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May 17

On this day in 1792, 24 brokers invented the New York Stock Exchange while during a drunken debate about how to make money without actually doing anything.

On this day in 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run at Churchill Downs as Winston Churchill rode to victory on Hitler's Mama.

On this day in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools. Unfortunately the High Court did not outlaw ignorant behavior by pin-headed bigots.

On this day in 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington. The irritable volcano just got fed up dealing with centuries of pent-up geothermal pressure and blew its stack.

Today's Birthdays:

Dennis Hopper, 68: actor-director, starred in "EZ Wider" and "Hoosier Without a Cause."

Debra Winger, 49: actress, starred in "An Officer and a Wingnut."

Bob Saget, 48: actor-comedian, star of "America's Unfunniest TV Hosts."

Sugar Ray Leonard, 48: former pro face puncher.

Trent Reznor, 39: leader of the band Nine Inch Toenails.

May 16

On this day in 1929, the first Academy Awards were given in Hollywood, with Best Picture going to the Charlie Chaplin silent film "Little Tramp and Butt-Head."

On this day in 1946 Irving Berlin premiered his new musical, "Annie Get Your Stun Gun."

On this day in 1981, singer Kim Carnes hit #1 with "Bette Davis Eyeballs."

Today's Birthdays:

Henry Fonda (1905-1982): actor, played an angry French chef in "Crepes of Wrath."

Liberace (1919-1987): flamboyant musician romantically linked to the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Tori Spelling, 31: "actress," co-star of "Beverly Hills 90210," lifelong resident of Beverly Hills 90210.

May 15

On this day in 1869, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the Woman Suffrage Association, demanding the same rights enjoyed by men to vote, burp and scratch their private parts.

On this day in 1811, paramilitary paramedics parachuted into Paraguay which was paralyzed by public paranoia about paranormal activity.

On this day in 1940, nylon stockings went on sale. Made by du Pont using a substance called "Polymer 66," the stockings were popular among fashionable ladies and bank robbers.

Today's Birthdays:

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321): poet, groundbreaking Italian rapper, best known for his "Disco Inferno."

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919): author of "The Wizard of Oz," died in 1919 due to complications from a spell cast by the Wicked Witch of the West.

Pierre Curie (1859-1906): chemist, inventor of lemon-scented flatulence.

Richard J. Daley (1902-1976): longtime Chicago mayor, holds U.S. patent on "political machine."

Chazz Palminteri, 53: actor, wrote script for "A Bronx Tale of Two Cities."

Lee Horsley (real name "Matt Houston"), 49: actor, mustache victim.

May 14

On this day in 1804, the western frontier got wackier with the start of the Jerry Lewis and Clark expedition.

On this day in 1878, chemist Robert Chesebrough trademarked the word "Vaseline" for the petroleum jelly he invented, after briefly flirting with the names "Napalm" and "Scorch-O."

On this day in 1904, in St. Louis, the Olympic Games were held in the United States for the first time. The U.S. won gold by defeating heavily favored Madagascar in Australia-rules cock-fighting.

Today's Birthdays:

Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit (1686-1736): inventor of the mercury-filled rectangular rectal thermometer.

Bobby Darin (1936-1973): singer, best known for "Smack the Wife." Or was it "Mack the Knife"? Or was it "Pack the Concealed Weapon"?

George Lucas, 60: movie director-producer, son of Bertha and Darth Lucas.

Robert Zemeckis, 52: Oscar-winning filmmaker, directed Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner's replicants in "Romancing the Clone."

David Byrne, 52: brilliant musician, inventor of the gigantic suit.

Fabrice Morvan, 38: disgraced Milli Vanilli singer, making a comeback as a rapper Milli Vanilli Ice.

May 13

On this day in 1639, Cardinal Richelieu of France invented the table knife. The wily Cardinal also patented a hydraulic Cheez Whiz delivery system and pioneered the use of a seventh table fork to scratch hard-to-reach areas during dessert.

On this day in 1992, astronaut Kathy Thornton became the first mother to walk in space. Also during the mission, a Pennsylvania praying mantis named Capt. Larva became the first insect to defecate in space.

Today's Birthdays:
Joe Louis (1914-1981): boxing great, first pro athlete to incorporate Cheez Whiz into his training and fitness regimen.

Beatrice Arthur, 78: actress, busted criminals as the star of "Maude Squad."

Stevie Wonder, 54: singer, known for such hits as "Isn't She (Butt) Ugly" and "You are the Moonshine of My Life."

Dennis Rodman, 43: earned NBA All-Freak team honors while starring for the Chicago Bull-Dikes and Detroit Pierced-Tongues.

May 7

On this day in 1189, Hamburg, Germany, became a free city. Local citizens celebrated by grinding up a cow, cooking it and serving it on buns.

On this day in 1824, Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony had its premiere in Vienna. Opening for Beethoven was the popular 19th-century rock group Kaiser Napalm.

