History Schmistory: February 8. Scout’s Honor!

1910: Lifelong adventurer, William D. Boyce  incorporates and charters the Boy Scouts of America. Only the year before, Boyce was hopelessly lost one evening on the foggy streets of London, when an unknown Scout came to his rescue and guided him safely to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce’s tip, explaining that he was a Boy Scout and was merely doing his daily good turn. Upon his return to the US, Boyce wasted no time initiating the Boy Scouts of America, which not only compelled mischievous young men to do nice things, but also bussed them out to the forest to learn how to survive.

-Unfortunately, nobody told Smokey they were coming…

History Schmistory: February 8. Be Prepared!

February 8, 1910. Boy Scouts of America is incorporated.

History Schmistory: February 7. “The British are coming, the British are coming!”

1964: The British invade the US. With Rock! The Beatles, already causing Beatlemania in the UK and much of Europe, take their first small steps on US soil at Kennedy Airport. Their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show two days later proved a giant leap for music-kind, marking the beginning of the “British Invasion” in America.

History Schmistory: February 7. Monopoly!

February 7, 1935: Parker Brothers introduces the Monopoly board game.

Culture Buzz: Wax Off!

In the bustling cities of many Asian countries, including China, India and Japan, you are likely to run into an ear cleaning station here and there. Yes, the meticulous ear cleaners of Asia will, for a small fee, use an array of specially crafted instruments to clean the insides of your brain, (at least that’s what it feels like.) Don’t try it at home, you can really mess things up in there! America has not yet caught the street-side-ear-cleaning buzz, probably because they couldn’t hear it, -with all the wax up in there. But, who knows? Someday ear cleaning stands may become as common as taco trucks. Just so long as they never mix the two 😛

History Schmistory: February 6. Let Us Ride the Rails!

February 6, 1815. The US says yes to laying the tracks!

Video Schmistory: February 5.

4 useless observances, Peter Pan and lots of Jello… Must be Feb 5!

History Schmistory: February 4. “Heigh-Hoooooooo!”

1938: Walt Disney Productions’ first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is released across the nation.

It was also the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America, and the first produced in full color. It became a major box-office success, making four times more money than any other motion picture released in 1938, and by 1939 it was easily the highest grossing film of all time. Which is awesome, because most critics seemed certain that Disney’s wildly anomalous film venture would fail miserably. Snow White and her 7 pals were a resounding success on so many levels, yet it still bothers them that their line is always the shortest at Disneyland.

History Schmistory: February 4. Sibling Rivalry!

February 4, 211. Roman Emperor, Septimius Severus dies without choosing an heir.

History Schmistory: February 3. Tu-soon!

1637: The so-called “Tulip Mania” in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands) collapses faster than the 2008 US economy. Yep, the fleeting tulip craze was more potent than the Macarena or the pet rock, with certain savvy merchants gaining more than 400% of their initial investments. The most sought after tulips were deliberately infected with a mosaic virus which greatly weakened the already prolonged maturation of the plant, but happened to result in a wild array of variegated color schemes that were so popular, merchants began selling “futures”; flowers that did not yet exist! Whaaa?
The craze was predictably short-lived, being rudely interrupted by another unanticipated yet much more hostile virus. Namely, the flippin’ black plague!

Monkeys in contemporary 17th century Dutch dress are shown here dealing in tulips, a satirical commentary on speculators during the time of “Tulip Mania”.

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