For example, on this day in 1889, Montana became the 41st State of the Union. Where would we be today if that hadn't happened? Not in Montana, that's for certain.
Speaking of creepy, November 8 is also famous for being the day in 1923 on which a confused young Adolf Hitler attempted to seize control of Germany by occupying a beer hall in Munich at gunpoint. And it just might have worked, if it hadn't been a completely idiotic idea!!!! Sure, Germans like beer, but there is so much more to Germany than that. Young Adolf wouldn't have necessarily understood such nuances of German culture, he himself being Austrian. And part Jewish. And his real name wasn't Hitler, but Schickelgrüber. Yes, he was a very confused young man, about a great many things.
But young Adolf learned his lesson, and after being released from prison he gave up trying to put his nefarious plans and half-baked sociological theories into effect by force. Instead, he did what everyone else does who lusts for power, and got himself elected democratically.
Which is why you must never vote for anyone who says, "Vote for ME." Because that person will absolutely, definitely be the next Hitler.
|LOSER of the 1960 US Presidential Election|
Remember that word, Dick. "Resign." It might come in handy again.
Speaking of resigning, today is the day in 2006 that the Worst Secretary of State Ever, Donald Rumsfeld, resigned.
While November 8 has seen its share of blood, such as the historic first-ever jet-on-jet aircraft dogfight (1950, USA 2, North Korea 0), or in 1520 when Denmark invaded Sweden for some reason, it has also been a day of peace. 1965, for example, when Britain officially abolished the death penalty. Or the signing of the Pacification of Ghent in 1576. And thank goodness for THAT. Just imagine what your life would be like if the Dutch town of Ghent were still full of angry Spaniards.
|King Charles the Clueless|
It is the birthday in 1836 of Milton Bradley, a wealthy Capitalist and entrepreneur who built a monopoly based on board games, which ironically did not include Monopoly! Instead, Monopoly was the creation of a puritanical do-gooder who wanted to teach people about the evils and moral bankruptcy of Capitalism. The game failed miserably in this goal, and instead became the means of introducing millions of children to the endless joys and wonders of Capitalism. As a consequence, and much to her dismay, the self-righteous do-gooder became a fabulously wealthy Capitalist.
Also born on this day, in 1848, is Gottlob Frege, the German mathematician and logician who elevated Logic from something akin to the disreputable morass of Grecian rhetoric into a respectable branch of mathematics. Presumably he did this in an effort to figure out what on earth his parents were thinking. Next time you use an IF( ) function in Excel or draw a Chance card in Monopoly, thank Gottlob Frege.
|Jack Kilby, Inventor of the|
Calculator and the
Jack Kilby was an engineer after my own heart. He also invented the electronic calculator, which I regard as the greatest invention of all times. If I could put just one item into a time machine and send it to my personal hero Galileo (who famously never did anything on November 8th if he could help it), it would be a solar-powered scientific calculator. He really could have used one. And I have a few extra, including the Texas Instruments TI-30X IIs, which in my studied opinion is the best calculator available today and a direct descendant of Jack Kilby's creation.
|Some of the calculators I have owned and used. Best Invention Ever.|
|Atlas: Not Verified|
Also in Astronomy, it is alleged to be the anniversary of the discovery in 1980 of a 15th moon of Saturn based on images taken by Voyager 1 (there are now at least 62 known moons of Saturn). Try as I may I have not been able to verify this claim, nor verify that the fried-egg-like Atlas was that lucky moon. Actually, this factoid is almost certainly wrong. But if it were true, how awesome would that be?
|2005 YU55. Verified.|
Verified, however, is the hair-raising near-miss of a 400-meter-wide asteroid, named 2005 YU55 for some reason, passing between the earth and moon on November 8 of 2011. Hey - that's TODAY!!!
If an object of that size were to collide with the earth, it's pretty much lights out for 90% of higher life forms on this planet, and even some politicians too. The chances that it will do so are zero, however. Its trajectory has been very accurately plotted, and it will definitely miss us. We'll be able to get a much better photo of it, though, so that's a bonus.
|Bram Stoker's character |
scares the hell out of me.
It is the birthday of scary Irish author Bram Stoker (1874), and notable user of language Gordon Ramsay (1966). It is the day English poet John Milton regained paradise in 1674.
November 8 is the day in 1983 that the amazing James Booker left us for the sunny side of the street. In honor of His Magnificence, please take a moment to listen to one of the great human achievements of all time:
So my friends, enjoy this absolutely amazing, one-of-a-kind day! What will I be doing on this most auspicious occasion? I am going to celebrate by laying in a hammock.