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Illjwamh

This Day In History

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On 7/7/2018 at 9:43 PM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1928 – Sliced bread is sold for the first time (on the inventor's 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.  This was the greatest thing since... since...  What was the greatest thing BEFORE sliced bread?

"The Internet may not be better than sex, but sliced bread is in serious trouble!"

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2008- A Dwarf and a Starfleet commander team up to make podcasts about WoW boss strats. Surely they have no idea what they're doing and will DIG themselves into the HOLE they can never get out of.

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July 09

1540 – King Henry VIII of England annuls his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.  Or as Mr VIII calls it, Friday.

1572 – Nineteen Catholics suffer martyrdom for their beliefs in the Dutch town of Gorkum.  Today no major religion believes in the Dutch town of Gorkum.

1609 – Bohemia is granted freedom of religion through the Letter of Majesty by the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II.  This leads to many Bohemians being unable to tell the difference between real life and fantasy.  As if they were caught in a landslide with no escape from reality.

1850 – U.S. President Zachary Taylor dies after eating raw fruit and iced milk at a Washington Monument fund raising party on Independence Day.  He is succeeded in office by Vice President Millard Fillmore.  When will people learn that Fruit and Milk can be dangerous?  Do yourself a favor and stick to junk food.

1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.  At least, on paper.  Actual full citizenship and due process for everyone is taking a bit longer.

1877 – The inaugural Wimbledon Championships begins.  Some neighbors complain about the racquet the athletes are raising.

1922 – Johnny Weissmuller swims the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the 'minute barrier'.  The stress would make this man go ape.

1962 – Starfish Prime tests the effects of a nuclear test at orbital altitudes.  How is this not a supervillain plot?

1981 – Donkey Kong is released in arcades.  How is this not a supervillain plot?

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1540 – King Henry VIII of England annuls his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.  Or as Mr VIII calls it, Friday.

Manners, Pharaoh. Mr. the Eighth. You of all people should know.

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On July 10 in History:

138 - Emperor Hadrian, the adopted son of Trajan (adopted son of Nerva), dies. He will be succeeded by his adopted son, Antoninus Pius. Nothing quite like keeping it in the family.

988 - Dublin is founded when an invading Norse king submits (and pays taxes) to the High King of Ireland. How can a city founding be so badass and so boring at the same time?

1086 - "What can a bunch of angry peasants possibly do to me?" ~Canute IV of Denmark's last words, probably.

1212 - Most of London burns to the ground. This is not a unique a occurrence.

1553 - Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed Queen of England and Ireland, and goes to the Tower of London to await her coronation. This will prove to be a bad idea.

1778 - Louis XVI of France, while having no real interest in the creation or success of an independent republic in the New World (or the old, for that matter), nevertheless decide that he just REALLY doesn't like Great Britain.

1940 - The French Third Republic, now in Vichy, votes itself out of existence. Punchline redacted.

1962 - The fist Telstar satellite is launched, because what's the point in watching news from other countries if you can't watch it live?

1991 - Now that South Africa treats black people as real humans, they are allowed to play cricket internationally again. At least some of the remaining racists grudgingly admit to being happy about this.

2017 - Mosul is officially liberated from the so-called Islamic State. How's that glorious eternal caliphate thing workin' out?

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July 11

472 – After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius is captured in St. Peter's Basilica and put to death.  This lesson in history would not be ignored.

813 – Byzantine emperor Michael I, under threat by conspiracies, abdicates in favor of his general Leo the Armenian, and becomes a monk (under the name Athanasius).  It is possible to learn from the mistakes of others.  Losing power does not necessarily need to mean losing your life.

1796 – The United States takes possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty. What a lousy trick those lousy limey #@^%*(%$ pulled on a young nation.  And you know they won't take it back.

1804 – A duel occurs in which the Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.  Politics can be so much simpler.

1893 – The first cultured pearl is obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto.  Uncultured pearls are a symptom of an educational system that does not provide adequate opportunities for mollusks.

1895 – Brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière demonstrate movie film technology to scientists.  Movie night for the lab techs is a well established tradition.

