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The Dead Sea Scrolls are Released to the Public

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

Ancient scrolls were found by a Bedouin shepherd in a cave near the Dead Sea in 1947. He sold them for a very low price, less than $50 each in today's money. They were soon recognized as the discovery of the century. People have wondered what was held in these ancient scrolls, a entire library hidden away from Roman destruction and the coming Apocalypse. And until now it has been very difficult to find out. A few scholars have kept them under academic lock-and-key for decades, releasing them for study only to a few favored colleagues and academic interns. INTERNS! One photographic copy of the scrolls resides at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, so after decades of academic quarantine, the library director announces that the Dead Sea Scrolls will be made available to any scholar who asks. Although this goes against the original agreement, it has been long enough... over 4 decades. A photographic copy is published, and what follows are books, papers and rantings from anyone with a Phd after his name, and an opinion. Yet, despite all this initial craziness, it is a good thing in the long run. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
While it is reasonable for a scholar to withhold some original source material to give himself time to make his academic name with them, 44 years is too much. Naturally, the question is whether there is any new information in the scrolls about Jesus. The answer is ... not really. It's mostly background stuff. Most of the scrolls are copies of biblical texts already known. A large number of scrolls are extra biblical books have since been rejected from the canon. (These have a special name which I will not burden you with, but they are the same texts that fiction author Dan Brown used to create The Da Vinci Code, a delightful adventure that I recommend as long as you don't take it too seriously.) [5] Nevertheless, at the time, these extra books were accepted as biblical texts, so studying them is important in knowing the mindset of the people of the time. Finally, there are original documents, many of which contain coded messages hidden within the texts. It all makes for an interesting academic read. What use normal people would have for them is a mystery to me, and I'll leave it at that. [6] [7]

Jaycee Dugard is Kidnapped

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

On June 10th, 11 year old Jaycee Dugard was walking to the bus stop by herself, when a man, Phillip Garridos, in a car approached her, rolled down the window, and shocked her unconscious with a stun gun, then drug her into the car. Her stepfather saw her being kidnapped and gave chase on a bicycle, but had no chance of catching up. Within hours of her kidnapping, her story was being covered from coast to coast, but it was to no avail. She was repeatedly raped during her 18 years in captivity, giving birth to two daughters as a result, aged 11 and 15 when rescued. She was finally rescued in 2009 at age 29. Phillip Garridos was sentenced for 431 years to life for her kidnapping and rape, and Nancy Garridos, his wife, was sentenced to 36 years to life as well.[1] [8]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
In case you didn't want to do the math, Jaycee became pregnant for the first time at the age of 13 due to rape. When I realized this, I wanted to literally rip Phillip limb from limb. One of my friends from back home was raped last year by a coworker, and eventually quit her job because she couldn't stand seeing him. She saw it as her fault, and didn't seek help or contact authorities about it. While she did eventually go for help, it was only after much talking with her and convincing her that she needed to talk to someone who knew what they were doing and not just me, her friend. Given how horrible and damaging this experience has been for her, I can't even fathom how bad it must be to be raped over and over by the man you're forced to live with, and give birth to multiple children to him. While I'm with Jack most of the time that the state can't be trusted to carry out death sentences accurately, cases like this make me think long and hard about that belief.

The Gulf War Timeline

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

In August of last year, Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded Kuwait and it looked like he might invade Saudi Arabia, so the US launched Operation Desert Shield to block him. Then Hussein annexed Kuwait making it part of a Greater Iraq. This was unacceptable to other countries, so they prepared to join a US-led Coalition forces to kick Hussein out of Kuwait. The UN issued a January 15th deadline for Iraq to leave, and as that deadline nears, the US Congress authorizes the use of force. This war is going to get wall-to-wall media coverage. It is a real experience to see an event live and then compare it to a clip presented by reporters later on. One wonders if some reporters are even competent.

