The Moron's Daily Briefing

Nov. 12 - New York's Holland Tunnel officially opened seventy-five years ago today, ushering in a massive wave of Dutch immigration. Most of the Dutch returned to Holland after learning that New Amsterdam had become New York.

King Cnut of England, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden died on this date in 1035. (Cnut is better known to most Americans as King Canute, which offers fewer typographical hazards.)

Cnut was the son of Svein Forkbeard, son of Harald Bluetooth, son of Gorm. In 1013 Cnut's father conquered all of England from the Saxon King Aethelred but died anyway. This allowed Aethelred to take England back, which made it necessary for Cnut himself to reconquer England in 1016. He enjoyed this so much that he went on to conquer Scotland, Denmark, Norway, and part of Sweden, all of which came to be known collectively as Cnutland, perhaps explaining the region's subsequent popularity among European dyslexics.

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It was on this date in 1948 that former Japanese Prime Minister Hikedi Tojo and seven others were sentenced to hang. (This was back in the quaint old days, when the world considered it legal not only to have enemies, but to kill them after they tried to kill you.)

Al Michaels turns 58 today, which means it was actually his birthday late in the fourth quarter of last night's game, which was Monday Night Football's 500th broadcast. What a crazy week for Al Michaels.

Tonya Harding (32) and Sammy Sosa (34) also celebrate their birthdays today, although probably not together, along with Nadia Comaneci (1961), Neil Young (1945), Wallace Shawn (1943), Grace Kelly (1929), and Auguste Rodin (1840).

Today is Sun Yat Sen's Birthday in China and Taiwan.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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