1921 – Former President of the United States William Howard Taft is sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person ever to hold both offices.  He is also the heaviest person to hold both offices.  He's a complicated man and no one understands him but his court stenographer.  They say this Taft is one bad mother...

1924 – Eric Liddell won the gold medal in 400m at the 1924 Paris Olympics, after refusing to run in the heats for 100m, his favoured distance, on Sunday.  Of course he won.  Everyone else was running while he was driving an Chariot of Fire.

1979 – America's first space station, Skylab, is destroyed as it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere mostly over the Indian Ocean.  A 4% error in re-entry navigation calculations causes some large debris to land in Western Australia.  The Shire of Esperance gave NASA a $400 citation for littering.

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Ha! I had one done for the 11th, too. Let's see how much of it matches up.

On July 11 in History:

472 - Western emperor Anthemius is captured and put to death in St. Peter's Basililca, which is totally what the place was designed for.

1174 - Baldwin IV, a 13 year-old leper, becomes king of Jerusalem. Savvy observers might have considered this foreshadowing.

1405 - Zheng He sets off on his first expedition to explore the world, beating the Europeans to the punch by nearly a hundred years. The only reason we're not all speaking Mandarin is because the ruling conservatives of the time felt colonies were "un-Chinese", since how could one worship one's ancestors in a land where they did not live? There's no joke there; I just find it interesting.

1750 - Halifax is destroyed in a fire. All nine houses.

1796 - The United States takes Detroit from Great Britain as part of the Jay Treaty. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

1804 - U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr kills Secretary of the Treasury and founding father Alexander Hamilton in a duel. More people are aware of this due to a milk commercial than to history books.

1889 - Tijuana is founded. No one remembers how; they just woke up the next day hungover and there was a town there.

1921 - Former U.S. President William H. Taft is sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He would thereafter swear in all successors to his old job, though he would be required to resist smirking while doing so.

1960 - To Kill a Mockingbird is published, thereby reducing the number of Charles Dickens novels on the American high school curriculum by one.

1977 - Martin Luther King Jr. receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously. Apparently the nine years since his assassination had been spent debating what color ribbon should go on it.

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July 12

100 BC – Birth of Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman politician and general.  Historians, please ink your quills.

1543 –  At Hampton Court Palace, Catherine Parr maries the third of her four husbands, King Henry VIII of England.  She would outlive Mr VIII by a year, dying after she married Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, and brother of Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour.  Were there only a dozen people residing in sixteenth century England?

1776 – Captain James Cook begins his third voyage.  Britain's rebellious colonies across the Atlantic have just declared their independence, and the British Admiralty orders their best Captain to an exploration mission in the Pacific?  Something does not add up.

1806 – Sixteen German imperial states leave the Holy Roman Empire and form the Confederation of the Rhine.  Giving up their nominal status as vassals of the Pope and their practical status as vassals of Prussia, the princes ruling these sixteen small states bravely become vassals of Napoleon.

1962 – The Rolling Stones perform their first concert, at London's Marquee Club.  Keith Richards begins his experiments in modern mummification techniques about the same time.

1973 – A fire destroys the entire sixth floor of the National Personnel Records Center of the United States.  The US is leaving a war it can not win and the US President is under investigation.  Suddenly a third of all the personnel records of the US Military are "accidentally" damaged or destroyed?

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1973 – A fire destroys the entire sixth floor of the National Personnel Records Center of the United States.  The US is leaving a war it can not win and the US President is under investigation.  Suddenly a third of all the personnel records of the US Military are "accidentally" damaged or destroyed?

Big talk from the Pharaoh who lost the entire Library of Alexandria. Precisely what was it that was so sensitive that you had to burn the darn place to cover it up?

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21 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

what was it that was so sensitive that you had to burn the darn place to cover it up?

Those librarians were RUTHLESS when it came to collecting overdue fines.

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7 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Those librarians were RUTHLESS when it came to collecting overdue fines.

Your own fault for forgetting to return the Obelisk of Akhenaten when you were done reading it.

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July 13

1573 – Eighty Years' War: The Siege of Haarlem ends after seven months.  North-east Manhattan would never be the same.

