Jessie Lilley
Buddy Barnett
Brad Linaweaver

November 2009     Web Edition     Issue #3

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December 30

1703: Approximately 37,000 people are killed when an earethquake hits Tokyo.

1835: Charles Darwin, board HMS Beagle, sailed from New Zealand to Sydney.

1972: Nixon called a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam and announced peace talks.

1973: Skylab transmitted the first photos of a comet from space. In this case, it was Comet Kohoutek.

1980: Wonderful World of Disney broadcast its final show on NBC.

December 24

1799: The Jacobite plot against Napoleon was uncovered.

1893: Henry Ford completed work on his first usable gas motor .

1905: Happy Birthday Howard Hughes.

1997: For the first time, a Channukah candle was lit and officially recognized, in Vatican City.

December 23

1779: Benedict Arnold is court martialed on a charge of Improper Conduct.

1888: Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear.

1930: Bette Davis arrived in Hollywood under contract to Universal Studios.

2000: Actor Billy Barty died. He was 76 years old.

December 22

1832: Charles Darwin, aboard the HMS Beagle, arrives at the Barnevelts Islands

1882: Thomas Edison presents the first string of Christmas Lights.

1912: Happy Birthday Lady Bird!

1937: New York's Lincoln Tunnel opens to traffic.

1958: The Chipmunk Song hits #1.

December 21

It's the shortest day of the year. Break out the Druids.

1620:The Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts.

1804:Happy Birthday Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister.

1958:On this day, Charles de Gaulle was elected President of France.

2012: The Mayan Calendar ends. This fact has lead doom sayers to claim that the world will end. After all, why would the Mayans stop their calendar on 12/21/12 unless they knew the world was gonne be gone? Well, personally, I figure they ran out of ink. Scoff if you will, but come that date while the rest of you are scurrying around in a panic and thinking you're about to die, I'll be hanging with the old man, up here on the top of the hill and raising a glass to the Mayans in thanks for the day's entertainment.

December 18

1787: New Jersey became the third State in the Union.

1865: Secretary of State William H. Seward announced that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was confirmed. It had been ratified on the 6th of December, but took that long to get the word out to all States in the Union. Said Amendment reads as follows: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” It took another hundred years to get everyone on board with that Amendment.

1975: Rod Stewart announced that he was leaving Faces and going solo. The 60s were officially over.

2008: W. Mark Felt, famous for revealing himself as the Deep Throat of the Nixon Era Watergate scandal, died in Santa Rosa, CA. He was 95.

December 17

1777: France recognized the United States of America, the first country to do so.

1843: Charles Dickens published a new story for the season, "A Christmas Carol" was it's title.

1903: The Brothers Wright fly their plane in Kill Devil Hills, NC, for the first time. That first flight lasted 12 seconds.

2004: President George Walker Bush signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Act of 2004. This act reorganized our intelligence agencies and created a new position in governement: The National Security Director. Dark times for the citizenry.

December 15

1791: The United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights.

1943: Fats Waller died. He was 39 years old.

2009: On the same day that Vermont's House and Senate voted to override GOP Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, the Washington City Council voted 12-0 Tuesday in favor of allowing same-sex marriages performed in other states to be recognized in the nation's capital. Read the full story in our news section.

2009: Congress voted to finally lift the 11-year ban on Washington, D.C.’s medical marijuana law. The House voted 221-202 and the Senate voted 57-35 to approve the measure. Read the full story in our news section. More coverage can be found at ASA.

December 14

1799: George Washington died at his home in Mt. Vernon. He was 67 years old.
1819: Alabama was officially admitted to the Union and is our 22nd State.
1911: Composer and musical madman Spike Jones (pictured) is born in Long Beach, CA.
1953: 19 year old Sandy Koufax was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1963: Dinah Washington died in Detroit. She was 39 years old.

December 10

In 1869 the Governor of the Wyoming Territory, John Campbell, made what many men today believe to be a huge mistake. He approved the first law in the history of the USA, granting women the right to vote. Personally, I think it was a terrific idea, but that's just me. Be that as it may, December 10 is now celebrated as Wyoming Day.

Campbell was appointed governor by brand new president U.S. Grant. Campbell had started out as a private in the Union Army and wound up a brigadier general. Not too shabby. So, not unusual, after the war he was granted a nice government position.

