Friday, March 31, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 31



On this day in 627, Muhammad successfully withstands a siege for 27 days at Medina (Saudi Arabia) by Meccan forces under Abu Sufyan.

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On this day in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is officially opened.

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On this day in 1903, Richard Pearse allegedly makes a powered flight in an early aircraft.

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On this day in 1909, the construction of the ill fated RMS Titanic begins.

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On this day in 1918, the very fabric of timespace is rent asunder when, for the first time ever, Daylight Savings Time goes into effect in the United States of America.

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On this day in 1930, the Motion Pictures Production Code is instituted after a handful of sexless goons suffer nervous breakdowns at the sight of Tarzan and Jane's severely foreshortened loincloths. Thus began a 40-year slump in American cinema that wouldn't snap until... oh, about the time Deep Throat was released.

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On this day in 1958, in the Canadian federal election, the Progressive Conservatives, led by John Diefenbaker, win the largest percentage of seats in Canadian history, with 208 seats of 265.

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On this day in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum.

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On this day in 1985, the first WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event from the WWE (then the WWF), takes place in Madison Square Garden in New York.

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During this day's entire 24-hour span in the year 1988, not a single second of time elapses during which someone, somewhere, is NOT uttering every indignant carnivore's most favorite catch-phrase:"Where's the beef?!"

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On this day in 1991, former Partridge Family bassist Danny Bonaduce gets into a fist-fight with a transvestite prostitute in Phoenix. The next day, when people asked about his broken nose and black eye, Bonaduce replies: "You should see the other... individual."

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On this day in 1993, actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts movie legend Bruce Lee, is accidentally killed during the filming of The Crow. Killer box office ensues.

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On this day in 1995, Selena, an American singer, was murdered by her friend and employee of her boutiques Yolanda Saldívar who was embezzling money from the establishments. The event was named "Black Friday" by Hispanics.

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On this day in 1996, chaos errupts at the 25th annual Nabisco Dinah Shore Golf Championship when winner Patty Sheehan refuses to French-kiss the eye-sockets on Dinah's mummified, severed head, as tradition demands.

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The women of Alabama could breathe a contented sigh of relief on this day in 1999, when a District Justice Lynwood Smith strikes down the ridiculous Alabama law banning the sale of vibrators, dildos, penis enlargers and other sex-oriented paraphernalia. Not that it mattered, any. Everybody knows Alabama women have a history of using whatever's handy - beer bottles, Lysol cans, fire extinguishers - whenever the itch strikes their 'nethers.

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On this day in 2004, In Fallujah, Iraq, four American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed after being ambushed. Their corpses are then burned and strung up in a morbid display. A shocked Anglo-American world recoils in terrified awe at this truly unprecedented display of raw brutality. Fucking hypocrites (see above).

Thursday, March 30, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 30


Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides was born on this day in 1135. He was one of the foremost thinkers of the Middle Ages. Most famous for his tome, "Guide to the Perplexed", in which he attempted to reconcile religious belief and Aristotelian scholasticism. Ah, who am I trying to kid. He's really most famous for being name-dropped in the Simpsons episode where Krusty reunites with his estranged father, the Rabbi Krustofski.

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On this day in 1856, the Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Crimean War.

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On this day in 1944, Allied bombing raid on Nuremberg. Along the English eastern coast 795 aircraft are dispatched, including 572 Lancasters, 214 Halifaxes and 9 Mosquitos. The bombers meet resistance at the coasts of Belgium and the Netherlands from German fighters. In total, 95 bombers are lost, making it the largest RAF Bomber Command loss of World War II.

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On this day in 1949, a riot breaks out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, when Iceland joins NATO.

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On this day in 1954, the Yonge Street subway line opens in Toronto. It is the first subway in Canada.

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On this day in 1961, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed in New York City.

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On this day in 1981, President Ronald Reagan is seriously wounded when John Hinckley Jr. opens fire on him, in the alleged hopes that his sure-to-be-publicized exploits will help him win over the object of his obsession, box-munching thespian Jodie Foster.

Interesting side-note: There is one degree of separation between the Bush family and John Hinckley Junior. John Hinckley Senior was a Texas petroleum entrepreneur who contributed substantial amounts of cash to the elder Bush's political campaign coffers, up to and including GHWB's failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980. Furthermore, Hinckley scion Scott was scheduled to dine with Bush scion Neil the day after John's unsuccessful attempt on Reagan's life. The dinner date was cancelled, which I guess explains why the mainstream press mostly chose to ignore this incredible jumble of "coincidences."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 29


On this day in 1632, the treaty of Saint-Germain is signed returning Quebec to French control after the English had seized it in 1629.

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On this day in 1683, Yaoya Oshichi, 15-year-old Japanese girl, burnt at the stake for an act of arson committed due to unrequited love.

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On this day in 1792, King Gustav III of Sweden dies after being shot in the back at a midnight masquerade ball at Stockholm's Royal Opera 13 days earlier. He is succeeded by Gustav IV Adolf.

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On this day in the year 1827, over twenty-thousand mourners – many of them physically overwhelmed by grief – show up to watch as cultural titan Ludwig van Beethoven is lowered into the cold, damp ground of his beloved Vienna.

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On this day in 1848, the Niagara Falls stop flowing for a full 30 hours as the water is held back by a mighty jam of hard-packed ice.

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On this day in 1867, Queen Victoria gives Royal Assent to the British North America Act which establishes the Dominion of Canada on July 1.

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On this day in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall is opened by Queen Victoria.

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On this day in 1882, a bunch of disgruntled Catholics get together and form the Knights of Columbus as an alternative secret society to the Freemasons, which frowned upon "Papists" for reasons that should be obvious to anybody who knows anything about the origins of Freemasonry. Their greatest contribution to society so far? Getting "under God" added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, then convincing a nation of sheep that it was there all along.

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On this day in 1936, in Germany, Adolf Hitler receives 99% of the votes in a referendum to ratify Germany's illegal reoccupation of the Rhineland, receiving 44.5 million votes out of 45.5 million registered voters.

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On this day in 1951, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage.

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On this day in 1971, Lieutenant William Calley is convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison for the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

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On this day in 1982, the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.) receives the Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II, setting the stage for the Queen of Canada to proclaim the Constitution Act, 1982.