1878 – Treaty of Berlin: The European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania become completely independent of the Ottoman Empire.  No more elevating their feet while sitting.  From now on, the people of the Balkans can keep their feet on the floor like everyone else.

1940 – The birth of good taste as actor Patrick Stewart and Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme are both born on the same day.

1956 – The Dartmouth workshop is the first conference on artificial intelligence.  Someone is finally doing something about the lack of genuine intelligence in the world.

1973 – Alexander Butterfield reveals the existence of the "Nixon tapes" to the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate break-in.  A highly secure facility like the White House may be recording what people say and do while there?  Ridiculous!

1985 – Vice President George H. W. Bush becomes the Acting President for the day when President Ronald Reagan undergoes surgery to remove polyps from his colon.  Is this really something that needs to be announced as news and recorded as history?

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On July 14 in history:

664 - King Eorcenberht of Kent dies. I don't really have much to say about him, but his name is amazing. Just take a moment and say it out loud. "Eorcenberht."

1223 - Louis VIII "The Lion" becomes king of France. He'll only rule for a few years before being succeeded by his creatively named son, Louis.

1769 - Gaspar de Portolá sets out on an expedition from San Diego to...somewhere. He'll eventually get to what we know as San Francisco, and name a bunch of stuff on the way there. Later English-speaking residents will adopt many of these names, and mispronounce them in amusing fashions.

1789 - The citizens of Paris, having quite enough of the King's bullshit, storm a big prison in the middle of the city. They don't really care who's being held in there; they just want to raid the armory. Nevertheless, the Revolution sets off to an inauspicious beginning when, after surrendering, the prison's commander and several of his officers are still brutally killed. "Stick it to the man" is supposed to be metaphorical, guys.

1798 - The Sedition Act makes it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government. No, really, this was a thing. What's that First Amendment, again?

1874 - The Chicago fire (not the "Great" one - another one) burns a shit ton of stuff and kills a lot of people. It is not remorse, or civic responsibility, or public outcry that leads to reform afterwards, but the complaints of the fire insurance industry. Ah, capitalism.

1911 - Harry Atwood, flying for the Wright brothers, lands a plane on the south lawn of the White House and is lauded. Today, he'd be swarmed by the Secret Service and arrested or shot. You know, assuming they weren't all off watching porn or something.

1933 - All political parties in Germany save the Nazi party are outlawed. I dunno; I feel like this might be some kind of a red flag.

1969 - The U.S. decides that any bank note larger that $100 is, quite frankly, a little ostentatious.

1976 - The Canadian government decides to stop killing people. Well, captive criminals, anyway. Baby steps.

2015 - New Horizons flies by Pluto for the first time. We've now "been to" every planet in the...oh, sorry, Pluto.

2016 - Some douchebag drives a truck into Bastille Day celebrations in southern France, killing over 80 people. This is why we can't have Nice things.

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On July 15 in History:

70 - "OH YEAH!" ~Titus, on breaking through the walls of Jerusalem. Probably.

1099 - Christian crusaders take the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. No Kool-Aid this time, sadly.

1149 - After fifty years, reconstruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is complete. "Enjoy it while you can," says Saladin.

1207 - King John of England kicks out all of Canterbury's monks for supporting Stephen Langton, proving that the only thing he learned from his father was how to feud with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

1240 - Prince Alexander of Novgorod kicks some serious Swedish butt at the Battle of the Neva, and is rewarded with a sweet nickname.

1799 - A stone is found by army engineers under Napoleon in the Egyptian town of Rosetta. As a direct result, we are now able to read about all the weird shit ancient Egyptians were into.

1815 - Twenty-six years and one day after the storming of the Bastille, Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders on board the HMS Bellerophon. All of Europe collectively decides to take a break for a little while.

1834 - Nobody expects the end of the Spanish Inquisition!

1838 - Ralph Waldo Emerson gives a speech at Harvard Divinity School, where he says (among other things) that Jesus was a great man, but not a god. "Rabble! Rabble rabble rabble rabble!" responds the Protestant community.

1870 - The state of Georgia is finally allowed to come back into the clubhouse, the last of the former Confederate states to do so. They do not, however, quit sulking.