  • Day 01: Operation Desert Storm launches. (1991 Jan 15)
  • Day 03: The air war begins. Targets in Baghdad are hit.
  • Day 04: Iraq launches SCUD missiles at Israel. Patriot missiles knock them down. You can hear the cheers at Raytheon for miles around. Reagan's "Star Wars" project actually works!
  • Day 08: Iraq sets fire to Kuwaiti oil wells.
  • Day 11: Iraq dumps crude oil into the Persian Gulf.
  • Day 17: Iraq captures Army Specialists Melissa Rathbun-Nealy and David Lockett as they are transporting a repaired truck. [9] [10]
  • Day 18: Iraq is driven out of Saudi Arabia.
  • Day 39: President Bush (the Elder) issues a 24-hour ultimatum to Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait or the ground war begins.
  • Day 40: The deadline passes.
  • Day 41: The ground war begins. The British SAS is the first to enter Iraq.
  • Day 43: The Highway of Death: Iraqi forces retreat in stolen cars and military trucks. They are picked off by Coalition aircraft.
  • Day 44: The Battle of Medina Ridge: US Army tanks engage the Iraqi Republican Guard.
  • Day 45: Kuwait has been liberated. President Bush announces victory. A ceasefire begins. [11]

And thus begins a long and low-level fight between Saddam Hussein and efforts to contain him. The no-fly-zone applies only to fixed-winged craft, so Saddam Hussein uses helicopters to put down the rebel forces attempting to overthrow him while he is presumably weak. The Kurds are being wiped out. This war is not over.

Notable Births

  • Bonnie Wright: Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter series. (A teenage crush of mine ~Southpaw Ben)
  • Dylan O'Brien: Thomas in The Maze Runner.
  • Spencer Locke: Jenny in the animated horror comedy Monster House. [12]
  • Mitchel Musso: "DJ" in the animated horror comedy Monster House. [12]

This Year in Film

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: This time, Arnold is the good guy! [13]
  • Disney's Beauty and the Beast: A sweet animated musical. [13]
  • Hook: Peter Pan retold after Pan gets old. [13]
  • The Addams Family: I cannot believe Angelica Huston pulled this one off.--alexshrugged [13]
  • City Slickers: A visit to a dude ranch changes the lives of friends. [13]

This Year in TV

  • TVs with built-in closed-captioning are sold in the USA: Before this time you needed a separate box. [14]
  • Dinosaurs: It's like the Flintstones except the dinosaurs are in charge. [14]
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: You have to be really sick to like this cartoon show. (I LOVED it!--alexshrugged) [14]
  • And...: Rugrats, Aeon Flux and Home Improvement. [14]

This Year in Music

  • (Everything I Do) I Do it For You: Bryan Adams. [15]
  • Black Or White: Michael Jackson. [15]
  • Joyride: Roxette. [15]
  • Ozzie Osbourne is sued because his song "Suicide Solution" forced a teenager to kill himself: The case is thrown out. (If that was true, the theme song to M*A*S*H should have caused mass suicide. It is called "Suicide Is Painless".--alexshrugged) [16]

This Year in Video Games

  • Street Fighter II for the arcades is released: It sets the standard for fighting games. [17]
  • Sega releases Sonic the Hedgehog!: (I loved this game.--alexshrugged). [17]
  • Super Nintendo comes to the USA: It uses 16-bit computing and a more reliable cartridge system. [17]

In Other News

  • 23 are shot in the Luby's Cafe massacre: Luby's is a gun-free zone. [1]
  • Rodney King is beaten by the LAPD: His beating is caught on videotape, and it will lead to riots and destruction. [1]
  • House Speaker Tom Foley closes the House Bank: House members have been writing bad checks as a way to launder money and feather their nest. [1]
  • Mount Pinatubo erupts, killing 800: It is the 2nd largest eruption of the 20th century. (The largest was Novarupta, in Alaska in 1912.--alexshrugged) [1] [18] [19]

Natural Disasters

  • 55 tornadoes hit the Midwest, killing 21: Notably an F5 tornado hits Andover, Kansas. It is the most photograhed tornado in history to date. [1] [20]
  • A 7.6 earthquake kills 82 in Costa Rica and Panama: . [1]
  • An 7.0 earthquake hits the country of Georgia, killing 270: See the 1991 Racha earthquake. [1]

