Wednesday, October 18, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 18

On this day in 629, King Dagobert I is crowned King of the Franks. He was the last king of the much feared and loathed Merovingian Dynasty to wield any "real" royal power... or so THEY would have you believe.

***

On this day in 1009, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian church in Jerusalem, is completely destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacks the Church's foundations down to bedrock.

***

On this day in 1648, Boston shoemakers form first U.S. labor organization, otherwise known by that currently dirty word: “union”.

***

On this day in 1851, American author Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale, by publisher Richard Bentley in London.

***

On this day in 1867, the USA takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million. Celebrated annually in the state as Alaska Day. Thirty one years later, on this day in 1898, they take possession of Puerto Rico. Which purchase do you suspect has brought the American People the most joy over the years?

***

On this day in 1922, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is founded by a consortium, to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters to provide a national broadcasting service.

***

On this day in 1945, Argentine military officer and politician Juan Perón marries actress Eva Perón. Don't cry for them, Argentina, even though they didn't exactly live happily ever after.

***

On this day in 1954, Texas Instruments announces the first Transistor radio.

***

On this day in 1967, the Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.

***

On this day in 2002, at the request of FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General John Ashcroft files a declaration invoking the “state secrets” privilege to block FBI translator Sibel Edmonds’ lawsuit against the government from being heard in court. The Justice Department insists that disclosing her evidence, even at a closed hearing in court, “could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the foreign policy and national security of the United States.” Normally, the privilege is used to block the discovery of a specific piece of evidence that could put the nation’s security at risk. But Ashcroft’s declaration asserts that the very subject of her lawsuit constitutes a state secret, thus barring her from even presenting her case in court. The text of Ashcroft’s declaration is classified.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 17


On this day in 539 BC, Cyrus the Great marches into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost 70 years of captivity. Cyrus allows the Jews to return to Yehud Medinata and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

***

On this day in 1604, German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.

***

On this day in 1814, the Great London Beer Flood occurs in London, killing nine in a way that turns out to be far less enjoyable than those who succumb to the devastation might have hoped or imagined it would be.

***

On this day in 1931, "alleged" gangster Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.

***

On this day in 1933, world-famous physicist Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.

***

On this day in 1961, police in France open fire on a huge crowd of Algerian demonstrators, who were marching in the streets of Paris past curfew to support peace talks aimed at ending Algeria's war of independence against French colonial rule. Within minutes, there were corpses everywhere - piled up against gates, jammed under vehicles, floating down the Seine - as hundreds of demonstrators were cut down in a hail of flying lead. Many hundreds more were seriously injured. Twenty years after this massacre, not too many people were surprised when it was revealed that the man who was Paris' chief of police at the time - Maurice Papon - had collaborated with the Nazis during WWII by deporting hundreds of French Jews to death camps across Europe.

***

On this day in 1970, in Montreal, Quebec, Quebec Vice-Premier and Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte is murdered - or was it an accident? - by members of the FLQ terrorist group.

***

On this day in the year 1979, despite the fact that she consorted with some of the most evil fuckers the world has ever known and her so-called hospitals didn't even carry so much as a bottle of aspirin to ease patients' suffering, Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Don't believe the hype!

***

On this day in 1994, Russian journalist Dmitry Kholodov is assassinated while investigating corruption in the Russian armed forces. Big shock, there, eh? What did you expect, dude? Whatever the Rooskies have in place of the Pulitzer? This is nothing but a case of "suicide by journalism" in extremis.

***

On this day in 2002, authorities in the greater Washington DC area recommend that pedestrians should "walk in a zig-zag manner" to avoid a terror sniper's bullets. I thought this was a bad idea, because if you're moving in a zig-zag, you will eventually fall into a recognizable pattern, after which any moderately skilled marksman - or even the average Unreal Tournament geek - will be able to pick you off with relative ease. A better option would have been to just dance! From the Mashed Potato to the Frug, then on to the Twist, the Shimmy, the Monkey and the Swim... then alternating between the Robot and the Moonwalk. Not only would it have been effective, it would also have been a beautiful gesture of defiance. Stupid, but beautiful.

***

On this day in 2003, the pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 56 metres (184 ft) and become the world's tallest high rise. Both structures are currently dwarfed by the world champion Burj Dubai in, you guessed it, Dubai! Just check it out up top.

Monday, October 16, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 16


On this day in 1384, an exceptional lady by the name of Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, even though she's a woman.

***

On this day in 1793, Marie-Antoinette loses her head to a French revolutionary guillotine. Two hundred and twenty-or-so years later, the enshrined ruling classes seem to have forgotten this valuable historic lesson. Perhaps a refresher course is in order.

***

On this day in 1859, American anti-American terrorist John Brown launches an attack on the federal armory in Harper's Ferry, Virginia. His plan was for his small cadre of men to seize the many weapons being stored there, head south, and arm the slaves for a general revolt. Brown's men captured the armory, but soon found themselves unable to escape. After being captured, Brown was sentenced to die by the noose. Though he was white, Brown relished the idea of becoming a martyr for the abolitionist (anti-slavery) cause, and thus refused rescue when one of his accomplices managed to take over the jail where he was being held. On his dying day, Brown wrote: "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done." The Civil War would soon follow, and with it, the end of slavery.

***

On this day in 1916, in Brooklyn, New York, Margaret Sanger opens the first family planning clinic in the United States.

***

On this day in 1923, the Walt Disney Company is founded by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney. Mass social engineering technique refinement and occult-tinged mind control experiments ensue.

***

File this one in the "THAT didn't take long" file. On this day in 1951, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, is assassinated in Rawalpindi.

***

On this day in 1962, the Cuban missile crisis between the United States, Cuba, and the Soviet Union begins in earnest when US President John F. Kennedy is shown photographs of missile sites in Cuba.

***

On this day in 1964, China detonates its first nuclear weapon.

***

On this day in 1968, US athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos are kicked off the US team for participating in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute. See above.

***

On this day in 1970, in response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invokes the War Measures Act.

***

On this day in 1978, a Polish Catholic priest named Karol Wojtyla is elected Pope John Paul II after the October 1978 Papal conclave, the first non-Italian pontiff since 1523.

