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This Day In History

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On 9/15/2018 at 11:25 PM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

16 September

1893 – Settlers make a land run for prime land in the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma.  This is the fourth and largest of the Oklahoma homesteading land runs.  And once again "Sooners", or settlers entering the designated territory before the event officially began, claim much of the best land.  A majority of the legitimate participants were unable to secure claims for  themselves.

Ah, so that's why Oklahoma the Sooner State!  It's officially named for their cheating the system!

On 9/15/2018 at 11:25 PM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1945 – World War II: The Japanese occupation of Hong Kong comes to an end.  Is it possible they some how didn't get word that the rest of the Japanese Empire had already surrendered two weeks ago?

Well, that didn't last that long, they've already reclaimed Hong Kong!

On 9/17/2018 at 11:30 PM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:


1927 – The Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the air.  Despite what the name may suggest this is an English language radio, and later television, network operating in the USA.

"Columbia" was our national symbol in untold editorial cartoons and elsewhere from the early days of the USA.  That "Uncle Sam" is just an upstart usurper!

On 9/17/2018 at 11:30 PM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1943 – World War II: Adolf Hitler orders the deportation of Danish Jews.  The orders didn't specify neutral Sweden as the destination.  But somehow that is where most of them went.

TOH, thank you for sharing your poignant story with us!

Here's the SatW version of these events!

On 9/19/2018 at 7:22 AM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1982 – The Death of Language – Scott Fahlman posts the first documented emoticons :-) and :-( on the Carnegie Mellon University bulletin board system.  :(

Actually, Abraham Lincoln put a classic colon-closed parentheis in his notes for a speech.

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Just now, CritterKeeper said:

Well, that didn't last that long, they've already reclaimed Hong Kong!

I thought that was China?

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7 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

1991 - They brought in the experts from medical college

I still think it was something he ate.  Green Eggs and Ham, perhaps?

But more to the point, you missed a big one for 24 September

1936 – Birth of the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational Jim Henson.

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On Sept. 25 in History:

1066 - At the village of Stamford Bridge, literally one viking berserker holds off the entire English army by himself until someone snuck under the bridge with a spear and stabbed him in the balls. For want of a scrotum, England could have been part of Norway.

1237 - Via the Treaty of York, England and Scotland agree on their common border. The two countries never fight again.

1573 - Vasco Núñez de Balboa is the first European to set eyes on the Pacific Ocean. That's right; not a single one of his men saw it before he did. In fact, what men? Balboa rolls on his own. He named it the Pacific because of how peaceful it was. Farther out, islanders being pummeled by typhoons would have laughed if they weren't all drowning.

1789 - The U.S. Congress passes the Bill of Rights, because laying out the fundamental rights of all citizens and the official limitations of federal power was such a minor detail that just slipped the minds of the Constitution's original framers.

1942 - Switzerland says that Jews fleeing the Holocaust can't come in, because they don't count as "political" refugees. Yeah. That happened. Isn't it nice that we have all these lessons from history that we've learned not to repeat?

1957 - The U.S. Army is deployed in Arkansas. Not to quash an insurgency, not to repel an invasion, not even to assist after a natural disaster. They are sent to deal with some very fine people so some kids can go to school.

1974 - The first Tommy John Surgery, replacing the ulnar collateral ligament (a thing in your elbow), is performed on, of all people, a baseball pitcher named Tommy John. What are the odds?

1983 - Donald Glover is born. Several Emmy, er, Grammy, er, Golden Globe, er...several award statuettes are prepared in advance.

2005 - Don Adams dies, presumably after Dr. Claw finally caught up with him. The old spend-five-decades-on-television-worming-your-way-into-our-hearts-by-your-hilarious-portrayal-of-beloved-characters-before-making-a-dignified-exit-by-quoting-a-line-from-your-own-show trick.

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26 September

46 BC – Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to Venus Genetrix, fulfilling a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus.  Nothing like making a grand symbolic gesture for religion that happens to celebrate your own ancestor and puts your name next to the gods.

1087 – William II is crowned King of England, and reigns until 1100.  Billy is the first monarch for England to make the Roman Numerals an official part of the name, starting a tradition that would be emulated by future British Monarchs, Olympic Games, Super Bowls, and Rocky Sequels.

1687 – The Parthenon in Athens is partially destroyed during the Morean War.  This is the sixth war between the Ottomans and the Venetians.  In an attempt to make the rest of the world look at their conflict as something other than a fight between footstools and window blinds, they start a Greece fire which damages the biggest tourist attraction in Athens.