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On this day in 1989, not-gay actor Tom Cruise experiences elation and suffers humiliation on the very same day, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards the Oscar for best picture to Rainman, and the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation awards the Razzie for worst picture to Cocktail.

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On this day in 1991, White House advisor Karl Rove's mentor, Republican political strategist Lee Atwater, dies of a brain tumor at the ripe old age of 40. Among his many crimes - and they were legion - taking part in the destruction of popular music was among the worst. Renouncing his ways on his deathbed probably didn't prevent him from being cast into the shitty-most bowels of Hell, where he still burns to this day.

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On this day in 1999, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above the 10,000 mark (10,006.78) for the first time, during the height of the internet boom.

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On this day in 2010, two female suicide bombers hit the Moscow Metro system at the peak of the morning rush hour, killing 40.

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And finally, on this day in 2014, the first same sex weddings are being performed in England and Wales, right now, as you read this. Mazel-Tov!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 28


On this day in 845, Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.

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On this day in 1566, the foundation stone of Valletta, Malta's capital city, is laid by Jean Parisot de Valette, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

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On this day in 1802, Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovers 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man.

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On this day in 1854, during the first Crimean War, France and Britain declare war on Russia.

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On this day in 1871, the Paris Commune is formally established in Paris.

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On this day in 1933, the Imperial Airways biplane City of Liverpool is believed to be the first airline lost to sabotage when a passenger sets a fire on board.

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On this day in 1945, German V-1 buzz bombs rain down on London for the last time before the end of the war. Read Thomas Pynchon's excellent, mind-bending novel Gravity's Rainbow for a well-rounded view of the philosophical/metaphysical implications/consequences of the technological slippery-slope that led directly from these fascinating and deadly creations.

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On this day in 1946, the United States State Department releases the Acheson–Lilienthal Report, outlining a plan for the international control of nuclear power.

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On this day in 1969, the "McGill français movement" protest occurs, the second largest protest in Montreal's history with 10,000 trade unionists, leftist activists, college students, and some McGill students at McGill's Roddick Gates. The majority of the protesters are arrested.

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On this day in 1979, the 3 Mile Island nuclear power plant comes thisclose to full-on, Chernobyl-style MELTDOWN in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Kinda gives a lot more satirical heft to Homer's safety-ignoring power-plant antics in The Simpsons, when you think about it.

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On this day in 1990, President George H. W. Bush posthumously awards Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.

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On this day in 1994, fans, friends and family of John Lennon and Elvis Presley all feel a little weight lifting from their shoulders as reviled "biographer" Albert Goldman shuffles off this mortal coil at the tender age of 66 from a debilitating, painful "mystery disease." 

Monday, March 27, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 27


On this day in 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León reaches the northern end of The Bahamas on his first voyage to Florida.

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On this day in 1625, Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France.

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On this day in 1814, in central Alabama, U.S. forces under General Andrew Jackson defeat the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

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On this day in 1836, the Goliad massacre takes place when Antonio López de Santa Anna orders the Mexican army to kill about 400 Texas POWs at Goliad, Texas.

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On this day in 1854, the United Kingdom declares war on Russia. It's the Crimean War: Phase One.

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On this day in 1886, famous Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

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On this day in 1915, Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

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On this day in 1958, Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union.

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On this day in 1964, the Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 strikes South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

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On this day in 1977, two Boeing 747 airliners collide on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). Sixty-one survived on the Pan Am flight. This is the worst aviation accident in history.

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On this day in 1980, the Norwegian oil platform Alexander L. Kielland collapses in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212.

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On this day in 1981, the Solidarity movement in Poland stages a warning strike, in which at least 12 million Poles walk off their jobs for four hours.

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On this day in 1998, the Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence, the first pill to be approved for this condition in the United States.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 26



On this day in 1169, Saladin becomes the emir of Egypt.

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On this day in 1351, 30 Breton (French) Knights call out and defeat 30 English Knights.

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On this day in 1484, William Caxton prints his translation of Aesop's Fables.

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On this day in 1552, Guru Amar Das becomes the Third Sikh Guru.

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On this day in 1790, the shoelace is invented, thus sending the Velcro industry into a tail-spin from which it wouldn't recover until Americans became so collectively obese that spending more than a few quick seconds with hands at foot level became unbearable, thus sparking a revival.

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On this day in 1812, a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coins the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.

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On this day in 1830, the Book of Mormon is published in Palmyra, New York.

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On this day in 1885, the Métis people of the District of Saskatchewan under Louis Riel begin the North-West Rebellion against Canada.

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On this day in 1945, the Battle of Iwo Jima ends as the island is officially secured by American forces.

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On this day in 1975, the Biological Weapons Convention comes into force.

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On this day in 1979, Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C..

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On this day in 1991, 5 South Korean boys, nicknamed the Frog Boys, disappear while hunting for frogs and are murdered in a case that remains unsolved.

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On this day in 1997, 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult – all intelligent, educated, marginally functional members of society – commit mass suicide in a rented mansion just outside San Diego. According to their extensive online ramblings, they killed themselves to evolve beyond the trappings of human flesh, and were hoping to hitch a ride on some kind of giant alien Space Ark hidden in the tail of then-approaching Hale-Bopp Comet. Yer old pal Jerky was originally going to point out that it takes real balls to die for what you believe in – no matter how goofy – but then he remembered that those guys were all castrated, totally throwing the balls-to-suicide ratio theory out of whack.

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On this day in the year 2228, James Tiberius Kirk is born. While attending Starfleet Academy, Kirk becomes the only student to ever defeat the dreaded Kobyashi Maru simulation test (he does so by cheating). The highlight of his long and illustrious career with Starfleet is his stint as captain of the USS Enterprise. Well... that, and fucking all those alien chicks.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 25


On this day in 1911, a fast-moving fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, a garment sweatshop located in New York City's Lower East Side. If any of the hundreds who gathered to watch this drama unfold were in the mood for carnage, they were in luck. Trapped on the ninth and tenth floors behind fire exits that were locked shut by the company, employees - mostly young immigrant women - had two options: either be burned alive or hurl their bodies down to the pavement below.

