Monday, March 4, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 4


On this day in 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.

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On this day in 1861, the first national flag of the Confederate States of America - the "Stars and Bars" - is adopted. Four years later, in 1865 - also on this day - the third and final national flag of the Confederate States of America is adopted by the Confederate Congress. None of them are what you probably think they are.

***

On this day in 1918, the first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic that would ultimately lead to the deaths of an estimated 100 MILLION human beings - roughly 4 percent of the world's population at the time.

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On this day in 1918, the USS Cyclops departs from Barbados and is never seen again, presumably lost with all hands in the Bermuda Triangle.

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On this day in 1933, Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.

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On this day in 1952, future President Ronald Reagan marries fellow actress Nancy Davis. Ah... love's greatest lovers in love!

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During an interview on this day in 1966, Beatle John Lennon says "We're more popular than Jesus." The smell of burning vinyl ensues.

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On this day in 1968, the reverend Martin Luther King Junior announces plans to launch a Poor People's Campaign, to address the color-blind problem of poverty in America. This proves to be the straw that breaks the backs of The Powers That Be, who promptly have MLK assassinated by a "lone nut assassin".

***

On this day in 1974, People Magazine is published for the first time in the United States as People Weekly.

***

On this day in 1980, nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe's first black prime minister. And they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 3


On this day in 468 AD, Saint Simplicius is chosen to succeed Pope Hilarius as Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. This, of course, took place during the Monty Python era of the Dark Ages.

***

On this day in 1857, Second Opium War takes place when France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.

***

On this day in 1861, Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom, prompting his newly-liberated subjects to complain about not having anything to do anymore.

***

On this day in 1873, the story of censorship in the United States. The U.S. Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" books through the mail.

***

On this day in 1875, the first ever organized indoor game of ice hockey is played in Montreal, Canada as recorded in The Montreal Gazette.

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On this day in 1885, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York.

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On this day in 1913, thousands of women march in a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C.

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On this day in 1915, NACA, the predecessor of NASA, is founded.

***

On this day in 1923, TIME magazine is published for the first time.

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On this day in 1924, the thirteen-century-old Islamic caliphate is abolished when Caliph Abdul Mejid II of the Ottoman Empire is deposed. The last remnant of the old regime gives way to the reformed Turkey of Kemal Atatürk.

***

On this day in 1931, the United States adopts The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.

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On this day in 1938, oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia.

***

On this day in 1939, in Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi begins to fast in protest at the autocratic rule in India.

***

On this day in 1951, Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, records "Rocket 88", often cited as "the first rock and roll record", at Sam Phillips' recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

***

On this day in 1969, the Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.

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On this day in 1991, an amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.

***

On this day in 2004, Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival AmBev agree to merge in a $11.2 billion deal that forms InBev, the world's largest brewer.

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On this day in 2005, Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 2



On this day in 537, the Ostrogoth army under king Vitiges began the siege of the capital. Belisarius conducts a delaying action outside the Flaminian Gate; he and a detachment of his bucellarii are almost cut off.

***

On this day in 1807, Congress passes an act to "prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States... from any foreign kingdom, place, or country." But not to worry; with a self-sustaining population of over four million African slaves already held as chattel in the South, they didn't need no new blood, no-how!

***

On this day in 1877, a partisan Republican panel declares Rutherford B. Hayes to be the winner of the previous year's election. This, despite his having lost both the popular and, most likely, the electoral college vote, to opponent Samuel J. Tilden, Democrat. After his inauguration as the 19th U.S. president, Hayes was coerced into undoing the work begun by Abraham Lincoln. He caved in to Southern conservative demands that the military withdraw from the region, effectively bringing Reconstruction to an end. One by one, all the former Confederate (traitor) states began stripping blacks of the right to vote, among other things. It would take nearly a century for the Civil Rights movement to gain the strength required to force the feds to once again address this chronic deficiency of the Southern character.

***

On this day in 1882, Queen Victoria narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Roderick McLean in Windsor.

***

On this day in 1904, Theodor Geisel is born. Who the fuck is Theodor Geisel, you ask? You folks probably remember him as the immortal Dr Seuss, author of such kiddy classics as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat. But yer old pal Jerky will always remember Geisel as the anonymous author of the illustrated adult-oriented classics Horton Hits a Whore, If I Ran the Sex Zoo, and I am Curious, Oobleck.

***

On this day in 1919, the first Communist International meets in Moscow.

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On this day in 1933, the film King Kong opens at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

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On this day in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points.

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On this day in 1983, Compact Discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.

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On this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela is elected deputy President of the African National Congress.

***

On this day in 1993, Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh promises to give himself up and allow authorities to enter his compound if the media agrees to broadcast a one-hour audiotape of religious teachings he recorded earlier that same morning. At 1:30 in the afternoon, at the behest of FBI negotiators, the Christian Broadcasting Network plays the tape in its entirety. At 5:58 PM, Koresh informs negotiators that God has ordered him to wait a little while longer before coming out.

***

On this day in 1995, researchers at Fermilab announce the discovery of the top quark.

Friday, March 1, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 1


On this day in 752 BC, Romulus, legendary first king of Rome, celebrates the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses, following The Rape of the Sabine Women.

