August Gnus
Science Gnus Almanac Home

Science Gnus is a compendium News of Science, History, Mathematics and Items of Interest with comment as well as factual and fictual elucidation for each day of the year.  It also contains Professor Sy Yentz, answering questions, Dr. Matt Matician connecting science and mathematics, the Activity of the Month, Factorinos, Trivia Questions, Bonus Trivia Questions, Extinct Kaput animals and plants, Jokes, Obscure Questions, Scientists of the Month, and the Flower, Rock and Words of the Month

August is . . . . National Catfish Month, National Golf  Month, National Eye Exam Month, National Water Quality Month, Romance Awareness Month, Peach Month, and Foot Health Month. The full moon has a few names; Sturgeon Moon - Reminds Professor Sy Yentz of the Madonna hit record, Like a Sturgeon.  It is  also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

 Calendar Highlights
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The English winter - ending in July, / To recommence in August…….Lord Byron

If you want to visit Paris, the best time to go is during August, when there aren't any French people there….. Kenneth Stilling

I bet deep down you still wish your mom would take you clothes shopping every August for the new school year............Bridget Willard


30 BC –Thursday - Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me…..Cleopatra……..Antony and Cleopatra (V, ii, 282-283) ……Octavian (later known as Augustus) entered Alexandria, , Egypt, waved to the “Welcome to Alexandria” billboard, and  brought  it under the control of the then Roman Republic. As the opposing armies prepared for what seemed to be the final battle after nearly 20 stop and go years of Civil War, the engagement turned out to be an anti-climactic affair, as Mark Antony's cavalry and fleet surrendered to Octavian first and were shortly followed by the infantry, once again without major engagement of any sort. Antony yelled “follow me” and there was no one left to follow him. Antony would shortly render himself kaput as would his inamorata, Cleopatra, subject of, five ballets, 45 operas, and 77 plays. The sultry monarch starred in at least seven films and dozens of books

 10 BC –Sunday- Say not always what you know, but always know what you say……. Felicem diem natalem,  Claudius, Roman Emperor born in in Gaul (now France).  Tiberius, the second emperor of Rome, was his uncle. When Tiberius's successor, the wackadoodle Caligula,  was rendered kaput  in January 41 AD, the Praetorian Guard found Claudius in the palace and acclaimed him as the third emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

1291Wednesday - The Swiss are not a people so much as a neat, clean, quite solvent business …..William Faulkner……….Break out the cervelat, röschti, and Swiss cheese. Happy Switzerland Day!  Yay!  Three Alpine cantons, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Uri met on the Rütli field, high above Lake Lucerne and swore the oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland. The anniversary of this pact has been celebrated as National Day in Switzerland since 1891, the 600th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation. Swiss national day is only just over a century old, and it was only in 1993 that the hardworking Swiss agreed that they could all take the day off.   But why does the cheese have holes in it? Actually it is because of the flatulence of bacteria...Really.

1498Monday-  Glory to the brave people
which shook off the yoke,
the Law respecting
virtue and honour. Down with the chains! (repeat)
Cried out the Lord; (repeat)
and the poor man in his hovel
for freedom implored.
…..Venezuelan National Anthem…..On his third voyage, with six ships, Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela. While a great sailor and explorer, Columbus was not too good with land masses and so, thinking it an island, he christened it Isla Santa and claimed it for Spain. Following the coast, he explored the Rio Orinoco Delta and concluded that he had found much more than another Caribbean island but he wasn’t sure what. It was Alonso de Ojeda who gave the country its name. Arriving at Lake Maracaibo, he admired the stilted houses that the Indians had built above the lake and called the place Venezuela - "Little Venice." Columbus and the crew purchased chinchorros ,baskets, hats, handbags,  and refrigerator magnets and took guided tours of Merida & Pico Bolivar, Angel Falls, and Hugo Chavez medicine cabinet.  Also see August 3 below.

 1619 – Thursday- Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. …..Abraham Lincoln…….The first Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia aboard a Dutch ship. There were twenty or so Africans whom the captain and his crew had recently robbed from a Spanish ship. The captain exchanged the Africans for food, then left. They were not slaves, nor were they free. They served time as indentured servants until their obligations were complete, usually seven years. These individuals lived out the remainder of their lives as free men.  Despite the complete lack of a slave tradition in mother England, slavery gradually replaced indentured servitude as the chief means for plantation labor in the American South. Virginia would become the first British colony to legally establish slavery in 1661.

1744- Saturday-Lamarck was the first man whose conclusions on the subject excited much attention. This justly celebrated naturalist first published his views in 1801. . . he first did the eminent service of arousing attention to the probability of all changes in the organic, as well as in the inorganic world, being the result of law, and not of miraculous interposition……Charles Darwin…… Joyeux Anniversaire! Jean-Baptiste de Monet de Lamarck French biologist, pre-Darwinian evolutionist and president of the Regis Philbin Fan Club, born in Bazentin, France. Lamarch is known for his idea that acquired traits are inheritable (Lamarckism) – Lamarck of Zorro, which was replaced by Darwinian theory.  Charles Darwin, Lyell, Ernst Haeckel, and other early evolutionists acknowledged him as a great zoologist and as a forerunner of evolution.

1770 – Wednesday- Came Suddenly into an open and bound less Prarie, I Say bound less because I could not See the extent of the plain in any Derection…This prospect was So Sudden & entertaining that I forgot the object of my prosute…”….Happy Birthday, William Clark, American explorer of Lewis and Clark fame.  Young William Clark was born on  Virginia plantation family in 1770, the youngest of six sons and the youngest brother of George Rogers Clark, a hero of the American Revolution. Clark had been a friend of  Meriwether Lewis since they served together in 1795, and he quickly accepted his invitation in 1803 to serve as co-leader of  Thomas Jefferson’s assigned "Corps of Discovery " (or as a recent President would call it, the “corpse” of discovery) an expedition across President Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase. In 1813 Clark assumed the governorship of Louisiana, and he also became the superintendent of Indian Affairs.  These were usually catered and held at Antoine’s of the Missouri Territory.

1774- Monday- Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer….Dave Barry………Joseph Priestley, British Presbyterian minister and chemist, identified a gas which he called "dephlogisticated air" -- later known as oxygen (probably to the relief of Oprah Winfrey who would have had to name her television network, "Dephlogisticated Air" instead of Oxygen.  Oxygen was discovered for the first time by the talented but hapless Swedish Chemist, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in 1772. Scheele was unable to disseminate information about his many discoveries in a timely manner.  Priestly,  independently, discovered oxygen in 1774 and published his findings the same year, three years before Scheele published. Antoine Lavoisier, a French chemist, also discovered oxygen in 1775, was the first to recognize it as an element, and coined its name "oxygen" - which comes from a Greek word that means “acid-former”. Priestley used  a 12-inch-wide glass "burning lens", he focused sunlight on a lump of reddish mercuric oxide in an inverted glass container. The gas emitted, he found, was "five or six times as good as common air." In succeeding tests, it caused a flame to burn intensely and kept a mouse alive about four times as long as a similar quantity of air before being attacked by PETA.

1779 –Sunday-  Happy Birthday, Francis Scott Key, composer of The Star-Spangled Banner:, which became  our national anthem in 1931.  During the War of 1812, he watched British ships in Chesapeake Bay attack Fort McHenry near Baltimore. Inspired by the sight of the U.S. flag still flying the next morning, he wrote the words to the The Star Spangled Banner which was actually a poem entitled The Defense of Fort McHenry.  It was later set to the tune of an English drinking song, To Anacreon in Heaven – lyrics are here, try them out: To Anacreon in Heav'n, where he sat in full glee,
A few Sons of Harmony sent a petition;
That he their Inspirer and Patron wou'd be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian;
"Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
No longer be mute,
I'll lend you my name and inspire you to boot,
And besides I'll instruct you like me, to intwine,
The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine."

1793- Thursday- The trouble with measurement is its seeming simplicity …unknown…..The first definition was made for the meter by the Academy of Sciences of Paris (committee consisted of the mathematicians Jean Charles de Borda , Joseph-Louis Comte de Lagrange, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Gaspard Monge, and Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat, the Marquis de Condorcet): 1/10 000 000 of the northern quadrant of the Paris meridian (5 132 430 toises of Paris, from the North Pole to the equator). As Grouch Marx said, A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.  While the size of a meter has not changed over the years, definitions have.  Our favorite is the 1960 version; 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of radiation emitted during the transition between levels 2p10 and 5d5 of the krypton-86 atom. 1983 happily settled on the length traveled by light in a vacuum during 1/299,792,458 of a second.

1798 – Wednesday- Gentlemen, when the enemy is committed to a mistake we must not interrupt him too soon. …..Horatio Nelson……….During the Napoleonic Wars, The Battle of the Nile (Battle of Aboukir Bay) began when a British fleet engaged the French Revolutionary Navy fleet in an unusual night action. Napoleon thought he won the battle but of course he was in denial. Admiral Horatio Nelson and the British Fleet won a resounding victory over Admiral Brueys d’Aigalliers, arguably one of the decisive battles of naval warfare.  When the smoke cleared, nine of the thirteen French ships had fallen into British hands, while two had burnt, and two escaped., Napoleon’s army was now stranded in Egypt and their hotel reservations were due to expire. They were also cut off from all supplies.  Other than that, things were fine.. The battle cost Nelson 218 killed and 677 wounded, while the French suffered around 1,700 killed, 600 wounded, and 3,000 captured. During the battle, Nelson was wounded in the forehead, exposing his skull. Despite bleeding profusely, he refused preferential treatment and insisted on waiting his turn while other wounded sailors were treated before him.

            1818 – Saturday-  We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry……...Happy Birthday, Maria Mitchell, first professional woman astronomer in the United States, born Nantucket, Mass. On Oct. 1 1847, she first gained notice for the observation of a comet, not far from Polaris in the night sky,  which she was first to report. She was also the first female member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences.

        1819-Sunday …..Call me Ishmael……Happy Birthday, Herman Melville, American author of Moby Dick and Billie Budd (which was not published until 1924).  His symbolic masterpiece, Moby Dick,  brought him no wealth during his lifetime, born in New York City.   At 18 Melville made his first voyage as a crew member on a New York-Liverpool packet ship. At 22 he shipped on the whaler Acushnet. Returning four years later, he almost immediately began writing novels derived from his adventures. At this time Polynesia was a romantic and little-known region.  His first three novels, Typee, Omoo, and Mardi, described voyages in the South Pacific. The last of the three, Mardi saw his writing evolving into the mystical allegory that would come in Moby Dick

      1831- Monday How come every time you come around
My London London Bridge want to go down
Like London London London wanna go down
Like London London London be going down like
……….Fergie………New London Bridge opened to traffic. This was the “London Bridge that ended up in a lake in Arizona.  In 1821, a committee was formed by Parliament to consider the poor condition of the existing centuries-old bridge. The arches had been badly damaged by the Great Freeze, so it was decided to build a new bridge. Building commenced under John Rennie in 1825, and completed in 1831, paid for by the city. The bridge is composed of five arches, and built of Dartmoor granite. It was opened with great ceremony by King William (the Sailor King)  IV, accompanied by Queen Adelaide, and many of the members of the royal family, on this day.  In  the 1960's it was auctioned and sold for $2,460,000 to Robert McCulloch who moved it to Havasu City, Arizona. The rebuilt London Bridge was completed and dedicated on  October 10 1971.

1832 – Wednesday-[Black Hawk] has fought for his countrymen, the squaws and papooses, against white men, who came year after year, to cheat them and take away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it…………….The Black Hawk War ended.  It was a ferocious, fight filled,  third period as the Red Wings attempted a comeback from three goals down. James Lewis on the Black Hawk War website noted that in May of 1832 Sac and Fox Indians under the leadership of Black Hawk (Sauk)  left the Iowa territory and returned to their homes across the Mississippi River in northern Illinois. These Native Americans had lost their Illinois lands in a disputed treaty signed in St. Louis in 1804. Their return to northern Illinois sparked widespread panic among white settlers, and Illinois Governor John Reynolds quickly called up the militia, which included a young Abraham Lincoln.  Despite failing to get the hoped for support of other Native American tribes, Black Hawk had still inflicted a defeat on the American troops.  However, The last battle of the war took place on the Bad Axe River, where Black Hawk was attacked and trapped. He waved a white flag of surrender, but this was ignored and almost all of his band, including women and children, were wiped out. Black Hawk himself escaped, surrendered to the Winnebago tribe (or was it the Air Stream?) , was turned over for imprisonment, and was released in 1833

1834 –Friday- So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the Trade's wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for Abolition. Let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition. ……William Wilberforce……..Slavery was  abolished in the British Empire as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 became official.  The common law of England did not recognize anyone as a slave (although in Scotland, which does not have the common law, bondage still existed until the late eighteenth century, when it was abolished by legislation).  Slavery, however, existed in a number of British colonies, principally in the West Indies.

1870- Monday-Andrew Braddock: What kind of animals are on this island? Montgomery: [Amused at the question] All kinds, Lad. All kinds……. S dniom razhdjenia! Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov (“Triple I” to his friends) .
Soviet biologist who developed a practical procedure for artificially inseminating domestic animals (extending earlier research by Spallanzani who discovered that it was possible). in an article by Cezary Jan Strusiewicz lists Ivanov as one of the top ten mad scientists of all time.  Ranking number 5,  Tthe author notes that Ivanov was also an insane old kook, ordered by Stalin to create a super race of slave ape-man hybrids who would serve the Communistic Russia in taking over the free world. That is, if you believe certain Scottish newspapers. How much of that is true? Well, we do know the man did inseminate a few chimpanzees with human baby goo to create said hybrid. This seems too much like H.G Wells’ Island of Dr. Moreau  (made into a 1977 movie starring Burt Lancaster and a 1996 movie starring an out of gas Marlon Brando) but then truth is stranger than fiction.

            1873-  Friday- Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell
Zing, zing, zing went my heart strings
For the moment I saw her I fell
…..Judy Garland…….A great day for present day San Francisco tourism. Although we note that the Cable Car History website gives the date as August 2,  the first cable car was rolled out as British inventor Andrew Smith Hallidie revolutionized transportation methods in San Francisco when he successfully tested a cable car near the top of Nob Hill at Clay and Jones Streets. Hallidie had designed for the city as a solution to the problem of providing mass transit up and down San Francisco's steep hills.  The Clay Street line started public service on September 1.  If any one should ask me what I consider the most distinctive, progressive feature of California, I should answer promptly, its cable-car system. And it is not alone its system which seems to have reached a point of perfection, but the amazing length of the ride that is given you for the chink of a nickel. I have circled this city of San Francisco, I have gone the length of three separate cable lines (by means of the proper transfers) for this smallest of Southern coin.…..Harriet Harper.

1876 – Tuesday- ….Tis the land where the columbines grow,
Overlooking the plains far below,
While the cool summer breeze in the evergreen trees
Softly sings where the columbines grow
. …….Colorado entered the Union as the 38th state, the "Centennial State".  First visited by Spanish explorers in the 1500s, the territory was claimed for Spain by Juan de Ulibarri in 1706., although c. 1500 A.D. Ute Indians inhabited mountain areas of southern Rocky Mountains making these Native Americans the oldest continuous residents of Colorado. The U.S. obtained eastern Colorado as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the central portion in 1845 with the admission of Texas as a state, and the western part in 1848 as a result of the Mexican War.  Colorado is America's eighth largest state in terms of land mass. As for state symbol?  Animal -Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep      Bird Lark Bunting , Fish -Greenback Cutthroat Trout , Flower -White and Lavender Columbine ,Folk Dance -Square Dance Fossil -Stegosaurus ,Gemstone -Aquamarine, Insect -Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly , Mineral-Rhodochrosite , Reptile -Western painted turtle , Rock-Yule Marble , two Songs -Where the Columbines Grow, by A.J. Flynn and, inevitably…Rocky Mountain High, by John Denver , and tree- Colorado Blue Spruce.