***

On this day in 1991, some loony-toons by the name of George Hennard runs amok at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, killing 23 and wounding 20.

***

On this day in 1995, the Million Man March takes place in Washington, DC.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 15


On this day in 1764, Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, one of the greatest achievements in the annals of historical documentation.

***

On this day in 1783, the Montgolfier brothers' hot air balloon marks the first human ascent, by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, (tethered balloon).

***

On this day in 1793, Queen Marie-Antoinette of France is tried and convicted in a swift, pre-determined trial in the Palais de Justice, Paris, and condemned to death the following day.

***

On this day in 1815, Napoleon I of France begins his exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.

***

On this day in 1860, a child by the name of Grace Bedell writes Abraham Lincoln telling him he'd look better with a beard. He promptly grew one, and after just over a year, he was elected President. Just imagine! If it wasn't for one insolent child making one inconsiderate remark to one ugly man, the Union may never have had a new birth of freedom, and government of, by and for the people might have perished from the earth a hundred and forty years ago. Instead, it managed to hang on until early December,2000. A pretty good run, all things considered!

***

On this day in 1878, the Edison Electric Light Company begins operation.

***

On this day in 1888, the "From Hell" letter sent by Jack the Ripper is received by investigators.

***

On this day in 1894, the Dreyfus affair begins when Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying.

***

On this day in 1917, at Vincennes outside of Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for the German Empire.

***

On this day in 1954, Hurricane Hazel devastates the eastern seaboard, killing 95 and causing massive floods as far north as Toronto. As a Category 4 upon landfall, it is the strongest storm on record to strike as far north as North Carolina.

***

On this day in 1956, Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time.

***

On this day in 1966, the Black Panther Party is created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.

***

On this day in the year 1969, millions of Americans of every age, color and religious persuasion take part in one of the most widespread – and least discussed – collective demonstrations of protest in America's entire history: Vietnam Moratorium Day.

***

On this day in 1991, anti-affirmative action activist Clarence Thomas benefits from one of the most blatant cases of affirmative action in the history of the practice when President George Herbert Walker "Poppy" Bush confirms him as a Supreme Court Justice. This despite his inexperience, his political extremism, his criminal brinksmanship, and his taste for pornography... not that there's anything wrong with that last one!

Friday, October 13, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 14


On this day in 1066, during the Norman Conquest, in the Battle of Hastings, in England, on Senlac Hill, the Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeat the English army and kill King Harold II of England.

***

On this day in 1322, Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England at Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence.

***

On this day in 1888, Louis Le Prince films first motion picture: Roundhay Garden Scene.

***

On this day in 1912, while campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, is shot and mildly wounded by John Schrank, a mentally-disturbed saloon keeper. With the fresh wound in his chest, and the bullet still within it, Mr. Roosevelt still carries out his scheduled public speech.

***

On this day in 1933, Nazi Germany announces its withdrawal from the League of Nations. Also on this day, in 1950, soon-to-be-cult leader Sun Young Moon is liberated from prison in Korea. Thirty-two years later, on this day in 1982, Moon weds 6,000 Unification church couples in a mass Moonie wedding. Bob Marley held his final concert on this day in 1980. These events are all connected somehow. Yer old pal Jerky just doesn't have the time to figure it out right now.

***

On this day in 1962, the world comes thisclose to total nuclear annihilation when photographs taken by a U-2 spy plane offer incontrovertible proof that the Soviets had set up missile bases on the island nation of Cuba. That put Soviet nukes a mere 90 miles off the American coastline. During the next two weeks, Nikita Kruschev and John F. Kennedy played the highest-stakes game of chess ever played in the history of all mankind. Thank Godzilla it ended in a twenty-eight-year stalemate!

***

On this day in 1966, the city of Montreal, Quebec, begins the operation of its underground Montreal Metro rapid-transit system.

***

On this day in 1977, child-abusing crooner Bing Crosby dies of a heart attack at 74 while vacationing in Madrid, Spain. Two months later, der Bingle records his last ever Christmas special.

***

On this day in 1979, the first Gay Rights March on Washington, D.C., the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, demands "an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of lesbian and gay people", and draws 200,000 people.

***

On this day in 1981, Vice President Hosni Mubarak is elected as the President of Egypt one week after the assassination of the President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. He keeps that job for a looooong-ass time.

***

On this day in 1982, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaims a War on Drugs. Chaos ensues.

***

On this day in 1994, the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, and the Foreign Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres, receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in the establishment of the Oslo Accords and the framing of the future Palestinian Self Government.

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 13


On this day in 1307, hundreds of Knights Templar in France are simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair, to be later tortured into a "confession" of heresy.

***

On this day in 1710, Port Royal, the capital of French Acadia, falls in a siege by British forces.

***

On this day in 1773, the Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier.

***

On this day in 1917, the Virgin Mary makes one final encore appearance to those three little shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal. Despite numerous requests from the 50,000 pilgrims who came just to see her, the Holy Mother of GodTM refuses to perform Freebird.

***

On this day in 1943, the nation of Italy declares war on their former Axis partners in Nazi Germany, proving conclusively that Italians are not to be trusted.

***

On this day in 1987, the McClures - a couple of teenage parents from Midland, Texas - allow their 1-year-old baby, Jessica, to wander around outside, unsupervised. After a short bask in the glow of her parents' negligence, little Jessica fell down a well and got stuck. It took almost three days and well over a million dollars' worth of equipment and man-hours to rescue the little trouble-maker, as voyeuristic sofa spuds the world over tuned in, hoping to catch a glimpse of Mom's grief-stricken face when the rescuers pulled Jessica's little rag-doll corpse out of its cold, wet grave. Unfortunately for these sick fucks, Jessica survived her ordeal, and is no doubt shitting out a trouble-making brood of her own right about now. Meanwhile, 13 years later, in an incredible coincidence, the 2010 Copiapó mining accident in Copiapó, Chile, turns into a miracle after all 33 miners arrive at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground awaiting rescue. It's a good day for falling down a hole, apparently.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 12


On this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached India.

***

On this day in 1692, the Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips.

