! History Lesson
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history lesson

DayBird - June 10th

323 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king, kaput. Fancy education, via Aristotle, succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne in 336 BC after the King was assassinated and died thirteen years later at the age of 32. He partied and went to bed, never to rise again. Unlike the south.

1752 - Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects a charge in a Leyden jar when the kite is struck by lightning, enabling him to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning.

1829 – The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place. I care deeply about this.

1838 – Myall Creek Massacre in Australia. A group of men, consisting of eleven convict settlers and one free man, gathered up twenty-eight Aboriginal Australians, mostly women and children, and murdered them.

1922 – Singer-actress Judy Garland was born Frances Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minn.

1953 – John Edwards, American politician and lawyer, was born.

Campaign aide Andrew Young claimed to have set up private meetings between Edwards and Hunter. He wrote that Edwards once calmed Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band. Still cracks me up.

1959 – Happy Birthday, Eliot Spitzer!

"I cannot allow for my private failings to disrupt the people's work," Spitzer said at a news conference in New York City. "Over the course of my public life, I have insisted– I believe correctly– that people take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor."

1977 - James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee with six others; he was recaptured three days later.

2002 - John Gotti, Boss of the Gambino crime family, died in a prison hospital at age 61.

history lesson

DayBird - June 7th

1329 – Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, dies in a fiery car smash.

1494 – Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas which divides the New World between the two countries. It is promptly ignored by all other European nations.

1778 - Beau Brummell, follower of men's fashion in Regency England, was born. He established the mode of men wearing understated, yet fitted, tailored clothes and suits, adorned with an elaborately-knotted cravat. He is credit with doing away with breeches, and establishing the modern’s man’s suit. He claimed to take five hours to dress, and recommended that boots be polished with champagne. He was quite the dandy.

1892 - Homer Plessy boarded a car of the East Louisiana Railroad that was designated for use by white patrons only. Plessy was born one-eighth black and seven-eighths white, under a Louisiana law, he was classified as black, and thus required to sit in the "colored" car. When, in an act of planned disobedience, a lot of that going around today, Plessy refused to move from the white car, he was arrested and jailed. This lead to the dumbass Supreme Court case ruling, upholding the constitutionality of segregation, under the doctrine of, "separate but equal."

1893 – Gandhi's first act of civil disobedience. He lit up in a bar.

1937 - Hollywood is schocked by the sudden death of young actress Jean Harlow, who dies of acute renal failure, at the age of 26.

1954 – Alan Turing, English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, died. He was influential in the development and the creation of the modern computer, and super cool WWII code breaker. He also happened to be gay. Turing's homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952—homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time—and he accepted injections of female estrogen hormones, chemical castration, as an alternative to prison. How fucked up is that? The British government removed his security clearance, and his reputation was permanently ruined. He died from an apparently self-administered cyanide poisoning, via a poisoned apple.

In 2009, British PM Gordon Brown apologized for the treatment of Alan Turing:

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him ... So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better.

You bet your ass, Brown.

1988 - I only liked you in Arrested Development, Michael Cera, is born.

history lesson

DayBird - June 4th

1584 – Sir Walter Raleigh establishes the first English colony on Roanoke Island, in the New World. They flourish.

1769 – A transit of Venus is followed five hours later by a total solar eclipse, the shortest such interval in history. Guillaume Le Gentil spent eight years travelling in an attempt to observe the transit, his unsuccessful journey led to dysentery, his wife leaving, fortune plundered and being declared dead.

1798 - Giacomo Casanova, Venetian adventurer and teller of tales, dies. All the girlies cry.

1896 - In the shed behind his home on Bagley Avenue in Detroit, Henry Ford unveils the "Quadricycle," the first automobile he ever designed or drove. The two cylinder engine could produce 4 horsepower, had two gears and no reverse.

1913 – Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of King George V's horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby. She is trampled, never regains consciousness and dies a few days later. On a happier note:

1919 - Congress passes the 19th Amendment!

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, giving it the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it the law of the land. Eight days later, the 19th Amendment took effect.

1968 – Senator Robert Kennedy wins the California democratic Presidential Primary. Kennedy is shot the next day at the Ambassador Hotel, in Los Angeles, California.

1975 – Angelina Jolie, American actress, is born. She has tattoos. Russell Brand was also born. I really don’t know who he is. I believe someone mentioned he was funny. I'm still sad about Kennedy.

1982 "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," released in USA. KHHHANNN! I had a dog named Khan growing up; I loved calling him.