***

As of this day in the year 743 AD, because of an official decree, citizens of the Holy Roman Empire are no longer allowed to export their servants and/or children to slave traders from "heathen" lands. This might seem like a progressive move at first glance, but it had the unintended consequence of creating a white slave-trade deficit that sent shockwaves through the global economy.

***

On this day in 1562, 23 Huguenots are massacred by Catholics in Wassy, France, marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.

***

On this day in 1633, Samuel de Champlain reclaims his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.

***

On this day in 1692, Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials.

***

On this day in 1780, Pennsylvania becomes the first American state to abolish hereditary slavery. Children of Pennsylvania slaves were thereafter born "free"… to do what, exactly, Godzilla only knows.

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On this day in 1790, the first United States census is authorized.

***

On this day in 1811, King Muhammad Ali Pasha, founder of the modern state of Egypt, personally oversees the murders of over 500 Mameluke warriors in a single day's slaughter. I don't have a joke, here. I just like the word "Mameluke". We don't use it nearly enough these days.

***

On this day in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is established as the world's first national park.

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On this day in 1893, electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.

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On this day in 1896, Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity.

***

On this day in 1910, the worst avalanche in United States history buries a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.

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On this day in 1912, Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.

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On this day in 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr, the 20-month-old son of Nazi-sympathizing aviation legend Charles Lindbergh Sr, is kidnapped from his nursery in New Jersey. The child's corpse would be discovered buried not very far from the Lindbergh home, two months later, after the family paid a $70,000 ransom. If any of you old-timers know any Lindbergh Baby Jokes, kindly send them to yer old pal Jerky. I'm chokin' for a chuckle!

***

On this day in 1936, the Hoover Dam is completed.

***

On this day in 1937, the first ever permanent automobile license plates are issued, in the state of Connecticut. Prior to that, drivers had to chalk in their license numbers on small blackboards that were affixed to the front of every vehicle sold.

***

On this day in 1947, the International Monetary Fund begins financial operations.

***

On this day in 1953, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later.

***

On this day in 1954, the Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, is detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.

***

On this day in 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists attack the United States Capitol building, injuring five Representatives.

***

On this day in 1961, American President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.

***

On this day in 1966, Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashes on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet's surface.

***

On this day in 1970, Family-man Charles Manson releases his first album. Entitled Lie, the folk-tinged collection of melodies fails to find an audience. You know, maybe if Manson had scored a gold record, things might not have soured so quickly for the hippies. In other words… it's a good thing it flopped!

***

On this day in 1971, a bomb explodes in a men's room in the United States Capitol: the Weather Underground claims responsibility.

***

On this day in 1989, the United States becomes a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

***

On this day in 1990, Steve Jackson Games is raided by the United States Secret Service, prompting the later formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

***

On this day in 1998, Titanic became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 29 (LEAP YEAR!)

 


HAPPY LEAP YEAR, FOLKS! The Earth completes its orbit around the Sun in 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds (365.2425 days). That's why we add a calendar day every four years. Unfortunately, that leaves an excess of 42 minutes and 52 seconds each time, or about 3 days every 400 years.

To compensate for this, three days are removed every 400 years. This adjustment is made by having an exception to the general rule that there is a leap year every four years. Instead, a year divisible by 100 is not a leap year unless that year was also exactly divisible by 400! 

This means that the years 2000 was the last "centenary leap year", that the last centenary leap year took place in 1600, and that the next centenary leap year will take place in 2400! So unless you're younger than 16, you were around for the last one, and NOBODY alive today will be around for the next one (unless something really sci-fi and revolutionary happens in the medical or pharmaceutical sciences). 

Anyway, just because February 29 only comes around with about a quarter the frequency of every other calendar day, that doesn't mean nothing ever happens on it! Here are a few things that happened... ON THIS DAY!

***

On this day in 1504, controversial explorer Christopher Columbus uses his knowledge of an upcoming lunar eclipse to convince a tribe of Native Americans to provide him with supplies. Tricky bugger.

***

On this day in 1912, the 300-ton "Piedra Movediza" (or "Moving Stone") of Tandil, Argentina, near Buenos Aires, falls and breaks due to either vandalism (fawk!) or vibrations from a nearby construction project (d'oh!).

***

On this day in 1940, actress Hattie McDaniel - who don't know nuthin bout birthin no babies -becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award. It is the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, in recognition for her performance as "Mammy", in Gone with the Wind.

***

On this day in 1980, hockey legend Gordie Howe of the then Hartford Whalers makes NHL history as he scores his 800th goal.

***

On this day in 1988, for the first time ever, a member of the Canadian House of Commons comes out as gay. His name? Svend Robinson. He'd been serving since 1979, and he served until 2004. He won seven elections. And yet, in Canada, his permanent legacy is that of a bipolar gay guy who tried and failed to steal an expensive ring, effectively bringing his political career to a dead stop.

***

On this day in 2004, after a complicated series of gangland slayings and public riots, democratically-elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is removed from power (he says kidnapped) and flown to Jamaica, then South Africa, in a forced exile following a coup that was supposedly masterminded by the USA, France and (really?!) CANADA!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 29 (LEAP YEAR!)


