27 June 2006

1961

In 1961, Kennedy is inaugurated as president. Eisenhower states the US has broken its relations with Cuba. Ham the chimpanzee is launched into space, followed months later by our first astronaut Alan Shepard. The Peace Corp is established. DC residents are allowed to vote in presidential races. The disasterous Bay of Pigs invasion occurs. The Freedom Riders ride in Jackson, and martial law is imposed in Alabama. Kuwait becomes an emirate as the Arab League takes over protection of the area, British troops leave, and the USSR vetoes their application to the UN. Construction of the Berlin Wall begins. Who can forget that Tanganyika becomes an independent country. The Vietnam War begins. And the Marshall Plan expires after billions of dollars in relief and rebuilding had been granted to Europe. Princess Diana, George Clooney, Meg Ryan, Billy Ray Cyrus, and The Edge are born, and for s.a.w.b., Henry Rollins is also slapped on the buttocks in a maternity ward. Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are both unbound in Hell, led across the Lethe River, and once again unleashed upon the earth.

In sports, Wayne Gretsky and Mark Messier are born days apart. Other births in 1961 include Isiah Thomas, Don Mattingly, Davey Allison, Dennis Rodman, Paul Coffey, Carl Lewis, Dan Marino, Greg LeMond, the late Reggie White, and the now infamous Ben Johnson.

The Packers and the Oilers win their respective football leagues. The Chicago Blackhawks win their last Stanley Cup. And while the Reds lose to the Yankees, the Cincinatti Bearcats win in the NCAA basketball championship. Also in 1961, a university wins its first and only championship in any sport by winning one in the hallmark of collegiate sports: cross country.

Oregon State's dynasty of ineptitude ended last night in a thrilling 3-2 victory over North Carolina. North Carolina didn't do itself any favors by committing four errors, two of which directly led to scores for Oregon State, including the game-winner. However, let's not forget that Oregon State won coming out of the losers' bracket, beating Rice twice by shutouts (Rice's 23 scoreless innings is an NCAA tournament record). After losing to UNC in game 1 of the best-of-three, OSU became the first team to lose twice in Omaha and still win the championship.

Pat yourselves on the back, Oregon State baseball. It may be another 45 years before you do anything else, but don't let that little issue get in the way of a hardy celebration. Too bad you had to pick a summer championship do win or else ther may have been a little property destruction in Corvallis.

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