Today's Birthdays:
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893): composer, hit #1 in Russia in 1858 with "The Nutcracker."

Gary Cooper (1901-1961): actor, played young George Steinbrenner in "The Pride of the Yankees."

Darren McGavin, 82: actor, starred in "A Christmas Story" and its sequel, "A Kwanzaa Story."

Amy Heckerling, 50: filmmaker, "Fast Times at Ridgemont Elementary School."

May 6

On this day in 1962, the USS Ethan Allen, a nuclear submarine, test-fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead. The device misfired, leveling an Ethan Allen furniture showroom and severely damaging a mahogany armoire.

On this day in 1915, George Herman "Babe" Ruth of the Boston Red Sox hit his first major league home run in a game against the Yankees. Yep. Red Sox didn't bother to keep him though. Nope.

Today's Birthdays:
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): founder of psychoanalysis, inventor of Freudian slips like accidentally saying "Penis" instead of "Please pass the salt," or "pussy" instead of "vagina."

Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926): actor, famous chick magnet.

Jimmy Stewart (1913-1993): actor, star of "It's a Wonderful Life," The Wonderful Philadelphia Story" and "Wonderful Rear Window."

Orson Welles (1915-1985): actor-director-producer of "Citizen Cocaine."

Bob Seger, 59: singer, "Travellin' Mannequin."

George Clooney, 43: actor, played a groundskeeper preparing for a hurricane in "The Perfect Storm Windows."

May 5

On this day in 1925, biology teacher John Scopes was arrested for teaching the theory of evolution. Scopes defended his right to teach the scientific truth about human existence, that we are evolved from an advanced race of simians from a distant galaxy.

On this day in 1961, Alan Shepard became the first U.S. astronaut to travel in space. His flight included a brief encounter with an advanced race of simians from a distant galaxy, which he did not remember.

On this day in 2003, party animals everywhere smear each other with mayonnaise to celebrate "Kitchen Cinco de Mayo."

Today's Birthdays:
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855): philosopher, espoused the theory that human beings are evolved from simian spacemen.

Karl Marx (1818-1883): philosopher, author of screenplay for "Communist Manifesto Fever."

Tyrone Power (1913-1958): actor, starred in of "Witness for the Electrocution" and "American Guerilla in Paris."

Tammy Wynette (1942-1998): singer, "Stand by Your Wig."

Michael Palin, 61: comedian, appeared nude in "The Full Monty Python."

May 4

On this day in 1964, NBC debuted the African soap opera "Another Third World."

On this day in 1494, Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica, where he made note in his journal of "a friendly man called Rasta offering a most enjoyable tobacco."

On this day in 1932, Al Capone was jailed for tax evasion after several other charges of triple murder and quadruple manslaughter were mysteriously dropped.

Today's Birthdays:
Horace Mann (1796-1859): father of public education, author of "Why Dunces Can't Read" and "Dyslexia: A Fancy Word for Dunce."

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993): actress, starred in "My Fair Haiti" and "Breakfast at Billy Bob's."

George F. Will, 63: political columnist, won 1977 Pulitzer prize for commentary entitled "Jimmy Carter is a Friggin' Dunce."

May 3

On this day in 1971, National Public Radio began programming. It's first broadcast was a 480-hour fund-raising and membership marathon.

On this day in 1937, Margaret Mitchell was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her novel "Gone With the Wind." Frankly, though, Clark Gable didn't give a damn.

On this day in 1765, the first U.S. medical school was founded at what is now the University of Pennsylvania. The first class offered was "Butchering a Cadaver 101."

Today's Birthdays:

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527): statesman-writer, noted 16th-century ballbuster.

James Brown, 71: hardest-working drug-ravaged ex-con in show business, hits include "Sexagenarian Machine" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Pacemaker."

Engelbert Humperdinck, 68: singer, inventor of Engelbert Humperdinck's Pumpernickel Bread.

Frankie Valli, 67: singer, hit the charts with "Can't Take My Ass Off of You."

May 2

On this day in 1519, Leonardo Da Vinci, famed Renaissance-era enaissance man, ate his last supper.

On this day in 1885, making its debut was a new magazine for slobs, "Bad Housekeeping."

On this day in 1902, the first science fiction movie, George Melies' "A Trip to the Moon," was released, inspiring early SciFi classics like Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp Meets Godzilla."

On this day in 1952, the first commercial jet airline passenger flight took off from London to Johannesburg, South Africa. The on-board snack was kippered herring and tea, and the in-flight movie was "Little Tramp Meets Godzilla."

Today's Birthdays:

Catherine the Great (1729-1796): Russian empress, sister of Catherine the So-So.

Bing Crosby (1903-1977): actor-crooner, memorable hits included "Caucasian Christmas."

Benjamin M. Spock (1903-1998): noted Vulcan baby doctor.

Theodore Bikel, 80: singer-actor, starred in "My Fair Vulcan" and "Shingler on the Roof."