1777 – American Revolution: British troops occupy Philadelphia.  Because nothing says "Brotherly Love" like a military encampment.

1792 – Marc-David Lasource begins accusing Maximilien Robespierre of wanting a dictatorship for France.  Spoiler Alert:  France would get a dictatorship.  But neither Monsieur Lasource nor Robespierre would survive to see it.

1888 – T. S. Eliot, English poet, playwright, critic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1965)  A human who dared to reveal the Truth about cats.

1905 – Albert Einstein introduces the special theory of relativity in the Annalen der Physik scientific journal.  The third of his four Annus Mirabilis papers.  Does the Swiss Patent Office realize that this clerk seems to have a lot of time on his hands?

1907 – Four months after the 1907 Imperial Conference, New Zealand and Newfoundland are promoted from colonies to dominions within the British Empire.  Newfoundland is eventually incorporated into its big neighbor, Canada.  This does not surprise anyone.  New Zealand somehow resists incorporation with Australia, despite being compelled to share a unified Olympic team in 1908 and 1912.

1953 – Rationing of sugar in the United Kingdom ends  Britain was in the war for six years, and the sugar ration only lasted another eight years after that.

1960 – In Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  This does not go well for the Vice President.

1969 – Abbey Road, the last recorded album by The Beatles, is released.  Without any new material to be released, the Beatles are sure to be quickly forgotten.

1973 – Concorde makes its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time.  Cramped and expensive.  The only advantage it gave in trans Atlantic travel was cutting the time from New York or DC to Paris or London in half.  And unlike the wide bodied subsonic jumbo jets, it could only fly from New York or DC to Paris or London.

1977 – The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant opens for official usage, the first nuclear power plant in the (then) Ukrainian SSR.  Peaceful, clean, and safe nuclear power.

1983 – Soviet Air Force officer Stanislav Petrov identifies a report of an incoming nuclear missile as a computer error and not an American first strike.  Thank you Comrade Petrov.

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27 September

1066 – William the Conqueror and his army set sail from the mouth of the Somme river, beginning the Norman conquest of England.  This is only a matter of days after Longshanks defeated the invading Norse army.  Anyone else lining up to take Britain by force this year?

1590 – Death of Pope Urban VII.  At 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, his reign would be the shortest papacy in history.  A record that future Popes are unlikely to attempt breaking deliberately.

1791 – The National Assembly votes to award full citizenship to Jews in France.  Considering how rapidly citizens are being executed in Revolutionary France, it is surprising that the Jews accepted the invitation.

1822 – Jean-François Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta Stone.  Remember, it's "Eye of Horus before Eagle, except after Cleopatra".

1940 – World War II: The Tripartite Pact is signed in Berlin by Germany, Japan and Italy.  This made a very convenient way for the rest of the world to define the "Bad Guys".

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28 September

551 BC – Birth of Confucius, Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history.  And the indispensable ingredient of Fortune Cookies.  In later centuries, several places with significant Chinese heritage would observe this as "Teacher's Day".  But not China itself.

48 BC – Pompey is assassinated by order of King Ptolemy upon arriving in Egypt.  Getting involved with an internal war in Rome?  How many ways can that go wrong for Egypt?

235 – Pope Pontian resigns when the Emperor exiles him to the mines of Sardinia, along with Hippolytus of Rome.  By resigning, Pontian ends an early Christian schism and allows the Roman congregation to chose a new Bishop, rather than making them wait for the official news of his demise.  Imagine, a religious leader more concerned with the well being of his congregation than in preserving or asserting his spiritual and temporal authority.  This could set a dangerous precedent.

365 – Roman usurper Procopius bribes two legions passing by Constantinople, and proclaims himself emperor.  Ok, how little are you paying yourarmies that someone throwing around a little silver and gold can make two Legions turn against their own capitol?

935 – Duke Wenceslaus I of Bohemia is murdered by a group of nobles led by his brother Boleslaus I, who succeeds him.  Wenceslaus would posthumously be promoted to King, be declared a Martyr and a Saint, and become known in song and story as Good King Wenceslaus.  Meanwhile, Boleslav I, aka,  Boleslaus I the Cruel, despite being complicit in fratricide would inherit his brother's throne and go on to be regarded as one of the better rulers of Bohemia.  Is this the real life?  Is this just fantasy?

1781 – American Revolution: American forces backed by a French fleet begin the siege of Yorktown.  Those American rebels might actually have a chance at this point.

1889 – The General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) defines the length of a meter.  So all you need to be certain of a meter's length is an official bar made of 90% Platinum and 10% Iridium held at the melting point of water.

