Monday, June 30, 2008

Don't worry about that sound you hear ...

It's just the world coming to an end.

The world's largest atom smasher is being started up this morning and one slight, awkward possible outcome is the complete destruction of the planet.

Good luck guys !!!

Here's your today in History -

June 30 1520 -
After looting Tenochtitlan, Spaniards are attacked by an angry Aztec mob. Tied down by armor and treasure, they are no match for the natives and nearly half of Cortes' men lose their lives.
Conquistador, your stallion stands in need of company ...

June 30 1837 -
England outlaws the use of the pillory. This only leaves the British Navy, the lash, buggery and rum.

June 30 1882 -
Charles Guiteau, the assassin of President Garfield, is hanged. Tickets for the event went for as much as $300. Proving once again, give the people what they want and they'll show up.

June 30 1908 -
A huge airburst explodes over Podkamennaya Tunguska at 7:30 am. The blast flattens thousands of square miles of trees, and is now believed to have been caused by an asteroid or comet impact.

June 30 1934 -
Acting on behalf of the Fuhrer, SS troops around Germany arrest hundreds of loyal SA stormtroopers under the charge of treason in order to eliminate the group. One squad descends on a Bavarian resort, where it interrupts a contingent of SA men engaged in homosexual festivities. Lieutenant Edmund Heines is caught in bed with a teenaged boy, and shot to death on the spot. The rest are taken into custody.

June 30, 1936 -

Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind was published on this date. It had been extensively promoted, chosen as the July selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club, and so gushed about in pre-publication reviews -- "Gone With the Wind is very possibly the greatest American novel," said Publisher's Weekly -- that it was certain to sell, though few predicted the sustained, record-breaking numbers. Though she had been eager and active for her fame, Mitchell too was caught off guard. One trip to an Atlanta department store for a dress ended with a clutch of curious women throwing back the fitting room doors to stare at Mitchell in her petticoat: "They wanted to know the size of my intimate wearing apparel. They screamed to one another about me as I stood there like an animal in a cage, one asking the other: 'Ain't she skinny?' while still another observed: 'I expected her to look more middle-aged around the hips.'"

June 30 1999 -
Two members of the Old Order Amish, Abner Stoltzfus and Abner Stoltzfus, are sentenced to one year in prison for trafficking cocaine to other Amish folk in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The
men had scored their drugs from a Philadelphia motorcycle gang. Those damn Amish hopheads.

And so it goes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Get out and enjoy

Everybody get outside and enjoy the loudest and wildest parade NYC has.

Here's your Today in History:

Jun 29 1613 -
The Globe Theater, William Shakespeare's original theatrical venue, burns to the ground. According to one of the few surviving documents of the event, no one was hurt except a man who put out his burning breeches with a bottle of ale. It must have not been a very good bottle of ale.

Jun 29 1967 -
Actress Jayne Mansfield is decapitated in a car crash, when her convertible collides with a parked tractor-trailer. To downplay the gruesome death, sources spread the falsehood that only her wig flew off in the accident.

Jun 29 1971 -
When Soyuz 11 disengages from the Salyut space station, cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev are killed by a faulty pressurization valve. All the oxygen leaks out of the Soyuz cabin before Patsayev can close the valve by hand, and the crew is asphyxiated.

Jun 29 1978 -
The body of Bob Crane is discovered in bed with an electric cord wrapped around his neck and his head smashed in. When Scottsdale police search the apartment belonging to the former star of television's Hogan's Heroes, they discover a video camera and a large library of amateur porn starring Crane and a parade of random women. (isn't that a great name for a band - Parade of Random Women)

Jun 29 1992 -
Mohammed Boudiaf is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards less than six months after becoming President of Algeria. A former hero in the war of independence, Boudiaf had been chosen by the Islamic Salvation Front to serve as figurehead for their regime. More than 100,000 Algerians will later die in political bloodshed in the following decade. (Please note - this is not a good way to promote one's services as a bodyguard - we will not kill you within the first six months.)

And so it goes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mel

It's just good to know that Mel is still around -

Here's your Today in History:

June 28, 1902 -
Today is the birthday of nefarious American philosopher John Dillinger, born in 1902. (He is also believed to have been born on June 22, 1903.)

At the age of twenty, a precocious young Dillinger attempted to illustrate the transient nature of material goods by depriving a stranger of his automobile. When a warrant was issued for his arrest by Indiana police disinclined to accept Dillinger's delicate epistemological point, the young man cleverly joined the navy to demonstrate the redemptive powers of patriotism.

Philosophers have historically encountered resistance from the military, and Dillinger was no exception. He fled the service, returned home, got married, and robbed a grocer. The robbery went awry and Dillinger went to jail for nine years.

Jail hardened Dillinger and made him a very bitter man. Upon his release, he began robbing banks almost immediately. He quickly became Public Enemy Number One, which enabled him to be shot to death by the FBI outside the Biograph movie theatre in Chicago. And as stated previously, it is widely rumored (but hotly denied) pug ugly transvestite FBI chief, J. Edgar Hoover, ordered Dillinger's well-endowed member detached from his corpse and pickled, for his private files.

His philosophy, however, endures to this day, and is practiced widely and successfully by various tax authorities around the world.

Jun 28 1905 -
Dr. Beaurieux picks up the freshly-severed head of Henri Languille just after it drops into the guillotine basket and shouts the man's name three times. According to the doctor's report: "Languille's eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves. ... I was dealing with undeniably living eyes which were looking at me." Again, if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, the French they are a funny race.

June 28 1914 -
The Austrian Archduck was having an extremely bad day. He was touring Serbia with his wife, the Mallard Sophie. The purpose of his tour was to get Serbia to calm down, it having become extremely irritable for reasons known only to itself, possibly having to do with Austria's occupation of the region. (Either that or gas.)

During their tour, Nedjelko Cabrinovic tosses a grenade into the automobile carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife Sofia. But Ferdinand knocks the bomb away with his arm and his driver speeds away from the would-be assassin. The driver was naturally addled and the Archduck and Mallard Sophie became lost and stopped to ask for directions from a young boy on the side of the road (and as most men know this is a no-no - if you are lost never ask for directions). The conversation went something like this:

"Say, lad, I'm the Austrian Archduck Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne, and this is my wife, the Mallard Sophie. We seem to be lost. If we don't find our way back I might never have the chance to take the Austrian throne and continue the ruthless and relentless persecution of the Serbian peoples. Could you give us a hand?"

