Tuesday, March 19, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 19



On this day in 1644, emperor Si Sang, final sovereign of the storied Ming dynasty, commits suicide. Two hundred members of the royal family and imperial court promptly follow suit. Gosh, but those were the days, weren't they?!

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On this day in 1885, Louis Riel declares a Provisional Government in Saskatchewan, beginning the North-West Rebellion.

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On this day in 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumière record their first footage using their newly patented cinematograph.

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On this day in 1931, gambling is legalized in Nevada.

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On this day in 1943, Frank Nitti, the Chicago Outfit Boss after Al Capone, commits suicide at the Chicago Central Railyard.

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On this day in 1958, the Monarch Underwear Company fire leaves 24 dead and 15 injured.

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On this day in 1962, influential artist Bob Dylan releases his first album, Bob Dylan, on Columbia Records label.

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On this day in 1982, Argentinian forces land on South Georgia Island, precipitating war with the United Kingdom.

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On this day, in 1987, the Reverend Jim Bakker - PTL Ministries founder - resigns when it's revealed he spent a hot three minutes cheating on his wretched wife Tammy Faye with Jessica Hahn. And can ya blame him?! Soon afterwards, Bakker is put behind bars for defrauding thousands of PTL members out of millions of dollars by selling them non-existent time-shares in his Born Again theme park/condominium complex. After being granted an early release for good behavior, Bakker told reporters how shocked he was that "so many people" tried to rape him in prison. Still no word as to how many of these "attempts" were successful.

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On this day in 1993 - the 20th day of the FBI seige at Waco/Carmel/Elk, Texas - negotiators arrange for the delivery of food, water and legal documents to David Koresh and those others who remain in the Branch Davidian cult compound. During the afternoon, Koresh claims to be "ready to come out and face the music," but he ultimately changes his mind. Meanwhile, two Davidians, Brad Branch and Kevin Whitecliff, exit the compound without incident.

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On this day in 2008, GRB 080319B occurs, a cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed.

Monday, March 18, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 18


On this day in 37 AD, the Roman Senate annulled Tiberius's will and proclaimed Caligula emperor.

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On this day in 1314, Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake.

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On this day in 1834, six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, England were sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union.

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On this day in 1850, American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.

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On this day in 1892, former Governor General Lord Stanley pledged to donate a silver challenge cup, later named after him, as an award for the best hockey team in Canada; originally presented to amateur champions, the Stanley Cup has been awarded to the top pro team since 1910, and since 1926, only to National Hockey League teams.

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On this day in 1922, in India, Mohandas Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience. He served only 2 years.

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On this day in 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Hawaii into existence as a member state, in full and equal standing, of the United States of America. All of the other states - excluding Alabama - subsequently experience a short-lived collective obsession with all things Polynesian. Today, you can still find evidence of this fad in small New England towns where people go to Chinese restaurants to get drunk. Deceptively powerful cocktails served in ceramic volcanoes, topless hula dolls gyrating seductively over pu-pu platters piled high with sweet-glazed meat, half-naked Samoans twirling fiery batons while making "ooga-booga" faces; this kitsch ephemera remains, scattered and tenacious like the radioactive residue from a dirty bomb, in the half-life death-grip of immutable plastic eternity... Man. This is some good weed.

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On this day in 1965, cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, became the first person to walk in space.

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On this day in 1968, the U.S. Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve to back US currency.

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On this day in 1974, most OPEC nations ended a five-month oil embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.

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On this day in 1989, in Egypt, a 4,400-year-old mummy was found near the Pyramid of Cheops.

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On this day in 1995, sports/entertainment/footwear titan/mogul Michael Fucking Jordan announces his return to the NBA after a 17 month "retirement" during which time he played a little minor league baseball. Whether or not this has anything to do with his father being murdered in cold blood, or his monster gambling habit, who can say?

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On this day in 1996, an unnamed comatose woman gives birth to the son of John Horace, the man who brutally beat and raped her nine months earlier. 365 days later, on this day in 1997, she mercifully passes away.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 17


On this day in 1521, explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovers the Philippines, or, as he always referred to them, the Magellippines.

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On this day in 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action program that will ultimately lead to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

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On this day in 1968, as a result of nerve gas testing in Skull Valley, Utah, US, over 6,000 sheep are found dead.

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On this day in 1969, Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

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On this day in 1973, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy is taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.

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On this day in 1988, Iran accuses Iraq of illegally using poison gas in the Iran/Iraq War. Official right-wing response at the time was unambiguous: "GOOD! That means our buddy Saddam will be ordering more from us!"

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In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, it was on this day in 1997 that CNN launch the Spanish language version of their cable news service. So a hearty bueno jorno Santo Patritio to all our Irish readers!

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On this day in 2000, 530 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God die in a fire, considered to be a mass murder or suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult. Elsewhere another 248 members are later found dead.

