A Brief History On October 30, 1501, the long history of sordid affairs involving popes and goings on in the Vatican reached a bizarre new level when Cesare Borgia, a cardinal in the Catholic Church and son of Pope Alexander VI, hosted “The Ballet of Chestnuts” at his father’s residence, the Papal Palace.  What made this gala party so special was that it was attended by 50 prostitutes for the pleasure of the guests. Digging Deeper Also at the party were the Pope and his daughter Lucretia.  The 50 “party girls” were at first clothed as they danced with and for the guests, but they then removed…

A Brief History October 30th, also known as “Mischief Night” or “Devil’s Night,” is usually known for various pranks practiced prior to Halloween by children, teenagers and sometimes even adults.  Perhaps instead of going out terrorizing the land, dear reader, you might curl up with a warm computer and watch some of the creepiest videos to appear on Youtube! Digging Deeper In the first of our three-part series, we turn to videos concerning topics that may or may not be real.  We are of course referring to internet urban legends known as creepypastas.  While Youtube is filled with videos on…

A Brief History On October 29, 1390, Paris, France got its first taste of professional witch hunting when the first of two witchcraft trials began in the French capital.  Religious persecution of witches was nothing new, with records of arraignments by ecclesiastical authorities going back to 1275, but now the secular authorities, i.e. the state authorities, were involved.  History and Headlines Note:  Exactly 302 years later, on October 29, 1692, the Court of Oyer and Terminer in Salem, Massachusetts was dissolved after having presided over the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Digging Deeper This particular case involved two women who had conspired with the devil to create…

A Brief History On October 28, 2004, Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki, the first major league baseball (MLB) player to come from Japan, broke George Sisler’s treasured 84-year-old record by hitting 262 balls in one season.  Suzuki, better known simply as Ichiro, had come to the U.S. to play professional baseball after already being a star in Japan. Digging Deeper Starting with being named the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 2001, Ichiro made an impression on American baseball that will be hard to forget.  10 seasons in a row he smacked 200 or more hits (a record).  He has been an American League most valuable player (MVP), an…

A Brief History On October 27, 1954, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. became the first African-American general (brigadier, or 1 star) in the U.S. Air Force.  In 1998, he was promoted by President Clinton to (full) general (4-star rank).  This accomplishment is all the more notable as he was the son of the first African-American general in the U.S. Army.  His father, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., made general in 1940, a time when the U.S. military was still segregated. Digging Deeper Born in 1912, Ben Jr. was granted an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) in 1932.  There, in 1936, he became the…

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