1885 – Friday- Florence Flask was getting ready for the opera. All of a sudden, she screamed: "Erlenmeyer, my joules! Somebody has stolen my joules!" The husband replied, "Calm down, honey. We'll find a solution." …………..Boldog szuletesnapot! George de Hevesy, Hungarian chemist who was awarded the 1943 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of a technique to use radioisotopes, which are naturally or artificially produced radioactive isotope of an element, to detect chemical processes in living systems. Hevesy prepared salt solutions using an isotope of lead (Pb212) and traced how plants absorbed the solution. He also receives half credit for the discover of the element hafnium, atomic number 72,  with Richard Coster in 1923. Hafnium is a good absorber of neutrons and is used in the control rods of nuclear reactors.

1889 – Thursday- Have you heard that entropy isn't what it used to be? Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Walter Gerlach, German physicist who was one half of the famous  (Otto) Stern–Gerlach experiment which passed a beam of silver atoms through a nonuniform magnetic field and observed that it split into two separate beams. This is often used to often used to illustrate basic principles of quantum mechanics and make chocolate milkshakes. They were positively beaming when it worked.  

1892 – Monday- Me and my shadow,
Strolling down the avenue,
Me and my shadow,
Not a soul to tell our troubles to . . .
And when it’s twelve o’clock,
We climb the stair,
We never k
For nobody’s there . . .
Just me and my shadow….Al Jolson - Billy Rose ……..Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu! Kinsan and  Ginsan, Japanese identical twins who lived to ages 107 and 108, respectively. They were born in Nagoya, 270km (170 miles) west of Tokyo. Kin was the elder daughter and Gin was the younger daughter. Tests proved that they were identical twins, although for some reason they had different blood types.

1893 -Tuesday- He dreamed he was eating shredded wheat and woke up to find the mattress half gone …..Fred Allen…………Henry D. Perky of Colorado and William Ford of Watertown, NY, patented shredded wheat. This attractive breakfast treat  is composed of whole wheat which has been boiled, partially dried, then  pressed out into thin shreds and baked. Sounds as delicious as it looks. Actually, Messrs. Perky and Ford were interested in selling the machine rather than the gastronomical delight that it produced, however the product proved more popular than the producer.

        1914 – Saturday- There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene……Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms……. Thanks to interlocking alliances and amazing diplomatic stupidity, on June 28, 1914,   Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was kaputed via gunshot by  Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. The event is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I. On August 1, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.  Then Germany and Russia declared war against each other, France ordered a general mobilization, (the thing is, when you mobilize your armed forces, it’s very difficult to de-mobilize them.  You almost have to fight.)  and the first German army units crossed into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain all aligned against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. World War 1, at that time it was called "the Great War", ensued and was a war of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians as military leaders (see Sir Douglas Haig)  fought with the same stupidity displayed by the diplomats.

   1942 – Saturday- Happy Birthday - Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been
…….. Jerry Garcia, the great guitarist and song writer  of the Grateful Dead.  In 1965 he formed a band, the Warlocks, but on discovering another group with that name, it was changed to the Grateful Dead in 1966 just in time for the “Summer of Love” in 1967. In addition to the countless Dead “live” albums, studio albums include Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty. In addition to his musical efforts, which also included The New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Jerry Garcia Band, “Captain Trips” was viewed as an icon for the hippie movement of the 1960s, the counterculture fueled by (sex),  psychedelic drugs and rock & roll.

1944 – Tuesday- Dear Kitty…..I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if . . . if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank ………. Anne Frank made the last entry in her diary. Three days later, Anne Frank was found and imprisoned.  Later, she was transported to Auschwitz, then later died, along with her sister, of typhus in Bergen-Belsen in March 1945.

1945 –Wednesday  It is impossible by means of inanimate material agency to derive a mechanical effect from a portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest surrounding bodies …..Lord Kelvin (Sir William Thompson)……….Happy Birthday, Douglas D. Osheroff , American physicist who (with David M. Lee and Robert Richardson) was awarded  the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery of superfluidity (property of flowing without friction or viscosity, as in liquid helium below about 2.18 kelvins) in the isotope helium-3 which transformed the direction of theoretical and experimental research in low temperature physics, the first of three superfluid phases of liquid helium-3, at a temperature only about two-thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, aka Kelvins. Why, a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five……Groucho……. As helium is reduced in temperature toward almost absolute zero, a strange phase transition occurs, and the helium takes on the form of a superfluid susceptible only to kryptonite.

            1946 – Thursday- Atomic dog
Atomic dog ……. Bow-wow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah
………George Clinton…….Almost a year after World War II ended, Congress established the United States Atomic Energy Commission to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. Well that certainly worked out well. President Harry S. Truman signed the Atomic Energy Act on August 1 1946, transferring the control of atomic energy from military to civilian hands. Also known as the McMahon Act, it established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to safeguard and aid in regulating atomic resources, and created a five-person committee to oversee the activities of the AEC.

1953- Saturday.  Joey: Somebody's comin', Pa!     Joe Starrett: Well, let him come. …….Jack Palance stole the picture. Shane was released by Paramount.  The classic western about a world weary gunfighter attempting to settle down with a homestead family, but noooooooo, the usual wester plot of  settler/rancher conflict forces him to act. Directed by George Stevens, the movie stars Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, and young Brandon deWilde shouting “come back Shane”.  Also starring were Ben Johnson, Elisha Cook Jr. & Edgar Buchanan. 

1957- Thursday And Lord, we are especially thankful for nuclear power, the cleanest, safest energy source there is. Except for solar, which is just a pipe dream ….Homer Simpson……. Designed by mechanical engineers, Frank Bridgers and Don Paxton, the Solar Building in Albuquerque NM, was the first commercial building to be heated by the sun's energy.  Solar Energy World notes that following the discovery of the silicon cell by Bell Labs in 1954, solar energy quickly harvested patents. While there were some residential homes that went solar earlier, the “Solar Building” in Albuquerque, N.M., is largely considered the first commercial building to use solar. The “Solar Building” used an 800-square-foot collector array for the building’s heating system. At of cost of $58,500, about what they would pay for a pipe in the 21st  century, the solar energy system was used successfully for six years until the building expanded and changed to a traditional boiler system. The landmark was added to the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties in 1985 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

 1960 –Monday ….. Children of Benin, arise!
The resounding cry of freedom
Is heard at the first light of dawn,
Children of Benin, arise!
…..National Anthem……. Dahomey (later renamed Benin) declared independence from France which was unaware that it possessed either Dahmony or Benin. The country was founded as Dahomey  in 1625 by indigenous slave traders, known as the Fon, The Fon were fond of slavery and conquest. They conquered the neighboring Dan and Allada and extended their kingdom. A trading post was set up in 1857 by the French at Grand-Popo. In 1892 Dahomey became a French protectorate and part of French West Africa in 1904 Allowing for repeaters, there have been 24 assorted “rulers” of the country since independence.

            1960- Monday- Come on baby let's do the twist
Come on baby let's do the twist
Take me by my little hand and go like this
Ee-oh twist baby baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist
……Chubby Checker’s  recording of  The Twist was released for the first time. A middling success  this  first time, it was released for the second time in 1962 and became a monster hit record and resulted in the dance craze of the 1960s. The song was written by Hank Ballard (and the Midnighters) in 1959. Checker (Ernest Evans, formerly a chicken plucker) knew a good thing when he had it,  he followed up with Let's Twist Again  in 1961 and Slow Twistin' in 1962. He went on to release a bunch of other songs with dance themes, including The Mess Around, The Hucklebuck and The Fly, all of which could be seen on American Bandstand. 

1961- Tuesday- ……I took a ride on a shoot-the-chute
That girl I sat beside was awful cute
And after while she was holdin' hands with me
My heart was flyin' up like a rocket ship
Down like a roller coaster
Back like a loop-the-loop
And around like a merry-go-round
……Freddie Cannon….Palisades Park…….. Six Flags Over Texas, the first park in the Six Flags chain, opened.  And whither comest the six flags cognomen? Six Flags Over Texas is used to describe the six nations (Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederacy, and the U.s)  that had sovereignty over portions of the territory of the U.S. state of Texas.  The “six flags” are also shown on the reverse of the Seal of Texas. Located on 212 acres in Arlington, Texas, the park was the first to feature log flume and mine train rides and later, the first 360-degree looping roller coaster, modern parachute drop a man-made river rapids ride, and the cute little boats shaped like nursery rhyme characters that go round and round the center at 2 mph. Here’s how the Six Flags corporate site describes it: “Throngs flocked to Six Flags Over Texas when the park opened in 1961. Six themed sections, modeled after the culture of the six countries whose flags flew over Texas during the state's colorful history, created a spectacular and magical setting for guests — and provided the park's name. The inventive theming afforded guests a chance to experience places and times that previously only existed in their imaginations, including cowboy culture, French and Spanish cultures, and even southern belles and pirates.”

            1966 – Monday - Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I want to shoot
The whole day down
..Boomtown Rats………Five years after the opening of Six Flags Texas, Charles Whitman climbed to the 28th floor observation deck  of the campus’ 307 ft.  tower and  started shooting.  fourteen people were killed and another thirty one were wounded before two Austin police officers killed him about 90 minutes later. two Austin police officers. During the previous evening he had killed his wife and mother, bringing the total to sixteen people dead and at least thirty-one wounded.

            1966- Monday- Walk like a man, talk like a man
Walk like a man my son
No woman's worth crawlin' on the earth
So walk like a man, my son…..
A Chicago judge ordered  the assets of Vee-Jay Records liquidated and the master recordings of the Four Seasons reverted to the group.  The August 13, 1966 edition of Billboard, a small item on an inner page read, "Curtain Down on Vee Jay as Liquidation is Ordered." In addition to the Four Seasons, Vee Jay (a Black owned company) had artists Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Dee Clark, Betty Everett and even the early Beatles on board.

            1971- Sunday- They say we're young and we don't know
We won't find out until we're grown
Well I don't know if all that's true
'Cause you got me, and baby I got you
….Great cultural moments of the theater continued with the comedy variety show The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour making its debut as a five week summer replacement series. It caught on and lasted four years. Show 1 featured Jimmy Durante and closed with, surprise, I Got You Babe.  Sonny left us a while ago after skiing into a tree but Cher marches on.  She is currently on her 27th "Farewell" tour.

        1973 – Wednesday-  We loved Candy Clark.  We loved the movie so much, that it was the first one that Professor and Mrs. Sy Yentz went back to see again the next night. George Lucas’  American Graffiti opened. The simple plot, high school graduates spending one final night on the local town “strip” with their friends was made enhanced with magical casting and a great soundtrack. Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Martin Smith, Paul LeMat, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Wolfman Jack, Bo Hopkins and even Harrison Ford, not to mention Debralee Scott, Kay Lenz and the 1932 Ford coupe.  Even thigh-master Suzanne Sommers has tried to profit from her cameo as “the girl in the thunder-bird”.

1975 – Friday- …one's a born liar and the other's convicted….Billy Martin replaced Bill Virdon (originally a Yankee but came to fame as a Pittsburgh Pirate) as manager of NY Yankees  launching a 14 year soap opera of  Billy’s fired, Billy’s hired, Billy gets drunk, Mix in a little Reggie Jackson, some Eddie Lee Whitson , Billy and George fight…………….This was the first of five total hirings and firings for Martin. Steinbrenner was rumored to have been considering hiring him again in 1989 when an intoxicated Martin was killed in a car accident on Christmas Day.

1981- Saturday- Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.
In my mind and in my car, we can't rewind we've gone to far
Oh-a-aho oh,
Oh-a-aho oh
……………..MTV (Music Television) made its debut at 12:01 a.m. The first music video shown on the rock-video cable channel was Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles. And, in answer to the inevitable question; the second video was Pat Benatar, You Better Run. Remember, this was 1981 and MTV actually played music back then.

 1996 –Thursday MTV launched another channel known as M2. – This one doesn’t play music either.

2000- Tuesday- An Israeli man became the first recipient of the Jarvik 2000, the first total artificial heart that maintains blood flow, generates a pulse, and opens a garage door. It is an even greater pulsating throbbing experience than a Jacqueline Suzann novel. We looked and looked in the Xeroxian world of the internet but were unable to unearth the name of the Israeli.  The Pretoria Times however, in a September 7, 2000 article noted that In an operation in Oxford, southern England, on June 20, a Jarvik 2000 was implanted in the chest of a 61-year-old patient who was only expected to survive a few more weeks. The Jarvik 2000 device is a battery-powered flow pump about the size of a thumb. The pump fits directly inside the heart's left ventricle and continuously pushes oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.  The $100 000 (about R692 000) invention does not replace the natural heart.

2004 – Sunday- A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave;………King Lear, 2.2…………A supermarket fire killed 396 people and injured 500 in Asunción, Paraguay.  The lunchtime blaze broke out at a three-story supermarket in a suburb of Asuncion, the capital. Flames swept through the Ycua Bolaños supermarket, food court and parking garage, causing a floor to collapse. The cause was believed to be a faulty barbecue chimney that leaked hot flammable gases into the ceiling, which ignited.  when the fire broke out, doors within the complex were deliberately closed under the direction of the owners, Juan Pío Paiva and his son, Víctor Daniel, trapping people inside, in order to prevent people from fleeing with merchandise without paying for it.  In 2008, a court ruled negligent homicide. Paiva, received a sentence of 12 years in prison. His son Víctor, present at the start of the fire, was sentenced to 10 years in jail and security guard Daniel Areco, who closed the doors, received 5 years in prison.

2007 – Wednesday- The initiating event in the collapse of the I-35W bridge was a lateral shifting instability of the upper end of the L9/U10W diagonal member and the subsequent failure of the U10 node gusset plates on the center portion of the deck truss ….National Transportation Safety Board, Official Accident Report. At 6:05 p.m, the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapsed  during the evening rush hour killing 13 people and injuring 145.  The bridge opened to traffic in 1967.  The original cost for the bridge was $440,740 to construct the piers and $4,828,262 to construct the bridge and it carried about 140,000 vehicles daily, including 5,700 commercial vehicles. The deck steel truss was made up of three parts: the  8 lane deck, superstructure and substructure.

2007 -Wednesday- The Chinese economy has shown signs of slowing down. Experts say that's what happens when your workforce starts to enter its teens….Conan O'Brien….. Following the success of pet food containing melamine, toothpaste tainted with antifreeze, imported seafood laced with chemicals, toxic overalls, dryers with electrocution hazards, attracting the weird to Walmart, and spontaneously shattering glassware,  the first drive-through ATM opened in China as Citibank plopped the machine at the  Upper East Side Central Plaza in Beijing. Patrons had to use chopsticks to work the machine which also dispensed rice along with yen. The first American ATM appeared on September 2, 1969 at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York.

Back to Calendar


      338 BC –Tuesday- My my my i yi woo
My my my my Chaeronea …
..almost The Knack….. The Macedonian army led by, macher, Philip II defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea. While he personally led the right side of his divided forces, he gave command of the left to his young son Alexander, soon to be known as “The Great”. While the defeat badly damaged Athens' forces, it effectively destroyed the Theban army.  This was Philip’s greatest victory and made him in effect the hersher (that’s Yiddish for leader) of the Peloponnese.

