Sunday, June 4, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JUNE 4


On this day in 1783, in the skies over Annonay, France, the Montgolfier brothers become the first human beings since the Antediluvian Era to achieve manned flight when they publicly demonstrate their latest invention: the hot air balloon!

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On this day in 1798, legendary Italian adventurer and occult philosopher Giacomo Casanova passes away. His name is still used as a form of shorthand to describe men who are skilled in the art of getting into a woman’s underpants.

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On this day in 1913, a suffragette named Emily Davison runs onto a racetrack in front of King George V's horse at the Epsom Derby and is promptly trampled. She never regains consciousness and dies a few days later. Meanwhile, six years later to the day, US Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing suffrage (the vote) to women, on this day in 1919.

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On this day in 1928, one of the most convoluted political assassination plots in the history of Modern statecraft takes place when Zhang Zuolin, Warlord of Manchuria and President of the Republic of China, is killed by a bomb planted by Japanese agents, just a few weeks after being defeated by the Chinese Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek. This, despite the fact that Zhang was “Japan’s Man in China” at the time, having seized control of Peking only two years previous, in April of 1926.

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On this day in 1939, the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida after already being turned away from Cuba. It would later also be turned away from Canada. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers would later die in Nazi concentration camps.

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On this day in 1950, current Coast to Coast AM host George Noory was born.

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On this day in 1961, the first 13 Freedom Riders begin their bus trip through the American South, in an effort to end segregation of the public transportation system. After training in non-violent civil disobedience techniques, black and white volunteers sit next to each other as they travel by bus through the Deep South. In Anniston, Alabama, one bus is destroyed, and riders on another are attacked by men armed with clubs, bricks, iron pipes and knives. In response to these acts of violence, Attorney General Robert Kennedy sends DOJ official John Seigenthaler to accompany the Freedom Riders. In Birmingham, the passengers are greeted by the Ku Klux Klan, and further acts of violence. At Montgomery, the state capital, a white mob beats the riders with chains and ax handles. When local authorities make it clear that they will make no effort to protect the Riders, President John F. Kennedy sends federal marshals from the North to do the job. Despite the escalating violence,over a thousand volunteers take part in Freedom Rides during the ensuing months.

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On this day in 1970, "four dead in Ohio."

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On this day in 1986, Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard pleads guilty to selling top secret United States military intelligence to Israel. Pretty much everybody knows about this case, and Israel has been lobbying hard for Pollard to be freed. However, fewer people realize that Pollard also sold secrets to South Africa, Pakistan and China. Pollard will be eligible for parole in 2015.

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On this day in 2003, multimedia superstar Martha Stewart is indicted on nine counts of securities fraud and obstruction of justice after she sold all her shares in ImClone upon learning through back-channels that an adverse FDA ruling was about to wipe out the stock. A quick review of the evidence against her, however, could easily lead an impartial observer to conclude that the two biggest mistakes Martha Stewart ever made were 1) being born without a penis, and 2) making donations to the wrong political party.

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On this day in 2004, mechanic/entrepreneur Marvin John Heemeyer goes on a rampage with a souped-up "Killdozer" -- a bulldozer outfitted with layers of steel and concrete -- in protest over the outcome of a zoning dispute in Granby, Colorado. Heemeyer demolishes the town hall, the mayor's house, and a bunch of other buildings before his bulldozer gets hung up in the basement of a building that he’d just destroyed, at which point Heemeyer shot himself with a handgun.

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