HAPPY LEAP YEAR, FOLKS! The Earth completes its orbit around the Sun in 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds (365.2425 days). That's why we add a calendar day every four years. Unfortunately, that leaves an excess of 42 minutes and 52 seconds each time, or about 3 days every 400 years.

To compensate for this, three days are removed every 400 years. This adjustment is made by having an exception to the general rule that there is a leap year every four years. Instead, a year divisible by 100 is not a leap year unless that year was also exactly divisible by 400! 

This means that the years 2000 was the last "centenary leap year", that the last centenary leap year took place in 1600, and that the next centenary leap year will take place in 2400! So unless you're younger than 16, you were around for the last one, and NOBODY alive today will be around for the next one (unless something really sci-fi and revolutionary happens in the medical or pharmaceutical sciences). 

Anyway, just because February 29 only comes around with about a quarter the frequency of every other calendar day, that doesn't mean nothing ever happens on it! Here are a few things that happened... ON THIS DAY!

***

On this day in 1504, controversial explorer Christopher Columbus uses his knowledge of an upcoming lunar eclipse to convince a tribe of Native Americans to provide him with supplies. Tricky bugger.

***

On this day in 1912, the 300-ton "Piedra Movediza" (or "Moving Stone") of Tandil, Argentina, near Buenos Aires, falls and breaks due to either vandalism (fawk!) or vibrations from a nearby construction project (d'oh!).

***

On this day in 1940, actress Hattie McDaniel - who don't know nuthin bout birthin no babies -becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award. It is the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, in recognition for her performance as "Mammy", in Gone with the Wind.

***

On this day in 1980, hockey legend Gordie Howe of the then Hartford Whalers makes NHL history as he scores his 800th goal.

***

On this day in 1988, for the first time ever, a member of the Canadian House of Commons comes out as gay. His name? Svend Robinson. He'd been serving since 1979, and he served until 2004. He won seven elections. And yet, in Canada, his permanent legacy is that of a bipolar gay guy who tried and failed to steal an expensive ring, effectively bringing his political career to a dead stop.

***

On this day in 2004, after a complicated series of gangland slayings and public riots, democratically-elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is removed from power (he says kidnapped) and flown to Jamaica, then South Africa, in a forced exile following a coup that was supposedly masterminded by the USA, France and (really?!) CANADA!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 27

 


On this day in 1812, poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

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On this day in 1827Mardi Gras is celebrated for the first time ever in the city of New Orleans, and aside from a few floods, a Civil War, a deadly influenza epidemic and the birth of disco… it's been one long party ever since!

***

On this day in 1860Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.

***

On this day in 1900, the British Labour Party is founded.

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On this day in 1933, Germany's parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire. Some people say the Nazis set it on fire on purpose, to assume draconian anti-terrorism powers. But they could have done so either way.

***

On this day in 1951, the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

***

On this day in 1957, Chinese leader Mao Tse Dung delivers his stirring oratory: "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among People." The codicil decreeing that "the family should be billed for the bullet" was later added to the printed version by persons unknown.

***

On this day in 1971, doctors in the first Dutch abortion clinic (the Mildredhuis in Arnhem) start to perform aborti provocati.

***

On this day in 1973, the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

***

On this day in 1974People Magazine publishes its first issue. Collective brain damage via celebrity trivia overload ensues.

***
On this day in 1981Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder record Ebony & Ivory, the song which ended all racism, everywhere. 

***

On this day in 1991, U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that "Kuwait is liberated", thus bringing an end to the first Gulf War. Also on this day, millionaire pornography impresario Artie Mitchell is shot to death by his brother and business partner Jim at his luxurious home in San Francisco. After an OJ-esque trial where extensive use was made of computer-generated re-creations of the crime scene, Jim Mitchell was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to a mere six years in the slammer. He's back on the streets, now, running a strip club.

***

On this day in 1998, Apple discontinues developing their Newton line of computers. All together now… AWWWW!!!

***
On this day in 2003Fred Rogers, ordained Presbyterian minister and beloved host of PBS's long-running Mister Roger's Neighborhood, dies of stomach cancer at his home in Pittsburgh. He was seventy four years old. Over a career that spanned children's educational television from its humble, black and white beginnings in the early sixties, through the elaborate musical numbers of the seventies, beyond the eighties and its cults of personality, and all the way through the surrealism of the nineties, Mister Rogers' brand of gentle entertainment not only survived, but thrived. His show was, in fact, at its most popular in the mid-80's. The fact that his show did so well without ever making any substantial changes makes his achievement doubly amazing. By all accounts, Fred Rogers was the proverbial "good man." His family loved him. Kids truly loved him. People caught in the grips of grindingly bad acid trips loved him for the Valium-like effect he had on the state of their souls. But hey... he had to kick the bucket some time! Am I right, people?!

***

On this day in 2004, the initial version of the John Jay Report, with details about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States, is released.

Monday, February 26, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 26

 


On this day in 747 BC, the origin of Ptolemy's Nabonassar Era... whatever that is.