1895 – Death of Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist.  Apparently pasteurization can not preserve things forever.  But the anniversary of his death would be remembered as World Rabies Day.

1928 – Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory.  Most lab technicians and many scientists would, upon noticing a mold contaminated petri dish, throw the sample out.  But Fleming takes a closer look, discovering what later became known as penicillin.  The lesson here is never throw out the moldy stuff.  It still might be good for something.


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29 September

1011 – Danes capture Canterbury after a siege, taking Ælfheah, archbishop of Canterbury, as a prisoner.  Ælfheah refuses ransom and dies as a captive of the Vikings.  What makes the Archbishop of Canterbury such a compelling target?

1789 – The 1st United States Congress adjourns.  Unfortunately, they're back at it in January.

1864 – The Treaty of Lisbon defines the boundaries between Spain and Portugal and abolishes the Couto Misto microstate.  A microstate on the border between two hostile power can be a potential diplomatic tool for either or both.  A microstate on the border between two powers that have resolved their differences is a chunk of territory just waiting to be claimed by one or the other, if not divided between both.

1907 – The cornerstone is laid at Washington National Cathedral in the U.S. capital.  This could take a while...

1923 – The First American Track & Field championships for women are held.  Women in America could vote since 1920.  They could run for office, but they could not RUN?

1988 – NASA launches STS-26, the first mission since the Challenger disaster.  No doubts about the courage and dedication of the Space Shuttle flight crews.  Considerable questions about the Space Shuttle designers and administrators and the politicians who appointed them.

1990 – Construction of the Washington National Cathedral is completed.  Even with 20th Century construction techniques, 67 years is pretty good time in the field of Cathedral Construction.

Also, according to the World Heart Federation, 29 September is "World Heart Day".  If I only had one...


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3 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

1011 – Danes capture Canterbury after a siege, taking Ælfheah, archbishop of Canterbury, as a prisoner.  Ælfheah refuses ransom and dies as a captive of the Vikings.  What makes the Archbishop of Canterbury such a compelling target?

Danes love tall tales. Clearly they wanted to hear the Canterbury Tales. It's not their fault that they were a bit early.

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On September 30 in History:

489 - King of Italy Theoderic the Great (a Goth) kicks the crap out of King of Italy Odoacer (a German) at the Battle of Verona. It makes sense in context.

1399 - Henry Bolingbroke becomes Henry IV of England. A Plantagenet, his coronation marks the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. It makes sense in context.

1520 - Suleiman I becomes sultan of the Ottoman Empire. For the occasion, he dons a Magnificent onion hat.

1791 - The French National Constituent Assembly is dissolved. It will be replaced tomorrow by the National Legislative Assembly, but nobody from the NCA will be allowed in. One can only imagine how folks who only recently joined must feel.

1915 - Serbian Radoje Ljutovac becomes the first person in the world to shoot down a plane from the ground - a story his grandchildren have no doubt heard several thousand times.

1927 - Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs in one season. It's worth noting that seasons were shorter back then and steroids weren't a thing. Also worth noting is that pitching was shit, too. Probably.

1938 - The Munich Agreement between Britain, France, Germany, and Italy allows for Germany to annex the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. Noticeably absent from the agreement: Czechoslovakia.

1938 again - In a unanimous decision, The League of Nations outlaws intentional bombings of civilian populations. "Haha. Okay." ~Everyone

1962 - James Meredith goes to school. White people in Mississippi flip their shit.

1966 - Bechuanaland declares independence from Britain and becomes Botswana, which I think we can all agree is much easier to say.

1982 - Actress Lacey Chabert is born, though today we celebrate the birth of Mila Kunis instead.

2005 - Muslims in Denmark forget that just because they can't create images of Muhammad, it doesn't mean nobody else can. To be fair, the pictures are pretty insulting, so they probably would have been mad anyway.

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On October 1 in History:

1553 - Mary I becomes queen of England. That she was known even then as "Bloody Mary" and that her reign lasted less than three years are surprisingly not related.

1791 - The first meeting of the French Legislative Assembly takes place. The body only exists for a year, after which time the people of France apparently decide that cutting each other's heads off is a more effective form of governance.

1795 - France conquers Belgium, presumably because they were running out of heads to cut off at home.

1800 - Spain cedes Louisiana back to France. It doesn't take long for Napoleon to decide he doesn't really want it after all.

1814 - The Congress of Vienna convenes, mostly to redraw Europe's borders in the wake of Napoleon's conquests. They sort of jumped the gun a bit.