Unnatural Disasters

  • Dr. Jack Kevorkian is blocked from assisting in the suicide of his patients: . [1]
  • Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested for murdering 11 men and boys: He ate them. He is also involved in 6 more murders. [1]
  • Tailhook scandal: 83 women and 7 men are sexually assaulted by military aviators at the Tailhook Symposium in Las Vegas: It was embarassing to the military and punishments were uneven. (Crap rolls downhill.--alexshrugged) [1] [21]
  • Boxer Mike Tyson is charged with the rape of Desiree Washington: He will serve 3 years of a six years sentence. [1] [22]
  • Eastern Air Lines shuts down service: Financial problems. [1]
  • Pan Am Airways shuts down service: Higher fuel prices due to the Gulf War tipped the balance. [1]
  • President Zachary Taylor is exhumed to be tested for possible arsenic poisoning: Nope. He died of natural causes. [1]
  • El Salvador army colonel Atlacatl Battalion is found guilty of the murder of six Jesuit priests and their housekeepers: . [1]
  • Publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell is found dead, floating in the Atlantic Ocean: . [1]


  • The largest solar flare recorded triggers a large aurora: It can be seen as far south as Pennsylvania: . [23][24] [1]
  • The World Wide Web is here: The 1st website is "http://info.cern.ch". (What existed before was Gopher, FTP, and Telnet, and it continues to exist.--alexshrugged) [1]
  • Linus Torvalds announces his Linux operating system: UNIX suffers from conflicting licensing issues, so having a kernal free of all that is welcome. [1]

Timeline for the Soviet Union's Dissolution

FYI: Although what I wrote was correct in the previous history segment, the actual dissolution of the Soviet Union takes place this year.--alexshrugged

  • Lithuania declares independence. [1]
  • Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland decide to move to a free market economy: .
  • Estonia declares it independence. [1]
  • The Soviet people vote to keep the 15 Republics unified: Six Republics boycott the referendum. [1]
  • A government-imposed price increase doubles and triples prices of consumer goods: This is like shooting yourself in the head to rid yourself of a headache. Not recommended.(--Alex Shrugged). [1]
  • Georgia (the country) declares its independence. [1]
  • Boris Yeltsin is elected President of Russia: He was elected Chairman of the Presidium last year. [1]
  • Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia: Fighting begins. [1]
  • The Warsaw Pact is dissolved: The economic interdependence of the previous Soviet republics has collapsed as well. See Comecon.
  • An attempted coup places Mikhail Gorbachev under arrest: 100,000 people take to the streets in protest.
  • Latvia restores its independence. [1]
  • Ukraine declares independence. [1]
  • Belarus declares independence. [1]
  • Moldova declares independence. [1]
  • Boris Yeltsin dissolves the Communist Party: . [1]
  • Azerbaijan declares independence. [1]
  • Kyrgyzstan declares independence. [1]
  • Uzbekistan declares independence. [1]
  • Armenia declares independence. [1]
  • Tajikistan declares its independence. [1]
  • The Soviet Union withdraws military and economic aid to Cuba: . [1]
  • The KGB is replaced by the SVR: .
  • Real elections are held in Poland: .
  • Turkmenistan declares its independence. [1]
  • The Communist Party of Great Britain dissolves itself: It becomes a think-tank. (I would call it a "not-thinking" tank.--alexshrugged) [1]
  • Kazakhstan declares its independence. [1]
  • Boris Yeltsin declares that Russia should be the successor to the collapsing Soviet Union: This is obvous, but it had to be said officially.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union: Not much left of it anyway. [1]
  • Russian SFSR renames itself the Russian Federation: Obvious, but it had to be done.
  • The Supreme Soviet formally dissolves the Soviet Union as of December 31st: The last one out, please turn off the lights.