The boy was Gavrilo Princip, and he had just started World War I. The war ended exactly five years later, on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles is best known for having caused the second World War.

Gavrilo Princip died of tuberculosis in his jail cell. After his death, the following graffiti was discovered on the wall:

Our ghosts will walk through Vienna
And roam through the Palace
Frightening the Lords.

June 28 1997 -
Mike Tyson is disqualified from a championship boxing bout after biting off a large portion of Evander Holyfield's ear. Tyson is later banned from boxing and fined $3 million for the incident.

Tastes like chicken.

And before I forget, here could be the funniest video on the web, right now:

And so it goes.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Captain

It's Bob Keeshan birthday. If you're of a certain age, you remember him very well.

Here's your Today in History:

June 27 1844 -
Mormon leader Joseph Smith, along with his brother Hyrum, are shot and killed by a mob while in jail at Carthage, Illinois. According to church legend, after Smith is shot a man raises a knife to decapitate him, but is thwarted by a thunderbolt from heaven. God was having an off day and the thunderbolt was meant to fry Smith's sorry ass body to a crisp.

Happy Birthday to You, the four-line ditty was written as a classroom greeting in 1893 by two Louisville teachers, Mildred J. Hill, an authority on Negro spirituals, and Dr. Patty Smith Hill, professor emeritus of education at Columbia University. The melody of the song Happy Birthday to You was composed by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher born in Louisville, KY, on June 27, 1859. The song was first published in 1893, with the lyrics written by her sister, Patty Smith Hill, as "Good Morning To All." So remember you can start to sing 'Happy Birthday' but don't finish it, the rights to the song are incredibly expensive. You may substitute any of the following for our purposes under "Fair Use":

* "Happy birthday to you, cha cha cha, happy birthday to you, cha cha cha"
*"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you look like a monkey, and belong in a zoo!"
* "Happy birthday to you, you belong in a zoo, cause you look like a monkey and you smell like one too!"
* "Happy birthday to you, squashed tomatoes and stew, bread and butter in the gutter, happy birthday to you."
*"Happy birthday to you, you're one hundred and two, you smell like a monkey, and you eat like one too!"
* "Happy birthday to you, you were born in a loo, and since it's your birthday, I'll flush it for you!"
*"Happy Birthday to you, stick your head down the loo, don't waste it, just taste it, happy birthday to you"
*"Happy birthday to you, I went to the zoo, I saw a fat monkey, and it looked just like you!".
* "Happy birthday to you, you live in the zoo, you look like a monkey, and you smell like one too."
* "Happy birthday to you, you're one hundred and two, you smell like a monkey, and you look like one too!"

June 27, 1905 -
Battleship Potemkin uprising: Sailors from the Battleship Potemkin start a mutiny aboard the Battleship Potemkin, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war. Sergei Eisenstein, wacky Russian film director, thinks he can make a summer comedy from the subject matter. He unfortunately had no sense of humor and went on to create the classic silent film, The Battleship Potemkin, in spite of himself.

June 27, 1928 -
On this day in 1928, Sylvia Beach invited James Joyce and Scott Fitzgerald to dinner at her apartment over her Paris Bookstore Shakespeare & Company. Fitzgerald became drunk (which is like stating, "The sun rose this morning):. He said he was such a fan of Joyce's that he would throw himself out the window to prove it.

Neither writer was having much success. Fitzgerald had just published The Great Gatsby, and it had not been selling well. Joyce's Ulysses wouldn't be published outside of Paris for another five years. Both men died 13 years later, less than a month apart, with no money and very few readers. Such is life.

June 27, 1966 -
The first broadcast of Dark Shadows is aired on ABC-TV.

June 27, 1988 -
Hillel Slovak, original guitarist from sock-friendly rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers dies of a smack overdose in Hollywood.

June 27, 1995 -
The LAPD arrests streetwalker Divine Brown on Hawthorn Ave. where she is discovered giving British movie star Hugh Grant a blowjob in his white BMW. To be fair, they also arrest Grant for procuring said blowjob. I guess having sex with Elizabeth Hurley wasn't enough for Grant.

And so it goes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Get your filthy paws off Cher

A Nashville man was charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication after he repeatedly harassed entertainer Cher at the famed honkytonk Tootsies Orchid Lounge.

Police say 36-year-old Calvin Hutton Houghland tried to make contact with Cher at the club early Wednesday morning and was asked to leave.

The report says Houghland complied but returned a short time later and grabbed Cher by the waist as she sat in a roped-off area.

Houghland was escorted from the bar, but he returned again and approached Cher in an aggressive manner. When security blocked his advances, he called police to say he had been assaulted.

Police said Cher declined to prosecute the man for assault for grabbing her, but police said he asked to be arrested.

Houghland said he had been drinking and failed a self-requested field sobriety test. His bond was set at $3,000.

How drunk was this guy that he wanted to feel up Cher?

It's Independence Day in Madagascar and in Somalia, and it's UN Treaty Day at the United Nations. UN delegates have not yet agreed on the proper means of celebration, but it's purely academic at this point anyway - France has vowed to veto any celebration plans.

Here's your Today in History:

On June 26, 1243, the Mongrels defeated the Turkish Seljuk army in Asia Minor, opening the doors to the Mongrel Invasion of Europe. French Poodles and German Shepherds were massacred in unprecedented numbers as the Mongrels penetrated to the heart of the continent. The Mongrels would eventually leave Europe, but not before they'd pissed on every tree.

Richard III made himself King of England on June 26, 1483 by killing everyone else who wanted to be king. It seemed a clever stratagem at the time, especially for a hunchback, but his reign came to a bloody end just two months later as a result of his making a fiscally irresponsible bid on a horse.

Francisco Pizarro conquered the entire Peruvian Empire of the Incas with a handful of soldiers only to have those soldiers turn on and kill him on June 26, 1541. He was stabbed in the throat, then fell to the floor where he was stabbed repeatedly. Pizarro (who now was maybe as old as 70 years, and at least 62), collapsed on the floor, alone, painted a cross in his own blood and cried for Jesus Christ. He cried: Come to me my faithfull sword, companion of all my deeds.

