Thursday, June 29, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JUNE 29


On this day in the year 1149, the Crusader army of Raymond of Antioch is defeated by the Syrian army of Nur ad-Din at the Battle of Inab. After the battle, Raymond was beheaded by Shirkuh, uncle of the legendary Saladin, who then placed Raymond’s head in a silver box and sent it to the Caliph of Baghdad as a gift. 

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On this day in 1520, after attempting and failing to get his people to stop fighting back against Cortez and his Conquistadors, Moctezuma II, ruler of the Aztecs, is either stoned to death by his disgusted subjects or murdered by Cortez over his crappy negotiating skills. The truth is lost to history.

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On this day in 1864, a train passing through Mont St. Hilaire in the province of Quebec fails to acknowledge a stop signal and falls through an open swing bridge, plunging into the Richelieu River and killing 99 mostly German and Polish immigrants. It remains Canada’s worst rail disaster on record.

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On this day in 1881, Sudanese religious leader Muhammad Ahmad declares himself to be the Mahdi, the Messiah of Islamic prophecy, destined to rule for seven years during which time he would redeem the Islamic faith and rid the world of evil in preparation for the Day of Judgment. Unfortunately, he died a mere four years later.
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On this day in 1940, the USA passes the Smith Act, also known as the Alien Registration Act. This act set criminal penalties for “advocating the overthrow of the government.” Just over two hundred people were indicted under this legislation – mostly communists and a few fascists – until a number of Supreme Court decisions reversed many of the convictions. The statute is still technically on the books. 

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This day in 1946 was known as the “Black Shabbat” in Israel – then still known as Palestine – when British soldiers and police execute Operation Agatha, arresting 2700 members of such extremist Jewish groups as Haganah, Palmach, the Stern Gang and Irgun. While many of the targeted groups get the message and settle down, Irgun retaliates by bombing the King David Hotel. With a death toll of 91 victims, it remains, to this day, Israel’s worst terrorist bombing.

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On this day in 1967, actress Jayne Mansfield is killed in a horrific automobile wreck. Also killed in the crash is Mansfield’s abusive boyfriend/manager Sam Brody, who had recently been “cursed” by Church of Satan honcho Anton LaVey. Mansfield, who was an enthusiastic supporter of LaVey’s Church, was apparently just collateral damage.

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On this day in 1978, actor Bob Crane of Hogan’s Heroes fame is found bludgeoned to death in his apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona. In the years leading up to his death, Crane had begun videotaping his sexual escapades with the help of a Sony sales executive. In an ironic twist, police believe Crane was bludgeoned to death with a video camera tripod. His murder remains unsolved.

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On this day in 1995, the Sampoong Department Store collapses in Seoul, South Korea, killing 501 and injuring a thousand more.

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On this day in 2002, naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea lead to the death of six South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel. Meanwhile, in the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney becomes “acting President” for two and a half hours while George W. Bush undergoes a colonoscopy.

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On this day in 2007, Apple enters the mobile phone market with their hugely popular iPhone line of products. 

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On this day in 2008, Thomas Beatie, the world's first pregnant man, gives birth to a daughter.

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On this day in 2009, financier and former NasDaq chairman Bernard Madoff receives a 150-year sentence – the maximum possible penalty – for his multibillion-dollar fraud scheme. In a recent letter to his daughter, Madoff bragged that he was being treated “like a Mafia Don” by both his fellow inmates and the staff at FCI Butner Medium Security Facility where he is serving out his sentence.

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