All Else

  • Clarence Thomas is nominated to the Supreme Court: . [1]
  • Anita Hill alleges that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her: Thomas calls the proceedings a "high tech lynching". [1]
  • The Senate confirms Clarence Thomas by a vote of 52–48: Very few people believe Anita Hill although that will change over time. (If you repeat a lie often enough eventually people will believe it.--alexshrugged) [1]
  • Col. Oliver North is cleared of all charges in the Iran–Contra affair: He had been granted immunity, so charging him thereafter was not only dishonest, it was foolish. (Peole are now calling for him to run for President. I'm not kidding.--alexshrugged) [1]
  • Jean-Bertrand Aristide is sworn in as the first elect President of Haiti: He is then removed from power. He will be reinstated 3 years later. [1]
  • Operation Solomon commences: An Ethiopian civil war has targeted black Jews, so Israel organizes an airlift to bring the Ethiopian Jews to Israel. (Many consider them one of the lost tribes.--alexshrugged) [1]
  • Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke loses in a runoff election for governorship of Louisiana: (If you are wondering how he could even get close to being elected, he has a smooth carnival patter that can be hypnotizing.--alexshrugged) [1]
  • The Lakers' Magic Johnson announces he has HIV: He says he contracted it from having too many sex partners. (Not from homosexuality, so he is one of the rare heterosexual cases.) His wife and child tested clean. [1]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1991, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1991 - Wikipedia.
  2. Eisenman, Robert H.. The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered: The First Complete Translation and Interpretation of 50 Key Documents withheld for over 35 Years. Barnes & Noble Books. ISBN 9781566196239. 
  3. Burrows, Millar. Dead Sea Scrolls, The. Viking Press. 
  4. Business - Copies Of Dead Sea Scrolls To Go Public -- Release Would End Scholars' Dispute - Seattle Times Newspaper (September 22, 1991). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “A long-running, bitter dispute among biblical scholars over access to the Dead Sea Scrolls is about to become moot: A California museum has decided to release a complete set of photocopies of the priceless Hebrew manuscripts that date to the age of Jesus. The Huntington Library, a research center and art museum in San Marino, Calif., will make available immediately on microfilm its complete set of 3,000 photographs of the scrolls through the interlibrary loan system that links the nation's universities.”
  5. List of Old Testament pseudepigrapha - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “Pseudepigrapha are falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past. Some of these works may have originated among Jewish Hellenizers, others may have Christian authorship in character and origin.”
  6. John Strugnell - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “Strugnell had come increasingly under controversy for his slow progress in publishing the scrolls, and his refusal to give scholars free access to the unpublished scrolls. Some[who?] argue the removal of Strugnell from his editorial post ended the more than three-decade blockade that he and other Harvard-educated scholars, such as Notre Dame's Eugene Ulrich, had maintained to keep other scholars from accessing the scrolls.[6] The blockade on the publication of the scrolls effected by Strugnell and other members of Harvard's academic community was broken by the combined efforts of Hershel Shanks of the Biblical Archaeology Review (who had personally waged a 15-year campaign to release the scrolls) and Ben Zion Wacholder of Hebrew Union College, along with his student, Martin Abegg, who published the first facsimile of the suppressed scrolls in 1991. Strugnell insisted that he tried to publish the scrolls as quickly as he could but that his team was the limiting factor.”
  7. Alex Shrugged notes: I wrote a paper on the Old Testament pseudepigrapha as part of an independent study directed by my friend, Dr. Ben Hubbard. I am grateful to him. The two-volume set of the Old Testament pseudepigrapha, edited by James Charlesworth sits on the shelf behind me as I write this.
  8. Kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “Phillip, 58, and his wife Nancy Garrido, 54, of Antioch, were arrested by police for kidnapping, imprisonment, and other charges. On April 28, 2011, they pleaded guilty to Dugard's kidnapping and sexual assault. Law enforcement officers believe Dugard was kept in concealed tents, sheds, and lean-tos in an area behind the Garridos' house in Antioch for almost 18 years. During this time, Dugard bore two daughters who were ages 11 and 15 at the time of her reappearance. On June 2, 2011, Phillip was sentenced to 431 years to life imprisonment; his wife, Nancy, received 36 years to life. Phillip is a person of interest in at least one other San Francisco Bay Area missing person case.”
  9. Pentagon Details Abuse of American POWs in Iraq : Gulf War: Broken bones, torture, sexual threats are reported. It could spur further calls for war crimes trial. - latimes. articles.latimes.com (August 2, 1991). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “One Bush Administration official, interviewed separately, said that the two women POWs--Army Specialist Melissa Rathbun-Nealy and Maj. Rhonda Cornum--were both subjected to sexual threats, and one was fondled by her captors.”