***

Ever wondered about the origins of Oktoberfest? You know, that German beer-and-sausage festival featuring little fat guys in suspenders and short pants line-dancing to the dulcet tones of a glockenspiel? Well, it turns out the whole thing started on this day in 1810, when Bavaria's Prince Louis married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. On a whim, the royals decided to invite the good people of Munich to come and participate in the wedding day festivities. It was such a smashing success, and so fondly remembered by all who attended, that one year later they decided to celebrate. And so it went, from year to year, perpetuating itself until the present day. Pretty fuckin' lame, huh? Seeing as it involves Germans, yer old pal Jerky figured the original Oktoberfest would have had something to do with blood sacrifices in sacred pine groves, or maybe - on a less Pagan note - the burning of witches or something. But nooo...

***

On this day in 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus's voyage.

***

On this day in 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the "Executive Mansion" to the White House.

***

On this day in 1918, a massive forest fire kills 453 people in Minnesota.

***

On this day in 1960, Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe

***

On this day in 1960, television viewers in Japan unexpectedly witness the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, leader of the Japan Socialist Party, when he is stabbed and killed during a live broadcast.


***

On this day in 1997, 43 are killed at a fake roadblock during the Sidi Daoud massacre in Algeria.

***

On this day in 2000, the USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39.

***

On this day in 2002, terrorists detonate bombs in the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and wounding over 300.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 11


On this day in the year 1991, law professor Anita Hill testifies that quota-hating quota-beneficiary Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, making repeated unwanted sexual advances throughout her tenure as his assistant. Conservatives accuse Hill of harboring a secret, political hidden agenda.

Flash forward a few years, and these same conservatives have no problem buying into the similarly unsubstantiated - and similarly impossible to disprove - stories told (and sold) by Paula "Penthouse" Jones, Kathleen "4 different stories" Willey and Juanita "what year was I raped in?" Broderick. They hounded, pilloried and even went so far as to impeach president Clinton for lying about a consensual sexual dalliance initiated by another.

Flash forward another four years, and when more than twenty women come forward to accuse gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger of groping, harassing and intimidating them, the nation's conservatives undergo yet another ethical flip-flop.

So for those of you keeping score at home, here's the deal: Anita Hill was (all evidence to the contrary) a politically motivated liar. The antebellum damsels who claimed Clinton wagged his pecker at'em? They were telling the TRUTH, obviously, and how dare you question their constantly-changing stories?! And what about Schwarzenegger's dozens of accusers? Conservatives were so outraged by these women's allegations that they canceled their subscriptions to the Los Angeles Times for daring to report on them!

Hypocrisy, thy name is conservatism.

***

On this day in 1890, in Washington, DC, the Daughters of the American Revolution is founded.

***

On this day in 1899, the Second Boer War begins: In South Africa, a war between the United Kingdom and the Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State erupts.

***

On this day in 1910, Former President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers at Kinloch Field (Lambert-St. Louis International Airport), St. Louis, Missouri.

***

On this day in 1929, JC Penney opens store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.

***

On this day in 1950, the FCC issues CBS the first license to broadcast color television programming. In those early days, however, color TV was quite primitive. Technical limitations were such that only a single color could be broadcast at any one time, creating a rather disorienting viewing experience. And making matters worse was the fact that color TV sets were prohibitively expensive, weighed as much as an 8-cylinder engine, and emitted enough radiation to hard-boil an egg. No wonder it wasn't until 1968 that color sets first outsold black and white.

***

On this day in 1968, NASA launches Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard.

***

On this day in 1972, a race riot occurs on the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.

***

On this day in 1975, Saturday Night Live debuts on NBC with George Carlin as the host and Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian and Billy Preston as guests.

***

On this day in 2001, the Polaroid Corporation files for federal bankruptcy protection.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 10


On this day in 680, Hussain bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, is decapitated by forces under Caliph Yazid I. This is commemorated by Muslims as "Aashurah".

***

On this day in 732, near Poitiers, France, the leader of the Franks, Charles Martel and his men, defeat a large army of Moors, stopping the Muslim faith from spreading into Western Europe. The governor of Cordoba, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, is killed during the battle. It was probably the greatest (and last) great, world-historic French military victory.

***

On this day in 1580, after a three-day siege, the English Army beheads over 600 Papal soldiers and civilians at Dún an Óir, Ireland. Freaking English, man.

***

On this day in 1888, a plucky bunch of non-drinkers set off on a "teetotalers excursion" to prove that you don't have to imbibe to have a crackin' good time! Unfortunately, their train crashed in Mud Run, Pennsylvania, killing 64. Many of the survivors become alcoholics.

***

On this day in 1928, Chiang Kai-Shek becomes Chairman of the Republic of China. Mao Zedong has a little something to say about that, however.

***

On this day in 1970, in Canada's French-speaking province of Quebec, the Quiet Revolution gets noisy as a militant French separatist group - the FLQ - kidnaps Quebec labor minister Pierre Laporte. After a series of bombings, armed robberies and the earlier kidnapping of a British trade commissioner, LaPorte's kidnapping was the last straw for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who proclaimed the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T.A.C.T.-style War Measures Act, under which the FLQ was banned, civil liberties suspended, and hundreds of French separatists taken into custody and held without charges. But it was all for naught, as LaPorte's corpse was found in the trunk of a car near a Quebec airport eight days later. According to a stripper yer old pal Jerky once spent way too much time and money on, the bastards had drowned him in cheese curds and thick, brown chicken gravy.

***

On this day in 1973, Vice President of the United States Spiro Agnew resigns after being charged with federal income tax evasion.

***

On this day in 1999, self-declared King of PopTM Micheal "Wacko Jacko" Jackson divorces his incubator-for-hire - and former nurse - Debbie Rowe, citing irreconcilable differences... which is lawyer talk for "she didn't have a penis, and she wasn't ten years old." During their three years of wedded bliss, Jacko got Rowe to squeeze out two children for him to add to his collection: one manchild named Prince, and one womanchild named Paris. It is currently unknown exactly how much money Rowe was paid for the rental of her uterus, but it was probably a pretty good wad o'cash.

Monday, October 9, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 9


On this day in 768, Carloman I and Charlemagne are crowned Kings of The Franks.