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On this day in 2003, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook resigns from the British Cabinet in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Shortly after that, soon after revealing to the world that the name al Qaeda is literally a CIA invention - it being the name used to refer to the list or database used to put together the mujehadin to fight the USSR in Afghanistan back in the Cold War days) he dies under suspicious circumstances. How convenient for the Bad Guys.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 16


On this day in 597 BC, Babylonians capture Jerusalem, and replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king.

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On this day in 1190, massacre of Jews at Clifford's Tower, York.

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On this day in 1244, over 200 Cathars are burned after the Fall of Montségur.

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On this day in 1621, Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greets them, "Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset."

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On this day in 1861, Edward Clark becomes Governor of Texas, replacing Sam Houston, who has been evicted from the office for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy.

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On this day in 1926, Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.

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On this day in 1935, Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.

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On this day in 1939, Germany occupies Czechoslovakia. Chaos ensues. Seriously.

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On this day in 1942, the first V-2 rocket test launch. It exploded at lift-off.

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On this day in 1945, ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany is destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. 5,000 are killed.

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On this day in 1958, the Ford Motor Company produces its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company's founding. Ten years later, on this day in 1968, General Motors produces its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado.

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On this day in 1968, Robert Kennedy announces the launch of his Presidential campaign. Assassination ensues. On the very same day: HAPPY MY LAI DAY, everybody!

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On this day in 1976, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigns, citing personal reasons.

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On this day in 1984 William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later died in captivity. One year later, on this day in 1985, Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He is released on December 4, 1991.

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On this day in 1988, a federal Grand Jury indicts Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North and Navy Vice Admiral John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra drugs-for-money-for-weapons-for-treason scandal. Today, after both men were pardoned by outgoing president George Herbert "Poppy" Walker Bush, North hosts his very own syndicated right-wing radio talk show and Poindexter is an integral part of the Secret Fascist Shadow Government. Who says crime doesn't pay?

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On this day in 1988, in the Kurdish town of Halabjah in Iraq is attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein, killing 5000 people and injuring about 10000 people.

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On this day in 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American woman involved with the International Solidarity Movement, is killed trying to prevent a Palestinian home from being destroyed by a bulldozer in Rafah.

Friday, March 15, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 15


On this day in 44 BC, Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.

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On this day in 1493, Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.

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On this day in 1820, Maine becomes the 23rd state to be admitted into the Union, and, having spent a considerable amount of time there, yer old pal Jerky isn't quite sure how he feels about that. Maine is beautiful, but it's also fuckin' creepy. Just look at their most important industries! Potatoes, the only vegetable with eyes, so they can watch while you chop them up; lobsters, which are uglier than most spiders, and which you boil alive before eating; and Stephen King novels, which account for roughly 35% of Maine's economy. Speaking of which, most of Maine is poor as dirt, but every summer, some areas are overrun by people so wealthy, nobody even knows who they are. We're talking Old Money, here. Old, creepy money. Thirteenth generation Slave Trade money. Lucky for the locals, most of these behind-the-scenes Prime Movers vacate "Vacationland" before the brutal North Atlantic winter sets in... and the Wendigo returns, to feed.

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On this day in 1906, Rolls-Royce Limited is incorporated.

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On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 United States troops over the U.S.-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.

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On this day in 1922, after Egypt gains nominal independence from the United Kingdom, Fuad I becomes King of Egypt.

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On this day in 1961, South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.

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On this day in 1964, president Lyndon Johnson urges Americans to wage a War on Poverty. Unfortunately, it never happened, because all the weapons and soldiers were tied up in Vietnam at the time.

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On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, tells U.S. Congress "We shall overcome" while advocating the Voting Rights Act.

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On this day in 1968, LIFE Magazine calls Jimi Hendrix "the most spectacular guitarist in the world." That his reputation survived the adulation of such a square publication is a testament to the veracity of that statement.

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On this day in 1982, actress Theresa Saladana is stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed by an obsessed stalker. Not-so-ironically, it was the best thing that ever happened to her career.

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On this day in 1985, the first Internet domain name is registered (symbolics.com).

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On this day in 2011, the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 14


On this day in 44 BC, Casca and Cassius decide, on the night before the Assassination of Julius Caesar, that Mark Antony should stay alive.

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On this day in 1794, inventor Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin. Unfortunately, it fails to catch on, because it makes cocktails taste like underwear.

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On this day in 1900, the Gold Standard Act is ratified, placing United States currency on the gold standard.

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On this day in 1910, Lakeview Gusher, the largest U.S. oil well gusher near Bakersfield, California, vents to atmosphere.

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On this day in 1931, the first ever movie-theater built for "rear projection" opens, in New York City. It is soon forced to close its doors, however, when the Catholic League insists that only "missionary projection" is acceptable in the eyes of God. Meanwhile, in India, on this same day, Alam Ara, India's first talking film, is released.

