Tuesday, December 27, 2016

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR DECEMBER 27


On this day in 537, the Hagia Sophia is completed. And... wow. See above.

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On this day in 1831, Sir Charles Darwin begins his voyage on board the HMS Beagle. The books, research and theories generated during this historic voyage cause so much blithering, frothing panic amongst the world's truth-o-phobic Christians that yer old pal Jerky just can’t help but gloat over it!

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On this day in 1845, ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long in Jefferson, Georgia.

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On this day in 1845, journalist John L. O'Sullivan, writing in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argues that the United States had the right to claim the entire Oregon Country "by the right of our manifest destiny".

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On this day in 1945, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations.

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On this day in 1966, the Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, is discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico. See below. Hard to believe we never noticed that before, eh?

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On this day in 1968, Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.

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On this day in 1983, Pope John Paul II visits Memhet Ali Agca in Rebibbia's prison and personally forgives him for the 1981 attack on him in St. Peter's Square.

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On this day in 2001, China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States. And why not? I mean... Tibet, Tienanmen Square, the Cultural Revolution and a bunch of other stuff notwithstanding.

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On this day in 2004, radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

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On this day in 2007, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated.

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On this day in 2008, Israel launches a 3-week military operation on the starved, blockaded, open-air prison camp that is Gaza. And they give this op such a friendly name, too: “Cast Lead.” Nice ring, yes?

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