The Moron's Daily Briefing

Aug. 7 - The German spy Mata Hari, a Dutchwoman named Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, was born on this day in 1876. She was executed by the French on October 14, 1917. There was not much actual evidence of espionage, but she had been seen naked with German officers and the French found this distasteful enough to kill her.

Louis Leakey was also born on this day, in 1903. Mr Leakey was a prominent British archeologist who discovered that either mankind was much older than had previously been supposed or that mankind had not actually been mankind but some other kind instead. The archeological world was convulsed for decades by arguments over what to name this strange new species and the struggle drove Mr Leakey to become a spy for the British government and cheat on his wife (though seldom simultaneously).

It's Battle of Boyaca Day in Colombia and Independence Day in the Ivory Coast.

Others born today include Charlize Theron (1975), David Duchovny (1960), Garrison Keillor (1942), Stan Freberg (1926), and Billie Burke (1884).

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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