***

On this day in 1616, representatives from the Spanish Inquisition deliver an injunction to Galileo, instructing him to keep his mouth shut about all that "science" and "outer space" stuff. According to official documents in the Vatican archives, Galileo is currently writhing in an ever-burning oven down in Hell, ruing the day he decided to cross the Catholic Church by thinking for himself. But never forget, folks… God LOVES you!

***

On this day in 1815Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba.

***

On this day in 1848Marx and Engels publish their Communist Manifesto. Chaos ensues. 

***

On this day in 1917, the Original Dixieland Jass Band records the first jazz record, for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York.

***

On this day in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signs an act of the U.S. Congress establishing most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park - the Grand Canyon National Park.

***

On this day in 1920, the first German Expressionist film and early horror movie, Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, receives its première in Berlin.

***

On this day in 1926, Dark Street in the Bronx renamed Lustre Street. It changes nothing.

***

On this day in 1930, the first ever red/green traffic lights are installed in Manhattan, New York. Hundreds of commuters perish in horrific head-ons as most drivers are hypnotized by the mysterious-yet-beautiful luminous street ornaments. 

***

On this day in 1935Adolf Hitler orders the Luftwaffe to be re-formed, violating the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.

***

On this day in 1983Michael "Jacko" Jackson's Thriller album claims the number one spot on the Billboard charts and remains there for an astonishing 37 weeks. Yer old pal Jerky figures the only reason this album was so successful is because Vincent Price makes a special guest vocal appearance on the title track.

***

On this day in 1987, the Tower Commission rebukes President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff during the Iran-Contra affair.

***

On this day in 1993, the World Trade Center is bombed by militant Islamic terrorists. 7 people die and scores are injured in the massive blast, which knocks away three floors of underground parking. If the explosion at the base of the Twin Towers had been just a little bit more powerful, it would have collapsed both buildings, most likely killing most of the estimated forty thousand workers, tenants and tourists who were in the building at the time.

***

On this day in 1994, stand-up philosopher Bill Hicks dies of pancreatic cancer at the ripe old age of 33. The dissident Texan has been dead for a decade, and his words are more relevant now than ever before... almost prophetically so. See today's "Google This" for more details, and download some of his comedy routines off Kazaa or something, while you still can.

***

On this day in 1998Oprah Winfrey wins her "battle of the titans" when she beat a bunch of litigious Texas cattlemen who sued the BSE-freaked TV hostess for telling her millions-strong viewing audience she'd never eat another hamburger.

***

On this day in 1999, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) and Senator Robert Bennet (R-Utah) - ranking members of the Senate Special Committee on the Y2K Problem - went on CBS's Face the Nation and basically freaked out the entire panel. Of the then-looming Y2K disaster, the Senators said: "This is one of the most serious and potentially devastating events this nation has ever encountered." They claimed that the millennial chaos could include lives lost to malfunctioning medical equipment, erased banking records, massive blackouts and missiles from other countries automatically launching themselves. "Any responsible household would prepare and have on hand a two- or three-day supply." Eventually, of course, it was discovered that the whole Y2K thing was a load of hogshit devised by The Powers That Be to fuck up what would otherwise have been the ultimate New Year's Eve party of all fucking time. And, seeing as most people stayed home on the night of Dec 31, shotguns across their laps, ready to defend their 30-lb containers of Minute Rice and their bathtubs full of spring water, it looks like the party-pooping finger-sniffers succeeded.

***

On this day in 2013, a hot air balloon crashes near Luxor, Egypt, killing 19 people.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

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.

***

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

***

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. 

***

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!

***

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.

***

On this day in 1870Hiram 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.

***

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

***

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

***

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.

***

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!

***

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?

***

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

***

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.

***

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

***

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.

***

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

***

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.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 24

 


On this day in 1303, the Battle of Roslin takes place during the First War of Scottish Independence.

***

On this day in the year 1807, seventeen sadistic voyeurs get what they deserve when they are trampled into a foamy pink pulp while attempting to get a good view of a triple public execution in jolly old England.

***

On this day in 1821, Mexico gains its independence from Spain.

***

On this day in 1822, the 1st Swaminarayan temple in the world, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Ahmedabad, is inaugurated.

***

On this day in 1868Andrew Johnson becomes the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He is later acquitted in the Senate.

***

On this day in 1920, the Nazi Party is founded.

***

On this day in 1923, in an all-out effort to eliminate the competition, the US federal government launches a wave of Mafia arrests.

***

On this day in 1933, the League of Nations tells Japan to pull out of Manchuria. Japan objects on the grounds that it hasn't blown its load, yet.

***

On this day in 1942, an order-in-council passed under the Defence of Canada Regulations of the War Measures Act gives the Canadian federal government the power to intern all "persons of Japanese racial origin".

***

On this day in 1945, Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha is killed in Parliament after reading a decree.

***

On this day in 1980, the United States Olympic Hockey team completes their Miracle on Ice by defeating Finland 4-2 to win the gold medal.

***

On this day in 1988, the United States Supreme Court overturns a $200,000 settlement awarded to Jerry Falwell over his claim that he suffered emotional distress when he was jokingly accused of having lost his virginity to his own mother during a drunken tryst in an outhouse by one of the writers at Hustler Magazine. Ultimately, the Supes decided that, although in poor taste, Hustler's parody was protected by the First Amendment. We here at the Daily Dirt get down on our knees and thank Godzilla for this great precedent, every day.

