WEEKEND BRIEFINGThe Moron's Weekend Briefing
Jun. 28 - On June 28 of 1914, the Austrian Archduck was touring Serbia with his wife, the Mallard Sophie. The purpose of his tour was to get Serbia to calm down, it having become extremely irritable for reasons known only to itself, possibly having to do with Austria's occupation of the region. (Either that or gas.)
In the course of their tour, the Archduck and the Mallard Sophie became lost and stopped to ask for directions from a young boy on the side of the road. The conversation went something like this:
"Say, lad, I'm the Austrian Archduck Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne, and this is my wife, the Mallard Sophie. We seem to be lost. If I don't find my way back I might never have the chance to take the Austrian throne and continue, if not heighten, the ruthless and relentless persecution of the Serbian peoples. Could you give us a hand?"
The boy was Gavrilo Princip, and he had just started World War I. The war ended exactly five years later, on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles is best known for having caused the second World War.
June 28 is also notable as the birthday of nefarious American philosopher John Dillinger, born in 1902. He is also believed to have been born on June 22, 1903, but the former date seems more likely since it was exactly one hundred years ago.
At the age of twenty, a precocious young Dillinger attempted to illustrate the transient nature of material goods by depriving a stranger of his automobile. When a warrant was issued for his arrest by Indiana police disinclined to accept Dillinger's delicate epistemological point, the young man cleverly joined the navy to demonstrate the redemptive powers of patriotism.
Philosophers have historically encountered resistance from the military, and Dillinger was no exception. He fled the service, returned home, got married, and robbed a grocer. The robbery went awry and Dillinger went to jail for nine years.
Jail hardened Dillinger and made him a very bitter man. Upon his release, he began robbing banks almost immediately. He quickly became Public Enemy Number One and was therefore shot to death by the FBI outside the Biograph movie theatre in Chicago.
His philosophy, however, endures to this day.
Dillinger shares his birthday with John Elway (1960), Kathy Bates (1948), Gilda Radner (1946), and Mel Brooks (1926).
June 29 is Saints Peter and Paul Day in Malta, Prince Bernhard Day in the Netherlands, and Independence Day in the Seychelles.
June 30 is Armed Forces Day in Guatemala, Flag Day in Portugal, Salvation Revolution Day in Sudan, and Flag Day in Tanzania.
Born on June 29: Fred Grandy (1948), Richard Lewis (1947), Robert Evans (1930), Slim Pickens (1919), and Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900). On June 30: Mike Tyson (1966), Susan Hayward (1919), Lena Horne (1917), and Buddy Rich (1917).
© 2002, The Moron's Almanac