cole, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Galina Samsova, Rudolf Nureyev. Mission: Relevé. Jeté relevé.
Mar 10, 2018
March 10. In 49 BC, Julius Caesar invaded Italy. In 1629, Charles I dissolved Parliament, beginning his 11-year Personal Rule. (What? Don’t tell Outrage Orange this.) In 1848, the Mexican-American War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call. In 1910, slavery was abolished in China (so to speak). In 1969, James Earl Ray pled guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King, Jr., later recanting. In 1971, the voting age was lowered to 18 in America. In 1977, astronomers discovered the rings of Uranus. In 1979, James Brown played the Grand Ole Opry. In 2018, you all had a fabulous time at the Soapstone International Women’s Day event. Happy Birthday, Lillian Wald, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Sam Jaffe, Neneh Cherry, Edie Brickell. It’s Harriet Tubman Day and Tibetan Uprising Day. Mission: Come on.
Mar 3, 2018
March 3. In 1845, Florida became the 27th US state. (Perhaps we should have re-thought that.) In 1859, the two-day Great Slave Auction in Savannah, GA, concluded with the sale of 436 men, women and children, including infants. In 1863, free mail delivery was authorized by the US Postal Service. In 1903, a $2/head tax was imposed on immigrants. In 1910, JD Rockefeller Jr. withdrew from his father’s business to administer the Rockefeller fortune for “uplifting humanity.” In 1931, the “Star Spangled Banner” was adopted as the American national anthem. In 1952, the US Supreme Court upheld New York’s Feinberg law banning Communist teachers. In 1966, Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay formed Buffalo Springfield. In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan testified in court that he killed Bobby Kennedy. In 1978, Charlie Chaplin’s remains were stolen from his grave in Switzerland and recovered 3 months later near Lake Geneva. In 1985, Women Against Pornography awarded its Pig Award to Huggies Diapers claiming their ads had “crossed the line between eye-catching and porn.” In 1991, Rodney King was several beaten by LA police officers. In 1994, Kurt Cobain lapsed into a coma due to an overdose of Valium and champagne. Happy Birthday, Alexander Graham Bell, Beatrice Wood, Doc Watson, Willie Chambers, Jackie Joyner-Kersee. It’s Liberation Day in Bulgaria, Mother’s Day in Georgia and World Wildlife Day. Mission: Uplift humanity. Lock them up.