***

On this day in 1989Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini offers a US$3 million bounty for the death of The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie. Meanwhile, over the Pacific Ocean, United Airlines Flight 811, bound for New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii, rips open during flight, blowing 9 passengers out of the business-class section. And finally, also on this day, a security guard finds a fat, ugly super-fan by the name of Margaret Ray in David Letterman's house (the late night host was away at the time). When confronted, Ray claims to be Letterman's wife, but her story fails to wash. Ray's obsession eventually switches targets, focusing instead on moon-walking All-American, Buzz Aldrin. Soon after that, she knelt down on some train tracks and kissed a high-balling freight train goodbye.

***

On this day in 2008Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba after nearly fifty years.

Friday, February 23, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 23

 


If at first you don't succeed... on this day in the year 1574, Catholic France begins its fifth "Holy War" against French Protestant Huguenots. The reason why you don't know what a Huguenot is, is because they killed them all.

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On this day in 1820, a plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers is exposed. The Cato Street Conspiracy.

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On this day in 1836, the Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.

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On this day in 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.

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On this day in 1896, the Tootsie Roll is invented.

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On this day in 1898, writer Émile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing "J'accuse", a letter accusing the French government of antisemitism and wrongfully imprisoning Captain Alfred Dreyfus.

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On this day in 1903, Cuba leases Guantánamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity".

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On this day in 1918, the last monarch of Mecklenburg-Strelitz commits suicide.

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On this day in 1927, German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg writes a letter to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli, in which he describes his uncertainty principle for the first time.

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On this day in 1941, Plutonium is first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.

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On this day in 1954, the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh.

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On this day in 1987Supernova 1987a is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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On this day in 1997, a small fire occurs in the Russian space station, Mir.

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It was on this day in 1999 that yer old pal Jerky took over writing duties on The Daily Dirt from the previous author, Pig McBaker, after Pig decided to pursue career opportunities in Angola, where he worked alongside Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, leader of the Angolan rebel group UNITA. Unfortunately, Savimbi was killed by the Angolan army a while back, and yer old pal Jerky hasn't heard from Pig ever since. Hey, Pig! If you're reading this, drop us a line and let us know you're still out there!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 22

 



On this day in 1455, inventor Johannes Gutenberg prints the first-ever "mass produced" book: the Holy Bible. It immediately rockets to the top of the bestseller charts.

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On this day in the year 1630, native Americans introduce malnourished pilgrims to the delicacy we now call popcorn during a Thanksgiving feast. The pilgrims show their appreciation for the natives' generosity by giving them bibles, fire-water and smallpox-infested blankets.

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On this day in 1821, Spain sells a huge chunk of Florida to the United States for $5 million bucks. In other words, they totally ripped us off!

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On this day in 1651, a storm surge floods Germany coast, drowning 15.000 people in what people call St. Peter's Flood.

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On this day in 1879, in Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of 5 and dime Woolworth stores.

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On this day in 1945, four US Marines create the "photo op of the century" when they raise the flag on Iwo Jima.

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On this day in 1973, following President Richard Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China, the two countries agree to establish liaison offices. One year later, on this day in 1974Samuel Byck tries and fails to assassinate Nixon.

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On this day in 1980, in Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3 in a game that has been dubbed the Miracle on Ice.

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On this day in 1983, the notorious Broadway flop Moose Murders opens and closes on the same night at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

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On this day in 1985, the Senate confirms Edwin Meese III as Ronald Reagan's Attorney General. He is only marginally less puritanical, corrupt and religiously insane than Dubya's boy, Jesus H. Ashcroft.

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On this day in 1994Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.

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Also on this day, in 1992Kurt "Voice of a Generation" Cobain and Courtney "Fucked the Voice of a Generation" Love get married, and live happily ever after.

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On this day in 1997, scientists in Scotland announce the successful cloning of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal ever to be cloned from adult cells. It was one small step for science, and a giant leap forward in the Scottish plot to breed a race of sexually irresistible super-sheep.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 21

 


On this day in 1808, without a previous declaration of war, Russian troops cross the border to Sweden at Abborfors in eastern Finland, thus beginning the Finnish war, in which Sweden will lose the eastern half of the country (Finland) to Russia.

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On this day in 1828, the first American Indian newspaper debuts. A weekly, Georgia's Cherokee Phoenix is mostly remembered for its boring comics page, which consisted exclusively of stick figure men chucking spears at crudely drawn buffalo. 

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On this day in 1848Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.

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On this day in 1878, the first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.

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On this day in 1885, the Washington Monument is formally dedicated in honor of America's first president, George Washington. At the time, the 555-foot obelisk was the tallest man-made structure in the world, and is still the tallest structure in the nation's capital, by decree of law. Some trouble-makers claim the majestic, masonic structure looks like a big white cock, but yer old pal Jerky thinks it looks more like... um... a big white cock with a little pyramid where the glans should be, I guess.

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On this day in 1887, the first US bacteriology laboratory opens in Brooklyn, New York. Bacteriological research ensues. 