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On this day in 1964, a Dallas jury sentences Jack Ruby to death for killing Lee Harvey Oswald. They needn't have bothered, as arrangements had already been made. Three years later, on this day in 1967, the body of U.S. President John F. Kennedy is moved to a permanent burial place at Arlington National Cemetery.

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On this day in 1984, Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Féin, is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in central Belfast.

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On this day in 1995, for the first time ever, 13 human beings spend time in outer space simultaneously. Contrary to the worries of triskaidekaphobics everywhere, nothing bad happens.

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On this day in 2008, a series of riots, protests, and demonstrations erupt in Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 13


On this day in 624, a key battle between Muhammad's army – the new followers of Islam and the Quraish of Mecca. The Muslims won this battle, known as the turning point of Islam, which took place in the Hejaz region of western Arabia.

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Cortez came dancing across the water with his galleons and guns, landing in Mexico on this day in 1519. On the shore lay Montezuma, with his coca leaves and pearls. In his halls he'd often wander, with the secrets of the world. And his people gathered 'round him, like the leaves around a tree, in their clothes of many colors, for their angry Gods to see. Hate was just a legend. War was never known. The people worked together, and they lifted many stones. They carried them to the flatlands, and they died along the way, but they built up with their bare hands what we still can't do today. He came dancing across the water. Cortez, Cortez… what a killer.

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On this day in 1781, William Herschel discovers Uranus. He couldn't miss it, thanks to the smell!

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On this day in 1861, demonstrating a flair for wicked irony to rival that of fellow Southerner Tennessee Williams, confederate preznit Jefferson Davis signs a bill authorizing the use of negro slaves as soldiers in the confederate (i.e. traitor) army. Thus did slaves come to fight to preserve the peculiar institution of slavery.

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On this day in 1930, the news of the discovery of Pluto is telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory.

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On this day in 1943, German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.

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On this day in 1962, Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers a proposal, called Operation Northwoods, regarding performing terrorist attacks upon Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The proposal is scrapped and President John F. Kennedy removes Lemnitzer from his position.

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On this day in 1964, American Kitty Genovese is murdered, reportedly in view of neighbors who did nothing to help her, prompting research into the bystander effect. It turns out nothing we thought we knew about this case is true.

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On this day in 1969, Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
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On this day in 1991, the United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

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Pissed off because he'd been exposed as a pervert and turfed from his position as a scoutmaster, weirdo/sicko Thomas Hamilton packed a bag full of guns and strolled over to his home town's grade school on this day in the year 1996. By the time he was through, a grand total of sixteen five-and-six-year-old children - and their teacher - lay lifeless in a sea of blood on the cold gymnasium floor. Shaken police describe the gym as "a medieval image of hell." Immediately after the slaughter, Hamilton did what he should have done decades ago and turned the gun on himself, blowing his own brains out. Visit this website for a vivid reminder of what was lost.

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On this day in 1997, India's Missionaries of Charity choose Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as their new Mother Superior... and promptly fade into total obscurity. They should have done like INXS and made their choice of a dynamic new "frontman" the subject of a thrilling "reality TV" show. They could have called it Big Mother, or Survivor: Calcutta.

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On this day in 2003, the journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human have been found in Italy.

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On this day in 2013, Pope Francis is elected in the papal conclave to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, aka Ratz Benedict.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 12


On this day in 537 AD, the Goths lay siege to Rome, making off with the Empire's entire supply of black lace, skull rings, pancake makeup and Trent Reznor CDs.

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On this day in 1622, Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, founders of the Jesuits, are canonized as saints by the Catholic Church.

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On this day in 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas adopt the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America, which lasts a few measly, desperate years... not unlike Hitler's "thousand year" Reich.

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On this day in 1894, Coca-Cola is bottled and sold for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi, by local soda fountain operator Joseph Biedenharn.

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On this day in 1928, in California, the St. Francis Dam were ever to fail; the resulting floods would kill over 600 people.

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On this day in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi leads a 200-mile march, known as the Salt March, to the sea in defiance of British opposition, to protest the British monopoly on salt

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On this day in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the nation for the first time as President of the United States. This is also the first of his "fireside chats".

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On this day in 1947, the Truman Doctrine is proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism.

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On this day in 1993, several bombs explode in Bombay (Mumbai), India, killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.

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On this day in 1993, Janet Reno was sworn in as the United States' first female attorney general.

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On this day in 1999, former Warsaw Pact members the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland join NATO. Freakin' turn-coats!

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On this day in 2003, Zoran "Alphabits" Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade.

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On this day in 2004, the President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, is impeached by its National Assembly: the first such impeachment in the nation's history.

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On this day in 2009, financier Bernard Madoff pleads guilty in New York to scamming $18 billion, the largest in Wall Street history.

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On this day in 2011, a reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melts and explodes and releases radioactivity into the atmosphere a day after Japan's earthquake.

