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Friday Fun: History Trivia & Comment

May 4, 2007

On this day in . . .

– 1855, “American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua” . . . Woop-tee-doo. Did he also nearly subdue the vicious chicken of Bristol?! [BTW: Check out this page on Sir Robin: it had me stitches for a few minutes.]

– 1871, “The National Association, the first professional baseball league, opens its first season in Fort Wayne, Indiana” . . . I wonder if Larry Brown and Don Nelson coached that league too.

– 1894, “Bird Day was first observed at the initiative of Charles Almanzo Babcock, superintendent of schools in Oil City, Pennsylvania.” . . . For some reason this reminded me of the The Music Man‘s “Pickalittle Ladies” and their “Pickalittle, Talkalittle, Chirp, Chirp, Chirp” song. . . . It’s Friday, what can I say.

– 1964, “The long-running soap opera Another World, which would run until 1999, debuts on NBC,”. . . and now thankfully populates that Other World of dead TV programs.

– 1972, “The ‘Don’t Make A Wave Committee,’ a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to ‘Greenpeace Foundation.'” . . . Although the Committee name was related to the underwater (actually, under-island) testing of nuclear devices, never was a namechange more appropriate. I can’t think of an organization with the word ‘peace’ in its name that’s made more news for itself in the past 25 years.

– 1989, “Fired White House aide Oliver North was convicted of shredding documents and two other charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair.” . . . I know this is serious stuff, concerning arms sales and all, but is there really a law against shredding documents? Lawyers think of everything. [Aside: This North entry didn’t make Wikipedia’s list, but the NYT had it on their page. By no means do I believe that the NYT is “liberal media” but, after about nine months of observing their “On This Day” pieces, they don’t miss a beat in reminding readers about the political failings of the Grand Old Party.]

– 2000, “The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins play the third longest NHL game in history with 5 Overtimes played, the game lasted until Keith Primeau of the Flyers Scored. 92 minutes and 1 second of overtime was played.” . . . I can’t imagine a more miserable thing than having been a fan at this game.

– [non-U.S. history aside] – “2000, Londoners elected their mayor [Ken Livingstone] for the first time.” . . . Boy, the British are real enthusiasts for democracy, aren’t they? And I see today that a few U.S. citizens worship their current Queen Elizabeth. As my crotchety grandfather would say, “This country’s going to hell in a handbasket.” But, I’ll counter gramps with a What Would Horatio Sanz Do? He’d say, “I’m just keeding!” 😉 – TL

[Sources: LOC, NYT, Wikipedia]

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