1880 - Thomas Edison opens his first electric lamp factory. On it, he paints a mural of Nikola Tesla getting pooped on.

1887 - Baluchistan is conquered by the British Empire. For the people of the region, it is one of the most significant days of their lives. For the British, it is Tuesday.

1890 - The U.S. Congress establishes Yosemite National Park. Mostly to keep local kids from defacing the rock formations. It works as well as one might expect.

1891 - Stanford University opens its doors. Before settling on "The wind of freedom blows" as its motto, other ideas were batted around, including "Suck it, Harvard".

1903 - The first game of the first modern World Series is played between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Americans (who will go on to win). The Americans would later change their name, and if you can't guess to what based on the fact that I've bothered to included this event in the first place, we're not friends anymore.

1908 - The first Model T goes on the market. It's available in any color you want, as long as it's black.

1928 - The Soviet Union's first Five Year Plan goes into effect. It is a smashing success, if by success you mean rapid industrial advancement at the cost of human lives and freedoms.

1938 - Germany annexes the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia under the pretense that the region is largely populated by ethnic Germans. If only there were a modern parallel event I could draw a comparison to.

1940 - The Pennsylvania Turnpike, America's first superhighway, opens. By noon it is gridlocked, and by five in the evening it is closed for construction.

1949 - Mao Zedong declares the People's Republic of China, which is neither a republic nor "of/for the people". It is, in his defense, China.

1955 - Television premier of The Honeymooners, establishing a long Hollywood tradition of spousal abuse as comedy.

1957 - The long-held, sacred, unchangeable American tradition of printing "In God We Trust" on money begins. Just in time for the country's 182nd birthday!

1960 - Nigeria attains independence from the United Kingdom. For the Nigerians, it is the most important day of their nation's modern history. For the U.K., it is Tuesday.

1962 - Johnny Carson's first Tonight Show, continuing America's long tradition of marital problems as comedy.

1969 - The Concorde breaks the sound barrier for the first time. Passengers complain the flight takes too long.

1971 - Walt Disney World opens in Florida. Apparently the "Happiest Place on Earth" wasn't quite happy enough.

1975 - Mohammed Ali defeats Joe Frazier in one of the world's last great rhyming boxing matches.

1978 - Tuvalu gains independence from the U.K. Another Tuesday.

1982 - Epcot Center opens in Disney World. Still not happy enough.

1992 - Cartoon Network begins broadcasting. Nickelodeon scoffs at their pretension.

1994 - Palau gains independence from - okay, it's not funny anymore.

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On October 2 in History:

1187 - Saladin captures Jerusalem, settling the issue for all time and we can stop fighting about it now.

1470 - King Edward IV of England flees to Flanders during the Wars of the Roses. Guess that's the last we'll be seeing of him!

1470 again - Birth of Isabella of Aragon, and also of Isabella of Aragon. One is a Milanese duchess, the other a queen of Portugal. Whatever.

1535 - Jacques Cartier discovers the Iroquois village of Hochelaga (now Montréal). No one is more surprised at the discovery than the residents, who until that point had been operating under the assumption that they didn't exist.

1835 - In an attempt to stave off uprisings, the Mexican government attempts to disarm the town of Gonzales, Texas. It does not go as planned.

1864 - The First Battle of Saltville in the Ameican Civil War ends in a Confederate victory. Unfortunately, they have neither the space nor the resources to deal with the multitude of Union prisoners. An expedient solution is found, but you're not gonna like it.

1869 - Mohandas Gandhi is born. He does not begin to nurse until all British medical staff leave the room.

1890 - Groucho Marx is born at a very early age. If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again.

1919 - U.S. president Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke. He is incapacitated for several weeks at least, and for the rest of his presidency at most. Punchline redacted.

1941 - The Battle of Moscow begins, as the German army scrambles to take the city before winter. Because that worked so well for Napoleon.

1967 - Thurgood Marshall becomes the first non-white member of the U.S. Supreme Court. It will take until his retirement for them to get another one.

2017 - The death of musician Tom Petty breaks many hearts.

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On October 3 in History:

85(ish) BCE - Gaius Cassius Longinus, one of history's most famous murderers, is born.

52 BCE - Vercingetorix, the leader of the Gauls, surrenders to Julius Caesar. I tell you, that chap is going places!

42 BCE - Octavian and Mark Antony fight Brutus and Cassius at the First Battle of Philippi. Long story short, Cassius thinks all is lost and orders one of his men to kill him. Happy birthday, Guy.

382 - Roman Emperor Theodosius makes a treaty with the Goths, allowing them to settle in the Balkans in exchange for military service. He does not hear the ominous foreshadowing background music.

