Monday, July 6, 2009

Kids, don't do drugs

I have been forced to, I mean I am happy to bring you this PSA about the horrors of drug use.

Just say no, especially if you have a talking gorilla with you.

Today in History
Louis Armstrong, a foundational influence on jazz and Swiss Kriss (herbal laxative) enthusiast,

(who once appeared in humorous, albeit risqué, advertisements for Swiss Kriss; the ads bore a picture of him sitting on a toilet — as viewed through a keyhole — with the slogan "Satch says, 'Leave it all behind ya!'") died on this date, in 1971

July 6 1415 -
Jan Hus is burned at the stake for various heresies by the Council of Constance.

Among other things, Hus had incited the citizens of Prague to protest against antipope John XXIII and his policy of granting indulgences.

Those antipopes are so moody.

July 6, 1921 -
Several members of the Chicago White Sox went on trial for throwing the 1919 World Series, on this date. The White Sox players despised their owner Charles Comiskey. He was notoriously stingy. He would offer bonuses for performance and then take them back at the last minute. Gamblers knew that the players were frustrated and angry and offered several of them money to throw the World Series. The night before the series began, a Sox pitcher found $10,000 under the pillow in his hotel bedroom. The next day his first pitch landed between the batter's shoulder blades. The Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds 5 to 3.

Many journalists knew right away that the series had been fixed. One of the accused players, one of the most tragic figures, was Shoeless Joe Jackson, who admitted to taking money, but during the series he didn't make a single error. He also hit the only home run of the series. All of the White Sox players were acquitted for lack of evidence, but the commissioner of baseball banned them from the game for the rest of their lives. None of the gamblers was ever punished.

July 6 1944 -

Fire breaks out at a matinee performance of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Baily Circus burning, in Hartford, Connecticut, 168 people to death, and injuring an additional 250. The main tent had been waterproofed with wax thinned by gasoline. Said one of the Flying Wallendas, "I can never look down at a crowd again without smelling the flames and the burning flesh." I believe with thoughts like this even I would give up showbiz.

Among notable survivors, beside the Flying Wallendas, were Eunice Groark, first female lieutenant governor of Connecticut and Charles Nelson Reilly.

July 6 1945 -

The Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation OVERCAST, intended to "exploit ... chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use." The directive authorizes the immigration of up to 350 German and Austrian specialists, primarily experts in rocketry.

Operation OVERCAST is later renamed Project PAPERCLIP. This is how we got the 'Good Germans' to work on our space program.

July 6, 1964 -
Beatles' film 'Hard Day's Night' premieres in London, on this date.

The word "Beatles" is never mentioned in the movie.

And so it goes.

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