One night, outside of Westlake near Lake Charles, Louisiana, a fire started in a local chemical plant. Soon the fire was raging out of control and was threatening the part of the plant with the vault with all the secret formulas. The President of the plant was distraught.
"Get as many fire departments from the area in here as you can," he told the local department, "and I'll give $50,000 to the department that can save our vault!"
Soon firefighters from all around the area were there, but the situation was grim, with flames holding them back from getting to the center of the conflagration to really bring it under control.
In desperation, the President of the plant doubled his offer, but still no one could control the flames.
Then, in the distance came the sound of another siren, and soon the Hackberry Rural Township Volunteer Fire Company truck came into sight. Every firefighter on it was a Cajun and most of them were over 65 years old, and they were led by the legendary Red Boudreaux, age 70.
To everyone's shock and surprise, the little run-down engine continued to roar past every other truck and proceeded into the middle of the inferno.
The other firefighters watched in amazement as the old timers jumped off that truck and went to work. They fought the fire on all sides like madmen, and in a short time managed to extinguish the flames.
The President was so grateful when he went to congratulate them on their performance that he decided to double the reward again and told the men they would be receiving a check from his company for $200,000.
Later, when Red Boudreaux was being interviewed by the local KPLC TV news reporter, he was asked what he was going to do with that much money.
"Whall," Boudreaux replied, "da first t'ing we gonna do is fix the brakes on dat dere truck!"
Armed Forces Day -- Mexico
Birthday of Minerva -- Ancient Roman Calendar
Birthday of Shivaji -- Maharashtra, India
Chief Leschi Day -- Native American
Fasching Sunday -- Germany and Austria, and among German speaking peoples; the Party before Lent kicks up now
Flag Day -- Turkmenistan
Fly-By for Goblins and others -- Fairy Calendar
Goa Month begins -- Traditional Icelandic Calendar (month of the goddess Goa)
Hall Sunday -- contraction of Hallowed Sunday; the Sunday before Lent, let the pre-fast partying begin in earnest
Meatfare Sunday -- Orthodox Christian
National Chocolate Mint Day (because every day needs chocolate in some form)
Rashtriya Prajatantra Divas (National Democracy Day) -- Nepal
Solar System Day -- birthday of Copernicus
St. Conrad of Piacenza's Day -- (Patron against hernias)
Straw Wrapper Appreciation Day -- an internet spread holiday to remind you of how much fun it was as a kid to blow the wrappers off the straws
Temporary Insanity Day -- anniversary of the first time someone successfully pleaded temporary insanity in a court of law; Daniel Stickles, in 1859
Transfiguration Sunday -- Christian
Vassil Levski Day -- Bulgaria (Bulgaria's "Apostle of Freedome")
Justine Bateman, 1966
Jeff Daniels, 1955
Margaux Hemingway, 1955
Smokey Robinson, 1940
Lee Marvin, 1924
William III, 1817 (last king of the Netherlands -- there have only been queens since)
Nicolas Copernicus, 1473
Today in History:
Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus' defeats beats Clodius Albinus at Lyon, 197
Emperor Constantius II shuts down all pagan temples, 356
The second Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ends as a council in Constantinople formally reinstates veneration of icons in the churches, 842
Jews of Tyrnau, Hungary (then Trnava, Czech) are expelled, 1539
The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina explodes in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America, 1600
Britain and the Netherlands sign the Peace of Westminster, and New Amsterdam formally becomes New York, 1674
British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands, and claims them in the name of King George III, 1819
The first practical coal burning locomotive in the US makes a trial run, in Pennsylvania, 1831
Tin-type camera is patented by Hamilton Smith of Gambier, Ohio, 1856
Daniel E. Sickles is acquitted of the murder of his wife's lover, Phillip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott Key), on the grounds of temporary insanity, the first time this defense is successfully used, 1859
Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom in Russia, 1861
Thomas Edison patents the gramophone (phonograph), 1878
Kansas becomes the first US state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages, 1881
WK Kellog and Charles Bolin found the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co., 1906
The first prize is inserted into a Cracker Jack box, 1913
Ed Wynn becomes the first talent to sign as a regular radio entertainer, 1922
Ezra Pound is awarded the first Bollingen Prize for poetry, 1949
Bill Keane's "Family Circus" comic strip makes its debut, 1960
Artificial heart recipient William J. Schroeder becomes the first such patient to leave hospital, 1985
The Soviet Union launches its Mir spacecraft, 1986
NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system, 2002
Facing History and Ourselves
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