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Thursday Fun: History Trivia & Comment

May 31, 2007

I usually do this on Friday, but for some reason today I couldn’t resist. I suppose my need for comic relief has something to do with the Cubs losing 8 of their last 10.

On May 31 in . . .

– 1859, “Big Ben goes into operation in London.” . . . And the Griswolds commenced their endless drive around the Lambeth Bridge roundabout to celebrate.

– 1916, “British and German fleets fought the Battle of Jutland off Denmark during World War I.” . . . I know war is serious business, having just celebrated Memorial Day and all, but when I saw this entry all I could think about was when we’d be getting season four of Black Adder. It seems natural that Rowan Atkinson should be involved with something having the silly (to U.S. ears) name of “Jutland” associated with it.

– 1927, “The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles.” . . . What if someone tried to impose 15 million Fords on us today? Oh wait, they did that with the Taurus.

– 1969, “John Lennon and Yoko Ono record ‘Give Peace a Chance,’ the first single recorded by a solo Beatle, from their hotel bed.” . . . Wait, I’m confused: If he’s solo, how could he also be rocking and rolling with Yoko in a hotel bed? Hmm… Maybe he was a gymnast as a lad.

– 1989, “House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, dogged by questions about his ethics, announced he would resign.” . . . It was the Wright thing to do. Get it?! I’m rolling today.

– 1990, “The pilot episode of Seinfeld premieres.” . . . And thus began Michael Richards’s 16-year repression of the urge to hurl racial epithets. Poor guy.

– 2004, “A foul-up during a routine software update at the Royal Bank of Canada leads to a three-day misplacement of 10 million account balances.” . . . And people went bonkers wondering where all their loonies went.

– 2005, “Breaking a silence of 30 years, former FBI official W. Mark Felt stepped forward as “Deep Throat,” the secret Washington Post source that helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal.” . . . Have you ever wondered what the Monty Python team (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, etc.) could do with a skit about this? . . . I know what you’re saying: “Tim, live in the now!” But it’s my job to live in the past! – TL

[Sources: HNN, NYT, Wikipedia]

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