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Illjwamh

This Day In History

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April 13

1204 – The Christian city of Constantinople falls to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, temporarily ending the Byzantine Empire.  This is the greatest victory of the Crusade.

1742 – George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah makes its world-premiere in Dublin, Ireland.  Not the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City as some would later assume.

1743 – Thomas Jefferson, American lawyer and politician, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, 3rd President of the United States, inventor of Macaroni and Cheese.  The Jefferson Memorial would be dedicated on the same day in 1943.  And the Federal Reserve would reintroduce the $2 bill on this date in 1976 as a Bicentennial commemoration.  There was no official mention of Sally Hemmings in any of these monuments.

1941 – A Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan is signed.  This would last slightly longer than the neutrality pact between the USSR and Germany, but the result for the Japanese would be similar.

1953 – CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control program Project MKUltra.  Over the next twenty years, the US Government working through Universities, Hospitals, Prisons, and Pharmaceutical companies would do things that we think are too horrific for comic book villain plots.  But the US Government assures us that they don't do that sort of thing any more.

1970 – An oxygen tank aboard the Apollo 13 Service Module explodes, putting the crew in great danger and causing major damage to the Apollo Command/Service Module (codenamed "Odyssey") while en route to the Moon.  In retrospect, putting Forrest Gump in command of that mission may not have been the best idea.

1974 – Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States' first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.  This allows Flat-Earth theorists around the world to talk with each other at the speed of light.

1989 – Dong Dong, Chinese trampoline champion is born.  His name would prove to be irresistible to commentators as he won medals in three consecutive Olympic Games.  Gold in London, 2012.

1992 – Basements throughout the Chicago Loop are flooded, forcing the Chicago Board of Trade Building and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to close.  Many people, including maintenance supervisors on the Kinzie Street Bridge, were unaware that Chicago had a subway before this event.

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I made this one on request for my cousin's birthday last year:

On April 13 in History:

1204 - Constantinople is conquered by Christian invaders. Wait, what? That can't be right. But it is. It is right. What the hell is the matter with everyone?

1570 - Guy Fawkes is born. In a strange twist of fate, his only notable historical achievement is failing to do something.

1613 - Pocahontas is captured by English colonists for ransom. She will end up converting to Christianity, refusing to go back home, and marrying a colonist. Interestingly, Disney left this bit out of their adaptation, saying, "We just did Stockholm Syndrome three movies ago."

1849 - Hungary becomes a republic. "Haha. Adorable." ~Austria

1861 - Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces, kicking off a four-year conflict of Americans brutally killing each other over disagreements regarding the ownership of other human beings.

1919 - The Republic of Korea establishes a provisional government. "Haha. Adorable." ~Japan

1953 - The CIA launches Project MKUltra, a program designed to develop and experiment with mind control. This sounds alarming, but they basically just dope a bunch of people with LSD.

1964 - Sidney Poitier is the first black actor to win an Academy Award, beginning a long-running trend of honoring artists of varying ethnic backgrounds for their contributions to .... hahaha, I can't even finish typing it.

1970 - An oxygen tank explodes on board the Apollo 13 spacecraft. The crew politely ask that they be rescued before any Academy Award statuettes are prepared. Also, Commander James Lovell gains the dubious honor of being the only person to go all the way to the moon TWICE and never actually walk on it.

1976 - The U.S. reintroduces the $2 bill. Because of the novelty, everyone keeps them instead of spending them, which in turn causes them to be impossible to spend since no one believes they're real.

1980 - Someone related to me is born. As a direct result, you all get to read this. Be sure and thank him.

1997 - Tiger Woods is the youngest golfer ever to win the Masters Tournament. He will turn this notoriety into so, so much tail.

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Apr 13 in EGS History:

2002 - Sarah takes off her shoes.

2016 - Voltair renames "Plan B" as "Plan CM".

 

Apr 14 in EGS History:

2002 - Sarah learns of Elliot's Inner Demons. (I wonder if anyone ever remembered to tell her they were erased by retcon?)

2003 - Sarah, Elliot, Susan, and Tedd sit together at the lunch table for the first time. Sarah and Elliot think it's nice, the other two not so much.

2004 - Ellen zaps Vlad.

2006 - Dan dares to make another Sheep Filler.
 

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On April 14 in History:

69 - In what will later become known as the Year of the Four Emperors, Vitellius seizes the Imperial throne of Rome. Little does he know that history will remember him as little more than "# 3".

193 - In what will later become known as the Year of the FIVE Emperors, Septimus Severus is proclaimed emperor by his soldiers. His first proclamation is rumored to have been, "Suck it, Vitellius."

1471 - Edward IV becomes King of England for the second time during the War of the Roses. His dynasty would continue for another 14 years, making the 30-year conflict totally worth it.

1775 - The first North American abolition society, dubbed The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, is formed. Their first order of business is to decide on a name that is easier to remember.

