Friday, February 10, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 10


On this day in 1355, the craziest students-versus-townie fight of all freaking time breaks out. Known as the St. Scholastica's Day riot, fighting breaks out in Oxford, England, over the quality of drinks being served at a tavern, eventually leaving 63 scholars and perhaps 30 locals dead in two days of fighting. Absolutely bonkers.

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On this day in 1763, the 1763 Treaty of Paris ends the war and France cedes Quebec to Great Britain. Which kind of fucking sucks for yer old pal Jerky's ancestors and current extended family.

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On this day in 1840, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Dude couldn't even speak English.

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On this day in 1870, the YWCA is founded in New York City.

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On this day in 1920, baseball outlaws all pitches involving tampering with the ball, effectively putting an end to the then-popular "murderball" pitch, which involved peeling the skin off a baseball and wrapping it around a glass sphere filled with razor blades and nitroglycerin.

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On this day in 1949, author Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman opens at the Morosco Theater in New York City. Attention was paid.

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On this day in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower warns against United States intervention in Vietnam. Good thing The Powers That Be listened to him, eh?

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On this day in 1962, captured American U2 spy-plane pilot Gary Powers is exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.

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On this day in 1978, future Carlyle Group bagman Frank Carlucci becomes deputy director of the CIA. In the years that followed, it becomes painfully clear that Frank is one of Poppy's boyz, on evil par with the likes of James Baker III.

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In order to avoid having to submit to government oversight related to reports of steroid abuse among his employees, Vince McMahon admits before a New Jersey court that professional wrestling is a staged "exhibition," and not a sport, on this day in 1989.

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On this day in 1989, Clinton family friend Ron Brown is elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first African American to lead a major American political party. Bill Clinton eventually made Brown Secretary of Commerce in his administration. Sadly, on April 3, 1996, Ron Brown and thirty-plus others died when their Air Force Boeing 747 went down in stormy weather in Croatia. The ensuing reaction is so brutal and instantaneous, one can't help but wonder if Brown fell victim to a conspiracy vortex to create a conspiracy, a la Richard Mellon Scaife's notorious decade-long anti-Clinton boondoggle. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.

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On this day in 1996, IBM's ultimate chess computer Deep Blue defeats Russian chess Grand Master Gary Kasparov in an epic, five hour game. Meanwhile, in Texas, a specially-bred chicken beats then-governor George Dubya Bush in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

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On this day in 2009, the communication satellites Iridium 33 and Kosmos-2251 collide in orbit, destroying both. Speaking of... did y'all see Gravity yet? Pretty good flick!

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