Your Week in History: Famous characters debut and rocks go away - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Your Week in History: Famous characters debut and rocks go away

Posted: Updated:
An engraving depicts the first inauguration of President George Washington on April 30, 1789. (Source: Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons) An engraving depicts the first inauguration of President George Washington on April 30, 1789. (Source: Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)
This composite image shows the Old Man of the Mountain before and after its collapse in 2003. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) This composite image shows the Old Man of the Mountain before and after its collapse in 2003. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Moses Fleetwood Walker was the first black player in Major League Baseball in 1884. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Moses Fleetwood Walker was the first black player in Major League Baseball in 1884. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
A painting depicts the Confederate victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) A painting depicts the Confederate victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The USS Abraham Lincoln shown with the "Mission Accomplished" banner that was the backdrop for a famous speech given by President George W. Bush. (Source: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons) The USS Abraham Lincoln shown with the "Mission Accomplished" banner that was the backdrop for a famous speech given by President George W. Bush. (Source: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons)

(RNN) – Tuesday marks the day our government as we know started to fall into place.

George Washington started the long and distinguished list of men who have become president April 30, 1789, when he was inaugurated as president on the Balcony of Federal Hall in New York City. In a case of remarkable disregard for what the building stood for, it was torn down in 1812.

Part of the balcony where Washington stood is preserved at a museum on the site, and a giant statue of Washington himself looms on the sidewalk.

Washington is credited with saying "so help me God" at the end of taking the oath of office, which has become a tradition for presidents to do, but there is no surviving evidence Washington actually said it. It is believed to have originated with Chester Arthur (others say Abraham Lincoln) and every president has said it since.

It's become controversial in recent years, drawing pre-inauguration speculation and stand-alone news articles about it post-inauguration. The phrase appears in other oaths, including the Oath of Allegiance, which must be taken by all immigrants who want to become naturalized citizens.

The first inauguration set a ridiculous amount of precedents that are still followed today, so Washington not setting another one is forgivable. But if the next president failed to add that phrase, the resulting fallout would threaten to rip us apart.

I really hope that doesn't happen, so help us, God.

Here are some of the events of note that happened between April 29 and May 5.

Life and Death

I love The Big Bang Theory. It's one of the best shows on TV right now. Three people with important roles on the show were born this week. Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard Hofstadter, and Kunal Nayyar, who plays Rajesh Koothrappali, were born April 30 in 1975 and 1981, respectively. Christine Baranski, who plays Leonard's mother Beverly, was born May 2, 1952. Leonard's mother doesn't appear regularly, but her few episodes are some of the series' best.

Who can be connected to John Wayne this week? I'm glad you asked. Johnny Horton was born April 30, 1925. Horton is perhaps best known for singing The Battle of New Orleans, but he also recorded North to Alaska, which was featured in the movie of the same name and starred John Wayne.

Eddie Collins, who played for the 1919 Chicago White Sox but was not involved in the Black Sox scandal, was born May 2, 1887, Karl Marx was born May 5, 1818, John Batterson Stetson, who invented the cowboy hat, was born May 5, 1830, and the greatest Scottish kicker in NFL history, Lawrence Tynes (no relation that I'm aware of), was born May 3, 1978.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was born May 2, 1972, and J. Edgar Hoover died the same day.

Adolf Hitler committed suicide April 30, 1945, one day after marrying Eva Braun. Braun ingested cyanide and Hitler shot himself. Their bodies were burned and their remains were later recovered by the Soviet Union and were eventually destroyed, though the Soviets denied for a time that he was actually dead.

Junior Seau died May 2, 2012, and Napoleon Bonaparte died May 5, 1821.

Overlooked Anniversaries

April 30 marks the unofficial debut of Bugs Bunny. That's a landmark day that deserves more than just a passing mention here (hint, hint). This week also marks the debut of one of my favorite Looney Tunes characters – Yosemite Sam. Sam made his debut May 5, 1945, in Hare Trigger, but an earlier version of him was in Super-Rabbit. The voice was the same, but he looked nothing like the rootinest, tootinest, shootinest hombre this side of the Pecos.

