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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

December 2, 1867

Hi, everybody!  It looks like December has gotten off to a fantastic start, and so has THE POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR!

This is only Day #2 of the near month-long event, and as it so happens, day #2 falls on a Tuesday Timeline entry.

Now, Tuesday Timelines are extremely difficult to work on during the month of December because I like to try and insert at least one Christmas reference to the main subject that I choose.  Ultimately, this is not always easy.  However, I did find one date that fit brilliantly.  And even though this might seem like a minor event at first glance, it really gives me a chance to expand on this event with an entry bursting with Christmas cheer!

In the meantime, have a look at some of the other events that took place on December 2 throughout history.

1763 - The first synagogue in the nation that will become the United States of America thirteen years later opens up in Rhode Island

1775 - The USS Alfred becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag

1804 - Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

1845 - President James K. Polk issues a State of the Union address which includes a proposal that the United States should expand aggressively to the West

1908 - At the age of two years old, Aisin-Giori Puyi becomes Emperor of China

1925 - Actress/singer Julie Harris (d. 2013) is born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan

1927 - The Ford Motor Company releases the Ford Model A automobile

1930 - In the early stages of the Great Depression, President Herbert Hoover proposes a $150 million public works program designed to generate jobs in the battered economy

1939 - New York City's LaGuardia Airport opens for business

1942 - World War II's Manhattan Project - A team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction

1946 - Fashion designer Gianni Versace (d. 1997) is born in Italy

1947 - The Jerusalem Riots of 1947 begin in response to the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine

1970 - The United States Environmental Protection Agency is formed

1976 - Fidel Castro becomes the President of Cuba

1982 - Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart

1986 - Actor/singer Desi Arnaz dies of lung cancer, aged 69

1995 - Actress Roxie Roker passes away at the age of 66

2001 - Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

2009 - Eric Woolfson - co-creator of The Alan Parsons Project - dies at the age of 64

And, a very happy birthday to the following people; David Piper, Cathy Lee Crosby, Tommy Jenkins, Ron Raines, Dan Butler, Stone Phillips, Rick Savage, Brendan Coyle, Dan Gauthier, Rich Sutter, Ron Sutter, Lucy Liu, Rena Sofer, Monica Seles, Jarron Collins, Jason Collins, Nelly Furtado, Melissa Archer, Britney Spears, Jana Kramer, Daniela Ruah, Cassie Steele, and Amber Montana.

So, what is the date that we will be looking at?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  It gave me the opportunity to make a special snowflake date avatar in the process!, apparently we are going back over a century in time.  December 2, 1867!  That is probably one of the oldest dates that we have ever gone back in time to in the blog!

And, yeah, I have to say that the significance behind the date isn't all that spectacular.  It appears as though this is the date in which acclaimed author Charles Dickens made his very first appearance in the United States.  He gave a public reading to American citizens who were living in or near the Boston, Massachusetts area at Tremont Temple. 

And, that's it.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Now, keep in mind that a British author making a trip to the United States to present their work to a crowd of people is nothing unusual in 2014, but back in 1867, it was a really big deal.  After all, 1867 was a year in which flying was still a foreign concept.  I imagine that it must have taken Dickens several days to get to the United States back in the 19th century!  But still, why would I make such a big deal over this event?

Well, maybe it is because Charles Dickens just happens to be the author of the most famous Christmas tale ever told.

I'm sure most of you have heard of the classic tale known as "A Christmas Carol".  I have to say that in the world of pop culture, I could probably come up with at least two dozen examples of the classic Dickens tale being told.  The earliest film version of "A Christmas Carol" was released in 1910, and the latest was released in 2009.  Disney released a version of the tale starring Scrooge McDuck.  And, even "Saved By The Bell" did a version of the tale in a Christmas episode, though admittedly their version would have made Charles Dickens turn over in his grave.

But in all seriousness, I can see why Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" remains one of the most popular holiday tales ever told.  It is a classic tale of how sometimes even the most greediest, stingiest, and nastiest people can find a way to fill their hearts with the spirit of Christmas, and in turn spread their joy to everybody in the world.  And certainly in the world of literature, there is no man more stingy and more greedy than Ebeneezer Scrooge.  He forces his staff to work their fingers to the bone on holidays like Christmas, and hoarding his massive fortune all for himself.  Scrooge was a lonely old chap.  His only friend in the world was his business partner Jacob Marley, ad his death on Christmas Eve made Scrooge even more miserly. 

Of course, you know that Jacob Marley was one of the three ghosts who came to visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve night.  Three ghosts representing the spirits of Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future pay Scrooge a visit and show him exactly the moment in which he began to shut people out and stockpiled enough money to feed a small country.  He made Scrooge visit the holiday celebrations of the Cratchit family where the sickly Tiny Tim causes Scrooge to take great pause in how he has treated people.  And he comes to the sad realization that if he doesn't change his ways, he will be left all alone in the world with nobody caring about him.

Really, the whole novel is a classic.  I would consider it to be one of his best works.

Oh, and let's not forget "David Copperfield" either.  Interestingly enough, the book is not really Christmas themed, but several adaptations of this Dickens novel are set in a Christmas setting, such as this 1993 adaptation of the classic tale starring the voices of Julian Lennon, Sheena Easton, Howie Mandel, and Michael York.  Click HERE to watch the whole film.  According to this animated film, David Copperfield was born on Christmas Day, but in the book, his birthday is closer to Easter.  Either way, I guess you could consider him to be a very special child.  I could explain what the story is about, but I provided the link to the special above so you could watch it.  I hope you have a spare hour and a half though.  That's how long it is.  I liked it though.

Anyway, as I said before, the main event might not seem like such a big deal...but considering the fact that he authored a famous Christmas tale...well, I can give it a pass.

And so wraps up another Tuesday Timeline entry, as well as Day #2 of the advent calendar.  But do stay tuned for Day #3...I have a WHO AM I WEDNESDAY entry that my fellow workers in retail can likely appreciate.

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