216 BC –Friday- We will either find a way, or make one ………Hannibal ………During the Second Punic War in the Battle of Cannae – The Carthaginian army lead by Hannibal defeated a numerically superior Roman army under command of consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro. It was Hannibal's greatest victory.  Having famously crossed the Alps with his elephants, Hannibal marched  into Italy and had a series of victories against the Roman forces. Major battles took place at Trebia and at Lake Trasimene, in both of which Hannibal emerged victorious. Elephant shmelephant, by the battle of Cannae all Hannibal's elephants had died. Hannibal lamented  “they dung me wrong”. At Cannae, near the mouth of the Aufidus River,  the  Roman army had essentially defeated itself. Newly elected Roman Consuls Paullus and Varro had solely relied on the superiority of their legionaries, having lined them up and told them to advance. No use had been made of the superior numbers, other than to simply add more ranks onto the back of the advancing columns and keep feeding them into the meat grinder. As the Carthaginian units maneuvered, nothing was done to counter their actions. One simply did what one had always done - advance. The battle was in a way, symbolic as afterwards, the Romans created more legions.  Hannibal was unable to get more troops (internal politics in Carthage), failed to follow up and attack Rome itself, and would eventually be defeated.

            1610 –Monday “Ah, the Pacific.  Hawaii must be about a day away.  Just wait men, soon  we’ll be surfing, listening to Don Ho sing Tiny Bubbles….and ooh, the babes in bikinis…..” Henry Hudson sailed into what it is now known as Hudson Bay, thinking he had made it through the Northwest Passage and reached the Pacific Ocean. In November 1610, Hudson’s ship, the Discovery became locked in ice in Hudson Bay. The crew wanted to get back to England, but Hudson would not let them leave until he got a souvenir lei.  It was a very cold winter, and the crew suffered greatly in the icy conditions. The crew was thinking of mutiny. In June 1611, they decided to put Hudson, his son, and the seven others into a small boat, and they were never heard from again.

            1754 -Friday A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools……Douglas Adams…………. Joyeux Anniversaire! Pierre Charles L’Enfant, architect, engineer, and Revolutionary War officer who designed the plan for city of Washington D.C.  The plan of the city is based on principles employed by Andre Le Notre in the palace and garden of Versailles, where L'Enfant's father had worked as a court painter, and on Domenico Fontana's1585  scheme for the reorganization of Rome under Pope Sixtus V. On his arrival in America in 1777, L'Enfant  had joined the Revolutionary army as a volunteer during the War of Independence, and attained the rank, in 1783, of major of engineers. In 1791 when Congress cleverly decided  to build a capital city in the swamps of  the Potomac. Note: Thomas Jefferson really didn’t like New York, something to do with back row tickets to see Wicked and an adverse gastro intestinal reaction to a knish. George Washington asked L'Enfant to prepare a design for the city.  Unfortunately, L’Enfant was fired the following year because of his insistence on complete control of the project. “L”Enfant, that’s terrible”.  L'Enfant also designed the old City Hall in New York  in 1787 and the town house of the financier Robert Morris in Philadelphia which had an open floor plan, upgraded appliances, granite countertops, crown molding, dual sinks in the bathroom, and walk-in closets.   

       1776 –Friday- The British ministry can read that name without spectacles; let them double their reward. An alternate story, also unfounded has John Hancock saying, There, I guess King George will be able to read that!.......sorry, not true, Hancock  was the first to sign and he did so in an entirely blank space so he took up a lot of space. Delegates to the 2nd Continental Congress had begun signing the United States Declaration of Independence. On July 2, by the votes of 12 of the 13 colonies, with New York  (still has the most dysfunctional legislature this side of Zimbabwe) not voting, Congress adopted the Lee Resolution and began consideration of the Declaration of Independence, written by the Committee of Five. On July 4, late in the afternoon, church bells rang out over Philadelphia heralding the final adoption of the Declaration of Independence. On this day they signed the clearly printed or "engrossed" version of the Declaration. The Declaration was written on parchment, which is basically treated animal skin (typically sheepskin). It was inked with iron gall ink, which is made by combining fermented oak marble galls with ferrous sulfate. The first, largest, and most famous signature is that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. The youngest signer was Edward Rutledge (age 26). Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest. Two future presidents signed: John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President).

1790 –Monday-I just want to know how people with multiple personalities fill out their census papers …..unknown……The first US Census was conducted.  The six inquiries in 1790 called for the name of the head of the family and the number of persons in each household of the following descriptions: Free White males of 16 years and upward (to assess the country's industrial and military potential). Free White males under 16 years. Free White females. All other free persons. Slaves Under the general direction of Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, marshals took the census in the original 13 States, plus the districts of Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont, and the Southwest Territory (Tennessee). Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson expressed skepticism over the final count, expecting a number that exceeded the 3.9 million inhabitants counted in the census. It took a total of eighteen months, but the tally was finally in on March 1792. Three other questions were as follows: Bridgekeeper: Hee hee heh. Stop. What... is your name?
King Arthur: It is 'Arthur', King of the Britons.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
King Arthur: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
King Arthur: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?
Bridgekeeper: Huh? I... I don't know that.
[he is thrown over]
Bridgekeeper: Auuuuuuuugh.
Sir Bedevere: How do know so much about swallows?
King Arthur: Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know.

 1797-Tuesday-  I'd rather be a hammer than a nail…..Paul Simon…… Samuel Briggs and his son, Samuel Briggs, Jr. became the first father-son pair to receive a joint patent. Their invention was a nail-making machine but it also made screws and gimlets (possibly vodka gimlets) according to History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884, Volume 3 by John Thomas Scharf, Thompson Westcott  They delivered the plans to the legislature and congress in a steel box in 1789.  Presumably it took eight years to get it open.

1788 –Saturday-  What do you do with a dead chemists?  Barium ……….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!, Leopold Gmelin, German chemist who had science in his genes as he was descended from a line of scientists, his grandfather and father were botanists, in 1817 Gmelin published the first edition of what was to become the major chemical textbook of the first half of the 19th century, the riveting and sensual Handbuch der Chemie (Handbook of Chemistry), in three volumes. By 1843 the book was in its fourth edition and had been expanded to nine volumes. It was in the fourth edition that Gmelin introduced the terms ester (a class of organic compounds corresponding to the inorganic salts and formed from an organic acid and an alcohol.) and ketone (organic compounds that result when body fat is broken down for energy) and adopted the atomic theory and devoted much more space to the growing discipline of organic chemistry. He also worked on the chemistry of digestion and discovered several of the constituents of bile which he published in his book, As Time Goes Bile.  He then introduced Gmelin's test for bile pigments but found it to be a bile experience

       1798 –Thursday- …….Yet there stood Nelson, the noble Hero of the Nile,
In the midst of death and destruction on deck all the while;
And around him on every side, the cannon balls did rattle,
But right well the noble hero knew the issue of the battle
. ….. William Topaz McGonagall, The Battle of the Nile …….. Napoleon was in denial as The Battle of the Nile  concluded in a British victory.  Napoleon, aka, Napoglione Paille au Nez (Napoleon Straw-in-the-Nose),  had invaded Egypt with the goal of threatening British possessions in India, getting to ride a camel, seeing some belly dancers, and assessing the feasibility of building a canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.  The Battle of the Nile was fought in Aboukir bay near Alexandria, Egypt, on the 1st and 2nd of August 1798. The British fleet was under the command of the greatRear Admiral Horatio Nelson and the French fleet under Admiral Paul D'Brueys.  Nelson had barely recovered from the loss of his right arm, sustained during the unsuccessful attack on Tenerife the previous year.. He was wounded again during this battle, a bullet or splinter gashed opened his forehead, blinding him with blood and at first feared he would die. He was later helped back on deck to guide the latter stages of the battle.

1820 –Wednesday  Saints will aid if men will call: / For the blue sky bends over all!....Samuel Taylor Coleridge…….L‡ breithe mhaith agat!, John Tyndall, Irish physicist who researched electromagnetic radiation in liquids and gases and was the founding father of this science of nephelometry , which is the basis of spectrometers and turbidimeters which measure turbidity (which, yes,  is a measure of the degree to which the water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates. The more total suspended solids in the water, the murkier it seems and the higher the turbidity like after you’ve sat in the bath tub for a half hour) He is, however,  best remembered for the Tyndall effect , which is the scattering of light by very small particles suspended in a medium. The discovery of this effect enabled Tyndall to explain "why the sky is blue"……Remember Roy G. Biv…and that is as light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air. However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

  1834 -Saturday America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco……… Joyeux Anniversaire!, Frederic Bartholdi,  born in Colmar, Alsace, France most famous as the  sculptor of the Statue of Liberty – aka, "Liberty Enlightening the World", -whose face is said to be that of Bartholdi’s mother. In addition to the Statue of Liberty, there are other works of Bartholdi in America—the Bartholdi Fountain in the Botanic Garden, Washington, D. C.; the four angelic trumpeters on the four corners of the tower of the First Baptist Church in  Boston, Massachusetts,  the Lafayette Statue, in Union Square, New York and the Lafayette and Washington Monument, at Morningside Park, also in New York City and a Sabrett Hot Dog Stand outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

          1835 -Sunday Oh, you need timin'
A tick, a tick, a tick, good timin'
A tock, a tock, a tock, a tock
A timin' is the thing
It's true,
……..Jimmy Jones………O, I am fortune's fool! ….Romeo and Juliet Act 3, scene 1, 132–136.  Happy Birthday, Elisha Gray a U.S. scientist and inventor who would have been known to us as the inventor of the telephone if Alexander Graham bell hadn't got to the patent office before him earlier that day, resulting in a famous legal battle, which he lost, over who would get the patent. Bell and Eisha Gray had been working independently on the invention.  The work pace was so close that they actually got to the patent office on the same day. Bell got there before Gray.  Gray sued. Bell won……that’s history. That’s also not the whole story. Both Bell and Gray had filed on February 14, but Bell filed a patent application, with the claim that stated “I have invented.“Gray, on the other hand, filed a caveat, a document used at the time to claim “I am working on inventing.“ Priority in American patent law follows date of invention, not date of filing. So that, and filing first helped Bell avoid a possible costly and time-consuming dispute. The U.S. Patent Office issued patent #174,465 to Bell on March 7, 1876.  Gray worked as a blacksmith, a boat-builder,and a carpenter before starting a small concern to make telegraphic equipment of his own invention. His little business eventually became the Western Electric Co., and Gray's some 70 patents included one for a multiplex telegraph.

        1858Monday- UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems….Barack Obama……….The first street letter boxes were set up in Boston. They had a central hole for shaft of a lamp post, lids covering drop hole to exclude weather, sight hole so a letter carrier (or picker upper) could see if any letters had been deposited. A small door secured with a lock for the carrier to empty the box. Previously all letters had to be mailed at the Post Office. This development facilitated the Post Office’s ability to lose mail from multiple locations.  

       1865 -  Wednesday- How long has this been goin' on ?
How long has this been goin' on ?....
Ace……Anticipating the 20th century Japanese soldiers who hid in caves for years and didn’t know the war was over, The captain and crew of the C.S.S. Shenandoah, still prowling the waters of the Pacific in search of Union whaling ships, were finally informed by a British vessel that the South had lost the war. Between June 22 and 28th the now-stateless warship (the Confederacy no longer existed) captured two-dozen whaling vessels, destroying all but a few. Though Shenandoah's late June assault on the whaling fleet was accompanied by many rumors of the Civil War's end, she did not receive a firm report until this day when she encountered an English sailing ship that had left San Francisco less than two weeks before. The captain, James Waddell, then disarmed his ship and set sail for England. Shenandoah rounded Cape Horn in mid-September and arrived at Liverpool in early November, becoming the only Confederate Navy ship to circumnavigate the globe. She was then turned over to the Royal Navy. In 1866 the ship was sold to the Sultan of Zanzibar and renamed El Majidi. Ignonimously, she was variously reported lost at sea in September 1872 or in 1879.

            1870 –Tuesday- I didn't get a toy train like the other kids. I got a toy subway instead. You couldn't see anything, but every now and then you'd hear this rumbling noise go by…….Steven Wright………..he oxymoronically named, Tower Subway, the world's first underground tube railway, that is an underground railway constructed in a tube rather than in a brick tunnel opened in London, hence the British moniker for it “the tube”. The site, Victorian London infomrs us that the Tower Subway was a  “curious feat of engineering skill, in the shape of an iron tube seven feet in diameter driven through the bed of the Thames between Great Tower-hill and Vine-street. The original intention was to have passengers drawn backwards and forwards in a small tram omnibus. This, however, was found unremunerative, and the rails having been taken up the tunnel has since been open as a footway.” ….   There wasn’t much room for standing though as it goes on to say that “Unfortunately, however, after subtracting from its diameter the amount necessary to afford a sufficient width of platform, there is not much head-room left, and it is not advisable for any but the very briefest of Her Majesty’s lieges to attempt the passage in high-heeled boots, or with a hat to which he attaches any particular value. It has, however, one admirable quality, that of having cost remarkably little in construction” according to Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

             1876 –Wednesday-  Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang,
….Cher………William H. Butler, "Wild Bill" Hickok was rendered  kaput.  Hickock one of the most famous gunfighters of the American West, was slewn in Deadwood, South Dakota. Wild Bill was playing poker. He had a hand consisting of  Aces and Eights when he was shot from behind by one Jack McCall (later hanged for the crime). Hickok was 39. The hand of black Aces and Eights has come to be known as "the dead man's hand". It was reported on the front page of the Traveler on August 30 –that an “ examination showed that a pistol had been fired close to the back of the head, the bullet entering the base of the brain, a little to the right of the center, passing through in a straight line, making its exit through the right cheek between the upper and lower jaw bones, loosening several of the molar teeth in its passage, and carrying a portion of the cerebellum through the wound. From the nature of the wound, death must have been instantaneous”.  Guy Madison would have been appalled and Jingles very distressed.

     1892-Tuesday-  An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience……Mitch Hedberg……….George A. Wheeler, of New York City, patented ideas for the first practical moving staircase. It was just  an idea…. it was never built. However, some of the features were incorporated in the prototype built by the Otis Elevator Company in 1899. Charles D. Seeberger would coin the brand name Escalator (from scala, Latin for steps, with elevator). Seeberger and Wheeler went back and for with dueling patents until 1899. Then, Seeberger with Otis installed the first step-type escalator made for public use at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, where it won first prize. Seeberger eventually sold his patent rights to Otis in 1910. Although the idea originally escalated with Wheeler, on August 9, 1859, the U.S.A. Patent Office granted Nathan Ames a patent for a revolving stairway in the form of an equilateral triangle.

1916 –Wednesday- People all said sit down
Sit down you're rockin' the boat.
And the devil will drag you under
By the sharp lapel of your checkered coat,
Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down,
Sit down you're rockin' the boa
t……..Frank Loesser……….Austrian sabotage involving excessive amounts of  schokogugelhupf, wiener schnitzel, and kaiserschmarrn caused the sinking of the Italian battleship Leonardo da Vinci in Taranto. Only two years old, Leonardo da Vinci was a Conte di Cavour class battleship. In typical Italian navy refurbishment, in  September 17, 1919, Leonardo da Vinci was refloated upside down,

1921 – Tuesday - "Who is he anyhow, an actor?"
      "A dentist?"
     "...No, he's a gambler."  Gatsby hesitated, then added cooly: "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919."
     "Fixed the World Series?" I repeated.
      The idea staggered me.  I remembered, of course, that the World Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as something that merely happened, the end of an inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people--with the singlemindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.
     "How did he happen to do that?" I asked after a minute.
     "He just saw the opportunity."
     "Why isn't he in jail?"
     "They can't get him, old sport.  He's a smart man."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.  Eight White Sox players were acquitted of throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.However, despite being acquitted of criminal charges, the players were banned from professional baseball for life by baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis (who was angry about being named for a landform). The eight men included the great "Shoeless" Joe Jackson; pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude "Lefty" Williams; infielders Buck Weaver, Arnold "Chick" Gandil, Fred McMullin, and Charles "Swede" Risberg; and outfielder Oscar "Happy" Felsch.