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On this day in 1925, the first issue of smart-set fave The New Yorker Magazine is published, to the flutter of dainty, white-gloved applause. Unfortunately, The New Yorker rarely if ever publishes any information real New Yorkers can use, like how to survive a Central Park swarming, or which cab companies employ the least "disgruntled" foreigners.

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On this day in 1947, inventor E.H. Land demonstrates the first ever "instant developing" camera in New York, forever changing the way modern man hunts beavers.

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On this day in 1948NASCAR is incorporated. Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1958, the peace symbol, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom. Of course, conservative movementarians and Dark Christians claim the symbol is "Satanic".

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On this day in 1965Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.

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On this day in 1973, over the Sinai Desert, Israeli fighter aircraft shoot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 jet killing 108.
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On this day in 1988, his squinty eyes pouring crocodile tears, televangelist Jimmy Swaggart goes before his sheep-like tele-congregation and screams: "I have sinned against you!" This is because the big phony had been caught paying some loathsome Baton Rouge gutter-skank to do a little dance and finger her cooze while he watched and pulled his anatomy. Swaggart's mea culpa was halfhearted at best, however, as he was soon caught with yet another prostitute. To this day, Swaggart continues to preach in hell.

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On this day in 1991, the USSR announces that Iraq has agreed to a proposal to end the Gulf War. The USG calls the plan unacceptable, because they hadn't killed enough Iraqis yet.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 20

 


On this day in 1472, the islands of Orkney and Shetland are pawned by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark.

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Turnabout is fair play on this day in 1725, when ten Indians are scalped in their sleep by white settlers in New Hampshire, for the £100 bounty each scalp would bring.

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On this day in 1792, the Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington. Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1809, the Supreme Court of the USA rules that the federal government is more powerful than any individual state… especially Rhode Island.

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On this day in 1909, publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro.

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On this day in 1929, the Boston Red Sox announce that they will begin playing baseball games on Sunday, prompting God to fortify the Curse of the Bambino

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On this day in 1933, Congress repeals the nation's useless and miserably unsuccessful policy of Prohibition against alcohol. Let's hope we don't have to wait until 2033 before they repeal the nation's useless and miserably unsuccessful War On Drugs.

Also on this day in 1933Adolf Hitler secretly meets with German industrialists to arrange for financing of the Nazi Party's upcoming election campaign.

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On this day in 1943, American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.

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On this day in 1959, the Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate and pressure from the Americans for some reason. This effectively ends Canada's attempts at becoming a powerhouse in aviation technology.

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On this day in 1962, astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit planet Earth, nearly a year after the Soviets launched kosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into orbit. All together now: "We're Number Two! We're Number Two!"

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Also on this day, in 1971, the National Emergency Center mistakenly orders all US radio and TV stations to switch from programming to Emergency Alert, freaking out a whole lotta people for an entire half-hour before the error is caught, and broadcasts are allowed to continue.

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On this day in 1986, the Soviet Union launches its Mir spacecraft. Remaining in orbit for 15 years, it is occupied for 10 of those years.

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On this day in 1987, in Salt Lake City, a bomb explodes in a computer store.

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On this day in 2003, a Pakistani Air Force plane crashed in a remote, mountainous region, killing Air Force chief Mushaf Ali Mir and 16 others. Aside from being one of our most important "allies" in the so-called "War on Terror," the nation of Pakistan is also where the Taliban originated, and still thrives. Further complicating things, General Musharaff has been tasked with simultaneously helping the hated Western "infidels" and holding back an Iran-style popular fundamentalist Islamic revolution, at home. Pakistan also has nuclear weapons, which sucks out loud when you consider that Musharaff is pretty much all that stands between "the button" and millions of Osama-loving fundamentalist lunatics who would love nothing better than to vaporize India, then Israel, then as much of the USA as they possibly can. You think car-bombs are bad? Wait'll you get a load of car-nukes!

Also on this day in 2003, in West Warwick, Rhode Island, concertgoers expecting to re-live their hard-rockin' high school days by taking in a Great White concert were instead sent screaming into the night by an out-of-control pyrotechnics display. The all-wood building where the concert was being held went up like a straw hat soaked in gasoline. Many were trampled in the rush to escape. Others asphyxiated on the thick toxic smoke. Still others were roasted alive where they stood. 99 people died, including Great White's guitarist. 

And also on this day in 2003 (again?!), a plane goes down in Iran, killing 304 "elite" Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

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On this day in 2009, two Tamil Tigers aircraft packed with C4 explosives en route to the national air force headquarters are shot down by the Sri Lankan military before reaching their target, in a kamikaze style attack. Wow. How come this is the first I'm hearing about this craziness?!

Monday, February 19, 2024

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 1859Daniel 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 1985William 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!"

Sunday, February 18, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 18

 On this day in the year 1856, members of the secretive, nativist, anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic Known-Nothing Party hold their first ever convention in Philadelphia. Little did they know that the Lord would fail to provide them with their perfect presidential candidate until one-hundred-and-fifty-six years after their short-lived party's demise.


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On this day in 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America.

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On this day in 1927, the United States officially opens diplomatic relations with the post-revolutionary British Loyalist refugee nation of Canada. "No hard feelings, eh?"

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On this day in 1930, while studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.