This was the Dawn of the Ironic Age in the New World.

Abner Doubleday was born on this date in 1819. Mr. Doubleday is credited with the invention of baseball, without which Americans would have nothing to watch between waits in line for more beer.

June 26, 1870 -
Congress declared Christmas a federal holiday to the great relief of Americans who'd been forced to flee to Canada every December.

June 26, 1963 -
President John F. Kennedy stood before the Berlin Wall and announced to a quarter of a million Germans that he was a jelly donut, in his famous "I am a jelly donut" ("ich bin ein jelly donut") speech.

Although embarrassing, this was considered an improvement over Eisenhower's infamous "I am a well-hung platypus" speech.

June 26, 1968 -
Pope Paul VI declares that the bones of Apostle and first Pope, Saint Peter, were found underneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The bones are now housed in containers near where they were found, but some of them are clearly those of domesticated animals.

Oh well, another mystery of the church best left unexplained.

June 26, 1990 -
Irish Republican Army bombs the Carlton Club, an exclusive conservative gentleman's cabal in London. (It is a well known fact that Margaret Thatcher was denoted an "honorary man" in order to become a member. It is not clear what surgical modifications, if any, were necessary.)

And so it goes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Leon Day

LEON Day - LEON is NOEL spelled backwards. It is now six months until Christmas. And who better to celebrate this day then birthday boy George Michael:

Now that you are in a slightly nauseated mood, watch this -

Here's your Today in History:

June 25, 1876 -
This is a little cautionary tale about pissing off the wrong people. During the Battle of Little Big Horn, General George Armstrong Custer witnesses a large group of Indians fleeing their village, and decides to press his advantage. The cavalry officer shouts, "We've caught them napping, boys!" Then he splits his force of 210 men into three groups, in order to slaughter as many of the retreating noncombatants as possible. Which is right about the time Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse sweep in and kill the white men. Two days later, Custer's body is found amidst a cluster of 42 other corpses, the general entirely naked except for one boot, one sock, and an arrow stuck in his penis.

This is the native way a sending a very serious message.

Eric Arthur Blair was born on this day in 1903, in the Indian village of Motihari near the Nepalese border. His British father was an agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service. The family returned to England in 1907 so that young Eric could struggle and fail out of school. By 1921 he had returned to the subcontinent and joined the police in Burma. He spent five years with the Burmese police before returning to England to quit and struggle. He stayed in England for a year, then went to France to be poor.

Finally he returned to England and wrote a book about being poor in Paris but no one wanted to publish it. He told his mother to burn the book (she did not), then wrote a new one about being a policeman in Burma. It too was rejected by several publishers. Meanwhile, however, his mother had been sneaking around with the book she hadn't burned and had found a publisher for her son.

Upon submitting the final manuscript to the publisher, Blair decided that a book about being poor in Paris written by a middle-class servant of the British Empire might not look good, so he decided to write under a pen-name. The name he chose was George Orwell.

Later he wrote a book about the political frivolities of farm animals, and another one about a future that sucked (he later acknowledged that it would have been a cheerier book if he hadn't been dying of tuberculosis). Finally he became a Famous Author and even a Great Writer, but by then he was dead, whatever his name was.

June 25, 1910 -
The Mann Act, sometimes known as the White Slave Traffic Act of 1910, makes it a federal crime to convey or assist in transporting women across state lines for prostitution, debauchery, or "any other immoral purpose." Men convicted of this heinous (if vague) statute face up to five years and a $5,000 fine for each count. Penalties are doubled if the female is underage, but men and boys are apparently not covered. This is, by far, the biggest party pooper in legislative history. Unless you're into guys.

June 25, 1940 -
France officially surrenders to Nazi Germany. Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund, consumed large quantities of champagne at a local bistro rather than let the Nazis have it. Ilsa believing her husband, Victor Laszlo, Czech freedom fighter had been killed while in a Nazi concentration camp, promises to meet Rick at the train station where they will flee the Nazi. Unbeknownst to Rick, Ilsa has heard from her husband, that he was in fact still alive, she left Rick abruptly without explanation and returned to Laszlo, leaving Rick feeling betrayed. But that's another story.

June 25, 1949 -
Jimmy Walker's dyn-o-mite birthday.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You are right about your train ride in the morning

While announcing that scheduled service improvements to the subway system, MTA Transit President Howard Roberts admitted that riders should have 'at least 3 square feet of space during rush hour'.

“That’s less than the U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantees for shipping cattle,” said rider advocate Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. “Everybody knows they’re violating their loading guidelines. If you can’t get on a train, there’s not 3 square feet per passenger.”

So remember while you're riding to work on the Uptown Eastside Express - cattle on their way to the slaughterhouse have it better than you.

It's Midsummer day throughout most of Europe.

Here's Your Today In History -

June 24, 1374 -
In a sudden outbreak of Dancing Mania (aka "St. John's Dance"), people in the streets of Aix-la-Chapelle, Prussia experience terrible hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion. Many of the sufferers are afflicted with
frothing at the mouth, diabolical screaming, and sexual frenzy. The phenomenon lasts well into the month of July. Nowadays, ergot madness is suspected as being the ultimate cause of the disorder.

June 24, 1947 -
Businessman pilot Kenneth Arnold encounters a formation of nine flying saucers near Mt. Ranier, Washington, exhibiting unusual movements and velocities of 1,700 mph. No explanation is found for this first report of flying saucers in the recent era, but it does earn Mr. Arnold legions of skeptics and an eventual IRS tax audit.

June 24, 1948 -
East Germany blockades the city of West Berlin.

June 24, 1957 -
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment, though a dissenting opinion included with the ruling notes the issue of prior restraint renders this a terrible decision.

June 24, 1993 -
Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter opens a padded envelope in his office when it suddenly explodes. Gelernter loses the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, and part of his right hand. In this condition he manages to walk down five flights of stairs and over to the university hospital a block away. It is the handiwork of the Unabomber.

And so it goes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin R.I.P.

