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Friday Fun: Commentary On The Absurd, The Serious, And The Useless In History Trivia (3/14/2008)

March 14, 2008

On this day in…

1743, “The first recorded town meeting in America was held, at Faneuil Hall in Boston.” … And foie gras and transfatty oils were banned! Oh wait, that’s Chicago and it’s 2007. Oops. And what’s the picture to the right? That’d be the force feeding of ducks such that their livers will be enlarged enough for harvesting.

1907, “President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order designed to prevent Japanese laborers from immigrating to the U.S. as part of a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with Japan.” … Ah, one of TR’s bright, shining moments.

1910, “Lakeview Gusher, the largest U.S. oil well gusher near Bakersfield, California, vented to atmosphere.” … I don’t know that I’d ever given thought to the mechanics of oil drilling until seeing Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, which was based on Upton Sinclair’s novel, Oil. … Man was it hard to get that Daniel Plainview character, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, out of my head!

1923, “President Warren G. Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax report.” … I wonder if he included his KKK initiation fees as a charitable deduction?

1942, “John Bumstead and Orvan Hess became the first in the world to successfully treat a patient, Anne Miller, using penicillin.” … A little tidbit from the history of medicine.

2004, “Russian President Vladimir Putin captured more than 70 percent of the vote to win a second term in an election that European observers said fell short of democratic standards.” … Ah, “voting” in Russia. At first I thought this entry was the beginning of a joke (i.e. What do you get when you put a voting booth, a Russian, and a…).

2004, “World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship pay-per-view, Wrestlemania, celebrates its 20th anniversary in Madison Square Garden.” …Yep, this my gift to you: useless information of the day. – TL

[Sources: Chicago Tribune, NYT, Wikipedia]

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