Friday, September 30, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 30


On this day in 1399, some guy named Henry IV is proclaimed King of England.

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On this day in 1452, the first-ever mass-produced book is published: The Guttenberg Bible. This spreading of the word means that even the "common man" could become as arrogant, merciless and self-righteous as the clergy who, up until that time, had been the Bible's privileged demographic...

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On this day in 1630, the first execution in American history took place. The executee was murderer John Billington, who was "hanged by the neck until dead" in scenic Plymouth, Massachusetts. As recorded back in the day, Billington was a troublemaker who: "had been often punished for miscarriages before; being [from] one of the profanest families amongst them." His victim was a man by the name of John Newcomen.

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On this day in 1791, the first performance of The Magic Flute, the last opera by Mozart to make its debut, took place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria. Some still believe that he revealed Masonic secrets in this opera, and that he paid for this with his life.

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On this day in 1882, Thomas Edison's first commercial hydroelectric power plant begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin, United States.

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On this day in 1888, a very busy Jack the Ripper kills his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.

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On this day in 1938, the League of Nations unanimously outlaws "intentional bombings of civilian populations". And we all lived happily ever after.

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On this day in 1941, in Kiev, Ukraine: German Einsatzgruppe C complete Babi Yar massacre.

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On this day in 1955, troubled young method actor James Dean is killed when he drives his Porsche 550 Spyder head-on into another car. Spookily, after being stripped for parts, the remains of the Spyder went on to kill and maim a bunch more people... I shit you not!

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On this day in 1960, Clarabelle the Clown finally gets to speak on the Howdy Doody Show. His last words are rather lacking in drama, but fittingly a propos: "Goodbye Kids!" Actually, "au revoir" might have been more fitting, as Bob Keeshan, who played Clarabelle, went on to play Captain Kangaroo. He's dead now, as soon will you be, too.

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On this day in 1962, Mexican-American labor leader César Chávez founds the National Farm Workers Association, which later becomes United Farm Workers.

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On this day in 1968, the Boeing 747 is rolled out and shown to the public for the first time at the Boeing Everett Factory.

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On this day in 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed details of Israel's covert nuclear program to British media, is kidnapped in Rome, Italy by the Israeli Mossad. He fell victim to an intricate “honey pot trap” for him, whereby a female Mossad agent pretending to be an Italian woman who had fallen in love with Vanunu lured him to the hotel from which he was kidnapped. He was held, mostly in isolation, for decades before ultimately being freed.

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On this day in 2004, the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo.

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On this day in 2005, the controversial drawings of Muhammad are printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

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