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Friday Fun: History Trivia And Comment

March 9, 2007

After missing last Friday’s post (for a work-related conference), I’ve been looking forward to today’s Friday Fun for the past six days. With that,

On this day in . . .

– 1916, “General Fransisco ‘Poncho’ Villa invades US (17 killed).” … And also inspired one of the most-annoying, most-repeated lines in television history – “Hey Poncho?! Hey Cisco?!” – from the inexplicably long-running show The Cisco Kid.

– 1918, “Russian Bolshevik Party becomes the Communist Party.” …And forever tainted all well-intentioned, otherwise nice terms like ‘communal,’ ‘ration,’ ‘red,’ ‘social,’ and ‘collective.’

– 1933, “Congress is called into special session by FDR, and began its ‘100 days.'” … And inspired a phrase ripped off a thousand different ways – and tainted (the word for the day here) – by successive congresses.

– 1942, “Construction of the Alaska Highway began.” … And it hasn’t been used since! Just kidding. I know my grandfather took my grandmother and aunts and uncles on an ‘Alaska Highway trip.’ But seriously, do people do this anymore? Hmm…

– 1988, “President Reagan presides at unveiling of Knute Rockne stamp.” … And why, HNN, is this something we need to memorialize?! Oh brother! The next thing you know we’ll see a “this day in” entry for when Paris Hilton made her first appearance. Perhaps we need a new term – I’ll suggest ‘Hiltonized’ – for when the trivial and insignificant are somehow made newsworthy and widespread.

– 1990, “Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as surgeon general, becoming the first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the job.” … Doesn’t this sound like a pen name? Or was she a mobster – ‘Tony Bookie’ – in disguise? Juss’ keeedeng! . . . This is a worthy remembrance. – TL

[Sources: HNN & NYT]

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