Monday, March 11, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 11


On this day in 222, Emperor Elagabalus is assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard during a revolt. Their mutilated bodies are dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber.

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On this day in 1702, The Daily Courant, England's first national daily newspaper is published for the first time.

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On this day in 1791, John Stone patents the Pile Driver. It would be nearly two centuries before another wrestling move was patented: Abdullah the Butcher's Sleeper Hold.

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On this day in 1824, the United States Department of War creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Wow! That explains EVERYTHING!

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On this day in 1848, Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin become the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.

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On this day in 1849, President Abraham Lincoln becomes the first and only President to apply for a patent. He is sorely disappointed when his "covering moles with facial hair" technique is deemed ineligible.

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On this day in 1864, the largest man-made disaster ever to befall England kills over 250 people in Sheffield, in what would come to be known as the Great Sheffield Flood.

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On this day in the year 1893, the management of New Mexico State University cancel their very first graduation ceremony after the school's one and only graduate - an unlucky fellow with the studly moniker of Sam Steele - is robbed and murdered the night before.

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On this day in 1918, the first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.

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On this day in 1927, in New York City, Samuel Roxy Rothafel opens the infamous Roxy Theatre.

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On this day in 1933, Nevada becomes the first US state to regulate narcotics, which is kind of ironic when you think about it.

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On this day in 1946, Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, is captured by British troops.

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On this day in 1971, the Senate approves a constitutional amendment lowering the voting age to 18, even though they don't deserve it, those ungrateful hippy bastards!!!

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On this day in 1993, Janet Reno is confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

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On this day in 1993, unfortunately moniker'd OBGYN David Gunn, a doctor who performed abortions, was shot three times in the back by a cowardly, murderous Christian thug during an anti-abortion protest at the Pensacola Women’s Medical Services clinic in Florida. Before pulling the trigger, the murderer, Michael Griffin, had been heard to shout: "Don’t kill any more babies!" The response issued by Rescue America - the group holding the protest at which the murder took place - was weak, to say the least. "While Gunn’s death is unfortunate," an official statement said, "it’s also true that quite a number of babies’ lives will be saved." Griffin's murder of Dr. Gunn sparked a wave of anti-choice terror resulting in numerous murders, as well as innumerable acts of assault, terroristic threats, vandalism, bombings, arson and all that other good stuff they teach in certain churches. Unfortunately, pro-lifers have, for the most part, achieved their goals. The tepid government response to their terrorism has led many abortionists to switch careers, thus severely limiting the availability of the procedure.

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On this day in 2004, the Madrid train bombings take place when simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid, Spain, kill 191 people. It's Spain's 9/11.

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On this day in 2007, Georgia claims Russian helicopters attacked the Kodori Valley in Abkhazia, an accusation that Russia categorically denies later.

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On this day in 2009, 16 are killed and 11 are injured before recent-graduate Tim Kretschmer shoots and kills himself, leading to tightened weapons restrictions in Germany. Hey, wait... I thought guns were illegal throughout Europe?!

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On this day in 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing tens of thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history - or largest, depending on whom you ask - and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale: the terrifying, ongoing Fukushima Meltdown.

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On this day in 2012, a US soldier kills 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 10


On this day in 298, Roman Emperor Maximian concludes his campaign in North Africa against the Berbers, and makes a triumphal entry into Carthage.

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On this day in 1629, Charles I of England dissolves Parliament, beginning the eleven-year period known as the Personal Rule.

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On this day in 1791, doctor George Hayward becomes the first American surgeon to use ether, the lucky bastard.

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On this day in 1804, in St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

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On this day in 1831, the French Foreign Legion is established by King Louis Philippe to support his war in Algeria.

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On this day in 1873, Canada establishes their Royal Canadian Mounted Police force. With uniforms and duties that make them seem like hybrid boy-scout-forest-ranger-peace-keepers, the RCMP - a.k.a. "the thin scarlet line" - remain Canada's most popular postcard model subjects.

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On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful telephone call by saying "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."

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On this day in 1906, the Courrières mine disaster, Europe's worst ever, kills 1099 miners in Northern France.

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On this day in 1907, the world's first ever eugenics (involuntary sterilization) law is passed, in… the state of Indiana! Might Hitler have been a closet Hoosier?

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On this day in 1922, Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.

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On this day in 1933, an earthquake in Long Beach, California kills 115 people and causes an estimated $40 million in damage.

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On this day in 1945, the U.S. Army Air Force firebombs Tokyo, and the resulting firestorm kills more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians.

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On this day in 1952, Fulgencio Batista leads a successful coup in Cuba and appoints himself as the "provisional president".

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On this day in 1959, fearing an abduction attempt by China, 300,000 Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama's palace to prevent his removal. Ballsy fuckers, eh?

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On this day in 1969, in Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later unsuccessfully attempts to retract his plea.

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On this day in 1977, astronomers discover rings around Uranus. What's the matter? Don't you ever wash that thing?!

