On this day in 1902, banks in Dawson City, Yukon announced that they would no longer accept gold dust as legal tender. There was concern that miners were losing money on transactions as gold dust particles were lost in handling. I mean you could lose a fortune just because somebody sneezed.
On this day in 1567, it says here that, at a dinner, the Duke of Alba arrested the Count of Egmont and the Count of Hoorn for treason. I think that might be the storyline for an opera I saw, because, just at that moment, the King of Dinkerdorf walks in disguised as a stable boy and sings “In the Chapel in the Moonlight”.
On this day in 1872, “Three Fingers” Mackenzie destroyed a Kwahadi-Commanche village. The guy’s real name was Commander Ranald Mackenzie of the U.S Cavalry, but, I guess everybody called him “Three Fingers” because that was all he had left. As to why they kept on calling him that…well, he was stumped.
On this day 1916, John D. Rockefeller became the first ‘billionaire’. These days, they’re a dime a dozen, they make their money on the internet before they can shave and only after achieving their first billion do they finally feel the urge to move out of their parents’ basement.
On this day in 1950, the telephone answering machine was invented by Bell Laboratories. Answering machines have been replaced now by voice messaging but why is it that, still to this day, when people record their message, they always sound like English wasn’t their first language?
On this day in 1959, pop music fans all remember this was the day that Little Anthony and the Imperials recorded their monster hit, “Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop” and millions sang along not even knowing what the lyrics meant. They were actually Ubangi for “My cereal is a strange brown colour”
If your birthday is September 29th, you share it with Horatio Nelson, the great British naval hero who was born on this day in 1758. As you know, he died during the battle of Trafalgar and because it would take many weeks to get back to England, they did the only thing possible; they shoved his body into a barrel of brandy to preserve it on the return trip. I never read what happened to that barrel of brandy after they got Nelson back, but I’m sure they sold it to a pub and made a lot of men happy when they ordered “a stiff drink”.