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Greetings, F-Troop!  There are 12 more shopping days (13 if everyone is open on the day) until Christmas, 19 more days till the fiscal cliff (aka Cliffmas), and only 9 days until the end of the world! Are you ready?

Let's mine Twitter for some conversational fodder:

The Pope (@pontifex) is on Twitter!

Now on to the history lesson!

On This Day

In 1577, Sir Francis Drake debarked from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.

In 1949, the Knesset voted to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem.

In 1974, ex-Beatle George Harrison had lunch with President Gerald Ford at the White House. No word on if Savoy Truffle was on the menu.

In 1982, the Sentry Armored Car Company in New York discovered that $11 million had been stolen from its headquarters overnight (oops). It was the biggest cash theft in U.S. history.

In 2003, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured near his home town of Tikrit.

Born on This Day

1818 – Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States (d. 1882)

1836 – Franz von Lenbach, German painter (d. 1904)


1860 – Lucien Guitry, French actor (d. 1925)

Lucien Guitry, Actor

1871 – Emily Carr, Canadian artist (d. 1945)


1887 – Alvin York, American soldier & Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1964)

1903 – Ella Baker, American civil rights activist (d. 1986)

1903 – Carlos Montoya, Spanish guitarist (d. 1993)


1910 – Van Heflin, American actor (d. 1971)

Robert Ryan, Van Heflin and Janet Leigh - Act of Violence 1948

1915 – Curd Jürgens, German-born Austrian actor (d. 1982)

Brigitte Bardot, 1956

1915 – Ross Macdonald, American-born author (d. 1983)

1925 – Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian


1928 – Eve Meyer, American model (d. 1977)

Eve Meyer

1929 – Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor

1934 – Richard D. Zanuck, American film producer

1942 – Anna Eshoo, American politician

1945 – Herman Cain, American businessman, radio host, Pokemon fan and failed presidential candidate.

1948 – Lester Bangs, rock critic (d. 1982)

1948 – Ted Nugent, skuzzy American guitarist and right wing fanatic (don't worry, I'm not posting a video)

1949 – Tom Verlaine, American singer and guitarist (Television)


1950 – Tom Vilsack, 40th Governor of Iowa and 30th United States Secretary of Agriculture

1953 – Ben Bernanke, American economist and current United States Chairman of the Federal Reserve

1954 – Steve Forbert, American singer-songwriter


1957 – Steve Buscemi, American actor

1957 – Morris Day, American singer (The Time)


1974 – Nicholas McCarthy, English guitarist (Franz Ferdinand)


1981 – Amy Lee, American singer/songwriter (Evanescence)


Died on This Day

1204 – Maimonides, Spanish rabbi and philosopher (b. 1135)

1466 – Donatello, Florentine artist and sculptor (b. 1386)

Donatello's Mary Magdalen

1716 – Charles de La Fosse, French painter (b. 1640)


1924 – Samuel Gompers, American labor leader (b. 1850)

1932 – Georgios Jakobides, Greek painter (b. 1853)


1944 – Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-born French artist (b. 1866)

Wassily Kandinsky - Releations at Kreeger Art Museum Washington DC

1944 – Lupe Vélez, Mexican actress (b. 1908)

Lupe Velez

1986 – Ella Baker, American civil rights activist (b, 1903)

Today is

National Violin Day
Ice Cream Day
National Cocoa Day


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