Thursday, October 8, 2009

When was the last time an ad made you want to read?

The copy in the new Levi jeans ad kept rattling around in my head until I remembered

that it was a Walt Whitman poem. Here's a link to the poem Pioneer, O Pioneer:!_O_Pioneers!

Do yourself a favor and go reread it (I'll cut you a break and assume that you've read Leaves of Grass at some point.)

Here's today's word.
Sagittipotent: adjective, having great ability in archery. Although William Tell's brother Bob was also known for his sagittipotent abilities, his unfortunate sneezing accident prevented him from becoming more well known.

Today in History:
October 8, 1871-
Mrs O'Leary's cow starts The Great Chicago Fire destroying more than 17,000 buildings, killed more than 300 people and left 90,000 homeless. That same day, a forest fire broke out at Peshtigo, Wis., eventually killing about 2,500 people while burning some 850 square miles (making it the largest lost of life by fire in the United States), Holland, Michigan, and Manistee, Michigan. Bad cow.

Catherine O'Leary seemed the perfect scapegoat: she was a woman, immigrant, and Catholic-–a combination which did not fare well in the political c limate of the time in Chicago. This story was circulating in Chicago even before the flames had died out and was noted in the Chicago Tribune's first post-fire issue. Michael Ahern, the reporter that came with the story would retract it in 1893, admitting that it was fabricated.

More recently, amateur historian Richard Bales has come to believe it was actually started when Daniel "Pegleg" Sullivan, who first reported the fire, ignited some hay in the barn while trying to steal some milk. However, evidence recently reported in the Chicago Tribune by Anthony DeBartolo suggests Louis M. Cohn may have started the fire during a craps game. Cohn may also have admitted to starting the fire in a lost will, according to Alan Wykes in his 1964 book The Complete Illustrated Guide to Gambling.

October 8, 1582 -
Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

This leads to mass confusion and most of the populous just go back to bed and wait for tomorrow.

October 8, 1869 -
Franklin Pierce, an American politician and the fourteenth President of the United States, serving from 1853 to 1857 is to date the only president from New Hampshire and was the first president born in the nineteenth century.

His good looks and inoffensive personality caused him to make many friends, but he suffered tragedy in his personal life (all three of his children died in childhood - don't ask how his third child died) and as president subsequently made decisions which were widely criticized and divisive in their effects, thus giving him the reputation as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

After losing the Democratic nomination for a second term, Pierce reportedly quipped "there's nothing left to do but get drunk" (quoted also as "after the White House what is there to do but drink?") which he apparently did frequently. He once ran over an elderly woman while driving a carriage drunk. Franklin Pierce died in Concord, New Hampshire on this date at 64 years old, from cirrhosis of the liver, thus ending his miserable life

October 8, 1918 -
Sgt. Alvin York (Gary Cooper) of Tennessee became a World War I hero by single-handedly capturing a hill in the Argonne Forest of France, killing 20 enemy soldiers and capturing 132 others.

What makes this feat all the more amazing is that York original applied and was denied Conscientious objector status because of his religious beliefs.

October 8, 1919-
The first U.S. transcontinental air race began with 63 planes competing in the round-trip aerial derby between California and New York. Each way took about three days.

Seven men lost their lives during the race - flying was extremely hazardous at the time. Even the winner, Lieutenant Belvin W. Maynard, on September 7th 1922, would meet his death three years later, while stunt flying at a county fair in Rutland, Vermont

October 8, 1928 -
Police raid 20 speakeasies in New York City in an effort to crack down on illegal liquor sales.

Police remain blind drunk in New York for three days afterward.

October 8, 1956-
New York Yankees pitcher Donald James Larson pitches the first perfect game in a World Series--no walks, no hits, no runs.

His perfect game remains the only no-hitter of any type ever pitched in postseason play.

October 8, 1993 -
Ted Danson appears in black face at a Friars Club roast.

His offensive comments amuse Whoopi Goldberg but the incident becomes a great embarrassment.

And so it goes

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