David Beckham, 29: soccer player, likes to score.

May 1

On this day in 1916, the Chicago Herald became the first paper to describe a new form of music as "jazz." The paper that day also coined the terms "gangland slaying," "bullet-ridden corpse" and "junkie ho."

On this day in 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first U.S. citizen to reach the top of Mt. Everest. As part of a promotional deal Whittaker was photographed at the summit wearing a cowboy hat and smoking a pack of Marlboros.

On this day in 1931, the Empire State Building was dedicated. Dignitaries on hand included King Kong, wearing a custom tux and diamond knuckle rings from Tiffany's.

Today's Birthdays:

"Calamity Jane" Burke (1852-1903): frontierswoman, sister of Catastrophe Joan and Hysteria Hank.

Kate Smith (1909-1986), singer of "God Bless Antarctica."

Joseph Heller (1923-1999): author of "Catch-22." Also wrote "Catch Herpes Simplex 10" and "Snatch-69."

Glenn Ford, 88: actor, starred in the controversial 1955 film "Blackboard Jungle Fever."

Judy Collins, 65: singer, best known for "Send in Bozo the Clown."

April 30

On this day in 1789, George Washington was sworn in as the first U.S. president and his agent wisely cut him a deal to earn royalties each time a town, street, elementary school or liquor store was named after him.

On this day in 1803, America doubled its size when Thomas Jefferson closed on the Louisiana Purchase, a "fixer-upper" he bought from some French realtors for $15 million. The French threw in a case of Bordeaux, a dozen baguettes and the Statue of Liberty.

On this day in 1939, the New York World's Fair kicked off with an exciting downtown marathon and a speech by scrappy wheelchair division winner Franklin D. Roosevelt.

On this day in 1973, President Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Puffenstuff and pork strategist Jimmy Dean.

Today's Birthdays:

Cloris Leachman, 74: actress, won Oscar for "The Last Picture Show (Without Product Placement and Lucrative Commercial Tie-ins)."

Willie Nelson, 71: soiled country icon, "The Long and Winding Roadkill."

Jane Campion, 50: filmmaker, "The Piano" and "The Piano 2: Name That Tune."

Kirsten Dunst, 22: actress, starred in "Little Women" and "Little Spider-Women."

April 29

On this day in 1913, the zipper was patented by Gideon Sundbach of Hoboken, N.J. Almost immediately, metropolitan hospitals reported a sharp increase in penile contusions.

On this day in 1946, war criminal indictments were handed down against several high-ranking Pokemon figures.

On this day in 1974, noted tape-recording hobbyist President Nixon announced he was releasing a collection called "Tricky Dick's Secret Love Tapes."

Today's Birthdays:

Duke Ellington (1899-1974): engorged pianist.

Jerry Seinfeld, 50: comedian, starred as standup comic Friedrich Nietzsche in the nihilistic sitcom about nothing.

Daniel Day-Lewis, 47: actor, starred in "My Left Nut."

Michelle Pfeiffer, 46: actress, "The Fabulous Tammy Faye Bakker Boys."

Uma Thurman, 34: actress, starred in Quentin Tarantino's homage to orange juice, "Pulp Fiction."

April 28

On this day in 1993, the first "Take Your Daughters to Work Day" took place in New York, but a similar event turned tragic when seven people were killed by poisonous spiders during "Take Your Tarantulas to Work Day."

On this day in 1789, sailors aboard H.M.S. Bounty mutinied because they believed Capt. Bligh was holding out on their daily rations of SPAM.

On this day in 1947, Thor Heyerdahl and six companions set sail from Peru on the Kon-Tiki, a raft made of popsicle sticks. Their rations included cherry popsicles, potato chips and SPAM.

On this day in 1969, French President Charles de Gaulle resigned, saying he wanted to spend more time perfecting his recipe for Spam souffle.

Today's Birthdays:

James Monroe (1758-1831): U.S. president, author of the racy and controversial Marilyn Monroe Doctrine.

Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954): actor, helluva partier, great profile, nice granddaughter.

Saddam Hussein, 67: mustard gas enthusiast, noted henchman of Satan.

Ann-Margret, 63: actress, portrayed Ann Marg-Rock on "The Flintsones.".

Jay Leno, 54: millionaire wise-ass.

Penelope Cruz, 30: actress, hobbies include not cruising with Tom Cruise.

April 27

On this day in 1521, Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Philippines by an irate swarm of tse-tse flies.

On this day in 1899, the first tuberculosis hospital operated by the federal government opened in New Mexico, where it would soon begin treating other maladies such as bucket foot, tummy ache syndrome and curvature of the liver.

On this day in 1937, the nation's first Social Security checks were distributed to help senior citizens buy prescription prune juice.

Today's Birthdays:

Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872): inventor of -- --- .-. ... . -.-. --- -.. .

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885): U.S. president, noted tomb occupant.

