History Schmistory: Yo Ferdman & Izzy–I’m back!

1493. Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after 1st new world voyage. He brings potatoes, stories of Indians, and “Dancing with the Stars.”

History Schmistory: St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD.

St. Patrick’s Day is Nigh!

It’s March! And you know what that means!

History Schmistory: February 23. The world looks mighty good to me.

1896: The Tootsie Roll is invented, and gives rise to an unusual morphological phenomenon…

History Schmistory: February 21. “The new phone book’s here, the new phone book’s here!”

1878: The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut. It was basically one cardboard page with a list of 50 businesses that could afford to have telephones. There was no number system yet, as every connection could be made by one operator at a switchboard. Over the next hundred years the phonebook took a giant step, partly by becoming just that; a giant step, perfect for reaching the cookie jar and other such unobtainables. Today it appears the phone book is doomed of extinction. Should we do away with phone books altogether? Who knows, maybe in another hundred years, they might be the only thing left to keep us warm. Let’s hope not.
-In the meantime here’s some other cool stuff you can do with them…

History Schmistory: February 20. Hofer heaven’s sake!

1810: Andreas Hofer, a humble Tirolean innkeeper turned patriot, who became the leader of a rebellion against Napoleon’s forces, is executed by firing squad under Napoleon’s order to “give him a fair trial, then shoot him.” Hofer refused a blindfold, passing money to the corporal with orders to “shoot straight”. In his final letter Hofer proclaimed; “Goodbye disappearing world! Dying is so easy that my eyes have no tears.” Today he is regarded as a national hero in Tirol and much of Austria and Germany. Even has a four star hotel named after him. As a former innkeeper, he probably would appreciate that.

History Schmistory: February 22. “As bad as Moose Murders?”

1983: After 13 dismal previews, the notorious Broadway flop Moose Murders opens and closes on the same night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. It is now basically the standard by which all horrible plays that find their way to the Broadway stage are compared, and it pretty much loses every time. NY critics were literally in competition to see who could write the most witheringly scornful review.
Here’s some highlights:

“…The only stage play I ever saw presented in stereo-odoriferous Smellovision.” -John Simon

“Those of us who have witnessed the play… will undoubtedly hold periodic reunions, in the noble tradition of survivors of the Titanic.” -Frank Rich

“…Would insult the intelligence of an audience consisting entirely of amoebas” -Brendan Gill

In fairness, we have never seen or read the play, but from the reviews it seems likely that Eugene O’Neill didn’t just roll in his grave, he’s been rotating on a spit ever since. Zing!

History Schmistory: February 15. Words From Columbus!

February 15, 1493. Columbus writes a letter describing (and exaggerating) his voyage.

History Schmistory: February 19. It’s people!!

1847: The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party. Sadly, they arrived just after the main course.

History Schmistory: February 18. Moooovin’ on up.

1930: Elm Farm Ollie, aka “Nellie Jay” becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft, promoting the International Air Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri.
Ollie was also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft, producing 24 quarts of milk which were parachuted in cartons down to eager spectators.
Unfortunately, the air-milk industry failed to thrive.

 

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