***

On this day in 1446, the hangul alphabet is published in Korea.

***

On this day in 1514, Louis XII of France maries England's Mary Tudor. The sex is incredible.

***

On this day in 1604, Supernova 1604, the most recent supernova to happen in the visible Milky Way, is observed.

***

On this day in 1635, Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for complaining about civic powers being used to punish religious dissidents and confiscate Indian land. With the help of native Americans, he establishes a colony of his own: Rhode Island. Think about that for a minute... this guy was too liberal for Massachusetts! It boggles the frickin' mind!

***

On this day in 1701, the Collegiate School of Connecticut (later renamed Yale University) is chartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

***

On this day in 1888, the very Freemason-friendly Washington Monument officially opens to the general public.

***

On this day in 1911, an accidental bomb explosion in Hankou, Wuhan, China leads to the ultimate fall of the Qing Empire. Interesting, how such a thing can happen...

***

Heralding the arrival of two of the most despised social trends in living memory, one man in a moving automobile telephones another man in an airborne plane for the first time ever on this day in the year 1947.

***

On this day in 1967, Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara is executed by CIA-trained soldiers in the jungles of Bolivia, much to the delight of apolitical t-shirt vendors throughout the pseudo-civilized world.

***

On this day in 1969, in Chicago, the United States National Guard is called in for crowd control as demonstrations continue in connection with the trial of the Chicago Eight that began on September 24.

***

On this day in 1980, Pope John Paul II shakes hands with the Dalai Lama during a private audience in Vatican City.

***

On this day in 1989, an official news agency in the Soviet Union reports the landing of a UFO in Voronezh.

***

On this day in 1999, artists such as the Eurythmics, George Michael, David Bowie, Robbie Williams and Bono take part in NetAid, an event to raise money for global poverty. NetAid took place live on the internet and at concerts in London, New York and Geneva. It was a pathetic failure which, due to the structuring of the financing, actually increased Third World poverty by nearly 47 percent.

***

On this day in 2001, the second mailing of anthrax letters from Trenton, New Jersey in the 2001 anthrax attack.

***

On this day in 2006, North Korea allegedly tests its first nuclear device.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 8


On this day in 1645, Jeanne Mance opened the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, the first lay hospital in North America.

***

On this day in 1871, a cow kicks over a lantern in Mrs. O'Leary's barn, sparking a wind-fed conflagration destined to be remembered for all man's days as the Great Chicago Fire... or not, depending on who you ask. According to representatives from PETA, for instance, it was Mrs. O'Leary, herself, who started the fire. Then, to cover her tracks, she cruelly used a gentle, defenseless cow as a convenient scapegoat... or, scapecow. Whatever. But whoever started it, over the next two days, fire ripped through the Midwestern metropolis, burning it to the ground virtually in its entirety. Four square miles were left a smoking ruin, 100,000 people were left homeless, and at least 300 people lost their lives.

***

On this day in 1918, in the Argonne Forest in France, United States Corporal Alvin C. York kills 28 German soldiers and captures 132.

***

On this day in 1956, the New York Yankees's Don Larsen pitches the only perfect game in a World Series; one of only 21 perfect games in MLB history.

***

On this day in 1962, the nightmarish hermit nation of North Korea reports a voter turnout of 100% for their national election, with 100% of the votes going to the Workers Party. Holy shit, man... what do you figure the odds were on that happening?!

***

On this day in 1967, guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men are captured in Bolivia.

***

On this day in 1969, the opening rally of the Days of Rage occurs, organized by the Weather Underground in Chicago, Illinois.

***

On this day in 1982, a newly “freed” Poland ironically bans Solidarity and all trade unions.

***

On this day in 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush announces the establishment of the Office of Father- I mean HOMELAND Security.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 7


On this day in 1763, King George III of Great Britain (Mad King George) issues British Royal Proclamation of 1763, closing aboriginal lands in North America north and west of Alleghenies to white settlements. This may or may not have had something to do with the fight for “independence”, which pretty much turned into the right to ignore all treaties with North America’s native peoples.

***

On this day in 1916, Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland University 222-0 in the most lopsided college football game in American history.

***

On this day in 1933, Air France is inaugurated, after being formed by a merger of 5 French airlines. Their stewardesses are really freaking hot.

***

On this day in 1940, the McCollum memo proposes bringing the United States into the war in Europe by provoking the Japanese to attack the United States. Its existence still spawns talk of conspiracy.

***

On this day in 1955, American poet Allen Ginsberg performs his poem Howl for the first time at the Six Gallery in San Francisco.


***

On this day in 1958, the U.S. manned space-flight project is renamed Project Mercury. This nomenclature has some interesting significance.

***

Thanks to the USSR's Luna 3 lunar orbiter, mankind gets its first look at the far side of the moon on this day in the year 1959. Much to the disappointment of billionaire sex tourists and sexless science-fiction geeks the world over, there are no slutty Moon Chicks to be found.

***

On this day in 1985, the Achille Lauro cruise ship is hijacked by Palestine Liberation Organization. One elderly Jewish man in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer, was murdered by the hijackers and thrown overboard.

***

On this day in 1996, the FOX News Channel begins broadcasting. Shit journalism ensues.

***

On this day in 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, is found tied to a fence after being savagely beaten by two young adults in Laramie, Wyoming.

***

On this day in 2001, the US invasion of Afghanistan begins with an air assault and "covert operations" on the ground.

***

On this day in 2003, a historic recall election takes place in the U.S. State of California in which the sitting Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, is overwhelmingly voted out of office. Actor and bodybuilder (and Republican candidate) Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected to be the 38th Governor of California. This was the first recall election in the history of the State of California in which a sitting Governor has been successfully recalled from office.

Friday, October 6, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 6


On this day in 1600, Jacopo Peri's Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, receives its première performance in Florence, signifying the beginning of the Baroque Period

***

Escaping religious persecution in their homeland, the Pilgrims set sail to the New World from England on this day in 1620. Unfortunately, with hearts hardened by years of past injustice, the underdogs turn vicious when empowered. As soon as they were able to do so, the immigrant overdogs begin to inflict their own brand of religious persecution on those who fail to recognize their authority in the land where they had only so recently arrived.

