August 11, 1874

On August 11, 1874, Harry S. Parmelee received a patent for the sprinkler head and started Americans on the path to getting showers instead of baths. Twenty-five years later, Dr. Harvey Kellogg denounced the detachable shower-head and pronounced that it was only suitable for the single-sex male bathrooms, as it could lead to unhealthy habits in the recidivous and weaker sex.

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August 10, 1921

On August 10, 1921, future President and World Leader, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken with polio. It would take another 34 years before Dr. Jonas Salk would develop the first polio vaccine. Anti-vaxxers would have us relive the dangerous and chancy medical conditions of the 1920s all over again. A time when polio was a real fear and a devastating disease to individuals and families, versus now when anti-vaxxers and their homeopathic made-up fears of the false dangers of vaccines scream danger, danger.

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August 9, 1965

On August 9, 1965, the country of Malaysia finally had enough. It told the island city of Singapore, “That’s it. I’m tired of the constant bickering and arguing. I’m tired of you staying out all night and coming home smelling of booze and cigarettes and cheap perfume. My mother was right. I’m too good for you. We’re through. Hit the road, Jack and don’t come home no more. The Malaysian Parliament voted 126 – 0 to kick Singapore out from Malaysia. Singapore became the only country in the world to be given its independence unwillingly. Unfortunately for Malaysia, within a generation, the island city-state of Singapore cleaned up its act and became wealthy and powerful and even started dating super-models. Maybe it was what Singapore said all along. Malaysia was an enabler.

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August 8, 1894

On August 8, 1894, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg accidentally invented Corn Flakes. They found that the new invention was a welcome addition to the vegetarian diet of Dr. Kellogg’s patients at Battle Creek Sanitarium. Dr. Kellogg fervently believed that the cereal would help reduce the urge of his patients to ‘self abuse’ aka onanism aka the ‘solitary vice’ aka the ‘beast with only one back’ aka ‘God’s gonna kill a kitten if you don’t stop doing that’. His mental patients were masturbating and Dr. Kellogg thought it was icky. He believed if they ate his cornflakes it would remove the urge. Spoiler alert. It didn’t.

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August 7, 1858

On August 7, 1858, the first Australian rules football game was played between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College. While on paper, this looks to be unfair, a bunch of college boys playing against a grammar school. It’s Australia. Both were grammar schools. One just went hoity-toity and put College in their name. Also, it was 1858 and it was still legal to punch a kangaroo if it wandered on the pitch (the playing field for the European sports illiterate). It was also legal if one of those Australian spiders walked up to you, to set it afire. Burn it. Burn it. Only the cleansing flame of God could remove those monstrosities from existence. Seriously. Google Australian spiders and then try to sleep at night.

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August 6, 1981

On August 6, 1981, Firemen in Indianapolis, Indiana, answered a false alarm in the city. When they returned to their station, it was on fire and burning down. The cause? A grease fire that occurred in the kitchen, because they didn’t turn the oven off. This is a case of real irony. Now if someone could just send Alanis Morissette a note, I’m sure every English teacher in the world would be appreciative.

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August 5, 1998

On August 5, 1998, the American, and funnier version, of the British TV show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” debuted. It starred Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady and proved that a 30 minute show torturing Drew Carey would be a big hit with Americans between the ages of 18 to 54.

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August 4, 1735

On August 4, 1735, John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel. The royal governor of New York had brought the charges from an article written by Mr. Zenger in the New York Weekly Journal. His jury stated that “the truth is not libelous” and helped establish the concept of freedom of the press in America. Nothing funny about this, it’s just that sometimes people need to be reminded that our freedoms are based upon real people being harassed and persecuted.

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August 3, 1985

On August 3, 1985, mail service was returned to a nudist colony in Paradise Lake, Florida. It had been suspended because the mailperson had complained about delivering mail to a bunch of naked men and women. The original postal worker didn’t have a problem delivering mail to the nudist colony, but when a different mail carrier (and yes, it was a female mailman, or a femailman) took over the route, she refused to take the people their mail, because it offended her. Mail service was returned when the residents promised they’d wear clothes or stay out of sight when the mailperson came to deliver.

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August 2, 1791

On August 2, 1791, Americans Samuel Briggs and his son, Samuel Briggs, Jr., received a joint patent for their nail-making machine. They were the first father-son pair to receive an American patent. They really nailed it for the father-son contribution in 1791, didn’t they? Naaaaiiiiilllllled it. Naaaaiiiillllleeeeeddddd it. I’m going to keep hammering this pun until I get some kind of reaction. Nailed it.

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