(RNN) - How's the government shutdown working for you? Is it everything you hoped it would be and more?
Just don't plan any trips to the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or try to get a passport or, you know, expect Congress to do anything, and you'll be fine.
Here's some government-related history before we get into a home run that I thought was worth spending $15 on and some people who once sat three booths away from John Wayne's ghost at the Olive Garden (just kidding).
The Washington Monument opened Oct. 9, 1888. It's currently closed, but it has nothing to do with the government shutdown. The monument is still damaged from the 2011 earthquake and is being repaired. It's supposed to be reopened in 2014 unless the government is still shut down, which is starting to seem like a possibility.
Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion the White House on Oct. 12, 1901, because, you know, it's a house that's white.
California kicked its governor out of office Oct. 7, 2003, because the state was state was struggling financially and people were paying through the nose for electricity. Because a $10 million house with a waterfall and tennis court isn't worth much if you can't use the two swimming pools at night, the good people of California elected somebody who knows the importance of conserving energy - the Hummer-driving AHHHHHHHnold Schwarzenegger.
Woodrow Wilson blew up the last barrier on the Panama Canal on Oct. 10, 1913. Wilson wasn't even in Panama. He set it off by telegraph from Washington.
Here are some of the events of note that happened between Oct. 7 and 13.
Irene Rich was in eight movies with Will Rogers and two with John Wayne - Angel and the Badman and Fort Apache. She was born Oct. 13, 1891. Richard Jaeckel was born Oct. 10, 1926. He was in The Dirty Dozen and had a recurring role on Baywatch. He was also in Chisum and The Sands of Iwo Jima with Wayne.
Regis Toomey died Oct. 12, 1991, and had several lesser roles in famous movies. One of those roles was in The High and the Mighty. John Wayne was in it, too.
Orson Welles is best known for Citizen Kane and The War of the Worlds, in addition to a plethora of other things. He died Oct. 10, 1985, and narrated the biopic documentary Directed by John Ford in which Wayne appeared.
Welles died the same day as Yul Brynner, who was in The Magnificent Seven and played Rameses in The Ten Commandments and won an Academy Award for The King and I. Brynner and Wayne each had a cameo role in Cast A Giant Shadow.
The World's Worst Director, Ed Wood, can't be connected to John Wayne by any way I found, but he was born Oct. 10, 1924. He was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 1994 movie Ed Wood.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma was born Oct. 7, 1955, person you're not Chevy Chase was born Oct. 8, 1943, Winston Churchill's grandson, Winston Churchill, was born Oct. 10, 1940, the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher was born Oct. 13, 1925, Henry VIII's son, Edward VI, was born Oct. 12, 1537, and successive Van Halen front men David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar were born this week - Roth on Oct. 10, 1954, and Hagar on Oct. 13, 1947.
John Lennon (1940) and his son, Sean Lennon (1975), were born Oct. 9.
Oct. 10 was a bad day to be an alcohol magnate in the early 1900s. Anheuser-Busch co-founder Adolphus Busch died Oct. 10, 1913. He died while vacationing in Germany due to dropsy, also known as edema, which can be made worse by drinking alcohol.
When Jack Daniel was born is up for debate, but he died exactly two years before Busch. The story of what happened is used humorously by his distillery. Daniel went to work one morning and couldn't get a safe open in his office, so he got mad and kicked it. The safe won. He broke his toe and an infection set in, which later killed him. The moral of the story, as the distillery likes to say, is never go to work early.
Superman Christopher Reeve died Oct. 10, 2004, President Franklin Pierce died Oct. 8, 1869, Emperor Claudius was poisoned and died Oct. 13, 54 A.D., NFL franchise destroyer Al Davis died Oct. 8, 2011, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee died Oct. 12, 1870, and Oskar Schindler died Oct. 9, 1974, 30 years after protecting hundreds of his Jewish employees from the Nazis.
