It was on this date in 1719, that the Aurora Borealis was seen by settlers in New England for the very first time...
  • As long as you don't count the original inhabitants, who had been there thousands of years. 
  • At first, they were trying to record it but were unsuccessful. Then, someone suggested they try at night. 
  • Of course, back then, it was recorded in black and white. 

On this date in 1792, France's King Louis XVI went on trial accused of treason. (He was later convicted and sent to the guillotine. On the positive side, it did cure his migraines.)

In 1816, Indiana became our 19th state. A guy named Jonathon Jennings gets credit for leading the drive for statehood, thus earning him the name "Hoosier Daddy!"

In 1892, the very first basketball game was played in Springfield, MA.
  • Marv Albert says that, all things considered, it was still fun to watch. 
  • Back in that first game, they used peach baskets. It wasn't until halftime that they realized it would be easier to hit a shot if they took the peaches out. 
  • The game was in its early form. They soon discovered they needed a "no tackling rule" and to get rid of the bats. 
  • The two teams shot so poorly, they kept their games private for years. 
  • It was a more primitive game back then. For example, the penalty for three seconds in the key was the firing squad. They had a few things to figure out. 
  • I don't know what year it became a Christmas tradition. 

On this date in 1953, Anchorage, Alaska, got its first TV station.
  • The thing was, if the antenna wasn't working and the screen was all snowy, everyone just assumed that's how the picture should look. 
  • The first program shown on Alaskan television? "Nome Improvement." 
  • Talk about an easy job -- being the weatherman there! Snow, with a chance of more snow, making way for even more snow later. But enough about summer. 

In 1975, the cost of a stamp went up from 10 cents to 13 cents. It's almost quadrupled since then. Gee, if only I had bought forever stamps back then. Nowadays that wouldn't even get your letter a third of the way there.


Two weeks from today, people. Plus, *Hanukkah begins tomorrow night.

Mos Def turns 44 today. I wonder what Mos is short for. Then again, I wonder what Def is short for.

Mo'nique hits the big 5-0 today. She plans a quiet evening at home with her sisters: U'nique, Tech'nique and Tanza'nique.

Jermaine Jackson turns 61 today. It's actually one of his few hits. I don't want to say he was the sane of the brothers. Nope, you can't make me.

Terri Garr, who made her movie debut in "Young Frankenstein" turns the big 7-0 today. She also starred in "Close Encounters." She had the honor of saying "Thank you" after Dr. Frankenstein uttered those immortal words, "What knockers!"

David Gates of Bread turns 77 today. He used to sing, "Baby, I'm a Want You." These days it's, "Baby I Can't Hear You." For a while, Bread was hot... then, they went stale.

Jack Frost Day -- In "The Christmas Song," what is Jack Frost doing to your nose?" ("Nipping!")


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