Would you look at who it is, today. It’s been a big week for Andrew Jackson, as Tuesday marked the anniversary of the Indian Removal Act, a shameful act that Jackson signed into law and today is that day, in 1806, that Jackson killed someone. That someone was Charles Dickenson, an attorney in Tennessee who got into a public spat with Andrew Jackson over a horse race and later called Jackson’s wife a bigamist, to which Jackson demanded “satisfaction due me for the insults offered” and then he killed him with a gun. And now Jackson is on the $20 bill. It’s just a strange world, people. Next time you feel like doing something foolish and someone tries to stop you by reminding you that you might run for President one day and you don’t want something foolish in your past, just remember that Andrew Jackson murdered someone publicly and was still elected to the highest seat of government. On to presidents that didn’t kill people; today in 1922 former President Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial. This is also notable because it’s the only story about Taft that doesn’t include how fat he was, though in his dedication address he said, “The statue behind me weighs 38,000 tons, making ol’ Abe here the second fattest president in history,” which brought the house down. On the same day in Chicago, the Cubs and the Cardinals were playing a double-header. Max Flack played in the outfield for Chicago in the first game and was traded to St. Louis between the two games for the Cardinals’ Cliff Heathcote, and played in the Cardinals outfield in the second game while Heathcote did the same for the Cubs.
Big day for film birthdays: Howard Hawks, the great director and Irving Thalberg, the great producer and humanitarian, were both born today. Mel Blanc, the voice of most of the cartoons you loved as a kid, was born today. Agnes Varda, wonderful French New Wave director, was born today.
Voltaire died today.