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Friday Fun: History Trivia & Comment (9/21/07)

September 21, 2007

On this day in …

– 1937, “The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien was published,” … And the brilliant notion of Second Breakfast was introduced to the world! Man, I love second breakfast.

– 1942, “The B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight.” … Isn’t there something incongruent about calling the first voyage of a Superfortress its “maiden flight?”

– 1964, “Malta gained independence from Britain.” … Until I did some research in an effort to joke about colonialism and bloody revolution, I never knew that Malta was south of Sicily.

– 1970, “The Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets at Cleveland Municipal Stadium 31-20 on the first edition of Monday Night Football.” … I wonder if John Madden secretly bussed to that game as an assistant coach?

– 1970, “New York Times starts first modern op-ed page.” … WARNING—No-Fun Philosophical Speculation Ahead—Are you ready?—Here goes: When, uh, was any page of any existing newspaper NOT an Op-Ed page? … Hmm …

– 1983, “In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Interior Secretary James G. Watt described a special advisory panel as consisting of ‘a black … a woman, two Jews and a cripple.’ Watt later apologized and resigned.” … Talk about jokes gone bad—whew. I mean, does he look like a guy who can pull off that kind of a gag?!

– 1998, “President Bill Clinton’s videotaped grand jury testimony was publicly broadcast. In it, Clinton sparred with prosecutors about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, at one point answering a question by saying, ‘It depends on what the meaning of is is.” … Since today’s my day here to be thinking about pulling off jokes, I mean, this has got to be the best all-time philosophical-metaphysical joke ever—yes?!

[Sources: NYT, Wikipedia]

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