1904 - Anton Chekhov dies. He should have seen this coming after talking to that guy with tuberculosis in Act II.

2003 - Netscape is disbanded by AOL Time Warner. From the ashes rises the Mozilla Foundation, giving a flaming middle finger to the communications giant in the process.

2006 - Twitter is launched. I don’t see it catching on, honestly. The character limit makes no sense. I have a lot more I’d like to say, but unfort

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July 16

1054 – Three Papal Legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy.  Dividing the Church by interrupting services?  And without a properly issued order from Rome?  Why must schisms be so sloppy?

1790 – The District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.  This is why the most important person in Washington is the Resident of the United States.

1935 – The world's first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Insert coin and turn knob.  Return and repeat every hour.  Or if you don't want to pay the quarter now, you could have your car ticketed, booted, towed, and impounded.  Then face a judge or another court officer before paying a fine and fees that are significantly more than the quarter you couldn't bother paying in the first place.

1941 – Joe DiMaggio hits safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as an MLB record.  He would be on the All Star Team in thirteen seasons and be named MVP three times.  With the Yankees, he would win nine World Series and ten American League Pennants.  He would marry Marilyn Monroe.  And generations of Americans would know him best as the spokesperson for Mr Coffee brand Coffee Makers.

1945 – Manhattan Project: The United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico.  Reactions to the event continue to be mixed.

1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11 is launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida.  With less than half a year before Kennedy's deadline, they better get this one right.

2013 – As many as 27 children die and 25 others are hospitalized after eating lunch served at their school in eastern India.  What elementary student hasn't suspected this to be possible since the first School Lunch was served?

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1054 – Three Papal Legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy.  Dividing the Church by interrupting services?  And without a properly issued order from Rome?  Why must schisms be so sloppy?

And besides, think of all the upset the bull must have caused when they brought it into the church. Really. Bulls do not belong in churches.

ME6ol9E.jpg

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Bulls and cows are great for indoor pranks, because they're fairly willing to go up stairs, but almost impossible to get to go down stairs.  Especially in the days before elevators and ADA access, this meant you could lead a cow up to, say, the Dean's office, leave them fresh water and hay, and make good your escape, long before the Dean or their staff arrives in the morning....

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2 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Bulls and cows are great for indoor pranks, because they're fairly willing to go up stairs, but almost impossible to get to go down stairs.  Especially in the days before elevators and ADA access, this meant you could lead a cow up to, say, the Dean's office, leave them fresh water and hay, and make good your escape, long before the Dean or their staff arrives in the morning....

Indeed. Terry Pratchett put this to good use in Jingo. At one point a rather befuddled donkey entered a minaret, thinking there might be food in there. Eventually it found itself at the top and started to voice its displeasure at failing to find anything whatsoever either potable or consumable. The disguised Lord Vetinari amazed everybody by convincing the animal to follow him down and in the confusion made off with a very useful flying carpet as well as the rather more poorly disguised Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs. Lord Vetinari did not disclose the exact method of persuasion he used on the donkey except to say that if one has hold of one's subjects by their genitals, their hearts and minds would usually follow.

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July 17

1429 – Hundred Years' War: Charles VII of France is crowned the King of France in the Reims Cathedral after a successful campaign by Joan of Arc.  I'm certain King Charles will remember his gratitude to the Maid of Orleans if she is ever in distress.

1717 – King George I of Great Britain sails down the River Thames with a barge of 50 musicians, where George Frideric Handel's Water Music is premiered.  It is well known that King George greatly enjoyed the work of GF Handel.  But apparently he thought it was acceptable to treat other musicians like freight by loading them on barges.

1902 – Willis Carrier creates the first air conditioner in Buffalo, New York.  Why has this man not been Canonized?

1917 – King George V issues a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British Royal Family will bear the surname Windsor.  As Sophia of Hanover was a descendant of King James VI & I, they could have reclaimed the Stuart name.  But instead chose to name the family for the old castle outside London where they liked to spend the weekends.  Meanwhile, an Ontario city just north of Lake Erie for a moment is allowed to believe it could become known as something other than Detroit's Canadian Suburb.

