Sat, Oct 1

2013—In the name of fiscal discipline, Republicans shut down the government. Cost to the economy: $24 billion.

2003—With Governor Benson’s blessing, Free Staters choose New Hampshire as their libertarian paradise.

2002—Northern Command is established to “Defend America’s Homeland”—posse comitatus be damned.

2002—George W.[MD] Bush claims he hasn’t “made up his mind we’re going to war with Iraq.”

1999—Dow 36,000 is published. In real life the Dow peaks months later at 11,722, then loses 37% of its value.

1993—Caving under pressure, the IRS grants tax-free status to the “Church” of Scientology.

1973—Despite many failures to meet service requirements, George W.[MD] Bush is discharged honorably from the Texas Air National Guard.

1964—Campus cops at U.C. Berkeley arrest Jack Weinberg; big mistake. The Free Speech Movement ensues.

1952—The first issue of Mad is unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

1917—Arabs led by T.E. Lawrence capture Damascus.

1910—A botched dynamiting badly damages the HQ of the virulently anti-union Los Angeles Times. A burst gas main finishes the job; 21 die.

1903—Fred Van Wormer’s autopsy is halted because he’s breathing. Taken back to Sing Sing’s electric chair, he is found to have died. He is electrocuted again anyway, just for good measure.

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