Monday, February 27, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 27


On this day in 1812, poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

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On this day in 1827, Mardi Gras is celebrated for the first time ever in the city of New Orleans, and aside from a few floods, a Civil War, a deadly influenza epidemic and the birth of disco… it's been one long party ever since!

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On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.

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On this day in 1900, the British Labour Party is founded.

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On this day in 1933, Germany's parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire. Some people say the Nazis set it on fire on purpose, to assume draconian anti-terrorism powers. But they could have done so either way.

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On this day in 1951, the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

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On this day in 1957, Chinese leader Mao Tse Dung delivers his stirring oratory: "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among People." The codicil decreeing that "the family should be billed for the bullet" was later added to the printed version by persons unknown.

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On this day in 1971, doctors in the first Dutch abortion clinic (the Mildredhuis in Arnhem) start to perform aborti provocati.

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On this day in 1973, the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

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On this day in 1974, People Magazine publishes its first issue. Collective brain damage via celebrity trivia overload ensues.

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On this day in 1981, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder record Ebony & Ivory, the song which ended all racism, everywhere. 

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On this day in 1991, U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that "Kuwait is liberated", thus bringing an end to the first Gulf War. Also on this day, millionaire pornography impresario Artie Mitchell is shot to death by his brother and business partner Jim at his luxurious home in San Francisco. After an OJ-esque trial where extensive use was made of computer-generated re-creations of the crime scene, Jim Mitchell was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to a mere six years in the slammer. He's back on the streets, now, running a strip club.

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On this day in 1998, Apple discontinues developing their Newton line of computers. All together now… AWWWW!!!

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On this day in 2003, Fred Rogers, ordained Presbyterian minister and beloved host of PBS's long-running Mister Roger's Neighborhood, dies of stomach cancer at his home in Pittsburgh. He was seventy four years old. Over a career that spanned children's educational television from its humble, black and white beginnings in the early sixties, through the elaborate musical numbers of the seventies, beyond the eighties and its cults of personality, and all the way through the surrealism of the nineties, Mister Rogers' brand of gentle entertainment not only survived, but thrived. His show was, in fact, at its most popular in the mid-80's. The fact that his show did so well without ever making any substantial changes makes his achievement doubly amazing. By all accounts, Fred Rogers was the proverbial "good man." His family loved him. Kids truly loved him. People caught in the grips of grindingly bad acid trips loved him for the Valium-like effect he had on the state of their souls. But hey... he had to kick the bucket some time! Am I right, people?!

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On this day in 2004, the initial version of the John Jay Report, with details about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States, is released.

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