Tuesday, February 19, 2013

If Wednesday is Love Your Pet Day, does that mean you can kick your dog the rest of the year?

Seriously, if you only love your pet on Love Your Pet Day, celebrated each year on February 20, should you even be allowed to have a pet?

Wednesday will also be National Cherry Pie Day, which may or may not be something to get you ready for Washington's Birthday on February 22. (Just a hint, folks: Parson Weems's fable notwithstanding, little George didn't really chop down his father's cherry tree when he was six years old.)

Edward "Butch" O'Hare
On February 20, 1942, Navy Lieutenant Edward "Butch" O'Hare became America's first World War II flying ace, credited with shooting down five Japanese bombers, and earning the Medal of Honor for his defense of the carrier Lexington.

Butch would not survive the war, being killed in action in 1943 near the Gilbert Islands, but his name lives on in aviation: Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is named in his honor.

In Chicago, everything is complicated. Butch O'Hare was the son of attorney Edward J. O'Hare -- who was at one time a mouthpiece for Al Capone but who later helped the Feds put Capone in jail. O'Hare Sr. got whacked for it, too, on November 8, 1939, gunned down in a volley of "big-game slugs" by two "shotgun-wielding henchmen" in a dark sedan as O'Hare's car "approached the intersection of Ogden and Rockwell." The murder of O'Hare Sr., like so many Chicago 'gangland style' killings, was officially never solved, but Chicago Ald. Edward M. Burke wrote a book arguing that Capone ordered the hit and, in 2010, asked the Chicago Police Department to reopen the investigation. Our research staff tells us that, officially, the case remains unsolved.

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