What Happened On, February 18th

It’s been more than two weeks since my last update. Had a few days with food poisoning; note: do not buy anything instant that requires you to boil milk.

February 18th, 2013, marks a special President’s day for Civil-War buffs. On this day, in 1861, Jefferson Finis Davis was inaugurated as the first — and only — President of the Confederate States of America.

Confusion during parades is likely to ensue in the states of Texas, Alabama, and South Carolina, where some patriot will march down the street wrapped in nothing but a Confederate flag, drunk on moonshine, singing “I Wish I Was In Dixie. ”

In four years, Davis managed to lose the war and destroy the Confederate economy through inflation, but not before he shamed himself on the world stage. Something about being the leader of a pro-slavery confederacy, fighting an anti-slavery union, didn’t sit well with the leaders of the countries from which Davis sought to enslave.

In aviation and postal history, in 1911, the first official air-mail flight took place, and in a rather arrogant manner. About 6,500 letters were flown over the excruciating distance of six miles, and what better person to do it than a French pilot, Henri Pequet, over a British-controlled territory known today as India.

If you didn’t vote for Pedro in 1913, don’t worry; nobody did. In 1913, Mexican military general Victoriano Huerta staged a coup that overthrew the then-reigning Presdient Francisco I. Madero, ultimately conspiring with Pedro Lascurain to give some legality to the takeover. Pedro’s presidency lasted a mere forty-five minutes, about the length most people can pay attention to politicians ramble on the news before realizing there’s something better on the next channel.

The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, as he studied photographs he took the previous month. And, by no coincidence, Walt named Mickey Mouse’s dog in true Disney-fashion to cash in on the craze of whatever was sweeping the nation at the time.

Speaking of dumb animals, on this day in 1930, Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly without the use of a catapult. The flight began in Bismarck, Missouri, and landed in St. Louis, as Elsworth W. Bunce became the first farmer to milk a cow in mid-flight, raising the bar of the mile-high club for bestiality enthusiasts.

Tom Cruise can celebrate today, for back in 1954, the first Church of Scientology was established in Los Angeles, California. Due to legal constraints, I regret to inform you I cannot comment further on the Church of Scientology or young Navy Fighter Pilots.

Finally, in a show of mercy on convicted felons, and to bolster bureaucratic budgets, the California Supreme Court decided in 1972 it was perfectly fine to invalidate California’s death penalty laws, and commuted all death-row inmate sentences to life in prison.

Not to be outdone, the California voters — then at the time more sane — voted for Proposition 17 just nine months later, thereby re-instituting capital punishment. And though they were quick to fix the law, they wouldn’t enforce it until twenty years later.

What Happened On, Nov 9th

History is full of… historical events. Some of which have taken place on this North American continent. November 9th seems to be a day for the British and Germans.

On this day, November 9th, 1780, during the American Revolution, the Battle of Fishdam Ford took place. Now this wasn’t a fight where a Ford motor vehicle blocked a river; no, it took place in what is now Carlisle, South Carolina. Neither of which have anything to do with Henry Ford or fish.

British arrogance has no sense of camoflauge.
British arrogance has no sense of camouflage.

In this battle, British forces tried to launch their — obvious — surprise attack. It, however, resulted in utter failure. One might wonder how the British were able to hide anywhere behind trees and inside bushes, what with those bright red coats and ridiculous hats. Blue was a better choice of color, and could be the reason why we won in the first place. It works better for nighttime raids.

And this ambush was in fact a nighttime raid. The British hid in the usual bushes and trees, fired a few good shots with their muskets. However, their ambition was swiftly cut down when they charged into an American camp and got their bayonets and flamboyant coattails caught in a fence. They, apparently, couldn’t get free for nearly twenty minutes, likely tossing aside all their clothes, and running off in the night, nude.

Nineteen years later, a famous short french dude by the name of Napoleon, lead a coup d’état and overthrew the French Directory. Apparently, he was fed up that his name didn’t appear in the French semaphore phonebook, an invention that resembled the telegraph by using line-of-sight.

Regardless of the reasons, this was one of the precursors to Napoleon’s reign as French Emperor. Originally, it was to be a peaceful coup, but the midget, er, short French, okay, Dictator, oh all right, General Napoleon. On the first attempt, he merely stormed the chamber of the Directory, and shouted this and that, it all doesn’t really matter. What matters most is what happened next:

Short Dead French Dude
Short Dead French Dude

Napoleon decided to storm another chamber, one filled with other French leaders arguing back and forth about stuff. During the arguments, Napoleon was smacked clear across the nose by someone else who was five-foot-seven.

Through some randomness that no longer matters — because, frankly, after you become an emperor, what does your past matter? — the French Directory would fall apart. A provisional government was put in place, with Napoleon as one of its leaders. And, as the French public hardly reacted at all, it was their way of saying, “We don’t really give a shit.” The Revolution was indeed over. All in all, it led to him becoming Emperor.

