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Friday Fun: Commentary On The Absurd, The Serious, And The Useless In History Trivia (4/4/2008)

April 4, 2008

On this day in …

1814, “Napoleon abdicates for the first time.” … I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wish some of our current world leaders would follow Napoleon’s example in this regard. … You know who you are, so I don’t need to put up any leading pictures.

1859, “Bryant’s Minstrels debut “Dixie” in New York City in the finale of a blackface minstrel show.” … I’m no great fan of Wikipedia, but you know it’s useful when you can get at least 70% correct information on something like Bryant’s Minstrels. The playbill to the right comes from the entry.

1887, “Argonia, Kansas elects Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.” … I guess this comes from back when there was nothing the matter with Kansas. 😉

1888, “Baseball Hall of Famer Tris Speaker was born in Hubbard, Texas.” … Here’s some useless information to commemorate the first week of the new MLB season.

1964, “The Beatles occupy the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.” … Did Michael Jackson ever occupy five spots? Hmm… The Magic Eight Ball here won’t say.

1968, “Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.” … Why?

2007, “Radio host Don Imus made offensive on-air remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. Despite a subsequent apology, Imus was fired by CBS Radio and cable network MSNBC.” … Thus demonstrating, in some ways, the unfinished work caused by Ray’s moment of infamy. – TL

[Sources: NYT, Wikipedia. It appears that the Chicago Tribune has stopped publishing their “Almanac” in the online edition. I guess I can no longer poke fun at their obligatory two pieces of sports trivia.]

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  1. Susanna Salter was also the first US mayor to be pregnant and give birth while in office–very effectively quashing any concerns that only an “unsexed female” would aspire to public office.


  2. I'm sure Susanna Salter was a fine, “essentially” Victorian woman. It makes me wonder, however, about what excessive way the prior office holder was male? In other words, if the populace wanted a hearth protector in the mayor's office, in what ways was the male mayor a hearth destroyer? I doubt the town's electorate wanted her, based on your comment, because of her male/same-ness. – TL


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