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What’s up turtle riders? As most of you know by now I taught history at Shepherd Hill Regional High School for 9 years. I have a real passion for it, and I kind of miss talking about it. I started getting into tangents about it on the podcast and according to turtle rider feedback you all are craving for some history. It’s one of those subjects that you probably didn’t care about much as a kid, but grew to appreciate when you became an adult. So for that reason I’m starting a blog that I’m gonna try to do daily called This Day In History With Uncle Turtleboy. I’m just gonna list a bunch of crap that happened that day and give you some insight on it. I’ll keep it as brief as possible so as to not bore you like a high school teenager who’s thinking about girls and keg parties.
- 1887 Snow falls on San Francisco
Remember this the next time people freak out and act like strange weather phenomenons are a new thing. Weather has always been extreme, long before carbon emissions were a thing. Calm down.
- 1901 JP Morgan forms US Steel Corp
The election of Teddy Roosevelt as Vice President scared the crap out of people. If William McKinley died then this free wheeling cowboy could become President and dismantle monopolies left and right (he got shot shortly thereafter). Andrew Carnegie saw the writing on the wall and got out while the getting was good, selling Carnegie steel to Morgan for $1.4 billion, making him the world’s first billionaire. The difference between monopolies then and now, is that monopolies then actually produced a tangible product and employed hundreds of thousands of people. Facebook produces nothing except for bullshit, censored opinions, and employees almost no one. Teddy Roosevelt would’ve smashed them to pieces by now.
- 1917 Congress overrides Wilson’s veto, curtailing Asian immigration
The law was designed to keep out Italian immigrants in particular by imposing literacy tests. They were part of the “new wave” of immigrants that the old wave of immigrants didn’t like. That’s really the American tradition – people move here, call it home, and then don’t want other people to move here. The difference was that for the Irish who were here, they didn’t like Italians because Italians notoriously did not assimilate well. They didn’t learn to speak English and they often raised money to send back to homeland. They also had a tendency to become anarchists and blow shit up. People HATED Italians, which is one of the reasons why they formed mafia – to fight back against Nativism. The law was overturned in 1952. It’s eerily similar to Trump’s ban on immigrants from certain predominantly Muslim countries.
FDR is one of the most highly ranked Presidents, but also one of the most controversial. He was brilliant during World War 2, and very few could’ve guided us through it in the way he did. But he was also kind of a dictator. No President was ever elected more than twice except him, and he was elected 4 times. Like Obama he rode in on a bad Republican economy and promised to fix everything. So he spent billions and billions of dollars making a huge government safety net, which a lot of conservatives didn’t like, including the Supreme Court. His solution? Add 6 more judges who won’t vote against his stuff. The result? It made him look like a tyrant and was by far the least popular thing he ever did, even amongst democrats. Trump has shown a similar taste for ignoring checks and balances by threatening to declare an emergency to get his wall, because like FDR, he too thinks he alone knows what is best for the country.
- 1967 “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” premieres on CBS (later ABC, NBC)
The Smother Brothers set the stage for people like Turtleboy. They made jokes about politics and were critical of the establishment during the Vietnam War. They were left wing for their time and set the stage for left wing late night talk show hosts we have today. But I admire the fact that they refused to be censored by the networks and weren’t afraid to offend people that needed to be offended.
- 1972 US airlines begin mandatory inspection of passengers & baggage
Imagine getting on a plane and not having your bags checked? That used to happen until hijacking became a thing in the 70’s. It most mostly an Arab reaction to Israel, but even domestically white people would hijack planes all the time. Imagine living in a world where hijacking planes was part of the average daily news cycle? That used to be a thing. In 1971 a guy who used the alias DB Cooper hijacked a plane from Seattle and ended up parachuting out somewhere in Oregon after he miraculously got the money. They never found him.
- 1974 Randolph Hearst’s 19-year-old daughter, Patty Hearst, is kidnapped from their home in California
The original pumpkin spice mafia story. Patty Hearst invented “Stockholm syndrome” when the wealthy granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst started robbing banks with her kidnappers. Her defense was that the radical group of domestic terrorists who kidnapped brainwashed her into accepting them as family, and that she was an unwilling participant. She wasn’t buying it but soft Jimmy Carter pardoned her before she completed her 7 year prison sentence.
- 1994 “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego,” debuts on Fox TV
Remember when kids used to learn about Geography on TV? This show my favorite growing up, almost as good as the computer game. Kids these days will never know the joy of the smooth crooning of Rockapella. Everyone over the age of 30 knows the tune of “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego” without me singing it.
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