Today in Hystery January 26th

   On this day in 1589, a man named Job was elected as the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the first with that name to be elected. So, as they used to say at Ford, in Russia, the leader was Job 1.

   On this day in 1784, Ben Franklin, who was living in France at the time wrote a letter to his daughter expressing his unhappiness over the choice of the eagle as America’s symbol. He said and I quote “The eagle is a bird of bad moral Character.”. At the end of the letter he also said this, “The turkey is, in comparison, a much more respectable bird.” And so, if one of America’s greatest forefathers had his way, America would be the only country in the world represented by a turkey. Discuss among yourselves.

   On this day in 1838, Tennessee became the first U.S. state to prohibit alcohol, and so, booze disappeared from Tennessee. Yeah, right, and “In the Still of the Night” was just a song.

   On this day in 1875, the electric dental drill was patented by American dentist George F. Green. These are really bad sounds; fingernails on a blackboard and a mosquito near your ear in the night, but I’ll take them any day over George F. Green’s awful invention.

   On this day in 1962, Bishop Burke of the Buffalo, New York Catholic dioceses declared that Chubby Checker’s hit song “The Twist” was impure and banned it from all Catholic schools. I’ll bet he also wasn’t thrilled with “The Hucklebuck”, ”The Mashed Potato” and “The Swim”, but he probably went apoplectic when he heard “The Funky Chicken”. Of course, you see being an old Catholic Bishop; he was brought up on that old stand-by, “The Hand Jive”.

   On this day in 1972, Vesna Vulovic was a flight attendant on Yugoslav Airlines when a terrorist bomb blew up the plane at 33,000 feet and Vesna fell from the plane…and lived. They found her on a mountainside, still strapped into her seat. Amazing! I suspect the last thing she had been saying into the airplane intercom was, “In the unlikely event…”.  If you see Vesna somewhere today, run up and touch her.

   If your birthday is January 26th, you share it with “The Great One”, hockey’s greatest player, Wayne Gretzky, who was born on this day in 1961. You may mock the title, but in Canada, slandering Wayne Gretzky is the only offense left on the books where the death penalty still applies. One bad word and you will be executed by Cement Head Semenko with a large fist to the face.

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