***

On this day in 1683, after receiving a flattering invitation by Pennsylvania's very own William Penn to come on over and farm and settle down after years of persecution in their native homeland of Germany, the Mennonites arrive in America... and promptly refuse to take up arms in their new home nation's defense. Fucking Menonnites, maaan!

***

On this day in 1723, Benjamin Franklin arrives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the age of 17.

***

On this day in 1889, American inventor Thomas Edison shows his first motion picture.

***

On this day in 1927, The Jazz Singer, the first prominent talking movie, hits the nation’s movie houses.

***

On this day in 1945, Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat are ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series, thus instituting the Curse of the Billy Goat, after Billy declares: "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more!" The Cubs have not won a National League pennant since this incident and as of 2013 have not won a World Series in 105 years.

***

On this day in 1973, Egypt launches a coordinated attack with Syria against Israel leading to the Yom Kippur War.

***

On this day in 1976, Cubana Flight 455 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off from Bridgetown, Barbados after two bombs, placed on board by terrorists with connections to the CIA, exploded. All 73 people on board are killed.

***

On this day in 1979, Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit the White House.

***

On this day in 1981, Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat is assassinated.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 5

On this day in 1989, the Dalai Lama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition, I suppose, of his complete and utter failure to get the Chinese out of Tibet. Or maybe it was to reward him for the "nonviolent" way in which he fled the Chinese invasion in 1959. Either way, he's still a guy in a skirt who thinks he's got the ghosts of the last 13 Dalai Lamas inside him.

***

Acid-head Herbert Mullin was terrified that a monster earthquake was about to send California sliding into the Pacific Ocean as a sort of cosmic retribution for America's crimes during the Vietnam War. So, in order to prevent this monster quake, Mullin did the only thing he believed might make a difference… he began making human sacrifices! The fucked-up fruit-cake butchered his first of thirteen victims on this day in the year 1972.

*** **** ***


Eight years ago around this time, conservative multimedia titan Rush Limbaugh was having a very bad week. It all started on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, where he said of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb: "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve."

Within hours of Rush making the above statement, a number of sports figures, journalists and political pundits were taking Rush to task for injecting race into a sports show. Some people called on Rush to apologize. A few even called on ESPN to fire him. Simultaneously, conservative commentators defended their point man and standard-bearer. Their massive rhetorical counter-assault was truly a wonder to behold, as the usual gaggle of billionaire-subsidized conservative establishment bigots and racists came forward to assure their racist, bigoted constituency that Rush’s statement in no way meant that they had to admit that he was a bigot or a racist.

And so, thanks to the ruckus generated by his big frickin' mouth, the nation's eyes were once again on Rush Limbaugh, which is probably exactly what he wanted. Unfortunately for him, fate (and the editors of the National Enquirer) had been saving up a big steaming load of Karma to drop on top of his vile shit-bucket of a head.

Within a calendar day of the start of his troubles, the world learned that Rush Limbaugh - fire-breathing law-and-order pundit, big backer of the Drug War and "mandatory minimum" laws - was a pill-popping opiate junkie. Thus was explained his "mysterious" deafness, a common side effect of Rush's particular brand of drug abuse. According to Florida authorities, the Big Talker spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on tens of thousands of mind-scrambling pain pills in a few short years.

In short order, ESPN fired him, and Limbaugh commenced to whining. Apparently, none of his problems were his fault. He made himself a martyr in his own mind - live, before an audience of millions - ridiculously using his show to insinuate that he would be thrown in jail over what he said about McNabb.

And speaking of jail, the fact that Limbaugh has never had to pay any kind of price for his crimes really chaps yer old pal Jerky's ass.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 4


On this day in 1535, the first complete English-language Bible – known as the Coverdale Bible – is printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale. Why isn't it known as the Tyndale-Coverdale Bible? Because life is brutally unfair, ladies and gentlemen. Even when it comes to doling out Bible credits.

***

On this day in 1824, Mexico adopts a new constitution and becomes a federal republic.

***

On this day in 1883, the Orient Express takes its first run.

***

On this day in 1927, sculptor Gutzon Borglum begins sculpting Mount Rushmore.

***

On this day in 1940, a meeting takes place between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini at the Brenner Pass.

***

On this day in 1941, Norman Rockwell's Willie Gillis character debuts on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.

***

On this day in the year 1955, the fascist megalomaniac leader of the Unification Church, "Reverend" Sun Young Moon, is freed from prison in Seoul, South Korea. So pleased is he with his newfound freedom that he orders his hundreds of thousands of followers to henceforth celebrate October 4th as Victory of Heaven Day. It should come as no surprise that religious freak Moon uses his Moonie millions to help out his buddies on the American Far Right… people like Richard Nixon and Ollie North and Jerry Falwell, and of course the Bush Crime Family. It's also interesting to note that the Moonies own the Washington Times, as well as the University of Bridgeport.

***

On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union humiliates the United States by launching Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, thus proving once and for all that communism is superior to capitalist democracy. Meanwhile, in Canada, the first Avro Arrow rolls out at the Avro Canada plant in Malton, Ontario. It was the most sophisticated jet plane of its day, until a conspiracy killed it…

***

On this day in 1985, the Free Software Foundation is founded in Massachusetts, USA.

***

On this day in 1988, US televangelist Jim Bakker of PTL (Praise The Lord or Pass The Loot?) infamy is indicted for fraud. He would go on to spend many years in jail, and shed many tears on TV.

***

On this day in 1993, in Moscow, tanks bombard the White House, a government building that housed the Russian parliament, while demonstrators against President Boris Yeltsin rally outside.

***

On this day in 2004, SpaceShipOne wins Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight, by being the first private craft to fly into space.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 3


On this day in 52 BC, Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, surrenders to the Romans under Julius Caesar, ending the siege and Battle of Alesia.

***

On this day in 1849, American author Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances; it is the last time he is seen in public before his death.

***

On this day in 1942, the first successful launch of a V-2/A4 rocket from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde, Germany. It is the first man-made object to reach space.

