Sunday, January 28, 2018


Serendipity - the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.

The word derives from an old Persian fairy tale and was coined by Horace Walpole on January 28, 1754 in a letter he wrote to his friend Horace Mann (not the same man as the famed American educator).

This should not be confused with Synchronicity - which is an album by the Police (but that's another story).

January 28, 1953 -
J. Fred Muggs joined NBC's Today Show on this date.

Please note: the more intelligent looking fellow standing on the desk is Mr. Muggs

January 28, 1973 -
Barnaby Jones
, starring Buddy Ebsen, premieres on CBS-TV, on this date.

Shortly after the cancellation of The Beverly Hillbillies, Buddy Ebsen was Quinn Martin's first choice for the lead role in the show, he accepted it.

January 28, 1978 -
Fantasy Island
, starring Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize, debuted on ABC-TV on this date.

The waterfall seen during the opening sequences is the real-life Wailua Falls in Kauai, Hawaii.

Things no one ever though about

Today in History:
January 28, 814 -
First Reich
: Charlemagne, German emperor, dies at the age of 71 on this date.

Though he had conquered much of Europe, his legacy was considerably reduced after his death from mismanagement and incompetence.

Coincidentally, The Siege of Paris, lasting from September 19, 1870 until January 28, 1871, bringing about French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and led to the establishment of the German Empire (Second Reich).

Due to a severe shortage of food, Parisians were forced to slaughter whatever animals at hand. Rats, dogs, cats, and horses were regular fare on restaurant menus.

* Consommé de Cheval au millet. (horse)
* Brochettes de foie de Chien à la maître d'hôtel. (dog)
* Emincé de rable de Chat. Sauce mayonnaise. (cat)
* Epaules et filets de Chien braisés. Sauce aux tomates. (dog)
* Civet de Chat aux Champignons. (cat)
* Côtelettes de Chien aux petits pois. (dog)
* Salmis de Rats. Sauce Robert. (rats)
* Gigots de chien flanqués de ratons. Sauce poivrade. (rats)
* Begonias au jus. (flowers)
* Plum-pudding au rhum et à la Moelle de Cheval. (horse)

Even Pollux and Castor, the only pair of elephants in Paris, were not spared.

January 28, 1813 -
Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice was published by Thomas Egerton in the United Kingdom on this date.

Austen didn’t put her name on her novels, and would only say they were “By a Lady.” The title page of Pride and Prejudice said, “by the author of Sense and Sensibility.” It wasn’t until after her death that her brother revealed her name to the public.

January 28, 1829 -
In Scotland, serial killer William Burke was hanged for murder following a scandal in which he was found to have provided extra-fresh corpses for anatomy schools in Edinburgh. His partner William Hare had turned king's witness.

If only he had gone for the less fresh corpses. The scandal led to the 1832 Anatomy Act.

January 28, 1896 -

January 28, 1915 -
The Coast Guard was formed with the merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Life-Saving Service on this date, as an organization under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. They were originally intended to crack down on piracy while helping people out as a side interest.

Their services were later incorporated the US Lighthouse Service, and was itself incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.

January 28, 1921 -
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was installed under the Arc de Triomphe on this date. The tomb was dedicated to the French soldiers who had died in World War I.

It has remained a popular tourist spot both for French citizens and international visitors to Paris. Jacqueline Kennedy was inspired by her visit with her late husband, President Kennedy to the Arc de Triomphe in 1961, to request that an eternal flame, much like the one she had seen at the Tomb, to be placed at her husband's grave, in 1963.

January 28, 1958 -
Those damn little toys that you step on in the middle of the night became legal today.

The Lego company patented their design of modern Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.

January 28, 1958 -
Bizarrely on the same day, Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella's career ended when he lost control of his car on a slick highway.

He became a paraplegic and was confined to a wheelchair the remainder of his life.

January 28, 1977 -
Star of TV's Chico and the Man, Freddie Prinze has a violent allergic reaction to lead on this date.

Despondent over his upcoming divorce and battling a major drug addiction, Prinze, shot himself in the head days earlier, died on this day. He was 22 years old.

January 28, 1986 -
The Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated 74 seconds into its flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe and the rest of the crew. Their capsule plunged intact into the ocean, pulverizing everyone on impact, making a rescue attempt difficult, if not impossible.

The cause was later found to be failure of a booster rocket O-rings because of the cold weather.

Moral: Avoid rocket travel this week, if possible.

And so it goes.


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