I guess George finally knows whether or not he was right about religion.

It was a slow day in history today

June 23, 1611 -
The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson's fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again. So much for loyality.

June 23, 1860 -
The U.S. Secret Service is founded to fight counterfeiting, protect the President and give Robert Conrad a career.

June 23, 1894
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David Saxe-Coburg-Gotha , later to be known as the Duke of Windsor and briefly Edward VIII, King of England who abdicated his throne to marry American divorcee, and possible transverstite, Wallis Simpson, was born.

June 23 1968 -
A soccer stampede towards a closed exit leaves 74 crushed to death and 150 injured in Buenos Aires.

June 23 1979 -
The rock group, the Knack releases "My Sharona" . Could be one of the worst songs every.

June 23 1993 -
In the middle of the night, Lorena Bobbitt severs her husband John's penis and drives off, casually discarding the organ in a farm field. Surgeons successfully reattach the penis, allowing John to enter the porn industry. The media devotes 1.3 million column-inches of type to the story as both Lorena and John gain celebrity status; consequently, their last name becomes a verb.

And on a personal note:
Happy Birthday David

and so it goes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's the anniversary of Pat Nixon's death

The patron saint of long suffering political wives and good Republican cloth coats

I want to play this for no particular reason - enjoy:

June 22, 1633 -
The Holy Office in Rome forces Galileo Galilei to recant his scientific view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe: "I abjure with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith these
errors and heresies, and I curse and detest them as well as any other error, heresy or sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church."

June 22, 1906 -
Billy Wilder was born on this date. Not surprisingly, Mr. Wilder would go on to produce Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, all of whom frolicked giddily on the beach in bikinis. Mr. Wilder, you see, was comfortable in his season. Not like some people. Some people had to force it. Some people had to prove something. Some people were like Brian Wilson, who was born the day before summer (June 20) in 1942, and subsequently became a "Beach Boy" and produced an album called Endless Summer.

June 22, 1933 -
German chancellor Adolf Hitler banned every political party except his own Evil Nazi Bastards from winning elections. The Evil Nazi Bastards swept the next elections, demonstrating the public's strong support for this measure.

June 22, 1940 -
France surrenders; hilarity ensues. Adolf Hitler forces the instrument of surrender to be signed in the very railcar in which the French inflicted the humiliating World War I Treaty of Versailles upon the Germans.

June 22, 1941-
The German Army invades Russia, quickly destroying five Russian armies and one fourth of the Red air force. At completion of the war in 1945, nearly 27 million Soviets were dead. Thus ended the German- Soviet "Peace and Friendship" Treaty.

June 22, 1969 -
Judy Garland dies of a barbiturate overdose in her London apartment, either by accident or suicide. It is not true that she did a header into the toilet and drowned.

And so it goes.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's the First Full Day of Summer

Get out there and enjoy the day

June 21, 1877 -
The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrants who were labor activists, are hanged at Carbon County Prison in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Author and Judge John P. Lavelle of Carbon County said of this, "The Molly Maguire trials were a surrender of state sovereignty. A private corporation initiated the investigation through a private detective agency. A private police force arrested the alleged defenders, and private attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them. The state provided only the courtroom and the gallows."

June 21, 1905-
It would have been the 103th birthday of Jean-Paul Sartre today. But what the hell does he care, he's dead and it does mean anything anyway.

June 21, 1942 -
A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, and fires 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens. Nobody is injured. It is one of a handful of attacks by the Japanese during World War II against the U.S. mainland.

June 21, 1982 -
Using an innovative Jodie Foster defense, John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. Nobody is impressed by this verdict.

June 21, 1989 -
The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Texas v. Johnson that flag burning is indeed protected speech under the Constitution, prompting Congress to put forth an endless series of amendments to ban the activity.

And so it goes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer's on it's way

This year, Summer begins on June 20 at 7:59 PM in the northern hemisphere (which happens to be my favorite hemisphere, with the possible exception of the southern one). Summer is the period between the June solstice and the September equinox, and its broad appeal should therefore come as no surprise. Twenty-five percent of all winning lottery tickets are issued in summer.

June 20, 1942 -
It's Brian Wilson's birthday and luckily he's no longer hearing those voices in his head.

Here is your Today in History -

June 20, 1793 -
Eli Whitney applied for a patent on his Cotton Gin. More affordable than gin distilled from grain alcohol and juniper berries, Cotton Gin quickly became the drink of choice among America's rural poor. This led to widespread outbreaks of Cotton Mouth and eventually caused the Civil War.

June 20, 1756 -
In Calcutta, 146 British prisoners are placed in a 18 foot by 14 foot cell known as The Black Hole by a Bengali, Siraj-ud-daula, and held there until the following morning. Of those imprisoned, only 23 survive. An apartment that size recently sold for $300,000.00 in Manhattan

June 20, 1782 -

Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States. Although several people on the were Masons, the Masonic institutions themselves deny that the Seal is Masonic; therefore, any resemblance is purely coincidental. Of course.

June 20, 1893 -
Lizzie Borden is found innocent of giving her stepmother and father forty and forty-one whacks, respectively. Once O.J. finds the real killers of his wife, he promised to get cracking on this case as well.

June 20, 1947 -
Bugsy Siegel (Warren Beatty) is shot to death at Virginia Hill's (Annette Bennings) mansion, on orders from Meyer Lansky. Siegel gets it twice in the face, and his right eyeball ends up on the dining room floor.

And so it goes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why ride if it's not free?

The next time you have to ride the subway in the morning crammed up against the man using anchovies as a deodorant/ breathe mint, remember this asshole's name -

David Mack

In one of those only poor people pay taxes moments, a top MTA honcho admitted Wednesday he wouldn't use authority trains if he couldn't ride for free, sources said.

"Why should I ride and inconvenience myself when I can ride in a car?" asked David Mack, vice chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, according to sources who overheard his comments at MTA headquarters.

The wealthy Long Island developer also suggested the MTA tosses complaints from the general public into the trash can - but takes corrective action when he calls with a gripe, observers said.

Mack's wacky rant took place between committee meetings Wednesday morning in the MTA's public meeting room.

Mack is chairman of two MTA committees: the LIRR committee, and the bridge and tunnel oversight panel.

