The Moron's Weekend Briefing

Aug. 2 - In 1769, Spain sent an exploratory expedition from San Diego to Monterey to survey the area and identify places worth sending more people. The expedition was led by Gaspar de Portola, nephew of the celebrated Spanish comedian Uncle Porky, and included a number of religious missionaries assigned to impose afternoon naps upon the heathens.

Camping on some fertile ground beside a river on August 2, Father Juan Crespi suggested they name the river El Rio de Padre Juan Crespi. As the laughter subsided, he suggested El Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, "The River of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Uncle Porky." It was agreed, and the merry band continued on their way.

Twelve years later Mexico's Spanish Governor, Felipe de Neve, began dispatching settlers to establish pueblos in the name of the Spanish King. These settlers were called "Los Pobladores" on account of their penchant for Poblas. One such group, led by Captain Rivera y Moncada, settled in the area by the previously mentioned river. They named their new community "Our Pueblo by the River of Our Lady of the Angels of Uncle Porky."

The settlement grew, and came to be known as "The City by the Pueblo by the River of Our Lady of the Angels of Uncle Porky."

In 1822, Mexico took California from Spain. In 1846, following two years of hostilities, the United States took it from Mexico. Many Americans were injured attempting to pronounce the name of El Ciudad del Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, which they therefore renamed Los Angeles in 1850. California was admitted to the Union later that year.

Los Angeles retained that name until the middle of the last century, when even that became too difficult for most American tongues, at which point it finally became L.A.

On August 2, 1887, Rowell Hodge patented barbed wire. Mr Hodge had been inspired by the maxim that "good fences make good neighbors." He believed that barbed wire fences would make good neighbors even better while shredding the flesh of bad neighbors to bloody ribbons.

Half an hour before sunrise on August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus famously set out to cross the ocean blue in a fleet of three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula.

August 2 is the Anniversary of Uprising in Macedonia. August 3 is Independence Day in Niger and National Watermelon Day in the United States. August 4 is Independence Day in Burkina Faso and the late Queen Mother's Birthday in Great Britain.

Born on August 2: Victoria Jackson (1959), Judge Lance Ito (1950), Peter O'Toole (1932), James Baldwin (1924), Carroll O'Connor (1924), and Myrna Loy (1905). Born on August 3: John Landis (1950), Martha Stewart (1941), Martin Sheen (1940), and Tony Bennett (1926). Born on August 4: Jeff Gordon (1971), Roger Clemens (1962), Billy Bob Thornton (1955), Queen Mother Elizabeth (1900), Louis Armstrong (1901), and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792).

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

[close window]
[Daily Briefing Archive]