 1923 –Thursday-  I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends—they're the ones that keep me walking the floor nights! …….President Warren G. Harding, the 29th president of the United States went  kaput. The hapless Harding, arguably (Jimmy Carter?)  the worst American president, died of a stroke at the age 58 in a hotel in San Francisco. Harding had just toured Alaska and the West Coast, a journey some believed he had taken to be as far as possible from Washington and the increasing rumors of corruption in his administration. He had suffered from food poisoning a few days earlier, possibly from an excess consumption of “Rice a Roni, the San Francisco Treat”.  Rumors about the cause of death began to circulate almost immediately. Foremost among them was a poison theory, in which some speculated that Harding took his own life in despair over troubles within the administration; others suggested that Mrs. Harding poisoned her husband to end his unfaithfulness. Another theory pointed to unhappy cronies who feared that the president might make good on his promise to clean up his administration. Recent scholarship has effectively rebutted such speculation but some still think it was Harding on the Grassy Knoll. The opening of Harding’s physician’s records indicates that the president had long suffered from high blood pressure and that a heart attack was the cause of death which opened the way for Vice President Calvin Coolidge.

     1932 –Tuesday- Maybe now you'll never slime a guy with a positron collider, huh?........Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters…………..The positron (antiparticle of the electron) was discovered by Carl D. Anderson. Earlier in the century, Victor Hess  had discovered a natural source of high energy particles which he called cosmic rays. Anderson, was studying showers of cosmic particles in a cloud chamber and saw a track left by "something positively charged, and with the same mass as an electron". He initially speculated it was the brain of Joe Biden.  After nearly one year of effort and observation, he decided the tracks were actually either remnants of a Godfather’s Anchovy Pizza or antielectrons, each produced alongside an electron from the impact of cosmic rays in the cloud chamber. He called the antielectron a "positron", for its positive charge.

 1934 –Thursday-   And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol'n out of holy writ,
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil…
…..Richard……King Richard III (I, iii, 336-338) With the death of German President, the ancient and by now decrepit,  Paul von Hindenburg, the Weimar Government’s 2nd President, Chancellor Adolf Hitler who dropped the title of President and adopted the more modest, Fuhrer. Within hours, Hitler and the Nazis announced the following law, back dated to  August 1...    "The Reich Government has enacted the following law which is hereby promulgated.    Section 1. The office of Reich President will be combined with that of Reich Chancellor. The existing authority of the Reich President will consequently be transferred to the Führer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. He will select his deputy. Section 2. This law is effective as of the time of the death of Reich President von Hindenburg."

       1939 –Wednesday-  ……….. I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the groundthat the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated. …………German-born physicist Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging "watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action" on the part of the United States in atomic research. Einstein, a lifelong pacifist, feared that Nazi Germany had begun work on an atomic bomb.

            1943 –Monday-the ship be sinking ……Micheal Ray Richardson, New York Knicks……….The U.S. Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, sank after being attacked by a Japanese destroyer.  Japanese Amagiri. While in the Blacket Strait at 1:30 am on August 2, 1943. Amagiri rammed PT-109, cutting the ship in half and sinking it. The boat was under the command of Lt. John F. Kennedy.  Two crewmen were killed,  future President Kenney and the rest swam to deserted Plum Pudding Island, southwest of Kolombangara Island where they survived on coconuts before being rescured six days later

            1945-Thursday- I got very well acquainted with Joe Stalin, and I like old Joe! He is a decent fellow. But Joe is a prisoner of the Politburo………Harry S. Truman…….. Potsdam, the last wartime conference of the "Big Three" (although Roosevelt was kaput and Churchill lost the election)--the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain--concluded after two weeks of intense and sometimes acrimonious debate due to lovable charm and cooperation of mass murderer “Uncle Joe”. Held in  Berlin suburb of Potsdam after Germany's surrender in World War II. Harry Truman, the odious Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill –replaced in the middle due to a lost election  by Clement R. Attlee met to discuss European peace settlements, the administration of defeated Germany, the demarcation of the boundaries of Poland, the occupation of Austria, the definition of the Soviet Union's role in eastern Europe, the determination of reparations, and the further prosecution of the war against Japan.    

            1947 – Monday Steve Lane: You gotta clear out of here fast! There's a posse coming to take you in for the Northfield job.
Jesse James: The Northfield job? I didn't know about it until I got this paper. Won't they let a man be honest?
Steve Lane: Not if the man is Jesse James
…………… Ever alert for great movie themes, we find a Jesse James day; the Gnus notes the premiere of Jesse James Rides Again, starring Clayton Moore who would go on to fame as television’s The Lone Ranger.  In this one Jesse James is a good guy chasing bad guys who are trying to drive ranchers off their land.  Natually one of the ranchers is Linda Sterling, heroine of many post war serials.  Thirteen years later in…..see below………….

1960 – Tuesday  The premiere of Young Jesse James, starring Ray Strickland as “young” Jesse.  Another character, of course is Cole Younger, (played by Willard Parker)  who, we presume was younger than young Jesse. Merry Anders played Belle Starr. Merry Anders appeared on every TV show ever made.  Take a look at IMDb-

1955 –Tuesday- H. H. Hughson: You are a man of obvious good taste in everything. Why did you...
John Robie: Why did I take up stealing? To live better, to own things I couldn't afford, to acquire this good taste that you now enjoy and which I should be very reluctant to give up.
H. H. Hughson: Then you are frankly dishonest.
John Robie: I try to be.
…………To Catch a Thief, (surprisingly, considering the two prior items, it wasn’t Jesse James….atlhough Jessie Royce Landis played a character named, Jessie Stevens)  directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, premiered . The movie, featured Grant as a former cat burglar suspected of a rash of jewelry thefts and Kelly (in not much of a reach) as a spoiled heiress,

1962 -Thursday Aretha Franklin made her TV debut (at that time she was not the size of a float in the Thanksgiving day parade)  on ABC's American Bandstand, lip synching, Don't Cry Baby and Try a Little Tenderness or I’ll sit on you

1964 – Sunday-Veni, vidi, velcro –I came, I saw, I  stuck around!– the U.S Vietnam experience.  North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the destroyer USS Maddox (DD-731). The Gulf of Tonkin is a body of water that lies on the East Coast of North Vietnam and the West Coast of the island Hainan. The Maddox was conducting a "DeSoto patrol", referring to either an espionage mission or a defunct Chrysler Motors car. The purpose of this mission was to collect intelligence on radar and coastal defenses of North Vietnam. North Vietnamese torpedo patrol boats attacked the Maddox. The aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Ticonderoga sent aircraft to repel the North Vietnamese attackers and sunk one boat while damaging other enemy vessels.

1990 –Thursday- Quando omni flunkus moritati -When all else fails, play dead……. Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait, Iraq's tiny, oil-rich neighbor. They would have invaded several days late but the couldn’t find Kuwait and had to Google the directions.  The four soldiers of Kuwait's defense force were rapidly overwhelmed, and retreated to Saudi Arabia. The emir of Kuwait, his family, and other government leaders also fled to Saudi Arabia.  Within hours Kuwait City had been captured and the Iraqis had established a provincial government. By heroically conquering Kuwait, Iraq gained control of 20 percent of the world's oil reserves and, for the first time, a substantial coastline on the Persian Gulf so that Saddam Hussein could have a beachfront cabana.

1990 –Thursday- But I'll go you one better, if you've got the nerve,
Let's race all the way -- to Dead Man's Curve
(Dead Man's Curve) is no place to play
(Dead Man's Curve) you'd best keep away
(Dead Man's Curve) I can hear 'em say:
"Won't come back from Dead Man's Curve
…..Jan & Dean Possibly related to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Sven-Erik Soderman, driving an Opel Kadett at Mora, Sweden, set a world's record in stunt driving on this day. Sven-Eric reached a speed of 102.14mph while driving his car on two side wheels. Later, in 2001 he picked up 15 full food cans while driving his Volvo 740 on two wheels, at Mora Siljan Flygplats, Mora, Sweden.

2005 – Tuesday Elaine Dickinson: The mountains, Ted! The Mountains!
Ted Striker: What mountains? We're over Iowa!
Elaine Dickinson:
The cornfields, Ted! The cornfields! …….Recalling the scene from Airplane when the plane failed to stop and the loudspeaker system kept announcing Flight 209 at gate 12….gate 13….gate 14….gate 15……and people kept running from gate to gate to meet the plane……. , Air France Flight 358, landsed at Toronto Pearson International Airport, and runs off the runway causing the plane to burst into flames leaving 12 injuries and no fatalities.


8 –Sunday Splish Splash I was taking a Bathinus long about a Saturday night……..apologies to Bobby Darin…..Roman Empire general Tiberius, in his pre-emperoring days before he set the perversion scale for Caligula and Nero, defeated the  Dalmatae on the river Bathinus in Illyria (Illyricum) on the Adriatic Sea. The Dalmatians had split from Illyria because they made fun of the Dalmatians spotted dogs. The Dalmatae would give their name to the Roman province of Dalmatia.

    435 – Friday Hamlet: Get thee to a nunn'ry, why woulds't thou be a breeder of
sinners?.....Hamlet Act 3, scene 1, 114–121
……..Deposed Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, considered the originator of Nestorianism, was exiled by Roman Emperor Theodosius II to a monastery in Egypt.  Nestorius had used his position as bishop of Constantinople to preach against the title Theotokos, "Mother of God," that was given to the Virgin Mary. He claimed a more authentic title should be the Mother of Christ. This doctrine was challenged by Cyril of Alexandria and, later, Pope Celestine, who anathematized Nestorius and condemned him as a heretic at the Council of Ephesus in 431.

    1031 –Sunday  Olaf II (Haroldsson )of Norway was canonized as Saint Olaf by Grimketel, the English Bishop of Selsey, not a character in Lord of the Rings.  Olaf had forcefully converted to the Christian faith those areas that still lived by the old gods, Woden was not pleased, and begun a national program of church building, establishing and endowing one church in each county. Norway's traditional law came to be known as the law of St. Olaf.

1492- Wednesday Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World……..Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set sail from the Spanish port of Palos, in command of three ships--the Santa Marýa, the Pinta, and the Niýa--on a mission to find a western sea route to China, India, and the legendary gold and spice islands of Asia. 70 days or 1,680 hours or 100,800 minutes later, on October 12, the merry band of explorers sighted land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas, and went ashore the same day, claiming it for Spain. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, (a mistake any of us could make, but then he also thought a manatee was a mermaid) and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan and went ashore with chopsticks at the ready. So basically, he had no idea where he was. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and "Indian" captives in March 1493 and was received with  honors by the Spanish court of Ferdinand and Isabella. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century. Also see August 1 above.

    1527 –Wednesday Pleasing your honourable Grace to hear of your servant John Rut, with all his company here, in good health, thanks be to God, and your Grace's ship the Mary Gilford. [We] ran in our course to the northward ... and there we found many great islands of ice and deep water; we found no sounding, and then we durst not go further to the northward for fear of more ice……..The first known letter from North America was sent by John Rut while at St. John's, Newfoundland to King Henry VIII of England.  Actually, it was a text and read; yr majesty, itz realy realy cold. cn I cum hom now? King Henry had chosen Rut, a mariner from Sussex, to command an expedition to North America in search of what would eventually become known as the Northwest Passage, a northerly route to Asia through or around North America.

    1601 Friday During the Long War 1593-1606, between Austria and the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire, Austria captured Transylvania by using wooden stakes, crucifixes and copious amounts of garlic in the Battle of Guruslău.  Mihai Viteazu and general Basta defeated Prince Báthory Zsigmond, Dracula, Nosferatu, Salma Hayak ( in From Dusk Til Dawn…..she vowed to call them “Spot”), Lestat, Barnabus Collins, Lilith, Count Yorga, Vampira, Lily Munster, Angel, and Edward Cullen. Emerging victorious from the war, the  Habsburgs were confirmed in their possession of western Hungary, and Transylvania granted its independence.

    1645 – Thursday  Public opinion surveys carried out in the 1960s revealed that Germans placed the Thirty Years War as their country's greatest disaster ahead of both world wars, the Holocaust and the Black Death. ….. Peter H. Wilson….. The Thirty Years War: Europe’s Tragedy During year 27  of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648, in the Second Battle of Nördlingen  French forced defeated  those of the Holy Roman Empire led by Franz von Mercy. It was a pyrrhic victory for the French as although they captured the hills (which were alive with the sound of music) and overran the guns, they took too many casualties to take advantage of their victory. The Imperial Army was left without Mercy as von Mercy was rendered kaput during the battle.

     1769-Thursday Near the Pueblo de Los Angeles there are more than twenty springs of liquid petroleum, pitch, etc. Farther to the west of said town . . . there is a great lake of pitch, with many pools in which bubbles or blisters are constantly forming and exploding. They are shaped like conical bells and, when they burst at their apex, they make a little report. I examined the holes left by the bubbles, but when they explode they are followed by others in succession and gave one no opportunity to examine the cavity. Jose Longinos Martinez,  1792 ……..The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California were first noticed by a Spanish expedition.  Juan Crespi, a Franciscan friar with the expedition of Gaspar de Portola, the first Spanish governor of the “Californias”, he wrote, "a most unusual creature emerged from the pits”……….”it claims it is called a "Paris Hilton". We note that there are no dinosaur bones at the Tar Pits since the dinosaurs (with the exceptions of Senator Robert Byrd, Larry King, Regis Philbin, Barbara Walters and Joan Rivers) had been extinct for 65 million years. The University of California Museum of Paleontology notes that Tar pits form when crude oil seeps to the surface through fissures in the Earth's crust; the light fraction of the oil evaporates, leaving behind the heavy tar, or asphalt, in sticky pools. Tar from the La Brea tar pits was used for thousands of years by local native Americans, as a glue and as waterproof caulking for baskets and canoes. After the arrival of Westerners, the tar from these pits was mined and used for roofing by the inhabitants of the nearby town of Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles.The bones occasionally found in the tar were first thought to be those of unlucky cattle or wayward golfers. It was not until 1901 that the first scientific excavation of the pits were carried out. Scientists from the University of California at Berkeley, notably Professor John C. Merriam and his students, were among the first researchers to work on the La Brea fossils.

1808 – Wednesday I get eaten by the worms
And weird fishes
Picked over by the worms
And weird fishes
Weird fishes
Weird fishes
…..Radiohead……….Happy Birthday Hamilton Fish, American politician who served as U.S. Representative (1843–45), was elected lieutenant governor of New York in 1847 and governor, for a two-year term, in 1848. From 1851 to 1857, Fish was a U.S. Senator, and in 1869 became Ulysses S. Grant’s Secretary of State. He was also progenitor of a long line of Fishes in government.  Hamilton Fish II, Fish's son, served one term as U.S. Representative from 1909 to 1911. Fish junior also served as assistant to Secretary of State. Hamilton Fish III, Fish's grandson, served as U.S. Representative from 1920 to 1945 and Hamilton Fish IV, Fish's great-grandson, served as U.S. Representative from 1969 to 1995.  

       1811-Saturday Love In An Elevator
Livin' it up when I'm goin' down
Love In An Elevator
Lovin' it up till I hit the ground
……Aerosmith…………Happy Birthday, Elisha Graves Otis, American inventor. Otis did not invent the elevator, he invented the automatic safety brake for elevators, which later made high-rise buildings practical. Prior to this many elevators ended their descent on impact.  Ever the risk taker, Otis demonstrated his  "Improvement in Hoisting Apparatus Elevator Brake" to the public in 1854, at the Crystal Palace Exposition in New York. During the demonstration, Elisha Otis hoisted the elevator car to the top of the building, then deliberately cut the elevator hoisting cables, however, instead of crashing, the elevator car was stopped  (at the third floor “Bathing suits, Bras, Panties and/or thongs, Lingerie and Costume jewelry -- earrings, necklace, bracelets) because of the brakes that Otis had invented. The first elevator designed for a passenger however,  was built in 1743 for King Louis XV at his palace in France. The one-person contraption went up only one floor, from the first to the second. Known as the "Flying Chair," it was on the outside of the building, and was entered by the king via his balcony. The mechanism consisted of a carefully balanced arrangement of weights and pulleys hanging inside a chimney. Men stationed inside the chimney then raised or lowered the Flying Chair at the king's command. 