For my money, only the roadrunner and coyote are better cartoon characters than Yosemite Sam, who battled Bugs Bunny in the Old West, the desert, the woods, medieval England, Bunker Hill, the Civil War-era South, prison and on the high seas. Yosemite Sam was one of the more versatile characters, filling the role of universal villain and comic foil to Bugs, but it is his classic Wild West outlaw persona with the big voice and small stature that he is best known for.

I would like to officially nominate May 5 as Talk Like Yosemite Sam Day. I think it could catch on.

The Illuminati was founded May 1, 1776. It died out in the 1780s but that hasn't kept modern day nutbags from claiming the Illuminati is controlling the world and everything in it. Something major happened? It was the Illuminati. A famous person died? The Illuminati killed them. The Illuminati hint at everything they are going to do in popular culture. Of course, it is only known after the fact and most of the examples purported to be Illuminati codes are internet hoaxes, but modern day nutbags don't take that into consideration. It's the media being controlled by the Illuminati trying to divert attention away from themselves.

The eight-hour workday was first proclaimed as the accepted labor standard May 1, 1886, William and Kate got married April 29, 2011, the Empire State Building was dedicated May 1, 1931, the Sears Tower opened May 3, 1973, the first spam email was sent May 3, 1978, the King James Bible was first published May 2, 1611, and the Marriage of Figaro opened May 1, 1786.

The Louisiana Purchase was completed April 30, 1803, and Louisiana became a state the same day in 1812. I went to college in Louisiana so it can stay. So can Washington, DC, which was incorporated as a city May 3, 1802. A lot of weird, unexplained things happen there (just like in Louisiana) but imagine how dull our lives would be without the constant bickering and hypocrisy of our politicians.

The Old Man of the Mountain collapsed May 3, 2003. The Old Man of the Mountain was a rock formation in New Hampshire that looked like a man's face jutting out from the side of a mountain. It showed up on New Hampshire's quarter in 2000, but didn't last much longer.

One of the greatest comedy teams of all time made their debut May 5, 1934, when The Three Stooges appeared in 19 minutes of tortured rhyming called Woman Haters. Instead of May 5 being Talk Like Yosemite Sam Day, I think it should be Act Like A Stooge Day. Maybe it can be both.

Something About Sports

May 1, 1991, was a big day in Major League Baseball history. Rickey Henderson set the career stolen bases record by stealing his 939th base. Later the same day, Nolan Ryan threw his seventh no-hitter, breaking his own career no-hit record. No other pitcher has even come close to matching it.

Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first black player in MLB history May 1, 1884. Walker played one year for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association and played with various teams until 1889. He was the lone remaining black player and when he stopped playing the unofficial color line in baseball was put in place until Jackie Robinson broke it in 1947.

The first Negro National League game was played May 2, 1920, between the Indianapolis ABCs and the Chicago American Giants. Indianapolis won 4-2.

The 1940 Summer Olympics set to be held in Tokyo were canceled due to war May 1, 1940, Walter O'Malley agreed to move the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles on May 3, 1957, and Labatt Park, the oldest continually operating baseball field in the world, held its first game May 3, 1877.

Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby with a still-standing track record time of 1:59 2/5 on May 5, 1973 - two days and 21 years after the Derby was televised nationally for the first time.

The Week in Warfare

May 5 already has a celebration associated with it. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla, which took place May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. The Mexican win at Puebla was much more symbolic than strategic and did little to stop the French Army, but it was a source of unity among Mexican citizens. Even so, the holiday is much more widely celebrated in the U.S. than it is in Mexico because it's an excuse to get drunk.

Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men May 2, 1863, at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Jackson had his arm amputated, but developed pneumonia and died eight days later. The battled ended in a Confederate victory May 4. The victory is considered the biggest win of Robert E. Lee's military career.

Navy SEALs raided a compound inhabited by Osama bin Laden and his family May 2, 2011. Because of time differences, the raid was carried out on the second, but the announcement was made May 1. It happened on the eighth anniversary of the "Mission Accomplished" declaration by George W. Bush on board the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Holiday You Should Celebrate

Star Wars Day is May 4. May the fourth be with you. Celebrate all day with the movie's iconic theme and Darth Vader breathing.

Preview of next week

"Oh, the humanity."

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow