Sunday, February 19, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 19


On this day in 1807, former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama and confined to Fort Stoddert.

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On this day in 1878, inventor Thomas Alva Edison patents the gramophone, thus giving Limp Bizkit and Celine Dion an opportunity to immeasurably enrich all our lives.

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On this day in 1859, Daniel E. Sickles, a New York Congressman, is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity. This is the first time this defense is successfully used in the United States.

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On this day in the year 1945, after getting stranded in a swamp during a fierce battle, nearly a thousand Japanese soldiers are killed and eaten by crocodiles! How fucked up is that?!

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On this day in 1949, poet and literary titan Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize in poetry by the Bollingen Foundation and Yale University.

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On this day in 1953, Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.

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On this day in 1959, the African nation of Gabon adopts a constitution. Over time - despite being surrounded by nations jam-packed with armed-to-the-teeth, cannibalistic nutters - Gabon has become relatively calm and prosperous. One reason for this is that nobody seems to mind that the same guy's been running the place for nearly four decades, the humorously-moniker'd monarch: President Bongo!

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On this day in 1960, cartoonist Bil "one L" Keane's Family Circus debuts. 25 years later, on this day in 1985, Coca-Cola introduces Cherry Coke. Taken in sufficient quantities, either of these two sugary confections is capable of killing a diabetic.

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On this day in 1963, the publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique reawakens the Feminist Movement in the United States as women's organizations and consciousness raising groups spread.

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On this day in 1985, William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave hospital.

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On this day in 1986, the United States Senate ratifies the United Nations's anti-genocide convention, 37 years after the rest of the civilized world. They had that pesky south-east Asian thing to get out of the way before they could commit.

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On this day in 1987, actor Yul Brenner appears in an anti-smoking ad, even though he died soon after filming it. "I'm dead now," the creepy PSA decreed. "Don't smoke." In response to this proclamation by Pharaoh, Charlton Heston put out a public service announcement of his own, in which he declared: "You can have my cigarettes when you pluck them from my cold dead lips!"

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