On THIS Day in History

by Bob Sparrow

This week I was reminded, more than once, that it was still April not May. I’ve come to grips with that now and have decided that I owed it to you readers to let you know that I am now back from the future with some more little know facts about what happened in history this week.

Monday, April 25

I have chosen Miss Rhode Island as my April spokesperson this week, as I think she sums up this date like no one else could. Have a look . . .

Tuesday, April 26,

1933 – The Gestopo becomes the official secret police force of Nazi Germany and create a killer soup recipe that is made of raw vegetables and served cold . . . oh, that’s Gazpacho, never mind.

1934Donald Sterling, previous owner of the L.A. Clippers basketball team, is born. You’ll remember the magnanimous Mr. Sterling for telling his mistress, Stiviano: “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. You can sleep with them, bring them in, you can do whatever you want, but the little I ask you is … not to bring them to my games”.  Shortly after the statement was made public the NAACP cancelled its plans for the following month to award Sterling for a second time with its lifetime achievement award. I’m not making that up!

Wednesday, April 27

1882 – As a follow up to the whereabouts of Ralph Waldo Emerson, he died on this day and was found on the remote island of Tierra del Fuego dressed in a red and white stripped nightcap and pajamas

1938 – A colored baseball was used for the first time in any baseball game. The ball was yellow and was used between Columbia and Fordham Universities in New York City.  A colored baseball player was not used until nine years later.

1983 – And speaking of baseball, strike out artist, Nolan Ryan broke a 55-year-old major league record when he was refused for a date by Cindy Stapleton; it was his 3,509th career strike out.

Thursday, April 28

1962 – In the Sahara Desert of Algeria, a team led by Red Adair used explosives to put out the well fire known as the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter. It was later determined that the fire was actually caused by Red when he was attempting to light one of his farts.

1967Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U. S. Army on religious grounds as a consciences objector who loathed violence. Ali went on to turn numerous opponent’s faces into hamburger, caused many concussions and ruptured spleens, all in the name of peace.

Friday, April 29

1997U.S. Astronaut Jerry Linenger and U.S.S.R. Cosmonaut Vasily Tsibliyev wentspace walkers on the first U.S.-Russian space walk. The couple was chosen as both of their profiles indicated that liked Barry Manilow music, rainy days and long walks in space.

Hope your weekend is less confusing now.

On This Day in History

by Bob Sparrow

I’m starting a new feature here at From A Bird’s Eye View, which will occur whenever we haven’t traveled anywhere or we temporarily run out of other things to write about. This feature will recount some historical events that actually took place on the days of this week, along with my illuminating comments of little know facts.

Monday, May 25th

1803 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American poet and philosopher was born and lived in Massachusetts, but later in life, health issues caused him to move to South Carolina, then he moved to Florida, then he moved to . . . well, they don’t exactly know where, and thus the game ‘Where’s Waldo?’ was born.

1925 – In the ‘Monkey Trial’, John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching the theory of evolution in a Tennessee classroom. Within the state the event was more commonly referred to as the ‘If-I-Divorce-My-Wife-Is-She-Still-My-Sister Trial’.

oprah1997 – At age 100, Senator Strom Thurmond retires as the oldest serving senator in U.S. history; he had actually passed away three years earlier, but the first ‘Do Nothing Congress’ thought he was just sleeping at this desk again.

2011 – After 25 years, Oprah Winfrey, weighing in at 223 pounds, aired her last TV show as she finally ran out of fad diets to promote.

Tuesday, May 26

1936 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session of searching for subversives in the U.S. and had to go no further than their own congressional chambers to find some.jackson

1946 – A patent was filed in the United States for the H-bomb.  Later, when ‘Hell’ was more readily accepted into the American lexicon, it was replaced by the ‘F-bomb’.

1994 – In what turned out to be a ‘Bad’ ‘Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love’, Michael Jackson weds Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

Wednesday, May 27

1927 – After 15 million cars, the Ford Motor Company ceases manufacture of the ‘Model T’ and begins to retool plants to make way for the car that will change Ford’s history, the Edsel.

1941 – U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared an “unlimited national emergency”. Yes, in May not on Dec 7th. Conspiracy theorists say that when no one really paid attention to Roosevelt’s declaration, he staged Pearl Harbor.

jones1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Paula Jones can pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton while he is in office. Unfortunately she had to get into a line that stretched for a half a mile down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Thursday, May 28

1952 – The women of Greece are granted the right to vote. Yes, in 1952!!!  Sixty-four years later in 2016 Saudi Arabia put the ‘woman’s vote’ up for consideration, but it was voted down – BY AN ALL MALE ELECTORATE!

The ‘all male’ voting rule also exists today in Vatican City, which only allows cardinals under the age of 80 to vote and since canon law does not allow women to be ordained as priests, there are no women cardinals and thus they have been able to both age and gender discriminate with one simple law.

Quayle1972 – White house ‘plumbers’ break into the Democratic National HQ at the Watergate Hotel and while searching through George McGovern’s room, find a poster of Bernie Sanders above his bed.

1987 60th National Spelling Bee: Stephanie Petit wins spelling ‘staphylococci’ – she beat out future Vice President Dan Quayle, who just barely missed the spelling of ‘potato’.

Friday, May 29

1916 – To get a pre-season ‘patsy’ game win under its belt and warm up before entering World War I, the U.S. invades the Dominican Republic

1919Einstein’s theory of relativity (the light-bending prediction part, my personal favorite) in 1916 is confirmed by Arthur Eddington; I’m sure you’re more-than-familiar with this simple formula below.einstein

1942Bing Crosby records Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and it becomes the best-selling single in history. Today he would have to also record  Black Christmas, Brown Christmas and Rainbow Coalition Christmas.  In a separate, but related story, in an effort not to slight the Smurfs, Elvis records Blue Christmas.

1953Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest where they find the world’s first Starbucks.

I hope these events will help you feel a little more connected to this week and get you through it with a smile.