Robert Blum, of Germany, was executed in 1848. He was an opponent of antisemitism, ethnocentrism, and oppression, a supporter of democracy and equality amongst sexes; essentially, the complete opposite of Nazi Germany. After his arrest on November 4th, he was given just five days for a tribunal and execution. When the idea of hanging him failed, someone just pulled out a gun and said, “Oh, lass uns einfach hinter uns bringen.” Which, according to Google, translates into: “Oh, let’s just get this over with.”

1861: The first documented account of Canadians trying to play American football. It didn’t become as popular as American football because it had three-downs, ten extra yards, and teams could score an extra point when their ball is kicked into the endzone and not returned by the receiving team. Regardless, Canadians chose to keep Hockey as their national past time because Wayne Gretzky’s lack of teeth paled in comparison to that of NFL players.

US President Teddy Roosevelt's Official Portrait
A real man’s man, man.

In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting U.S. President to visit another country, where he inspected the building progress of the Panama Canal. This was the first sign that the United States somewhat, sort of, kind of, said to the rest of the world, “Yes, we do give a shit.”

Speaking of worldly history events, Kaiser Wilhelm gave up his throne on this day in 1918, effectively ending the German Revolution (by this time their eighth revolution).

Robert McNamara was named the president of the Ford Motor Company Nov. 9th, 1960. He swiftly gave it up a month later when he was asked to join the John F. Kennedy administration, persuaded by the chance that he’ll meet Marilyn Monroe.

And if you’re a fan of Rock ‘n’ Roll, or bands filled with old people, you’d be delighted to know that November 9th, 1967, was the first publication date of Rolling Stone Magazine. Yes, even the Internet’s throat-grab of the publishing industry can’t stop a Rolling Stone.

Speaking of rocks falling, on this day in 1989, checkpoints were opened at the Berlin Wall, allowing East and West Germans to find out that, truly, on each side, people are exactly the same.

Finally, the British, with their wonderful brilliance on the rights of mankind, declared in 1998 the end of capital punishment to all capital crimes, proving to the world that the English truly have chopped off their left nut.

What Happened On, Oct 29th

In high school, I was a history buff. Then after high school, I didn’t give a shit. But, thanks to my new found respect for dead people, I’ve come to like history again. I’d like to begin with a new segment I call, “What Happened On.” This is where I take the events in history that happened on this particular day, and relay them to you, my fine reading and listening audience.

You got to love King James the first. He’s one of those kings of England that decided to send his own people to their death to appease another country. Amazing, because in today’s world, the English don’t do anything to appease anyone, especially their disadvantaged youth.

Walter Raleigh, Englishman that died.
Walter Raleigh, Englishman that died.

Now, back in the late 1500s to early 1600s, Walter Raleigh led several expeditions to South America to what later became known as the search for the city of gold, or El Dorado. There was a Dreamworks movie of that or some sort, that ended far better than this fuck’s fate. During his last expedition to find the city of greed, a company of men under Raleigh’s command ransacked a Spanish outpost.

Now, first, one might wonder, why didn’t the king thank him. Isn’t he doing him a favor by defeating someone who was trying to cut in on getting the gold? Well, I suppose that had something to do with foreign affairs or other stupid bullshit like that. The point is, when Raleigh returned to England, the stupid fuck, he was arrested and executed to appease the Spanish.

You got to love the English, because in 2008, the BBC reported him as one of the greatest Englishman who had ever lived. And folks, this was the guy who made tobacco popular in England. Tobacco, as we know, became the cash crop for the new world, along with another “crop” these English fucks thought they could contain. He also believed that an entire city could be made of gold, and was convicted and condemned to death, but let go several times to feed the king’s greed.

I enjoy technology. It just so happens today is the 43rd anniversary of the first message sent of the ARPANET, which would later become the Internet. A student at UCLA, of all the fucking places, sent a message from his computer to another computer waiting at the Stanford Research Institute. The next thought that popped into his mind was, “Wow, I won’t need my subscription to Playboy in thirty years!”

Holy shit that's a hurricane.
Holy shit that’s a hurricane.

Last, but not least, is something that has to do with current events. And I say current for two reasons. The first is that it’s happening right now, and the second is that it has to do with ocean currents. And by that I mean, in 1998, Hurricane Mitch, or bitch, however you call it depending on where your vantage point of it all was, dropped itself in the Caribbean, killing more than 19,000 people.

If you watch the news, please let me know how many people die in the current Hurricane Sandy, as I don’t even turn on the TV. Maybe I’ll check in another fourteen years, if Wikipedia is even still around.

Folks, I apologize if you’re affected by the current Hurricane Sandy; you know this is just humor, and it’s all bullshit. Please read the disclaimer.