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On this day in 1981, the highly entertaining Dan Rather replaces Walter Cronkite as anchorman for the CBS Evening News. It's all downhill from there.

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On this day in 1997, something called the Senior Golf Slam takes place. Among the event's TV sponsors are Metamucil Code Red, the Rascal Cruzer elder-scooter, and PamPrrrs X-Treme adult diapers.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 9


On this day in 632, the Last Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada') of Prophet Muhammad.

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On this day in 1765, after a campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerate Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son may have actually committed suicide.

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On this day in 1796, Napoléon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.

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On this day in 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the United States v. The Amistad case that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
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On this day in 1842, the first documented discovery of gold in California occurs at Rancho San Francisco, six years before the California Gold Rush.

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On this day in 1847, the first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history is launched in the Siege of Veracruz.

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On this day in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.

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On this day in 1954, CBS television broadcasts the See It Now episode, "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy", produced by Fred Friendly.

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On this day in 1959, the Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
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On this day in 1976, 42 people die in the 1976 Cavalese cable car disaster, the worst cable-car accident to date.

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On this day in 1991, massive demonstrations are held against Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade.

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On this day in 1997, observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia are treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permits comet Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.

Friday, March 8, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 8


On this day in 1010, Ferdowsi completes his epic poem in honor of his homeland, Iran: Shāhnāmeh.

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On this day in 1618, Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion.

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On this day in 1655, John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in England's North American colonies where a crime was not committed.

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On this day in 1722, the Safavid Empire of Iran is defeated by an army from Afghanistan at The Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.

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On this day in 1775, an anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes "African Slavery in America", the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.

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On this day in 1782, 96 Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.

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On this day in 1868, the Sakai incident occurs, when Japanese samurai kill 11 French sailors in the port of Sakai near Osaka.

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On this day in 1910, French aviatrix Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot's license.

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On this day in 1930, the teacher Mohandas "the Mahatma" Gandhi calls for widespread civil disobedience in British-occupied India. The core of Gandhi's movement, which would eventually succeed in expelling the occupiers, was "Satyagraha", a three-part concept including "Sat" (truth) "Ahimsa" (pacifism) and "Tapasya" (the willingness to sacrifice one's self).

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On this day in 1934, astronomer Edwin Hubble reveals a photograph showing that there are as many visible galaxies as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Although Hubble's first words upon seeing the image weren't recorded for posterity, yer old pal Jerky imagines they were probably on the order of: "Holy SHIT-balls! Look at all those fuckin' GALAXIES!!! I'll make millions from the posters, alone!"

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On this day in 1963, the Ba'ath Party comes to power in Syria in a coup d'état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.

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On this day in 1978, the first radio episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4.

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On this day in 1979, Philips demonstrates the Compact Disc publicly for the first time.

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On this day in 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan calls the Soviet Union an "evil empire".

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Also on this day, in 1993, six gallons of milk are delivered to David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Elk/Waco/Carmel, on the ninth day of the ATF/FBI siege there. Also, Koresh – whose wounds are healing nicely – sends out a videotape containing footage of the children still trapped in the compound with him… and informs negotiators that all these children are, biologically, his own.

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On this day in 1999, the Crayola company announced that it would be caving in to the requests of various Native American organizations by doing away with the popular Indian Red color crayon. Previously, the last time Crayola changed the name of one of its crayons was in 1962, when civil rights advocates asked that the crayon labeled "flesh" be changed to "peach" in recognition of the fact that not everybody is as pigmentationally challenged as the average member of the Caucasian race. At the time, we here at the Daily Dirt applauded Crayola's politically correct appeasement of a downtrodden minority. Unfortunately, their follow-through hasn't been as good as it should be. For instance, we're still waiting for them to do away with all those other offensive colors, like Zipperhead Yellow, Jungle-bunny Black and Sunset Spic. But hey... progress takes time, I guess.

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On this day in 2004, a new constitution is signed by Iraq's Governing Council. And they lived happily ever after.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 7



On this day in 161, Emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by his adoptive sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

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On this day in 1774, British forces close the port of Boston to all commerce. The resulting baked bean shortage leads to a marked increase in the air quality of neighboring colonies.

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On this day in 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte captures Jaffa in Palestine and his troops proceed to kill more than 2,000 Albanian captives.

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On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the telephone.

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On this day in 1900, the German liner SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse becomes the first ship to send wireless signals to shore.

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On this day in 1912, Roald Amundsen announces that his expedition had reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

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On this day in 1965, a group of 600 civil rights marchers are forcefully broken up in Selma, Alabama.

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On this day in 1985, the song "We Are the World" receives its international release.

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On this day in 1988, one-handed pitcher Jim Abbott wins the 58th James E Sullivan Award, which is given annually to the best one-handed player in Major League Baseball.

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On this day in 1989, Iran drops diplomatic relations with Britain over Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses. Britain doesn't much care, seeing as their "relations" with Iran hadn't been very "diplomatic" for decades by then.

