The ancient Roman poet Horace was born on this date in 65 BC. Besides poetry, he wrote many of the popular books of the day, including "See You Later, Gladiator" and the complete line of Dr. Zeus books.

In 1790, U.S. Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.
  • Yes, back then, even New York had standards. 
  • I don't remember the faces of any of the congress people, but Independence Hall rang a bell. 
  • Truth be told, New York told them to leave. Don't think they didn't count the silverware on their way out. 
  • If the Liberty Bell is listening to this, "Hey, no cracks!" 
  • They eventually had a House Warming party, but not a Senate Warming party. 
  • Gee, if we only hadn't given the forwarding address. 

On this day in 1799, the feudal system was abolished in Denmark. There had been a few that enjoyed it, but the majority of the people found it feudal.

It was in 1825, President John Adams suggested establishment of a U.S. observatory. He might have had his telescope plan approved if he also hadn't requested that it be pointed at the widow Hawkins' house.

In 1877, that Thomas Edison made the very first sound recording. It was him, uttering those immortal words, "Why in the heck doesn't this thing work. Oh, there it is!"

On this date in 1884, construction was completed on the Washington monument. Frankly, I still don't think it looks anything like him.

In 1923, Calvin Coolidge became the first U.S. President to speak on the radio. His first words: "Am I the 9th caller?' (or, "I'd like to request some Al Jolson and dedicate it to my wife")

On this date in 1957, a Vanguard rocket blew up on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral during America's first attempt to launch a satellite. The Soviet Union ended up being the first ones to get a satellite in space, even though they were Russian.

On this date in 1973, House minority leader Gerald R. Ford became the very first un-elected vice-president. He succeeded Spiro T. Agnew who had resigned due to having a funny name, I believe. He eventually became president, after the resignation of Richard Nixon. So, he became Vice-president and President without every running for the offices. Nice work if you can get it.


Football player Johnny Manziel turns 25 today. Whatever happened to Johnny Manziel? Nothing. He was always that way.

Actress Janine Turner celebrates her 55th birthday today. She was on the old TV show, "Northern Exposure," but of course, went on to... uh... turn 55.

Xander Berkeley is 62 today. You probably know him best as the cowardly former leader Gregory of the Hilltop on "The Walking Dead." Or not. Basically, he's a character actor on TV shows where he doesn't have a long life expectancy. It's no wonder life insurance agents avoid him.

JoBeth Williams is 69 today. She was the mom in "Poltergeist," the movie that demonstrated there are worse things than just having teenagers in the house.

St. Nicholas Day -- time for some Santa Claus trivia from emailsanta.com:

Who did Coca-Cola commission to illustrate its famous "Santa Claus" ads?
  • Lou Prentice 
  • Robert May 
  • Haddon Sundblom (Lou Prentice, Sundblom's neighbour, was the first model Sundblom used in his paintings *** 
  • Thomas Nast 
In 1939, a copywriter first wrote about Rudolph the red nose reindeer for which department store?
  • Sears 
  • Woolworths 
  • Montgomery Ward Robert May first revealed Rudolph's story to the world in a book written for the Montgomery Ward department store chain *** 
  • Macey's 

Saint Nicholas was literally brought to North America as the figurehead on the bow of the Dutch ship...
  • Sinterklass 
  • New Amsterdam 
  • Goodwife 
  • Lollipop (The Dutch on that ship then paid the Iroquois $24 for what is now New York City and built a statue in St. Nicholas' honor in he town square *** 

Who is famous for his Harper's magazine illustrations of Santa Claus and also introduced details such as Santa's workshop at the North Pole and the Naughty & Nice List?
  • Haddon Sundblom 
  • Walt Disney 
  • Andy Warhol 
  • Thomas Nast (Nast standardized much of the perception of Santa and even added a few details, such as the North Pole workshop and Santa's 1st. His cartoon of Santa supporting Union troops was a major PR blow to the Confederacy) *** 
Which of the following has NOT been one of Santa's helpers through the ages?
  • Knecht Ruprecht 
  • Black Peter 
  • Tomtar 
  • Grandfather Frost (Grandfather Frost is Santa's name in Russia) *** 

Saint Nicholas was born in the country we now call...
  • Holland 
  • Canada 
  • Turkey (According to legend, Saint Nicholas was born in the heart of the Roman Empire in Patera, Turkey) *** 
  • Finland 

Where did the tradition of leaving out a stocking, shoe or "Santa Sack" come from?
  • The medieval legend of St. Nicholas dropping gold down a chimney (It is said that Saint Nicholas once dropped gold down a chimney so 3 daughters could avoid lives of desparation) *** 
  • People use to leave out clean stockings in case Santa ripped his going down the chimney 
  • The stockings were always hanging by the fire to dry anyway 
  • The original St. Nicholas was known for his wealth, generosity and lavish clothing 


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