Sophie Salami and Della Costello were the first to leap, and they did so together, arm in arm. Helpless would-be rescuers watched as a fifteen-year-old girl, chased by flames, crawled out a window and held on for long, screaming minutes. When she finally fell to her death, firemen saw that her hands had roasted through. Three brave laborers in a neighboring building formed a human chain across which a few women were able to crawl to safety. These brave men persevered, but their bodies eventually failed and they, too, fell to their doom.

Sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers wrapped rags around their heads - some making the sign of the cross - and jumped. Up to five at a time, sometimes holding hands. Witnesses described the infernal sight of doomed women plummeting, fire streaming back from their hair and dresses, smashing into - and, in some cases, through - the pavement. Shock-frazzled firemen watched, helpless, as girl after girl ripped through their outstretched rescue nets as though they were made out of cobwebs.

By the time it was over, one hundred and forty-six people were dead. Police found 25 charred corpses in the elevator shaft. Another two dozen bodies were found melted against the locked steel door on the ninth floor. Piles of bodies were found huddled together in cloakrooms and hallways. It was, up until that time, one of the worst industrial catastrophes ever.

And why did all those people die? Because the factory owners were worried about their workers using the back way out to steal needles, fabric and supplies.

If you didn't find the above story depressing enough, check out this incredible online resource by Cornell University for more information, including original newspaper reports, photographs, and some powerful editorial cartoons about the fire.

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Also on this day...

On this day in 1896, the Olympics tradition is re-launched in Athens, Greece, after a two-thousand-plus year hiatus. Unfortunately for the Greeks, the new International Olympic Committee balks at their request to once again make athletes compete in the nude. They are also pretty miffed when the IOC says "no" to bringing back the traditional post-decathalon gay orgy.

On this day in the year 1993, the FBI give Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh an ultimatum: at least 10 people must leave the compound by 4 p.m., or some action will be taken. Koresh stands firm. At 4 p.m., armored vehicles scoop away the motorcycles and go-carts that litter the area around the compound.

Friday, March 24, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 24


On this day in 1832, in Hiram, Ohio a group of men beat, tar and feather Mormon leader Joseph Smith.

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On this day in 1837, Canada gives African Canadian men the right to vote.

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On this day in 1896, A.S. Popov makes the first radio signal transmission in history.

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On this day in 1944, German troops murder 335 Italian civilians in Rome. Meanwhile, in Germany, in an event later dramatized in the movie The Great Escape, 76 Allied prisoners of war begin breaking out of the German camp Stalag Luft III.

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On this day in 1958, Rock'N'Roll teen idol Elvis Presley is drafted in the U.S. Army. Chaos ensues.

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On this day in 1965, NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brings images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash landing.

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On this day in 1972, the United Kingdom imposes direct rule over Northern Ireland.

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On this day in 1976, in Argentina, the armed forces overthrow the constitutional government of President Isabel Perón and start a 7-year dictatorial period self-styled the National Reorganization Process. Since 2006, a public holiday known as Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice is held on this day.

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On this day in 1980, Archbishop Óscar Romero is killed while celebrating Mass in San Salvador.

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On this day in 1989, thanks to the drunken antics of skipper Ron Hazelwood, the Exxon Valdez runs into some rocks and spills 11.3 MILLION GALLONS of crude off the pristine Alaska coastline. Just to put the magnitude of this waste into its proper perspective: that's enough fuel to keep about a half-dozen of your average SUVs running for an entire WEEKEND!

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On this day in 1998, the Jonesboro Horror takes place, in which Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, play a real-life, one-sided game of Unreal Tournament with their classmates. The previous day, Johnson had "joked" with friends he had "a lot of killing to do" because he was upset at being rejected by girls at the school. After pulling a fire alarm, Golden ran to join his buddy Johnson in the woods 100 yards from the school's exit, a sniper's perch from which they fired upon the emerging students and teachers, killing five and wounding ten. When the police caught up with the boys and their stolen van later that same day, they found an impressive array of firearms and other weapons, all of which had been pilfered from the Golden family's massive personal armory. Much to the NRA's chagrin, it was later learned that both boys had been raised around guns, both belonged to gun clubs, and both had participated in practical shooting competitions, which involves firing at moving simulated human targets. Too young to be tried as adults, the boys were held in a facility built special for them by the Arkansas department of corrections, until they turned 21, at which point, both men were released. Sick, sad, and true.

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On this day in 1999, the Mont Blanc Tunnel fire kills 38 people.

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On this day in 1999, NATO commences aerial bombardment against Yugoslavia, marking the first time NATO has attacked a sovereign country.

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On this day in 2003, the Arab League votes 21-1 in favor of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of U.S. and British soldiers from Iraq.

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Believe it or not, today is National Pecan Day in the USA. So today, in order to show your appreciation for all those hard working pecan ranchers out there – those brave men and women who keep our pecan pies nice and jam-packed with delicious pecans – why not go out and beat up a walnut rancher? Come on, you know you wanna!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 23


On this day in 1775, American revolutionary Patrick Henry delivers his speech, during which he declares: "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" In the end, he got both.

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On this day in 1919, in Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini founds his Fascist political movement.

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On this day in 1933, the Reichstag passes the Enabling Act, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

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On this day in 1972, in Vegas, the great Evel Knievel – the Elvis of Idiots – successfully jumps over an incredible thirty-five automobiles on his motorcycle, then breaks an incredible ninety-three bones when his rear tire clips the thirty-sixth.

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On this day in 1973, Japanese "artist" Yoko Ono is granted permanent residence in United States of America. It would take nearly 20 years for the INS to fuck up that badly again.

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On this day in 1980, Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador gives his famous speech appealing to men of the El Salvadoran armed forces to stop killing the Salvadorans. Two years later, on this day in 1982, Guatemala's government, headed by Fernando Romeo Lucas García is overthrown in a military coup by right-wing General Efraín Ríos Montt. It was NOT a good time to be a Central American, thanks in large part to the feature player in our next calendrical entry...

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On this day in 1983, President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles, aka Strategic Defense Initiative, aka SDI, aka Star Wars.

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On this day in 1989, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announce their discovery of cold fusion at the University of Utah. It now seems like their discovery was (ahem) bullshit.

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On this day, in 1993, at 10:05 a.m., Livingstone Fagan leaves David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Mount Carmel/Elk/Waco, Texas. He is the last Davidian to willingly leave the compound during the standoff. Later that same day, the FBI begins to play recordings of their previous negotiations with Koresh over loudspeakers, to shame him into keeping his word about coming out. Koresh is not phased by this tactic.

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Howard Stern announces he will run for the New York Governorship on this day in 1994. He quits, however, upon discovering details of his financial situation would have to be made public.

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On this day in 1994, Aeroflot Flight 593 crashes in Siberia when the pilot's fifteen-year old son accidentally disengages the autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.

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On this day in 2001, the Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.

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Some Very Important People who kicked the bucket on this day… Dr Barney Clark, the very first artificial heart recipient, dies in 1983 after surviving 112 days! Also, on this day in 1985, the Singing Nun and her lesbian lover die after they wash down gorilla-doses of barbiturates with vodka! And finally, on this day in 1986, Dominic Bellissimo – creator of the buffalo-style chicken wing – dies at 68! Happy Deathday you crazy kids!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 22


On this day in 1622, Algonquian Indians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony's population, during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War.

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On this day in 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony outlaws the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables. Fun place.

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On this day in 1733, soda pop comes one step closer to reality when Joseph Priestly becomes the first person to artificially carbonate water.

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On this day in 1894, the first playoff game for the Stanley Cup starts. It will take another 29 years to the day - on this day in 1923 - before the first radio broadcast of ice hockey is made, by Foster Hewitt.

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On this day in 1960, Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser. That's right... a frickin' LASER!

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On this day in 1963, phase one of the mass mind control conspiracy hatched by the Tavistock Institute kicks off when the first album by The Beatles, Please Please Me, is released on an unsuspecting public.

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On this day in 1978, 73-year-old "Flying Wallendas" family patriarch Karl Wallenda gets fouled up by strong winds while walking a tight-rope between two Puerto Rican hotels, causing him to fall 120 feet to his death. Perhaps the most annoying thing about Wallenda's legacy is how so many people say "at least he died doing something he loved." This, of course, is pure horse-shit. Does anyone really believe Karl Wallenda "loved" having his frail, aged body smashed into pulp against concrete at two hundred miles per hour?! The sad truth is, Karl Wallenda died while failing miserably at something he loved.


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On this day in 1984, teachers at the McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California are charged with satanic ritual abuse of the children in the school. The charges are later dropped as completely unfounded... but we know better, don't we?

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Soulful vocalizations from The Fat One and sexy guitar poses from The Hot One help propel Heart's These Dreams to the #1 position on the nation's pop charts on this day in 1986!

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On this day in 1989, Clint Malarchuk of the Buffalo Sabres suffers a near-fatal injury when another player accidentally slits his throat. I was watching that game live, and it was a gruesome sight that I hope never to revisit any time soon.

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On this day in 1997, the Comet Hale-Bopp has its closest approach to Earth, just in time for a bunch of cult members to hitch a ride on board to the Great Beyond.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 21


On this day in 630, Emperor Heraclius returns the True Cross, one of the holiest Christian relics, to Jerusalem.

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On this day in 1804, Code Napoléon is adopted as French civil law.

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On this day in the year 1843, the world fails to end, as popular evangelical preacher and widely-read apocalyptic millennialist William Miller had predicted. Strangely, Miller's hundreds of thousands of followers didn't even bat an eyelash when he declared he'd made a mathematical error, then simply changed the End Time date to October 22, 1844. Miller gave his own personal guarantee that the world would end for sure this time, and many of his followers gave away all their earthly belongings and wealth in anticipation of the Godly Destruction of All Things. It is for this reason that today's Seventh Day Adventists - including the Branch Davidians (direct descendants of the original Millerite church) refer to October 22, 1844 as The Great Disappointment. And now, friends, you know why there oughta be a law against allowing Born Again Christians anywhere near THE BUTTON.

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On this day in 1844, the Bahá'í calendar begins. This is the first day of the first year of the Bahá'í calendar. It is annually celebrated by members of the Bahá'í Faith as the Bahá'í New Year or Náw-Rúz.

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On this day in 1925, the Butler Act prohibits the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee.

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On this day in 1935, Shah of Iran Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asks the international community to call Persia by its native name, Iran, meaning "Land of the Aryans".

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On this day in 1952, Alan Freed presents the Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, in Cleveland, Ohio.

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On this day in 1963, Alcatraz, a federal penitentiary on an island in San Francisco Bay, closes.

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On this day in 1980, US President Jimmy Carter announces a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

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On this day in 1980, Dallas aired its "A House Divided" episode which led to 8 months of international intrigue regarding "Who shot J.R.?"

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On this day in 1993, Victorine Hollingsworth, Annetta Richards, Rita Riddle, Gladys Ottman, Sheila Martin, James Lawton, and Ofelia Santoya emerge from David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco/Elk/Mount Carmel, Texas. Later, in the evening, the FBI begins blasting Tibetan chants over the loudspeaker system in an attempt to frazzle the remaining cultists. Koresh's response? "Because of the loud music, nobody is coming out." Just before midnight, the loudspeaker system malfunctions.

Monday, March 20, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 20


On this day in 235, Maximinus Thrax is proclaimed emperor. He is the first foreigner to hold the Roman throne.

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On this day in 1616, Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.

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On this day in 1815, after escaping from Elba, Napoleon enters Paris with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule.

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On this day in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published.

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On this day in 1854, the Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin. Chaos ensues.

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It's a real-life case of Romeo and Juliet, redneck-style, when a member of the Hatfield clan ignores his kinfolks' pleas and marries a McCoy woman on this day in 1891, thereby ending the second longest and bloodiest family feud in the history of the United States. The bloodiest family fued in the history of the United States was, of course, the Bushes versus the Husseins.

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On this day in 1916, Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.

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On this day in 1985, Canadian paraplegic athlete and humanitarian Rick Hansen begins his circumnavigation of the globe in a wheelchair in the name of spinal cord injury medical research.

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On this day in 1991, guitar god Eric Clapton has to fire his babysitter.

