Selections from the August 2009 Ant Farmer's Almanac Calendar
1962: Beatles replace drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr; Ringo does not say "Today-ay-ay, I consider myself-elf-elf, the luckiest man-an-an-an on the face-ace-ace-ace of the earth-rth-rth-rth..." but he really should have.
1969: Final day of Woodstock Festival; "Dude, Where's My Car Keys?"
2009: Ant Farmer's Almanac goes on two-week vacation.
1958: Fidel Castro makes a speech on Cuban pirate radio; it goes on for so long he also takes requests and does the drive-time weather and traffic.
1991: Coup in Russia deposes Mikhail Gorbachev.
1989: Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their parents; Charlton Heston starts watching his own kids more carefully.
1858: First Lincoln-Douglas debate; perhaps the high point of American political discourse.
1968: Democratic Convention opens in Chicago; perhaps the low point in American political discourse (at least until roughly this date in 2012).
1775: King George III proclaims American colonies to be revolting; courtiers quip, "You can say that again!"
1960: World's largest frog (3.3 kg) caught in Equatorial Guinea; kid who found it breaks "World's Largest Wart" record a few days later.
1869: Waffle iron invented; wrinkle-free waffles now available to everyone.
1944: Paris liberated from Nazis; grateful Parisians immediately begin sneering at and overcharging American soldiers.
1952: Fluoridation of San Francisco's municipal water supply begins; this may or may not explain everything.
1667: Hurricane hits Jamestown, Virginia, earliest recorded such event in America; colonists spend rest of summer asking each other "Did you f***ing see that!"
1884: First known photograph of a tornado is made near Howard, South Dakota; it's not printed until March 1885 when the camera is found in Lincoln, Nebraska.
1896: Chop Suey invented in NYC by chef of visiting Chinese Ambassador; an hour later he has to invent Peking Duck.
1979: President Carter "attacked" by a rabbit on a canoe trip in Plains, Georgia.
1954: Census Bureau established, replacing the old "show of hands" method for counting people.
2009: Ant Farmer's Almanac returns from vacation; expect grouchy-at-being-back-at-work, but well-tanned posts for a while.
1673: Joliet & Marquette begin exploring the Mississippi; expedition is marred by pair's constant bickering over whether the river is "Big" or "Muddy."
1932: Congress changes the name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico" but does not stipulate any change of pronunciation.
1961: Fidel Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers; "The pretty yellow ones," he specifies.
1980: Mount St. Helens blows its top.
1792: Russian army enters Poland; Poles sigh and ask, "What is it this time?"
1977: Smokey & the Bandit premieres.
1979: In The Navy by the Village People hits #3 on the charts.
1916: First Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell; the "Good Old Days" officially begin.
1602: Martha's Vineyard is first sighted by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold; when he tries to land there, local indians tell him it's too late for this season but that he can fill out an application for the summer of 1603.
1954: Bob Dylan is Bar Mitzvahed; he keeps asking how many of these he has to go through before you can call him a man.
1961: First revolving restaurant, Top Of The Space Needle, in Seattle, opens; business improves once they slow it down from 78 rpm to 33 1/3.
1908: Dirigible explodes over San Fransisco Bay, 16 passengers fall into the water, none die; although none delightedly squeals "Wheeeeee!" all the way down, either.
1939: Hitler proclaims he wants to move into Poland; sends in troops to look for a cozy three-bedroom, split-level rancher with a nice view of Russia.
1844: Samuel Morse sends first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought"; the second is, "Can you hear me now?"
Highlights from this Month's Ant Farmer's Almanac Calendar
1904: Ty Cobb's professional baseball debut; he goes 2 for 3 and shoots a guy in the dugout.
1616: William Shakespeare dies in Stratford-on-Avon. Many scholars now believe that someone else did the dying for him, and a few question whether he or Stratford-on-Avon ever even existed.
1897: William Price, of the Washington Star, is the first reporter assigned to cover White House. After weeks of his pestering, President McKinley has a junior staffer stand close by at all times and make helicopter noises over which he "can't hear" Price's shouted questions.
1886: Nestled between a cigar store and a donut shop, Sigmund Freud opens his first psychiatric practice in Vienna, Austria.
April 6, 1909: Americans Robert Peary & Matthew Henson reach the North Pole. Upon their return they steadfastly refuse to either confirm or deny that they found Santa Claus, but historians note that they each got a shiny new bicycle every Christmas for the rest of their lives.
Selected Highlights from the March Edition of the Ant Farmer's Almanac Calendar
1708: English pretender to the throne James III lands at the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Unfortunately, his followers are waiting for him at the Firth of Fifth, so he waits alone and never takes power.
1775: Firebrand founding father Patrick Henry proclaims "Give me liberty or give me death!" British reply, "Okey dokey, then," and begin loading their muskets.
1935: Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour goes national on the NBC Radio Network; a young Simon Cowell amuses his friends with exaggerated eyerolls and snarky comments about the performances.
1960: D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover is ruled "not really all that obscene" by a very disappointed New York appeals court.
1961: Russian satellite Sputnik 10 carries a dog into orbit; Soviet children are told that the dog returned safely and "was sent to live on very nice collective farm in country."
1804: U.S. Congress orders the removal of all Indians east of Mississippi to Louisiana; "Until we want that, too," they slip into the fine print when the Indians aren't looking.
1931: John McGraw predicts that night baseball will not catch on; "Because it's too dark at night to play baseball!" he exclaims, "Jeez, what is wrong with you people?"