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On this day in 1930Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.

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On this day in 1943, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels delivers his Sportpalast - or Total War - speech.

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On this day in 1954, the first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles, California.

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On this day in 1968David Gilmour joins Pink Floyd. If you're wondering why this news merits a mention in the Daily Dirt, go listen to MeddleWish you were Here, or Animals. If you're still left wondering after that, then there's nothing yer old pal Jerky can do for you.

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On this day in 1970, an ever-humble President Richard Nixon launches a campaign to promote his "Nixon Doctrine." Meanwhile, in Chicago, the so-called Chicago Seven are found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

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On this day in 1972, the California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, (6 Cal.3d 628) invalidates the state's death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment... including Charles Manson and others.

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On this day in 1978, the first ever Iron Man Triathlon - consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and a complete marathon - is held in beautiful Kona, Hawaii.

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On this day in 1983, 13 people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history.

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On this day in 1995, surgically-enhanced Baywatch starlet Pamela Anderson marries millionaire Motley Crue stickman Tommy Lee. They squirt out a brat, accidentally star in the most popular porno movie of all time, have drug and violence problems, and eventually get a divorce. Then a neighbor's kid drowns at the bottom of a pool during their son's birthday party. It's like Dynasty, only with dumb white trash instead of the Upper Crust.

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On this day in 2001, FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union. He is ultimately convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 17

 


On this day in 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned alive, for heresy, at Campo de' Fiori in Rome.

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On this day in 1621Myles Standish is appointed as first commander of Plymouth colony.

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On this day in 1864, the Confederate submarine HL Hunley sends the Union ship Housatonic to a watery grave. It's the first time in history that a ship is sunk by submarine, and it remained the Confederacy's proudest moment until the presidential "elections" of 2000.

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On this day in 1913, the New York Armory Show introduces Americans to some of the finest masterpieces of the Modern Art movement. The show was going well until the moment a monocle-sporting, cigar-chomping, top-hat-wearing plutocrat inquired about purchasing Picasso's Guitare to use as gift-wrapping paper.

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On this day in 1933, the Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States.

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On this day in 1958, cartoonist Johnny Hart's prehistoric-themed comic strip B.C. premieres. A stickler for historical accuracy, Hart insisted on using only authentic, Stone Age jokes.

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On this day in 1964, the United States Supreme Court rules that 1 man = 1 vote. Conservatives were outraged, and have yet to "get over it."

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On this day in 1972, sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model-T.

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On this day in 1989Whitesnake front-man David Coverdale marries "actress" Tawny Kitaen. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when three members of the wedding party succumb to the toxic fog of industrial strength hairspray that had accumulated in the poorly-ventilated cathedral.

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On this day in 1996, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world champion Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match.

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On this day in 1998, Aryan Nations "lieutenant" Larry Wayne Harris and his buddy, Bill Levitt, are arrested in Las Vegas after bragging about having enough anthrax to "kill every human being in the city." They actually had anthrax vaccine, but that's beside the point. Three years previous to this arrest, Harris - a self-proclaimed former CIA agent and author of a book that has been described as a "How To" manual for bioterrorists - was arrested for using fraudulent means to acquire bubonic plague. He kept the vials of deadly germs - which had been delivered to him via Federal Express - in the glove compartment of his car. Whotta guy!

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On this day in 2000, the sharp-eyed ultra-right-wing lunatic-fringe-dwellers at FreeRepublic.com were quick to spot SATAN HIMSELF at a Democratic Candidates Debate held at the historical Apollo Theater in Harlem. The collection of genuine hate-mongers who hang out there actually had "serious" discussions about what, exactly, this "demonic" image meant. Was it put there by the Democrats themselves, as some sort of subliminal threat to the voting public?! Or was Gawd Almighty, Himself, trying to warn the nation about the Democrats' evil, baby-killin' ways?! You, dear reader, be the judge!








For those of you who can't see the image, it's the pale white geometric shape made by four uneven stars being projected against the backdrop, right between Gore and Bradley.

Friday, February 16, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 16

 


On this day in the year 600Pope Gregory declares that the correct response to a sneeze is "God bless You." It would be another thirteen-hundred plus years before the Vatican decreed the proper response to a fart, which, as we all know, is: "Nice one!"

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On this day in 1852, the Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

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On this day in 1923, after a 30-year search, Howard Carter penetrates King Tut's long-sealed tomb in Egypt's Valley of Kings. He was the first human being to lay eyes on the dead boy king in nearly three millennia. Grave robbing + 3000 years = legitimate archeology!

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On this day in 1943, members of the White Rose student society in Munich paint the words "Out with Hitler!" and "Hitler is a murderer!" and "Long live freedom!" on a prominent, well-traveled overpass. On February 18, the tight-knit group of student activists is apprehended after a groundskeeper, who was also a Nazi party member, sees them passing out anti-Hitler leaflets on campus. On February 22, after a show trial, they are all executed by guillotine. They remain an inspiration to all who struggle in the name of truth and justice against impossible odds.

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On this day in 1960, the U.S. Navy submarine USS Triton begins Operation Sandblast, setting sail from New London, Connecticut, to begin the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.