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On this day in 1993, Diff'rent Strokes actor Todd Bridges is arrested for stabbing a tenant in the building where he worked as a superintendent. A cyclical process of recovery/relapse ensues, and Entertainment Tonight is there to squeeze every last iota of material from it.

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On this day in 1994, African National Congress chief Nelson Mandela rejects demand by white right-wingers that he establish a separate homeland for them in South Africa. Meanwhile, in Liberia, Charles Taylor resigns as President of of the African nation established by American whites for African blacks who wanted to return to the Motherland after being freed from slavery. There's a joke in there somewhere, but yer old pal Jerky doesn't trust himself to tease it out without getting himself in trouble.

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On this day in 1999, death claims the mighty Kubrick.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 6


On this day in 1521, Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam.

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On this day in 1820, the Missouri Compromise is signed into law by President James Monroe. The compromise allows Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, brings Maine into the Union as a free state, and makes the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free.

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On this day in 1834, York, Upper Canada is incorporated as Toronto.

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On this day in 1836, after a thirteen day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie, defending the Alamo are killed and the fort is captured.

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On this day in 1857, the Supreme Court hands down its decision in the Dred Scott case, establishing that slaves cannot be considered citizens. It would take a Civil War, and the deaths of nearly ¾ of a million Americans, to correct this stupid mistake.

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On this day in 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.

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On this day in 1899, Bayer registers "Aspirin" as a trademark.

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On this day in 1943, Norman Rockwell published Freedom from Want in the The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Carlos Bulosan as part of the Four Freedoms series.

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On this day in 1951, the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg begins.

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On this day in 1953, Georgy Malenkov succeeds Joseph Stalin as Premier of the Soviet Union and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

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On this day in 1964, Nation of Islam's Elijah Muhammad officially gives boxing champion Cassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali.

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On this day in 1967, Joseph Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defects to the United States.

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On this day in 1970, an explosion at the Weather Underground safe house in Greenwich Village kills three.

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On this day in 1975, for the first time the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is shown in motion to a national TV audience by Robert J. Groden and Dick Gregory.

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On this day in 1978, Klan assassin Joseph Paul Franklin shoots and cripples Larry Flynt, apparently because he was enraged by an interracial photo spread published in Hustler Magazine. Franklin was never prosecuted for the attack on Flynt, but he currently sits in jail, considered party to upwards of 20 racially-motivated murders and a number of other violent offenses, including the attempted murder of former Clinton lawyer Vernon Jordan.

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On this day in 1981, Walter Cronkite signs-off as anchorman of The CBS Evening News. Twenty-five years later, he's still kicking himself in the ass for retiring too early and leaving that show-boating loon Dan Rather in charge.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 5


On this day in 1558, Francisco Fernandez introduces smoking tobacco to Europe. Soon thereafter, Fernando Franciscez invents the breath mint.

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On this day in 1770, five Americans, including Crispus Attucks, and a boy, are killed by British troops in an event that would contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War (also known as the American War of Independence) five years later. At a subsequent trial the soldiers are defended by future U.S. president John Adams.

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On this day in 1836, Samuel Colt patents the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber.

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On this day in 1868, Englishman C.H. Gould patents the stapler, then sits back and waits for somebody else to patent staples.

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On this day in 1912, Italian forces are the first to use airships for military purposes, employing them for reconnaissance behind Turkish lines.

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On this day in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a "bank holiday", closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions.

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On this day in 1933, Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party receives 43.9% at the Reichstag elections. This later allows the Nazis to pass the Enabling Act and establish a dictatorship.

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On this day in 1940, Members of Soviet politburo, including general secretary Joseph Stalin, sign an order for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs, known also as the Katyn massacre.

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On this day in 1946, Winston Churchill coins the phrase "Iron Curtain" in his speech at Westminster College, Missouri.

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On this day in 1953, the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin is announced. All together now: "Awwwwww!"

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On this day in 1960, Cuban photographer Alberto Korda takes his iconic photograph of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

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On this day in 1981, the ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, is launched by Sinclair Research and would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world.

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On this day in 1982, the Soviet probe Venera 14 landed on Venus.

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On this day in 1998, psychologically fragile singing diva Mariah Carey divorces her mobbed-up music industry big-shot husband, Tommy Mottola. Wow… that's almost as sad as the death of Stalin!

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On this day in 1999, Paul Okalik is elected first Premier of Nunavut.

Monday, March 4, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 4


On this day in 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.

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On this day in 1861, the first national flag of the Confederate States of America - the "Stars and Bars" - is adopted. Four years later, in 1865 - also on this day - the third and final national flag of the Confederate States of America is adopted by the Confederate Congress. None of them are what you probably think they are.

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On this day in 1918, the first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic that would ultimately lead to the deaths of an estimated 100 MILLION human beings - roughly 4 percent of the world's population at the time.

