Thursday, December 13, 2007

This Day in History

Today is December 13, 2007, and I think it’s a great day to look back at the history books. According to Wikipedia, all of these events took place on December 13. For some reason, the online encyclopedia ignores the sports angle to each of these occurrences. Therefore, for each entry I’ve added an extra sentence to fill in the gaps.

1294: Saint Celestine V abdicates the papacy after only five months. Celestine immediately takes over as football coach at the University of Arkansas.

1577: Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage. He hopes his willingness to go on the road will impress the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.

1769: Dartmouth College is founded by the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock. He remarks, “This will be a home for the true student-athlete, after the term ‘student-athlete’ is invented.”

1862: At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside. The victory earns Lee a title shot against Floyd Mayweather.

1941: Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States. With this action, both countries continue their policy of aggression against inferior soccer countries.

1961: Painter Grandma Moses dies at the age of 101. Her eulogy is delivered by high school classmate Vinny Testaverde.

1967: Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx is born. On Foxx's birthday in 2007, Mike Gundy will call him and scream, “You’re a MAN!!! You’re FORTY!!!”

1996: Kofi Annan is elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations. Darren McFadden comes in second.

2000: Al Gore delivers his concession speech, ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States. He was certain that Bush’s 2000 victory would be overturned, but then he realized he was thinking of Marion Jones.

2002: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members on May 1, 2004. The expansion paves the way for the EU to hold a conference championship game.

2003: Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his hometown of Tikrit. One of his captors remarks, “We can catch anyone – except for Devin Hester.”

2006: The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, is announced as extinct. So at least one Dolphin didn’t have to endure 2007.