As everybody knows, Wayne Gretzky was traded (read: sold) to the Los Angeles Kings on this day back in 1988 and everybody is still talking about it. I’m not going to do that.
If you’re an Oilers fan, this is one of those stories that has been beaten to death in so many ways that you actually dread hearing about every time August rolls around. Not only did Pocklington get fleeced on the deal that was more about cash than hockey, Oilers fans have had to suffer through this mistake for literally decades. Regardless of which hockey site you go to today, there will probably be an article about the day that the Oilers lost the greatest player to ever play the game and I’ve had enough of it.
With that in mind, I thought that it was time to talk about some of the other things that happened on this date in history. Before you get on me that this has nothing to do with hockey just know that I’m doing this for all of you. Maybe putting this list together will help us all learn to move on? I mean, probably not, but it was interesting to see how many things have happened on this day in world history that many people associate with Wayne Gretzky leaving town.
- 1173 – On this day, the two-century construction started on the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Of course, it was called the Tower of Pisa in those days and I assume the tower only started leaning once it learned that Wayne Gretzky would get traded hundreds of years later. That said, I’m no engineer so I could be wrong.
- 1483 – If you love painted ceilings then you’re going to love knowing that the Sistine Chapel opened at the Vatican on this day in 1483. As far as painted ceilings go, this one is the Connor McDavid of the game. Shout out to Michaelangelo for his work on that, which looks infinitely better than the popcorn roof I have at my place.
- 1803 – Love horses and also love Hawaii? Of course you do. That’s why you’re going to love finding out that it was on this day that the first horses were transported to the island chain. Think about that next time you take a Hawaiian vacay that includes riding horses on the beach or something.
- 1842 – Thanks to the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, border issues were resolved between the United States and the British colonies that would later become Canada. Talk about important line changes, amirite?
- 1910 – Are you wearing clean clothes right now? Do you plan on wearing some in the future? If so then you are then you’re going to want to thank Alva Fisher who patented the first electric washing machine.
- 1936 – Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as his team set a world record (39.8 seconds) in the 4×100 relay. Jesse Owens is an amazing story that you should spend some time on if you don’t know anything about him.
- 1944 – Smokey the Bear made his debut as the fire fighting bear on this day in 1944 and ol’ Smokey has been teaching the kids ever since. Personally, I congratulate him on his longevity, commitment to safety, and poise under pressure.
- 1945 – The United States dropped a second Atom bomb, “Fat Man,” on Nagasaki, Japan only a few days after the doing the same to Hiroshima. Given the state of current world affairs, I felt like this was relevant to include on the list.
- 1964 – The Rolling Stones played their first ever concert in the Netherlands. Even though the Rolling Stones actually started out sometime in 1962, I thought you guys should know about their first trip to Amsterdam. I imagine shenanigans were had by all.
- 1965 – Singapore proclaimed its independence from Malaysia. I was lucky enough to spend a little bit of time in Singapore back in 2007 and the place is amazing. The place is spotless (by law) and walking around felt like I was living in the future somehow.
- 1966 – The Beatles released the album ‘Revolver’ in North America, and if you haven’t heard it I’d ask that you take some time out of your day to get it in your ear holes. My personal favourite track, She Said She Said.
- 1969 – As if this day was destined for darkness, the Manson family committed the Tate-LaBianca murders on this day. Everything about this story is tragic and even reading about it this morning was enough to ruin my day, but I’m doing this for all of you. You’re welcome.
- 1979 – On a more positive note, Brighton, England, got its first ever nude beach back in 1979. Finally, citizens and tourists alike were given a place to burn their junk without being arrested and for that I commend them. Why aren’t more people talking about this, huh?
- 1995 – If you’re a dead head AND an Oilers fan then this day has to be one of the worst of all time as lead singer Jerry Garcia passed away on this day back in 95. I’ve tried to get into the Grateful Dead many times because I know how many people love this band enough to follow it around but I just can’t seem to find a jam that does it for me. If you know one, hit me up in the comments and I’ll check it out.
- 2002 – Back in ’02, Barry Bonds hit his 600th home run and had his profit hat size swell to an incredible 8.5. Okay, so I can’t confirm the hat part as being actually true but have you ever looked at the size of that melon? At least the home run part is true.
- 2010 – JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater quit his job by sliding down his plane’s emergency escape slide while the plane was stopped near the terminal gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. As far as flight attendants quitting their jobs go, this resignation gets the Baggedmilk Stamp of Approval and induction into some kind of hall of fame that doesn’t exist.
- 2012 – Usain Bolt became the first man to win both the 100 and 200-meter sprints at back-to-back Olympics. Needless to say, he fast.
- 2016 – Irom Sharmila ended her 16-year hunger strike in an attempt to pressure the Indian government to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). Can you imagine being hungry for that long? I get hangry when I haven’t been fed in a few hours let alone 16 years. That’s amazing.
There you have it. Just when you thought that August 9th was all about that time Gretzky got sold to LA, your boy Baggedmilk went out and dropped some hot knowledge on your ass. Was there a point to me putting together this list? Absolutely not. I mostly wanted to mention that there is more going on in this world than a horribly depressing trade from 29 years ago. I guess I was just tired of having to read the same analysis of the Gretzky trade that I’ve seen 1000 times already, and I wanted to give everyone something else to talk about.
I don’t want to be reminded anymore, alright? I don’t think that’s too much to ask, is it? Probably. On the bright side, at least we won’t have to hear about the Gretzky trade again until this time next year when that horrible deal turns 30. *sigh*