On This Day 7.20.18

Born on this day in 1304 was the poet, Petrarch, who was best known for his leaf hats.

On this day in 1304, Edward I of England took the last rebel stronghold in the wars of Scottish Independence. After a grueling campaign, Edward had won 3 out of 5 games of Connect 4, and thus, won the stronghold.

On this day in 1875, the Connecticut State Agricultural Experiment station was established, when a couple of guys wondered what would happen if they poured Kool-Aid on some carrot seeds. Turns out, nothing.

On this day in 1900, Eleanor Annie Lamson was the first female astronomer employed at the U.S. Naval Observatory. The first thing she did was aim the telescope at the sky, changing the Astronomy game forever.

Born on this day in 1919 was Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest while absolutely covered in goddamn mayonnaise.

On this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon. This made him privy to a few other firsts including:

  • The first person to be disappointed that the moon was definitely not made of cheese
  • The first person to meet the Moon People
  • The first person to eat the special cheese created by the Moon People
  • The first person to be disappointed in the cheese of the Moon People

During a press conference after his return to earth, Armstrong was jokingly asked if there was cheese on the moon. To the surprise of the assembled press corps, Armstrong fell silent and with him, the entire room. For the first time since his return, the newly developed hero looked tired, as if the trip into space had aged him 20 years instead of the 8 short days that had made up the mission. Until now, Armstrong had been full of energy, smiling enthusiastically shaking hands. But now, the man shone through the outer layer of legendary astronaut, his mortality on full and undeniable display.

“No.” He finally said after taking a ragged breath. “No. There is no cheese on the moon.”

On this day in 1976, Viking 1, a U.S. Robot spacecraft, landed on Mars, which is made entirely out of delicious Port Wine Cheese.

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On This Day 7.19.18

On this day in 1553, Lady Jane Grey was replaced by Mary I of England as Queen of England, after having the title for only nine days. She wasn’t able to accomplish much during her short reign, but she DID develop the superior tea with Grey in the name. Don’t @ me.
 
Born on this day in 1865 was Charles Horace Mayo, a surgeon who insisted that, instead of soap and water, that cleansing one’s hands with Mayonnaise was a much safer way of operating. Turns out, he was right, but the surgical assistants couldn’t get past the squish noises.
 
On this day in 1939, fiberglass sutures were first used by Dr. Roy Scholz in St. Louis, Missouri. He found that, when drawn through the mayonnaise layer of the procedure, they cut back drastically on the squish noises.
 
Born on this day in 1962 was actor Anthony Edwards, best known for his role as Dr. Mark Greene, Who Is Always Covered In Goddamn Mayonnaise on the hit show, ER. FUN FACT: The character was always meant to crossover with the other hit show FRIENDS, with Mark sharing the same last name as Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel Greene, Who Is Always Covered In Goddamn Mayonnaise.
 
On this day in 2004, Don Gorske of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin ate his 20,000th Big Mac at the local McDonalds. He had already made the Guinness World Records book for eating Big Macs before March of the same year, but that motherfucker just LOVED Big Macs. Loved them. And bangs. Boy oh boy does this dude love his bangs.

On This Day 7.18.17

On this day in 64, a 6-day, 7-night fire started in Rome. The conflagration started as a small campfire, upon which the emperor Nero invented S’Mores. Upon tasting the culinary delight, he was inspired to write a song on his trusty fiddle. He became so obsessed with the song that he wandered away from the fire, and it was just all downhill from there.
 
Born on this day in 1811 was noted writer, William Makepeace Thackeray. He never lived up to the promise of his own name and caused all manner of ruckus.
 
On this day in 1908, fireworks were banned in Cleveland, Ohio by someone who hated fun, but loved, ever so dearly, hands.
 
Born on this day in 1940 was actor James Brolin, who, until this very day, I was mixing up with his son, Josh Brolin, who recently has been in All the movies. I was curious about his immortality, but now it all makes sense.
 
On this day in 1942, the Garden State Park Racetrack opened in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The opening was punctuated with introspective, indy-rock music by The Shins, Zero 7 and even Coldplay. The general consensus is that the music was the best part of the movie, I mean racetrack.
 
Born on this day in 1980 was actress Kristen Bell. Go watch The Good Place.
 
On this day in 1986, video of the RMS Titanic wreckage was released.
 
