Saturday, February 25, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 25


On this day in 1336, 4,000 defenders of Pilėnai commit a mass suicide rather than be taken captive by the Teutonic Knights.

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On this day in 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I of England.

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On this day in 1751, the first performing monkey is exhibited in America. At the time, nobody could have guessed that this was the inaugural trip at the top of the slippery slope that led to a performing monkey being installed in the White House, two and a half centuries later.

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On this day in 1838, a man in London walks 20 miles backwards, then retraces his route (walking forwards this time) in an astonishing 8 hour marathon of idiocy. Now you know what people did before television came along to fill their empty, meaningless lives!

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On this day in 1866, miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull, human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.

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On this day in 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress.

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On this day in 1901, conspiracy-magnet J.P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.

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On this day in 1932, Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.

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On this day in 1956, in his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union denounces the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.

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On this day in 1960, avant garde composer John Cage's Music for Amplified Toy Pianos is first performed. Unfortunately for the audience, the piece really does sound like a bunch of toy pianos, amplified. Cage achieved his unique sound for the piece by taking actual toy pianos… and amplifying them. What a GENIUS!

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On this day in 1964, boxer Cassius Clay TKOs the fearsome champion, Sonny Liston, in the 7th round, thus winning the world heavyweight championship. Cassius would go on to convert to Islam, change his name, dodge the draft, and gain international recognition as a Great American. Seems incongruous now, doesn't it?

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On this day in 1982, the final episode of The Lawrence Welk Show airs. Bubbles ensue.

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On this day in 1986, President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos flees the nation after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino becomes the Philippines' first woman president.

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On this day in 1989, the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise fires legendary coach Tom Landry after a storied 29-year career. Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1991, during the Gulf War, an Iraqi Scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania.

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On this day in 1991, the Warsaw Pact is declared disbanded.

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On this day in 1994, in the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Baruch Goldstein opens fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors.

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