Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Crapper Day

In popular American folklore, the British Mr. Thomas Crapper was the man who invented and gave his name to the flush toilet. Unfortunately, there is little historical evidence to support Mr. Crapper as anything but a friendly British plumber.

Thomas Crapper died on January 27, 1910. To honor this day and the spirit of the man, we can choose to embrace the legend of Thomas Crapper.

Thomas Crapper was born in 1839. He became a plumber. He invented the flush toilet, which is why people called it the "crapper," which eventually led to people calling the stuff they put into the toilet "crap."

It s concise. It s easy. It s elegant. Reject the truth, and give thanks this day for Thomas Crapper.

January 27, 1832
... Lewis Carroll is treated like a man you wouldn’t want your kids to meet,yet his stories are still presented as classics of pure, innocent literature. - Will Brooker, author of Alice’s Adventures: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Anglican deacon, children's author, mathematician, and photographer (child pornographer?) was born on this date.

On January 21, 1901, the great maestro Joe Green (Giuseppe Verdi was merely his stage name) suffered a stroke while staying at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, in Milan. So revered was the composer that horses hooves were wrapped in blankets to muffle their noise as they passed the hotel where he rested.

Verdi gradually grew more feeble and died six days later, on this date. To date, his funeral remains the largest public assembly of any event in the history of Italy.

January 27, 1918 -
Tarzan of the Apes, the first Tarzan film, premiered at the Broadway Theater in NYC on this date.

Louisiana was chosen as the main shooting location because of the cooperation of the residents of Morgan City, the lush jungle vegetation, bayous, waterways, abundant black extras, and facilities such as hotels, a railway-serviced wharf and an adjacent storage warehouse. Young men from the New Orleans Athletic Club played the ape parts.

January 27, 1976 -
Laverne and Shirley, a spinoff from Happy Days, starring Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, premiered on ABC TV on this date .

David L. Lander and Michael McKean were originally hired as writers/consultants. They wrote themselves into the show as Squiggy and Lenny, two characters they created in college.

Today in History:
January 27, 1756 -
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian musical genius, composer and fart joke lover, whose works included The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, was born on this date.

When Mozart died in 1791, probably of heart disease, he was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.

January 27, 1859 -
Kaiser Wilhelm II, (Queen Victoria's first grandchild and first cousin to both King George V and Tsar Nicholas II) emperor who ruled Germany during World War I but was forced to abdicate in 1918, was born on this date.

Oh, those wacky royals.

January 27, 1900 -
Hyman Rickover, American admiral who is considered the "Father of the Atomic Submarine", was born on this date.

Creating a detail-focused pursuit of excellence to a degree previously unknown, Rickover redirected the United States Navy’s ship propulsion, quality control, personnel selection, and training and education, and has had far reaching effects on the defense establishment and the civilian nuclear energy field.

January 27, 1967 -
A launchpad flash fire in the Apollo I capsule kills the astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward H White and Roger B Chaffee at Cape Canaveral.

An investigation indicated that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo I command module was the probable cause of the fire .

January 27, 1992 -
Candidate Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers mutually accuse each other of lying about whether or not they had a 12 year affair.

Oh, that wacky Bubba

January 27, 2010
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as A People's History of the United States, inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died on this date today.

Go out and buy his book, if not for a kid you know, buy it for yourself.

And so it goes.

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