    1852 –Tuesday Fair Harvard! thy sons to thy jubilee throng.
And with blessings surrender thee o’er
By these festival rights, from the age that is past
To the age that is waiting before.
O relic and type of our ancestor’s worth
That has long kept their memory warm,
First flower of the wilderness! star of their night!
Calm rising through change and through storm!
…..S. Gilman, 1811………..Harvard’s Oneida, beat Yale’
Shawmut by about four lengths in the first Boat Race between the two schools.  The race, staged on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, was also the first American intercollegiate athletic event

    1860 – Friday  Only the foolish visit the land of the cannibals….Maori proverb……… It was the Maori the merrier as the  Second Maori War,1860-1872 began in New Zealand. The mostly a guerilla war over Maori land being sold to settlers,  between the native New Zealanders and the Colonists on the North Island, ended with the natives were granted half the island ( note: see Sioux, Black Hills, North Dakota for how well this worked out).

1860 – Friday They're gonna put me in the movies they're gonna make a big star out of me……Ringo Starr……….. Joyeux Anniversaire!, Co` latha breith sona dhuibh! William Kennedy Dickson, French-born Scottish inventor. Anthony Slide in the Encyclopedia of English Film (noted on the ScreenonLine website) informs us that Dickson (we’ve also seenhis birthday as August 4), was generally considered to have been crucial to Thomas Edison's 'invention' of the motion picture. He trained as an electrical engineer, came to the US in 1879, joined Edison's laboratory staff in 1883, and was lead engineer in the inventor's work on the concept of motion pictures later filming a number of subjects in the famed Black Maria studio.

1861 - Saturday  Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations ….The last installment of Great Expectations the autobiographical novel by Charles Dickens was published.. Originally about spittoons and titled Great Expectorations, Dickens opted for the more commercial title. The serialized novel was published from December 1, 1860 until August 3, 1861. Two chapters were published every week, telling the story of a young man named Pip who aspired to be a gentleman and win over the beautiful Estella. Dickens wrote fifteen novels in all, none of which have ever gone out of print.

      1880 – Tuesday – There once was a young man from Peru.  Who fell asleep in a canoe………..The American Canoe Association paddled into existence at Lake George, New York. The website notes that ACA was established on the shores of Lake George, NY on August 3, 1880.  Nathaniel H. Bishop, a prominent 19th century canoe explorer, was known as the 'father of the ACA'. ( See Science Gnus Who’s Your Daddy  for list of “fathers of…) Bishop, along with the first Commodore, William L. Alden, declared in the 1880-81 ACA Yearbook the object of the ACA "shall be the promotion of canoeing."

1894 –Friday Mr. Navin gives me contracts on a two-year basis. I always bear down real hard when a new contract is coming up…….Happy Birthday,  Harry Heilmann, possibly the greatest unknown baseball superstar. The four time batting champion for the Detroit Tigers (his contemporaries included Ty Cobb- also his manager for a while, George Sisler, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Tris Speaker)  included averages of .403, .398, and 393 during his 17 year stay with the Tigers until arthritis in his wrists ended his career. .  His lifetime batting average was .342. He was the Tigers' radio announcer from 1933 until June of 1951

1900 – Friday If I had been asked the last day of the trial what had been accomplished, I would have been a most embarrassed lad.  Another question that would have been hard to answer was why I had been the defendant……..  For two good reasons I could not have answered either question. Happy Birthday, John T. Scopes, high school teacher, actually working as a substitute biology teacher when accused of teaching evolution in early April of 1924 and subject of famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial  which, of course was a set up test case to challenge the Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of "any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." Scopes was convicted, partly because of the defense, which refused to plead any of the technical defenses available, fearing an acquittal on a technical rather than a constitutional basis. The judge imposed a fine of $100 and John Scopes spoke for the first time. Your honor," he said, I feel that I have been convicted of violating an unjust statute. I will continue in the future, as I have in the past, to oppose this law in any way I can. When it was all over, he gave up teaching and left the state. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Chicago, received a master's degree in geology and took a job as a petroleum engineer in Venezuela -- where no one had ever heard of him.Scopes….and thus removing him from the scrutiny of the micro scopes……… was overturned by the state supreme court on a technicality. Although the kerfuffle over the case tended to discourage enactment of similar legislation in other states, the law was not repealed until 1967.

   1900 – Friday -………..the name that’s known is Firestone, where the rubber meets the road………The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded in Akron, Ohio by Harvey, yes, Firestone. The Ohio History Central site notes that things went fast for Harvey and success came fast too.  At first, Firestone relied on other companies to manufacture the rubber. Harvey’s company simply fastened the rubber to steel carriage wheels. In its first year of operation, the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company grossed more than $100,000 in profit. In 1903, the company began to manufacture rubber, and in 1904, the firm proceeded to develop pneumatic tires for automobiles. In 1905, Henry Ford placed his first order for tires from Firestone and Akron would become the tire capitol of the world.

 1903 –Monday  A bi gezunt (as long as you’re healthy…..) Alas poor Kruševo Republic, we hardly knew ye. Macedonian rebels in Kruševo proclaimed the Kruševo Republic, which unfortunately existed only for  ten days, the President was President Nikola Karev,  before the Muslim Ottoman Turks destroyed it. The ill fated attempt is also known as the the Ilinden uprising because it started on Ilinden - St. Ilija's Day.  Kruševo is a small town located in South-Western Macedonia,

     1908-Monday I bet when neanderthal kids would make a snowman, someone would always end up saying, 'Don't forget the thick, heavy brows.' Then they would get all embarrassed because they remembered they had the big husky brows too, and they'd get mad and eat the snowman. ……Jack Handy………A nearly complete, buried, skeleton of a Neanderthal man was discovered in a cave at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, France, by two young brothers Amédée and Jean Bouyssonie.  It was later identified as Larry King.  As an intentional burial, this was the first ever recognized internment of a Neanderthal body.  Buried in the limestone bedrock the skeleton includes the skull, jaw, most of the vertebrae, several ribs, most of the long bones of his arms and legs, plus some of the smaller bones of his hands and feet and a tattoo of Angelina Jolie’s tattoo. The well-preserved skull showed the low, receding forehead, protruding mid face, and heavy brow ridges typical of Homo neanderthalensis. Scientists estimate he was quite old by the time he died, as bone had re-grown along the gums where he had lost several teeth, decades before. Neanderthals were the brother species of Homo sapiens, our own species, and inhabited Europe in the Middle Palaeolithic period which began some 300,000 years ago.

1908- Monday “Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket or a holding pattern over Philadelphia…..Judith Viorst……And on the same day, and still underground  (see cave item above)-  the Philadelphia Subway opened. It was also known as Tube Transportation. The original 1908 section was built with private funds by the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company and  ran east and west under Market Street from 15th Street to 2nd Street; Municipal funds were not used until a another line, modeled on hoagies, opened in 1928. The Market Street line was opened as an “el” on March 4, 1907 and extended from 15th street to 69th street before going underdground. Now it’s called SEPTA and riders often suffer SEPTAic shock.

1915 –Tuesday Your highness, when I said that you are like a stream of bat's piss, I only mean that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around it is dark ….Monty Python………Happy Birthday, Donald R. Griffin American biophysicist, known for his research in animal navigation, animal behavior, and sensory biophysics. He  studied bat echolocation with Robert Galambos and coined the  term he coined the term echolocation in 1944.  Echolocation is sensory system in certain animals, such as bats and dolphins, in which usually high-pitched sounds (reminiscent of Jennifer Lopez music)  are emitted and their echoes interpreted to determine the direction and distance of objects.

1920 –Tuesday  What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order. …………………Happy Birthday, Phyllis. Dorothy, (P.D). James, English mystery writer born in Oxford, England.  Her detective-poet, Adam Dalgleish, made his first appearance in her first novel, Cover Her Face – 1962 and his last in The Private Patient in 2008 with twelve other excellent mysteries in between (we recommend A Taste for Death).  Still going strong, James most recent mystery, A Death in Pemberly out Jane Austins, Jane Austin as the gang from Pride and Prejudice deal with  someone being rendered kaput.

      1933 – Thursday That was real baseball. We weren't playing for money. They gave us Mickey Mouse watches that ran backwards……Bill Lee, pitcher, Boston Red Sox……. The infamous Mickey Mouse Watch was introduced. It sold for $2.75. A Mickey Mouse Clock sold for $1.50 but then it was harder to keep it on your wrist.  The unveiling came at 1933 Chicago Exposition 'Century of Progress'.  The site Mickey Mouse Watches U.K is right on time with the information that The watch's pin lever movement was surplus left over from World War I. With no Mickey, the Ingersoll Company during the '20s and '30s Depression failed to tick with a disinterested public. The opportunity to regenerate a failing industry and endorse a popular new entertainment genre at low cost was seized by Herman Kamen, a successful merchandising promoter recruited by Walt Disney to find novel ways to market the Disney brand using the…..tada….. iconic Mickey Mouse.

1936 –Monday A lifetime of training for just ten seconds……Jesse Owens…..Much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler and his master race, Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash in 10.3 seconds, one of four he would win, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics. Tinus Osendarp of the Netherlands was 3rd. He would also win the 200 meter dash, (he beat Mack Robinson, older brother of Jackie Robinson - Tinus Osendarp of the Netherlands was 3rd)  the long jump and be a member of the 4 x 100 meter relay team.  Owens and Metcalfe replaced Marty Glickman (who went on to become an iconic sportscaster) and SamStoller who were Jewish.

1945 – Friday The premiere of  The Purple Monster Strikes ….O.K. so it was a serial. How could we pass it up with that title? There wasn’t really a purple monster, just some humanoid from space who wanted to take over the Earth’s first rocket project as a prelude to an invasion by the cast of The Jersey Shore. The movie starred Linda Sterling who also starred in most of the 1940s serials.

 1946 – Saturday Wow! You're brighter than Las Vegas at Christmastime! …..Daffy Duck……….Santa Claus Land, the world's first themed amusement park, opened in, yes,  Santa Claus, Indiana.  The HolidayWorld website informs us that industrialist Louis J. Koch created the world’s first theme park as a retirement project. He was troubled that the tiny hamlet of Santa Claus, Ind., was visited by children who were disappointed when they discovered Santa was not there.  The amusement park would include the theme park include, surprise, a toy shop, toy displays, a restaurant, themed children’s rides, and, yes, Santa.  The theme park is now named Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari…go figure. We’ve read several versions of how the town got its name and each is more syrupy than the preceding one. We’ll stick with Wikipedia’s - The community of Santa Claus was laid out in 1846. For 10 years it had no name and some versions have it being called Noname.  January 1856 the town applied for a post office to be installed. They submitted their application under the name of Santa Fe. The application was returned to them with the message, "Choose some name other than Santa Fe." The process of settling upon the name of Santa Claus has been lost to legend. There are many different versions of the story and there were other choices as well that the town did not settle upon. What is known is that on May 21, 1856, the name of Santa Claus was accepted by the Post Office Department and on June 25, 1895, the Post Office name was changed to the one word "Santaclaus," but the name was changed back to Santa Claus on February 17, 1928.

    1948 – Tuesday Hiss: Would you tell me how you reconcile your negative answers with this affirmative answer?  Chambers:  Very easily, Alger. I was a Communist and you were a Communist…. Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss, a State Department official during the formation of the United Nations, of being a communist and a spy for the Soviet Union.  This set off a major kerfuffle.  As we now know, the State Department and U.S government was riddled with Communists but the heavy handed tactics of the House Un American Activities Committee, and Senator Joseph McCarthy turned traitors into victims. In 1996, shortly after Hiss's death, a collection of Venona decrypts was declassified. One of the messages, dated March 30, 1945, refers to an American with the code name Ales. According to the message, Ales was a Soviet agent working in the State Department, who accompanied President Roosevelt to the 1945 Yalta Conference and then flew to Moscow, both of which Hiss did. The message goes on to indicate that Ales met with Andrei Vyshinsky, the Commissar for Foreign Affairs, and was commended for his aid to the Soviets. Analysts at the National Security Agency have gone on record asserting that Ales could only have been Alger Hiss.  Hiss was never charged with espionage.  On January 21, 1950,  he was was convicted of two counts of perjury

    1949 – Wednesday  In basketball, the first person to touch the ball shoots it. Either that or the coach carefully diagrams a set play and then the first player to touch it shoots it……. Gene Klein…… Pre tattoos, domestic violence, weapons and drug arrests, chest pounding, angry faces made after good plays,  coach killing selfishness and entitlement, flagrant taunting of opponents and shameless self -promotion,  the National Basketball Association was  founded.  The origins were the 1946 Basketball Association of America (BAA) which was comprised of 11 teams in two divisions: Boston Celtics, Chicago Stags, Cleveland Rebels, Detroit Falcons, New York Knickerbockers, Philadelphia Warriors, Pittsburgh Ironmen, Providence Steamrollers, St Louis Bombers, Toronto Huskies and Washington Capitols. In 1947 the Baltimore Bullets joined but four teams, the Cleveland Rebels, Detroit Falcons, Pittsburgh Ironmen and Toronto Huskies went kaput. The following year,  four teams from the National Basketball League (NBL) were added to the BAA: Ft Wayne Pistons, Indianapolis Jets, Minneapolis Lakers and Rochester Royals. Are you with us so far?  Good.  Because on this day,          The six remaining NBL franchises—Anderson (IN) Packers, Denver Nuggets, Indianapolis Olympians, Sheboygan (WI) Redskins, Syracuse Nationals, Tri-Cities Blackhawks and Waterloo (IA) Hawks—joined along with the new Indianapolis Olympians; the BAA becomes the National Basketball Association; Providence Steamrollers and Indianapolis Jets drop out. In case you lost count, that’s 17-teams in 3 divisions).

1951 – Friday  Helloooooo Mr. Wilson! ……….Happy Birthday, Jay North, incredibly annoying child actor who starred in television’s Dennis the Menace.

1958 –Sunday  We were in a hurry, Commander  W.R Anderson explained. Why were you in a hurry? he was asked. Navigating under these conditions up close to the pole, making the voyage with the minimum number of turns, speed changes, depth changes, angle changes, facilitates the accuracy of navigation by a very marked degree,………… Leaving from Point Barrow, Alaska, the USS Nautilus (named after the submarine piloted by Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)  became the first submarine to travel under the geographic North Pole 1830 miles under the Arctic icecap.  Continuing on, Nautilus on its top secret journey, completed its transit of the Artic by surfacing in the Atlantic, between Spitzbergen and Greenland, 96 hours later.   

1960 –Wednesday  Arise! Niger! Arise!
May our fruitful labors
Rejuvenate the heart of this old continent!
And may the song be heard
In the four corners of the Earth
As the cry of a fair and valiant people
!.....national anthem……… The land locked, Sahara dominated, nation of Niger, four-fifths the size of Alaska. It is surrounded by Mali, Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, and Burkina Faso. The Niger River in the southwest flows through the country's only fertile area. Elsewhere the land is semiarid gained independence from France following the dissolution of French West Africa.  Once part of the once powerful Islamic Sokoto Empire it was annexed by France at the end of the nineteenth century.  There have been nine heads of state since independence which is not bad for Africa. 

1971 Tuesday -Watch the jingle jangle start to shine,
Reflections of the music that is mine.
When you toss a coin, you'll hear it sing.
Now listen while I play my green tambourine
…..Lemon Pipers Paul McCartney announced the formation of Wings, his first band since the breakup of the Beatles. Demonstrating once again that Paul has little or no hard rock edge, the band featured ex-Moody Blues singer Denny Laine and, surprise! Paul's wife Linda on tambourine.  They actually released seven albums.  We’ll give you Band on the Run and you can name the other six. 