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On this day in 1918, the USS Cyclops departs from Barbados and is never seen again, presumably lost with all hands in the Bermuda Triangle.

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On this day in 1933, Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.

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On this day in 1952, future President Ronald Reagan marries fellow actress Nancy Davis. Ah... love's greatest lovers in love!

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During an interview on this day in 1966, Beatle John Lennon says "We're more popular than Jesus." The smell of burning vinyl ensues.

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On this day in 1968, the reverend Martin Luther King Junior announces plans to launch a Poor People's Campaign, to address the color-blind problem of poverty in America. This proves to be the straw that breaks the backs of The Powers That Be, who promptly have MLK assassinated by a "lone nut assassin".

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On this day in 1974, People Magazine is published for the first time in the United States as People Weekly.

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On this day in 1980, nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe's first black prime minister. And they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 3


On this day in 468 AD, Saint Simplicius is chosen to succeed Pope Hilarius as Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. This, of course, took place during the Monty Python era of the Dark Ages.

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On this day in 1857, Second Opium War takes place when France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.

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On this day in 1861, Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom, prompting his newly-liberated subjects to complain about not having anything to do anymore.

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On this day in 1873, the story of censorship in the United States. The U.S. Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" books through the mail.

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On this day in 1875, the first ever organized indoor game of ice hockey is played in Montreal, Canada as recorded in The Montreal Gazette.

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On this day in 1885, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York.

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On this day in 1913, thousands of women march in a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.

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On this day in 1915, NACA, the predecessor of NASA, is founded.

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On this day in 1923, TIME magazine is published for the first time.

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On this day in 1924, the thirteen-century-old Islamic caliphate is abolished when Caliph Abdul Mejid II of the Ottoman Empire is deposed. The last remnant of the old regime gives way to the reformed Turkey of Kemal Atatürk.

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On this day in 1931, the United States adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.

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On this day in 1938, oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.

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On this day in 1939, in Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest at the autocratic rule in India.

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On this day in 1951, Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, records "Rocket 88", often cited as "the first rock and roll record", at Sam Phillips' recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

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On this day in 1969, the Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.

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On this day in 1991, an amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.

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On this day in 2004, Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival AmBev agree to merge in a $11.2 billion deal that forms InBev, the world's largest brewer.

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On this day in 2005, Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 2



On this day in 537, the Ostrogoth army under king Vitiges began the siege of the capital. Belisarius conducts a delaying action outside the Flaminian Gate; he and a detachment of his bucellarii are almost cut off.

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On this day in 1807, Congress passes an act to "prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States... from any foreign kingdom, place, or country." But not to worry; with a self-sustaining population of over four million African slaves already held as chattel in the South, they didn't need no new blood, no-how!

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On this day in 1877, a partisan Republican panel declares Rutherford B. Hayes to be the winner of the previous year's election. This, despite his having lost both the popular and, most likely, the electoral college vote, to opponent Samuel J. Tilden, Democrat. After his inauguration as the 19th U.S. president, Hayes was coerced into undoing the work begun by Abraham Lincoln. He caved in to Southern conservative demands that the military withdraw from the region, effectively bringing Reconstruction to an end. One by one, all the former Confederate (traitor) states began stripping blacks of the right to vote, among other things. It would take nearly a century for the Civil Rights movement to gain the strength required to force the feds to once again address this chronic deficiency of the Southern character.

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On this day in 1882, Queen Victoria narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Roderick McLean in Windsor.

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On this day in 1904, Theodor Geisel is born. Who the fuck is Theodor Geisel, you ask? You folks probably remember him as the immortal Dr Seuss, author of such kiddy classics as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat. But yer old pal Jerky will always remember Geisel as the anonymous author of the illustrated adult-oriented classics Horton Hits a Whore, If I Ran the Sex Zoo, and I am Curious, Oobleck.

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On this day in 1919, the first Communist International meets in Moscow.

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On this day in 1933, the film King Kong opens at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

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On this day in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points.

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On this day in 1983, Compact Discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.

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On this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela is elected deputy President of the African National Congress.

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On this day in 1993, Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh promises to give himself up and allow authorities to enter his compound if the media agrees to broadcast a one-hour audiotape of religious teachings he recorded earlier that same morning. At 1:30 in the afternoon, at the behest of FBI negotiators, the Christian Broadcasting Network plays the tape in its entirety. At 5:58 PM, Koresh informs negotiators that God has ordered him to wait a little while longer before coming out.

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On this day in 1995, researchers at Fermilab announce the discovery of the top quark.

Friday, March 1, 2019

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 1


On this day in 752 BC, Romulus, legendary first king of Rome, celebrates the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses, following The Rape of the Sabine Women.

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As of this day in the year 743 AD, because of an official decree, citizens of the Holy Roman Empire are no longer allowed to export their servants and/or children to slave traders from "heathen" lands. This might seem like a progressive move at first glance, but it had the unintended consequence of creating a white slave-trade deficit that sent shockwaves through the global economy.

