January 19th, 2005
in 736 AUC, Caius Lumis Juventus, Roman inventor extraordinaire, demonstrates the most powerful steam engine ever built. Caius had been a student of the ancient Greek sciences, and had learned of the simple uses they had put the power of steam to in the old days. Jove’s Thunderbolt, the engine that Caius Juventus built, was capable of pulling a carriage with three heavy men for miles. His designs revolutionized Roman society.
in 3896, Japanese Zen philosopher Dogen Kigen is born somewhere in southern Japan. As a young man, he traveled to the Chinese Empire to study the true ways of Zen at Mount Tendo. His mountain temple in Echizen has become a regular stop for pilgrims, including every Chinese emperor; tradition dictates that the emperor spend a week there before his coronation.
in 1809, renowned author Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachussetts. The most popular writer in America during his lifetime, Poe invented detective fiction, as well as popularizing what would come to be known as horror stories by those who sought to imitate him at the end of the century. Poe died in 1883, a wealthy and happy man of letters.
in 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes claims a third of Pluto for the North American Confederation. Although considered a bad piece of property to own at first, Pluto’s position at the outer reaches of the solar system becomes important when the Congress of Nations decides to build its defensive base there, and the N.A.C.’s importance in system affairs is increased.
in 1923, Jeanne Murray, award-winning actress of the stage and screen, was born in New York City. A well-known fixture of the New York stage in the 1950’s and 60’s, she made the leap to film as Mrs. TeeVee in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Her perfect comic timing led to other film comedies, but in her later years she turned to drama, winning an Oscar opposite Henry Beatty in his film Reds.
in 1940, the anti-German Underground film by the Three Stooges, You Natzy Spy, premiered in America. The highly controversial film featured comic Moe Howard as a Hitler-like figure who ruled over an amorphous country known as Moronica. The American Bund called for a total boycott of the film, and incited riots at many of the theaters showing it.
in 1943, singer Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. Her hard living fueled the blues that she sang so beautifully, but it all came crashing down on her when she missed the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969 because she was too drunk to perform. She checked into rehab after that, but her music never recovered. Today, she runs a counseling center for performers trying to kick addictions.
in 1960, the capitalists of China formally recognized the counter-revolutionaries of South Chile as an independent government. The imperialist nations of Europe, waiting for an excuse to further break up the perfect harmony of socialism in South America, follow suit, and clandestine arms begin flowing to the divided nation.
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