Friday, June 17, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JUNE 17


On this day in 1631, Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her grief-stricken husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, will spend the next 17 years building her mausoleum, a little building you and I know as… the Taj Mahal.

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On this day in 1856, the Republican Party opens its first national convention in Philadelphia. Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1885, sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi’s colossal neoclassical statue, the Statue of Liberty, arrives in New York Harbor in pieces aboard the French steamer ship Isere, a gift to the American people from the nation of France.

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On this day in 1939, the final public execution in France takes place when convicted murderer Eugen Weidmann is guillotined before an unruly crowd of gawkers in Versailles, France, just outside the Saint-Pierre prison. The execution was surreptitiously filmed from an apartment adjacent to the prison. That fact, combined with the crowd’s unruly behavior, caused French President Albert Lebrun to pass legislation stipulating that all future executions were to take place behind closed doors. The guillotine would continue chopping off heads until September of 1977, when it was used to dispatch Tunisian immigrant Hamida Djandoubi, who had been convicted of torturing, then murdering, his girlfriend.

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Happy Birthday to the plucky, eccentric island nation of ICELAND, which declared its independence from Denmark on this day in 1944!

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Also celebrating a birthday today is the WAR ON (some) DRUGS, which was launched by President Richard Nixon on this day in 1971!

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On this day in 1994, the world watches on CNN as OJ Simpson leads the LAPD on the most infamous police chase in history. Yes, that's right... this is the 19th anniversary of Bloody Orenthal's abortive "excape" attempt! Can you believe it?! Quothe Uncle John's Band: "Where does the time go?"

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