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history lesson

DayBird - June 7th

By Geoffrey Anjou [ Mon Jun 7 2010 3:16 PM ]

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.