On this day in 1452, the world’s first book was published; Johan Guttenberg’s Bible. The publisher was torn because he had three much sought-after books to publish just in time for the Christmas gift-buying season and he could only pick one of the three. One was the “Guttenberg Bible” another was “Jousting for Dummies” and the third was “The Idiots Guide to the Renaissance”.
On this day in 1659, Peter Stuyvesant of the Netherlands ordered that tennis could not be played during religious services. This seems odd to me, to think that up until 1659, Dutch church services included a tennis match. I guess, maybe, after a ‘fire and brimstone’ sermon where everyone was told they’d be going to Hell, it was a nice break to just lob a few balls around.
On this day in 1846, ether was used as an anaesthetic for the first time by a Dr. Wm. Morton while extracting a tooth. As anaesthetic began to be used more after that, patients became much happier, while audiences, who came to watch dental surgery, dropped off.
On this day, every year, the people of South Korea celebrate the birthday of their former leader Chung Hee Park who was born on this day in 1917. In his memory, they named a park after him in Seoul, called Park Park.
On this day in 1960, the first prime time animation series began on television called “The Flintstones”. Many Republicans in the U.S. and certain Canadian Conservatives rejoiced when they watched the Flintstones. “There!” they cried. “Look! Finally! Proof that cavemen did live with dinosaurs!”
On this day in 1978, the great TV ventriloquist Edgar Bergen died at the age of 75. His dummy, Charlie McCarthy lived another ten years although his act was reduced to just lying on a box and not saying anything.
For all our Today in Hystery fans in Botswana, this is your big national holiday. Happy Botswana Day. Let’s hope that when Botty the Botswana groundhog sticks his head out of the ground he sees sunshine, otherwise it’s six more weeks of gazelle stampedes.
If your birthday is September 30th, you share it with Robinson Crusoe who was born on this day in 1627, that is, if you believe Daniel Defoe who wrote the book. I think we have to tread carefully when thinking about celebrating the birthdays of fictional characters such as honest lawyers, fun-loving accountants, or web designers who have gone through puberty.