Happy birthday to the baseball player who had the coolest sounding last name when it was spoken by a French-Canadian public address announcer.
226: CAO PI DIES AFTER AN ILLNESS. HIS SON CAO RUI SUCCEEDS HIM AS EMPEROR OF THE KINGDOM OF WEI.
Obviously, this year was the very last slice of pi.
1149: RAYMOND OF POITIERS IS DEFEATED AND KILLED AT THE BATTLE OF INAB.
Well, obviously, not everybody loved Raymond. And you thought this was going to be a Sidney joke.
1444: SKANDERBEG DEFEATS AN OTTOMAN INVASION FORCE AT TORVIOLL.
Which reminds me...you can also get an ottoman at Ikea.
1613: THE GLOBE THEATER IN LONDON, ENGLAND BURNS TO THE GROUND.
Much to the disappointment to those who had tickets for June 30, 1613.
1659: AT THE BATTLE OF KONOTOP, THE UKRAINIAN ARMIES OF IVAN VYHOVSKY DEFEAT THE RUSSIANS LED BY PRINCE TRUBETSKOY.
Backwards, it's potonok.
1850: COAL IS DISCOVERED ON VANCOUVER ISLAND.
Which gave rise to the very first minstrel show in Vancouver.
1864: NINETY-NINE PEOPLE ARE KILLED IN CANADA'S WORST RAILWAY DISASTER NEAR QUEBEC.
They couldn't make it an even hundred?
1874: GREEK POLITICIAN CHARILAOS TRIKOUPIS PUBLISHES A MANIFESTO ENTITLED "WHO'S TO BLAME?" IN WHICH HE LAYS OUT HIS COMPLAINTS AGAINST KING GEORGE.
Years later, Barack Obama publishes his own "Who's To Blame?" in which he lays out his complaints against President George.
1880: FRANCE ANNEXES TAHITI.
Well, how friggin' hard a decision was that? Announce that you're annexing Selma. Alabama and then you're taking a risk.
1889: HYDE PARK AND SEVERAL OTHER ILLINOIS TOWNSHIPS VOTE TO BE ANNEXED BY CHICAGO, FORMING THE LARGEST UNITED STATES CITY.
Like they always do in Chicago, they voted early and often.
1910: COMPOSER FRANK LOESSER IS BORN.
Luck be a midwife tonight.
1911: COMPOSER BERNARD HERRMANN IS BORN.
He did all the Hitchcock scores. A genius. The best ever.
1920: FILMMAKER RAY HARRYHAUSEN IS BORN.
His movie special effects were primitive and old-fashioned. They still looked 100 times more real than any of the computer shit you would see in movies like Thor.
1928: THE OUTERBRIDGE CROSSING AND GOETHALS BRIDGE IN STATEN ISLAND ARE BOTH OPENED.
As if anybody actually goes to Staten Island on purpose.
1933: ACTOR FATTY ARBUCKLE DIES.
The official inventor of the Hollywood scandal.
1936: BASEBALL PLAYER HARMON KILLEBREW IS BORN.
And he just died a few years ago. The circle of life.
1941: BASEBALL PLAYER JOHN BOCCABELLA IS BORN.
One more time, please BOC-CA-BEL-LA!!!!
1945: CARPATHIAN RUTHENIA IS ANNEXED BY THE SOVIET UNION.
And the official password for June 29 is "annex."
1954: DODGER PITCHING COACH RICK HONEYCUTT IS BORN.
Well known to Dodger fans, he's the guy walking back and forth to the mound six or seven times every game.
1967: ACTRESS JAYNE MANSFIELD IS KILLED IN A CAR CRASH.
What's that in the road...a head?
1974: MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV DEFECTS FROM RUSSIA TO CANADA WHILE ON TOUR.
Wait till he found out how bad the health care was there.
1976: THE SEYCHELLES BECOME INDEPENDENT FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM.
I don't know the Seychelles. What were their biggest hits?
1978: ACTOR BOB CRANE DIES.
Beated to death with a camera tripod and I don't think that's the appropriate use for one of those things.
1995: ACTRESS LANA TURNER DIES.
The postman never rings a third time.
1999: PRODUCER ALLAN CARR DIES.
Out of gas.
2002: SINGER ROSEMARY CLOONEY DIES.
I remember this day vividly. I had heard she was not long for our world so I drove past her house on Roxbury. George Clooney was having a cigarette on the front lawn. One of my truly favorite singers of all time. And I got to meet her once!
2003: ACTRESS KATHARINE HEPBURN DIES.
Guess who wasn't coming to dinner?
2007: FILM CRITIC JOEL SIEGEL DIES.
He probably didn't like this.
Dinner last night: Grilled ham steak.