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Pat and I watched the inauguration. We stood by the TV when the oath was administered. We still couldn't quite believe it was happening. We cheered and jumped up and down when it happened. Pure joy!
We felt like a great dark cloud had lifted after 8 years. More than a few cartoonist friends said it felt like we had been stuck in Superman's BizzaroWorld, where values were upside down. And now it's right.
Finally we can travel abroad and not be embarrassed when someone asks us about politics" Look, I didn't vote for that dummy! I don't like him either!"No kidding, I once had to explain the 2000 election to a French Duchess over cognac in her chateau.

Like Bill Maher, I don't care if the President is the kind of guy I want to have a beer with, I feel more secure knowing that my president is way smarter than me!

Observations: The most Port-O-Pottys ever assembled for a public event. Barack is left-handed, as is Bill Clinton. It felt uplifting to see the multi-cultural crowd so happy. When Obama and Michelle walked down Pennsylvania Ave, the only other presidents to do that were Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson. One commentator noted that Barack is the first president in a long time who is a real city dweller, that actually took mass transit to work! Barbara Bush once said she dreaded whenever Bush Sr tried to drive, since he was chauffeured his entire life, and only steered a golf cart by himself.

The media wouldn't report it, but on the NBC feed, when they showed Bush's helicopter leaving, tens of thousands of throats sang "NA NANA NA, HEY HEY, GOOD-BYE!!!

It was nice that when Senator Ted Kennedy had that emergency, one of his colleagues most concerned was Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, a Republican so far right he makes Nixon look like Flava Flave. It shows the Senate really are a closed little club, regardless of political philosophy.

Years ago, historian Geoffrey Ward wrote for the opening of Ken Burns series The Civil War" For four years Americans made war on one another, if only to create the kind of American where such a thing would be unthinkable." I think in the future, the idea that a black person or woman can't be president only because they are black or a woman, has now become equally unthinkable.

America is in a bad state, but at least we are now on the right track. Best of Luck to the Obama Administration and to us all. I'll lay off politics now, and go back to being an artist.

Quiz: Why is a heroic story called a saga?

Question: One achievement of the outgoing George W. Bush Presidency is that it forever broke the Curse of Tecumseh. What is that?
History for 1/21/2009
Birthdays: Leadbelly (Harlan Ledbetter),Thomas J."Stonewall" Jackson, J.Carol Naish, Tele Savalas, Christian Dior, Wolfman Jack, Akeem Olajuwon, Paul Scofield, Robby Benson, Jack Nicklaus, Benny Hill, Emma Bunton- Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, Gena Davis, Placido Domingo is 68

1198- THE THIRD CRUSADE DECLARED- In reaction to the news of Salladin's capture of Jerusalem, King Henry II of England, Phillip Augustus of France and Conrad the Emperor of Germany "take the Cross", decide to invade the Holyland. Henry died before the army departed and was replaced by his son Richard the Lionhearted. Every morning before breakfast and every night before retiring, all the knights of the Crusade would raise one steel-clad fist towards the east, and to the sound of massed trumpets and drums, they shout: " AEIDEUVA, AEIDEUVA, SANCTUS SEPULCHORUM!!" "Help, Help to the Holy Sepulchre!".

1535- Fun-loving King Francis Ist of France had been tolerant to the Reformation until overzealous French Protestants tried to assassinate him. This day he answered them by holding a solemn Catholic Mass in Notre Dame. The highlight of the show was the burning of six heretics. Francis had them tied to ladders and raised and lowered over a fire, to prolong their agony before dying.

1793- KING LOUIS XVI GUILLOTINED- Citizen Capet, so named for an old family name of French kings, mounted the scaffold at Place de La Concorde currently where the U.S. Embassy is. He tried to speak to the people but the drummers were ordered to drown him out. As the blade fell his chaplain shouted: "Son of Saint Louis, ascend to Heaven!" The revolutionaries then stuck his severed head between his legs and threw him in a hole. The court executioner, Charles Henri Samson, wore pistols under his coat in case people tried to rush the guillotine. He usually never felt remorse for his victims ( "I am not killing them, the State is" ) but this one upset him. He stayed away from home for two nights and would later hide escaped political prisoners in his cellar.

1861- SECESSION! COLLAPSE! President-elect Lincoln was still packing his bags in Springfield and writing out the luggage tags in his own hand "A.Lincoln, White House, Washington, D.C.", while state after state of the South voted to leave the Union and join the new Confederacy. On this date Mississippi senator and former Secretary of War Jefferson Davis resigned from the Congress. As he left the Senate Georgia senator Robert Toombs declared out loud to the Speakers chair:" The Union sir, is Dissolved !"
Toombs had to hire a carriage to take him South because his personal servants had taken the opportunity to run off to be free.
The Mormons of Utah were in an open state of rebellion, New Jersey and New York City talked of secession, California talked of pulling out of the union and joining Oregon to make a new country called TransPacifica. American mercenaries under a renegade named Walker were trying to set up an independent country in Baja California. Outgoing President James Buchanan said gravely: "I fear I may be the Last President of the United States.."

1899- The Opel motorcar company opened for business.

1916- The National Board of Review outlawed nudity in Hollywood movies.

1923- LENIN DIED. The Soviet dictator died of respiratory failure and cerebral hemorrhage at 54. As Lenin lay dying Leon Trotsky, Zioniev, Kamieniev, Krupskaya and a dozen others began a backroom scramble for power. Finally a minor bank robber and terrorist from Tblisi in Georgia who had risen rapidly in the last two years came out above them all- Comrade Kobal, also called Josef Stalin.

1938 -Max Fleischer tells his New York cartoon studio they are relocating to Florida.

1938- George Melies, the father of Motion Picture Special Effects, died selling chocolates in a Paris train station -Gare du Norde.

1950-After a highly publicized trial top State Department official Alger Hiss was found guilty of perjury in a trial that accused him of covering up his connections to Communist agents in Washington. The trial made a national figure of a then little known congressman named Richard Nixon. Hiss served four years in prison, and lived the rest of his life maintaining his innocence.

1958- BADLANDS- Teenagers Charlie Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate kill her family and go on a Bonnie & Clyde style crime spree throughout Nebraska killing 11 people. When they were caught Starkweather pleaded self defense, even against the murder of Fugates infant baby brother. He went to the electric chair. Carol Ann Fugate did twenty years, yet always denied she was anything more than an unwilling accomplice. Starkweather had a 'James Dean-Marlon Brando' leatherjacket look and the two teen killers seemed to typify America's dread of juvenile delinquency and the 'degenerate Rock and Roll' culture of the 1950's. Their story inspired several films including 'Badlands".

1991- Disney's Beauty and the Beast becomes the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Yesterday’s answer: One achievement of the outgoing George W. Bush Presidency is that he broke the Curse of Tecumseh. What is that?

The legend goes in 1828 when the great Seneca Indian leader Tecumseh was killed trying to stop white expansion, he supposedly put a curse on the entire white tribe in America. He declared every Great White Chief selected in a decade year would die. Here is the record so far:
1840- President William Henry Harrison- died in office of pneumonia.
1860- Abraham Lincoln- assassinated.
1880- James Garfield- assassinated.
1900- William McKinley- assassinated in his second term.
1920- Warren Harding- died in office.
1940- Franklin Roosevelt- a stretch-Roosevelt lived to win re-election in 1944, then died in office in 1945.
1960- John F. Kennedy- assassinated.
1980-Ronald Reagan- shot full of bullets and almost died.
2000-Bush- nothing happened!
UNLESS….Tecumseh meant GORE was supposed to have won..?

Take that, WhiteMan! What, Barack-who..? And he's what..?