Jack Klugman, 82: actor, played a sloppy alien in the Sc-Fi sitcom "The Pod Couple."

Casey Kasem, 72: host of the rap show "America's Top 40-Ounce Malt Liquors."

Kate Pierson, 56: singer with The B-52's, hit the charts with "Rock Lobster Thermidor."

Ace Frehley, 53: schlock musician with KISS.

April 26

On this day in 1607, Captain John Smith landed in Virginia to found the first permanent English settlement in North America. Authorities never learned "Smith's" real name.

On this day in 1819, the first U.S. Odd Fellows lodge was established in Baltimore. Potential members were required to prove they were in fact "Odd" by drinking a mug of Quaker State motor oil and pledging allegiance to a freeze-fried cockroach.

On this day in 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion, which killed at least 31 people and sent radioactivity into the atmosphere, was caused by a doughnut-eating safety technician named Homer Simpnofsky.

Today's Birthdays:

John James Audubon (1785-1851): naturalist-painter, raised by bald eagles and blue jays.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951): philosopher, originator of the theory that a guy can have a messed-up name and still get chicks.

Anita Loos (1893-1981): writer, author of "Gentlemen Prefer Fellatio."

Kevin James, 39: actor, played a lovable tranvestite in the sitcom "Queen of Queens."

April 25

On this day in 1990, the Hubble telescope was deployed by the space shuttle, but technical problems arose because scientists forgot to take the lens cap off before launch.

On this day in 1719, "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe was published after being neatly typed up by Defoe's trusty Girl Friday.

On this day in 1983, Soviet leader Yuri Andropov invited Samantha Smith to Russia in response to her letter calling for peace. But his dream of a romantic tryst with the spunky Maine schoolgirl never materialized.

Today's Birthdays:

Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937): invented the radio so he could listen to baseball games on his porch.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965): famed newsman who horrified radio listeners in 1958 with a fake World War III attack led by "Hitler's uncle."
Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996): legendary singer, teamed with Dr. Seuss in the duet "Scat in the Hat."

Al Pacino, 64: actor, star of "Dog Day Afternoon Delight" and "Scent of an Oscar."

Hank Azaria, 40: actor, performs the voice of the hapless O.J. on the animated TV show "The Simpsons."

Renee Zellweger, 35: actress, played the love interest of Ayatollah Khomeini (Jim Carrey) in the Middle Eastern comedy "Me, Myself and Iran."

April 24

On this day in 1800, Congress established the Library of Congress, right next door to the popular Pool Hall of Congress and the Strip Club of Congress.

On this day in 1953, Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, who accidentally sliced off a piece of the renowned statesman's ear with her knighting sword.

On this day in 1970, China launched its first satellite, enabling U.S. audiences to enjoy such popular Chinese TV programs as "Mao and Mindy" and "The Six Million Dollar Buddha."

On this day in 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral carrying the funky $1.5 billion Hubble Space Kaleidoscope.

Today's Birthdays:

Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989): nation's first official poet laureate, won Pulitzer Prize for "All the King's Mental Patients."

Shirley MacLaine, 70: actress, played a brainy southern belle in "Steel Magna Cum Laudes."

Barbra Streisand, 62: actress-singer, played a religious nut in "A Star is Born Again."

April 23

On this day in 1956, Elvis Presley performed for the first time in Las Vegas, teaming with the legendary Winnie the Pooh for a duet of the song "Teddy Bear"

On this day in 1985, the Coca Cola Company announced a change in the recipe for Coke, promising "a pinch of crack in every can."

On this day in 1996, an auction of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' possessions at Sotheby's opened with a bidder paying $14,000 for a chapstick.

Today's Birthdays:

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): international man of mystery, author of "Orange Julius Caesar" and "A Midsummer Night's Drive-by Shooting."

James Buchanan (1791-1868): voted worst U.S. president ever, accidentally started a war with Togo in 1859.

Shirley Temple Black, 76: actress-diplomat who negotiated important peace treaty between the U.S. and Togo.

Lee Majors, 64: actor, "The Six Million Dollar Has-Been."

David Birney, 64: actor, starred in the interracial comedy "Bridget Loves Bernie Mac."

Judy Davis, 49: actress, starred in "Deconstructing Harry Belafonte."

Valerie Bertinelli, 44: actress, noted Van Halen groupie.

April 22

On this day in 1509, Henry VIII ascended to the English throne after beating his father, Henry VII, best-of-five in arm wrestling.

On this day in 1864, Congress approved stamping the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins, replacing the previous motto "Believe In God ... Or Else."

On this day in 1954, the Army-McCarthy hearings featured Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his ventriloquist dummy, Charlie McCarthy, charming audiences with their anti-Communist venom.

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson opened the New York World's Fair by bungee jumping off the Empire State Building.

On this day in 1970, millions of nutritionally unconscious Americans celebrated the first Girth Day.

