Day By Day

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Day In History

Today is "Have Fun at Work Day" as well as "National Kazoo Day". So, take your kazoos to work today and annoy the heck out of your co-workers..., or not. Kazoos are wonderful things. They are easy to play -- if you can hum you can play a kazoo -- and they lend themselves to spontaneous creativity. Here's a link to a lady who has been really creative with the thing. Caution, not really safe for work and definitely not for kids, but it is patriotic.

On this day in 1547 King Henry VIII of England died. As was the case with so many of the Tudors his life was a soap opera, every variation of which has been presented time and again in books, plays and film. Although popular accounts have focused on his many marriages, his reign for serious historians was characterized by four important issues: religion, international affairs, internal controls and succession. With regard to religion Henry suppressed Protestantism and broke with Rome, establishing royal control over the religious establishment in England. In foreign affairs he meddled constantly in continental matters seeking to establish England's status as a great power. To this end he began to build up and modernize the nation's armed forces, especially its navy. Internally he greatly strengthened the power of the monarchy, modernizing revenue collection and bureaucratic controls throughout his realm. And, like all the Tudors, he faced major questions regarding the legitimacy of his rule which led him to obsess over the question of succession. In this area he was notably unsuccessful. When he died he left a nine-year old son, Edward, who was sickly and not long to live, and two daughters [one Catholic, Mary; the other Protestant, Elizabeth]. All of them eventually succeeded to the throne.

Happy Birthday to the United States Coast Guard, created on this day in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson.

And on this day in 1956 Pennsylvania's own Dorsey Brothers hosted a TV show ["The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show"] featuring an up and coming young singing sensation -- Elvis Presley. This was his first TV appearance ever.

And on this date in 1986 the manned space program suffered yet another disastrous setback as the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven of its crew members.

And happy birthday too to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an 800 billion dollar "stimulus package" passed one year ago today by the Democrat-controlled Congress.