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On this day in 1995, during rush hour in Tokyo, Japan, ten members of the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult release sarin nerve gas into the subway system. Twelve people die in the attack, and over five thousand others are treated for various ill effects, although many "survivors" suffered permanent damage to their eyes, lungs, and digestive systems. It all started in the 1980s, when Aum's leader - an obese, blind furball by the name of Shoko Asahara - combined Buddhism and yoga with apocalyptic Christian End Times mythology, resulting in a potent religious brew that appealed strongly to Japan's disaffected young adults, who believed the Land of the Rising Sun had lost its soul in pursuit of the Almighty Yen. Declaring himself to be the reincarnation of both the Christ and the Buddha, Shoko saw his movement as a potential New Order. Then he started stockpiling weapons and murdering political opponents, disposing of their bodies in a giant microwave oven built for this express purpose. On February 27th of this year, just one year and a few weeks ago, Shoko was finally found guilty and sentenced to death for his crimes. The case has been appealed to Japan's Supreme Court. For some reason, Japan still allows Aum to exist. The cult maintains impressive membership numbers, though the've changed their name to Aleph in an attempt to start fresh.

***

On this day in 2000, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a former Black Panther once known as H. Rap Brown, is captured after murdering Georgia sheriff's deputy Ricky Kinchen and critically wounding Deputy Aldranon English, both of whom are black.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 19



On this day in 1644, emperor Si Sang, final sovereign of the storied Ming dynasty, commits suicide. Two hundred members of the royal family and imperial court promptly follow suit. Gosh, but those were the days, weren't they?!

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On this day in 1885, Louis Riel declares a Provisional Government in Saskatchewan, beginning the North-West Rebellion.

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On this day in 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumière record their first footage using their newly patented cinematograph.

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On this day in 1931, gambling is legalized in Nevada.

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On this day in 1943, Frank Nitti, the Chicago Outfit Boss after Al Capone, commits suicide at the Chicago Central Railyard.

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On this day in 1958, the Monarch Underwear Company fire leaves 24 dead and 15 injured.

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On this day in 1962, influential artist Bob Dylan releases his first album, Bob Dylan, on Columbia Records label.

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On this day in 1982, Argentinian forces land on South Georgia Island, precipitating war with the United Kingdom.

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On this day, in 1987, the Reverend Jim Bakker - PTL Ministries founder - resigns when it's revealed he spent a hot three minutes cheating on his wretched wife Tammy Faye with Jessica Hahn. And can ya blame him?! Soon afterwards, Bakker is put behind bars for defrauding thousands of PTL members out of millions of dollars by selling them non-existent time-shares in his Born Again theme park/condominium complex. After being granted an early release for good behavior, Bakker told reporters how shocked he was that "so many people" tried to rape him in prison. Still no word as to how many of these "attempts" were successful.

***

On this day in 1993 - the 20th day of the FBI seige at Waco/Carmel/Elk, Texas - negotiators arrange for the delivery of food, water and legal documents to David Koresh and those others who remain in the Branch Davidian cult compound. During the afternoon, Koresh claims to be "ready to come out and face the music," but he ultimately changes his mind. Meanwhile, two Davidians, Brad Branch and Kevin Whitecliff, exit the compound without incident.

***

On this day in 2008, GRB 080319B occurs, a cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 18


On this day in 37 AD, the Roman Senate annulled Tiberius's will and proclaimed Caligula emperor.

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On this day in 1314, Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake.

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On this day in 1834, six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, England were sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union.

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On this day in 1850, American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.

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On this day in 1892, former Governor General Lord Stanley pledged to donate a silver challenge cup, later named after him, as an award for the best hockey team in Canada; originally presented to amateur champions, the Stanley Cup has been awarded to the top pro team since 1910, and since 1926, only to National Hockey League teams.

***

On this day in 1922, in India, Mohandas Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience. He served only 2 years.

***

On this day in 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Hawaii into existence as a member state, in full and equal standing, of the United States of America. All of the other states - excluding Alabama - subsequently experience a short-lived collective obsession with all things Polynesian. Today, you can still find evidence of this fad in small New England towns where people go to Chinese restaurants to get drunk. Deceptively powerful cocktails served in ceramic volcanoes, topless hula dolls gyrating seductively over pu-pu platters piled high with sweet-glazed meat, half-naked Samoans twirling fiery batons while making "ooga-booga" faces; this kitsch ephemera remains, scattered and tenacious like the radioactive residue from a dirty bomb, in the half-life death-grip of immutable plastic eternity... Man. This is some good weed.

***

On this day in 1965, cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, became the first person to walk in space.

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On this day in 1968, the U.S. Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve to back US currency.

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On this day in 1974, most OPEC nations ended a five-month oil embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.

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On this day in 1989, in Egypt, a 4,400-year-old mummy was found near the Pyramid of Cheops.

***

On this day in 1995, sports/entertainment/footwear titan/mogul Michael Fucking Jordan announces his return to the NBA after a 17 month "retirement" during which time he played a little minor league baseball. Whether or not this has anything to do with his father being murdered in cold blood, or his monster gambling habit, who can say?

***

On this day in 1996, an unnamed comatose woman gives birth to the son of John Horace, the man who brutally beat and raped her nine months earlier. 365 days later, on this day in 1997, she mercifully passes away.

Friday, March 17, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 17


On this day in 1521, explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovers the Philippines, or, as he always referred to them, the Magellippines.

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On this day in 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action program that will ultimately lead to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

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On this day in 1968, as a result of nerve gas testing in Skull Valley, Utah, US, over 6,000 sheep are found dead.

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On this day in 1969, Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

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On this day in 1973, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy is taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.

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On this day in 1988, Iran accuses Iraq of illegally using poison gas in the Iran/Iraq War. Official right-wing response at the time was unambiguous: "GOOD! That means our buddy Saddam will be ordering more from us!"

***

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, it was on this day in 1997 that CNN launch the Spanish language version of their cable news service. So a hearty bueno jorno Santo Patritio to all our Irish readers!

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On this day in 2000, 530 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God die in a fire, considered to be a mass murder or suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult. Elsewhere another 248 members are later found dead.