Today in History -

June 19, 1312 -
Piers Gaveston, close personal friend of King Edward II of England, is beheaded after he attempted to return to Edward's side, having been banished for being too close a personal friend. After succession to king, Edward appointed Gaveston as Earl of Cornwall for no other reason than being his close personal friend. And for his troubles, Edward II ends his day with a serious pain in his end.

June 19, 1623 -

Blaise Pascal was born in France on this date. At the age of 17 he wrote a paper entitled Essay on Conic Sections, which quickly became the best-selling paper on conic sections in European history and eventually inspired the classic French noir film, Death by Conic Section.

By the age of 22 Mr. Pascal had invented a calculator. Unfortunately he could not invent the battery, so he turned to religion.

And he meant to get around to it right away, but in 1647 he ended up proving the existence of a vacuum. The famous French philosopher Rene Descartes visited Pascal, inspected his vacuum, and bemoaned its lack of attachable hoses. This caused an epistemological split that has endured to the present day.

("The more I see of men," Pascal observed at about this time, "the better I like my dog." This was a famous quotation and can be found on many greeting cards.)

In 1653 he discovered Pascal's Law of Pressure. A year later he was involved in a carriage accident that reminded him he had turned to religion. He turned back to it.

He began work on his famous Pensées ("Blather") in 1656 and worked on it for three years. In the book, Pascal proved that if God didn't exist then believing in Him wouldn't hurt, whereas if He did exist, not believing would hurt like Hell.

It has been observed that if Pascal was wrong, not reading his book wouldn't hurt, and if he was right it wouldn't hurt either.

When he was 39 a malignant growth in his stomach spread to his brain and he died horribly, proving that unbearable pain is unbearable pain whatever you think of God or philosophy.

June 19, 1867 -

Emperor Maximilian of Mexico (Brian Aherne), unwitting stooge for Napoleon III (Claude Rains), is executed by firing squad. Although he bribed the seven riflemen to not shoot him in the head, one did anyway. Bette Davis somehow figures into this as the Mad Empress Charlotta was just snapped when she returned to France to get help for her beleaguered husband. She lived in her private mad world for over 60 years, dying in the mid twenties of the next century. So much for the privileges afforded royalty.

June 19, 1934 -
The Federal Communications Commission, perhaps the most wicked body of do-gooders ever to exist in the United States, is created. These are the clowns that perfected the fine art of capricious and arbitrary.

June 19, 1953 -
Atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are electrocuted at Sing-Sing Prison, becoming the first civilians ever executed for espionage in American history. Five jolts of electricity were required to kill Ethel. Ethel did not succumb immediately and was subjected to two more electrical charges before being pronounced dead. The chair was designed for a man of average size; and Ethel Rosenberg was a petite woman: this discrepancy resulted, it is claimed, in the electrodes fitting poorly and making poor electrical contact. Eyewitness testimony (as given by a newsreel report featured in The Atomic Cafe) describes smoke rising from her head. That must have been a pretty sight.

While her husband Julius was on the Soviet payroll, according to recently released archives, is now clear that Ethel had no involvement in the espionage ring. For that matter, it is unclear how much Julius actually assisted the Soviet atomic bomb effort. So much for American Justice.

June 19, 1982 -
Roberto Calvi, chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, is found hanging from Blackfriar's Bridge in London. His death is initially ruled a suicide, though it is quite obviously murder; that assessment is later overturned. Calvi may have been killed because of his involvement in the laundering of drug money through the Vatican Bank. This is part of the back story of Godfather III.

Roberto Calvi's life was insured for $10 million with Unione Italiana, and attempts by his family to obtain a payout resulted in litigation. Following the forensic report of 2002 which established that Calvi was murdered, the policy was finally paid out, although around half of the sum was paid to creditors of the Calvi family who had incurred considerable costs during their attempts to establish that Calvi had been murdered. So much for Italian justice.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Attack of the killer bra

Once again, you can't make this stuff up -

A woman is suing Victoria's Secret in a New York court, claiming negligence involving the metal hoops in their swimsuits.

The $2 million lawsuit claims Dawn Giugliano of Long Island, N.Y., has been left permanently scarred after laying out in the sun in one of the popular lingerie company's swimsuits, the New York Post reported Saturday.

Giugliano said she "was using the bathing suit as intended" and "was seriously injured" when the metal ring that held the suit's top cups together was super heated and burned a circle into her chest.

"It left a permanent, disfiguring scar in the middle of her chest," said her lawyer, Luke Bigelow.

"You think they'd realize that people would wear this in the sun," he added.

The lawsuit against Victoria's Secret charges the company with negligence.

"It looks like a bull's-eye in the middle of her chest," Bigelow said, adding that Giugliano has had plastic surgery to get rid of the scar, but it did not work.

When reached for a comment, the bathing suit top had nothing to say.

My kingdom for a bowl of bran flakes.

One of the most decisive battles in the history of Europe was fought in Belgium on June 18, 1815, as a resurgent Napoleon Bonaparte launched his last military offensive against the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Marshal Blücher. Nearly 50,000 men were killed in the battle. Napoleon lost in part due to a case of inflamed hemorrhoids

The battle was commemorated by Swedish sensation Abba in their 1970s hit, "Waterloo."

Abba's interpretation of Waterloo's significance has been controversial from the start, as it tended to focus less on the military and political implications of the battle than on the feelings of euphoria typically incited by hormonal rushes of erotic excitement.

On June 18, 1817, Waterloo Bridge was opened over the River Thames in London, probably in anticipation of the great Abba hit.

June 18, 1900 -
The Empress Dowager of China orders all foreigners killed. Among those meeting this fate are the foreign diplomats, their families, as well as hundreds of Christian missionaries and their Chinese converts. She was apparently having a very bad day.

June 18, 1940
The "This was their finest hour speech" was delivered by Sir Winston Churchill to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on this date. It was given shortly after he took over as Prime Minister of Britain on 10 May, in the first year of World War II.

June 18, 1959 -
Based on his erratic behavior, the Governor of Louisiana, Earl K. Long, is committed to a state mental hospital. Long responds by arranging for the hospital's director to be fired, and the new director proclaims him perfectly sane. (It is no secret that the man was completely nuts.)

