Today in Hystery January 27th

   On this day in 1302, Dante Alighieri, who wrote one of the greatest poems in literature, “The Divine Comedy”, was kicked out of Florence because of his political affiliations. I’ll bet Dante wrote a pretty brilliant poem after that, once he found a word to rhyme with ‘boneheads’.  

   On this day in 1556, Willem of Orange became a knight of the Guilder Flies. That was a very nice promotion for him. I suppose at that point he set his sights set on becoming Lord of the Flies.

   On this day in 1671, one of the world’s most famous pirates, Henry Morgan, landed at Panama City. He was one of the most notorious, ruthless pirates ever to sail the Seven Seas. That’s why we salute him by putting his picture on a bottle of rum, just like we salute ruthless modern day pirates. I bought a bottle of rum yesterday with a picture of Bernie Madoff on the label.

   On this day in 1859, George-Etienne Cartier proclaimed Ottawa as the capital of Canada. And within a few years, what was once a beautiful riverside hamlet was overrun with a massive infestation of politicians that had everyone scratching their heads.

   On this day in 1870, the first sorority in America started up in Indiana. It was the Kappa Alpha Theta. Because they use Greek letters, these societies are modeled after the Greeks. So far, I haven’t noticed any Geek societies starting up, although, God knows, college campuses are full of them. I guess if they started a Geek society, it would be called “Betta Hacka Database”.  

   On this day in 1900, the Social Democrat Party of America held its first convention. Try bringing that up at your next Tea Party Grumble Fest.

   On this day in 1924, the body of Vladimir Lenin was placed in a Mausoleum in Red Square where it remains to this day. Visitors say the eyes follow you across the room, and so does the KGB. As the Old Russian saying goes, “Old communists never die; they just get stuffed and mounted.”

   If your birthday is January 27th, you share it with Abbas, “The Great”, the shah of Persia, who was born on this day in 1556. I wonder who his wife was. I wonder if she was Abbas Dancing Queen.

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