Saturday, November 10, 2012

The USMC turns 237, Sesame Street turns 43

The United States Marine Corps was founded in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775 when Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines as naval infantry.

Marines were shipboard soldiers -- being put ashore for missions or defending their ship from boarders back in the days when ships could wind up fighting each other deck to deck. In fact, in some navies, marines were needed to protect a ship from her own sailors -- the British Navy, for example, back in the day, was exactly the opposite of an 'all volunteer force' -- and mutiny was more than a theoretical possibility.

We have heard that, even today, there are those who say that marines exist because sailors can't be trusted with any gun not bolted to a deck. If you encounter any sailors or marines at your local tonight, however, it may be best not to explore that line of inquiry.

Today is also Sesame Street Day, commemorating the day (43 years ago!) when Sesame Street first aired. Even in this day of GPS and Google Maps, people are still asking directions (can you you show me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?)

Area Code Day is also observed today. The "area code" are the first three digits of your phone number. Once upon a time, kids, the area code defined where you lived (hence, use of the word "area"). There weren't very many area codes. There was only one area code in each big city. At one time in the not-so-distant past the area code for Chicago and all of its suburbs was 312.

No, seriously, it was.

From the webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe

Times have certainly changed.

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