1828 - Noah Webster copyrights his first dictionary, in which he puts pictures of himself alongside the definitions of "genius", "magnificent", and "well-endowed".

1846 - A party of pioneers led by the Donner family heads out for California. They are excited about a new route that is rumored to cut the travel time significantly, meaning they don't have to spend as much on provisions.

1865 - Mary Todd Lincoln finally manages to get her workaholic husband to take her to the theater. Unamused by the evening's productions, the U.S. President is overheard muttering the phrase, "Somebody shoot me."

1912 - The RMS Titanic hits an iceberg, and it is discovered that the White Star Line's publicists and engineers have vastly different definitions of the word "unsinkable".

1939 - "The Grapes of Wrath" is published. Millions of high school students across America inexplicably become drowsy and disinterested.

1988 - The Soviet Union pledges to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. As a result, the region has enjoyed general peace and prosperity ever since.

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7 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

1912 - The RMS Titanic hits an iceberg, and it is discovered that the White Star Line's publicists and engineers have vastly different definitions of the word "unsinkable".

That particular line is an urban myth. Neither the engineers nor the White Star Line's publicists ever called the Titanic 'unsinkable.' It was the publication 'Shipbuilder's Magazine' which started that one and even it used the expression 'practically unsinkable.'

Also, to be fair to the Titanic and her sisters, they were extremely well constructed by the standard of the times. It took hitting an iceberg in exactly the wrong way to sink the Titanic as well as a number of other circumstances aligning just right (or wrong). And when the Britannic sank, it was due to hitting a mine and someone leaving a porthole open that was supposed to have been closed at all times when not in use. I feel that once military munitions become involved, the challenges in making a ship 'unsinkable' start to approach the prohibitive.

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4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

I feel that once military munitions become involved, the challenges in making a ship 'unsinkable' start to approach the prohibitive.

I agree with your statement, but HMHS Britannic was serving as a hospital ship; she had no arms or munitions. It's not settled whether she was sunk by a mine or a torpedo. If the culprit was a mine, both sides in the war were using mines, and it is possible the mine may not even have been from the same war since the Ottoman, Italian, and Greek navies were all fighting in the Aegean Sea in 1912.

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1 hour ago, Tom Sewell said:

It's not settled whether she was sunk by a mine or a torpedo. If the culprit was a mine, both sides in the war were using mines, and it is possible the mine may not even have been from the same war since the Ottoman, Italian, and Greek navies were all fighting in the Aegean Sea in 1912.

Yeah, I know how that works. A friend of mine comes from a family of deep sea fishermen. One fine day as his uncle and his crew were merrily trawling the Baltic they caught a mine in their net. Some people might have cut the lines and gotten the blazes out of there. Some people aren't my friend's uncle. They secured the mine as best they could and tugged it back to Danish territorial waters where a naval explosives detail could get at it and disarm it. My friend's uncle spent that entire trip IN THE WATER holding the mine secure so it wouldn't accidentally bump the side of their boat and go off. I swear that man must have had nerves made of stainless steel.

The mine got safely disarmed and my friend's uncle took his crew off for a drink. I'd say they had all earned one. Admittedly the man himself was closest but with a mine intended to sink a warship that wouldn't have mattered. Their little boat would have been absolutely pulverised if the mine had gone off.

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2 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

So how does any other angler of your acquaintance top that fishing story?

"I, uh...caught a really big haddock once."

Reminds me of Brian Regan's "I walked on the moon" bit. If you've never seen it, check it out. It's a treat.
 

 

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3 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

So how does any other angler of your acquaintance top that fishing story?

I don't know. I certainly don't know of any way they could possibly get more bang for the buck.

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32 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

I certainly don't know of any way they could possibly get more bang for the buck.

Well... there is ONE way they could get more bang.

But it might be a little more difficult to retell the tale afterward.

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Well... there is ONE way they could get more bang.

But it might be a little more difficult to retell the tale afterward.

I dunno, eyewitnesses at a safe distance might get them nominated for a Darwin. :doom:

I heard a story about three supergeniuses who found an old land mine. They dragged it to their favourite cafe and started a 'hilarious' drinking game. Each of them would give the mine a kick, then take a drink. The other guests and the owner of the cafe desperately tried to talk them out of it and then fled.

A few minutes later, one of them won. Precisely whom remains uncertain as no pieces of the contestants large enough to identify survived. Amazingly enough, they only made a runner-up spot for the Darwin Awards that year.

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On 4/13/2018 at 9:19 PM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

But the US Government assures us that they don't do that sort of thing any more.

"We are the U. S. government, we don't do that sort of thing!"  -Sneakers

21 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

1865 - Mary Todd Lincoln finally manages to get her workaholic husband to take her to the theater. Unamused by the evening's productions, the U.S. President is overheard muttering the phrase, "Somebody shoot me."

