As Jack Barry used to say...."Joker, Joker, Joker!"
1113: POPE PASCHAL II ISSUED A BULL SANCTIONING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ORDER OF HOSPITALLERS.
The major note here is that there actually was a Pope Paschal the First.
1493: WHILE ON BOARD THE NINA, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS WRITES AN OPEN LETTER DESCRIBING HIS DISCOVERIES AND THE UNEXPECTED ITEMS HE CAME ACROSS IN THE NEW WORLD.
The first ever blog. ColumbusSpeaks.com.
1637: FERDINAND III BECOMES HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR.
And that's no bull.
1764: THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI IS ESTABLISHED.
They had to put that arch someplace.
1804: THE SERBIAN REVOLUTION BEGINS.
Serbs them right.
1820: SUFFRAGIST SUSAN B. ANTHONY IS BORN.
Some men have already decided what the "B" stands for.
1862: DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT ATTACKS FORT DONELSON, TENNESSEE.
All by himself?
1879: PRESIDENT RUTHERFORD B. HAYES SIGNS A BILL ALLOWING FEMALE ATTORNEYS TO ARGUE CASES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
On Susan B. Anthony's birthday. A nice touch.
1882: ACTOR JOHN BARRYMORE IS BORN.
The Great Profile who was likely drunk by the same date a year later.
1898: THE U.S.S. MAINE EXPLODES AND SINKS IN HAVANA HARBOR IN CUBA, KILLING MORE THAN 260. THIS EVENT LEADS THE UNITED STATES TO DECLARE WAR ON SPAIN.
Remember the Maine....and all those wasted cigars that burned up along with the wreckage.
1907: ACTOR CESAR ROMERO IS BORN.
One of Batman's classic villains. He always looked like he got laid a lot. You just never knew if it was with women or men. Or both.
1916: ACTRESS MARY JANE CROFT IS BORN.
"I Love Lucy's" Betty Ramsey. I met her once.
1927: COMEDIAN HARVEY KORMAN IS BORN.
I lit his candle once at Christmas Eve service.
1933: IN MIAMI, FLORIDA, GIUSEPPE ZANGARA ATTEMPTS TO ASSASSINATE PRESIDENT-ELECT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, BUT INSTEAD SHOOTS CHICAGO MAYOR ANTON J. CERMAK, WHO DIES OF HIS WOUNDS SEVERAL WEEKS LATER.
Zangara was not the smartest assassin. He was aiming at FDR's spine, so the guy would be crippled for life.
1944: DURING WORLD WAR II, THE ASSAULT ON MONTE CASSINO, ITALY, BEGINS.
I don't think it's really a gambling place, but, at least, this is when Italy starts to cash in their chips.
1947: ACTOR RUSTY HAMER IS BORN.
Make Room for Daddy's Kid.
1948: DODGER RON CEY IS BORN.
I never met him. I never lit his candle at Christmas Eve service.
1952: KING GEORGE VI IS BURIED IN ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL AT WINDSOR CHAPEL.
Let's hope that we don't read he died in 1954.
1954: SIMPSONS CREATOR MATT GROENING IS BORN.
1961: SABENA FLIGHT 548 CRASHES IN BELGIUM, KILLING 73, INCLUDING THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES SKATING TEAM.
Well, there goes the 1963 edition of the Ice Capades.
1965: A NEW RED-AND-WHITE MAPLE LEAF DESIGN IS ADOPTED AS THE FLAG OF CANADA.
So what did the Toronto hockey team wear before that?
1965: SINGER NAT KING COLE DIES.
Hack, hack, hack, I'm sorry, hack, hack, hack.
1971: THE DECIMALISATION OF BRITISH COINAGE IS COMPLETED ON DECIMAL DAY.
Which make this February 1.5.
1973: ACTOR WALLY COX DIES.
Underdog is really under now.
1984: BROADWAY STAR ETHEL MERMAN DIES.
Everything's now coming up Ethel.
1989: THE SOVIET UNION OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES THAT ALL OF ITS TROOPS HAVE LEFT AFGHANISTAN.
They cleared out just before it started to get fun.
1996: ACTOR TOMMY RETTIG DIES.
Now buried alongside a lot of Lassie's bones.
1996: ACTOR MCLEAN STEVENSON DIES.
This time, it was for real and not the result of a salary dispute with Twentieth Century Fox.
2000: INDIAN POINT II NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN NEW YORK STATE VENTS A SMALL AMOUNT OF RADIOACTIVE STEAM WHEN A STEAM GENERATOR FAILS.
I still would like to own a wig store in this area of New York State.
2002: JOURNALIST HOWARD K. SMITH DIES.
K as in Kaput.
2004: ACTRESS JAN MINER DIES.
Madge, it's Palmolive. You're soaking in it.
2013: A METEOR EXPLODES OVER RUSSIA, INJURING 1500 PEOPLE.
No joke here. Just in case they are monitoring this blog over the internet.
2016: ACTOR GEORGE GAYNES DIES.
No paynes, no Gaynes.
Dinner last night: Chopped salad.