We are now into Derby Week and there are all sorts of things going on. The Derby has been going on for well over a hundred years, but its only in the last few decades that other events have been added leading up to the big day. Actually, I should say two big days because Oaks Day has been around for quite some time. But now there is so much more than just horse racing. Each year they seem to add something else. I have yet to figure out the significant difference between a balloon glow and balloon glimmer. The weather this year will be great as it appears a cold front coming through Tuesday night will behave and stay south after it moves through. I do see one potential wrinkle but, in general, its looking great. But I wonder this: how many people are real horse racing fans and how many are just Derby Week fans?
On This Date In History Lots of things happened on this date: Washington’s first inaugural address in 1789, Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” debuted in 1983 and then in 1997, Ellen “came out.” The last two go in the “who cares?” category as far as I’m concerned. I like the one in 1925. Dodge Brothers, Inc. was sold to an investment group for $146 million and then they tossed in another $50 million for charitable purposes. Nearly $200 million in 1925! As Fred Cowgill might say, that was HUGE! I like this one because it first shows us the derivation of the Dodge Boys. The commercials for Dodge used to say “come and see your local Dodge Boys.” I think modern PC sensativities snuffed that and I always thought that the saying was just from some sexist ad man in the ’50′s. Now I think differently as I suspect the term came from the fact that there were two brothers…the Dodge boys. Now, the Dodge boys died in the early 1920′s and they had never let any of their family members in on the business. In 1921 there had been a slight recession in the stock market. So, since they had no clue what they were doing and the 20′s were roaring again and they were afraid of another market dip, the kids decided to sell in the biggest corporarte sale to that time. I suspect that if you take inflation into account, it would still list as one of the biggest. It was a good move for the kids too because just 4 years later, the stock market tanked and there is little doubt it took decades for the stock price to recover.
I won’t talk too much about this date in 1945 when Hitler committed suicide except to point out some things that may have been missing in your history class. Just before he pulled the trigger, Hitler expelled Goering and Himmler from the Nazi party for not carrying out some of his last, insane commands. That is why he named Admiral Karl Doenitz to take his place. A book by a man named C.L. Sulzberger that I would describe as something for public consumption and not necessarily an academic work nonetheless has an interesting observation. He described Eva Braun as “plump.” Never heard of that before. At 3:15 Eva took poison. At 3:30 Hitler shot himself. Goebbels had an SS guy shoot he and his wife. Bet that was an easy order to follow. Here’s what I don’t get…they got shot after they poisoned their six kids! What did they do except get born to a moronic man? And then Hitler made sure his favorite dog was poisoned before he killed himself. I guess he thought the dog might talk. This stuff is important only in that people need to know that there was nothing redeeming about these people or their ideas and they were totally warped in every sense. Kids need to know the totality of their insanity before anyone can come and convince them that there is anything admirable or enviable to emulate.
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