1918 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers are executed by Bolshevik Chekists at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia.  This was after the Tsar had already been forced to abdicate.  And the character assassination of Nicholas would be continued by the historians of the Soviet Union.  Apparently, the Revolutionaries remembered the lesson of Rasputin and were determined to make sure the last Tsar died and would stay dead.

1918 – The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; five lives are lost.  Apparently Karma doesn't provide protection from three torpedoes.

1938 – After flying from Long Beach, CA to New York, Douglas Corrigan files a flight plan to return to Long Beach.  He then took off from Brooklyn only to fly the "wrong way" to Ireland.  Thus becoming known as "Wrong Way" Corrigan.  For the rest of his life, this experienced aircraft pilot, builder, and mechanic, who had modified his plane for a trans-Atlantic flight, continued to claim his misreading of the compass was completely accidental.

1944 – World War II: At Sainte-Foy-de-Montgommery. in Normandy Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was strafed by allied aircraft while returning to his headquarters.  The Field Marshal's death in a few months were a result of these wounds.  Certainly not because someone accused of trying to kill Hitler implicated Rommel in the plot, forcing the Marshal to commit suicide to protect the rest of his family.

1945 – World War II: The main three leaders of the Allied nations, Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin, meet in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany and set the terms for the surrender of Japan.  They are able to reach a workable, if not ideal, solution.  This would not be a common occurrence in the future.  Both the Americans and Soviets found it more useful to treat each other like  suspicious monsters for the next forty years rather than seriously negotiate.

1955 – Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.  A Mickey Mouse operation if ever there was one.

1962 – Nuclear weapons testing: The "Small Boy" test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada National Security Site.  This was a test of a Nuclear Warhead in an Artillery Shell.  Apparently the AEC could not find volunteers to throw Nuclear Hand Grenades.

1975 – Apollo–Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.  The spacecraft designed to go to the moon is asked to traverse an even wider gap.

1976 – The opening of the Summer Olympics in Montreal is marred by 25 African teams boycotting the games because of New Zealand's participation. Contrary to rulings by other international sports organizations, the IOC had declined to exclude New Zealand because of their participation in South African sporting events during apartheid.  This became the first of the boycotted Olympics.  Because the Olympic Games should be known for political grandstanding and not the athletic achievements of people like Nadia Comăneci.

1984 – The national drinking age in the United States was changed from 18 to 21.  Technically, the legal age to purchase alcohol is still a state matter. But if the state does not enforce the federal mandated minimum of 21, that state's Federal Transportation Budget will be cut.  Very subtle way around separation of powers.

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Not a good day for Rome.

On July 18 in history:

477 BCE - A Roman army is ambushed and defeated by Etruscans at the Battle of the Cremera. It's okay; they're still just getting their footing. I mean, they still have a king, for crying out loud.

390 BCE - A Roman army is defeated at the Battle of the Allia by an army of Gauls, who then sack the city of Rome. Yeesh, get it together over there.

64 - The Great Fire of Rome ignites. It lasts for six days and destroys half the city. No fiddling emperors were harmed, though depending on whom you ask, Nero either started it, or worked to contain it and provide relief for victims and refugees. That's a fairly wide margin of error.

452 - Atilla the Hun lays siege to the Roman city of Aquileia and destroys it beyond recognition. Oh, come on. Romans must to this day shit their pants when they see July 18 coming up on the calendar.

1290 - Edward the First of England banishes all Jews from his kingdom. Just to make sure he was being as big a dick as possible about it, he waited until Tisha B'Av, which is a fast day on the Hebrew calendar commemorating the various calamities and misfortunes that have befallen their people.

1389 - France and England decide to take a break from a century of war. It lasts for 13 years - coincidentally just long enough for a new generation of soldiers to grow up.

1841 - The coronation of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil. That's right; the SECOND. You didn't know Brazil had emperors, did you?

1870 - The Vatican declares that the Pope is infallible. Like, starting now. Anything before now? Doesn't count.

1925 - Some emo Austrian dude publishes a book he wrote in prison about how his life is so hard. What a douche.

