Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 20


On this day in 1712, the Riot Act of euphemism fame takes effect in Great Britain, giving local authorities the power to declare any group of more than twelve people to be "unlawfully assembled", thus forcing them to disperse or face the consequences.

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On this day in 1903, the Ford Motor Company ships its first car. Today, some industry analysts are wondering how long it will be before the day they ship their last.

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On this day in 1932, in Washington, DC, police fire tear gas on World War I veterans who were marching on the White House to demand their long-promised and as-yet unpaid bonuses. Generals MacArthur and Patton, with Eisenhower tagging along, were sent in to quash this surly display. Hundreds of soldiers and their family members were injured, and several were killed. It was, as the kids say today, "a bad scene, maaan." Especially for President Herbert Hoover, who was voted out of the White House a few months later.

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On this day in 1969, Apollo 11 lands on the fucking Moon. It's been all downhill for our species ever since. And don't come back at me with Viking 1 landing on Mars exactly seven years later, to the day. That was one for the robots.

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On this day in 1977, the Central Intelligence Agency releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing that it had engaged in Nazi-style mind control experiments, code-named MKUltra. See? They admitted it, and yet some people STILL don't believe it.

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On this day in 1984, the Miss America organization demands that Vanessa Lynn Williams - the first African American Miss America - hand in her tiara after Penthouse publishes a really hot naked lesbian photo-set in which she had participated when she was young and hungry… for vagina!

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Despite repeated post-9/11 claims that they had "no idea" that terrorists might hijack commercial jetliners and use them as weapons, at the 27th Annual G8 summit in Genoa, Italy - which started on this day in 2001 - the city was ringed with anti-aircraft guns precisely to prepare for this exact potential threat.

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On this day in 2003, the Director of BBC News reveals that WMD expert Dr. David Kelly was the source of claims that Downing Street had "sexed up" the infamous "Dodgy Dossier" that was a large part of the US and UK justifications for invading Iraq. Shortly thereafter, in an alleged fit of guilt, the good doctor wanders into the woods and commits suicide by slashing his own arms open with a knife. It's true, I tells ya! He killed himself! An inquest ruled it so! 

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On this day in 2012, during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman opens fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58.

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