The Moron's Daily Briefing

Jul. 2 - It's Flag Day in Curacao. But wait, there's more.

Forty-one years ago today Ernest Hemingway blew his brains out at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. Hemingway was a writer. He was also a man. He knew things about being a man. He also knew things about trying to be a man. He wrote about them, those things. He wrote love stories and stories about fishermen and soldiers. He liked to write. And in the end he blew his brains out. Maybe that means something. Maybe it doesn't.

On this date in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting racial discrimination. America remains a paragon of racial harmony to this very day.

It's Dan Rowan's birthday (1922). And Thurgood Marshall's (1908). And Herman Hesse's (1877).

One hundred and twenty-one years ago today, Charles J. Guiteau stood up in the lobby of the B&O Railroad Depot in Washington, DC, and yelled, "I am a stalwart and Arthur is President now!" The event might have passed without notice had Guiteau not been shooting President James Garfield at the time.

A wounded President Garfield lingered for 11 weeks, during which time surgeons attempted to find the bullet which had lodged in his back. The state-of-the-art technology for removing foreign objects from the body was at that time the hand. Dozens of physicians, nurses, and curious hangers-on probed Garfield's wound with their fingers in search of the bullet that had struck him. The inevitable infection of his wound killed him.

Charles Guiteau was hanged on June 30, 1882.

Twelve-hundred and forty years ago today, St Swithun died. He was the Bishop of Winchester and royal counselor to kings Egbert and Aethelwulf. History tells us very little about St Swithun, besides the fact that he died when he did, which is why I bring him up: someone ought to invent a life for the guy. Maybe he was raised by wolves. Maybe he was kidnapped by pirates. Maybe he found a genie in a bottle and was granted him three wishes. Or maybe he fell in love with the beautiful red-headed daughter of a rival landowner and they had a tempestuous love affair before tragedy struck her down and Swithun turned to religion for consolation. Who knows? Nobody. So make up a St Swithun you can live with.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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