1989 – The Tiananmen Square protests are violently ended in Beijing by the People's Liberation Army, in what we like to call the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

2009 - Kwai Chang Caine no longer walks the earth.

history lesson

DayBird - June 3rd

1839 – In China, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 2.6 million pounds of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a justification to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War. After the destruction of the opium, Lin Zexu jotted a note to the Queen of GB and said, "why you got to go be like that?" Her response was less than friendly.

1937 – The Duke of Windsor marries Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American chick.

1941Here stood Kandanos, destroyed in retribution for the murder of 25 German soldiers, never to be rebuilt again. The Wehrmacht razes the Greek village of Kandanos to the ground, killing 180 of its inhabitants and slaughtering all livestock.

1968 – Valerie Solanas, author of SCUM Manifesto, attempts to assassinate Andy Warhol being shooting him. pow, pow. You watched the movie. When asked to explain, she said that Warhol "had too much control over my life." Warhol refused to testify against her.

Warhol had this to say about the attack: "Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it's the way things happen in life that's unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it's like watching television – you don't feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it's all television."

wow. She really should of tried harder.

1929 - Chuck Barris, game show host and self proclaimed hitman for the C.I.A., is born. We have him to thank for classics, such as: The Gong Show, The Dating Game, and The Newlywed Game. In Barris's autobiography Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, originally published in 1984, Barris claimed to have worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as an assassin in the 1960s and the 1970s. deny, deny, deny. The CIA denies Barris ever worked for them in any capacity. duh. CIA spokesman Paul Nowack said Barris' assertions that he worked for the spy agency "[are] ridiculous. It's absolutely not true." 

1967 – Happy Birthday, Silver Fox!
 
 


history lesson

DayBird - June 2nd

455 – Sack of Rome: The Vandals enter Rome, and plunder the city. The sack of 455 is generally seen as being more thorough than the Visigothic sack of 410, because the Vandals plundered Rome for 2 weeks whereas the Visigoths spent only three days in the city. Rome was sacked a lot.

1740 – Marquis de Sade, French author, dirty birdy and aristocrat, is born.

1793 – Jean-Paul Marat recites the names of 29 people to the French National Convention. Almost all of these people are guillotined, followed by thousands more over the next year during the Reign of Terror. Marat is eventually assassinated in his bathtub, by Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer. During her trial, she had testified that she had carried out the assassination alone, saying "I killed one man to save 100,000." I think she was a Vulcan.

1835 – “P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome," a traveling circus, menagerie and museum of freaks starts the first tour of the United States.

1840 - Thomas Hardy, English novelist (Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd )and poet, is born.

The Man He Killed ~Thomas Hardy

"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

"But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him and he at me,
And killed him in his place.

"I shot him dead because –
Because he was my foe,
Just so – my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although

"He thought he'd 'list perhaps,
Off-hand like – just as I –
Was out of work – had sold his traps –
No other reason why.

"Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown."

1924 - Coolidge signs the Indian Citizen Act, granting automatic American citizenship to Native Americans born in the United States. Although the legislation stated that "the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Indian to tribal or other property," federal treatment of tribal sovereignty remains a troubled and hotly debated subject today.

1953 – The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories & Head of the Commonwealth, the first major international event to be televised. Charles will never be king.

history lesson

DayBird - June 1st

1495 – Friar John Cor records the first known batch of Scotch Whisky.

“To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae VIII bolls of malt.” — Exchequer Rolls 1494–95, Vol x, p. 487.

1779 – Benedict Arnold, a general during the American Revolutionary War, was court-martialed. Arnold was charged with 13 counts of misbehavior, including misusing government wagons. His notorious betrayal was still many months away, but the seed was sown.

In 1780, Sir Henry Clinton offered Arnold £20,000 for delivering West Point. Arnold told General Washington that West Point was adequately prepared for an attack even though he was busy making sure that that it wasn't. He failed. His name has since become synonymous with traitor. Say what you will, his eggs are delicious.

1855 – American William Walker conquers Nicaragua, makes himself president. He is executed by the government of Honduras in 1860.

1868 – Treaty of Bosque Redondo is signed allowing the Navajos to return to their lands in Arizona and New Mexico. Some of the provisions included sovereignty, rights of the Navajos to be protected, compensation to tribal members, and arrangements for the return of Navajos to the reservation established by the treaty. Though their territory had been reduced to an area much smaller than what they had occupied before the exodus to Bosque Redondo, they were one of the few tribes that were "allowed" to return to their native lands. Today the Navajo Nation is the largest Native American community in the United States.