1778 - Captain Cook arrives in Alaska. Okay seriously, is there any place that guy didn't go?

1789 - George Washington declares the first Day of Thanksgiving in the United States. It takes a while for it to catch on.

1849 - Edgar Allan Poe is found in a gutter in Baltimore, delirious. Was he trying to bury himself prematurely? Perhaps he'd had one too many casks of Amontillado, eh? Eh? No, but seriously he dies four days later. Sad.

1863 - Abraham Lincoln designates the last Thursday of November as "Christmas, Part I". After conferring with a focus group, he rebrands it "Thanksgiving", but the original intent remains.

1932 - Iraq gains independence from the U.K.. I'm going to have to stop putting these on here; I'm running out of ideas for what to say about them.

1990 - East and West Germany become simply Germany. Germans everywhere celebrate, though the Easterners much more exuberantly, for some reason.

1995 - O.J. Simpson is acquitted of murder, freeing him up to write a book about how he committed murder.

2013 - A boat full of migrants sinks near the Italian island of Lampedusa, reminding everyone reading this right now that the migrant crisis has been going on for longer than you thought.

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04 October

AD 23 – Rebels sack the Chinese capital Chang'an during a peasant rebellion. They later decapitate emperor Wang Mang…  Peasants revolting?  Decapitate Wang Mang?  If your inner twelve year old hasn't already had a field day with this, anything I could write would only leave you offended.

1795 – Napoleon first rises to prominence by suppressing counter-revolutionary rioters threatening the National Convention.  I thought the French knew more about dealing with Grapes than almost any other people on Earth.  But one Corsican led artillery battery was able to eliminate a French Royalist army with Grapeshot?  If this keeps up, I may need to turn to California wines.

1830 – The Belgian Revolution takes legal form when the provisional government secedes from the Netherlands.  It's about time.  Nothing worse than an Illegal Revolution.

1883 – First run of the Orient Express.  Murder, espionage, and assorted crimes of passion are still bad things.  But at least now there is a place where you can do those things in style.

1918 – World War I: An explosion kills more than 100 people and destroys a Shell Loading Plant in New Jersey.  This may have been the work of German saboteurs in America.  But it was more likely simply American worker error.  When will the rest of the world realize that no matter how much they may hate the USA, no one is better than Americans at destroying Americans?

1957 – Sputnik 1 becomes the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.  To commemorate this event, October fourth through tenth was later declared "Space Week" by the United Nations.  I understand that this year for Space Week, the Earth will spend the entire week in Space.

2004 – SpaceShipOne, which took Twenty Five Million Dollars to develop, wins the Ten Million Dollar Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight.

2006 – Psst.  Don't tell anyone.  WikiLeaks is launched.


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On October 5 in History:
610 - Heraclius discovers all you have to do to become Byzantine Emperor is kill the Byzantine Emperor. His first acts are not being a total douche, and beefing up security.
1143 - Alfonso VII of León and Castile says that Portugal can call itself a kingdom if it really wants to; he doesn't mind.
1450 - Duke Louis IX of Bavaria to the Jews: "GTFO". He is baffled when all of his problems are not all immediately solved.
1910 - Portugal opts to replace a monarchy rife with debt, inability to cope with changing values, political instability, and royal assassinations with republic rife with continual anarchy, government corruption, rioting and pillage, more assassinations, arbitrary imprisonment, and religious persecution. Good times.
1914 - Though the technology of fixed-wing, heavier-than-air flight is barely over a decade old, we have already figured out how to put guns on them, and have now succeeded at shooting one out of the air with another one.
1938 - Jews in Nazi Germany are told they are not allowed to leave. Really getting some mixed signals here.
1970 - Terrorist group Front de libération du Québec kidnaps the provincial Deputy Premier, as well as a British diplomat, as part of their efforts to secure sovereignty for Québec.This forces the prime minister to limit civil liberties and use military force to regain control. Dang, Canada. You're so chill and relaxed now that we sometimes forget what a crazy adolescence you had.
1988 - The people of Chile are asked if they want dictator Augusto Pinochet to remain in power for another 8 years. They say "No." The twist comes when Pinochet and his junta say, "Okay."
2000 - Like, all of Serbia to Slobodan Milošević: "GTFO." In case he thinks they aren't serious, they bring a bulldozer.

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06 October

105 BC – Cimbrian War: Defeat at the Battle of Arausio accelerates the Marian reforms of the Roman army.  Rome is lucky.  Usually when an army loses, it doesn't get the opportunity to reform itself.  Usually the best the losing survivors can hope for is to become the grunt auxiliary for the winning army.

