World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. The member states of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. It draws global attention to the tobacco epidemic and to the preventable death and disease it causes.
It aims to reduce the 3.5 million yearly deaths from tobacco related health problems. From 1988 the WHO has presented one or more World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) Awards to organizations or individuals who have made exceptional contributions to reducing tobacco consumption.
May 31, 1980 -
Casablanca Records released the Steven Greenberg song, Funkytown, on this date.
Steven Greenburg became A&R Vice President for Mercury Records, signing Hanson, among other acts. Later he headed the S-Curve Records label signing the Baha Men and Joss Stone.
The first Seinfeld episode (referred to as episode #2 The Stakeout) created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld premiered on Thursday, May 31, 1990 on NBC-TV. The show often described as "about nothing" was not an immediate success.
After the pilot was shown, on July 5, 1989, a pickup by the NBC network did not seem likely and the show was actually offered to Fox, which declined to pick it up. However, Rick Ludwin, head of late night and special events for NBC, diverted money from his budget, and the next four episodes were filmed.
I wonder what ever happened to those guys?
Today in History:
May 31, 455 -
Petronius Maximus, emperor for less than three month, was having an extremely bad day. News reached Rome that Vandals were planning on sacking Rome (besides sodomy; sacking was the favorite pastime for Vandals.) The level headed Petronius attempted to organize an orderly evacuation of the Senate and his cronies. Panic, unfortunately set in and Petronius Maximus was completely abandoned by his bodyguard and entourage and was left to fend for himself.
As he rode out of the city on his own on , he was set upon by an angry mob who stoned him to death. His body was mutilated and flung into the Tiber.
Sometimes, it isn't every worth getting out of bed, even if you're the ruler of all the known world.
May 31, 1678 -
The lovely young Lady Godiva, aged 17, rode naked on horseback through Coventry, England, to protest the high tax rate established by her own husband, Earl Leofric of Mercia. Her protest worked and he lowered taxes.
While I can't say whether or not the Tea Party strongly endorse this type of civil disobedience, I'd like to remind the ladies out there that taxes are pretty damn high just about everywhere these days.
May 31, 1819 -
Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.
A great New Yorker and even greater poet, Walt Whitman was born on this date.
May 31, 1859 -
The iconic clock in the clock tower attached to the Palace at Westminister first began to keep time on this date.
The name Big Ben is often used to describe the tower or the clock but it's actually is the name of the carillon inside.
May 31, 1884 -
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, head of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, patented corn flakes on this date. The good doctor believed in a vegetarian diet and a regimen of exercise. The good doctor also believed in proper elimination. At his sanitarium, Kellogg made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could run 15 gallons of cold water through an unfortunate bowel in a matter of seconds.
Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt — half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema “thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service”. The yogurt served to replace the intestinal flora of the bowel, creating what Kellogg claimed was a squeaky clean intestine.
You'll never look at a carton of Activa the same way again.
May 31, 1889 -
Relentless rain and inadequate maintenance causes the South Fork Dam to fail, unleashing a 35-foot-high wall of water on Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
The wall of flood water grew at times to 60 feet high, tearing downhill at 40 miles per hour, leveling everything in its path and killing 2,209 people.
May 31, 1902 -
The Treaty of Vereeniging was signed on this date, canceling the Bore War for lack of interest.
May 31, 1963 -
Nun Nu Thanh Quang, a Buddhist monk, immolated himself on this date at the Dieu de Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam.
May 31, 1969 -
The National Legume Collective negotiated intensely all through the early part of 1969 with John Lennon and his new wife, Yoko Ono to record their new promotional song, Give Peas a Chance. The agreement ends abruptly when the organization actually heard Ms. Ono's voice.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono then decide not to waste the experience and record Give Peace a Chance, the first single recorded by a solo Beatle, from their hotel bed (not as a political statement as some have argued but because of the bloated feeling from eating a non-stop diet of peas for the past five months).
May 31, 1996 -
Timothy Leary died quietly in his sleep on this date, thereby failing his intended mission of killing himself live on the Internet.
On a brighter note, a longstanding Moody Blues prophecy was fulfilled.
And so it goes.