Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 16: Sea Monkey Day, Biographer's Day

Every Baby Boomer remembers sea monkeys. Even if some hatched, none of them ever looked like the mer-people in this comic book ad, even with a magnifying glass. And one needed a magnifying glass to see anything in a sea monkey bowl.

Yes, sea monkeys were pretty much a scam. So on Wednesday, National Sea Monkey Day, persons of a certain age can remember the first time they wasted their hard-earned allowance money on something really stupid. Baby Boomers who never sent away for sea monkeys should remember not to be smug. After all, they were probably the kids who ordered x-ray specs.

Wednesday is also Biographer's Day, so named because it was on May 16, 1763 that James Boswell first met Samuel Johnson. Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, published in 1791, is still remembered today.

Liberace (soon to be the subject of a major motion picture) was born on May 16, 1919. Henry Fonda (an actor in many major motion pictures) was born on May 16, 1905.

President Andrew Johnson survived an impeachment vote in the Senate on May 16, 1868 -- barely. The May 16 vote was taken on the House of Representative's 11th Article of Impeachment, and Johnson was acquitted by a 35-19 vote in favor of conviction (one vote short of the necessary two-thirds majority required for removal from office). The Senate would vote twice more on other articles, both times rejecting impeachment by the same slim margin, before the trial was declared over on May 26, 1868.

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