69 BC – Third Mithridatic War: Forces of the Roman Republic subdue Armenia.  See what happens when you take your reforms seriously?

1539 – Spain's DeSoto expedition takes over the Apalachee capital of Anhaica for their winter quarters.  The crazy thing is that DeSoto started this expedition in what was probably the best place to spend a winter out of all the places his army subsequently went.  Unfortunately for the Conquistadores, there is no gold in the vicinity of Tampa Bay.  Even worse for the Conquistadores, there are LOTS of rumors of gold some place "over there".  Worst of all, the Conquistadores believed those rumors.

1600 – Euridice, (from the Orpheus legend) the earliest surviving opera, receives its première performance, beginning the Baroque period.  There was an earlier work by the same composer but a different librettist based on the legend of Daphne (Jinkies! the Velma Opera, was never staged due to budget cuts).  The libretto for Dafne has survived, but the score was lost, thus there are art historians unwilling to say that Dafne was an opera and not just a play with music.  This may seem overly pedantic, but darnitol, this is the dawn of Baroque Opera!  If we can't be pedantic about this, then why be pedantic about anything?

1729 – Birth of Sarah Crosby, the first female Methodist preacher (d. 1804).  Considered by scholars such as Paul Wesley Chilcote to be the busiest female Methodist preacher, as she preached up until the day she died.  Imagine a woman working more than the men around her and still not considered an equal.  Glad that never happens anywhere else.

1789 – French Revolution: King Louis XVI is forced to change his residence from Versailles to the Tuileries Palace.  He would have been better off if he had changed his residence to someplace outside France.  What good is keeping your crown if you don't have a place to wear it?

1903 – The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.  It really took them that long to realize you could put chairs behind the bench?

1908 – The Bosnian crisis erupts when Austria-Hungary formally annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Don't the people of Herzegovina or Bosnia get a say in this?  No?  How about the next crisis?  Maybe the one after that?

1927 – Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent "talkie" movie.  Blackface and Jewish Stereotypes combine to create one of the most significant artifacts of entertainment history.

1985 – Death of Nelson Riddle, American composer, conductor, and bandleader (b. 1921).  Sure, he worked with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Kate Smith, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Keely Smith, Sue Raney, and Ed Townsend.  But to so many, he is the composer of the Batman theme.

1995 – The first planet orbiting another Sun-like star, 51 Pegasi b, is discovered.  Who would have thought that big gas giants orbiting very close to their host stars would be easier to find than small rocks orbiting farther out?

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3761 BC – The epoch reference date epoch (origin) of the modern Hebrew calendar.  In other words, if my understanding of Wikipedia is correct, this is 1st of Tishrei, AM 1.  Considered the sixth day of creation (Rosh Hashanah Day 1), on which the Bible recalls that God created Man and Woman.

1763 – King George III issues the Royal Proclamation of 1763, closing aboriginal lands in North America north and west of the Alleghenies to white settlements.  Yeah... even without a revolution, I'm pretty sure the descendants of Europeans in the British colonies are going to ignore that order.

1765 – Stamp Act Congress.  The first gathering of elected representatives from several of the American colonies to devise an unified protest against British taxation.  Eventually Parliament repeals the act due to business pressure in England, but continues to assert that they can and will tax and legislate for the American colonies.  The absence of American representation in Parliament is irrelevant.  For bonus points, can anyone think of a worse way this crisis might have been resolved?

1870 – Franco-Prussian War: Léon Gambetta escapes the siege of Paris in a hydrogen filled balloon.  Didn't anyone on the Prussian side have artillery that pointed UP?

1916 – Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland University 222–0 in the most lopsided college football game in American history.  Coach Heisman (yes, THAT Heisman) runs up the score in response to the Cumberland Baseball team running up the score on Georgia Tech the previous season, and also to protest the press convention of determining National Championships based on the total points a team would score in the season.

1950 – Mother Teresa establishes the Missionaries of Charity.  By giving comfort to the poorest of the sick and dying, she influenced the most rich and powerful.  Can the lessons she taught reach the current generation of the rich and powerful?

1958 – The U.S. manned space-flight project is renamed Project Mercury.  Project "Man in a Can" was an accurate name.  But probably less heroically poetic in the long run.

1959 – The Soviet probe Luna 3 transmits the first-ever photographs of the far side of the Moon.  Still no green cheese.

1996 – Fox News Channel begins broadcasting.  White male American billionaires over fifty years old now have a news source that tells them exactly what they want to hear.

