New York City is hosting the 10th Anniversary Poem in Your Pocket day today (April 26th) to commemorate National Poetry Month.
So what poem is in your pocket today?
April 26, 1956 -
Godzilla debuted in American (Gojira premiered in Japan on November 3, 1954) :
a very good Sci-Fi film intercut with Raymond Burr, the undisputed king of deadpan delivery and nipple rouge entrepreneur.
April 26, 1452 -
Leonardo da Vinci was born on this date. Mr. da Vinci was one of the great minds of the Renaissance. Sadly, he is best known for having painted the Mona Lisa (in Italian, La Joconde,), in which he accurately and exquisitely captured the unmistakable smile of a dignified woman who's just farted.
For some reason, many lonely computer geeks celebrate this day by releasing computer virii in hopes that female FBI agents will break down their doors.
Today in History:
On April 26, 1923 (almost 88 years previously to the date of his great-grandson's nuptials,) the Duke of York married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Westminster Abbey.
That's British royalty.
Count Basie died on April 26, 1984; Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899; Ella Fitzgerald, the "First Lady of Song," was born on April 25, 1918.
That's American royalty.
April 26, 1865 -
Discovered hiding in a farmer's tobacco shed, John Wilkes Booth is shot in the neck by a complete lunatic. Dying and paralyzed from the neck down, he whispers: Tell my mother I did it for my country.
As his hands are held up to his face, Booth mutters "useless...useless..."
They are his last words.
April 26, 1933 -
Hermann Goering founded the Geheime Staatspolizei, otherwise known as the Gestapo on this date.
The original purpose of this "Secret State Police" is to disrupt and harass opponents of National Socialism, but it will later come to adopt many additional responsibilities.
April 26, 1937 -
It was a beautiful Monday afternoon in Guernica, Spain. At about 3:30 pm the day took a tragic turn. For over three hours, twenty-five or more of Germany's best-equipped bombers, accompanied by at least twenty more Messerschmitt and Fiat Fighters, dumped one hundred thousand pounds of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the village, slowly and systematically pounding it to rubble.
Guernica had served as the testing ground for a new Nazi military tactic - blanket-bombing a civilian population to demoralize the enemy. It was wanton, man-made holocaust.
The bombing was the subject of a famous anti-war painting by Pablo Picasso.
April 26, 1986 -
44 seconds into a late-night experiment at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, reactor number four sustains two large explosions. The exploded at Chernobyl burned for 10 days. About 70% of the fallout fell in Belarus. Damage was estimated to be up to $130 billion. The Soviet news agency TASS holds off reporting the incident for almost 48 hours.
A 300-hundred-square-mile area was evacuated and 31 people died as unknown thousands were exposed to radioactive material that spread in the atmosphere throughout the world. By 1998 10,000 Russian liquidators involved in the cleanup had died and thousands more became invalids. It was later estimated that the released radioactivity was 200 times the combined bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was later found that Soviet scientists were authorized to carry out experiments that required the reactor to be pushed to or beyond its limits, with safety features disabled.
And so it goes