The Moron's Daily Briefing

Oct. 14 - On this day in 1944, Field Marshal Rommel of Germany was visited by two of Hitler's personal staff. They informed him that he was suspected of involvement in the July 20th plot to assassinate the Fuhrer and that he would therefore be required either to stand trial and die or to just die. They brought some poison along to facilitate his decision.

It was 55 years ago that American pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a rocket-powered airplane. Yeager insisted it was already broken and consequently refused to repair it despite repeated admonitions by his mother. It remains broken to this day.

(The sound barrier should not be confused with the Long Island Sound barrier, which is actually the Throg's Neck Bridge.)

On October 14, 1651, Massachusetts passed laws prohibiting the poor from dressing excessively. It was felt that persons of limited means should save their money and learn to get by with simple vinaigrettes.

The German spy Mata Hari, a Dutchwoman named Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, was executed by the French on October 14, 1917. There wasn't much actual evidence of espionage, but she had been seen naked with German officers and the French considered this distasteful enough to kill her.

Today's birthday celebrants include Harry Anderson (1952), Ralph Lauren (1939), Roger Moore (1927), Lillian Gish (1896), e.e. cummings (1894), Dwight Eisenhower (1890), and William Penn (1644).

It's Flag Day in Madagascar and Republic Day in Yemen.

Columbus Day is regularly scheduled to occur on October 12, but that fell on a Sunday this year and therefore had to be ignored. Our nation therefore honors the heroic, enterprising, and larcenous spirit of Cristobal Columbus by granting ourselves an extra day of weekend sloth.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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