***

On this day in 1949, the 1st black-owned radio station in the United States, opens in Atlanta, Georgia. Its call letters? WERD.

***

On this day in 1951, the "Shot Heard 'Round the World", one of the greatest moments in Major League Baseball history, occurs when the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson hits a game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to win the National League pennant after being down 14 games.

***

On this day in 1952, the United Kingdom successfully tests a nuclear weapon to become the world's third nuclear power. Meanwhile, on TV, The Mickey Mouse Club debuts on ABC.

***

On this day in 1964, the first ever Buffalo Wings are made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.

***

On this day in 1981, the hunger strike by Provisional Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army prisoners at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland ends after seven months and ten deaths.

***

On this day in 1990, the German Democratic Republic ceases to exist and its territory becomes part of the Federal Republic of Germany. East German citizens became part of the European Community, which later became the European Union. Now celebrated as German Unity Day.

***

On this day in 1993, In an attempt to capture officials of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's organisation in Mogadishu, Somalia, 18 US soldiers and about 1,000 Somalis are killed in heavy fighting.

***

On this day in the year 1995, America narrowly avoids plunging into an all-out race war when twelve brilliant minds - each well aware of the societal stakes - decide to acquit professional celebrity Orenthal James Simpson of all charges stemming from the outright butchery of his estranged wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her "friend"Ronald Goldman. This, despite the fact that, clearly, he did it. The trial wasted an amazing 252 days of all our lives, and was a ratings smash, spawning such sequels as Bill and Monica, Death of a Princess, and Where's Chandra? Over the last few years, however, the still-popular genre of "reality" reality has been taken over by altogether more disturbing fare.

***

On this day in 2003, Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy is attacked by one of the show's tigers, canceling the show until 2009, when they rejoined the tiger that mauled Roy just six years earlier.

Monday, October 2, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 2


On this day in 1187, the Siege of Jerusalem ends when Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.

***

On this day in 1535, French explorer Jacques Cartier discovers the area where Montreal, Quebec is located.

***

On this day in 1922, the very first facsimile photo ("fax") is sent over public telephone lines. No record of the image exists, but yer old pal Jerky is fairly certain it was a crudely drawn set of shrunken male genitals with a caption underneath reading: "If good things come in small packages, then yours must be worth a fortune!" Either that, or it was a fucking chain letter.

***

On this day in 1928, the "Prelature of the Holy Cross and the Work of God", commonly known as Opus Dei, is founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá.

***

On this day in 1937, Dominican Republic strongman Rafael Trujillo orders the execution of the Haitian population living within the borderlands; approximately 20,000 are killed over the next five days.

***

On this day in 1944, Nazi troops put a bloody end to the Warsaw Uprising.

***

On this day in 1950, Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz is first published

***

On this day in the year 1959, America enters another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. It's a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination, when Rod Serling's Twilight Zone - quite possibly the coolest fucking show ever to grace the airwaves -premieres on CBS.

***

On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African-American justice of United States Supreme Court.

***

On this day in 2002, the Beltway sniper attacks begin, extending over three weeks.

***

On this day in 2006, five school girls are murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before Roberts commits suicide.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER 1

On this day in 1189, Gerard de Ridefort, grandmaster of the Knights Templar since 1184, is killed in the Siege of Acre.

***

On this day in 1553, the coronation of Queen Mary I of England takes place.

***

On this day in 1811, the first steamboat to sail the Mississippi River arrives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

***

On this day in 1890, Yosemite National Park is established by the U.S. Congress.

***

On this day in 1891, in the state of California, Stanford University opens its doors. A prestigious parapsychology department soon opens its doors.

***

On this day in 1908, Ford puts the Model T car on the market at a price of US$825.

***

On this day in 1910, a large bomb destroys the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21.

***

On this day in 1918, Arab forces under T. E. Lawrence, also known as "Lawrence of Arabia", capture Damascus.

***

On this day in 1936, General Francisco Franco is named head of the Nationalist government of Spain.

***

On this day in 1938, Germany annexes the Sudetenland.

***

On this day in 1944, the Nazis begin a series of gruesome medical experiments on gay men at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Hiding behind the legitimate-sounding moniker: Division for Typhus and Virus Research of the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen SS, the sadistic freakazoids of the Third Reich got their rocks off by castrating hundreds of men using a variety of torturous methods, and injecting prisoners with diseases to test out new vaccines. Hundreds of Jews, Gypsies, and mentally ill prisoners were also "euthanized" in the camp, which was overseen by the infamous Ilsa Koch, the real-life inspiration for those lurid Ilsa movies. Her penchant for lampshades, gloves, and other items made from the skin of dead inmates -- along with her reputation for forcing prisoners to participate in Caligula-level orgies -- made her a legend for a time.

***

On this day in 1946, the “genius” organization Mensa International is founded in the United Kingdom.

***

Remember Dr. Strangelove? On this day in the year 1957, B-52 bombers loaded down with nukes begin flying non-stop missions along the boundaries of Soviet airspace, just waiting on the word to fly in and drop their loads. Get thee to a mine shaft! It was also on this day that Americans first see In God We Trust on their paper currency.

***

On this day in 1958, NASA is created to replace NACA.

***

On this day in 1979, the United States returns sovereignty of the Panama canal to Panama.

***

On this day in 1982, EPCOT Center opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States. Meanwhile, in Japan, Sony launches the first consumer compact disc player (model CDP-101).

***

On this day in 1989, Denmark introduces the world's first legal modern same-sex civil union called "registered partnership".

***

On this day in 1992, the Cartoon Network begins broadcasting. Adult Swim shows ensue.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 30


On this day in 1399, some guy named Henry IV is proclaimed King of England.

***

On this day in 1452, the first-ever mass-produced book is published: The Guttenberg Bible. This spreading of the word means that even the "common man" could become as arrogant, merciless and self-righteous as the clergy who, up until that time, had been the Bible's privileged demographic...

***

On this day in 1630, the first execution in American history took place. The executee was murderer John Billington, who was "hanged by the neck until dead" in scenic Plymouth, Massachusetts. As recorded back in the day, Billington was a troublemaker who: "had been often punished for miscarriages before; being [from] one of the profanest families amongst them." His victim was a man by the name of John Newcomen.