Three people died this week under curious circumstances. Explorer Meriwether Lewis was shot Oct. 11, 1809. His death is considered a suicide, but the evidence to support that is controversial. Edgar Allen Poe died Oct. 7, 1849, and the cause can't be agreed upon. Most say he was just drunk, but other causes, including rabies, have been cited. Freediver Audrey Mestre died Oct. 12, 2002. She drowned while attempting a world record because there wasn't any air in the balloon that was supposed to return her to the surface. A recent ESPN documentary speculated about the attempt and put forth negligence as the cause, but also speculated it could have been murder.
A lot of space-related stuff happened this week. The Outer Space Treaty went into effect Oct. 10, 1967, prohibiting using space and any other celestial bodies for military purposes.
NASA launched Pioneer 1 on Oct. 11, 1958. It was supposed to land on the moon, but malfunctioned and was destroyed by the Earth's atmosphere. A much more successful mission, Apollo 7, launched 10 years later. It was the first mission of the Apollo program to carry a crew into space and was the first manned launch from Cape Canaveral. Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to make a spacewalk Oct. 11, 1984, and the Whirlpool Galaxy was discovered Oct. 13, 1773.
Cats opened on Broadway on Oct. 8, 1982, Spiro Agnew resigned as vice president Oct. 10, 1973, the Mason-Dixon line survey was finished Oct. 11, 1767, Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to fly in a plane Oct. 11, 1910, Saturday Night Live debuted Oct. 11, 1975, Greenwich, England, was established as the location of Universal Time on Oct. 13, 1884, and the Great Chicago Fire burned Oct. 8 to 10, 1871.
The Miracle of the Sun occurred Oct. 13, 1917. Solar activity reportedly caused people, including Pope Pius XII, to witness the sun doing odd things. An explanation of the event may be - hilariously - that they just looked at the sun too long.
Nikita Khrushchev may or may not have banged a shoe on his desk at the U.N. on Oct. 13, 1960, London Bridge was opened after being relocated and rebuilt in Lake Havasu City, AZ, on Oct. 10, 1971, and Christopher Columbus had no idea where he was when he landed in the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492.
Much of what you think you know about Columbus is wrong.
Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit the only Game 7 walk-off home run in World Series history to beat the New York Yankees on Oct. 13, 1960. The famous radio call of the home run gets the pitcher's name and the score to the game wrong. The announcer, Chuck Thompson, first says "10 to nothing" then pauses and corrects himself to say "10 to nine." At a spring training game a few years ago, I bought a Pirates T-shirt with Mazeroski's name and number on the back because of this home run.
Another one-time only World Series feat occurred Oct. 8, 1956, and is even more historic. Don Larsen threw a perfect game in Game 5 of the World Series to lead the Yankees over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Cincinnati Reds won the 1919 World Series over the Chicago White Sox on Oct. 9, 1919. Eight players from the White Sox were later banned from baseball for losing on purpose.
The most one-sided game in college football was played Oct. 7, 1916, when Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland 222-0. Georgia Tech paid Cumberland $500 to play the game. Cumberland threw six interceptions and turned the ball over 15 times and was held to negative yards. Georgia Tech had nearly 1,000 total yards and didn't attempt a single pass.
The Second Battle of Saratoga, also known as the Battle of Bemis Heights, was fought Oct. 7, 1777. The British lines were repeatedly battered and broken, and lost roughly twice the men as the Colonial Army. The hero of the battle was soon-to-be traitor Benedict Arnold.
The USS Cole was bombed Oct. 12, 2000, by a suicide bomber while it was being refueled in Yemen. Seventeen Americans were killed in the attack.
Oct. 11 is Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day. It's a Friday this year and after a long week, you need some unconditional support in the windowless dungeon you call an office. Take a stuffed animal in there and pretend he's real so you can have a "friend" to suffer through your soul-crushing misery with.
Unless you work for the government, in which case, enjoy your 11th straight day off and let Teddy caddy for you.
"I don't believe what I just saw."
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