• Humpday

Who Really Shot JFK?

Happy HumpDay!

Happy HumpDay and Happy Fall! As we cross into a new season the weather keeps getting colder and the days keep getting shorter but what always remains constant is the HumpDay Newsletter! Start fall off right with this week's fun facts and interesting stories. As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!


World Cultures

We all know that when someone sneezes, and you are around to hear it, you have to say “Bless you” or else you can come off as impolite. It is one of the staples courtesies of our society and for most of us it is a instinctual reaction to hearing someone sneeze, but have you ever wondered why we say “bless you” in the first place?

Blessing someone after they sneeze originated around 77 A.D. when English folklore dictated that a sneeze caused by your soul escaping from your body. As the soul leaves your body, evil spirits have room come in and cause havoc. This was the explanation for why sneezing often lead to people getting sick. To stop demons from filling a person’s body after a sneeze, people would say “God bless you” to offer up god’s protection for the person who sneezed.

Later in 590 A.D. sneezing became a sign that someone had contracted the bubonic plague which had ravaged most of Europe killing more tha 50 million people in the 6th century A.D. Saying “God bless you” or “Bless you” after someone sneezed was a way of begging god to save a person’s life from the plague.

Other cultures had less depressing responses to sneezes. The Germans and the French believed that sneezing was a sign of good fortune and would respond with “Gesundheit” (“health”) and “a vos souhaits” (“to your wishes”).


Literature

One thousand and one Arabian Nights is a collection of middle eastern folktales that included legendary stories like Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Sinbad the Sailor, and Aladdin. The stories have been translated into multiple languages and have influence popular culture around the world but the story of how these folk stories came together is even more impressive than the stories themselves.

The story begins in ancient Persia where a Persian king discovered that his was had been unfaithful to him. Heartbroken and furious, the king falls into a fit of rage and has his wife executed for adultery. The king determined that all women should be punished for the heartache his wife brought on him, so he decrees that he will marry a new woman each day. Every day when he marries his new wife, the wife from the previous day will be executed. Over the course of many years, he executed many women until a brave woman named Scheherazade volunteered to marry the king in place of another woman.

Scheherazade was a brilliant story teller and she devised a plan to keep herself alive passed her one day of marriage. The night after her wedding, she began telling the king a fantastic and exciting story. The king was so enthralled that he could barely sleep. Just before the climactic conclusion of the story, Scheherazade abruptly ended the story on a cliff hanger. The king was so fascinated by the story that he decided not to execute his wife the next day to hear the end of the story.

For years, Scheherazade told the king stories at night and every time she left the story on a cliff hanger. Over time, her stories increasingly featured intelligent, cunning, and brave women that slowly showed caused the ruthless king to regain his respect for women.

The stories of adventure and magic that Scheherazade told to change the king’s wicked heart were eventually compiled into the collection of folk tales titled One thousand and one Arabian Nights. Not only did her stories save the lives of countless women, but they went on to leave a permeant mark on history.

Disney Theory- Aladdin Is Set In a Post-Apocalyptic Future The Best of The Genie- Robin Williams In Aladdin (1992)


Conspiracy Theories

The assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) has fascinated conspiracy theorists for more than 55 years. Some believe that the alleged assassin (Lee Harvey Oswald) was a patsy and that the assassination was carried out by the CIA. Others believe that there was a second gunman lurking on the grassy Knowle, but there is one theory that often goes unaddressed by the government and the history channel alike, that is the Mortal Error theory proposed by ballistics specialist Howard Donahue.

Howard Donahue was a sharpshooter, gunsmith, and ballistics expert who was asked to help with the investigation of the JFK assassination. He was tasked with recreating the three shots allegedly fired by Oswald at the President’s motorcade on the day of the assassination. Of all the experts chosen to recreate the shots, Donahue was the only one with the skill and knowledge to accurately recreate what happened.

After fulfilling his role of recreating Oswald’s shots, Donahue continued to study the details of the assassination and he found that something didn’t add up. Though he agreed with the government’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at the President, but he did not agree that the fatal shot sustained by the President was caused by Oswald’s rifle. His theory was much less sinister than other JFK conspiracy theories and much less satisfying.

By studying the ballistics of the fatal gunshot wound sustained by the President, Donahue concluded that JFK must have been stuck by a high speed, high spin bullet in order to cause the level of damage that was found in the autopsy. He also concluded that the bullets fired from Oswald’s rifle were not capable of traveling at high enough speeds with enough spin to cause the level of damage that the president sustained. Donahue proposed that the fatal wound was likely caused by a semi-automatic rifle, particularly, an AR-15.

Donahue’s theory is that Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at the President’s motorcade. Upon hearing the shots, a secret service agent turned off the safety of his AR-15 to return fire. Then, the secret service agent with the loaded AR-15 accidentally pulled the trigger and mistakenly fired the fatal shot that killed the President. The JFK assassination was not a conspiracy but instead it was a horrible accident. Donahue also contends that there was no grand conspiracy to assassinate the President but there was a conspiracy to cover up the mistake of a secret service agent. He claims the government dismissed his research and threatened his life when he went public with his findings.

We should point out that most experts believe Donahue is a crackpot who manipulated evidence to fit his desired narrative, but his theory is nonetheless interesting to think about and paints the JFK assassination in a whole new light.


This Week in History

On this week in 1957, nine African American students known as “The Little Rock Nine” started classes in a previously segregated Arkansas school and officially ended the practice of school segregation in the U.S. The students were allowed to attend the school after a supreme court ruling determined that separate but equal schools were not in fact equal, so the practice of segregation was unconstitutional. The students were escorted to class by members of the Army and the national guard. They faced racist protests as they entered the school, but they paved the way for equality among the races in America.


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