***

On this day in 1791, the first performance of The Magic Flute, the last opera by Mozart to make its debut, took place at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria. Some still believe that he revealed Masonic secrets in this opera, and that he paid for this with his life.

***

On this day in 1882, Thomas Edison's first commercial hydroelectric power plant begins operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin, United States.

***

On this day in 1888, a very busy Jack the Ripper kills his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.

***

On this day in 1938, the League of Nations unanimously outlaws "intentional bombings of civilian populations". And we all lived happily ever after.

***

On this day in 1941, in Kiev, Ukraine: German Einsatzgruppe C complete Babi Yar massacre.

***

On this day in 1955, troubled young method actor James Dean is killed when he drives his Porsche 550 Spyder head-on into another car. Spookily, after being stripped for parts, the remains of the Spyder went on to kill and maim a bunch more people... I shit you not!

***

On this day in 1960, Clarabelle the Clown finally gets to speak on the Howdy Doody Show. His last words are rather lacking in drama, but fittingly a propos: "Goodbye Kids!" Actually, "au revoir" might have been more fitting, as Bob Keeshan, who played Clarabelle, went on to play Captain Kangaroo. He's dead now, as soon will you be, too.

***

On this day in 1962, Mexican-American labor leader César Chávez founds the National Farm Workers Association, which later becomes United Farm Workers.

***

On this day in 1968, the Boeing 747 is rolled out and shown to the public for the first time at the Boeing Everett Factory.

***

On this day in 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed details of Israel's covert nuclear program to British media, is kidnapped in Rome, Italy by the Israeli Mossad. He fell victim to an intricate “honey pot trap” for him, whereby a female Mossad agent pretending to be an Italian woman who had fallen in love with Vanunu lured him to the hotel from which he was kidnapped. He was held, mostly in isolation, for decades before ultimately being freed.

***

On this day in 2004, the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo.

***

On this day in 2005, the controversial drawings of Muhammad are printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Friday, September 29, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 29


On this day in 1789, the United States Department of War first establishes a regular army with a strength of several hundred men.

***

On this day in 1789, the 1st United States Congress adjourns.

***

On this day in 1850, the Roman Catholic hierarchy is re-established in England and Wales by Pope Pius IX.

***

On this day in 1962, Alouette 1, the first Canadian satellite, is launched. Mostly for hockey-related purposes.

***

On this day in 1972, the Insurance industry announces that, contrary to what common sense would seem to dictate, professional auto racers get into more highway accidents than the average driver.

***

On this day in 1975, WGPR in Detroit, Michigan, becomes the world's first black-owned-and-operated television station.

***

On this day in 1982, in the first ever case of random murder by product-tampering, some jack-off laces bottles of Tylenol with cyanide, causing the deaths of seven people in Chicago and prompting Johnson and Johnson to make like a horny walrus and start looking for a tighter seal.

***

On this day in 1987, Compaq confounds the plebeian masses when they divulge the existence of their portable computer, equipped with a 386 chip, the newest and most powerful chip on the market at the time. The Compaq Portable 386 cost a wallet-cracking $10,000, and weighed a lap-bruising twenty pounds.

***

On this day in 1991, Haiti suffers a military coup... AGAIN!

***

On this day in 2004, the asteroid 4179 Toutatis passes within four lunar distances of Earth.

***

On this day in 2008, following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 28


Confucius say: "Have some cake! It Confucius Birthday!" Actually, he probably never said that, seeing as birthday cake had yet to be invented in 551 BC, the year the great Chinese teacher was born.

***

On this day in 1066, William the Bastard (as he was known at the time) invades England beginning the Norman conquest of England.

***

On this day in 1867, Toronto becomes the capital of Ontario. And they STILL haven’t gotten over themselves!

***

On this day in 1889, the first General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) defines the length of a meter as the distance between two lines on a standard bar of an alloy of platinum with ten percent iridium, measured at the melting point of ice. Seriously.

***

On this day in 1928, the U.K. Parliament passes the Dangerous Drugs Act outlawing cannabis. Yeah... real dangerous drug, there, guys.

***

On this day in 1973, the ITT Building in New York City is bombed in protest at ITT's alleged involvement in the September 11, 1973 coup d'état in Chile.

***

On this day in 1995, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat sign the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

***

On this day in 1996, former president of Afghanistan Mohammad Najibullah is tortured and brutally murdered by the Taliban.

***

On this day in 2000, Ariel Sharon visits Al-Aqsa Mosque known to Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

***

On this day in 2008, SpaceX launches the first private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 27



On this day in 1540, the Society of Jesus – better known to conspiracy theorists as the Jesuits – receives its charter from Pope Paul III.

***

On this day in 1590, Pope Urban VII dies 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

***

On this day in 1821, Mexico gains its independence from Spain.

***

On this day in 1822, Jean-François Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta stone.

***

On this day in 1905, the physics journal Annalen der Physik received Albert Einstein's paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", introducing the equation E=mc².

***

On this day in 1937, the Balinese Tiger declared extinct.

***

On this day in 1954, the nationwide debut of Tonight Starring Steve Allen (The Tonight Show) hosted by Steve Allen on NBC.

***

The Warren Commission investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is first made public on this day in the year 1964. The Commission's conclusions? That Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, that every shot came from a window on the sixth floor of the Dallas school book repository building, and that yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

***

On this day in 1968, the stage musical HAIR opens at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London, where it played 1,998 performances until its closure was forced by the roof collapsing in July 1973.

***

On this day in 1988, lab tests approved by the Vatican show beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Shroud of Turin was fabricated in the early Middle Ages, and therefore could not possibly be Jesus's burial cloth. True believers, however, refuse to accept the findings, citing the fact that science is "a tool of the DEVIL!"

***

On this day in 1998, the Google internet search engine retrospectively claims this as its birthday.

***

On this day in 2008, CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang becomes the first Chinese person to perform a spacewalk while flying on Shenzhou 7.Or does he?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 26


On this day in the year 31 AD, Jesus wept.

***

On this day in 1580, adventurer and occultist Sir Francis Drake finishes his circumnavigation of the Earth.

