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When you're in a rut, turn to history

By Staff
Scot Beard
As I sat at my computer Monday trying to come up with an idea for this column, I could not think of anything interesting.
After checking several of the usual Web sites that I use for inspiration, nothing came to mind.
There were no major political issues that made me want to get on my soapbox. There were no news stories I wanted to joke about.
When I was ready to give up hope, I decided to look at CNN's Web site. The main story was the 10th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.
I decided the best thing to do was look at the History Channel's Web site for the "This Date in History" section and write about what I found.
I was surprised at what all has happened this week – April 19-26 – throughout history.
In addition to the tragic shooting at Columbine, this week was also the anniversary for another massacre on American soil. On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols set off a bomb in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla., killing 168 people.
Other sad events occurring this week include the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine.
The disaster, which is believed to be the worst nuclear accident in history, resulted in 56 direct deaths.
Another estimated 600,000 people suffered from radiation exposure and 4,000 of those developed cancer and died.
But this week is not all bad news.
One of the world's most famous playwrights, William Shakespeare, was born April 23, 1564. While the idea of reading one of Shakespeare's plays make some folk grimace in agony, I enjoy some of his works.
His comedies and tragedies are good, but it is two of his histories – Henry IV and Henry V – that I call my favorites. If the pre-battle speech at Agincourt doesn't make you want to pick up a sword and attack the French, then you need to check your pulse.
Finally, perhaps the biggest event in history this week took place 2,762 years ago when a set of twins, Romulus and Remus, founded Rome on April 21, 753 B.C.
This settlement would shape the world more than any other town in history as it grew into an empire – giving birth to what we now know as western civilization.
As you can see, this has been an interesting week throughout the years.
Oh yeah, there is one other event – the one most important to me – that happened this week. My sister, Valerie, was born April 19 sometime in the last century. I won't give the exact year because she will kill me, but I promise she is not old – yet.
I hope you had a happy birthday Sis.