  10. Survivor of 32 Too Many Arabian Nights, Melissa Rathbun-Nealy Heads Home from Baghdad. people.com (March 18, 1991). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “Cheerfully, Melissa pronounced most of her Iraqi guards perfect hosts. 'They were the nicest people,' she assured her parents. 'They did all they could to make me comfortable. I’m probably the only POW who has ever gained weight.'”
  11. 1991 uprisings in Iraq - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “In addition, the Gulf War ceasefire agreement of March 3 prohibited the Iraqi military's use of fixed-wing aircraft over the country, but allowed them to fly helicopters because most bridges had been destroyed.[23] This was because General Norman Schwarzkopf accepted the request of an Iraqi general to fly helicopters, including armed gunships, to transport government officials because of destroyed transport infrastructure, acting without Pentagon or White House instructions; almost immediately, the Iraqis began using the helicopters as gunships to put down the uprisings. The outgunned rebels had few heavy weapons and few surface-to-air missiles, which made them almost defenseless against helicopter gunships and indiscriminate artillery barrages when the Ba'athists responded to the uprisings with crushing force. According to Human Rights Watch, 'in their attempts to retake cities, and after consolidating control, loyalist forces killed thousands of anyone who opposes them whether a rebel or a civilian by firing indiscriminately into the opposing areas; executing them on the streets, in homes and in hospitals; rounding up suspects, especially young men, during house-to-house searches, and arresting them with or without charge or shooting them en masse; and using helicopters to attack those who try to flee the cities.'”
  12. 12.0 12.1 1991 Births - Wikipedia (1991).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 1991 in film - Wikipedia (1991). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 1991 in television - Wikipedia (1991).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 1991 in music - Wikipedia (1991). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  16. Ozzy Osbourne - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “In 1984, California teenager John McCollum committed suicide while listening to Osbourne's 'Suicide Solution'. The song deals with the dangers of alcohol abuse. McCollum's suicide led to allegations that Osbourne promoted suicide in his songs. Despite knowing McCollum suffered clinical depression, his parents sued Osbourne (McCollum v. CBS)[126] for their son's death, saying the lyrics in the song, 'Where to hide, suicide is the only way out. Don't you know what it's really about?' convinced McCollum to commit suicide.”
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 1991 in music - Wikipedia (1991).
  18. Novarupta - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 24 April 2017. “Novarupta (meaning 'newly erupted'[2] in Latin) is a volcano that was created in 1912, located on the Alaska Peninsula in Katmai National Park and Preserve, about 290 miles (470 km) southwest of Anchorage. Formed during the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, Novarupta released 30 times the volume of magma of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.”
  19. The Cataclysmic 1991 Eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, Fact Sheet 113-97. U.S. Geological Survey (2017). Retrieved on 24 April 2017. “From June 7 to 12, the first magma reached the surface of Mount Pinatubo. Because it had lost most of the gas contained in it on the way to the surface (like a bottle of soda pop gone flat), the magma oozed out to form a lava dome but did not cause an explosive eruption. However, on June 12 (Philippine Independence Day), millions of cubic yards of gas-charged magma reached the surface and exploded in the reawakening volcano's first spectacular eruption.”
  20. Tornado outbreak of April 26, 1991 - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “By 6:35 p.m., the tornado had expanded to just over 600 yards wide and was approaching maximum intensity. It continued to move northeast exiting the Wichita metro area and reached F5 intensity as it tore through the town of Andover, Kansas. Thirteen people were killed as the Golden Spur Mobile Home Park was obliterated, with little left there but scattered debris and twisted mobile home frames. The death toll included a father and son who abandoned their car and sought shelter in a ditch nearby.”
  21. Tailhook scandal - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “The aftermath resulted in sweeping changes throughout all military services in the Department of Defense regarding attitudes and policies toward women. The careers of Secretary of the Navy Henry Garrett and Chief of Naval Operations Frank Kelso, both of whom were at the convention, came to an end in the wake of the scandal.”
  22. Mike Tyson - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 April 2017. “On March 26, 1992, Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison along with four years of probation. Despite being 25 years old at the time of the crime, he was assigned to the Indiana Youth Center (now the Plainfield Correctional Facility) in April 1992, and he was released in March 1995 after serving less than three years of his six-year sentence.”
  23. Wald, Matthew (6 June 1991). "Severe Sun Storm Threatens Utilities". New York Times: 16. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/06/06/us/severe-sun-storm-threatens-utilities.html. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  24. Large Solar Flares Since 1976. Space Weather Servuces. Retrieved on 23 May 2016.

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