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.
Apr 27, 2019
April 27. In 1509, Pope Julius II excommunicated Venice. In 1861, West Virginia seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the Union. In 1880, Francis Clarke & MG Foster patented the electric hearing aid. In 1938, Geraldine Apponyi became the first American woman to be a queen when she married King Zog of Albania. In 1945, Mussolini was arrested by Italian partisans while attempting escape disguised as a German soldier. In 1965, Pampers were patented. In 1974, 10,000 marched in DC calling for Nixon's impeachment. (hint?) In 1981, Xerox introduced the computer mouse. In 1983, Nolan Ryan broke a 55-year-old major league record when he struck out his 3509th batter. In 1989 student protestors took over Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In 2006, Keith Richards was admitted to a hospital in Fiji after falling out of a palm tree. In 2019, the so-called POTUS told his 10,000th lie. Happy Birthday, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, Coretta Scott King, Anouk Aimee, Kate Pierson. It's Day of the Uprising Against the Occupying Forces in Slovenia. Mission: Let's act Slovenian. POSUMNJATI!
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.