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On this day in 1978, the first computer Bulletin Board System (BBS) is established in Chicago. A truly pioneering presence at the time, Ward Christian and Randy Suess's CBBS mostly featured ASCII images of Mister Spock and bestiality porn.

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On this day in 1982Lee "Six Million Dollar Man" Majors and Farrah "Six Million Dollar Hair" Fawcett get a divorce, about five years too late for anybody to give a fuck.

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Happy Birthday, Hezbollah! The anti-Zionist paramilitary org is inaugurated on this day in 1985.

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On this day in 1987, the trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem.

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On this day in 1992, the Los Angeles Lakers retire Magic Johnson's #32 uniform... because it has AIDS.

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On this day in 2005, the Kyoto Protocol comes into force, following its ratification by Russia. Today, it's all but dead, as even nations like Australia and Canada have begun backing out.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 15

 


On this day in 399 BC, seminal Greek philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death by a jury of citizens for having "corrupted the youth of Athens." His legendary but unsuccessful oratory in his own defense was recorded by his follower, Plato, and is known as The Apology, which remains one of the greatest portraits of courage,conviction and wit in the entire Western canon. Read it here. I feel I must warn you, however, that reading Socrates is much like smoking marijuana, in that it is a"gateway drug" that leads you on to ever stronger stuff.

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On this day in 1898, a huge explosion rips through the USS Maine while it's moored in Havana harbor, killing 258 sailors and Marines. Though subsequent investigations showed the blast was likely due to an accidental coal-fire, that didn't stop politicians of the day from using the incident as a pretext for sparking the Spanish-American War. "Remember the Maine!" was a popular rallying cry of the day.

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On this day in 1925, much-needed anti-diptheria serum arrives in Nome, Alaska, ending the 1925 serum run to Nome, with Balto being the lead dog of the last team.

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On this day in 1931, the first ever Dracula movie premieres. Goths ensue.

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On this day in 1933, disgruntled immigrant Giuseppe Zangara takes a shot at president-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Florida. He misses, hitting Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, instead. Cermak fell out of the convertible, and the driver raced off, but Roosevelt ordered him to turn back. FDR then personally hauled Cermak into the car and the raced off to hospital. But it was too late. Cermak succumbed to his wounds. Zangara was executed just over a month later.

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On this day in 1942, following an assault by Japanese forces, the British General Arthur Percival surrenders. About 80,000 Indian, United Kingdom and Australian soldiers become prisoners of war, the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. The vast majority of those British POW horror stories you hear come from this single event.

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On this day in 1946, the first electronic general-purpose computer, ENIAC, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

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On this day in 1954, Canada and the United States agree to construct the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic regions of Canada and Alaska.

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On this day in 1965, after flying the Union Jack for two-hundred-and-sixty years, followed by ninety-five years under the Red Ensign, Canada adopts the famous Maple Leaf flag design, to the delight of botanists and stoners the world over. 

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On this day in 1982, the drilling rig Ocean Ranger sinks during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 workers.

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On this day in 2001, the first draft of the complete human genome is published in Nature.

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On this day in 2003, protests against the Iraq war take place in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that between 8 million to 30 million people participate, making this the largest peace demonstration in history. It doesn't make a damn bit of difference. The brutal, bloodthirsty invasion of a disarmed and defenseless enemy goes ahead as planned.

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On this day in 2013, a meteor explodes over Russia, injuring 1,500 people as a shock wave blows out windows and rocks buildings. This happens unexpectedly only hours before the expected closest ever approach of the larger and unrelated asteroid 2012 DA14.


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 14

 


On this day in 1349, several hundred Jews are burned to death by mobs while the remainder of their population is forcibly removed from the city of Strasbourg.

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On this day in 1400Richard II dies, most likely from starvation, in Pontefract Castle, on the orders of Henry Bolingbroke. Ah, the English... so staid, conservative and civilized!

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On this day in 1779, sailor James Cook is killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii.

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On this day in 1831Ras Marye of Yejju marches into Tigray and defeats and kills Dejazmach Sabagadis in the Battle of Debre Abbay... and if you have any idea what any of that meant, kindly email me and let me know, because I haven't got the foggiest.

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On this day in 1924, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company changes its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1929, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre takes place. Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone's gang, are murdered in Chicago, Illinois.

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On this day in 1949, the Asbestos Strike begins in Canada. The strike marks the beginning of the Quiet Revolution in Quebec.

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On this day in 1957, the Georgia Senate unanimously approves Senator Leon Butts' bill barring blacks from playing baseball with whites, otherwise known as the Locker Room Shock Prevention Bill.

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On this day in 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy takes television viewers on a tour of the White House.

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On this day in 1971, President Richard Nixon has a secret audio-taping system installed in the Oval Office. This works out very well for him in the long term.

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On this day in 1989Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.

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On this day in 1989, Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini puts a multi-million dollar bounty on Salman Rushdie's head because his novel The Satanic Verses - in which Mohammed (PBUH) plays tricks on the archangel Gabriel - is blasphemous. Today, Khomeini is dead and Rushdie still walks among us. HA-ha!

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On this day in 2005Youtube is launched by a group of college students, eventually becoming the largest video sharing website in the world and a main source for viral videos.