Sunday, January 15, 2017

On this date in history, January 15

On this date in history, January 15:

In 849, Byzantine emperor Theophylact dies, but his name is quickly trademarked for a new allergy drug.

In 1582, Russia signs the Truce of Yam-Zapolsky. Nobody remembers much about Zapolsky, but the yams were reportedly delicious.

In 1775, Italian composer Giovanni Battista Sammartini dies of syllables.

In 1869, future Kentucky governor and male human Ruby Laffoon is born, not knowing that his future lieutenant governor will be nicknamed "Happy." Despite the tug of the entire universe, Ruby and Happy do not create a TV show.

In 1943, the Pentagon is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia. Originally entitled the Hexagon, budget cuts had a dramatic effect on the project.

In 1962, the Derveni papyrus, an ancient manuscript from 340 BC, is found in Greece. Revealing remarkable prescience, it reads, simply, "Beware the clowns." Or "Don't forget to buy ouzo." Historians are divided.

In 1967, the first Super Bowl occurs, resulting in the invention of advertising.

In 1969, the Soviet Union launches spacecraft Soyuz 5. When asked about the first four, the Soviet Union replies, "Hey! Look over there!" and then runs.

In 1991, England's Queen Elizabeth II, being queen of Australia too, files paperwork allowing Australia to become the first of its commonwealths to use its own Victoria Cross as part of its honors system. This is probably a big deal. Somebody check.

In 2001, Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia, goes online, and since absolutely anybody can edit its listings, accidentally launches the "post-truth" era.

In 2005, the European Space Agency's SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers traces of silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and other elements on the moon. Disappointingly, these are all later found to be concentrated in the spot where Buzz Aldrin spilled a Coke.

In 2009, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger lands a crippled passenger jet in New York's Hudson River with no loss of life. As is the American way, he is vilified for causing people to miss their connecting flights.

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