June 18, 1967 -
Famed guitarist Jimi Hendrix burns his guitar on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Also a very big shout out to Johnny V. Happy Birthday big guy.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A tip for those on the PGA tour

Yes, he is a cyborg and he's looking for Sara Conner

Today in History -

June 17, 1775 -
American forces were defeated by the British at Breed's Hill, near Boston, in the Battle of Bunker Hill, after famously withholding their fire until they could see the whites of their enemies' eyes.
This battle should not be confused with that of Bunker Hill, fought on Breed's Hill, during which the Americans shot like hell at anything that moved.

June 17, 1797 -
Agha Muhammad Khan, Shah of Persia (also a eunuch, but that's another story) ordered his servants to bring him a melon cut into slices. He finished half, ordered the other half to be put away and vowed to his servants, that if even one slice of the melon was missing in the morning, all three servants would be beheaded by him. Later on that night one of the servants forgot and ate a slice. The servants then killed Agha Muhammad Khan with the dagger because they were afraid he would kill them in the morning.

Dare to eat the peach!!!

The Statue of Liberty, France's gift to the United States marking the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence arrived in New York Harbor on June 17, 1885 on board the French frigate Isère (only nine years after the event). To prepare for transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. (The right arm and the torch, which were completed earlier, had been exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, and thereafter at Madison Square in New York City.)

June 17, 1939 -
In Versailles, Eugene Weidmann becomes the last person to be publicly guillotined.

June 17, 1968-
Ohio Express' "Yummy Yummy Yummy (I've got love in my tummy)" goes gold.

June 17, 1972 -
Five men broke into the Democratic Party National Committee headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington, DC. They had hoped to bug the offices but were arrested before they could release any insects. President Nixon will later describe as a "third rate burglary." Their arrests ultimately led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974. (Nixon's resignation prior to 1974 is attributed to simple melancholy.)

June 17, 1994 -
O.J. Simpson fails to turn himself in to the LAPD at a prearranged time and is later spotted in a white Ford Bronco on a Los Angeles expressway. After a low-speed pursuit through the freeways and streets of Brentwood, O.J. is finally arrested live on television in the driveway of his mansion. According to one of the defense attorneys who served on O.J.'s "Dream Team," Simpson tried to kill himself in the car, but the gun misfired. The Juice allegedly told him: "I pulled the trigger and it didn't go off."

And so it goes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Congrats to you new California Newlywedders

Even Cary Grant would join you in solidarity if he could

This man was named 'Father of the Year' (by a Las Vegas Club)

Kevin Federline is the new father of the year!

Just in time for Father's Day, Prive Las Vegas awarded the proud papa of four his "father of the year" status at a party he hosted there June 13.

Sources tell PEOPLE he was awarded the title during a presentation at the club.

The unofficial honor is Federline's second such recognition in a relatively short time. Last November, Details magazine also anointed him father of the year – an honor he shared with onetime Anna Nicole Smith boyfriend Larry Birkhead.

You can't make this stuff up.

Here is your Today in History -

Jun 16 1750 BC -
King Hammurabi dies in Babylon, and is succeeded by his son Samsu-iluna. I know you're saying to yourself, "Who cares?". Well, know that you know, you can feel morally superior to the schlub sitting next to you on the subway going home Monday night.

June 16, 1904 -
Today is the date on which all the events depicted in James Joyce's famous novel Ulysses take place, even though the book itself was published in 1922 and therefore cannot celebrate a real centennial until my daughters have graduated college. There is probably also a lot of excitement in the sorts of intellectual circles.

And now, you can truly impress your friends by telling them the plot -

Leopold Bloom, the main character of Ulysses, does not have much work to do, so he spends most of his day wandering around Dublin doing some errands. He leaves his house on Eccles Street, walks south across the River Liffey, picks up a letter, buys a bar of soap, and goes to the funeral of a man he didn't know very well. In the afternoon, he has a cheese sandwich, he feeds the gulls in the river, helps a blind man cross the street, and visits a couple of pubs. He thinks about his job, his wife, his daughter, his stillborn son. He muses about life and death and reincarnation. He knows that his wife is going to cheat on him that afternoon at his house. In the evening, he wanders around the red light district of Dublin and meets up with a young writer named Stephen Dedalus, who is drunk. Leopold Bloom takes him home with him and offers to let him spend the night. And they stand outside, looking at the stars for a while. And then Bloom goes inside and climbs into bed with his wife.

"Happy Bloomsday!" the straight-A English majors will greet one another joyously. "Yes - yes - yes!" they'll exclaim. It will all be terrific fun. They'll feel smart and proud and better than the rest of us (and you again can feel morally superior for knowing it), and now you know why.

Jun 16 1948 -
In the first skyjacking of a commercial plane, three armed men storm the cockpit of the Miss Macao, a passenger seaplane operated by Cathay Pacific airline. When the pilot refuses to turn over the controls, he is shot dead and the plane crashes into the ocean. The only survivor among the 27 people on board is the leader of the terrorists.

Jun 16 1958 -
Imre Nagy, once prime minister of Hungary for all of ten days, is executed by the Soviet Union for attempting to withdraw his country from the Warsaw Pact.

Jun 16 1959 -
While entertaining friends at his home, George Reeves (Ben Affleck), who played the title character in the original Superman TV series, goes upstairs to his bedroom and commits suicide with a 9mm German Luger. This has been hotly debated and it is now believe that the irate husband of a B movie actress Reeves was sleeping with, shot the actor in his home.

Jun 16 1960 -
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho opens in New York.

How about a nice hot shower anybody?

Jun 16 1976 -
"We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave the kids alone
Hey teacher leave us kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall."

15,000 schoolchildren take to the streets of Soweto to protest South Africa's adoption of bilingual instruction in the Afrikaans language. The nonviolent march ends abruptly when police and soldiers open fire on the crowd, killing 600 and igniting days of rioting throughout the region.

Jun 16 1999 -
The founder of the United Kingdom's Monster Raving Loony Party, one Screaming Lord Sutch (real name David Edward Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow), is found hanged at his late mother's residence. Sutch was the longest lasting party leader in the UK at the time of his death, ruled a suicide. One of the Loony Party planks was to ask rhetorically, "Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?"