1979 – Friday – John Milner: Hey, look, I want you to keep this, take that with you
[Hands Toad a twisted bolt]
John Milner: That's from when my flywheel broke remember?
Terry 'The Toad' Fields: That's great, man, that's really great. Hey, you know what I'm going to do for you? I'm going to capture you a VC flag.
John Milner: Naw, don't so that man, just come back alive….. Proving once again that the creative geniuses in Hollywood just can’t leave well enough alone, a sequel to the great American Graffiti was released.  Cleverly titled, More American Graffiti, premiered.     With George Lucas on to greener pastures, this comedy/drama – a sure sign of an awful movie,  really, “comedy dramas” are usually neither - had American Graffitish folks off to college and, yes Vietnam. Ronny Howard was still around, avec moustache, Candy Clark, Cindy Williams, Paul LeMat, Charles Martin Smith, Mackenzie Phillips, and Bo Hopkins also collected paychecks.  The soundtrack tried but really…Moon River  by Andy Williams, Mr. Lonely,  Bobby Vinton, or Incense and Peppermints by The Strawberry Alarm Clock?  Yeesh!  The Editorial Board of the Gnus decided to list the worst sequels………….ever, but that compilation would require an entire book.  So, our personal Cinema of Infamy: Jaws: The Revenge

Batman & Robin
Caddyshack II
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Jaws, The Revenge
Speed 2: Cruise Control
Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction

Any Police Academy Sequel
Any Porky’s sequel

Caddyshack II
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Superman Returns
Grease II
Assorted Rockys
The remake of Psycho with Vince Vaughn wasn’t a sequel, just desecration

Psycho II
Star Wars II, Attack of the Clones

1982 – Tuesday Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Pick up on one and leave the other one behind
It's not often easy, and not often kind
Did you ever have to make up your mind
?.... Lovin’ Spoonful……..Reminiscent of Rome’s “year of the four emperors”, wackadoodle Yankee owner and resident bully, George Steinbrenner when through three poor souls.  On this day, Clyde King replaced Gene Michaels as NY Yankee manager. Michael had replaced Bob Lemon on April 26.       

1996 – Saturday Dale a tu cuerpo alegria Macarena
Que tu cuerpo es pa' darle alegria why cosa buena
Dale a tu cuerpo alegria, Macarena
Hey, Macarena….. Los Del Rio……A sacred day in the history of wedding receptions as the Macarena by Los Del Rio, hit #1 on "Billboard". It stayed and stayed at the top -- for 14 smash weeks. It will never leave us.  It will be played and played forever................isn't that a violation of the Geneva Convention ? Or is We’ve Only Just Begun ?  The Macarena replaced Toni Braxton’s You're Makin' Me High and would in turn be knocked out of # 1 by, yes, The Backstreet Boys - No Diggity which was probably not connected to Perry Como’s Hot Diggity, Dog Diggity………….

 2003 Sunday Don't tase me, bro…..University of Florida student, Andrew Meyer…..  Police in London, England, used the Taser electric stun gun on a suspect for the first time in that country. It was part of a year-long trial as an alternative to conventional guns. A man had called police, saying he had been shot. When the police arrived, they found he was carrying two handguns. The Taser was fired during a brief scuffle that followed, though one of its pair of barbed darts attached to cables failed to make contact on the man and the 50,000-volt electric shock was not delivered.  However, his garage door did open.

   2004 –Tuesday The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, "Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses." She's got a baseball bat and yelling, "You want a piece of me?.......Robin Williams………….The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopened after being closed since the September 11 Muslim attacks on America. Officials were concerned that, among other things, the genomish double-helix staircase extending to the Statue of Liberty's neck was too difficult to evacuate and didnt meet fire codes. Fortunately, the Gift Shop presented none of these dangers and had remained open during the stair climbing hiatus.

2004 -Tuesday Well son, that's Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. What it's doing down here on the wharf I haven't the foggiest, we should probably go ask a scientist…..The Family Guy……….NASA  (which gives the date as August 2) launched the spacecraft Messenger (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging). The craft was designed to designed to study the characteristics and environment of Mercury from orbit as well as find the crater of origin of life forms who migrated to Earth and morphed into celebutards. Messenger, which finally arrived on March 17, 2011, after completing 15 orbits of the sun and traveling about 4.9 billion miles (7.9 billion km) and making one flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and three of Mercury, (sounds like they used Google Directions)  primarily to slow the probe down in preparation for the final orbital insertion maneuver.

    2005 – Wednesday The president of Iran gave a speech in New York City today, and thousands of New Yorkers are really upset about it. The New Yorkers said, ‘If we want to hear a short-tempered Iranian man yell at us, we’ll take a cab.’…..Conan O’Brien….. Speaking of visitors from other worlds, Neptunian immigrant, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became the sixth President of Iran.  Ahmadinejad's role with the radical student organization that seized the U.S. embassy and held its 53 occupants hostage from November 4, 1979 until  January 20, 1981; some former hostages claimed he was one of their captors, a claim denied by Ahmadinejad …but then he also denied there was a Holocaust.

2010 – Tuesday    Goodbye Rupee Tuesday………apologies to the Rolling Stones……  Widespread rioting erupted in Karachi, Pakistan, now that’s a shock, after the assassination of politician Reza Haider, (aka the Karachi Kid)  now that’s a shock too, leaving at least 85 dead and at least 17 billion Pakistani rupees in damage.

Back to Calendar


    70Monday A bi gezunt: (So long as you're healthy) The destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans.  The first Temple (Beit ha-Mikdash) was the crowning achievement of King Solomon's reign. It’s  most important room was known as the Holy of Holies and  housed the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, the tablets disappeared when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple. Construction of the Second Temple was authorized by Cyrus the Great of Persia and began in 538 BC, after the fall of the Babylonian Empire the year before. It was completed 23 years later.  By 70 B.C the Romans ruled Jerusalem.  In 66, a revolt broke out, formented by the Zealots, who entered Jerusalem in 66 BC and held the city until the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, in 70 BC, when Jerusalem fell to the Roman legions under the command of Titus, son of the emperor, Vespasian. On this day, after breeching several outer walls,  soldiers threw torches at the Temple and started a conflagration.  All that was left of the Second Temple was one outer wall, from the western side of the Temple’s courtyard. This wall still stands in Jerusalem today and is known as the Western Wall.

    367 Friday Slip sliding away…..Paul Simon………..Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was greased when Gratian, son of Roman Emperor Valentinian I, was named co-Augustus  (emperor)  by his father and associated to the throne at the grand old age of  eight.

 1265Tuesday I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman…..Homer Simpson……..Battle of Evesham  during the Second Barons' War  as the army of Prince Edward (the future king Edward I (Longshanks) of England) defeated the forces of rebellious barons led by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. The first Baron’s war was fought against King John went he reneged on his signing of the Magna Carta. In response to the ineffectual kingship of Henry III, and a 2nd Baron’s War, Simon de Montfort had organized a new parliament. As well as barons and leaders of the church, two representatives from each town were invited to attend parliament. This, of course did not sit well with the addled Henry’s son Edward and led to the Battle of Evesham. Henry was restored to the throne, although by this time, he probably didn’t even know what a throne was.  After Simon de Montfort had been killed, his body was mutilated. His head was cut off and displayed round the country as a warning of what happened to people who rebelled against their king.

    1327Monday  Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye,
Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye,
The Black Douglas shall not get ye…..
English nursery rhyme…...James Douglas led  a raid into Weardale during the Battle of Stanhope Park, (in Country Durham, England)and almost killed Edward III of England during First War of Scottish Independence.  The Black Douglas (to the Englsih) or Good Sir James Douglas (to the Scots)  was a staunch ally of Robert the Bruce (brother of Lenny the Bruce).

   1521 Thursday  Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast……Woody Allen………Tulgan kunum menen! Pope Urban VII.  Alas poor Urban we hardly knew ye as the former Giovanni Battista Castagna,  became successor of Pope Sixtus V, in 1590 went kaput but twelve days later, on the 27th of September 1590. In those twelve magical days however, he insitituted the first  known public smoking ban, as he threatened to excommunicate anyone who "took tobacco in the porchway of or inside a church, whether it be by chewing it, smoking it with a pipe or sniffing it in powdered form through the nose"

    1578 Friday  At the Battle of Al Kasr al Kebir – the Moroccans defeated the Portuguese. King Sebastian of Portugal was rendered kaput killed in the battle, leaving his elderly uncle, Cardinal Henry, as his heir. This initiates a succession crisis in Portugal resulting in two  years later, Portugal becoming  a colony of Spain. After 800 years or so of Muslim attacks on Europe, what were the Portuguese doing in Morocco?  In addition to attempting to  stop the turmoil of the advancing Muslim military presence, because the Ottomans would be a threat to the security of the Portuguese coasts and to the commerce with Guinea, the Atlantic Islands and Brazil, they were asked to go there by  Abu Abdallah Mohammed II Saadi to help in recover his throne from his uncle. Well that certainly worked out well. 

1693 – Tuesday I get no kick from Champagne
Mere alchohol doesn't thrill me at all
so tell me why should it be true
that I get a kick
out of you………
..Cole Porter………..Champagne was invented by Dom Perignon. Well, not so fast there pilgrim....the English rather than the French were the ones who invented Champagne in the 17th century. And  the word "invented"  means making sparkling wine deliberately, and through a reproducible process. The first French documents that refer to Champagne date from 1718. These papers report that the first time this happened was around 20 years earlier (bringing the date to circa 1698). In England however, Sir George Etheredge made mention of sparkling wine as early as 1676 according to the Who Invented Champagne website. Dom Perignon was a was a Benedictine monk frequently credited (erroneously) with the invention of champagne. The Méthode champenoise was developed by him. The cuvée of champagne Dom Pérignon is named after him and the smaller the bubbles, the better the champagne.  Right Dom?

    1704 Monday Has God forgotten all I have done for Him ….Louis XIV……, During the War of the Spanish Succession, Gibraltar was captured by an English and Dutch fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir George Rooke.  In 1713, under  the Treaty of Utrecht Gibraltar was formally ceded to Britain by Spain. And why was everyone fighting over the Spanish Succession?  When the  Spanish Habsburg King Charles II went kaput on   November 1,  1700, his last will designated French King Louis XIV's second grandson Philip Duc d'Anjou as his successor. Austrian emperor Leopold I said ‘hold on a minute there hoss”.  Leopold thought that Archduke Charles, his second son should have the honors and before you could say “Grand Alliance”, England, the Netherlands and Austria were succession warring with France and Spain. 

1719 Friday It’s sedimentary my dear fellow……..apologies to Sherlock Holmes……….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Johann Gottlob Lehmann, German mineralogist and geologist who who contributed to the development of stratigraphy, which for all of you rock hounds out there is the  the scientific study of order and sequence in bedded sedimentary rocks. Sedimentary rocks are formed through the deposition and solidification of sediment, especially sediment transported by water (rivers, lakes, and oceans), ice ( glaciers), and wind. Sedimentary rocks are often deposited in layers, and frequently contain fossils such as Joan Rivers or Fidel Castro. Limestone and shale are common sedimentary rocks

1755 Monday A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead …..Stan Laurel……….Joyeux Anniversaire! Nicolas-Jacques Conté, French painter and inventor born at Aunou-sur-Orne who was the first to use graphite - and that is still used as the basis for making pencil leads today. Conté, devised a method of manufacturing pencil leads by mixing a finely powdered graphite (soft, steel-gray to black, hexagonally crystallized allotrope of carbon with a metallic luster and a greasy feel) with finely ground clay particles, baked, and used encased in wood. Once again necessity was the mother of invention as war with England deprived France of plumbago (an evergreen shrub with whip-like semiwoody stems native to South Africa that was used for manufacturing writing instruments) and he substituted for it an artificial substance obtained from a mixture of graphite and clay, and took out a patent in 1795

 1790 Wednesday  A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws…..Alexander Hamilton……….The first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton set up the US Revenue Marine and US Revenue Cutter Service (the forerunner of the United States Coast Guard) to address a newly passed tariff to protect against smuggling, to collect customs duties and taxes, and to make sure that US Goods were getting through to market over the high seas.  Hamilton proposed the construction of 10 manned and armed cutters to collect and safeguard the revenue. He  insisted that the officers of the new service were to be appointed, commissioned , and provided with military naval ranking. On this day,  Congress authorized the purchase of the cutters along with the formation of a "Revenue Marine". Ironically, Navy fans, between 1790 and 1798 the Revenue Marine's Revenue Cutter Service would be the only armed maritime service deployed by the United States.

  1792 Saturday ….. `My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away
.Happy Birthday, Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the epic poets of the 19th century best known for his classic anthology verse works such as Ode to the West Wind and The Masque of Anarchy as well as his soap opera life style. Marriage  via elopement eloped with Harriet Westbrook, the 16-year-old daughter of a coffee-house keeper didn’t prevent him from setting up housekeeping with Mary Godwin with whom he eloped to Switzerland in 1814. They didn’t marry however until 1816 when first wife Harriet kaputed herself via drowning.  Probably his most famous short poem, Ozymandias was published in 1818. His  second-hand narration attempted  to resurrect the once powerful king's might while the exotic setting of Egypt and desert sands helped  illuminate the struggle between artist and subject. He also He co-authored Frankenstein with his wife, the now, Mary Godwin Shelley. Ironically, see first wife,  Shelley drowned in a sudden storm while sailing in 1822.

   1796 Thursday You know, we French stormed Ratisbon:
A mile or so away
On a little mound, Napoleon
Stood on our storming-day;
With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,
Legs wide, arms locked behind,
As if to balance the prone brow
Oppressive with its mind
…….Robert Browning……….Napoleon led the French Army of Italy to victory in the Battle of Lonato. This was actually a continuation of the battle begun on July 31 as the Austrians attempted to lift Napoleon’s siege of Mantua in Italy.

  1805 Sunday    I still must assert that this discovery appears to me to be as important for the middle of the nineteenth century as the discovery of fluxions [the calculus] was for the close of the seventeenth. ……..L‡ breithe mhaith agat! William Rowan Hamilton, Irish mathematician born in Dublin who discovered the quaternions which are, of course, Any number of the form a + bi + cj + dk where a, b, c, and d are real numbers, ij = k, i2 = j2 = -1, and ij = -ji. Under addition and multiplication, quaternions have all the properties of a field, except multiplication is not commutative. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…..Groucho…………..

1815 - Friday   And I say to myself, it's Wunderlich, Wunderlich
Oh, so Wunderlich my love!.......apologies to Johnny Mathis…….. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich German psychiatrist and neurologist famous for his work on the use of measurement in clinical practice and research, Wunderlich also advocated the creation of separate university clinics for the mentally ill.  

 1821 –Friday, yes, on a Friday,  Atkinson & Alexander publish the Saturday Evening Post for the first time as a weekly newspaper.  Since Norman Rockwell isn’t born yet, there is no cover.

 1824 Wednesday  In the first Kos effective  clash, the Battle  of Kos was fought between Turkish and Greek forces. That’s it.  We looked and looked and could find no more detail other than the usual Xeroxian duplications that infest the internet.  We learned that Kos is an island. We learned that Hippocrates, who came from Kos is considered today as the founder of Medical Science.  And we found 5th of August 1824 in the straits of Mykali the Turkish fleet, under the leadership of Hosref, was defeated by the Greek fleet under the command of Georgios Sahtouris but that was on the  island of Samos (the site is Sunny Fontini) which we understand was allied with Kos in the Greek War of Independence.  This was a long way for us to go just so we could use Kos effective.

