The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Tim ONeill
Funny Guy 

Tomato controversy resolved, table knife invented

This week in history


May 8: 1790—The French National Assembly decides to create a decimal system of measurement resulting in the metric system. Tool manufacturers celebrate. 1914—Congress makes the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day as a result of the efforts of Anna M. Jarvis. 1993—Oh these kids today! A New York City subway train carrying about 2,000 passengers goes on a three hour-long ride driven by railroad engineer imposter, 16-year-old Keron Thomas. Born: Harry S. Truman (1884). Died: Eddy Arnold (2008). No Socks Day. Today’s Word: Heteronym—a word spelled the same as another word but with a different sound and meaning.

May 9: 1754—Benjamin Franklin’s cartoon “Join, or Die” is first published in the Pennsylvania Gazette. It displays a snake cut into many pieces representing the colonies and is the earliest known representation of colonial union produced in America. 1867—The decline of power held by the samurai class in Japan forces warrior Benni Hanna to open his first restaurant. 1930—A starting gate is used to start the Preakness and is first time one is used to start a Triple Crown race. 1984—The Milwaukee Brewers lose to the Chicago White Sox 7—6 after only 25 innings, eight hours, six minutes played in two days, the longest game (in elapsed time) in major-league history. Born: Charlie McCarthy’s sister, Candice Bergen (1946). Died: Lena Horne (2010). Lost Sock Memorial Day. Today’s Word: Drapetomania—a strong desire to run away from home.

May 10: 504 BC—Greek theatre increases concession sales after adding Dots, Nonpareils and Red Hots to its menu. 1849—At Manhattan’s Astor Opera House, a fight breaks out over who is the best actor in Shakespearean roles—either American Edwin Forrest or Englishman William Charles Macready. To express their support of Forrest, about 10,000 protestors descend on the Opera House to disrupt Macready’s performance of Macbeth. Rocks are thrown and efforts are made to burn down the theatre. The state’s well-armed militia appears to quell the disturbance and fires into the crowd, killing approximately 25 people. 1893—In Nix v. Hedden, the US Supreme Court ignores science and obvious common sense and rules a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit. Born: Fred Astaire, nee Frederick Austerlitz (1899). Died: Mommy Dearest, Joan Crawford nee Lucille Fay LeSueur (1977). Confederate Memorial Day (North and South Carolina). Today’s Word: Timmynoggy—a device saving both time and labor. See Ron Popeil.

May 11: 330 A.D.—Byzantium—later Constantinople and later Istanbul—becomes the capital of Roman Empire. 1943—The US 7th division lands on Attu Island of the Aleutian chain to take it back from Japan. It is the first U.S. territory recaptured in World War II. 1973—Unitarian church gains a growing number of feminists to the fold after introducing hyrmnals. 1988—Mario Andretti records the then-fastest lap time at the Indianapolis 500 of 221.56 mph. Born: Denver Pyle (1920). So Long and Thanks for All the Fish: Douglas Adams (2001). Eat What You Want Day. Today’s Word: Neoteny—an indefinite prolongation of immaturity and juvenile characteristics into adulthood. As in Men in Their Late Teens, Early 20s.

May 12: 1.3 Million BC—Economists of Homo Ergaster nomadic tribes claim economic upturn due to gains in hunting, gathering and scavenging. 1831—His mother must be so proud: Edward Smith becomes the first U.S. bank robber to be indicted. 1888—The crouching start is first used by Yale track team’s Charles Sherrill. 1978—Sexual equality takes a giant leap when NOAA announces it will no longer use only female names to identify hurricanes. 2002—Dionne Warwick is arrested at Miami’s International Airport after baggage screeners discover marijuana in her lipstick container. This may explain why she kept forgetting the way to San Jose. Born: Burt Bacharach (1929). Limerick Day. Today’s Words: Friggatriskaidekaphobia or Paraskavedekatriaphobia—the irrational fear of Friday the 13th.

May 13: 1637—France’s Cardinal Richelieu rounds off the points from daggers to create the modern table knife. Born: George N. Papanicolaou (1883). Died: Cyrus Hall McCormick (1884). National Etiquette Week. Today’s Word: Nugiperous—given to inventing trifles.

May 14: 1787—Delegates gather for the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. 1874—Harvard beats the University of McGill 3—0 for the first football game where an admission fee is charged. 1904—The first World’s Olympic Games in the U.S. takes place in St. Louis. 1939—Lina Medina of Ticrapo, Huancavelica Region, Peru gives birth by caesarian to a six pound boy. What is remarkable is that Lina was only five years, seven months, and 17 days old, the youngest mother in medical history. Born: George Lucas (1944). No Longer Able To Do It His Way: Frank Sinatra (1998). National Dance Like A Chicken Day. Today’s Word: Perorate—to speak at great length in an inflated, pompous manner.


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