On this day in 1733, England passed the Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on molasses imported to the colonies from a country other than British possessions. The act took a while to work its way through parliament. It was just slower than…oh, what’s that word?
On this day in 1846, a Belgian man named Antoine Joseph Sax patented the saxophone. It took the folks in Belgium a while to understand it. They said, “So, it’s a phone, right? But which end do you hold to your ear?”
On this day in 1859, Australian Rules Football’s first ‘laws of the game’ was published. Have you ever watched Aussie Rules Football on TV? Can you see any laws being followed in this?
On this day in 1881, a revised version of the New Testament was published. The idea was to make the language more relevant to the way people spoke back then. I’m figuring we’re overdue for yet another revision soon to update to today’s vocabulary, you know, like where the burning bush speaks and says, “Yo, Moses! ‘Sup?”
On this day in 1902, a Greek archaeologist discovered the Antikythera Mechanism. It was found in a shipwreck and archeologists say the Greeks made it over two thousand years ago. The Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient mechanical analog computer that accurately calculates astronomical positions. Who actually designed this ancient computer is not known but a sticker on the side saying “Windows 150BC” might be a clue.
On this day in 1920, the first flight by the Dutch airline KLM lifted off the ground. For those of you who’ve always wondered what KLM stands for, it’s Koninklijke-Luchtvaart-Maatschappij, and that is why we prefer to say ‘KLM’.
If your birthday is May 17th, you share it with TV host Bob Saget who was born on this day in 1956. Saget was the first host of the always-popular “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, the show that featured videos people had sent in which always ended up with someone getting hit in the gonads. Hilarious! Nowadays, of course, if you want to spend hours watching people get whacked in the bollocks, well, that’s why YouTube was invented.
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