Today's Birthdays:

Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924): leader of the Russian Revolution, founder of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.

Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999): violinist, leader of the classical pop group Yehudi and the Blowfish.

Eddie Albert, 96: actor, starred in the macabre futuristic barnyard comedy "Soylent Green Acres."

Charlotte Rae, 78: actress, starred as the maid opposite Gary Coleman's wise-cracking brain injury victim in "Debilitating Strokes."

Jack Nicholson, 68: actor, starred in "Five Cheesy Pizzas," "Germs of Endearment" and "A Few Good Wolfmen."

Peter Frampton, 54: singer, resurrected his career with the double-album "Frampton Comes Back From the Dead."

April 21

On this day in 753 B.C., Rome was founded after its sprawling site plan was approved by the planning board.

On this day in 1789, John Adams took the oath as the first vice president, then began chanting to a crowd of supporters, "We're number two! We're number two!"

On this day in 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the World War I German flying ace known as the "Red Baron," was killed in a dogfight with Snoopy.

On this day in 1962, the Space Needle made its debut at the World's Fair in Seattle, next to the 150-foot-tall Space Thimble.

Today's Birthdays:

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855): novelist, author of "Me Tarzan, You Jane Eyre."

Anthony Quinn (1915-2001): actor, star of "Zorba the Geek" and "Zorba the Insurance Salesman."

Charles Grodin, 69: actor, starred in "The Heartburn Kid" and "Midnight Pun."

Iggy Pop, 57: pop musician, best known for his smash hit "Lust For Life Insurance."

Tony Danza, 53: actor, played "Tony" in one good show and a bunch of lame ones.

Andie MacDowell, 46: actress, starred in "sex, lies and 8-track tapes" and that one where those gophers rob that bank, uh "Groundhog Day Afternoon."

April 20

On this day in 1836, the Territory of Wisconsin was established by Congress, deriving its name from a Native American word meaning "land of much cheese and cheese by-products."

On this day in 1934, 6-year-old Shirley Temple made her movie debut, but passed out at the premiere from drinking too many Shirley Temples.

On this day in 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, upon being sworn in as prime minister of Canada, pledged to put Shirley Temple on the moon before the end of the decade.

On this day in 1972, the Apollo 16 lunar module landed on the moon with Lt. Bojangles and Shirley Temple on board.

Today's Birthdays:

Marcus Aurelius (121-180): philosopher-Roman emperor, orgy host, recreational skull crusher.

Adolf Hitler (1889-1945): Evil German dictator, favorite Shirley Temple movie -- "Rebecca of Nazibrook Farm."

Ryan O'Neal, 63: actor, played a shiftless bootlegger in "Paper Moonshine."

Jessica Lange, 55: actress romantically linked with King Kong.

Denis Leary, 46: actor, star of the profane "Cigarettes and Red Meat Workout Video."

Carmen Electra, 31: actress (real name -- Carmen Electrical-Socket).

April 19

On this day in 1933, the U.S went off the gold standard and moved to a fool's gold-based economy.

On this day in 1775, the Revolutionary War broke out during a U.S. vs. Britain hockey game when the Brits fired the "slapshot heard 'round the world."

On this day in 1956, movie star Grace Kelly wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco, then rented the honeymoon suite at the fabulous Niagara Falls Motel 6.

On this day in 1991, Evander Holyfield beat George Foreman to retain his title, but Foreman established a new record for cheeseburgers consumed (12) during a sanctioned heavyweight bout.

Today's Birthdays:

Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967): "actress," best known for her "performances" in such films as "Attack of the Giant Gozangas."

Dudley Moore (1935-2002): actor, played a cuddly alcoholic trying to quit booze in "AArthur."

Elinor Donahue, 67: actress, starred in the controversial 1950s TV series "Father Knows Breast."

Tim Curry, 58: actor, starred as a transvestite boxing champion in "The Rocky Balboa Picture Show."

Kate Hudson, 25: actress, starred in "How to Lose a Gynecologist in 10 Days."

April 18

On this day in 1923, the first game was played in Yankee Stadium, the grand ballpark dubbed "The House That Ruth Buzzi Built."

On this day in 1985, Ted Turner filed for a hostile takeover of Jane Fonda.

On this day in 1934, the first laundromat opened in Fort Worth, Texas. Soon many Americans adopted this strange new custom of washing their clothes instead of just letting them decay and fall apart.

Today's Birthdays:

Clarence Darrow (1857-1938): lawyer; defended The Monkees in the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925.

Hayley Mills, 58: actress, starred in "The Parent Steel-Leg Trap."

James Woods, 57: actor, starred as an ancient football coach racing against the clock in "Any Given Sundial."

Rick Moranis, 50: actor, played a pimp in "Little Shop of Whores."

Conan O'Barbarian, 41: hulking, brutally violent talk show host.

Melissa Joan Hart, 28: actress, star of "Sabrina the Teenage Wench."