2001 – The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan begins with an air assault and covert operations on the ground.  And the American military knows exactly what weapons the Afghans posses.  They are all from the US back when the Afghan militants were fighting the invading Soviets.

2003 – The governor of California, Gray Davis, is recalled in favor of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Recall is a rarely used electoral option in some States.  Considering the 2003 California mess, it is likely to remain rarely used.

2008 – Asteroid 2008 TC3 impacts the Earth over Sudan, the first time an asteroid impact is detected prior to its entry into earth's atmosphere.  It was detected by an amateur astronomer 19 hours before impact.  If this had been a large impactor, there would not have been enough time to evacuate a densely populated area.  No means for deflecting or destroying a large impactor that close were or are available.  Someone needs to take this seriously.  We keep telling ourselves that we are smarter than the Dinosaurs of the Cretaceous.

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Didn't anyone on the Prussian side have artillery that pointed UP?

Nope.  Before that time there wasn't reason to do so.


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7 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

and also to protest the press convention of determining National Championships based on the total points a team would score in the season.

Well, it's a silly convention. Let's say it's an 8-game season with no two teams meeting twice, and in every game Team X plays it scores 40 points but loses by 1 point, and in no other game does any team score more than 30 points. Team X has 320 points for the season, while the highest any other team can have is 251 - so Team X is champion with a record of 0-8.

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5 hours ago, mlooney said:

Nope.  Before that time there wasn't reason to do so.


Actually they did - mortars - but their targeting algorithms were designed to make the rounds go over high things, not hit high things.

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2 hours ago, Don Edwards said:
7 hours ago, mlooney said:

Nope.  Before that time there wasn't reason to do so.


Actually they did - mortars - but their targeting algorithms were designed to make the rounds go over high things, not hit high things.

I did spend ten years as a Air Defence Artillery NCO. 

You are right, there were high angle artillery pieces, there just wasn't a direct fire high angle piece, which is what you would need to shoot down a balloon.

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13 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

2003 – The governor of California, Gray Davis, is recalled in favor of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Recall is a rarely used electoral option in some States.  Considering the 2003 California mess, it is likely to remain rarely used.

One could say that the recall was "total"......




I may have misquoted that, I only remember that people made Total Recall references when that happened, I don't exactly remember how the jokes were delivered.

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On October 8 in History:

319 BCE - Pyrrhus of Eprius is born to much fanfare, though the celebrated birth does result in the death of several dozen people.

314 - Roman Emperor Constantine defeats Roman Emperor Licinius at the Battle of Cibalae. Like most Roman things, it makes sense in context, but just barely.

451 - The Council of Chalcedon convenes in the ongoing deliberation over how to Christian. Conclusions reached: Jesus is entirely divine, and simultaneously entirely human. Shut up, you just don't get it.

876 - A Frankish army under Frankish king Louis the Younger repels a Frankish invasion by Frankish king Charles the Bald at the Battle of Andernach. Louis's Frankish kingdom stays out of Frankish control and eventually becomes the Holy Roman Empire, which is actually Germany. If you're waiting for European geopolitics to get less confusing, you're going to be here a while.

1594 - Death (execution by way of being boiled alive) of semi-legendary Japanese figure Ishikawa Goemon. He's basically the Japanese version of Robin Hood, only even cooler by virtue of also being a ninja.

1821 - Establishment of the Peruvian navy. Wait for it...

1856 - The Chinese government seize a former pirate ship crewed by Chinese sailors operating under British registration, which annoys the British so much that they renew hostilities regarding the legal trading of opium. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

1871 - The Great Chicago Fire, perhaps the most famous fire in American history, begins. It is not, however, the largest or most deadly. That honor goes to the Peshtigo Fire, which by the way also begins today. Somebody has to do something about that damn cow!

1879 - Chilean naval forces defeat their Peruvian counterparts at the Battle of Angamos. Happy anniversary indeed.

1895 - Empress Myeongseong of Korea is assassinated by Japanese agents as a result of her strong position against Japanese influence. The aim is to ensure a more Japanese-friendly stance from Korea. It works about as well as one might expect.

1943 - R.L. Stine is born, presumably in an abandoned asylum built over an Indian burial ground as the result of a Gypsy curse.

1970 - Matt Damon is born. Yes, he's almost fifty. You can start freaking out now. I know I am.

1974 - Franklin National Bank collapses as a result of fraud and mismanagement. American bankers learn their lesson and this will never happen again.

1985 - Bruno Mars is born. His fever is deemed above acceptable levels; a police officer and firefighter are called in.

