April 24

With exactly 250 days remaining in the year, now seems as good a time as any for general merriment and festivity. If you’re reading this, you are probably alive, which means that you can pat yourself on the back and offer a small congratulations to your neighbor for sweating out the previous 114 days of 2008. Although you have not yet made it through today — and, after all, there are no guarantees — there is no better way to rejoice than kicking back, relaxing and preparing yourself for a wonderful little romp through history.
April 24, 1907
Hersheypark, an attraction reserved exclusively for employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company in Hershey, Pa., opens. When the smell of chocolate funnel cake turns non-employee passersby into ravenous beasts, the decision is made to open the park to the public.
Best paired with: “Chocolate Town” by Ween on Live in Chicago
Sure, it’s hard to say no to the only band who can make fun of AIDS and Mexican folk tales on one album, but it’s even more difficult to say no to a song about a chocolate town. Implications of the line “Couldn’t tell one from another / couldn’t hide a secret from my mother” are still unclear.
April 24, 1916
Ireland’s Easter Rebellion, immortalized by Yeats’ footnote-infested “Easter 1916,” begins.
Best paired with: “The Luck of the Irish” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono off of Acoustic
Everyone loves a good social commentary, especially when it comes from a drugged-out pop star and his hairy wife (not that we’ve seen the pictures). This live song comes complete with a sweet, jangly acoustic guitar spoiled only by the nastiest audience-participation chorus you’ve heard since you saw James Taylor do “Fire and Rain” last year.
April 24, 1985
According to “On This Day in Canada” — admittedly not the most reliable of sources — the Canadian Supreme Court allows Sunday shopping in most provinces.
Best paired with: Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” from Blue
We are not in denial about our deep love of Joni Mitchell here at Magical Mystery Tour. And fuck anyone who says differently. Although this song may seem completely divorced from the economic realities that forced Canada to open up its shops on the Sabbath, Joni does draw a map of her homeland in the song. And that has to count for something.

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