April 17

On this day in 1492, the King and Queen of Spain hired Christopher Columbus under a contract that promised him a bonus if he accidentally discovered a New World.

On this day in 1900, the first American flag was raised in Samoa, prompting confused natives to chant "why White Devil fly pretty cloth on pole?"

On this day in 1961, a team of CIA-trained schoolgirls invaded Cuba in a failed coup attempt called the Bay of Pigtails.

On this day in 1985, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its 22-cent "LOVE" stamp, after rejecting proposals for stamps emablazoned with "LUST," "SEX" and "HATE."

Today's Birthdays:

J.P. Morgan (1837-1913): noted capitalist pig, founder of U.S. Steal.

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975): Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Our Friggin' Town."

Don Kirshner, 70: creator of "The Monkees," series pilot starred four apes but they were replaced by human actors when they demanded to perform their own material.

Lela Rochon, 40: actress, played a frustrated woman planning to gore her cheating boyfriend in "Waiting to Impale."

Liz Phair, 37: singer, best known for her paranormal album "X-File In Guyville."

April 16

On this day in 1862, the District of Columbia outlawed slavery but maintained the right of politicians to be slaves to special interests.

On this day in 1935, "Fibber McGee and Molly" made its radio debut, with Molly calling Fibber "a lying sack of shiitake mushrooms."

On this day in 1949, Boxcar Willie started a nationwide whistle-stop tour in his campaign for "Budweiser Hobo of the Year."

On this day in 1962, Walter Cronkite replaced Boxcar Willie as anchorman of "The CBS Evening Blues."

On this day in 1996, Britain's Prince Andrew and Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were divorcing on the grounds that they were "sick and tired of looking at each other."

Today's Birthdays:

Wilbur Wright (1867-1912): co-inventor of the airplane, the air conditioner, the air rifle and the Air Wilbur line of basketball shoes.

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977): comedian, starred in "Citizen Tramp," "The Tramp Who Knew Too Much" and "Silence of the Tramps."

Peter Ustinov, 83: actor-director, won Oscar for "Spartacus" and "Spartacus 2: Caligula's Beach Blanket Toga Party."

Edie Adams, 73: singer-actress, starred in "Edie Rider" and "The Big Edie."

Bobby Vinton, 69: singer, best known for "Noses Are Red (My Love)" and his sycophantic followup "Noses Are Brown."

Ellen Barkin, 49: actress, starred in "The Big Sleazy."

Jimmy Osmond, 41: singer, hit #648 on the pop charts with "I'm a Friggin' Osmond."

April 15

On this day in 1955, the first McDonald's restaurant opened in Illinois, serving its famous pork burger, the Pig Mac.

On this day in 1912, responding to claims that the Titanic luxury liner was "unsinkable," God dispatched it to the bottom of the ocean.

On this day in 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro began a Goodwill tour of the U.S., dropping used military fatigues and half-smoked cigars into Goodwill boxes throughout the nation.

Today's Birthdays:

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519): painter, best known for his flatulent masterpiece "The Last Bean Supper."

Roy Clark, 71: musician, starred in the Jewish bluegrass TV show "Hebrew Haw."

Claudia Cardinale, 66: actress, starred in "The Pink Panther" and its violent African-American sequel "The Black Panther."

Heloise, 53: columnist known for helpful "hints" like never pour sulfuric acid onto your eyebrows.

Emma Thompson, 45: actress, starred with comedian Jerry Seinfeld in "Much Ado About a Show About Nothing.

April 14

On this day in 1865, dismayed by poor gas mileage in his Lincoln Town Car, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theater.

On this day in 1910, William Howard Taft, the first president to throw out the first baseball on Opening Day, injured his rotator cuff and could not sign or veto legislation for three months.

On this day in 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic and began to sink. Within 24 hours Hollywood secured the movie rights.

On this day in 1939, John Steinbeck first published his novel "The Grapes of Wrath" after deleting two pivotal simian characters from his original version, "The Apes of Wrath."

On this day in 2000, protesters dumped manure on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington to protest decades of domestic and international "bullshit."

Today's Birthdays:

Loretta Lynn, 69: country singer, best known for the hit song "Coal Miner's Second Cousin Twice Removed."

Julie Christie, 64: starred in "Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo."

Pete Rose, 63: baseball great, Hall of Fame gambler.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, 27: actress, starred in "Buffy the Satire Slayer."

April 13

On this day in 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial to honor the work of legendary bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson.

On this day in 1958, Van Cliburn became the first American to win the Tchaikovsky Piano Contest in Moscow, wowing judges with his haunting rendition of "Chopsticks."

On this day in 1981, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer Prize for her story of an 8-year-old heroin addict named "Jimmy," who it was later learned was just a hallucination she saw while smoking some crack.

Today's Birthdays:

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): U.S. president, ancestor of George and Weezie Jefferson.