   1834Monday  And so it seems that we have met before
and laughted before
and loved before,
But who knows where or Venn
……apologies to Rogers and Hart……….Happy Birthday  as we diagram a summary of John Venn, English mathematician who is most famous for his development of diagrams, later named after him, that depict relationships between sets. Gottfried Wilhelm von Liebniz and Leonhard Euler had used similar diagrams but Venn's were considered more descriptive and easier to understand.  Venn diagrams use overlapping circles to represent groups of items or ideas that share common properties. Each circle represents one property, and shared properties are represented by the overlapping areas of the circles. His Logic of Chance worked on the frequency theory of probability but he also found time to invent a machine that automatically bowled cricket balls….according to the site, TeacherVision:

1873 – Monday  ………Please Mr.Custer, I don’t wanna go
Er, listen, er, Mr.Custer? Please don’t make me go
There’s a redskin waitin’out there, waitin’ to cut my hair
A coward I’ve been called
But I don’t wanna wind up dead or bald
Please Mr.Custer, I don’t wanna go
Oo-errr, err-oo
……Larry Verne………Resulting in some overconfidence in Yellow Hair that would come back to bite him three years later, while  protecting a railroad survey party in Montana, the United States 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer fought for the first time with the Sioux, led by Rain-in-the-Face (the This Day in History site claims they were led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and we hate to Rain on their parade but we’ll go with the U.S History Pages site as our source) near the Tongue River; two civilian surveyors were rendered kaput.

       1892 Thursday Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her father 40 whacks and when she was done, she gave her mother forty-one..…..and she got away with it!   Someone killed Andrew and Abby Borden of Fall River, Mass.  Couldn't have been daughter Lizzie who just happened to be in the house when it happened, and was seen burning the dress she wore that day. She was a “sweet young woman” and the jury acquitted her in 90 minutes.  Probably the only 12 people in the universe that didn't think she did it.

   1901Sunday  If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know….. Happy Birthday, Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong, American jazz trumpeter and frog voiced singer born in New Orleans. Armstrong is considered one of the most important and influential musicians in the history of jazz music. The RedHot Jazz site claims that only Charlie Parker comes close to having as much influence on the history of Jazz as Louis Armstrong did. Armstrong apprenticed with his idol, Joe “King” Oliver, in 1917 and joined Oliver’s band in Chicago in 1922. He also played in Kid Ory’s band. As a bandleader in his own right, Armstrong cut some cutting edge jazz recordings with His Hot Five and His Hot Seven. Later in life, with some thanks to numerous appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show he achieved major fame with the masses. He even managing to knock  the Beatles from the top of the charts in 1964 with his rendition of Hello, Dolly! This feat made him the oldest musician in Billboard history to have a Number One song.  It’s difficult to distill his massive creative output into just a few memorable songs but in the latter years, What a Wonderful World, Mac the Knife and La Vie en Rose are notable.

    1906Saturday  True blue, is it me and you?
Is it mum and dad, is it a cockatoo?
Is it standin' by your mate?
When he's in a fight or just Vegemite
True blue, true blue
….John Williamson……..
The Central Railway Station in Sydney opened. People no longer had to travel via kangaroo. Each car contained a barbecue (with shrimp), some Foster’s, itinerant didgeridoo players, Sheilas, budgie smugglers, performing wombats, people calling each other “mate” and saying “g day”,  and hurling boomerangs out windows and retrieving them on the other side of the train. This was Sydney’s 3rd station and was designed by the Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon. At  11.00am, Premier Sir Joseph Hector MacNeil Carruthers turned a gold key in the booking office door, then unveiled a tablet on the colonnade wall. The official first train to leave the new station left from platform 12 and made a special run to Parramatta to deliver a load of koala bears.

1906 Saturday Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Eugen Schuhmacher, German zoologist and documentary filmmaker born in Stuttgart. Schuhmaker dealt primarily with the protection and documentation of endangered species He directed The Last Paradises: On the Track of Rare Animals such as tattoo-less professional basketball players, honest loan companies, non publicity seeking entertainers and polite civil servants.

    1912 Sunday  Never postpone until tomorrow what you can postpone until the day after S… below 1944 - on the same day Anne Frank would be arrested - Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen !, Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat humanitarian who rescued at least 100,000 Hungarian Jews from certain death in World War II. According to the Jewish Library, one of his more successful strategies was to design a Swedish protective pass to help the Jews against the Germans and their Hungarian allies. In previous experience, Wallenberg had noted that both the German and Hungarian authorities were weak for flashy symbols and he therefore had the passes printed in yellow and blue with the coat of arms of the Three Crowns of Sweden in the middle and the appropriate stamps and signatures throughout. Of course, Wallenberg's protective passes had no actual value whatsoever according to international laws, but they provoked respect. At the start, Wallenberg was only given permission to issue 1,500 of his passes. Quickly, though, he managed to negotiate another 1,000, and through promises and empty threats to the Hungarian foreign ministry he eventually managed to raise the quota to 4,500 protective passes. On January 17, 1945, on his way out of the capital with a Russian escort, Wallenberg and his driver stopped at the “Swedish houses” to say good-bye to his friends. He told one of his colleagues, Dr. Ernö Petö, Wallenberg said that he wasn't sure if he was going to be the Russian's guest or their prisoner, though he expressed hope that he'd be back within eight days. Raoul Wallenberg was never seen again  It is believed he died in a Soviet prison in 1947.

1914 – Tuesday: Being shelled is the main work of an infantry soldier, which no one talks about. Everyone has his own way of going about it. In general, it means lying face down and contracting your body into as small a space as possible. ……Louis Simpson, in 'Air with Armed Men' ……….The avalanche of  declarations that would result in millions of deaths continued as Germany invaded Belgium. In response, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. The United States thinking it had to pass through customs first, said it had nothing to declare and proclaimed neutrality.  Thanks to First World we have a comprehensive list of who declared war on who. Some of the main players:  Germany - Declared war with Russia on 1 August 1914
Declared war with France on 3 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 9 March 1916
Austria Hungary: Declared war with Serbia on 28 July 1914
Declared war with Russia on 6 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 28 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 15 March 1916
France: Invaded by Germany on 2 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 16 October 1915
Russia: Declared war with Turkey on 2 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 19 October 1915  - we thought Russia would have more declarations but they spent a lot of time fighting themselves.
Great Britain: Declared war with Germany on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 15 October 1915
And:Costa Rica: Declared war with Germany on 23 May 1918

1916 Friday  I met a woman from Liberia
Well she gave me that coola coola water
Well uh-oh well she gave me water
And it was not from the well
Well well
I met the woman from Liberia…. Jimmie Rodgers………Liberia declared war on Germany. Germany considers surrender.

  1921, Thursday  I have just seen the copy as it came from the instrument. There are two slight flaws. The day of the month is missing and the first initial of the signature is faint. Outside of that, the message is perfectly plain and reproduces exactly the handwriting. Here is the message before me, which left New York this afternoon:

“The New York Times congratulates Le Matin upon this new method of wireless transmission.”…….C. V. Van Anda, Managing Editor……….Just the fax ma’am…….apologies to Jack Webb…..a facsimile was transmitted by radio across the Atlantic Ocean using the Belinograph invented by Eduard Belin. A written message from the managing editor of the New York Times was scanned by the equipment and sent by radio from Annapolis, Md. within seven minutes to Belin's laboratories at La Malmaison, France. The image received demonstrated that photographs could be scanned for radio transmission in the same way. The original, wrapped on a rotating cylinder was scanned by a light beam reflected onto a photcell to convert the variations in the received intensity to electrical signals forwarded by radio or telephone wires 

1922 Friday An amazing invention - but who would ever want to use one?.....Rutherford B. Hayes……….As opposed to the rest of the time when your phone goes dead just to make life interesting for you, this time phone service was shut down on purpose as every telephone in the U.S. and Canada went dead when AT&T and the Bell System shut down all its switchboards and switching stations for one minute in memory of Alexander Graham Bell, who had gone kaput two days earlier. During this time, none of the 13 million telephones in operation could be used.

1924 Monday Why don't Mexicans play hide and seek?  Because nobody will look for them?.............Figuring it would be tougher for the illegal aliens to swim across the Pacific and wade across the Rio Grande or just walk, and so, having no worries about being invaded by gardeners and cooks and drug mules,  Stalin’s Worker’s Paradise, the Soviet Union opened diplomatic relations with Mexico.

1932Thursday – The premier of White Zombie and no it was not a biography of  Bill Clinton….. it was the story of a young man tasking the help of  a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiance, but instead she gets turned into a zombie slave (Hilary?). Starring, who else but Bela Lugosi.

    1944 – Friday I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am so grateful to God for having given me this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is inside me!......Acting on tip from a still unnamed traitorous Dutch informer, (But the likeliest suspect, as reported with considerable supporting detail in Carol Ann Lee's 2003 book, The Hidden Life of Otto Frank was a World War II member of the Dutch Nazi Party named Tonny Ahlers).the Gestapo captured 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse on 263 Prinsengracht. The Franks had been hidden there in 1942.  because of fear of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp.  Following the arrest the family was initially imprisoned in Auschwitz.  Then, Anne and her sister, Margot were  sent to Bergen-Belson death camp where they died in early 1945, just 2 months before the liberation of the camp by the allied army.  Only her father, Otto Frank, would survive the war.

    1947Monday Only lawyers and painters can turn white to black…..Japanese Proverb……….The Supreme Court of Japan, Saikō Saibansho,  was established during the U.S. occupation and  was modeled to some extent after the U.S. Supreme Court except there were no loony justices. Everyone appearing in the court had to be expert in ninjitsu, kung fu or bushido, only eat with chopsticks, only eat fish, hate Americans, replacing the letters “l” and “r” with each other, learn their history by watching  Richard Chamberlain in Shogun, evacuated the courtroom on a regular basis due to attacks by Godzilla, Mothra and Ghidra, the Three Headed Monster,  and sing along with Sukyaki by crooner Kyu Sakamoto

 1952Monday I never liked riding in helicopters because there's a fair probability that the bottom part will get going around as fast as the top part…….Lt. Col. John Wittenborn, USAF…………… The first transatlantic helicopter flight was made  by two US Air Force Sikorsky H-19s piloted by Capt. Vincent H. McGovern and1st Lt. Harold W. Moore,  which traveled from the U.S. to Wiesbaden, Germany with stops in Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga, and the Netherlands on their way. Total flight time was about 52 hours, but because of stops the trip took 21 days.The luggage was lost.

1958 Monday  I used to play around with hearts that hastened at my call,
But when I met that little girl I knew that I would fall
Poor little fool, oh yeah, I was a fool, uh huh.. She played around and teased me with her carefree devil eyes,
She'd hold me close and kiss me but her heart was full of lies
……Sharon Sheeley……
The Billboard Hot 100  was  published for the first time. Billboard combined its cumbersome system of five separate sales, jukebox, and DJ charts to make one master chart, the "Billboard Hot 100" we know and love today. The first #1 listed on it was Ricky Nelson's  Poor Little Fool. Actually, there was some overlap between Ricky and Elvis’ Hard Headed Woman that was on top when the change was made.  Ricky would be replaced three weeks later by Domenico Modugno’s Volare.

   1958- Monday “I think” said the sweet potato, “therefore I yam”  ……Possibly in celebration of Poor Little Fool’s ascendency to the Billboard # 1 spot on the same day,  or because it’s North Dakota and what else is there to do…….the first potato-flake plant was established in the U.S. at Grand Forks, North Dakota. Dehydrating potatoes for later use dates to the Incas, who "used climate to produce the first dehydrated potatoes. The American Chemical Society notes that the process entailed an overnight freezing and thawing cycle plus low humidity. The ice crystals that formed forced openings in the cell tissue allowing for liquid to escape. Dehydrated potato flakes are used for making instant mashed potatoes that are sold primarily to institutional food groups.  Angry potatoes were boiling mad when we came across an item informing us that the Grand Forks Plant closed on March 15, 2008. Dan Quayle…….. You’re close, but you left a little something off. The e on the end.

 1964 Tuesday ……A South politician preaches to the poor white man
"You got more than blacks, don't complain
You're better than them, you been born with white skin" they explain
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game…
….Bob Dylan………. The murdered bodies of three civil rights workers were found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner had disappeared June 21, not long after they had been held for six hours in the Neshoba County, Mississippi jail on charges of speeding.  They were then turned over to the tender mercies of the Ku Klux Klan, beaten and killed.  They had been working to register black voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer and had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. On Jan. 7, 2005, over forty years after the crime, Edgar Ray Killen, then 80, was charged with three counts of murder. He was accused of orchestrating the killings and assembling the mob that killed the three men. On June 21—the 41st anniversary of the murders—Killen was convicted on three counts of manslaughter, not murder.. He received the maximum sentence, 60 years in prison.

    1964Tuesday  The determination of all Americans to carry out our full commitments to the people and to the government of South Vietnam will be redoubled by this outrage. Yet our response, for the present, will be limited and fitting. We Americans know, although others appear to forget, the risk of spreading conflict. We still seek no wider war…..Lyndon B. Johnson……….The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which had begun on August 2, involved the U.S. destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy reporting  coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese Soviet-built P-4 motor torpedo boats.  While there was no doubt about the August 2 attack, Captain Herrick of the Maddox reported, Freak weather effects on radar and overeager sonar men may have accounted for many reports. No actual visual sightings by Maddox. The result was the August 10, the Southeast Asia (Gulf of Tonkin) Resolution, which gave Lyndon Johnson the power to use military force in the region without requiring a declaration of war.  Well that certainly worked out well.

1965 Wednesday Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table. - The Anarchist Cookbook…….The Constitution of Cook Islands came into force, giving the Cook Islands self-governing status within New Zealand.  Banned under the Constitution were: Pan too Cold, Fish Overcooked, Too Much Interference, Overcrowding, Overcooking Meat, Not Enough Salt, Blunt Knives,  Using Dried Herb, sUsing Cheap Kitchenware , and Using Cheap WineChefs, Guillaume Tirel François Pierre de la Varenne, Auguste Escoffier, Lidia Bastianich Mario Batali, Julia Child Michael Chiarello, Alain Ducasse, Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, Jacques Pépin, Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy and Samuel Jelinski were thrilled.  The Named after Captain James Cook, who sighted them in 1770. The islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to New Zealand and  1965 residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand.  The natives  are of Polynesian stock and speech, have legends of their arrival from Samoa. Appropriately, considering the name, the Cook Islanders were formerly man-hunters and cannibals.

   1969 Monday I'm moving to Mars next week, so if you have any boxes……Steven Wright………..Mariner 7 fly-by of Mars. Mariners 6 and 7 were designed to fly over the equator and southern hemisphere of Mars. Mariner 7 encountered Mars on this day.. The two spacecraft returned a combined total of 143 approach pictures of the planet and 55 close-up pictures including two of Elvis and one of the Lochness Monster.. The spacecraft also studied the Martian atmosphere and profiled its chemical composition. Closest approach to Mars for both spacecraft was approximately 3,550 kilometers. Residual effects from radio waves sent to Earth included a mutant Higgs Beson that resulted in an epidemic of effeminate men on television shows.

1972Friday Oooh, Superfly
You're gonna make your fortune by and by
But if you lose, don't ask no questions why
The only game you know is "Do or Die"
…..Curtis Mayfield………..Superfly, more famous for its soundtrack than the cliché filled connect the dots plot about a cocaine dealer who begins to realize that his life will soon end with either prison,  his death or as a weekly series starring Jimmie Walker,  had its world premiere. Directed by Gordon Parks Jr. and starring Ron O’Neal, Sheila Frazier and Carl Lee all of whom went on to star in……………..well?........ The Curtis Mayfield (formerly from the Impressions) soundtrack made the movie although the fashions were fairly humorous too. Of course The Return of Superfly and Superfly T.N.T would follow.  This “Blaxploitation” film (the genre probably originated in 1971 with Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and, more importantly, Shaft)  was part of a flood from 1972 – 1975 that still haunt us today.

1974Sunday  In the days before Muslim Loons cornered the terrorism market, a group of Neo-Fascists claimed credit for the bomb that exploded in the Italicus Express train at San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Italy, killing 12 people and wounding 22. The bomb had been placed in the 5th passenger car of the train and exploded at 1.23 AM. The explosion would have been even stronger if the train had exploded inside San Benedetto Val di Sambro tunnel. Former Prime Minister of Italy Aldo Moro (who would later be killed by Communist terrorists)  was on the same train on August 3, but disembarked before the explosion.

