Today is Friday, April 7, 2006. Expect a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms could be severe. The high today should be around 79. On this day in history:
1891-Circus showman PT Barnum passes away at the age of 80.
1933-Prohibition ends in the United States.
1940-Booker T. Washington becomes the first African-American to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp.
1949- “South Pacific” opens at the Majestic Theater in New York City.
1963-Jack Nicklaus, at the age of 23, becomes the youngest player to win the Master's Golf Tournament.
1970-John Wayne wins his first and only Oscar for his role in “Rooster Cogburn.”
1984-Jack Morris of the Detroit Tigers ties Ken Forsch for the earliest no-hitter thrown in a baseball season.
People celebrating birthdays today include: Leah Parker is 20; boxer Buster Douglas is 46; Hall of Fame football player Tony Dorsett is 52; John Oates of the group Hall and Oates is 57; television personality David Frost is 67; motion picture director Francis Ford Coppola is 67; actor Wayne Rogers is 73; actor James Garner is 78; and musician Ravi Shankar is 86.
Turn back the clock to April of 1969 and see if you remember these songs which were at the top of the pop music charts:
Dizzy by Tommy Roe
Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In by The Fifth Dimension
You've Made Me So Very Happy by Blood, Sweat, &Tears
SO MUCH FOR
Alabama has a law that requires schools to teach one of twenty-five character traits each and every day of the school year. Traits such as cleanliness and self-respect are set before the students as worthy examples of good character. I guess the state of Missouri has no such character education law, at least for adults in education. Recently the voters in a school district in St. Louis County elected the owner of a national chain of strip clubs to serve on their school board.
THE COST OF
The Germans need to lighten up and laugh more often. Susanne Maier founded the German Laughter Academy and urges more of her countrymen to laugh out loud and have fun. Joachim Bahrenfeld took her advice and started going to a forest near Berlin each day after work for a good old-fashioned belly laugh to help him lighten up a little. Joggers in the forest aren't laughing. They had Bahrenfeld arrested for disturbing the peace. The judge sided with the joggers and now Bahrenfeld faces a $4,800 fine or six months in jail if he laughs too loud in the forest. So I guess in Germany laughter ISN'T the best medicine.
DOING THE LAUNDRY
A man in Jupiter, Florida, believed it was his right to wash his clothes at his house while nude. The police would agree with that except for the fact that this man's washing machine was on the outside of his house in full view of the neighbors. After being warned by authorities, the man changed his mind and put on his clothes.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute released their annual study on retirement confidence. Sixty-eight percent of workers in this country say that they feel good about having enough money to retire one day. The same survey discovered that 50% of those surveyed, including 40% of those over fifty-five years old, have less than $25,000 in savings. Hello!
CHURCH AND STATE
Recently we have had our share of discussions about unfair taxes here in Russellville. The Wood Methodist Church in Dudley, England, would like for you to hear their story. The church recently erected a wooden cross on church property. The town council sent them a bill for $180 for outdoor advertising. When church members complained that the cross contained no advertising they were told that town regulations state that “the cross is an ad for Christianity.”
NOT CLEAR ON THE CONCEPT
The city of Chicago passed a law that all students in the city school system must take driver education classes. Students study the laws of the road and get a chance to drive with an instructor. The idea behind the law is to help cut down on teenage accidents so all students must take the class. There are around 35 blind students in the Chicago school system. Blindness does not matter because the law states that ALL students must take driver education classes. One blind student said she does not like the class because it causes her to “dwell on something she cannot do.”
Early last Sunday a man went into a Denny's restaurant near Salisbury, Maryland, and later went to use the restroom. It was not long before he was yelling for help. Someone had placed super glue around the toilet seat and the man was stuck on the potty. After some customers called 911, paramedics took the victim to a local hospital to have the seat removed from his seat. Police think the man was a victim of a leftover April Fool's Day joke since the incident occurred early on April 2. The victim was reported to be in good spirits after having the toilet seat surgically removed although he did say he felt a bit flushed.
Richard Parker is Minister of Students and Education at First Baptist Church in Russellville. You can e-mail him your comments at RParker@russellvilleFBC.org.