03 06 2015
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02 27 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON FEB. 26, 1909, exhibitors show a program of lifelike color movies in a process called KINEMACOLOR, to a sold-out audience of more than 1,000 spectators at the Palace Theatre in the West End, Westminster, London. On this day in 1987 – Published report of the Tower Commission, empaneled to investigate illegal sales of weapons by the U.S. to Iran, with proceeds going to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua civil war, rebukes 40th U.S. President RONALD REAGAN for neither controlling his national security staff nor recalling any detail of what had transpired in the White House during the previous two years.


02 25 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1843, Provisional Cession of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands established by British Captain, later Admiral, GEORGE LORD PAULET; in 1866, miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull — human remains that supposedly prove state geologist JOSIAH WHITNEY's pet theory that early man, glyptodons and enormous tree sloths had co-existed.


02 23 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1739 – The man ‘RICHARD PALMER’ is identified at York Castle, in the city of York, England, by his former schoolteacher, as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; on this day in 1836 – the Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; the TOOTSIE ROLL invented in by Austrian-born candy maker LEO HIRSCHFELD in his small New York City shop.


02 20 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1472, Orkney and Shetland island are put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK (and Norway) on the occasion of her marriage with JAMES III, King of Scotland; in 1962, while aboard Friendship 7, USMC Col. JOHN H. GLENN becomes the first American to orbit the Earth, making three orbits in just less than 5 hours.

02 20 2015 Emergency Broadcast failure CUT FOR TIME
ON THIS DAY in 1971, United States Emergency Broadcast System is accidentally activated
in an erroneous national alert, teletype operator on duty sends cancellation message half-hour later, but fails to remember correct codeword. Nation on high alert for 40 minutes.

02 18 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1878, young London-born mercantile heir and entrepreneur JOHN TUNSTALL is murdered by the outlaw JESSE EVANS, leading directly to the Lincoln County War in Lincoln County, New Mexico; in 1930 – as publicity stunt for the first International Air Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, ELM FARM OLLIE becomes first Guernsey cow, or cow on any breed, to fly in a fixed-wing airplane also the first cow to be milked while airborne; in 1955, OPERATION TEAPOT test shot ‘WASP’ successfully detonated at Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. WASP is first of 14 test shots in TEAPOT series; in 1979, snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the first and only time in recorded history.


02 16 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1249, the 13th century of the Christian Era in Western Europe – ANDRE
of LONGJUMEAU
is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France as ambassador to meet with the KHAGAN, the Khan of Khans, of the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in the history of the world; in 1804, during the First Barbary War: Lt. STEPHEN DECATUR JR. leads a daring raid in Tripoli Harbor to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia.

02 13 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1961 – Prospectors find an allegedly 500,000-year-old rock near Olancha, California, that appears to encase an evidently human-made artifact — what’s left of a spark plug manufactured in the 1920s; born this day in 1766 – The Rev. THOMAS ROBERT MALTHUS, English cleric, scholar, economist, depressive, who, in 1798, writes An Essay on the Principal of Population, predicting near-future catastrophe; on this day in 2004 – The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announces the discovery of the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093.

02 13 2015 Malthus on population LONGER VERSION
Slightly longer version includes evidence of the ‘Malthus trap,’ technological and agricultural progress works to support and sustain larger populations only until inevitably population growth outstrips technology's ability to meet needs of all those hungry, thirsty people. And then along comes the industrial revolution and all bets are off.


02 11 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 660 BC — JIMMU TENNO, legendary, near mythological first emperor and founder of Japan ascends the chrysanthemum throne, marking transition between Age of the Gods and the human age; in 244 AD, Roman Emperor GORDIAN III is murdered by mutinous soldiers under direction of PHILIP THE ARAB, in Zaitha, Mesopotamia; in 1916, anarchist EMMA GOLDMAN and pioneering women’s rights activist MARGARET SANGER are arrested and jailed in New York for teaching the use of contraceptives as a method of birth control in clear violation of the Comstock Act.

02 11 2015 Margaret Sanger LONGER VERSION
Including more details about ANTHONY COMSTOCK, Brooklyn postal inspector who takes it upon himself to eradicate smut from the U.S. mail, including any and all information about birth control and human sexuality in general, and MARGARET SANGER, who spends a career advocating in the streets, in her Brooklyn clinic and in the courts for women’s right to learn about and control when and under what conditions they will bear their own children.

 


02 09 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
BORN THIS DAY in 1865 — MRS. PATRICK CAMPBELL, major British star of stage and screen, famed for interpretation of roles written for her by GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, who exchanges correspondence with her for decades, unconsummated Romantic attraction; born this day in 1943 — JOE PESCI, TV and movie actor, singer, producer, best known for tough-guy co-starring parts in ‘Raging Bull,’ ‘Goodfellas,’ ‘Casino’ with ROBERT DENIRO and MARTIN SCORCESE.


02 06 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
BORN THIS DAY in 1756 – AARON BURR, American politician, 3rd Vice President of the United States. In an 1804 duel with political rival ALEXANDER HAMILTON, Burr fires the fatal shot, gives up politics, goes out west, has idea to create independent nation, President THOMAS JEFFERSON has him arrested, tried for treason, acquitted, goes into European exile, where he indulges his lifelong obsession with prostitutes. Goes broke. Marries widow lady. Gets divorced. Dies alone in Staten Island boarding house. Now you don’t have to listen to it.


02 04 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1789 – GEORGE WASHINGTON is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College; after the General's death, MARTHA WASHINGTON frees hundreds of family slaves out of fear for her life; in 1936 – Radium becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically. ‘Radium Girls’ sue U.S. Radium Corp alleging medical problems result of working conditions at Orange, New Jersey, workplace.

02 04 2015 Father of his country LONGER VERSION
All the while GEORGE WASHINGTON is commanding his Continental Army in rebellion against Great Britain for independence of the American colonies, declaring ‘all men are created equal,’ he was owner of more than 300 slaves. He thinks they’re lazy, they suffer from lack of decent work ethic. Longer version includes details about just why MARTHA DANDRIDGE CUSTIS WASHINGTON decides to free Mount Vernon’s most valuable assets.

02 04 2015 ‘Radium Girls’ sue for damages LONGER VERSION
In 1928, workers at U.S. Radium Corp. in Orange, New Jersey, file lawsuit against the company alleging working conditions in the plant are responsible for rather hideous health effects related to ingestion of radioactive elements. Company denies allegations, smears girls. Unknown how many workers there or at other plants similarly engaged throughout the country have developed serious illnesses or perished.


02 02 2015 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1653, NEW AMSTERDAM incorporated on Governor’s Island by the Dutch. First non-First Nations permanent established inhabitant of Manhattan is Caribbean-born JUAN RODRIGUEZ, of Portuguese and African ancestry, arrives New Netherland 1613, establishes trading post to exploit booming beaver trade. In 1709, Scottish privateer ALEXANDER SELKIRK, inspiration for Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, rescued after living alone, marooned on otherwise uninhabited island in South Sea 500 miles of Chilean coast.

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