"Too soon?"  -Johnny Carson, any time he tried to tell a Lincoln assassination joke, as they always fell flat

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Let's see if I can get through this without making any tax jokes.

On April 15 in History:

1452 - Leonardo da Vinci enters the world, along with a portrait, a sculpture, and a rube goldberg blueprint he made in the womb.

1632 - Sweden kicks the crap out of the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic League at the Battle of Rain, which is named NOT, as I was dismayed to learn, because it took place in an epic torrential downpour, but because it took place outside the village of Rain. Boooo-riiiiing.

1865 - President Abraham Lincoln dies due to complications arising from being shot in the head.

1892 - The General Electric company is founded. Wanting to leave their options open, they figure they'll make some things related to electricity, but don't focus on anything specific.

1912 - The RMS Titanic sinks due to complications arising from being full of ocean water. Several Academy Award statuettes are prepared in advance, which is surely great comfort to the 1517 people who don't survive.

1947 - Jackie Robinson makes another great stride toward equality by being paid to hit a ball with a stick in the same place white people do it.

2013 - A bomb explodes at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which is way too recent for me to be flippant about. Instead, might I direct your attention to this adorable kitten?

 

JRLBxxVHcK_l.jpg

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2 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

2013 - A bomb explodes at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which is way too recent for me to be flippant about. Instead, might I direct your attention to this adorable kitten?

When I was on a Jury for an assault case, the prosecutor attempted to compare the assailant and victim to the Boston Marathon bombers and survivors in her closing arguments.

This was utterly gratuitous.

We on the Jury based our verdict primarily on the strength of the video evidence.  This was not some political or ideological motivated act of terror.  It was one man beating another man senseless with his bare hands for personal reasons.

Internet cat pictures would have been just as effective, and more welcome, at that point.

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23 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

I feel that once military munitions become involved, the challenges in making a ship 'unsinkable' start to approach the prohibitive.

Well, the US in WWII did come up with a way to make ships that were literally unsinkable in water.

It consisted of making aircraft carriers for North-Atlantic service out of ice and sawdust (because just ice, shatters). The ice, of course, would float in the ocean no matter what.

They never actually made any, though.

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5 minutes ago, Don Edwards said:

Well, the US in WWII did come up with a way to make ships that were literally unsinkable in water.

It consisted of making aircraft carriers for North-Atlantic service out of ice and sawdust (because just ice, shatters). The ice, of course, would float in the ocean no matter what.

They never actually made any, though.

Churchill wrote about that in his history of WWII. He, FDR and a lot of other brass were gathered at a large meeting at the Pentagon. But there was so much arguing and disagreement that FDR actually lost his temper and told everybody to leave and wait outside until they had calmed down. So only FDR, Churchill and maybe three or four of the very highest rankers remained, I think Marshall was one of them.

So, to pass the time, FDR told about this special mixture of ice that they had tested. Churchill reasonably wanted to know how tough it was. FDR said very, then sent out for a block of the special ice and a block of regular ice. One of the remaining generals was very big and muscular and in good shape for his age. He was handed an axe and was instructed to try it. He split the regular block of ice with it easily enough but could not even make a dent in the special ice block. Next, they tried to shoot the special ice with a Browning .45 handgun. Barely a scratch.

The funny part was the effect this had on all the brass waiting outside. They were first wondering at the blocks of ice that was sent in there, then got worried when someone brought in an axe, and really worried when they heard the gunshots. When FDR let them in again, they were in a far more subdued mood and things proceeded more peacefully.

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8 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

The funny part was the effect this had on all the brass waiting outside. They were first wondering at the blocks of ice that was sent in there, then got worried when someone brought in an axe, and really worried when they heard the gunshots. When FDR let them in again, they were in a far more subdued mood and things proceeded more peacefully.

http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff300/fv00248.htm

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April 16 in EGS History:

2008 - Victor Von Hip gives Grace a pamphlet on "Why Censorship Leads to Freakouts".

2010 - Justin and Catalina meet for the first time.

2014 - We and Justin get our first look at Tedd's new haircut, and his pink hair. (I miss the pink hair. :( )

 

April 17 in EGS History:

2003 - Sarah shows off a sketch she did of a squirrel-guy named "Dan".

2006 - Ellen scores a flawless victory in Karaoke.

2015 - Elliot realizes he doesn't know what he wants to do when he gets out of school; Ashley reveals she had an internet girlfriend once.
 

Also, I have little interest in cars unless I need one to get from Point A to Point B or they transform into giant robots, but I like to channel flip in the morning as I'm waking up, and one of the morning talk shows was going on about the Ford Mustang, which was introduced to the world on April 17 at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

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12 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

...the Ford Mustang, which was introduced to the world on April 17 at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

The 1964 World's Fair.  Where GM gave us "Futurama", Disney gave us "It's A Small World", and US Royal's giant tire rolled to Michigan where can still be seen on the side of I-94 near Detroit.

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