DAILY BRIEFING
History Notes

Jun. 26 - Still a little under the weather, so another day without blogging. (But here's an interesting link on American Litigitis.)

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Forty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy stood before the Berlin Wall and announced to 250,000 Germans that he was a jelly donut, in his famous "I am a jelly donut" ("ich bin ein jelly donut") speech. Although embarrassing, it was considered an improvement over Eisenhower's infamous "I am a well-hung platypus" speech.

It was 520 years ago today that Richard III made himself King of England. He achieved this post the old-fashioned way: he killed everyone else who wanted to be king. His reign came to a bloody end just two months later as a result of his making a fiscally irresponsible bid on a horse.

Francisco Pizarro conquered the entire Peruvian Empire of the Incas with a handful of soldiers only to have those soldiers turn around and kill him on June 26, 1541. This was the Dawn of the Ironic Age in the New World.

It was 760 years ago today that the Mongrels defeated the Turkish Seljuk army in Asia Minor, opening the doors to the Mongrel Invasion of Europe. French Poodles and German Shepherds were massacred in unprecedented numbers as the Mongrels penetrated to the heart of the continent. The Mongrels would eventually withdraw from Europe, but not before they'd pissed on every tree.

On June 26, 1870, Congress declared Christmas a federal holiday to the great relief of Americans who'd been forced to flee to Canada every December.

It's Independence Day in Madagascar and in Somalia, and it's UN Treaty Day at the United Nations. (UN delegates have not yet agreed on the proper means of celebration, but it's purely academic at this point anyway—France has vowed to veto any celebration plans.)

Abner Doubleday was born on this date in 1819. Mr. Doubleday is credited with the invention of baseball, without which Americans would have nothing to watch between waits in line for more beer.

It's also the birthday of Eleanor Parker (1922), Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1914), Peter Lorre (1904), and Pearl S. Buck (1892), none of whom invented any sports.

2003, The Moron's Almanac™

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