Butch Cassidy (1866-19??): gunfighter, spent his retirement years on the lam with fellow outlaw Wyatt AARP.

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989): playwright, best known for his cocaine-induced masterpiece "Waiting for Good Blow."

Jack Casady, 60: musician, pioneered rock music's "Civil War sound" with his band Jefferson Davis Airplane.

Tony Dow, 59: actor, played Wally in "Leave it To Beaver," then moved into porn with films like "Me and the Beaver" and "Leave it To Pussy."

April 12

On this day in 1934, F. Scott Fitzgerald published his appetizing novel "Buffalo Chicken Tender Is the Night."

On this day in 1954, Bill Haley and the Comets recorded the phallic rock anthem "Rock Around the Cock."

On this day in 1992, Euro Disneyland opened in France with attractions like the Loony Louvre and Honey I Shrunk the Eiffel Tower.

Today's Birthdays:

Tiny Tim (1932-1996): singer, best known for his agricultural classic "Tiptoe Through the Parsnips."

John Kay, 60: rock musician with Steppenwolf, made die-hard fans of interior decorators with hits like "Born To Be Tiled" and "Tragic Carpet Slide."

Ed O'Neill, 58: actor, starred in "Harried ... With Children."

David Letterman, 57: TV personality and noted quadruple bypass enthusiast.

David Cassidy, 54: actor, starred opposite Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Partridge Nest."

Shannen Doherty, 33: actress, played a naughty opera diva in "Beverly Sills 90210."

April 11

On this day in 1956, young Elvis topped the Billboard charts with his acid indigestion ballad, "Heartburn Hotel."

On this day in 1921, Iowa imposed the nation's first cigarette tax, but appeased smokers with coupons for future lung transplants and chemotherapy.

On this day in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed President Richard Nixon to produce his infamous Black Sabbath tapes.

Today's Birthdays:

Dean Acheson (1893-1971): U.S. undersecretary of the understated.

Oleg Cassini, 91: fashion designer, creator of the three-piece jockstrap.

Louise Lasser, Louise Lasser; 65, 65: actress, actress who played "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman."

Ellen Goodman, 56: Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, broke the story that the Nixon tapes included a bootleg of Elvis doing "Watergate Hotel."

Bret Saberhagen, 40: former pro baseball player, his right shoulder turns 61 next Monday.

April 10

On this day in 1967, Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for her role as an embittered college football fan in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Tech."

On this day in 1989, the Academy of Country Music named Alabama best group of the 1980s; runner-up was the androgynous southern star Boy Georgia.

On this day in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald published his classic novel on feline urinary trouble "The Great Cat's Pee."

Today's Birthdays:

Omar Sharif, 72: actor, played a dashing bandleader in "Lawrence Welk of Arabia" and "Doc Severinsen Zhivago."

John Madden, 68: sportscaster, leading English language authority on usage of the word "boom."

Steven Seagal, 53, played a weak actor with a black belt in "Revenge of the Pony Tail."

Mandy Moore, 20: singer, hit the charts with "Yet Another Nubile Blond Teen."

April 9

On this day in 1963, British statesman Winston Churchill was made an honorary U.S. citizen for his work as a spokesman for Winston cigarettes.

On this day in 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee said "uncle" to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant before surrendering his Confederate armies at Appomattox.

Today's Birthdays:

W.C. Fields (1879-1946): actor, starred in "Never Give a Trucker an Even Break."

Hugh Hefner, 78: septegenarian phallic symbol.

Dennis Quaid, 50: actor, played a football stadium ice cream vendor in "Any Given Sundae."

Paulina Porizkova, 39: model, "Sports Illustrated" featured her in a dental floss thong in the magazine's annual porn edition.

April 8

On this day in 1963, Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of a sadistic ornithologist in "To Kill a Hummingbird."

On this day in 1946, the League of Nations dissolved and was replaced by the poverty-stricken League of Haitians.

Today's Birthdays:

Buddha (563-463, B.C.): noted diety, enjoyed nibbling Gouda while fishing for barracuda in Bermuda.

Betty Ford, 86: former first lady, founder of the Betty Ford Clinique, offering rehab from addiction to ridiculously expensive cosmetics.

John Schneider, 50: actor, starred as a redneck nerd in "The Dorks of Hazzard."

Patricia Arquette, 36: actress, starred as a troubled girl addicted to Elmer's in "Glue Romance."

April 7

On this day in 1862, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used the old "Hey, look over there" stratagem to defeat the Confederate army at the Battle of Shiloh.

On this day in 1948, the World Health Organization was founded. Its mission: "To wipe out the mumps in our lifetime."

On this day in 1970, John Wayne won his only Oscar, starring opposite an animated teddy bear in "Pooh Grit."

Today's Birthdays:

Francis Ford Coppola, 65: filmmaker, directed Steve Martin in "Godfather of the Bride."

Jackie Chan, 50: actor, starred in "Rumble in Tienenman Square."