1926 - Actress Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortensen in Los Angeles. Both of her maternal grandparents and mother were committed to mental institutions, so little Norma Jeane grew up in a slew of foster homes. She married at sixteen, worked in a munitions factory, dyed her hair blonde, and became Marilyn Monroe. She married Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, and had alleged affairs with the Kennedy Clan. She was a sad little critter. She was 36 years old when she died from an overdose of barbiturates.

1974 – The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine; the article entitled "Pop Goes the Cafe Coronary.”

Notable chokers:
George W. Bush survived choking on a pretzel in 2002.
Tennessee Williams, the playwright, died after choking on an eye drop bottle cap.
An urban legend states that obese singer Mama Cass choked to death on a ham sandwich. People can be so mean. In fact, she died of a heart condition.
The Queen Mother was admitted to a UK Hospital in May 1993 after choking on a fish bone.

2001 - Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal kills nine members of his family, including his father and mother, King Birendra of Nepal and Queen Aiswarya. Dipendra was proclaimed King while in a coma, but he died three days later from a self inflicted gunshot wound. The guy slaughters his entire family, and he still is crowned king? Wikipedia gives a handy list of the attack types: Fratricide, patricide, sororicide, regicide, matricide, and avunculicide. E hole la!

history lesson

DayBird - May 26th

1907 - John Wayne, an actor who came to epitomize the American West, is born in Winterset, Iowa. He is an jerkface and his movies suck. From wikipedia, in reference to an interview with Playboy magazine published on May 1, 1971, some quotes:

I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that's what you're asking. Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves... I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation... seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave.... But you can't whine and bellyache 'cause somebody else got a break and you didn't, like those Indians are. We'll all be on a reservation soon if the socialists keep subsidizing groups like them with our tax money.

He then continued to discuss race relations, including his opinions regarding the current civil rights of African Americans:

I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.... The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically... I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves. Now I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and can't play football like the rest of us.

1913 – Peter Cushing, English actor and hammer film extraordinaire, Star War villian, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who, is born. He rocks!

1924 - President Coolidge signs Immigration law: restricting immigration. The new law is geared to preserving a predominantly white American population. The new laws favored Scandinavian and UK immigrants. On the other hand, Mexicans, southern and eastern Europeans, and the Japanese were either limited by stringent education standards or barred entirely.

1928 – Happy Birthday, Dr. Death!

1940 – The Dunkirk evacuation, codenamed Operation Dynamo by the British, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between 26 May and 4 June 1940, when British, French and Belgian troops were cut off by the German army during the Battle of Dunkirk in the Second World War. On the first day, only 7,010 men were evacuated, but by the ninth day, a total of 338,226 soldiers (198,229 British and 139,997 French) had been rescued by the hastily assembled fleet of 850 boats.

2008 - Film director, producer and actor Sidney Pollack, whose string of hits included Tootsie, Out of Africa and The Firm, dies of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, at the age of 73.

history lesson

DayBird - May 24th

1543 – Copernicus dies. He died the same year his major work was published, saving him from the outrage of religious leaders who later condemned his heliocentric view of the universe as heresy. By the 18th Century, the Copernican view of the solar system was almost universally accepted. Heliocentric, I like that.

1689 – The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting Protestants. Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded. We only tolerate the peeps we already tolerate, or something.

1819 - Queen Victoria was born in London. English Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837-1901) and Empress of India (1876-1901)

1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction, and 27 deaths. This magnificent bridge spans the East River, connecting the cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. At 5,989 feet it was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. It was dubbed the "eighth wonder of the world.”

The two granite foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge were built in watertight chambers, sunk to depths of 44 feet on the Brooklyn side and 78 feet on the New York side. Compressed air pressurized the caissons, allowing underwater construction. Which is cool, but nobody understood the whole “bends” problem. More than a hundred workers suffered from cases of compression sickness. Basically, it is when nitrogen bubbles kick it in the bloodstream. It doesn’t sound like much but, it fucking sucks. Several died, and Washington Roebling (chief engineer dude) himself became bedridden from the condition in 1872. Other workers died as a result of more conventional construction accidents, such as collapses and a fire. Which were fatal, but not terribly interesting.

1844 – Samuel Morse sends the message "What hath God wrought" from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland to demonstrate the first telegraph line. over-dramatic. Gawd.

1941Robert Allen Zimmerman, American singer and songwriter, is born.

1941 – In the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Battleship Bismarck sinks the pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, killing 1,500 crewmen, with the exception of three. None of the three go on to do anything worthwhile with their lives.

1943 – Auschwitz, receives a new doctor! Oh, wait it is Josef Mengele, a man who will earn the nickname "the Angel of Death."

