history lesson

DayBird - April 22nd

1864 - Congress authorized the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins. Shame on you, Congress.

1889 - High noon thousands rush to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. By the end of the day, over 50,000 settlers had staked their claims to the land, in and around Oklahoma. No worries, there were no people on that land before.

1904 – Robert Oppenheimer is born. He is remembered as "The Father of the Atomic Bomb" for his role as the director of the Manhattan Project, at the secret Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico.

At Trinity test site, where they first tested the bomb, Oppenheimer famously recalled the Bhagavad Gita: "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one." and "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." He was totally full of himself.

1923 – Bettie Page, American model, is born. Her later life was remarkably sad. It was marked by depression, mood swings and several years in a state psychiatric hospital. She converted to Christianity, and later worked for Billy Graham. E hole La.

1950 Peter Frampton, English musician is born.

1954 - One of my favorite historical lunatics, Senator Joseph McCarthy begins hearings investigating the United States Army. By 1954, his power was beginning to slip and he made a fatal mistake: he charged that the United States Army was "soft" on communism, and had the hearings televised. The hearings were a fiasco. He constantly interrupted with irrelevant questions; yelled "point of order" whenever testimony was not to his liking; and verbally attacked just about everyone.

The end came when the associate of the Army's chief counsel, Joseph Welch declared, "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness...Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" The packed audience erupted into cheers and applause. McCarthy was fin. The Senate censured him for his conduct and he died three years later of alcoholism. Yipee!

2004 - Pro football player Pat Tillman, who'd traded in a multimillion-dollar contract to serve as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, was killed by friendly fire.

His brother Kevin Tillman, testifying at a congressional hearing, stated, "The deception surrounding this case was an insult to the family: but more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a whole nation. We say these things with disappointment and sadness for our country. Once again, we have been used as props in a Pentagon public relations exercise."

After Kevin's testimony Pete Geren, acting secretary of the Army stated to reporters, "We as an Army failed in our duty to the Tillman family, the duty we owe to all the families of our fallen soldiers: Give them the truth, the best we know it, as fast as we can.”