And so it goes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Hope all of you fathers, stepfathers, fathers to be, mothers who are the fathers to their kids and fathers (but you don't know it) have a great Father's Day today.

Here is your Today in History -

June 15, 1215 -
All the English Barons of the realm gathered with King John at Runnymede and presented him with a little document they'd prepared. They asked him either to sign the document or to specify what they should do with his remains. The king signed.

This was the Magna Carta, and therefore historical.

The terms of the Magna Carta (aka, "The Magna Charta," aka "The Big Chart") provided that freemen should be free, that freemen should not be put to death, that freemen should be able to get married, that freemen should only be judged by juries of other freemen, and that a measure of wine should be a measure of wine. The only people excepted from these liberties were the People. (Our own Bill of Rights borrowed heavily from the Magna Carta, although it allowed that the People included people not previously considered the People, except in those cases in which the people were still not People.)

June 15, 1330 -
King Edward III was a famous English king, celebrated for his invention of manners and discovery of the economy. He played tennis, and once famously rebuked the King of France for having sent him his balls in a box.

King Edward established the Order of the Garter because he was what English nobles referred to as a "leg man." (It was he who also famously remarked, "Honi soit qui mal y pense," or "Honey, show us some cheesecake.")

King Edward had many sons, one of whom was born on June 15, 1330. This son he named Prince Edward. Though white at birth, he eventually became England's first Black Prince.

Prince Edward eventually married Joan of Kent. In her youth, Joan had been known as the "Fairly Made" because she was so fat; in later years she was referred to as "Chubster" and "Lardass," though seldom to her face.

At the age of sixteen, Prince Edward and his father the king led the English against the French at Crecy, in order to start the 100 years war. There were many more French than English, but the English had the advantage of the Long Boa. The French were powerless against this innovation. Ten years later, the English and French took the field again, this time at Poitiers. The French had learned from experience, and tried to counter the English Long Boa with their own Very Large Scarf. They failed. The English took France's King John prisoner and ransomed him for half a million pounds (250 tons). Prince Edward was kind to the French king, however, and prayed with him, which proved that the apple had not fallen far from the tree. (Edward was also a "legman.")

By now he had become the Black Prince.

In recognition of his prowess, the Black Prince was made the ruler of Aquitaine in 1362. When some of the French rebelled at Limoges in 1370, he had all 3000 inhabitants killed. This resulted in peace. The Black Prince died before he could succeed to the throne, thereby losing the opportunity to become England's first Black King.

Edward and Joan had two children. One was Edward, who died in infancy and was therefore ineligible to be king. The other was Richard, also known as Richard II, who succeeded to the throne only to abdicate in favor of Henry IV, Part 1.
Following Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 came Henry V, then Henry VI parts 1, 2, and 3, and then finally Richard III.

June 15, 1409 -
Petros Philargos is elected Pope Alexander V by the Council of Pisa. This poses a certain amount of difficulty and increased the amount of Papal Bull, as there already is a Pope in Rome, Gregory XII, and another in Avignon, Benedict XII. Ultimately, none of the three is willing to step down, leading the Chuch into a double schism.

On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X (no relation to Malcolm or the Generation) excommunicated Martin Luther with a papal bull. Pope Leo X is famous for his use of bulls, although not quite as famous (and we know it's not true) as Catherine the Great for her use of horses.

Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys, the personal physician to Louis XIV, performed the first blood transfusion in history on June 15,1667. He performed the transfusion on a fifteen year old boy, using blood from a sheep. The experiment was considered a success, although it was clearly a disappointment if you were rooting for the sheep.

On June 15, 1752, Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm to prove his now famous theory that lightning is some powerful sh*t.

The General Slocum worked as a passenger ship, taking people on excursions around New York City. On June 15, 1904, the ship had been chartered for $350 by the St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in the German district Little Germany, Manhattan. This was an annual rite for the group, which had made the trip for 17 consecutive years. Over 1,300 passengers, mostly women and children, boarded the General Slocum. It was to sail up the East River and then eastward across Long Island Sound to Locust Grove, a picnic site in Eatons Neck, Long Island. It caught fire and burned to the water line in New York's East River. More than 1,000 people died in the accident, making it New York City's worst loss-of-life disaster until the September 11, 2001 attacks.

June 15, 1955 -
The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual OPAL exercise. In the "Operation Alert" drill, air raid sirens blare across America to assess our preparations for a nuclear attack.

Duck and cover, people.

June 15, 1969 -
Hee Haw debuts on CBS television as a summer replacement for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The country bumpkin musical comedy show quickly becomes an institution, airing weekly until its demise in December 1997.

June 15, 1993 -
The Washington Times reports that at least 1,416 Boy Scout leaders have been expelled for molestation since 1973. Of course, those were only the ones who actually got caught.

And so it goes.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Flag Day everybody

Here is your Today in History -

June 14, 1648 -
Midwife Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft. It is the first such execution for the Massachusetts colony, but not the first in the colonies.

June 14, 1938 -
This must be a red letter day at Jerry Seinfeld's house: Action Comics issues the first Superman comic.

June 14, 1954 -
At the Lincoln Memorial, President Dwight Eisenhower signs a law inserting the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance. Eisenhower declares: "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." Precisely which Almighty is left to the listener's imagination. I would like to think that Ike was thinking about the Zarathushtran god - Mazda.

Jun 14 1961 -
1980s pop music star Boy George is born in Kent, England. As he later comes to describe his childhood, "I had five brothers and I was brought up drinking the same water and being fed the same doctrine as my brothers, but somehow I turned out to be a fabulous homosexual."

Jun 14 1962 -
Albert DeSalvo murders Anna Slesersby by strangling her with the belt from her robe. She is only the first victim of "The Boston Strangler."

Jun 14 1966 -
The Vatican announces the abolition of its Index librorum prohibitum (Index of Prohibited Books), originally instituted in 1557 by Pope Paul IV. Notable novelists on the list were Laurence Sterne, Voltaire, Daniel Defoe, Honoré de Balzac, Jean-Paul Sartre.

