Today in Hystery January 2nd

   On this day in 1570, Russia’s Czar, Ivan, began what is known as the Ivan the Terrible March to Novgorod. You may be asking how does an army do a ‘terrible march’? I don’t know, but if you’ve ever seen video on the TV news of the Iraqi army doing drills, that would be something like marching terribly. The Iraqi Army whose motto is “We all march to a different drummer.”

   On this day in 1832, the first curling club in the U.S. opened in Orchard Lake. And with that, they created the first expression that can be used both in sexual relations and in a sport; “Hurry hard!”

   On this day in 1890, a man in Louisiana named E.A.McIlhenny shot an alligator that was 19 feet, 2 inches long. That’s a lot of alligator! That’s a lot of shoes!

   On this day in 1929, World War One flying ace Wop May took off from Edmonton, Alberta with fellow bush pilot Vic Horner to deliver diphtheria vaccine to Fort Vermilion, Alberta, which was 1600 kilometres north. Doing that on January 2nd was heroic enough, but here’s the best part; the two pilots made the trip in an open aircraft using oil burners to keep the vaccine from freezing. An open aircraft! A crowd of ten thousand people greeted them when they returned. They were mobbed, but not for too long. I’m sure they were pretty desperate for a hot shower.

   On this day in 1983, Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark resigned as the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. First he had lost an election after only being prime minister for 9 months and then, to cap off that major blunder, he had gone into the leadership vote saying he would quit if he didn’t get 70% of the votes. He got 60%. I’ll say it again; he only got 60% of the vote! If a political leader these days got 60%, they’d be the most popular leader in the free world. Does that make Joe Clark a hiccup of history? No, I think maybe a stifled burp would be better.

   On this day in 1979, rock singer Sid Vicious went on trial for murdering his girlfriend. Honestly, did any of you think that relationship would end well?

   If your birthday is January 2nd, you share it with country singer Roger Miller who was born on this day in 1936. Roger had a few big hits, but I like him for writing one of the most outstanding lyric lines in pop music history; “Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug! Makes me wanna holler Hidey Ho!” Thank you Roger.

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