On this day in 1986, James Cameron got a movie boner that lasted more than four hours.

On This Day 7.16.18

ON THIS DAY in 1557, Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII died. Guess how.
 
WRONG! She actually outlived ALL of Henry’s wives and died of natural causes. Go Anne.
 
Born ON THIS DAY in 1889 was “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, the first Hobbit Baseball player. Due to the nature of Hobbit feet (hairy on top, leathery on the bottom), Joe had no need for shoes.
 
So, in my research for this one, I discovered that “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was named as such because he took his shoes off during a game one time. That’s it, that’s the whole story.
 
ON THIS DAY in 1935, the first parking meters were installed in Oklahoma City, OK. The original cost was 1 hour of parking for a nickel, slathered in precious honey. The honey helped lubricate the complex proto-meters and was also seen as a valuable currency in Oklahoma, as it is to this day.
 
Born ON THIS DAY in 1958 was notable wind elemental, Michael Flatley.
 
ON THIS DAY in 1979, 135 pilot whales beached themselves at Point Au Gaul, Newfoundland and Labrador. When asked why, a spokes-whale said, “We are all just so over it.”

On This Day 7.13.18

ON THIS DAY in 1871, the first official Cat Show took place in London. Let’s get into that, shall we?
 
A gentleman named Harrison Weir is mostly responsible for the concept of a Cat Show, although people had been looking adoringly at cats (rightfully so) for ages before 1871. Harrison had written a book named ‘Our Cats and All About Them.” He also founded the UK National Cat Club. This dude was way the fuck into cats.
 
After all this, he devised a method by which to judge cats, not like, if they were cool or not, but professionally. You know at dog shows when people are all like, “Look at my entire dog!” It was like that, but with cats.
 
NOW, no man is an island, or whatever, and it takes a village to make a cat show, so Harrison had help in the form of Fred Wilson, who was the superintendent of the natural history department at the Crystal Palace. Fred also had a serious thirst for adorable kitties.
 
The two gentlemen combined their high-level cat-fancying abilities and gave birth to the first official Cat Show in a place called the Crystal Palace. There were roughly 150 – 211 cats shown. These included Siamese cats, Manx cats, A Scottish Wildcat, an Algerian Cat, a polydactyl cat with 26 claws, a pterodactyl cat that soared high above the event catching small birds, an alcoholic cat yelling about reality being predestined, and my own cat, Watson.
 
200,000 PEOPLE ATTENDED. I did not make that part up, 200,000 people showed up to look at kitties!
 
Remember earlier when I said he devised a method by which to judge cats? Here’s where that bit comes into play, as prizes were awarded. Categories included:
 
Biggest Cat
Fattest Cat
Best Meow
Longest Whiskers
Least amount of fur
Best Conversationalist
Most Aggressive
Most Likely to Succeed
Most competent sous chef
Pinkest toe-beans
And finally, a category simply called “Awwwww!” the criteria of which was unknown to everyone but Harrison, who would go around going “Awwwwwww!” at all the cats until he gave one an award.
 
The event was such a success that they heald another one just months later. The world was then gripped with a Cat Fancy unheard of since the ancient Egyptians, who technically held cat shows all the time. The only difference being that they called it church.
 
(Pictured Below: Cats doing some serious cat shit.)1800s-domestic-and-show-cat

On This Day 7.12.18

Today is Orangemen’s day. Celebrate by finding an orange, drawing eyes and a mouth on it, and ask it questions until the sun sets.
 
Be sure to draw the mouth, this is critical. 2 years ago, I celebrated Orangemen’s day in the traditional way, but I neglected to draw the mouth. That fucking orange didn’t provide a single answer.
 
Born ON THIS DAY in 1817 was known sasquatch, Henry David Thoreau.
 
Born ON THIS DAY in 1895 was Buckminster Fuller, whos favorite movie was BioDome.
 
ON THIS DAY in 1950, René Pleven became Prime Minister of France. René would go on to great acclaim for his role as Ari Gold in the comedy series Entourage, for which he won a Golden Globe Award and three consecutive Emmy Awards.
 