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On this day in 1562, 23 Huguenots are massacred by Catholics in Wassy, France, marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.

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On this day in 1633, Samuel de Champlain reclaims his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.

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On this day in 1692, Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials.

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On this day in 1780, Pennsylvania becomes the first American state to abolish hereditary slavery. Children of Pennsylvania slaves were thereafter born "free"… to do what, exactly, Godzilla only knows.

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On this day in 1790, the first United States census is authorized.

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On this day in 1811, King Muhammad Ali Pasha, founder of the modern state of Egypt, personally oversees the murders of over 500 Mameluke warriors in a single day's slaughter. I don't have a joke, here. I just like the word "Mameluke". We don't use it nearly enough these days.

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On this day in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is established as the world's first national park.

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On this day in 1893, electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.

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On this day in 1896, Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity.

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On this day in 1910, the worst avalanche in United States history buries a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.

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On this day in 1912, Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.

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On this day in 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr, the 20-month-old son of Nazi-sympathizing aviation legend Charles Lindbergh Sr, is kidnapped from his nursery in New Jersey. The child's corpse would be discovered buried not very far from the Lindbergh home, two months later, after the family paid a $70,000 ransom. If any of you old-timers know any Lindbergh Baby Jokes, kindly send them to yer old pal Jerky. I'm chokin' for a chuckle!

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On this day in 1936, the Hoover Dam is completed.

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On this day in 1937, the first ever permanent automobile license plates are issued, in the state of Connecticut. Prior to that, drivers had to chalk in their license numbers on small blackboards that were affixed to the front of every vehicle sold.

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On this day in 1947, the International Monetary Fund begins financial operations.

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On this day in 1953, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later.

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On this day in 1954, the Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, is detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.

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On this day in 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists attack the United States Capitol building, injuring five Representatives.

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On this day in 1961, American President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.

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On this day in 1966, Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashes on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet's surface.

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On this day in 1970, Family-man Charles Manson releases his first album. Entitled Lie, the folk-tinged collection of melodies fails to find an audience. You know, maybe if Manson had scored a gold record, things might not have soured so quickly for the hippies. In other words… it's a good thing it flopped!

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On this day in 1971, a bomb explodes in a men's room in the United States Capitol: the Weather Underground claims responsibility.

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On this day in 1989, the United States becomes a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

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On this day in 1990, Steve Jackson Games is raided by the United States Secret Service, prompting the later formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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On this day in 1998, Titanic became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 29 (LEAP YEAR!)


HAPPY LEAP YEAR, FOLKS! The Earth completes its orbit around the Sun in 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds (365.2425 days). That's why we add a calendar day every four years. Unfortunately, that leaves an excess of 42 minutes and 52 seconds each time, or about 3 days every 400 years.

To compensate for this, three days are removed every 400 years. This adjustment is made by having an exception to the general rule that there is a leap year every four years. Instead, a year divisible by 100 is not a leap year unless that year was also exactly divisible by 400! 

This means that the years 2000 was the last "centenary leap year", that the last centenary leap year took place in 1600, and that the next centenary leap year will take place in 2400! So unless you're younger than 16, you were around for the last one, and NOBODY alive today will be around for the next one (unless something really sci-fi and revolutionary happens in the medical or pharmaceutical sciences). 

Anyway, just because February 29 only comes around with about a quarter the frequency of every other calendar day, that doesn't mean nothing ever happens on it! Here are a few things that happened... ON THIS DAY!

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On this day in 1504, controversial explorer Christopher Columbus uses his knowledge of an upcoming lunar eclipse to convince a tribe of Native Americans to provide him with supplies. Tricky bugger.

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On this day in 1912, the 300-ton "Piedra Movediza" (or "Moving Stone") of Tandil, Argentina, near Buenos Aires, falls and breaks due to either vandalism (fawk!) or vibrations from a nearby construction project (d'oh!).

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On this day in 1940, actress Hattie McDaniel - who don't know nuthin bout birthin no babies -becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award. It is the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, in recognition for her performance as "Mammy", in Gone with the Wind.

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On this day in 1980, hockey legend Gordie Howe of the then Hartford Whalers makes NHL history as he scores his 800th goal.

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On this day in 1988, for the first time ever, a member of the Canadian House of Commons comes out as gay. His name? Svend Robinson. He'd been serving since 1979, and he served until 2004. He won seven elections. And yet, in Canada, his permanent legacy is that of a bipolar gay guy who tried and failed to steal an expensive ring, effectively bringing his political career to a dead stop.

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On this day in 2004, after a complicated series of gangland slayings and public riots, democratically-elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is removed from power (he says kidnapped) and flown to Jamaica, then South Africa, in a forced exile following a coup that was supposedly masterminded by the USA, France and (really?!) CANADA!