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Friday Fun: History Trivia & Comment

June 8, 2007

On this day in . . .

– 1906, “Theodore Roosevelt signs the Antiquities Act into law, authorizing the President to restrict the use of certain parcels of public land with historical or conservation value.” . . . This is a sober, studious start to today’s noting of worthy historical trivia. All current and would-be historians should recognize their debt to Teddy and his contribution to our profession.

With that out of the way, we can proceed to riotous fun:

– 1953, “The United States Supreme Court rules that Washington, D.C. restaurants could not refuse to serve black patrons.” . . . Ah, it’s always nice to see the District of Columbia on board early and setting a good example for the nation!

– 1959, “The USS Barbero and United States Postal Service attempt the delivery of mail via Missile Mail.” . . . I just can’t believe that one of the great ideas of the twentieth-century’s Cold War was consigned to the dustbin of history. I feel like there’s an elusive joke out there about going postal, but I can’t quite make the phrasing work.

– 1982, “In the first speech by an American president to a joint session of the British Parliament, President Ronald Reagan predicted that Marxism-Leninism would wind up ‘on the ash heap of history.’ ” . . . Just like Reaganomics, the Laffer Curve, unions, the Iran-Contra affair, energy conservation, Oliver North (see below), and other relics of the Reagan administration. . . . Oh wait, did I just say all that out loud? Bless my heart.

[Aside: Are the wastes of history located in a dustbin OR placed on an ash heap? I really need to know this.]

– 1987, “Fawn Hall, secretary to national security aide Oliver L. North, testified at the Iran-Contra hearings, saying she had helped to shred some documents.” . . . And ole’ Ollie North, with a Homer Simpson-esque cartoon dialogue balloon by his head, says, “Stupid Sex Shredder Lady!”

– 1998, “The National Rifle Association elected actor Charlton Heston its president” . . . and Michael Moore found his chief muse for Bowling For Columbine.

. . . Happy Friday! – TL

[Sources: NYT, Wikipedia]


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