Today in Hystery February 16th

   On this day in 600, Pope Gregory the Great put out a decree saying “God bless you” was the correct response to a sneeze. Seriously! That was in Italy, but there was another philosophy on sneeze responses in Germany where the Emperor ordered that the proper response to a sneeze was “Gesundheit!” Funny thing; the Pope was so admant that sneezes in public be responded to properly, but on farts, he was silent.

   On this day in 1838, the state of Kentucky passed a law permitting women to attend school under certain conditions…you mean like they couldn’t make the boys look bad by getting better marks? Fat chance!

   On this day in 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks formed in New York City. The club took its name from Elk, the animal, a beast known to get together once a week in the woods, holding hoofs and bellowing out the Elk song, “Let’s go Rutting!”

   On this day in 1899, Iceland’s first football club was formed called “Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur”. If you could say the name, you made the team.

   On this day in 1915, Frank Home Run Baker, 28, announced his retirement from baseball following a contract dispute. He sat out the entire 1915 season, after which he was known as Frank Home Sleeping Baker.

   On this day in 1957, “The Toddlers’ Truce” was closed down on British television. Up until then, TV networks had been forced to stop broadcasting for an hour between 6 and 7pm, so that children could be put to bed. Things haven’t changed that much. Tune in any night between 6 and 7…there’s still nothing on TV!

   On this day in 1971, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was under fire from the opposition in the House of Commons and uttered an unparliamentarily expression sometimes known as the “F’ word. When asked about it by reporters he told them he had said ”Fuddle Duddle!” Then in 1979, they held an election and the people of Canada told Pierre Trudeau to “Fuddle Duddle!”  

   If your birthday is February 16th, you share it with the famous ventriloquist and radio and TV star Edgar Bergen who was born on this day in 1903. A lot of people get confused, thinking that Charlie McCarthy was the ventriloquist, but he was the dummy. It’s the same as people thinking that the man who became paranoid over communism in the U.S., Senator Joseph McCarthy, was a ventriloquist. Actually he was a dummy.

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