Changes to the Constitution guaranteed the right to vote to all men, even those of African decent. John Campbell was assigned to redraw certain political areas in the state of Virginia so the representation there changed drastically. In short, John Campbell reinvented politics in Northern Virginia.

Having done so well at it, Grant shipped him off to the wilds of the Wyoming Territory whereupon he changed the course of history for women country-wide.
Quite a man.

December 9

Happy Birthday Clarence Birdseye. The man who froze the peas.

December 8

It Was 29 Years Ago

On Central Park West in New York City, just outside The Dakota apartment building, Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Winston Lennon. Chapman's life had been a failure and he felt, for some reason, that it was Lennon's fault. Coupled with the ideas that a) Lennon was a hypocrite; preaching love and peace but doing nothing about the world's problems and b) if he (Chapman) killed someone famous, his life would finally have some meaning.

Chapman was given 20 to life for his crime and has served 25 years thus far at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility and was previously turned down by the New York State division of parole in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. On August 12, 2008, Chapman was denied parole for the fifth time.

That night, I was in Brandon's bar in Englewood, NJ. The news came on and announced the shooting. No one in the bar said a word. We all got up, the bartender followed us out and locked the door behind him. We all piled into the closest cars and drove into town and there joined the hundreds already gathered in Central Park, across from The Dakota. Some were singing "Give Peace A Chance", but most of us were silent. By the time we left, there were thousands there.

John Lennon was 40 years old.

December 4

Ever wonder where the bloody FDA came from in the first place? Well, it came from FDR. On this day in 1933, he created the Federal Alcohol Control Administration. It's all been downhill from there.

The other big December 4 news comes to us from 1930 and was huge for Catholics. That was when the Vatican approved a particular form of birth control. It's known as the rhythm method. Whoop-de-do.

December 3

In 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard led a team of surgeons in the first human heart transplant. It happened in Cape Town, South Africa at the Groote Shur Hospital.

According to the American Heart Association, as of May 30, 2008, the 1-year survival rate for heart transplat patients is: 87.5% in males and 85.5% in females. The stats drop at 3 years to 78.8% in males and 76% in females.

More facts and figures can be found at their website.

Hard to believe it's already 42 years since that news report first came over the airwaves.

December 2

67 years ago (1942), the atomic age began on a squash court in Chicago. No. I'm not kidding. University of Chicago's Stagg Field was the location of the first nuclear fission chain reaction. A new era was begun; one that would change life as we knew it. Enrico Fermi (pictured, right) and his team, for better or for worse, conducted the tests that would make today's WMDs a reality.

Direct results of these tests were the creation of the atomic bomb and nuclear power plants. Whatever your opinions may be regarding these things, the fact remains that this is the day that tests confirmed theories. One of the more frightening things to stem from said tests were those absurd duck and cover posters and songs we endured in school in the 50s and 60s. "That's right folks! If you see a bomb falling on your picnic, just hide under the blanket. You'll be fine!"

And they wonder why none of us trust our government.

December 1

In 1955, a tired seamstress in Montgomery, AL changed the world.

Rosa Parks, heading home after a hard day, was tired. So tired, that when a white person got on the bus, she refused to relinquish her seat to them, and also refused to get up and move to the back of the bus. For this heinous crime, she was arrested, sparking a boycott of the Montgomery bus system that lasted over a year; 381 days to be exact.

This same arrest led to the 1956 Supreme Court ruling against segregation on public transportation. One diminutive lady with tired feet sparked a long-overdue revolution that today we refer to as the Civil Rights Movement, which paved the way for Mr. Obama and his family to now reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But there was more to Mrs. Parks than a needle and tired feet. She was the Secretary of the Montgomery Chapter of the NAACP; had, with her husband's encouragement, earned a High School Diploma; was advisor to the NAACP Youth Council; denied the right to vote twice, because of her skin color, she worked with the Voter's League in preparing African Americans to register and worked tirelessly, all her days after her arrest, for the advancement of Civil Rights, Equality, Education and Tolerance.

A great lady, and one to be looked up to as a role model by all who consider themselves Americans. One of my personal heroes, I rejoice that on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks rocked the world.

—Jessie Lilley