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Friday Fun: History Trivia And Comment

March 30, 2007

On this day in . . .

– 1855, “‘Border Ruffians’ from Missouri invade Kansas and force election of a pro-slavery legislature.” . . . And I’ll bet Kansans today blame Missouri ruffians for invading their state and forcing them to vote conservative and teach creationism! Hah! Take that you Jayhawkers! Look at me stirring up bad feelings from the Civil War.

– 1867, “Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed to purchase Alaska for 7.2 million dollars. Critics attacked Seward for the secrecy surrounding the deal with Russia, which came to be known as ‘Seward’s folly.'” . . . This got me thinking the “_____ Folly” phrase should be revived, but then I couldn’t think of a good joke to go with it. So then do I call these Friday Fun posts “Tim’s Folly?” Okay, I’ll just stop now.

– 1910, “Mississippi Legislature founded The University of Southern Mississippi.” . . . But only after they realized they had enough players for a football team!

– 1951, “Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.” . . . And all the Census Bureau’s dust problems were solved! ‘Tis a silly name for a computer.

– 1961, “The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York.” . . . And that’s been nothing but a rousing success for the past 46 years.

– 1964, “Merv Griffin’s game show Jeopardy! makes its debut on television. Art Fleming hosts the first version, on NBC.” . . . And Art, I’ll take “annoying pop culture tropes” for $500. But seriously, can you believe this show is 43 years old?

– 1979, “Airey Neave, a British politician, is killed by a car bomb as he exits the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility.” . . . This is horrible. The “Troubles” in Ireland have been a plague on the innocent for years. . . . But I noted this only because I wanted to get the name “Airey Neave” into a post here. What were his parents thinking/smoking?!

– 1986, “Actor James Cagney died at age 86.” . . . Did you know that Cagney’s first job as an entertainer was as a female dancer in a chorus line? – TL

[Sources: LOC, IMDB, NYT, Wikipedia]

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