Your Week in History: A bad insult and a worse car race - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Your Week in History: A bad insult and a worse car race

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A delicious turkey. (Source: Riki7/Wikimedia Commons) A delicious turkey. (Source: Riki7/Wikimedia Commons)
A illustration of the first international football match. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) A illustration of the first international football match. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Bat Masterson, shown here, was born Nov. 26, 1853. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Bat Masterson, shown here, was born Nov. 26, 1853. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Nine members of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Nine members of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The Duryea motor wagon that won the first automobile race in American history. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) The Duryea motor wagon that won the first automobile race in American history. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) – Thursday is "What Diet?" Day.

Officially, it's called Thanksgiving, and you're supposed to celebrate all the stuff you have to be thankful for, but really it's the day you can be fat and lazy and not feel bad about it.

Sadly, though, you always have to deal with something disgusting your mom's aunt's husband's daughter from a previous marriage decided to destroy an otherwise great meal with and listen to everybody say how good it is when you know they're lying. Somebody will even ask for the recipe and be forced to listen in great detail how "the secret is to melt the butter first."

It's a conversation that actually makes you happy to sit next to your uncle's drunk son who always complains about how the "Deshroit Lionsh don't deservthe to play on $%&@#! Thanksthiving."

Ahh, family.

We eat turkey because it's a freakin' American bird and the other founders of this great nation were smart enough to tell Ben Franklin to shut his pumpkin pie hole when he said it should be the national bird. I choose to believe they shot that cockamamie idea down because turkey is delicious and easier to shoot than an eagle. Plus, it has more meat.

Every year the president pardons a turkey and I always wonder what that turkey did that it needed to be pardoned in the first place. Maybe he doesn't deserve a pardon. You ever think of that, Obama? No matter what, he committed the crime of being delicious and deserves to fry (but don't burn your house down while doling out sweet, American justice).

Anyway, Thanksgiving first came to be Nov. 26, 1789, at the request of George Washington. It became a yearly celebration the same day in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln decreed it be so.

Ever since, we've been massacring turkeys, tolerating our horrible in-laws, blowing up giant balloons of Snoopy and SpongeBob (the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was Nov. 27, 1924) and watching sitcom families have more entertaining Thanksgivings than our own. That is truly the way God intended it.

Here are some of the events of note that happened between Nov. 25 and Dec. 1.

Life and Death

Bat Masterson was born Nov. 26, 1853, and according to John Wayne in The Shootist, he was "full of sheep dip." I don't exactly know what that means but it sounds unpleasant. (According to the always trustworthy sources of Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia, sheep dip doesn't sound like it's much of insult. It's a compliment to be insulted by John Wayne, anyway, so good on you, William Barclay.)

Christopher George is most famous for his role in The Rat Patrol, but he appeared with Wayne in In Harm's Way, Chisum, The Train Robbers and El Dorado, where he plays Nelson McLeod and dies in a shootout with Wayne's Cole Thornton, who has a useless arm.

Wayne went searching for Natalie Wood in The Searchers. (Spoiler alert: He found her.) However, he was not around when she fell off a boat and died under mysterious circumstances Nov. 29, 1981. She was in other movies, of course, including Miracle on 34th Street.

Baby Face Nelson killed two FBI agents Nov. 27, 1934, but the G-Men killed him back in a shootout in Barrington, IL. It isn't known if any livestock were senselessly harmed. His birthday comes next week, Dec. 6, 1908.

Author Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on Nov. 30, 1835, comedian Richard Pryor was born Dec. 1, 1940, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was born Nov. 30, 1874.

The first openly gay politician to be elected, Harvey Milk, was assassinated Nov. 27, 1978, and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was beaten to death in prison by a fellow inmate Nov. 28, 1994.

Overlooked Anniversaries

George W. Bush was certified the winner of Florida in the 2000 presidential election Nov. 26 because Florida can't freaking count. When it comes to elections, Florida is like a 4-year-old telling you how old they are - THIS many. How many? They have no idea, they just know if they stick up the wrong number of fingers a nearby parent will correct them.

What a useless state Florida is. Its electoral votes should be taken away. (I can say that. I used to live there.)

The Hollywood Ten were blacklisted for refusing to testify to the House Committee on Un-American Activities on Nov. 25, 1947, the deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history - resulting in 75 deaths - occurred Nov. 25, 1926, the Green River killer was arrested Nov. 30, 2001, the Brady Bill placing restrictions on handgun ownership was enacted Nov. 30, 1993, a meteorite hit a woman in Alabama on Nov. 30, 1954, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus Dec. 1, 1955, longtime Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings lost Nov. 30, 2004 and the best-selling album of all time, Thriller, was released Nov. 30, 1982.

Something About Sports

The first international football match was held Nov. 30, 1872, between Scotland and England. The game ended the way all soccer matches do - with a 0-0 tie.

The Chicago Times-Herald race, the first car race in American history, was held Nov. 28, 1895. The race featured six cars. The course was 54 miles from Chicago to Evanston and back and took almost eight hours to complete. The winner got 15 miles per gallon.

The race was delayed until an ordinance could be passed officially giving the cars the right to ride on city streets because two entrants had been stopped by police and forced to have their fully operational vehicles pulled by horses due to local laws.

The race was won by Charles Duryea and his motorized wagon. Two of the vehicles in the race weren't powerful enough to climb a hill on the course and another had its battery die due to the cold weather shortly after the race started.

The Week in Warfare

A preliminary peace to end the Revolutionary War was agreed upon Nov. 30, 1782. It was later expanded on and became the Treaty of Paris. The last British troops left New York on Nov. 25, 1783, a few months after it was signed.

Operation Desert Storm officially came to an end Nov. 30, 1995, and the first draft lottery since World War II was enacted Dec. 1, 1969.

Holiday You Should Celebrate

Nov. 26 is Shopping Reminder Day. As if you needed it.

This Friday is Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, which is always the day after Thanksgiving, but did you know it's also Buy Nothing Day? The day after Thanksgiving is also known as You're Welcome Day.

Preview of next week

"… a date which will live in infamy …"

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