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Friday Fun: The Absurd, The Serious, And The Useless In History Trivia (5/30/2008)

May 30, 2008

On this day in…

1806, “Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.”

I’ve always thought bigamy a funny word with regard to the offense it denotes. Of course I understand the root: monogamy means one mate, and bi-gamy two—with “gamy” being a derivation of the Greek word for marriage, gamos, if I’ve read my dictionary correctly. But my youthful connotation of bigamy went something like: “Big am I for having two wives!” …This must be my week for thinking about marriage (my anniversary was May 17).

1854, “The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.” …From the air during a balloon flyover. Just kidding. Really.

1868, “Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern ‘Memorial Day’) is observed in the United States for the first time (By ‘Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic’ John A. Logan’s proclamation on May 5).”

Isn’t being the Commander-in-Chief of the GAR like being king of one’s backyard? I mean, what’s the point?

1967, “At the Ascot Park in Gardena, California, daredevil Evel Knievel jumps his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row.”

This is your useless information of the day.

2002, “A solemn, wordless ceremony marked the end of the cleanup at Ground Zero in New York, 8 1/2 months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”

When will we have one of these for Afghanistan or Iraq? Well, if a certain AZ senator is elected president, we’re okay with having it in 2108. – TL

[Sources: NYT, Wikipedia]

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