Snarky Behavior

Snarky Historian: This Date in History, August 14

August 14, 2007 · 6 Comments

Snarky Historian: Where I utilize my much vaunted History degree to, um, remember the past.

On this date in history, August 14, 1848, The Territory of Oregon was organized by an act of Congress out of the U.S. portion of the Oregon Country below the 49th parallel north.

The Oregon Territory, of course, was discovered by the great explorers Lewis and Clark, who drunkenly staggered through the Snake River on their way home from a Vegas trip. Lewis had insisted on visiting one of “dem legal brofels” out in the boonies of Nevada with the large sum of money he had won at the craps table, and Clark relented.

At the brothel located in the northwest corner of the state, Lewis took a particular liking to a young Native-American prostitute, whose large posterior he described as a “sack of da wee-ums,” an early lingual predecessor to the modern phrase “junk in the trunk.” Lewis proceeded to shower the young girl with over two hundred gold coins (at the time the coins were valued at a dollar each, which in today’s currency would be equivalent to over eighty-thousand dollars) while she gyrated to a traditional rain-dance (i.e. “Make It Rain, the Remix“). In 2000 the United States Treasury commemorated the event by introducing the “Sacajawea Golden Dollar,” so that the postal service could piss people off when they bought stamps from a machine, and also because “Susan B. Anthony, while influential enough to secure women the right to vote, proved too visually unappealing to sell Americans on the idea of using coins as currency.”

Legend has it that the name “Oregon” is a derivation of Clark’s surprised reaction one morning when he tore open Lewis’ tent to find Sacajawea as the newly adopted third wheel to their journey home: “Her agin?” This was a particularly fondly told legend by the throngs of “Mountain Men” who would later flood the territory with their own teengage scouts, ostensibly hunting for “beaver pelts” (i.e. huge perverts).

The Oregon territory became a hugely disputed region in the Presidential election of 1844. The surviving members of the Battle of the Alamo (The Lone Ranger, Squanto, Davey Crockett, Mickey Mouse, Goofey and Donald Duck) were adamant about annexing south-western boundaries so that they could realize their dream of building an entertainment center around an amusement park run by slave labor. In order to keep the precariously delicate free-state/slave-state balance, the Alamo vets established the very first 527 Political Advocacy Group to pressure the favored candidate James K. Polk to adopt the slave state of Texas hand-in-hand with the free-state of Oregon.

The 527 — keenly dubbed “Swifthorse Veterans for Truth,” was organized by the political mastermind Donald Duck, who moved to Oregon specifically to manage the political front and generate support for the cause. The rallying cry of the movement was “54-40 or fight”… a reference to the northern parallel cutting through Vancouver which was the preferred northern border of the territory, but was also claimed as British territory.
After intense negotiations with the Tyrant King George III (who had mastered the British monarchy’s black art of eternal youth, passed down from his predecessors Henry VIII and Elizabeth, today practiced by Victoria), an accord was reached at the 49th parallel, much to the delight of bankers from Boston, carpenters from Ohio, and farmers from Illinois, everywhere.

The end!

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6 responses so far ↓

  • AJS // August 14, 2007 at 1:48 pm | Reply

    It’s your linking of Sacajawea with Ann Veal (her?) that makes this my favorite post ever.

  • Jon // August 14, 2007 at 1:57 pm | Reply

    … she calls it a “mayon-egg.” It’s so cute!

  • Rohit // August 14, 2007 at 3:30 pm | Reply

    An epic undertaking. Well done!

  • Elvis Dingeldein // August 14, 2007 at 4:11 pm | Reply

    Other failed Historical Women Coins included:

    The Amelia Earhart Nickel: Hugely popular in the 1930s, this coin was eventually discontinued when the Treasury discovered that every single Earhart nickel in circulation had inexplicably disappeared.

    The Juliette Gordon Low Half-Dollar: The founder of the Girl Scouts of America in 1912, Ms. Low enjoyed her rather grim image on the 1915 half-dollar, which was rescinded in 1917 when it was noted that Americans were buying nothing but mint-chocolate cookies with them.

    The Harriet Beecher Stowe Quarter: The design very nearly made it into circulation but was pulled at the last minute, when Secretary of the Treasury realized that Ms. Stowe’s landmark book Uncle Tom’s Cabin was actually making fun of slave-owning white people.

  • Jon // August 14, 2007 at 6:54 pm | Reply

    In all honesty… we made a coin of a girl who was statutorily raped by two dudes and their expedition team. A nice conciliatory gesture, I think, after all of those malaria blankets.

  • Adosh // August 16, 2007 at 7:11 am | Reply

    Jon, they would have showered her with $1200 in gold coins……at 6am. I’m really disappointed with your pricing.

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