Saturday, August 20, 2011

Going postal

August 20th
On this day in 1986 in Edmond, Oklahoma U.S. Postal worker Patrick Sherrill went on a shooting rampage that killed 14 people. He later committed suicide. He used two .45 caliber pistols to gun down his coworkers after being reprimanded the previous day for doing a poor job of delivering the mail. This incident is why we say someone "went postal" when they freak out.

On this day in 1968 Soviet troops invaded Czechoslavakia to put an end to the "Spring uprising" that had been taking place since April of that year. The country had been under communist rule since the end of WWII, but a group of intellectuals and students began to protest against the regime. The movement was quickly stamped out with the Soviet lead army took control of all television and radio stations in the country. Anyone who resisted was killed immediately.

On this day in 1858 Charles Darwin publishes his theory of evolution for the first time in "The Journal of Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London". His work was alongside that of Alfred Wallace who had published the same theory, but history doesn't remember his name. Darwin didn't see the planet being controlled by apes, perhaps he had it all wrong.

On this day in 1882 Peter Tchaikovsky debuts his 1812 Overture in Moscow. One of the most famous pieces of classical music, it was written to commemorate Russia's defense of Moscow against Napoleon. It is best know for it's climactic volley of cannon fire and church bells.

On this day in 1940 exiled revolutionary Leon Trotsky is stabbed with an ice axe in Mexico City. He would die the next day. Trotsky was trying to stir up a communist revolution in central and Latin America. What I want to know is why would someone have an ice axe in Mexico City. I understand that his assassin Ramon Mercader, was a Soviet agent, but he wasn't from the snowy country. He served 20 years for the murder in a Mexican prison. Upon release he was awarded several medals of honor from the Soviet Union.


  1. You should check out Newman's reasoning for going postal.

    Sorry for the link, I cannot embed the youtube player on a comment.

  2. It played in the email notification, I forgot about that episode.