Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Another 2015 word of the year.

According to the American Dialect Society the WORD OF THE YEAR is: THEY used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. They was recognized by the society for its emerging use as a pronoun to refer to a known person, often as a conscious choice by a person rejecting the traditional gender binary of he and she.

When former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner took a female identity this year, he changed his name to Caitlyn Jenner. The new use of “they” would allow the use of “their” instead of “his,” as in, “they changed their name to Caitlyn Jenner.”

Valentine's Day is 32 days away. Mardi Gras is 27 days away. Chinese New Years is 26 days away. And today is Old New Years Eve (Old Style Calendar.)

Enjoy the day!

January 13, 1968 -
Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, and Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers, performed for a second time at Folsom Prison in the prison cafeteria on this date.

Cash released the concert as an album, At Folsom Prison, a few months later. The album was a hit and it transformed Cash into a nationally popular musician. At Folsom Prison stayed in country music charts for 90 weeks and in the Billboard Top 200 for 122 weeks. 

Today in History:
January 13, 1832
Horatio Alger, Jr., minister, American children's author (Ragged Dick, Tattered Tom and Julius, the Street Boy out West ) and noted pederast was born, on this date.

Some novels, uncompleted at Alger's death, include The Fortune Made Upon My Knees, Nelson, the Naughty Pegboy, Proud Young Dick and the Lonely Sea Men, Jerry, the Barefoot Backwoods Boy (who wore no undergarments under his britches), From Farm to Fortune (with nothing but bacon grease) and Joey, the Ruggedly Handsome Raw Meat Delivery Boy (who wore a posing strap under his britches).

(Stop snickering.)

January 13, 1854 -
Anthony Faas
patents an accordion on this date. He made improvements to the keyboard and enhanced the sound

Mr Faas mysteriously disappeared the next week: all of his neighbors had to say was they "didn't know nothin'".

January 13, 1862 -
President Lincoln names Edwin M. Stanton Secretary of War on this date. He vigorously pursued the apprehension and prosecution of the conspirators involved in Lincoln's assassination. These proceedings were not handled by the civil courts, but by a military tribunal, and therefore under Stanton's supervision.

Stanton was appointed by President Grant to the Supreme Court, but he died four days after he was confirmed by the Senate, and taking the oath of office on his deathbed, set the record for shortest tenure on the Court.

January 13, 1900 -
To combat Czech nationalism, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary decrees German the official language of the Imperial Army on this date.

This causes all of the Esperanto schools in Austria-Hungarian Empire to close.

January 13, 1910 -
Lee De Forest, the American inventor of the vacuum tube, demonstrates the first radio broadcast, a live performance of Cavalleria Rusticana with Enrico Caruso from the Metropolitan Opera, on this date.

The broadcast over a telephone transmitter could be heard only by the small number of electronics hobbyists who had radio receivers or could squeeze into telephone booths. De Forest started regular nightly concerts in 1915, increasing interest in radio receivers, which at the time depended on the vacuum tubes manufactured by De Forest's company.

How convenient.

January 13, 1919 -
California voted to ratify the prohibition amendment on this date.

Much heavy drinking ensued.

January 13, 1957 -
Back in the 1920s, Yale students invented a game of catch by tossing around metal pie tins from the Frisbee Baking Company in nearby Bridgeport, Connecticut. Building inspector Fred Morrison puttered with and refined a plastic flying disc that he sold to WHAM-O (for $1 million, which bought a lot of pies back then) in 1955. The Wham-O Company produced the first Pluto Platter on this date.

Wham-O changed the name to Frisbee in 1958, upon hearing the Yale pie-tin story. (Mattel now owns the rights to Frisbee, which has become an American icon.)

January 13, 1962 -
Ernie Kovacs
was killed in an automobile accident when he lost control of his Chevrolet Corvair station wagon while turning fast. Crashing into a power pole at the corner of Beverly Glen and Santa Monica Boulevards, he was thrown halfway out the passenger side, dying almost instantly from chest and head injuries.

Kovacs may have lost control of the car while trying to light a cigar. A photographer managed to arrive moments later, and morbid images of Kovacs in death appeared in newspapers across the United States. An unlit cigar lay on the pavement, inches from his outstretched arm. (I'm not posting the photo - you Google it.)

Kids - smoking kills.

And so it goes.

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