Sunday, February 3, 2013

Not fat Tuesday

February 3rd is the absolute first day that Mardi Gras can be (it isn't this year of course--for one thing today is Sunday).  There is a touch a spring madness about other anniversaries. 

Today, in 1637 the tulip market collapsed, more or less in one day.  Anything on a grand scale happening in one day before the telegraph is impressive, but imagine this:  one day a few people woke up & said I could a buy a house, a really really nice house & support it, with servants & everything for the rest of my days OR I could buy some flowers.  & then chose the house.  & this was a novelty.  By the end of the day, everyone else went wait, what?  Whoever was left holding the bulbs lost.  It's like some strange, life changing game of hot potato.   

In 1690 the first paper money was printed in the colonies.  I am fond of physical money history.  No really, I am.  I like tracking through Where's George.  Also it is fun to point out to people who get all bent about separation of church&state about how In God We Trust is on the money & therefore God was always part of our gov't that God didn't get added until the 1950s.  Interesting that the colony founded just a generation earlier on the right to practice a much more restrictive religion than their country of origin didn't think God belonged on the money.

Oh, & in 1890 the 15th Amendment was ratified.  Whether or not you think that one was crazy is a defining political characteristic, even today. 

What else, what else.  In 1970, Frank Serpico was shot.  In 1904, Pretty Boy Floyd, one of the most off-the-wall gangsters (he once sent a postcard to police denying being involved in a massacre & by& large history believes him, how off is that?), was born.  In 1959 the music died.

Yes, I know, pretty much every day ever can give you a similar cross section, but I don't know...I just might give Superbowl 47 a miss & instead plant some tulips & listen to Don McLean

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