Today in Hystery January 3rd


   On this day in 1407, bloody battles broke out between Hoeksen and Kabeljauwen in Dordrecht. I realize this is not something you will be discussing on your coffee break today but I thought I’d throw it in for that small handful of students working on their masters degrees in Dordrecht History.

   On this day in 1496, Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested a flying machine. Had he ‘successfully’ tested a flying machine in 1496, history would have been drastically different. Christopher Columbus might have headed across the ocean in the Nina, the Pinta and the 747.

   On this day in 1780, the Danish national anthem “Kong Kristian…,” was sung for the first time. Of course, being the first time it was sung, meant that people didn’t know all the words…well, much like singing national anthems today isn’t it?

   On this day in 1847, the California town of Yerba Buena was renamed…ten points here…anyone? That’s right! They renamed Yerba Buena, San Francisco, and a good thing it was. I just can’t picture myself singing “Rice-aroni, the Yerba Buena treat!”

   On this day in 1870, construction began on the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge. It took thirteen years to build, so on May 24th, 1883; they cut the ribbon and said, “Okay, so what do we use this thing for?

   On this day in 1899, the first known use of the word ‘automobile’ was seen in an editorial in The New York Times, and somebody shouted, “Okay! Now I know what we can use that bridge for.”

   On this day in 1925, Benito Mussolini dissolved the Italian parliament and became dictator. Too bad they didn’t have one of those back to the future machines, like from the movie, back in 1925. Then Benito might have travelled to the future, seen himself hanging upside down outside a gas station and said, “You know what? Maybe you should just keep that parliament.”

   On this day in 1977, Apple Computers was incorporated…or should that read Apple Computers was iCorporated?

   If your birthday is January 3rd, you share it with actor/director Mel Gibson who was born on this day in 1956. Mel made some big movies by keeping his star status intact. These days he could make some big improvements by keeping his mouth shut.

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