Jun 14 1976 -
The Gong Show debuts on NBC. People with dubious talents perform their acts before a celebrity panel of judges, who are free to eject the performer at any time by banging a large gong. The best non-gonged performer each night wins $516.32. During the time the show is on the air, it's creator, Chuck Barris, suffered a complete mental breakdown, he says from the stress of being a secret CIA hit man. No really, I'm not kidding you.

Jun 14 1989 -
Zsa Zsa Gabor is arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer and driving with an expired license. Afterwards Zsa Zsa complains to the press that the handling she received from the BHPD "was like Nazi Germany." Ultimately, Gabor is convicted and sentenced to 72 hours in jail. Francesca Hilton, Zsa Zsa's daughter, is Paris and Nicky Hilton's great aunt. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Jun 14 1993 -
During a weeklong Product Tampering scare, Pepsi-Cola suspends its advertising campaign after nationwide reports of customers discovering syringes in unopened cans of Diet Pepsi. In response, television host David Letterman suggests ten new slogans, including "200cc's of great taste" and "Every can inspected by Ray Charles" (the company's blind celebrity spokesman).

And on a personal note:

Dear Nephew Irving,

Happy Birthday. Tante and I send you a million hugs and kisses. Don't concern yourself with the fact that you never write or call anymore. Tante has now lost her mind and is incontinent. Thank goodness for Depends.

We know that we are old and don't matter anymore. Go live your life, we will just wait to die. You should be happy on your birthday

And so it goes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

We're really old

Do you want to feel really old, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen turn 22 today.

It's pigeon day in NYC. So don't go poison the winged, lice ridden vermion in the park today (tomorrow is another story.)

Maybe you'd feel better if we called it squab

Did you lose something, remember St. Anthony. It's the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padua. One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are ubiquitous. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946, he is sometimes called the "Evangelical Doctor." He is especially invoked for the recovery of things lost; as well as against starvation, barrenness; patron of amputees, animals, boatmen, Brazil, diocese in Beaumont, Texas, domestic animals, the elderly, expectant mothers, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, Ferrazzano, fishermen, harvests, horses, lower animals, mail, mariners, oppressed persons, Padua, paupers, Portugal, sailors, scholars, sterility, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travellers, and watermen.

Today in History -

In early 1381 England imposed a new tax, which was called the "Pole Tax" because everyone got the shaft.

In the village of Maidstone, Kent, there lived a Pheasant (or Villain) whose daughter was about fourteen years old. The day the Taxman came around to collect, the Villain was away. Only his wife and daughter were home. The Taxman didn't believe that the girl was less than fifteen. She and her mother insisted that she was. At last the Taxman tore the girl's clothes off to see for himself.

After stripping her, he quickly determined that a more tactile examination would be necessary. When she resisted, the situation took a violent turn—and at that volatile moment, the girl's father came in and saw what was going on. Like any good father, he crushed the Taxman's skull and stomped on his brains.

News of the event spread. The Pheasants (Villains) of southeast England rallied to the father's support. They began Wat Tyler's Rebellion on June 13, 1381.

They made the skull-smashing father their leader because his name was Wat Tyler. Over the next few days, Wat Tyler led the Pheasants (Villains) against the government, burning the Archbishop of Salisbury at the Stake (whence the expression "Salisbury Steak").

The purpose of this rebellion was to secure a pardon for having rebelled. When Wat Tyler confronted King Richard II in Smithfield, he voiced this demand and was consequently stabbed to death, etc, by the Lord Mayor of London. Upon Wat Tyler's death, of course, it was no longer possible to have Wat Tyler's Rebellion, so everyone else went home (hence "Pheasants coming home to roost").

Many of them were later killed.

Further back in history, on June 13, 323 BC, a youthful Alexander the Great (Brad Pitt) died in Babylon (NOT Long Island). The precise cause of his death has baffled modern science for thousands of years. Many historians believe he died of hybris, also known as Syphilis or the Greek Fire. Alexander had a horse named Bucephelas, and is best known for having devoured the Gordian Nut.

June 13, 1865 –
"...And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures in 20th century literature. He was brother of the artist Jack Butler Yeats, the son of John Butler Yeats, and along with J. M. Synge and Sean O'Casey, was one of the driving forces behind the Irish Literary Revival. Together with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn he founded Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief playwright.

June 13, 1917 -
Fourteen German Gotha bomber planes flew over London in the first aerial bombardment in history (not counting Zeppelins); on June 13, 1944, Germany commemorated the anniversary by launching the first of its V-1 flying bombs on southern England .Only four of the Buzzbombs actually strike London, but the Germans will eventually follow that up with another 9,000. On June 13, 1990, East Germany began tearing down the Berlin Wall. The date apparently has some significance in the Teutonic psyche. Be gentle with men in lederhosen.

June 13, 1886 -
The bodies of Bavaria's mad King Ludwig II and his physician, Dr. Gudden, are discovered floating face-down in Lake Starnberg. The recently-deposed monarch who wasn't so much mad as gay, had been under house arrest ever since his uncle, Prince Luitpold von Bayern, staged a coup a few days earlier.

June 13, 1920 -
The United States Postal Service rules that children may not be sent via Parcel Post. Before that, children had been clogging the mail chutes of America.

June 13, 1934 -
Two months before becoming Fuhrer, Hitler meets Mussolini in Venice. Unfortunately, Mussolini refuses to have an interpreter and his German is not good, so neither man can understand the other. Unimpressed, Mussolini gathers a general impression of the German
as "a silly little monkey."

June 13, 1970 -
"The Long and Winding Road" becomes the Beatles' last Number 1 song.

June 13, 1971 -
Next to the White House wedding photo of President Nixon's daughter Tricia, the New York Times runs its first story on the "Pentagon Papers," a top secret DoD analysis authored by the RAND Corporation detailing every mistake and deception made during the 30-year history of the Vietnam War. Attorney General John Mitchell manages to block any further publication of the embarrassing documents, but the court order is countermanded two weeks later in a Supreme Court decision.

June 13, 1981 -
During the Trooping the Colour ceremony, a 17-year-old fires six blanks from a revolver at Queen Elizabeth II, startling her horse. Marcus Sargeant is later sentenced to five years imprisonment for the offense.

And so it goes.