Today in Infamy
55 A.D.: Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus — you know him as I, Claudius — dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome, to be succeeded by Nero.
1812: Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signs into law a redistricting bill, giving rise to the term “gerrymander”.
1861: The House of Representatives unanimously passes a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state.
1902: Police assault universal-suffrage demonstrators in Brussels, not giving rise to the term “Brussels sprouts”.
1916: Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control. (If you’re playing at home, Maureen Stapleton > Matthew Broderick > Kevin Bacon.)
1953: President Eisenhower refuses a clemency appeal for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. J. Edgar Hoover recommends prosecutor Roy Cohn to Joe McCarthy, leading to rumors of the ugliest train ever.
1963: Sylvia Plath commits suicide, too early for “Team Sylvia” t-shirts to hit the streets.
1981: 100,000 gallons of radioactive coolant leak into the containment building of TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant in Tennessee, contaminating eight workers and prompting Jane Fonda to consider a sequel.
2006: Dick Cheney shoots Harry Whittington in the face while “hunting” quail.
1964: Sarah Palin drops.