The Moron's Daily Briefing

Dec. 17 - Today is Tuesday, December 17, and Trent Lott is still sorry.

It was 99 years ago today that Orville Wright made the first recorded flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in a plane he built with his brother. The flight lasted a mere twelve seconds and covered only 120 feet, but a short flight had been expected: after all, two Wrights don't make it long.

75 years ago today, U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg suggested a worldwide pact renouncing war as an instrument of national policy. Virtually all of the major powers of the world signed the Kellogg-Briand pact in Paris on August 27, 1928.

The pact went into force on July 24, 1929. War was finally outlawed and the people of the earth were filled with joy.

The peace achieved by the Kellogg-Briand Pact was an idyll like none other. It is still referred to as the happiest seven minutes in human history.

Ah, 1929, that sweet summer of human happiness!

But perhaps we do not give sufficient credit to the authors and signers of that ill-fated pact for their ironic sense. It was signed on the 149th birthday of Humphrey Davy, the inventor of laughing gas.

* * *

William Safire would probably be able to explain why he's "turning" 73 today, rather than flipping, busting, or tripping that milestone. He shares his birthday with Bob Guccione (1930), Arthur Fiedler (1894), and John Greenleaf Whittier (1807).

It's National Day in Bhutan. Celebrate responsibly.

2002, The Moron's Almanac™

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