On this day in 1945 the United Nations charter is signed in San Francisco, California. Just like the failed League of Nations, the UN was created at the end of a world war. And just like the League of Nations, the UN is an exclusive club that caters to the rich and powerful. It has succeeded in many areas around the world, but if you are a rich country you can just circumvent the rules and do whatever you want. Lucky for us, we live in one of those rich nations. Team America, fuck yeah!
On this day in 1956 Congress passes the Federal Highway Act. From this the interstate highway system was built, uniting our country in ways that it has never been. This ushered in the era of the automobile, and the glorification of the cross-country road trip. Instead of a 3 hour drive through city traffic, a journey could be cut in half with the elimination of stop lights. In theory. In some cases the traffic just got worse. Hello Los Angeles!!!
On this day in 2003 South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond died. I bring up this point because he was the quintessential career politician. This guy served in Washington for 46 years up to his death. I remember wondering what in the hell an 80-something year old man who ran for president against Truman was still doing in office in 2002. He ran under the "Dixiecrat" party before the south turned Republican because of the civil rights movement. Oh yes, he was a staunch supporter of segregation and a brutal racist. Why the heck not have him dictating our laws? For 46 years. Oh, and he had an affair with a black woman, so he couldn't even keep to his own racist philosophies. Way to go South Carolina! Keep things progressive!
On this day in 1807 the deadliest lightning strike in history occurred in Luxembourg when a gunpowder factory is struck during a thunderstorm. 300 people were killed. Two entire blocks of the city of Kirchburg were destroyed. The town had been occupied by Napoleon and he decided to store his excess ammunition and gunpowder there.