1984 - A man opens fire in a McDonald's in San Diego, killing 21 people and injuring 19 more. A horrified nation bands together to enact common sense legislation to ensure such a despicable act will never happen again. That was supposed to be funny, but I've made myself sad.

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On July 19 in History:

64 - The Great Fire of Rome begins (or was it yesterday?), and will last for six days. I'm being told that Nero secretly ordered it, and watched while playing the lyre. No wait, he openly ordered it and watched while playing the lyre. Hang on, this says he openly ordered it and watched while playing the lyre somewhere else. Now I'm being told that it was the Christians, but they're actually just a scapegoat to cover up that Nero ordered it and may or may not have played the lyre. And THIS one says it was an accident and he wasn't even in the city. Gah! It's that bloody fifth dentist again!

711 - The Visigoth king Roderic is killed by victorious Umayyad invaders at the Battle of Guadalete, during what I am very cleverly calling the Conquista.

1553 - The Privy Council of England to Lady Jane Grey: "Lol, J/K, you're not the queen. Go ahead and stay in that tower, though."

1702 - A massive Polish and Saxon army with a strategically defensive position gets its ass handed to it by a force half its size of Charles XII's Swedes at the Battle of Klissow.. Serious consideration is given to renaming Saxon leader Augustus II "The Strong" to Flebilus "The Total Loser". Yes, I made a Latin joke. Look it up.

1870 - France, perhaps fearing a unified Germany under Prussian rule, declares war on Prussia, directly resulting in a unified Germany under Prussian rule.

1952 - The summer Olympics kick off in Helsinki, Finland. Because when I think summer sports, I think Finland.

1976 - Benedict Cumberbatch is born. His parents reason, "His name is already 'Cumberbatch.' In for a penny, in for a pound?"

1980 - Summer Olympics again, this time in Moscow. The U.S. and 65 other countries don't go, because they don't like that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. "Fine!" they say. "We'll just have our own games! With blackjack! And hookers! You know what, forget the games!"

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On July 20 in History:

325 BCE - Alexander the Great is born. Legend says he was conceived when Zeus threw a thunderbolt directly into his mother's uterus. I'm not making that up, by the way.

1304 - Edward Longshanks takes Stirling Castle in Scotland by means of the War Wolf, supposedly the largest trebuchet ever built. The 30 defending Scots, whose refusal to surrender was the source of Edward's frustration leading to the construction of the War Wolf, tried to give up when they saw it being built. Edward said, "Too late, bitches. You made me build this thing; I'm gonna effing use it. Come back after I smash your puny wall." I might be paraphrasing.

1779 - Tekle Giyorgis I becomes emperor of Ethiopia. Over the next 21 years, this would happen to him four more times. Makes the War of the Roses seem almost trivial, doesn't it?

1903 - The Ford Motor Company ships its first car. Also presumably its second, third, etc.. I can't see them building success by shipping only one car at a time.

1932 - The Bonus Expeditionary Force, a group of out-of-work veterans, march on Washington to demand payment on their service certificates, which for some reason had been deferred until 1945. Instead of doing this, the government and police thought it would be a good idea to fire tear gas into a group of WWI veterans, many of whom probably had PTSD. Gas. Think about that for a second.

1940 - Denmark leaves the League of Nations. Bet they're kicking themselves now, eh? Eh?

1944 - Adolf Hitler survives the assassination attempt known as Operation Valkyrie. This sounds impressive, even without a Tom Cruise movie, but in reality this is like Tuesday for Hitler.

1949 - Israel and Syria sign a truce, ending their 19 month war. It lasts forever.

1960 - The world's first elected female head of government is in...Sri Lanka? What, seriously? Get with the program, Western civilization.

1969 - Neil Armstrong botches a simple and carefully rehearsed line, causing one of the greatest achievements in human history to forever be associated with a phrase that doesn't make any sense.

1976 - Viking I lands on Mars. I think the fact that they timed it to coincide with the anniversary of the Moon Landing is as impressive as getting it there in the first place.

1977 - The CIA releases documents that show it had undertaken various experiments in mind control. This would be terrifying if it weren't hilarious.

1997 - The USS Constitution sets sail under its own power for the first time in 116 years. We can only hope we're as spry on our 200th birthdays.

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