Wednesday, February 8, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR FEBRUARY 8


On this day in 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, is executed on suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

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On this day in 1600, the scholar Giordano Bruno becomes a Martyr for Science when the Pope orders him burned at the stake… but only after having his tongue nailed to his jaw, so he couldn't speak before the flames killed him. What was it that Honoré de Balzac said about mankind being truly free only after the last brick from the last cathedral crushes the last priest? Yeah… I think he got it about right.

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On this day in 1855, the Devil's Footprints mysteriously appear in southern Devon.

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Happy Traitor Day! It was on this day in 1861 that the Confederate States of America organized, in Montgomery, Alabama.

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On this day in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce.

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On this day in 1915, director D.W. Griffith's controversial film The Birth of a Nation premieres in Los Angeles.

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On this day in 1920, Swiss women fail to win the right to vote when a nation-wide referendum is held in which women are not allowed to vote. Why did they even bother?!

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On this day in 1924, the first ever gas chamber execution takes place in Carson City, Nevada, when Chinese gangster Tong Lee is put to death for killing a rival gang member. Cyanide gas was adopted by Nevada as a more humane method of execution, as opposed to the traditional techniques of hanging, firing squad, electrocution, stoning, crucifixion, drawing and quartering, locomotive bisection, pressing with stones, the Brazen Head, the upside-down water chamber and the Drop from a Great Height. Personally, I think some prisons made the switch because the chamber was the only form of execution that allowed prisoners to beg for mercy, plead for their lives and scream in terror not just before, but also during the execution, thus providing a much needed dose of levity to an otherwise dour and solemn procedure.

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On this day in 1950, the Stasi, the secret police of East Germany, is established.

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On this day in 1952, Elizabeth II is proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom. Eight years later, on this day in 1960, the Queen issues an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants will take the name "Mountbatten-Windsor".

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On this day in 1960, the first eight brass star plaques are installed in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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On this day in 1974, after 84 days in space, the crew of Skylab 4, the last crew to visit American space station Skylab, returns to Earth.

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On this day in 1993, General Motors sues NBC after Dateline NBC allegedly rigs two crashes intended to demonstrate that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settles the lawsuit the next day.

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On this day in 1994, actor Jack Nicholson goes "Jack Torrance", using a golf club to scare the be-Jesus out of a driver who cut him off in traffic. Meanwhile, across town, Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee is arrested when a loaded firearm is discovered in his carry-on bag at Los Angeles International Airport. I love L.A.!

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On this day in 1996, The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act... the dirty cocksuckers.

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