1722 – Samuel Adams, yet another one of the Adams boys, who spent most of his adult life fomenting revolution against George III and the British Empire. He is one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and one of the organizers of the Boston Tea Party, from which a modern right wing political group takes its name. He is currently spinning in his grave.
1840 – Thomas Nast, the 19th century cartoonist who invented Santa Claus in 1863. Santa was later refined by Coca Cola. Nast also invented the Democrat Party’s donkey symbol (1870) and the Republican elephant (1874). He is sometimes credited with inventing Uncle Sam, but that’s not true.
1998 – Google first appeared on the Internet. Contrary to public belief, Google does NOT make you stoopid .
1964 – The Warren Commission finally finished their investigation into the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Their conclusion was that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone. That was the first and last time anybody believed it.
1965 – Clara Bow, silent film actress and the “It” girl. If even half the stories about her are true, she makes antics of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and that whole crowd look tame. This is especially true since she was performing in the days when celebrities still had some pride.
1967 – Prince Felix Yussupov, who, with a couple of other guys, murdered Rasputin. According to Yussupov’s own account, on the night of December 16th, 1916, the conspirators poisoned Rasputin with cyanide, shot him at least 3 times, beat him with an iron bar, bound him hand and found, tied him in a carpet, and threw him into the half-frozen Neva River. When Rasputin’s body was found 3 days later, it was discovered that he had drowned after fighting his way out of the ropes and the carpet. Obviously, all this greatly contributed to the legend of the Mad Monk.