Friday, October 21, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 21


On this day, in the year 1520, world explorer Magellan first discovers the Straits of Magellan, and his mind is, like, totally blown by the coincidence!

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On this day in 1879, in his Menlo Park, New Jersey lab, half-mad inventor Thomas Edison first shows off his new-fangled flameless illumination flask, soon to be known as the light-bulb.

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On this day in 1921, President Warren G. Harding delivers the first speech by a sitting President against lynching in the Deep South. It doesn’t work.

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On this day in 1921, director George Melford's silent film The Sheik, starring Rudolph Valentino, premiers. Soaked panties ensue.

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On this day in 1931, the Sakurakai, a secret society in the Imperial Japanese Army, launches an abortive coup d'├ętat attempt. Pretty lame secret society, there, guys…

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On this day in 1940, the first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is published. The ending of that novel still has the power to piss readers off.

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On this day in 1944, the first kamikaze attack takes place when a Japanese plane carrying a 440 lb bomb attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island as the Battle of Leyte Gulf begins.

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On this day in 1945, women are allowed to vote in France for the first time.

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On this day in 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring Wernher von Braun and other German (and yes, NAZI) scientists from the United States Army to the “civilian” organization, NASA.

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On this day in the year 1969, in the African nation of Somalia, the deeply corrupt government is overthrown in a bloodless coup. Since then, thanks mostly to the excellent marketing efforts of the world's shadiest international arms dealers, Somalia's subsequent coups have been a hell of a lot more bloody.

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On this day in 1978, Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanishes in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.

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On this day in 1995, President William Jefferson Clinton signs a classified presidential order “directing the Departments of Justice, State and Treasury, the National Security Council, the CIA, and other intelligence agencies to increase and integrate their efforts against international money laundering by terrorists and criminals.” It was the first serious effort by the US to track bin Laden’s businesses. All in all, it wasn't exactly a roaring success.

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On this day in 2001, a Washington Post article hints at the US government’s use of rendition and torture. Among the alternative strategies reported to be under discussion were drugs, pressure tactics and extraditing the suspects to allied countries where security services employ threats to family members and resort to torture. Unbeknownst to the public at large, the CIA had already been renditioning suspects to countries known for practicing torture, and had made arrangements with NATO countries to increase the number of such renditions, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

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On this day in 2003, images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in documenting its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.

2 comments:

  1. Njoy ur page! Surprised tho u didn't link the Edison "invention" with the Swan lawsuit and forced merger, with the 22 other inventors working on the light bulb project that went right along side the War of Currents of the late 1800's.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison#Electric_light

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  2. Thanks Carpe Diem! Sorry I didn't go into it, but I'm certainly glad YOU did! I learn something new every day, and you just supplied today's novelty! Thank you!

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