Sunday, July 9, 2017

PARACULTURAL CALENDAR FOR JULY 9


On this day in 1850, the Persian prophet Báb is executed in Tabriz, Persia. As both self-declared Mahdi (Islamic Messiah) and as precursor to the intriguing new religious movement known as Bahai, the Bab is a very interesting character, indeed, and very much worthy of study.

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On this day in 1868, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.

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On this day in 1887, paper napkins were used for the first time ever by stationary manufacturer John Dickinson. This brings up a whole host of uncomfortable questions about toilet paper, and its various historical precursors.

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On this day in 1944, during World War II, American forces take the island of Saipan from the Japanese. It has been an American protectorate ever since. In recent years, right-wingers in government tried to turn it into a kind of testing ground for a libertarian tax-free and regulation-free zone. Sweatshop operators and sexual predators - who also just happened to be big Republican donors - thought the results of that experiment were fine and dandy.

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On this day in 1955, the controversial, pacifist-inclined Russell–Einstein Manifesto is released by philosopher Bertrand Russell in London, England, during one of the high-water marks of the Cold War. Albert Einstein, one of the fathers of the bomb, co-signed his approval to the anti-nuclear weapon document before dying only a few days later.

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On this day in 1958, Alaska’s Lituya Bay is hit by a megatsunami. The wave is recorded at an incredible 524 meters (1700 feet) high, the largest in recorded history by far...twice as high as the Empire State Building! Unfortunately, there is no video of the event, but 

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On this day in 1979, a car bomb destroys an automobile owned by the famed Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France. A note purportedly from ODESSA – the alleged post-war Nazi international remnant – claims responsibility.

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On this day in the year 1980, in Brazil, seven people are crushed to death as wave upon wave of idiots stampede into a huge outdoor stadium to catch a glimpse of that shimmering, spiritual pop-star: The Pope!

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On this day in 1981, the Nintendo videogame Donkey Kong is released. The game marks the debut of Nintendo's future mascot, Mario.

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On this day in 1986, Attorney General Edwin Meese's "Commission on Pornography" is released. Meese was only one or two shades less of a psychopath than Dubya-era Witchfinder General John Ashcroft, and his report tried to establish a link between porn and sex crimes. Then, in the 1990's, something interesting happened. With the total proliferation of home video and the rise of the Internet, hard-core pornography became more widespread and readily available than ever… while violence and sex crime rates all dropped precipitously. Who'd have thunk it?

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