Upon arriving at Auschwitz, he began experimenting on live prisoners. In the guise of medical "treatment," he injected thousands of inmates with everything from petrol to chloroform. He also had a penchant for studying twins, whom he used to dissect or conjoin while still alive. ugh, it is Monday, so onward.

He escaped to South America, and became a citizen of Paraguay in 1959. He later moved to Brazil, and assumed the id of Wolfgang Gerhard, another Nazi turdface. They think he died while swimming in 1979. How lovely.

Remember when Gregory Peck played him in the Boys from Brazil ? Or Laurence Olivier in the Marathon Man? is it safe ? member? member? Two of my faves.

history lesson

DayBird - May 21st

1881 - Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters.

1924 - Fourteen-year-old Bobbie Franks is abducted from a Chicago street and killed. The killers, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, were extremely wealthy and intelligent teenagers whose sole motive for killing Franks was the desire to commit the "perfect crime." Both were convinced that their intelligence exempted them from the laws that bound other people. Leopold had already completed college, and was attending law school at the University of Chicago. Loeb was the youngest graduate in the history of the University of Michigan, and planned to enter the University of Chicago Law School.

Loeb stabbed Bobbie Franks, a neighbor and distant cousin in the backseat of a rented car. After Franks bled to death on the floor of the car, Leopold and Loeb threw his body in a previously scouted area. In an attempt to throw police off their trail, they sent a ransom note demanding $10,000 to Franks' father.

The body was discovered the next day. While searching for evidence, the detective discovered a pair of eyeglasses found near the body, unremarkable except for a unique hinge mechanism. In Chicago, only three people had purchased glasses with such a mechanism, one of whom was Nathan Leopold. Dumbass left his glasses. What he didn’t notice that? Genius, my ass.

Upon being questioned, Leopold told police he had lost the glasses while bird watching. Loeb told the police that Leopold was with him the night of the murder. They claimed they had picked up two women in Leopold's car and had dropped them off later in the night. Unfortunately for the tontos, Leopold's car was being repaired by his chauffeur that night. Ha-ha, stupid. To prison they go. Loeb is stuck with a shiv in the prison shower and dies. Leopold, on the other hand, is released from prison in early 1958. He kicks it in Puerto Rico, until he kicks it.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. I remember him mostly for his Nazi sympathies and outspoken anti-Semitic views, but that is just me. He also had quite a few non-legit families overseas. Lucky Lindy, indeed.

1932 – Five years to the day of Lindbergh, female aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first pilot to repeat the feat, landing her plane in Ireland after flying across the North Atlantic.

1936 Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover's severed genitals in her handbag.

1979White Night riots in San Francisco following the voluntary manslaughter conviction (most lenient sentence) of former policeman, Dan White for the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

White's sentence was reduced due in part to the so-called Twinkie Defense Basically, it said that White had a diminished capacity due to depression, caused by refined sugar. The copious amounts of junk food White consumed were cited as a symptom of his mental state.

history lesson

DayBird - May 19th

1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two kidnapped sons.

1568 – Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots. She was upset about it being the anniversary of her mommy death day.

1864 - Battle of Spotsylvania concludes. Spots lose.

1870 – Albert Fish, American serial killer, child rapist and cannibal. He was also known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, and The Boogeyman. He was so fucking evil.

1890 – H? Chí Minh, Vietnamese leader, is born.

1925 – Black Muslim leader Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebreska.

1925 – Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator. His time as the leader of Cambodia, in which he attempted to "cleanse" the country, resulted in the death of an estimated 1.7 to 2.5 million people.

1935 - T.E. Lawrence, also known as "Lawrence of Arabia," died in England from injuries sustained in a motorcycle smash. He became a legendary figure in his own lifetime, he wrote his monumental war memoir, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and he hoped to escape his fame and live dangerously. He basically kept enlisting, in the RAF under assumed names, John Hume Ross, and again as T.E. Shaw.

In February 1935, Lawrence (as Shaw) was discharged from the RAF and returned to his cottage in Dorset. On May 13, he was critically injured while driving his motorcycle through the Dorset countryside. He had swerved to avoid two boys on bicycles. All of Britain mourned his passing. Except that one guy.

1945 – Pete Townshend, English guitarist of The Who, totes born this day.

1946 André the Giant, French professional wrestler, is born.

1962 – A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. Famous for the Marilyn Monroe's rendition of Happy Birthday. Jackie, also died this day, but not this year, well...just a little.

1992 - Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot and seriously wounded in Massapequa, N.Y., by her husband Joey's teenage lover, Amy Fisher.

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