ON THIS DAY in 1957, Dwight Eisenhower became the first U.S. President to fly in a helicopter. Eisenhower was on a mission in Mexico, pursuing the international villain known only as Sciarra. Eisenhower heard Sciarra refer to someone known as “The Pale King,” and then flee the scene. Eisenhower pursued the villain through the packed Day of the Dead celebration, even going so far as to dive into the helicopter that Sciarra was escaping in. After a scuffle, Sciarra fell to his death, while Eisenhower struggled to regain control of the aircraft. He did, narrowly avoiding crashing into the massive crowds below.

On This Day 7.11.18

Born ON THIS DAY in 1274 was Robert The Bruce, King of Scotland, who didn’t understand how names work.
 
ON THIS DAY in 1804, United States Vice President Aaron Burr (sir) fatally shot… Wait For It… Alexander Hamilton in a duel.
 
Born ON THIS DAY in 1838 was noted merchant John Wanamaker, who made and sold Wanas to a grateful populace.
 
ON THIS DAY in 1859, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was published. Little known fact, the two titular cities, never expressly identified in the book, were Chicago, and wherever Holden Caulfield was from. Was is Chicago? Hm. Shit.
 
ON THIS DAY in 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early’s army reached Frederick, Maryland. They stayed at a very nice bed and breakfast over the three day weekend and had a breathtaking amount of sex with each other. When the cold light of Monday streamed through the drapes of their stately room, the future became crystallized for all of them. Without a word, they dressed and with warm, but sad smiles, they all parted as friends.
 
Born ON THIS DAY in 1897 was Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor. Connor is most well known for his lengthy service under Judge Harold T Stone in his overnight courtroom for the years of 1984 – 1992. He also served briefly as the bodyguard of Maxwell MacNeille during his struggles against The Skullmaster.

On This Day 7.10.18

Born ON THIS DAY in 1509 was note tiger enthusiast John Calvin. Mr. Calvin’s hobbies included crafting elaborate snow monster based tableaus, peeing on various automotive logos, and pondering the true nature of God and religion.

Born ON THIS DAY in 1834 was painter James McNeill Whistler, who originated that famous quote, “ You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and sue your critics because they called you a coxcomb.”

Born ON THIS DAY in 1839 was Adolphus Busch. He co-founded a small brewery with fellow immigrant Eberhard Anheuser.

Born ON THIS DAY in 1871 was novelist Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust, best known for taking FOREVER to eat a cookie.

Born ON THIS DAY in 1905 was Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote the Nancy Drew Mystery books under the name Carolyn Keen, and just wanted to have ALL the names.

Born ON THIS DAY in 1921 was Giacobbe “Jake” LaMotta, best known for punching people, stand-up comedy, and looking like Robert De Niro.

Hang on. Is Robert De Niro’s middle name De? I looked it up, and there’s a space there, so I think his middle name is De. Huh. Well, my life is different now, awesome.

ON THIS DAY in 1938, Howard Hughes set a new record by completing a 91-hour airplane flight around the world. During the flight, Hughes requested and ate 275 packets of honey roasted peanuts, 12 cans of ginger ale and watched the movie Safe House, starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington, 48 times.

ON THIS DAY in 1941, Jazz Musician Jelly Roll Morton left us. By decree of the Grand Council of Jelly Rolls, Jelly Roll Morton was called back to his planet, Jelly Roll IV, to complete his service to the crown. To accomplish this, of course, he had to shed his mortal form here on earth, as the Jellied Slip-stream that would return him to his home planet is unfriendly to person-flesh. Jelly Roll Morton went on to complete his service and now has retired on the expensive goo-fields of Jelly Roll XI, with his husband and 4 lil’ zingers.

On This Day 2.3.17

Born On This Day in 1821 was Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to earn an MD degree in the U.S. She fought against slavery, sexisim and ignorance. She was a fucking badass.

On This Day in 1831: U.S. copyright law began protecting music after excessive pirating of Hall and Oates wax cylinders.

On This Day in 2017 was my final day at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I left some creamer in the fridge if you want to use it.

On This Day 2.2.17

It’s groundhog day! Today Bill Murray yearly relives the 24 hours roughly 12,395 times, leading to the otherworldly air and wisdom.

On This Day in 1913, Grand Central Terminal, the great train station of New York City, opened. Over 150,000 people and 1,000,000 rats visited on opening day.

On This Day in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his film debut in Mr. Mom, starring opposite Michael Keaton.