Browsing: January 2

A Brief History On January 2, 533, Mercurius, son of Projectus, a Roman priest was elected Pope by the Catholic Church.  Mercurius, his name being derived from the pagan Roman messenger god, Mercury, thought his own name was inappropriate for one who would lead the Christian Church and decided to take another name instead of his own.  His chosen name under which to serve as Pope of the Catholic Church was John, and he became Pope John II.  The “John” he named himself after was not Saint John the Apostle, nor Saint John the Baptist, but instead was taken after…

A Brief History On January 2, 1991, Sharon Pratt Kelly became the first African American woman mayor of a large American city when she was sworn in as mayor of Washington, D.C.  Only the third mayor of our nation’s capital, Kelly served until succeeded by Marion Barry on January 2, 1995.  In fact, it was the same Marion Barry that Pratt had succeeded as mayor herself! Digging Deeper Born in the capital in 1944, Sharon went on to graduate from Howard University and continued her education there until she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1968.  While at Howard, she…

A Brief History On January 2, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon signed into law a national speed limit of 55 mph.  Prior to this, most limited access highways in the US ranged from 65 mph to 70 mph, with a few remote places (Montana and Nevada) not relying on a numerical limit at all.  The people of the US were suddenly saddled with roads designed to safely travel at speeds over 80 mph at an aggravating and seemingly crawling speed of 55 mph.  This was in response to the OPEC (“Arab”) Oil Embargo of 1973 due to the US support…

A Brief History On January 2, 2009, Maria de Jesus of Portugal died in her home at age 115.  At the time of her death, she was the oldest living person in the world and the 20th oldest recorded person ever to live.  Maria ate fish, but not meat, and never drank alcohol or smoked.  Digging Deeper Every so often, you hear of a centenarian who drank and smoked every day of his or her life right up to the end, which was not the case with Maria.  So what does the trick?  Did Maria live so long due to her healthy diet and habits? …

A Brief History On January 2, 1979, the murder trial of punk rock legend Sid Vicious began. Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find that the trial never came to a conclusion.  It was not because of a mistrial or legal wrangling, but because Vicious killed himself with a heroin overdose before the trial ended! Sid Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie, was a famous punk rock star with the group, Sex Pistols.  It is hard to say if Vicious committed suicide or died of an accidental overdose, but in light of previous suicide attempts and claiming that he and his girlfriend…