This Week in History: Fast horses and a confused science officer - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

This Week in History: Fast horses and a confused science officer

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John Pemberton first brewed Coca-Cola on March 29, 1886. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) John Pemberton first brewed Coca-Cola on March 29, 1886. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Following the devastation of a March 20, 1948 tornado, meteorologists at Tinker Air Force base were able to successfully predict another tornado five days later. (Source: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons) Following the devastation of a March 20, 1948 tornado, meteorologists at Tinker Air Force base were able to successfully predict another tornado five days later. (Source: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons)
The Book of Mormon was first published March 26, 1830. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) The Book of Mormon was first published March 26, 1830. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Man o'War set records in the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, but did not run in the Kentucky Derby. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Man o'War set records in the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, but did not run in the Kentucky Derby. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The M1911 45.-caliber handgun has been seen action in every U.S. war since it was adopted as the military's sidearm in 1911. (Source: adamsguns.com/Wiimedia Commons) The M1911 45.-caliber handgun has been seen action in every U.S. war since it was adopted as the military's sidearm in 1911. (Source: adamsguns.com/Wiimedia Commons)

(RNN) – I love Coca-Cola. There, I said it.

Coca-Cola was first brewed March 29, 1886, by John Pemberton in his backyard. He claimed it could cure headaches, calm nerves and relieve exhaustion. Today we know all it does is make you fat.

It's really good, though.

Pemberton sounds like he was a bit of a kook (it was probably the cocaine), and if you don't believe me, follow him on Twitter and see for yourself. He's been verified despite being dead since 1888, and espouses such wisdom as, "If you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, open a @CocaCola. You'll still be stuck, but the options will taste better."

He's got a cool beard, though.

Here are some of the events of note that happened between March 25-31.

Life and Death

Lady Gaga was Born This Way on March 28, 1986. Her music video about this blessed event consists of her alternately dancing around almost naked and wearing a tuxedo with her face painted like a skull. It's actually one of the most sane things she's ever done. For people like me, who think the song is catchy and fun to listen to but recoil at the idea of actually liking Lady Gaga, there is Weird Al Yankovic to give us the best of both worlds.

For your Weekly Dose of Something Related to John Wayne, Strother Martin was born March 26, 1919. Martin appeared in several John Wayne movies, including The Sons of Katie Elder, McClintock! and True Grit. He also delivered the famous line from Cool Hand Luke "What we've got here is failure to communicate" after beating a guy senseless.

Leonard Nimoy was born March 26, 1931, and has written two books called I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock. So, just who the heck is he?

Andronikos II Palaiologos was born March 25, 1259, and his grandson Andronikos III Palaiologos was born the same day in 1297. They were both Byzantine emperors, and judging by their birthdays, the Byzantines were huge proponents of teenage pregnancy. One day someone featured on 16 and Pregnant is going to bring that up, and it might actually get me to start watching.

Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, was born in 1918, and since his death was April 5, 1992, I'll get it out of the way now.

Pope-elect Stephen died March 25, 752. If you think we have chaos now with the former pope still alive and the some in the media – but not John Wayne – unable to tell the difference between white smoke and black smoke ("I'm going to go with black." "It appears gray. It's whitish." "Kinda dark, kinda light."), imagine the mass hysteria this caused. Stephen was elected pope to succeed Pope Zachary but died before he could be ordained. Colored smoke wasn't used back then, so it was probably just a normal day when Pope Stephen II became pope the next day.

Overlooked Anniversaries

The 23rd Amendment was ratified March 29, 1961, letting people in Washington, D.C., vote for the president. It's weird to get to vote for who is going to be your neighbor (would you get chosen?), but it's not like he is inviting you over to watch a football game. He's too busy meeting the team that won. Plus, his house is closed. D.C. is not allowed to have more electors than any state, but its population wouldn't let that happen anyway. Democrats have won D.C. in every election since the amendment was ratified, and 10 states – all in the South – have still not ratified it.

The first successful tornado forecast was March 25, 1948, at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The base was hit by a devastating tornado five days earlier, and when meteorologists noticed similar weather patterns occurring, they said another tornado might form. It did, and I think that's enough to call Tinker AFB the most unlucky place on Earth.

The Book of Mormon was published March 26, 1830, the Eiffel Tower opened March 31, 1889, and the driving test was introduced in the United Kingdom on March 26, 1934. British drivers have to answer a ton of questions about driving, spot developing hazards and know routine vehicle maintenance as well as show they can actually drive to get a license – and they have do it all over again at age 70. In principle that sounds like a fantastic idea, but our government would screw it all up somehow.

In another incident of presidential toughness, Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest March 30, 1981, and lived. March 27, 1851, marked the first reported sighting of Yosemite Valley by Europeans. There appears to be no truth to the rumor that upon arriving they saw a "idjit rabbit" and yelled "I'm a-gonna blast ya!"

The University of Southern Mississippi was founded March 30, 1910, and it plays my alma mater, Louisiana Tech, in the NIT tonight. I am hereby wishing untold evils upon the Yellow Buzzards and their evil demon spawn. Shoo, bird, go away!!

Something About Sports

There is only one answer to the question of who is greatest racehorse of all time, and that is Secretariat, who was born March 30, 1970. Secretariat holds the record for all three Triple Crown races and was so dominant that a horse he beat – Sham – is considered good enough to have won the Triple Crown in any other year. If you haven't seen his Belmont Stakes performance, it's electrifying. Because I can, here's all three races.

The only other horse that is in the discussion is Man o'War, who was born March 29, 1917. Man o'War did not win the Triple Crown because it wasn't considered important at the time, and he didn't run in the Kentucky Derby. He won the other two races, though, setting records in both races and winning 20 of his 21 career races.

The NCAA was established March 31, 1906, as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States. It was formed in response to President Theodore Roosevelt wanting to reform football because of its brutal, and sometimes deadly, nature. Those reforms didn't include naming a champion, however, and the NCAA still doesn't officially recognize one at its highest level.

The Week in Warfare

The U.S. took a giant step toward world domination March 27, 1794, when it established a permanent navy and commissioned six frigates. The U.S. Navy currently has 19 frigates, but they are all expected to be decommissioned by 2019 and replaced with Littoral combat ships.

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend took place March 27, 1814, in central Alabama. Andrew Jackson commanded the American victory, which effectively ended the Creek War. Geronimo surrendered the same day 72 years later, ending the Apache Wars. Horseshoe Bend National Military Park isn't far from where I live, and a picture on Google Maps showed it has cannons, so it's now on my list of places to visit.

The Biological Weapons Convention convened March 26, 1975, when 22 countries agreed not to acquire or stockpile biological weapons. They probably still have them, though, because enforcement is limited.

The M1911 .45-cailber handgun became the U.S. Army's official sidearm March 29, 1911, and it has seen action in every war since, and was used in the video of that guy who shot his daughter's laptop because she said something he didn't like on Facebook.

Holiday You Should Celebrate

Easter is Sunday, so you're only days away from going back to drinking caffeine. But even bigger than that is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, which is March 26. That means Tuesday is the day to literally celebrate anything.

Every good idea I had was already taken, so I suggest you go to a mom-and-pop store and get a stick of some sort, put a waffle on that stick, put pecans on that waffle, heat it with a Bunsen Burner and eat it while walking in the park with a guy named Joe. Each of those things has a day this week dedicated to it.

Preview of next week

…or is it?

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