***

On this day in 2003, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook resigns from the British Cabinet in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Shortly after that, soon after revealing to the world that the name al Qaeda is literally a CIA invention - it being the name used to refer to the list or database used to put together the mujehadin to fight the USSR in Afghanistan back in the Cold War days) he dies under suspicious circumstances. How convenient for the Bad Guys.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 16


On this day in 597 BC, Babylonians capture Jerusalem, and replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king.

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On this day in 1190, massacre of Jews at Clifford's Tower, York.

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On this day in 1244, over 200 Cathars are burned after the Fall of Montségur.

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On this day in 1621, Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greets them, "Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset."

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On this day in 1861, Edward Clark becomes Governor of Texas, replacing Sam Houston, who has been evicted from the office for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy.

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On this day in 1926, Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.

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On this day in 1935, Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.

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On this day in 1939, Germany occupies Czechoslovakia. Chaos ensues. Seriously.

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On this day in 1942, the first V-2 rocket test launch. It exploded at lift-off.

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On this day in 1945, ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany is destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. 5,000 are killed.

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On this day in 1958, the Ford Motor Company produces its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company's founding. Ten years later, on this day in 1968, General Motors produces its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado.

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On this day in 1968, Robert Kennedy announces the launch of his Presidential campaign. Assassination ensues. On the very same day: HAPPY MY LAI DAY, everybody!

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On this day in 1976, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigns, citing personal reasons.

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On this day in 1984 William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later died in captivity. One year later, on this day in 1985, Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He is released on December 4, 1991.

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On this day in 1988, a federal Grand Jury indicts Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North and Navy Vice Admiral John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra drugs-for-money-for-weapons-for-treason scandal. Today, after both men were pardoned by outgoing president George Herbert "Poppy" Walker Bush, North hosts his very own syndicated right-wing radio talk show and Poindexter is an integral part of the Secret Fascist Shadow Government. Who says crime doesn't pay?

***

On this day in 1988, in the Kurdish town of Halabjah in Iraq is attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein, killing 5000 people and injuring about 10000 people.

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On this day in 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American woman involved with the International Solidarity Movement, is killed trying to prevent a Palestinian home from being destroyed by a bulldozer in Rafah.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 15


On this day in 44 BC, Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.

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On this day in 1493, Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.

***

On this day in 1820, Maine becomes the 23rd state to be admitted into the Union, and, having spent a considerable amount of time there, yer old pal Jerky isn't quite sure how he feels about that. Maine is beautiful, but it's also fuckin' creepy. Just look at their most important industries! Potatoes, the only vegetable with eyes, so they can watch while you chop them up; lobsters, which are uglier than most spiders, and which you boil alive before eating; and Stephen King novels, which account for roughly 35% of Maine's economy. Speaking of which, most of Maine is poor as dirt, but every summer, some areas are overrun by people so wealthy, nobody even knows who they are. We're talking Old Money, here. Old, creepy money. Thirteenth generation Slave Trade money. Lucky for the locals, most of these behind-the-scenes Prime Movers vacate "Vacationland" before the brutal North Atlantic winter sets in... and the Wendigo returns, to feed.

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On this day in 1906, Rolls-Royce Limited is incorporated.

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On this day in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson sends 4,800 United States troops over the U.S.-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.

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On this day in 1922, after Egypt gains nominal independence from the United Kingdom, Fuad I becomes King of Egypt.

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On this day in 1961, South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.

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On this day in 1964, president Lyndon Johnson urges Americans to wage a War on Poverty. Unfortunately, it never happened, because all the weapons and soldiers were tied up in Vietnam at the time.

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On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, tells U.S. Congress "We shall overcome" while advocating the Voting Rights Act.

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On this day in 1968, LIFE Magazine calls Jimi Hendrix "the most spectacular guitarist in the world." That his reputation survived the adulation of such a square publication is a testament to the veracity of that statement.

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On this day in 1982, actress Theresa Saladana is stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed by an obsessed stalker. Not-so-ironically, it was the best thing that ever happened to her career.

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On this day in 1985, the first Internet domain name is registered (symbolics.com).

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On this day in 2011, the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 14


On this day in 44 BC, Casca and Cassius decide, on the night before the Assassination of Julius Caesar, that Mark Antony should stay alive.

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On this day in 1794, inventor Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin. Unfortunately, it fails to catch on, because it makes cocktails taste like underwear.

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On this day in 1900, the Gold Standard Act is ratified, placing United States currency on the gold standard.

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On this day in 1910, Lakeview Gusher, the largest U.S. oil well gusher near Bakersfield, California, vents to atmosphere.

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On this day in 1931, the first ever movie-theater built for "rear projection" opens, in New York City. It is soon forced to close its doors, however, when the Catholic League insists that only "missionary projection" is acceptable in the eyes of God. Meanwhile, in India, on this same day, Alam Ara, India's first talking film, is released.

***

On this day in 1964, a Dallas jury sentences Jack Ruby to death for killing Lee Harvey Oswald. They needn't have bothered, as arrangements had already been made. Three years later, on this day in 1967, the body of U.S. President John F. Kennedy is moved to a permanent burial place at Arlington National Cemetery.

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On this day in 1984, Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Féin, is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in central Belfast.

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On this day in 1995, for the first time ever, 13 human beings spend time in outer space simultaneously. Contrary to the worries of triskaidekaphobics everywhere, nothing bad happens.

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On this day in 2008, a series of riots, protests, and demonstrations erupt in Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet.

Monday, March 13, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 13


On this day in 624, a key battle between Muhammad's army – the new followers of Islam and the Quraish of Mecca. The Muslims won this battle, known as the turning point of Islam, which took place in the Hejaz region of western Arabia.

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Cortez came dancing across the water with his galleons and guns, landing in Mexico on this day in 1519. On the shore lay Montezuma, with his coca leaves and pearls. In his halls he'd often wander, with the secrets of the world. And his people gathered 'round him, like the leaves around a tree, in their clothes of many colors, for their angry Gods to see. Hate was just a legend. War was never known. The people worked together, and they lifted many stones. They carried them to the flatlands, and they died along the way, but they built up with their bare hands what we still can't do today. He came dancing across the water. Cortez, Cortez… what a killer.

***

On this day in 1781, William Herschel discovers Uranus. He couldn't miss it, thanks to the smell!

