Sunday, January 17, 2016

a hodgepodge of birthday wishes today

January 17, 1706 -
Benjamin Franklin was born on this date.

The inventor of spectacles and the hundred dollar bill, Franklin was one of Washington’s first celebrated womanizers to avoid conviction. One day Franklin tied a key to the string of a kite that he then flew in a thunderstorm, thus discovering Electrolysis.

Franklin also invented the Post Office and can be credited with the creation of the first fully functioning disgruntled postal worker.

On January 17, 1806, President Thomas Jefferson's grandson James Madison Randolph became the first child to be born in the White House - his mother was Martha Randolph, one of President  Jefferson's two daughters. James was her eighth child.

Sadly, no official records have been kept on the more interesting statistics of children conceived in the White House.

Also born on January 17 was Al Capone, in 1899. Chronic self-esteem problems in his early adolescence resulted in his turning to a life of crime in Chicago (where crime had by now trickled down from elected officials to the lower classes).

The United States wanted to help this poor unfortunate individual, so that gave him an early birthday present.  The day before his 21st birthday, Prohibition went into effect.

Capone was such a successful gangster that eventually Robert DeNiro had to play him.

In the end, Capone was captured by Elliot Ness and his Untouchables, who got their name from the fact that their busy schedules prevented them from changing their underwear

January 17, 1922 -
Don't try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, 'I'm going to be 30 - oh, what am I going to do?' Well, use that decade! Use them all!

Betty Marion White, one of the hardest working actress in Hollywood (has been working almost continuously since 1949) was born on this date

January 17, 1962 -
I don't think human beings learn anything without desperation. Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything or creating anything. Period. If you ain't desperate at some point, you ain't interesting.

James Eugene Carrey, Canadian-American actor and rubber-faced comedian, was born on this date.

January 17, 1975 -
The TV-series Baretta, starring Robert Blake and Tom Ewell, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

The series was originally intended as a continuation of the TV series Toma, with Robert Blake replacing Tony Musante as Det. David Toma. When Blake balked at taking over an established role, a new series was created for him instead.

Today in History:
January 17, 1860 O.S. - (which means Julian calendar. We celebrate his birthday on the 29th of January N.S. - which means Gregorian calendar. So it not really his birthday today but he's dead so I don't think he really cares.) -

Anton Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Russia.

Tragically, a bureaucratic snafu at the Kremlin resulted in Chekhov’s not being told he was one of the Great Russian Writers, so he practiced medicine well into middle life. By then, of course, he was almost good enough to quit practicing, but he’d also made a name for himself as a writer. As a doctor and writer of comedies, Chekhov originated the saying "laughter is the best medicine" (some of his tubercular patients disagreed, but they subsequently died, proving his point).

Chekhov’s greatest work is The Seagull, in which a young man with an odd haircut, kills a seagull, making his girlfriend cry and a lot of people with unpronounceable Russian names argue and wave pistols about.

Chekhov should not be confused with Chekhov, who was the security officer of the USS Enterprise,

and neither of them should be confused with Charo.

January 17, 1893 -
Another proud moment in America history - a group of American businessmen stole Hawaii on this date. Queen Liliuokalani, the monarch of Hawaii, was overthrown by a group of sugar plantation owners who wanted a more pro-American government.

The coup took place with the tacit approval of the United States, though the new leader of Hawaii, Sanford Dole, refused to step down when asked to do so by President Cleveland. Hawaii and the US finally resumed full diplomatic relations in 1897, under President McKinley. Hawaii was annexed by the U.S. in 1898.

January 17, 1929 -
I yam what I yam

Popeye the Sailor Man, created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip on this date.

January 17, 1961 -
In his farewell address on this date, President Eisenhower warned against the rise of "the military-industrial complex."

And yet on the same date, Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of Congo, was murdered after 67 days in office on this date. President Eisenhower allegedly approved the assassination of the prime minister by the CIA.

January 17, 1977 -
Let's do it

Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States.

And so it goes.

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