January 26, 1947

On January 26, 1947, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” was first heard on ABC radio. No, it wasn’t “Lord of the Rings”. Tolkien’s masterpiece wouldn’t be published until 1954 and 1955.

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January 25, 1840

On January 25, 1840, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, commander of the United States Exploring Expedition became the first person to identify Antarctica as a new continent. Subsequent explorers confirmed his finding. Wilkes did not see any giant mutated penguins, nor was he attacked by alien spaceships. He did see some sea lions and regular penguins, though. And he noted it was cold. Just a regular day for an explorer with no supernatural or extranatural events to document.

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January 24, 1965

On January 24, 1965, former Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill died at the age of 90 after living a life of eating too much, drinking too much, smoking too much and poking others, both friend and enemy, with his sarcastic wit. It should be noted that Churchill’s enjoyment of his vices did not sit well with the medical community as they thought he should have set a better example for his junior senior citizens. Doctor’s in England would tell their 60 to 65 year old patients that they should cut back on eating bacon, smoking and drinking sherry just to have them bring up Winston Churchill and how he was still doing all that up to his death as age 90.

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January 23, 2018

On January 23, 2018, twelve camels were disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel Beauty Contest in Saudi Arabia. Why? It was discovered that their owners had used botox on the camel’s lips to make them bigger and poutier.

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January 22, 1908

On January 22, 1908, Katie Mulcahey was arrested for smoking in public in New York City, becoming the first victim of the 1-day old “Sullivan Ordinance” which banned women from smoking in public. She was fined $5 dollars. When she refused to pay the fine, she was brought before a judge. She told him, “I’ve got as much right to smoke as you have. I never heard of this new law, and I don’t want to hear about it. No man shall dictate to me.” That was punk before punk was even punk. Mayor George B. McClellan vetoed the ordinance two weeks later.

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January 21, 2002

On January 21, 2002, fifty people in Goma, Congo died stupidly. They were trying to steal gasoline from elevated fuel tanks at a gas station when lava ignited the tanks and killed them. That’s right, lava caused the fuel tanks to explode just like out of a bad “B” movie. Mount Nyiragongo had previously erupted on January 17 and sent a lava flow toward Goma. Lava doesn’t flow that fast and these people could have easily evacuated the area and lived. But, they had to risk their lives trying to steal a few gallons of gasoline each. It’s a shame these people didn’t realize they weren’t the stars in an action movie. They were the ‘died in explosion’ extras. Take that as a hint, people. If you do something stupid, something stupid will happen because of it.

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January 20, 1949

On January 20, 1949, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover gave 20 year old movie star, Shirley Temple, a tear gas fountain pen. She was James Bond before Sean Connery was James Bond.

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January 19, 1861

On January 19, 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union. They said all the cool kids were doing it. They weren’t. It was the usually quartet of troublemakers South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. You know, the ones that sit in the back of the classroom and refuse to do any homework and complain every time they’re told to read a book. Georgia decided to cut class with the smokers to ‘protest’ giving up something they knew was wrong. They even told the principal, ‘You’re not my real dad.’ As part of their punishment, besides the paddling, Georgia was put into ‘time-out’ for six years after their bad behavior.

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January 18, 1997

On January 18, 1997, Boerge Ousland of Norway became the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided. He did not find ‘the Ice Wall’, alien space ships, or an entrance in the ground that would enable him to access the caverns of Cadavra and find the lost skeleton. He did find a lot of ice, wind, freezing temperatures and around the coasts, penguins. Although there is a rumor that at night, while inland, the wind whipping around his tent did seem to whisper ‘Tekeli-li Tekeli-li’.

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January 17, 1991

On January 17, 1991, Harald V became king of Norway following the death of his father, Olav V. Harald is currently still the king. I know what you’re thinking, NORWAY HAS A KING?! He doesn’t have any real power in the administration of the government, but the fact that the progressive country of Norway having a monarchy made me research and see which other European countries, besides England, still have royalty. They are Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Luxemborg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Liechtenstein and Monaco. It’s incredible to think that there are walking, breathing individuals who hold titles that once wielded incredible power just 150 years ago. Do you think that after a difficult day having to deal with the common masses, this watered-down royalty look in the mirror and whisper, “Cut ME off in traffic will you. Off with your head.”

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