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by: Max Burbank


2003: Belgium officially recognizes Same Sex Marriage, the second country to do so. "Sadly, we have been beaten to the recognition by the Netherlands," states Orlon Poirot, a rotund little Belgian sporting a beret and pants hiked up to just below his nipples. "We saw Gay Marriage, we said, 'Look! There it is!', but those Danish bastards beat us to the punch, if indeed, the Netherlands are peopled by Danes, which I think is the case. It's hard to keep up, and besides, I don't care."

1969: Perhaps the most influential musical group of all time, the Beatles make their last public performance on this day in 1969, giving an impromptu concert on the roof of their London recording studio. Greasy, bearded, disheveled, angry, hung over and bitter, Ringo was still in better shape than his compatriots. "'S fooked, Rah?" John Lennon Famously quipped, to which Paul McCartney, believed by many to have been dead for months, could only reply, "Ehn, Fook off ya Fookin' bastid fook."

Oh yeah, I'm bitter.
Pete Best: Almost certainly still bitter.

1968: The Tet offensive begins. In coordinated attacks all across South Vietnam, communist forces launch their largest offensive of the Vietnam War against South Vietnamese and U.S. troops, while in America Middle School students snigger behind their hands during Current Events because when the teacher says 'Tet' it's almost like they are saying 'tit', which is hilarious. I mean, think about it. A teacher saying 'tit'.

1933: With the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout of "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit's WXYZ radio station. Breaking cultural ground as the first radio show featuring an openly gay protagonist in an interracial relationship, the program was canceled after seventeen seconds, totally reconceived as a Western, and re-released five minutes later. Of the original concept, only the costumes remained, perhaps because they could not be seen over the radio. Even today, the Lone Ranger and Tonto's distinctive garb is well ahead of its time in terms of gayness. Oh, and also on this day, Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.

1862: The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched. Best known for her role in the Battle of Hampton Roads during the American Civil War, because it was just about all the ship got to do before sinking off Cape Hatteras a month later. "Iron is very good at deflecting shells" Secretary of the Navy Eukiphia Q. Sepis testifies during the inquest, "But it is even better at sinking on account of it's heaviness when compared with wood."

Listen to the statue, for he is wise.
"What were we thinking? This is just a model and it's damn heavy.
But you don't even care what I think because I'm a statue."

1835: In the first assassination attempt against a President, a mentally ill man named Richard Lawrence attempts to assassinate President Andrew Jackson in the United States Capitol. Both of Lawrence's pistols misfire, and Jackson proceeds to beat his would-be assassin with his cane. While a harrowing experience and a narrow escape, the incident was critical in cementing Jackson's lifelong devotion to the sport of 'Caning the Mentals'.

1826: The Menai Suspension Bridge connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales was opened. The bridge was not the first suspension bridge, but was so much larger than anything previously built that it is considered the world's first modern suspension bridge, proving unequivocally that serious bridge enthusiasts are a bunch of size queens.

1806: The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the 'Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge'), which spans the Delaware River between Morrisville, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, opens. Bet when you woke up this morning you had no idea what an education on bridges you'd be getting.

1782: "Itchy Magoo", the feral weasel boy, is displayed for viewing at the Brooklyn college of Medicine by Dr. Yonst Sepsis of Norway. Asked if the undernourished teenager before them had actually been raised to the age of twelve by weasels, Dr. Sepsis was forced to admit the boy was in fact, "Just some impoverished male prostitute I met at the train station."

1703: The Borgarigmus Narrows Rope and Slats Bridge connecting the towns of Measles and Meconium in Southern Maine opens to the public. Not the longest, first or even a very good example of the Ropes and Slats Bridge, I mention it because I'm a loopy for bridges to the point of arousal. Don't judge me.

1649: King Charles I is beheaded for treason. Charles ascended to the English throne in 1625 following the death of his father, King James I. In the first year of his reign, Charles offended his Protestant subjects by marrying Henrietta Maria, a Catholic French princess. He later responded to political opposition to his rule by dissolving Parliament on several occasions and in 1629 decided to rule entirely without Parliament. In 1642, the bitter struggle between king and Parliament for supremacy led to the outbreak of the first English civil war.

The Parliamentarians were led by Oliver Cromwell, whose formidable Ironsides force won an important victory against the king's Royalist forces at Marston Moor in 1644 and at Naseby in 1645. As a leader of the New Model Army in the second English civil war, Cromwell helped repel the Royalist invasion of Scotland, and in 1646 Charles surrendered to a Scottish army. In 1648, Charles was forced to appear before a high court controlled by his enemies, where he was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Early in the next year, he was beheaded. Apparently, when you behead someone, lots and lots of blood comes out of the neck. More than you'd think. You'd be surprised. You keep thinking it's over, and then another huge gout of blood gushes out. It gets awkward.

1648: Eighty Years' War ends. The Treaty of Münster is signed, ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain. As all sides had agreed more than a year earlier, and many lives could have been spared, but no one cared for the name, "The Seventy-Nine Years War."

Head will rollllllllllllllll!
Despite only a rudimentary knowledge of three-point
perspective, the Dutch were really keen on beheading.

1311: Lots and lots of people kill each other in various barbaric and revolting ways, but as many of them are hideously deformed, insane, desperately moronic or some combination thereof, and owing to the fact that pretty much the same thing happened the day before and that no one doubts the same thing will happen the next day, no one notices.

35: Apostles Peter and Simon get in a huge argument about whether Jesus said it was wrong to chew Gum while he was teaching, or if it was an abomination in the eyes of the lord to chew gum at any time, ever. Harsh words are exchanged, leading to a schism that would rock the early Christina Church if not for the fact that I made the whole thing up. I mean, gum. Come on. Seriously. Did they even have gum?

4819 B.C.E: Ulmeric Sepsis, Clan engineer of the Upper Slavic nomadic Urits (oo-reets) topples a massive oak so it spans a chasm over the river Leeching Stent, earning him the Honorific 'Bridgemaker'. Bridge, bridge, bridge, I said bridge, I like bridges bridgey bridgey bridge bridge bridge.

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