Saturday, July 9, 2011

Betty Ford, R.I.P.

The search for human freedom can never be complete without freedom for women.

Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford, the former first lady and widow of President Gerald Ford, died yesterday. She was 93.

She'll be remembered for her very public struggle with addiction, which led her to co-found the California rehab center that bears her name.

Today in History:
On the Fourth of July in 1850, President Zachary Taylor snacked on cherries and milk while attending a ceremony at the Washington Monument. It was a hot day, and the heat made him sick.

He got sicker and sicker and died on July 9.

He remains the only U.S. president to have died from indigestion (with the posible exception of Warren G Harding, who may or may not have been poisoned by his wife - which could be considered death by extreme indigestion - but that's another story.)

His last words were, "I regret nothing, but I am sorry to leave my friends."

I find it hard to believe he didn't regret eating the cherries-and-milk that caused his fatal indigestion, but I'm not going to quibble with a man's dying words.

July 9, 1945 -
During a newspaper strike, New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia read the daily comic strips aloud on WNYC radio on this date.

... dirty money always brings sorrow and sadness and misery and disgrace. Said by a man who never took a bribe.

July 9, 1956 -
America's favorite actor, Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born on this date.

Let's hope someday, Tom finds himself and successes in a career.

July 9, 1964 -
Once again, she seems to have made it to another one.

Courtney Michelle Love rock musician and actress, was born on this date.

July 9, 1982 -
Michael Fagan, dressed in jeans and a dirty t-shirt, and bleeding from a fresh cut on his hand, walks into the private bedroom of Queen Elizabeth II while she is asleep and her personal guard out walking her dogs. Fagan had scaled the wall surrounding Buckingham Palace and gained entry without triggering any alarms. The two carry on a 12-minute conversation, while the intruder holds a jagged broken ashtray, before somebody finally apprehends him.

Who knew that Queen could carry on a 12 minute conversation with one of her subjects?

And so it goes.

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