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Posted (edited)

09 October

768 – Carloman I and Charlemagne are crowned kings of the Franks.  The plan of Pepin the Short, their father, seems to have been to force the brothers to cooperate in ruling his Kingdom.  It didn't work.

1604 – Supernova 1604, the most recent supernova to be observed in the Milky Way.  It would be named for Johannes Kepler.  Even though Kepler wasn't the first to observe it, he did make what would be the most extensive records and he published a book about the event.

1635 – Founder of Rhode Island Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a religious dissident after he speaks out against punishments for religious offenses and giving away Native American land.  Did he really expect religious leaders to quietly consider his arguments about how the religious leaders were doing their jobs?

1701 – The Collegiate School of Connecticut (later renamed Yale University) is chartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.  Bright College Years ahead for Whiffenpoofs everywhere.

1812 – War of 1812: In a naval engagement on Lake Erie, American forces capture two British ships: HMS Detroit and HMS Caledonia.  The British keep letting the Americans capture things called "Detroit".  Why didn't the Americans realize what the British were doing?

1825 – The sloop Restauration coming from Stavanger, Norway, arrived in New York Harbor, the start of the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States.  It is because of this event that October 09 is recognized as Leif Erikson Day.  Not because of any particular event on October 9 in the life of son of Eiríkr Þorvaldsson.

1919 – Black Sox Scandal: The Cincinnati Reds win the World Series.  Because what could possibly be worse than grown men paid to play a boy's game deliberately trying to lose?

1940 – Birth of John Lennon, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (The Beatles, The Quarrymen, Plastic Ono Band, and The Dirty Mac) (d. 1980).  Such a picky eater as a child,   To get him to eat his veggies his parents would practically beg, "All we are saying is give peas a chance".

1980 – Pope John Paul II shakes hands with the Dalai Lama during a private audience in Vatican City.  A conciliatory gesture between Catholics and Buddhists?  What's next?  Catholic girls allowed to date Episcopalian boys?

1981 – Abolition of capital punishment in France.  Dr Guillotine, France has decided to not renew its lease on your device.  Please remove it at your earliest convenience.

2012 – Members of the Pakistani Taliban make a failed attempt to assassinate an outspoken schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai.  It is sad that a terrorist group pretending to be a legitimate government feels it must deliberately target a school girl as an enemy.  It is utterly pathetic that this attack fails.

Edited by Pharaoh RutinTutin

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Okay, how the hell have I not done 10/10 yet?

On October 10 in History:

19 - Germanicus, often hailed as the ideal Roman and even considered by some to be the Roman version of Alexander the Great, dies at 33 before ever getting the chance to be Emperor. It's okay, though. There's always his son.

680 - The prophet Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali gets decapitated at the Battle of Karbala, but considering that several countries have national holidays commemorating this, I'd say he came out a head.

732 - Charles Martel defeats the Umayyad Caliphate at the Battle of Tours, thereby halting their advance northward into Christian Europe. He doesn't just beat them, he smashes them. Like a mallet, or a big rock, or...well, like something.

1582 - Nobody born on this day in Italy, Poland, Portugal, or Spain gets a birthday this year. Thanks a lot, Gregory.

1760 - The Dutch colonial government in Suriname grants territorial autonomy to the Ndyuka people, a tribe descended from escaped slaves. This is certainly preferable to most other Europeans' preferred method for dealing with escaped slaves of hunting them down and murdering them.

1871 - The Great Fire that has been burning Chicago runs out of Chicago and dies out.

1911 - The Wuchang Uprising, which sets in motion the downfall of imperial China, takes place. This will surely usher in a new democratic republic that will be a model to the rest of the world.

1938 - Czechoslovakia is forced to give over the Sudetenland to Hitler's Germany because of an agreement they did not take part in. At least they can rest easy with the knowledge that this sacrifice on their part will finally appease Hitler's expansionist tendencies, and there will be peace in our time.

1957 - Manga artist Rumiko Takahashi is born. They thought she was a boy until someone splashed some cold water on her.

1967 - The Outer Space Treaty comes into effect. Among other things, it bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit or on the moon, as well as moon-based weapons testing or permanent moon bases. Supervillains everywhere are outraged.

1969 - Brett Favre is bonr.

1971 - London Bridge opens, but not in London. It has been transported and rebuilt block for block in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The nursery rhyme becomes a lot more cumbersome.

1973 - U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew, having been charged with tax evasion, resigns. "Why didn't he just pretend it didn't matter until everyone forgot about it?" asks...someone. I'm not going to say who.

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