Friday Fun: The Absurd, The Serious, And The (Nearly) Useless In History Trivia (8/29/2008)
On this day in…
– 1786, “Shays’ Rebellion, an armed uprising of Massachusetts farmers, begins in response to high debt and tax burdens.” … It’s convenient for those using the Colonial Period for today’s political purposes to forget that debt—otherwise known as a “class issue” or maybe even “redistribution”—also energized the Colonial populace for “change.” It’s the “other” kind of equality, you know.
– 1882, “The date attributed to the death of English Cricket and the origin of the legend of The Ashes.” …First candidate for Useless Information of the Day.
– 1898, “The Goodyear tire company is founded.” … Party at Goodyear today! Woo hoo! Actually, they’re probably only giving away that same week-old coffee that’s available while you wait in tire changing shops. I think they melt old tires to create that bitter brew.
– 1957, “Sen. Strom Thurmond, D-S.C. [below left], ended the longest filibuster in Senate history after talking for 24 hours, 18 minutes against a civil rights bill.” … I wish the old bastard would’ve been alive to see Obama accept the Democratic Party’s nomination last night. I hope he’s turning over in his grave.
– 1991, “Supreme Soviet suspends all activities of the Soviet Communist Party.” … Someone needs to send this memo to Vladimir Putin.
– 1996, “President Bill Clinton’s chief political strategist, Dick Morris, resigned amid a scandal over his relationship with a prostitute.” … The NYT’s history trivia page loves remembering political scandals—especially by Republicans (Morris had mostly worked with Republicans, if I’m remembering rightly, up to this point).
– 2002, “A judge in Norwalk, Conn., sentenced Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel to 20 years to life in prison for bludgeoning his teenage neighbor with a golf club in 1975.” … Yikes. But why did it take 27 years for this sentencing to occur? It seems absurd, but the wheels of justice do turn slowly—sometimes painfully so. – TL
PS – Paris Hilton’s “White Haired Dude” turns 72 today. Not a Hilton fan, but I loved it when she called him that in her little YouTube video hit.
PSS – Yes, today’s post is a bit political. ‘Tis the season.