Russell Crowe, 40: actor, starred as a Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who believes he is an Oscar-winning gladiator in "A Beautiful Codpiece."

Victoria Adams Beckham, 29: pop singer with the DNA-clone band Splice Girls.

April 6

On this day in 1909, arctic explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson became the first men to reach the North Pole, as part of man's quest to find Santa Claus.

On this day in 1917, the U.S. declared war on Germany and promptly dispatched an elite squadron of "Pillsbury Doughboys" to Europe.

On this day in 1992, the fossilized remains of Barney the Dinosaur were found at an archaeological dig in the alley behind PBS headquarters.

Today's Birthdays:

Andre "The Giant" Previn, 75: first composer to pin the legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Billy Dee Williams, 67: actor, starred in the futuristic hillbilly movie "Return of the Jedi Clampetts."

Marilu Henner, 52: actress, starred as a stuffed chick in "Taxidermy."

April 5

On this day in 1614, the Indian princess Pocahontas married Virginia colonist John Rolfe after the bride signed a pre-nupital agreement with a "no scalping" clause.

On this day in 1792, George Washington cast the first presidential veto, nixing a bill that called for the president to mow the White House lawn.

On this day in 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who accused the writer of being a closet queensberry.

Today's Birthdays:
Bette Davis (1908-1989): actress, won the Oscar for "Dangerous Lesions" and "Jezebel Gets the Clap."

Gregory Peck (1916-2003): actor, starred in the safe-sex classics "Trojan Holiday" and "The Man in the Gray Flannel Condom."

Colin Powell, 67: first Secretary of State whose name rhymes with colon bowel.

April 4

On this day in 1850, Los Angeles was incorporated as a city and soon became the nation's leading producer of celluloid crap.

On this day in 1960, 11 Oscars were awarded to a film about a grizzly bear who becomes a gladiator, "Gentle Ben-Hur."

On this day in 1949, the U.S. and 12 other nations signed the PLATO treaty, ensuring that the North Atlantic would be protected by benevolent Philosopher Kings.

Today's Birthdays:

Muddy Waters (1915-1983): legendary bluesman, honed his craft at college fraternity parties where he originated the Delta Gamma Delta style of blues.

Maya Angelou, 76: poet, best known for "I Know Why the Caged White-Collar Jailbird Sings."

David E. Kelley, 48: TV producer, hits include the Shakespearean sitcom "Ally MacBeth."

Robert Downey Jr., 39: actor, played a drug-crazed ape in "Natural Born Gorillas."

April 3

On this day in 1860, mail delivery for rich people came into being with the legendary Polo Pony Express.

On this day in 1948, President Truman signed the Marshmallow Plan, which distributed more then 5 billion Sta-Puff marshmallows to war-torn European nations.

On this day in 1953, the first issue of TV Guide featured Sen. Joseph McCarthy promoting his new sitcom, "Those Wacky Communists."

Today's Birthdays:

Washington Irving (1783-1859): author, penned the classic tale of a headless astronaut, "The Legend of Sleepy Apollo."

Doris Day and Marlon Brando, 80: co-starred in the dark romantic comedies "Mutiny in the Boudoir" and "Apocalypse Pajamas."

Tony Orlando, 60: singer, teamed with Barney Fife in the classic Las Vegas lounge act Tony Orlando and Don Knotts.

Eddie Murphy, 43: comedian, busted Brandon and Dylan in "Beverly Hills Cop 90210."

April 2

On this day in 1513, Ponce de Leon claimed the Fountain of Youth for Spain, sparking a battle with a retirees from upstate New York in "The Metamucil Rebellion."

On this day in 1956, CBS premiered its new horticultural soap operas "As the World Ferns" and "The Hedge of Night."

On this day in 1982, Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands from Great Britain and renamed them the F#*&$%d Islands.

Today's Birthdays:

Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (1725-1798): noted swordsman and founder of the Casanova Institute for Advanced Fornication.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875): Danish storyteller, author of "The Emperor's New Armani Suit" and "The Princess and the Pea Brain."

Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000): actor, starred in "Fridge on the River Kwai."

Pamela Reed, 51: actress, played an ordinary housewife cooking Thanksgiving dinner in outer space in "The Right Stuffing."

April 1

On this day in 1789, the U.S. House of Representatives held its first full meeting and agreed to abide by Robert De Niro's Rules of Order.

On this day in 1939, the Franco government in Spain announced that its chief monetary unit would be the Franco-American Spaghetti-O.

On this day in 1970, President Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and TV, despite intense lobbying pressure by Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.

Today's Birthdays:

Lon Chaney (1883-1930): actor, starred in "Leave it to Werewolf," "Frankenstein Does Philly" and "Bedtime for Dracula."

Debbie Reynolds, 72: actress, starred in "Mudslingin' in the Rain."

Ali MacGraw, 65: greatest actress of all time (real name - Cassius McGraw).