***

On this day in 1933, as gangster Machine Gun Kelly surrenders to the FBI, he shouts out, "Don’t shoot, G-Men!", which becomes a nickname for FBI agents. Meanwhile, not too far away, ten convicts escape from the Indiana State Prison with guns smuggled into the prison by bank robber John Dillinger.

***

On this day in 1960, in Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. Those who watched said JFK won. Those who listened on the radio gave the edge to Nixon.

***

On this day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan vetoes the first of several bills calling on the USA to impose economic sanctions on South Africa in protest of Apartheid. It isn't until 1986, when the Democratic Congress takes the initiative and over-rides another one of Reagan's shameful vetoes, that the sanctions were finally approved and implemented. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the Powers That Be "agree" to the handover of Hong Kong to the communist Chinese government.

***

On this day in the year 1990, the good folks at the MPAA create the totally useless NC-17 rating for films deemed too explicit to be rated R, but not so explicit that they merit an X, which is box-office death. Unfortunately, theater owners never picked up on the concept, deciding that an NC-17 was just as "bad" as an X. Yer old pal Jerky thinks most of these age-threshold parameters are bullshit anyway. They should just give everyone an IQ test before allowing them to enter the theater. Then you could rate films by the minimum IQ required to be able to understand or enjoy the film. So, for instance, a film like Battlefield Earth could be rated IQ-50, and a film like 2001: A Space Odyssey could be rated IQ-120.

***

On this day in 2002, the overcrowded Senegalese ferry MV Le Joola capsizes off the coast of the Gambia killing more than 1,000.

***

On this day in 2008, Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel.

Monday, September 25, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 25


On this day in 1690, Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, is published for the first and only time.

***

On this day in 1789, the United States Congress passes twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten that are known as the Bill of Rights.

***

On this day in 1906, in the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrates the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

***

On this day in 1951, Luke Skywalker was born. Exactly one year later, Superman was born. Today, Luke Skywalker is playing "Pharoah" in a Branson dinner theater production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Superman is dead. Oh, how the mighty have fallen...

***

On this day in 1956, the first ever transatlantic telephone call takes place, between AT&T bigwig Cleo Frank Craig and Dr. Charles Hill of the British Post Office. At its humble beginnings, the transatlantic cable could only handle a mere thirty-six conversations at any one time. Now, people get upset if their computer lags when they've got thirty-six full-resolution hardcore porn videos downloading at once. We've come a long way, baby!

***

This day in 1986 was a bleak day for the Supreme Court of the USA, as neo-fascist bizarro-cult-member Antonin "the Godfather" Scalia is appointed to that formerly respectable institution by then-President, Ronald Fucking Reagan.

***

On this day in 1990, Saddam Hussein warns that by attacking Iraq, the US would have to endure a re-run of the Vietnam experience. Little did anyone know it would take an unlucky thirteen years for the Mesopotamian dictator's prophecy to come (somewhat) true.

***

On this day in 1992, NASA launches the Mars Observer, a $511 million probe to Mars, in the first U.S. mission to the planet in 17 years. Eleven months later, the probe would fail.

***

On this day in 1996, the last of the Magdalene asylums - essentially laundromats run with an iron fist by Catholic nuns and operated on a slave labor system by captive women and children - closes in Ireland.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 24


On this day in 768, Charlemagne gets crowned the first King of the Franks.

***

On this day in 1869, "Black Friday" takes place when gold prices plummet after Ulysses S. Grant orders the Treasury to sell large quantities of gold after Jay Gould and James Fisk plot to control the market.

***

On this day in 1890, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces polygamy.

***

On this day in 1906, US President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation's very first National Monument.

***

On this day in 1950, forest fires black out the sun over portions of Canada and New England. A blue moon is seen as far away as Europe.

***

On this day in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation.

***

On this day in 1968, the journalism show 60 Minutes debuts on CBS.

***

On this day in 1979, CompuServe launches the first consumer internet service, which features the first public electronic mail service.

***

With a little help from every professional athlete's little helper - steroids! - Jamaican/Canadian Olympic runner Ben Johnson becomes the fastest human being on the planet on this day in 1988, when he completes the 100 meter dash in an incredible 9.79 seconds. Taking his gold medal away from him will never change those awesome numbers. Besides, did you watch that race? Does anybody really believe Carl Lewis and Linford Christie weren't juiced to the gills, as well?!

***

On this day in 1990, the Supreme Soviet gives final approval for the big switch-over to a free market economic system. Chaos ensues.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR SEPTEMBER 23



On this day in the year 1875, 15-year-old Billy the Kid gets thrown in jail for the first time in his life, after stealing a bag of clothes from a Chinese laundryman as a joke. Despite his crippling claustrophobia, Billy managed to escape prison by squeezing through the chimney. For the rest of his days, Billy would be on the wrong side of the law.

***

On this day in 1889, Nintendo Koppai - later Nintendo Company Ltd - is founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market the playing card game Hanafuda.

***

On this day in 1909, The Phantom of the Opera, a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, is first published as a serialization in Le Gaulois.

***

On this day in 1952, Richard Nixon makes his "Checkers speech", in which he references his dog, Checkers.

***

On this day in 1969, the Chicago Eight trial opens in - where else? - Chicago!

***

On this day in 1976, Republican Presidential candidate Gerald Ford debates Democratic Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter on live television. Chaos ensues.

***

On this day in 1977, Cheryl Ladd replaces Farrah Fawcett on Charlie's Angels. The millions of teenage boys who make up the show's target demographic briefly pause, shrug, then resume masturbating.

***

On this day in 2008, the Kauhajoki school shooting takes place when Matti Saari kills 10 people before committing suicide.

***

On this day in the year 1846, astronomers discover our solar system's eighth planet, Neptune, by extrapolating potential orbits based on some of the more unusual aspects of... Uranus. You see, it was hypothesized that, due to the way it moved, there had to be something behind... Uranus. It has subsequently been noted that Neptune is smaller in diameter, but larger in mass, than... Uranus. Which must be why you go through so much toilet paper, you fat tub of lard!

PS - Who would have thought Uranus could be so beautiful?