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On this day in 1861, demonstrating a flair for wicked irony to rival that of fellow Southerner Tennessee Williams, confederate preznit Jefferson Davis signs a bill authorizing the use of negro slaves as soldiers in the confederate (i.e. traitor) army. Thus did slaves come to fight to preserve the peculiar institution of slavery.

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On this day in 1930, the news of the discovery of Pluto is telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory.

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On this day in 1943, German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.

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On this day in 1962, Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers a proposal, called Operation Northwoods, regarding performing terrorist attacks upon Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The proposal is scrapped and President John F. Kennedy removes Lemnitzer from his position.

***

On this day in 1964, American Kitty Genovese is murdered, reportedly in view of neighbors who did nothing to help her, prompting research into the bystander effect. It turns out nothing we thought we knew about this case is true.

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On this day in 1969, Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
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On this day in 1991, the United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

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Pissed off because he'd been exposed as a pervert and turfed from his position as a scoutmaster, weirdo/sicko Thomas Hamilton packed a bag full of guns and strolled over to his home town's grade school on this day in the year 1996. By the time he was through, a grand total of sixteen five-and-six-year-old children - and their teacher - lay lifeless in a sea of blood on the cold gymnasium floor. Shaken police describe the gym as "a medieval image of hell." Immediately after the slaughter, Hamilton did what he should have done decades ago and turned the gun on himself, blowing his own brains out. Visit this website for a vivid reminder of what was lost.

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On this day in 1997, India's Missionaries of Charity choose Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as their new Mother Superior... and promptly fade into total obscurity. They should have done like INXS and made their choice of a dynamic new "frontman" the subject of a thrilling "reality TV" show. They could have called it Big Mother, or Survivor: Calcutta.

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On this day in 2003, the journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human have been found in Italy.

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On this day in 2013, Pope Francis is elected in the papal conclave to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, aka Ratz Benedict.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 12


On this day in 537 AD, the Goths lay siege to Rome, making off with the Empire's entire supply of black lace, skull rings, pancake makeup and Trent Reznor CDs.

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On this day in 1622, Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, founders of the Jesuits, are canonized as saints by the Catholic Church.

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On this day in 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas adopt the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America, which lasts a few measly, desperate years... not unlike Hitler's "thousand year" Reich.

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On this day in 1894, Coca-Cola is bottled and sold for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi, by local soda fountain operator Joseph Biedenharn.

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On this day in 1928, in California, the St. Francis Dam were ever to fail; the resulting floods would kill over 600 people.

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On this day in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi leads a 200-mile march, known as the Salt March, to the sea in defiance of British opposition, to protest the British monopoly on salt

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On this day in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the nation for the first time as President of the United States. This is also the first of his "fireside chats".

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On this day in 1947, the Truman Doctrine is proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism.

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On this day in 1993, several bombs explode in Bombay (Mumbai), India, killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.

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On this day in 1993, Janet Reno was sworn in as the United States' first female attorney general.

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On this day in 1999, former Warsaw Pact members the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland join NATO. Freakin' turn-coats!

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On this day in 2003, Zoran "Alphabits" Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade.

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On this day in 2004, the President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, is impeached by its National Assembly: the first such impeachment in the nation's history.

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On this day in 2009, financier Bernard Madoff pleads guilty in New York to scamming $18 billion, the largest in Wall Street history.

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On this day in 2011, a reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melts and explodes and releases radioactivity into the atmosphere a day after Japan's earthquake.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 11


On this day in 222, Emperor Elagabalus is assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard during a revolt. Their mutilated bodies are dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber.

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On this day in 1702, The Daily Courant, England's first national daily newspaper is published for the first time.

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On this day in 1791, John Stone patents the Pile Driver. It would be nearly two centuries before another wrestling move was patented: Abdullah the Butcher's Sleeper Hold.

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On this day in 1824, the United States Department of War creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Wow! That explains EVERYTHING!

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On this day in 1848, Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin become the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.

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On this day in 1849, President Abraham Lincoln becomes the first and only President to apply for a patent. He is sorely disappointed when his "covering moles with facial hair" technique is deemed ineligible.

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On this day in 1864, the largest man-made disaster ever to befall England kills over 250 people in Sheffield, in what would come to be known as the Great Sheffield Flood.

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On this day in the year 1893, the management of New Mexico State University cancel their very first graduation ceremony after the school's one and only graduate - an unlucky fellow with the studly moniker of Sam Steele - is robbed and murdered the night before.

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On this day in 1918, the first case of Spanish flu occurs, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.

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On this day in 1927, in New York City, Samuel Roxy Rothafel opens the infamous Roxy Theatre.

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On this day in 1933, Nevada becomes the first US state to regulate narcotics, which is kind of ironic when you think about it.

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On this day in 1946, Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, is captured by British troops.

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On this day in 1971, the Senate approves a constitutional amendment lowering the voting age to 18, even though they don't deserve it, those ungrateful hippy bastards!!!

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On this day in 1993, Janet Reno is confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

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On this day in 1993, unfortunately moniker'd OBGYN David Gunn, a doctor who performed abortions, was shot three times in the back by a cowardly, murderous Christian thug during an anti-abortion protest at the Pensacola Women’s Medical Services clinic in Florida. Before pulling the trigger, the murderer, Michael Griffin, had been heard to shout: "Don’t kill any more babies!" The response issued by Rescue America - the group holding the protest at which the murder took place - was weak, to say the least. "While Gunn’s death is unfortunate," an official statement said, "it’s also true that quite a number of babies’ lives will be saved." Griffin's murder of Dr. Gunn sparked a wave of anti-choice terror resulting in numerous murders, as well as innumerable acts of assault, terroristic threats, vandalism, bombings, arson and all that other good stuff they teach in certain churches. Unfortunately, pro-lifers have, for the most part, achieved their goals. The tepid government response to their terrorism has led many abortionists to switch careers, thus severely limiting the availability of the procedure.

***

On this day in 2004, the Madrid train bombings take place when simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid, Spain, kill 191 people. It's Spain's 9/11.

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On this day in 2007, Georgia claims Russian helicopters attacked the Kodori Valley in Abkhazia, an accusation that Russia categorically denies later.

