Happy birthday, Harpo. What do you have to say for yourself?
534 BC: THESPIS OF ICARIA BECOMES THE FIRST ACTOR TO PORTRAY A CHARACTER ONSTAGE.
Later signed as a client by William of Morris.
1227: POLISH PRINCE LESZEK I THE WHITE IS ASSASSINATED AT AN ASSEMBLY OF PIAST DUKES AT GASAWA.
Perhaps the very first Polish joke.
1499: PRETENDER TO THE THRONE PERKIN WARBECK IS HANGED FOR REPORTEDLY ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE FROM THE TOWER OF LONDON.
Except he wasn't pretending to be dead.
1644: JOHN MILTON PUBLISHES AREOPAGITICA, A PAMPHLET DECRYING CENSORSHIP.
Which was probably banned itself. The original vicious cycle.
1808: FRENCH AND POLES DEFEAT THE SPANISH AT THE BATTLE OF TUDELA.
Sure. You'll notice the French couldn't manage this by themselves.
1859: BILLY THE KID IS BORN.
And, for a while, I guess he really was a kid.
1863: DURING THE CIVIL WAR, THE BATTLE OF CHATTANOOGA BEGINS.
1876: CORRUPT TAMMANY HALL LEADER BOSS TWEED IS DELIVERED TO AUTHORITIES IN NEW YORK CITY AFTER BEING CAPTURED IN SPAIN.
Back when political corruption was the exception and not the norm.
1887: ACTOR BORIS KARLOFF IS BORN.
It is alive.
1888: HARPO MARX IS BORN.
His first word? ___________________!
1889: THE FIRST JUKEBOX GOES INTO OPERATION IN SAN FRANCISCO.
The only problem was nobody had any quarters.
1890: KING WILLIAM III OF THE NETHERLANDS DIES WITHOUT A MALE HEIR AND A SPECIAL LAW IS PASSED TO ALLOW HIS DAUGHTER PRINCESS WILHELMINA TO BECOME HIS HEIR.
Hey, that's cheating!
1902: MEDICAL EXPERT WALTER REED DIES.
Ironically, he died at home.
1914: DURING THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION, THE LAST OF US FORCES WITHDRAW FROM VERA CRUZ.
Almost a hundred years later, we're now waiting for the Mexicans to withdraw from California.
1936: THE FIRST EDITION OF LIFE IS PUBLISHED.
And so Life begins...
1940: BASEBALL PITCHER LUIS TIANT IS BORN.
Or so they say...
1946: FRENCH NAVY FIRE IN HAI PHONG, VIETNAM, KILLING 6,000 CIVILIANS.
Just in case you thought all the killing over there was our fault.
1955: STOOGE SHEMP HOWARD DIES.
Several years after the death of Curly. That third Stooge slot was a killer.
1959: GENERAL CHARLES DE GAULLE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE, DECLARES HIS VISION FOR A EUROPE FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE URALS.
Or, in the case of France, the Urinals.
1963: THE BODY OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY LIES IN STATE AT THE WHITE HOUSE.
What the heck are we going to do with all this PT-109 junk on his desk?
1971: REPRESENTATIVES OF CHINA ATTEND THE UNITED NATIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Anybody for a game of ping pong?
1972: ACTRESS MARIE WILSON DIES.
My late friend Irma.
1973: ACTOR SESSUE HAYAKAWA DIES.
How cheap a joke would it be to simply write "sayonara?"
1974: AUTHOR CORNELIUS RYAN DIES.
The author of "The Longest Day." On November 23, he should only know how long.
1979: ACTRESS MERLE OBERON DIES.
From Wuthering Heights to Withering Depths.
1981: PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN SIGNS THE TOP SECRET NATIONAL SECURITY DECISION DIRECTIVE 17 GIVING THE CIA THE AUTHORITY TO RECRUIT AND SUPPORT CONTRA REBELS IN NICARAGUA.
You would have thought that Nancy's tarot cards would have told him this was a bad idea.
1990: THE FIRST ALL WOMAN EXPEDITION TO THE SOUTH POLE SETS OFF.
When you've exhausted all your Match.com contacts on this continent.....
1995: FILM DIRECTOR LOUIS MALLE DIES.
My Dinner with St. Peter.
2001: SINGER O.C. SMITH DIES.
I guess the apples ripened.
2003: GEORGIAN PRESIDENT EDUARD SHEVARDNADZE RESIGNS FOLLOWING WEEKS OF FLAWED ELECTIONS.
I guess those Chicago election booths got used here.
2006: LYRICIST BETTY COMDEN DIES.
From On the Town to Below the Ground.
2012: ACTOR LARRY HAGMAN DIES.
Not from a gun shot wound.
2014: WASHINGTON DC MAYOR/DRUG ADDICT MARION BARRY DIES.
Another inductee into the Politician Hall of Shame.
Dinner last night: Had a big lunch so just a sandwich.