Today is National Kahlua Day. Kahlua, in case you are under 21 or a Mormon, is a rich, creamy, coffee based alcoholic liqueur from Mexico.
Drink a White Russian today, in honor of The Dude
February 27, 1932 -
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, actress and serial bride was born on this date.
I've often quoted the Bill Murray skit in jest but it's not that bad an epitaph for Ms. Taylor: I don't care how much you weigh, just so your cheeks don't puff up over those beautiful violet eyes that I've been in love with since "National Velvet".
February 27, 1937 -
An early Porky Pig, drawn by Tex Avery, Picador Porky, premiered on this date.
This is the first Warner Bros. cartoon to feature Mel Blanc's voice.
Today in History:
On this date in 280 A.D. (or another date or year, again remember lead cups and constant orgies, do not good calendar keepers make), Emperor Constantine the Great was born. Constantine took half the Roman Empire and moved it to Byzantium, a little village which he built up into such a magnificent city that it was eventually named after him: Istanbul.
And it's nobody's business but the Turks.
February 27, 1859 -
Censured Congressman Dan Sickles of New York (who escorting a known prostitute into State chambers) shot and killed Philip Barton Key, son of Francis Scott Key and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The younger Key was having an affair with the congressman's wife.
He was tried on a charge of murder, but was acquitted after a sensational trial involving the first use of the insanity defense in U.S. history.
An interesting aside: Sickle went on to become a Union general and was involved in some of the bloodiest fighting at Gettysburg and lost his own right leg in the battle. He had the leg preserved and sent to Washington, where it was exhibited in a little wooden coffin at the Medical Museum of the Library of Congress. Sickles frequently visited it himself.
February 27, 1933 -
The Reichstag conveniently burns. A mad Dutchman who was arrested at the scene, Marinus van der Lubb, may have been partially responsible but if this is so, he is likely someone's patsy. The Nazi Party benefit greatly from the subsequent crack down, and it's suspected that SA stormtroopers set things up for van der Lubb.
Another important life lesson - bad Germans in leather shorts, beer halls and matches do not mix.
On February 27, 1939, General Francisco Franco's rebellion achieved victory in the Spanish Civil War.
Ernest Hemingway had been defeated.
The war had been so successful that Europe decided to have the second world war, which was every bit as exciting as the Spanish Civil War but with more geography and submarines.
General Franco and Ernest Hemingway are still dead.
February 27, 1951 -
The 22nd Amendment to the American Constitution was ratified by Minnesota, the 36th state out of 48 to ratify, thereby making it the law of the land. The 22nd Amendment states that no person shall be president of the United States more than twice unless they're Harry Truman.
Really, look it up - it says that.
In the graphic novel Watchmen, a crushing U.S. victory in the Vietnam War leads to the repeal of the 22nd Amendment and the repeated reelection of President Richard M. Nixon, who still serves as of 1985, the year in which Watchmen is set.
Similarly, in the time-travel movie Back to the Future Part II, an alternate timeline newspaper headline, before changing to report Reagan considering a second term, reports Nixon considering a fifth term. In a Saturday Night Live sketch, Dan Aykroyd portrayed Richard Nixon writing to random congressmen, asking for repeal of the amendment.
February 27, 1968 -
CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite's commentary on the progress of the Vietnam War solidified President Lyndon B. Johnson's decision not to seek reelection in 1968. Cronkite, who had been at Hue in the midst of the Tet Offensive earlier in February, said: "Who won and who lost in the great Tet Offensive against the cities? I m not sure." He concluded: "It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out...will be to negotiate, not as victors but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could."
Johnson called the commentary a turning point, saying that if he had "lost Cronkite," he d "lost Mr. Average Citizen." On March 31, Johnson announced he would not seek reelection.
February 27, 1992 -
Trying to get the lid off her McDonald's coffee to add cream and sugar, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck accidentally splashes the 180-degree liquid on herself, causing third-degree burns to the thighs, genitals, and buttocks.
After skin graft surgery and weeks of recuperation, Liebeck asks McDonald's to turn down the temperature of their coffee and pay $20,000 to defray her hospital bills. McDonald's tells the old lady go take a flying leap, as they had done for a decade of similar burn claims. Ultimately, a jury awards Liebeck $2.9 million in the resulting lawsuit, which immediately triggers a renewed call for legislative tort reform and makes that one expense cup of coffee.
February 27, 2003 -
All of our neighborhoods were a little less beautiful when our good neighbor, Fred McFeely Rogers died on this date.
But let's make the most of this beautiful day.
And so it goes.