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On this day in 2009, 16 are killed and 11 are injured before recent-graduate Tim Kretschmer shoots and kills himself, leading to tightened weapons restrictions in Germany. Hey, wait... I thought guns were illegal throughout Europe?!

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On this day in 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing tens of thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history - or largest, depending on whom you ask - and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale: the terrifying, ongoing Fukushima Meltdown.

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On this day in 2012, a US soldier kills 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.

Friday, March 10, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 10


On this day in 298, Roman Emperor Maximian concludes his campaign in North Africa against the Berbers, and makes a triumphal entry into Carthage.

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On this day in 1629, Charles I of England dissolves Parliament, beginning the eleven-year period known as the Personal Rule.

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On this day in 1791, doctor George Hayward becomes the first American surgeon to use ether, the lucky bastard.

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On this day in 1804, in St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

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On this day in 1831, the French Foreign Legion is established by King Louis Philippe to support his war in Algeria.

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On this day in 1873, Canada establishes their Royal Canadian Mounted Police force. With uniforms and duties that make them seem like hybrid boy-scout-forest-ranger-peace-keepers, the RCMP - a.k.a. "the thin scarlet line" - remain Canada's most popular postcard model subjects.

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On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful telephone call by saying "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."

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On this day in 1906, the Courrières mine disaster, Europe's worst ever, kills 1099 miners in Northern France.

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On this day in 1907, the world's first ever eugenics (involuntary sterilization) law is passed, in… the state of Indiana! Might Hitler have been a closet Hoosier?

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On this day in 1922, Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.

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On this day in 1933, an earthquake in Long Beach, California kills 115 people and causes an estimated $40 million in damage.

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On this day in 1945, the U.S. Army Air Force firebombs Tokyo, and the resulting firestorm kills more than 100,000 people, mostly civilians.

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On this day in 1952, Fulgencio Batista leads a successful coup in Cuba and appoints himself as the "provisional president".

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On this day in 1959, fearing an abduction attempt by China, 300,000 Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama's palace to prevent his removal. Ballsy fuckers, eh?

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On this day in 1969, in Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later unsuccessfully attempts to retract his plea.

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On this day in 1977, astronomers discover rings around Uranus. What's the matter? Don't you ever wash that thing?!

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On this day in 1981, the highly entertaining Dan Rather replaces Walter Cronkite as anchorman for the CBS Evening News. It's all downhill from there.

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On this day in 1997, something called the Senior Golf Slam takes place. Among the event's TV sponsors are Metamucil Code Red, the Rascal Cruzer elder-scooter, and PamPrrrs X-Treme adult diapers.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 9


On this day in 632, the Last Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada') of Prophet Muhammad.

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On this day in 1765, after a campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerate Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son may have actually committed suicide.

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On this day in 1796, Napoléon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.

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On this day in 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the United States v. The Amistad case that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
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On this day in 1842, the first documented discovery of gold in California occurs at Rancho San Francisco, six years before the California Gold Rush.

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On this day in 1847, the first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history is launched in the Siege of Veracruz.

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On this day in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits the Emergency Banking Act to Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.

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On this day in 1954, CBS television broadcasts the See It Now episode, "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy", produced by Fred Friendly.

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On this day in 1959, the Barbie doll makes its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
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On this day in 1976, 42 people die in the 1976 Cavalese cable car disaster, the worst cable-car accident to date.

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On this day in 1991, massive demonstrations are held against Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade.

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On this day in 1997, observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia are treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permits comet Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR MARCH 8



On this day in 1010, Ferdowsi completes his epic poem in honor of his homeland, Iran: Shāhnāmeh.

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On this day in 1618, Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion.

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On this day in 1655, John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in England's North American colonies where a crime was not committed.

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On this day in 1722, the Safavid Empire of Iran is defeated by an army from Afghanistan at The Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.

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On this day in 1775, an anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes "African Slavery in America", the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.

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On this day in 1782, 96 Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.

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On this day in 1868, the Sakai incident occurs, when Japanese samurai kill 11 French sailors in the port of Sakai near Osaka.

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On this day in 1910, French aviatrix Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot's license.

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On this day in 1930, the teacher Mohandas "the Mahatma" Gandhi calls for widespread civil disobedience in British-occupied India. The core of Gandhi's movement, which would eventually succeed in expelling the occupiers, was "Satyagraha", a three-part concept including "Sat" (truth) "Ahimsa" (pacifism) and "Tapasya" (the willingness to sacrifice one's self).

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On this day in 1934, astronomer Edwin Hubble reveals a photograph showing that there are as many visible galaxies as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Although Hubble's first words upon seeing the image weren't recorded for posterity, yer old pal Jerky imagines they were probably on the order of: "Holy SHIT-balls! Look at all those fuckin' GALAXIES!!! I'll make millions from the posters, alone!"

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On this day in 1963, the Ba'ath Party comes to power in Syria in a coup d'état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.

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On this day in 1978, the first radio episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4.

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On this day in 1979, Philips demonstrates the Compact Disc publicly for the first time.

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On this day in 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan calls the Soviet Union an "evil empire".

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Also on this day, in 1993, six gallons of milk are delivered to David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Elk/Waco/Carmel, on the ninth day of the ATF/FBI siege there. Also, Koresh – whose wounds are healing nicely – sends out a videotape containing footage of the children still trapped in the compound with him… and informs negotiators that all these children are, biologically, his own.

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On this day in 1999, the Crayola company announced that it would be caving in to the requests of various Native American organizations by doing away with the popular Indian Red color crayon. Previously, the last time Crayola changed the name of one of its crayons was in 1962, when civil rights advocates asked that the crayon labeled "flesh" be changed to "peach" in recognition of the fact that not everybody is as pigmentationally challenged as the average member of the Caucasian race. At the time, we here at the Daily Dirt applauded Crayola's politically correct appeasement of a downtrodden minority. Unfortunately, their follow-through hasn't been as good as it should be. For instance, we're still waiting for them to do away with all those other offensive colors, like Zipperhead Yellow, Jungle-bunny Black and Sunset Spic. But hey... progress takes time, I guess.

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On this day in 2004, a new constitution is signed by Iraq's Governing Council. And they lived happily ever after.