Saturday, July 16, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 16


On this day in 622, the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) begins his Hijra - i.e. "schlep" - from Mecca to Medina, thus marking the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

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On this day in 1054, three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as the start of the East–West Schism, splitting the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

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On this day in 1661, the first banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco, thus beginning the era of "paper money" that is working out so well for us all. I am referring, of course, to the recent revelation that putting 250 dollars into a Chase "savings account" will net you 12 cents a year in accumulated interest while costing you 4 dollars a month in assorted bank fees.

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On this day in 1790, the District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act. After Vatican City and the City of London, it features one of the most conspiracy-spawning civil engineering layouts of any big city in the world.

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On this day in 1935, the world's first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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On this day in 1945, the Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The test site was named Trinity, after one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets, and Manhattan Project chief Robert Oppenheimer recalled a passage from the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad-Gita: "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Heavy shit, and not without cause.

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On this day in 1948, the storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, marks the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane in history.

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On this day in the year 1951, a former member of the CIA’s psychiatry division unleashes on an unwitting public one of the greatest hypnotic trigger mechanisms ever created. That man is J.D. Salinger. The mechanism is his novel, The Catcher in the Rye, which was a favorite of at least three crazed "lone" gunmen: Sirhan Sirhan (who was involved in the assassination of RFK), Mark David Chapman (who assassinated John Lennon) and John Hinkley Jr (who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan on behalf of the Bush Crime Family)..

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On this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 rocket is launched at the moon. Sitting atop this rocket is the Lunar Module. On board are three men: Buzz AldrinNeil Armstrong and Michael Collins. Armstrong and Aldrin will be the first human beings (that we know of) to walk on the lunar surface. Unfortunately for Collins, Commander Neil caught him trying to steal one of Buzz's Tang packets, and as punishment, was not allowed to leave the module. Collins is bitter to this very day, and vows that when he dies, his ghost will haunt the moon forever. Just kidding.

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On this day in 1979, Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by Uncle Sam's Man in Baghdad... Saddam Hussein.

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On this day in 1994, fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet smash spectacularly into Jupiter, poking huge holes in the giant planet's gassy atmosphere.

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On this day in 1999, there was absolutely nothing worth being suspicious about in relation to the small airplane crash that took the lives of pilot John Kennedy Jr, his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette. Nope... nothing at all worth being suspicious about.

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