1975Monday  Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals with no cure except as a guillotine might be called a cure for dandruff. …..Clare Booth Luce……..Terrorist affirmative action (see 1974 above) as neo Communist, Japanese Red Army took  more than 50 hostages at the AIA Building housing several embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The hostages included the U.S. consul and the Swedish chargé d’affaires. The gunmen won  the release of five imprisoned comrades and demanded they be flown to either Disney World, Cabo San Lucas, Hershey Lodge in PA., Parrot Kay Resort and Spa, or Bermuda.  When all were rejected, they settled for Libya.

1977Thursday  Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy……Franz Kafka……… US President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.  Well that’s certainly worked out wel…….but then, actually it has for some people as $24.2 BILLION A YEAR….IT HAS16,000 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY100,000 CONTRACT  EMPLOYEES and the price of gas reflects the gasbags that run the department

1983 Thursday- “Why ,Jon ,why?” His mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? …Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull…… Ornithologicide!! New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield was arrested after a game by Toronto police (who presumably had nothing better to do) after he threw a baseball during warm ups and accidentally killed a seagull. Question if the bird lived near a bay would it be called a baygull (with cream cheese)?

  1984Against the humiliating bondage of a thousand years
Rapacity came from afar to subjugate them for a hundred years.
Against the cynical malice in the shape
Of neo-colonialism and its petty local servants.
Many gave in and certain others resisted.
But the frustrations, the successes, the sweat, the blood
Have fortified our corageous people and fertilized its heroic struggle
……National Anthem….
 use Istanbul to Constantinople The Republic of Upper Volta changed its name to Burkina Faso (although the locals just call it Burkina). The country, located in west Africa has one of our favorite capital cities – Ouagadougou. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest. Burkina was once Upper Volta

Now it's Burkina not old Upper Volta
Been a long time gone….
apologies to The Four Lads.

    1993Wednesday  How many cops does it take to throw a man down the stairs? None. He fell……..unknown……..A federal judge sentenced LAPD officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 30 months in prison for violating motorist Rodney King's civil rights. In March 1991, the intoxicated King, refused to stop when California Highway Patrol officers tried to pull him over for erratic driving. Instead King opted to put the lives of hundreds of innocent people at risk as he merrily led LAPD in a high-speed chase, which ended at Osborne Street and Foothill Boulevard in Lake View Terrace. The obviously angry police went a bit overboard in subduing him after he refused to leave the car and when he did, repeatedly resisted arrest, at one point throwing the officers off his back and striking one officer in the chest.A convicted felon, in November 1989, King robbed a store in Monterey Park, California using an iron bar to threaten and hit the store owner. He was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment, King continued to demonstrate his penchant for breaking the law when he was arrested on suspicion of trying to run over a vice officer who allegedly found him with a transvestite prostitute in Hollywood, however, no charges were filed. A year later King was arrested for DUI; once again, no charges were filed. In 1993, King was placed on probation after he crashed his vehicle into a block wall in downtown Los Angeles. At the time of the arrest King’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

        2006 Friday A massacre, was carried out by Sri Lankan government forces, killing 17 employees of the French INGO Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action Contre la Faim, or ACF) in their office compound in the town of Mutur, Trincomalee district. The killings followed a battle between Sri Lankan government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for control of the town.

        2007Saturday NASA's Phoenix spaceship was  launched.  Previously, discoveries made by the Mars Odyssey Orbiter in 2002 showed large amounts of subsurface water ice as well as a lake of vodka martinis in the northern arctic plain. The Phoenix lander targeted this circumpolar region using a robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil layer to the water ice below and ultimately, to bring both soil and water ice to the lander platform for sophisticated scientific analysis.  The Phoenix lander descended on Mars on May 25, 2008 and was quite successful as the solar-powered lander operated two months longer than its three-month prime mission. On November 10, 2010 Phoenix Mission Control reported the loss of contact with the Phoenix lander; the last signal was received on November 2.  The signal, “It’s getting closer.  I think it sees me. Oh no! It did!..............Arrrgh!”    

      2010 Wednesday Judge: (to Mae West) Miss West, are you trying to show contempt for this court?

Mae West: On the contrary, your honor, I was doin' my best to conceal it…………. Voter schmoter, referendum schmeferendum…….California's Proposition 8, the ballot initiative prohibiting same-sex marriage passed by the state's voters in 2008, was overturned by poofter Judge Vaughn Walker in the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger.     
      2011- Thursday– Scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz (home of the Banana Slugs and the Grateful Dead Music Library) decided to call  it “the big splat.” On this day they announced that new model suggests the lunar far side highlands could have been created from a collision with a smaller companion moon. The new study, published in the August 4 issue of Nature, built on the “giant impact” model for the origin of the moon, in which a Mars-sized object collided with Earth early in the history of the solar system and ejected debris that coalesced to form the moon and according to the new computer model, the second moon around Earth would have been about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) wide and could have formed from the same collision. Later, the smaller moon fell back onto the bigger Moon and coated one side with an extra layer of solid crust tens of kilometers thick. After effects of the collision continue to this day and can be blamed for dysfunctional state legislatures, “judges” on television talent shows, talent on television talent shows, Hillbilly Hand Fishing, people who talk on their cellphones at the checkout counter and an epidemic of electronically enhanced bizarrely dressed one-name female dance music singers.

Back to Calendar


642 –Friday  Gruesome, isn't it? ……Daffy Duck………..In what sounds suspiciously like a computer game, in the Battle of Maserfield,  Penda of Mercia defeated and kills Oswald (son of Æthelfrith of Bernicia) of Northumbria. The historian The Venerable Bede, recorded  that Penda removed Oswald's head and hands and to have hung them on stakes, (see William Wallace below) perhaps as an offering to a pagan god of war. The Christian Oswald became a martyr and then a Saint.

910 – Tuesday –“Ha! I mock your cheese danish and all it stands for!” ……The Adventures of Pete and Pete……….The last major (but cheesy)  Danish army to raid England was defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward the Elder and Earl Aethelred of Mercia.  Anglo noted that Different versions of the Chronicle record that the battle took place on August 5 or 6, and at Tettenhall or Wednesfield  (but why quibble since the different place-names are easily explained because they're only four miles apart)  The English armies killed oodles of Vikings, and put the rest to flight singing “Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam……” as they went. It’s doubtful that the Chronicle's record that "many thousands" of Vikings were slain but it was a crushing defeat with a very significant effect in Edward the Elder's campaigns in the 910s to retake the Viking-held lands.

1100 –Sunday  You in your own time will have all the dominions I have acquired and be greater than both your brothers in wealth and power…..William to Henry. Just 44 years after Hastings, Henry I was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey. He was the fourth son of William I, the Conqueror, and Matilda of Flanders.  When King William I's second son Richard was killed in a, “wink wink, nod nod”,  hunting accident in 1081, the King bequeathed his dominions to his three surviving sons.  Robert received the Duchy of Normandy and became Duke Robert II.  William Rufus received the Kingdom of England and became King William II. He was promptly slewn in yet another “hunting accident” in the treacherous woods of England and, tada…………Henry was king.

1301 – Friday Well I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road
And I asked him tell where are you going, this he told me:
(He) said, I'm going down to Yasgur's farm, going to join in a rock and roll band.
Got to get back to the land, and set my soul free.
We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden
………….Joni Mitchell…..Happy Birthday, Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent. Edmund was a son of King Edward I  (aka Longshanks) and his second wife, Queen Marguerite. He was 62 years younger than his father, who died when young was only seven.  Edmund, unfortunately, supported older brother and noted poofter, Edward II.  When Edward was “disappeared”, after being usurped by his wife, Isabella, Edmund believed him to be still alive and was accused of planning a rescue.  He was convicted of treason. His head then went north and the rest of him went south.

1305 –Sunday  I don't wanna be a hero
But I'll stand and never kneel
Freedom is well wort a dying
Come we'll fight with heart and steel
Beat the English at Sterling brigde
I will guard the Scotish throne
I myself skinned Cressingham
In his own blood he did drown
……Gravedigger…………William Wallace, who led the Scottish resistance against England, was captured by the English near Glasgow and transported to London After a show trial, the English authorities had him horribly executed on August 23, 1305, at Smithfield, London in the traditional manner for a traitor. He was hanged, then drawn and quartered, and his head placed on a spike in London Bridge. The English government displayed his limbs in a grisly fashion separately in Newcastle, Berwick, Edinburgh, and Perth. The news, as well as Wallace, was spread all over the country.

1583 –Friday  Sir Humphrey Gilbert chartered the first English colony in North America, at what is now St John's, Newfoundland. One of his first acts as Governor was to grant shore rights to 36 foreign fishing vessels. No settlement was made there until 1604. Gilbert was the half-brother of Queen Elizabeth’s boy toy, Sir Walter Raleigh. On September 9, Gilbert went kaput returning from Newfoundland when his little 10-ton frigate Squirrel was wrecked in a storm off the Azores; his reputed last words are, We are as near to heaven by sea as by land!  Roanoke Island in what is now North Carolina was settled in 1587, but the colony failed and was "lost" and Jamestown, VA was not settled until 1607.

1600 –Saturday The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself are called gods. …….King James I…………The Gowrie Conspiracy against King James VI of Scotland (later to become King James I of England) took place.  According to James, On 5 August 1600, while hunting, James was urgently invited by Alexander Ruthven to Gowrie House in Perth, to investigate a mysterious stranger with a pot of gold (and perhaps buy a bridge connecting to Brooklyn?). Remarkably, no stranger materialized and after a meal James went to an upper turret with Ruthven where, he claimed, that Ruthven told him to prepare to die. Miraculously, the heroic James wrestled free and cried ‘Treason’ from a window, whereupon his followers rescued him and killed both Ruthven and his elder brother, Lord Gowrie.  Surprisingly, there was considerable sentiment in Scotland that the king had invented the conspiracy in order to cover his own attempts to eradicate the Gowrie family whom he believed (correctly) to be disloyal.  We note that James seemed to attract conspiracies as in 1605, now James I of England,  he was the subject of the Guy Fawkes conspiracy to blow up Parliament

1620 – Wednesday Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour
…….George Wyle and Sherwood Schwartz……The Mayflower departs from Southampton, England on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689 –Friday  Q:  Why were the Indians the first in North America?
A:  Because they had reservations! ……...1,500 Iroquois attacked  the village of Lachine in New France. Twenty four colonists in total were killed, more than seventy were taken prisoner, and 56 of the 77 houses were razed. In all, forty-two habitants of Lachine were never heard from again.  Why?  The Iroquois were allies of the British (who had just declared war on France).  And they had been rivals of New France for much of the last 80 years. They considered the French system of alliances a potent threat to their security and their territory plus they hated escargot and many of  the heavier Rhone wines. Unfortunately, in New France, no one was aware that war had been declared.

1716 – Wednesday Savoy, the home of sweet romance,
Savoy, it wins you with a glance,
Savoy, gives happy feet a chance to dance
….Benny Goodman……….The Battle of Petrovaradin took place. A victory over the Muslims as Austrian Empire overcame the Ottoman empire at Petrovaradin, now in Serbia. The Austrian army, led by the great Prince Eugene of Savoy, inflicted a significant defeat on the Ottoman forces and the Ottoman commander, Silahdar Damat Ali Pasha, was slewn as were approximately 6,000 Ottoman soldiers.

1735 – Friday The jury returned in Ten Minutes, and found me Not Guilty ……John Peter Zenger……………New York Weekly Journal writer, German-born U.S. printer and journalist,  John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor, William Cosby of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true. In November, 1734, Cosby had had Zenger arrested and put in jail incommunicado for ten months.  When finally brought to trial, Zenger (who’s English was not strong – the articles were written by the paper’s staff) was defended by Philadelphia lawyer, Andrew Hamilton. Cosby went on to star in I Spy with hyper-intense Robert Culp and The Cosby Show before it expired from terminal cuteness.

1763 – Friday  The tourist was admiring the Indian's necklace. 
"What is it made of?" she asked.
"Alligator's teeth," the Indian replied.
"I suppose," she said patronizingly, "that they mean as much to you as pearls do to us."
"Oh, no," he objected. "Anybody can open an oyster.” British forces led by the flowery Henry Bouquet defeated Chief Pontiac's  (Ottawa) Indians, Bonnevilles, Fire Birds, Grand Prix,  at Bushy Run in what is now Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
The British victory at Bushy Run was the critical turning point in Pontiac's War.  It also prevented the capture of Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh).

1772 – Wednesday - I married a German. Every night I dress up as Poland and he invades me……..Bette Midler…………The First Partition of Poland began.  This one was caused by, yes, the Muslims, and occurred after Russia became involved in a war against the Ottoman Turks Frederick II the Great of Prussia, however, in order to avoid an escalation of the Russo-Turkish War, determined to calm Austro-Russian relations by shifting the direction of Russia’s expansion from the Turkish provinces to Poland, which not only had a structurally weak government but also, since 1768, had been devastated by a civil war and by Russian intervention and was, therefore, incapable of resisting territorial seizures. On Aug. 5, 1772, Russia, Prussia, and Austria signed a treaty that partitioned Poland and everyone, except the Poles, was very happy until……….the second partition 20 years later………….and then along came the third partition in 1797.  In 1815 the Congress of Vienna created the Congress Kingdom of Poland. However, the main result of the partitions which was the elimination of the sovereign state of Poland remained in effect until after World War I, when the Polish republic was finally restored on Nov. 11, 1918.

1779 – Thursday The Bronx? No thonx……….Ogden Nash………Lieutenant James DeLancey’s New York Loyalists and William Hull’ Connecticut Brigade battled  for the Bronx.  It was tough to tell who was fighting who at some points since some neighbors were Loyalists and some were rebels. At one point, Dion was actually fighting the Belmonts. Particularly intense were the battles over parking spots on Arthur Avenue, lining up at the White Castle on Fordham Road and the best fresh pasta at Borgatti’s – the Loyalists preferred linguine, the rebels, tagliatelle, and conveniently located chessboard tables on Pelham Parkway.  This Day in History notes that DeLancey was fighting for a noble cause as he  first intended to maintain neutrality during the War for Independence but when local Patriots stole one of his favorite horses and its harness, he was convinced that the rebels deserved to be quashed. 

1802 ThursdayWith the exception of the geometrical series, there does not exist in all of mathematics a single infinite series the sum of which has been rigorously determined. In other words, the things which are the most important in mathematics are also those which have the least foundation. Gratulerer med dagen! Niels Henrik Abel, Norwegian mathematician born in Oslo.  Why, a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five……….Groucho Marx…..Abel, who died at age 26 from tuberculosis, did fundamental work on the integration of functional expressions and proved the impossiblity of representing a solution of a general equation of fifth degree or higher by a radical expression. He also investigated generalizations of the binomial theorem, pioneered in the general theory of elliptic functions, and showed that elliptic functions are a generalization of trigonometric functions. He also balanced his check book and could calculate the tip for a group of eight when dining out.  Commutative groups are also called Abelian groups in his honor.

1815 – Saturday If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style……Quentin Crisp……. Happy Birthday, Edward John Eyre, English explorer, polititian and rather controversial Governor of Jamaica (where he brutally suppressed a Black rebellion) ,  who emigrated to Australia in 1833 where he merrily launched expedition after expedition.  As an explorer, Eyre was noted more for his courage and perseverance than for finding anything of great value. He had failed to penetrate into the interior, and he discovered little that was not already suspected about the coastal country. 

1858 –Sunday The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat. …..Albert Einstein……….The first trans-Atlantic cable. In 1854, Cyrus West Field had considered the idea of the telegraph cable across the ocean  and obtained a charter to lay a line across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. He made four unsuccessful attempts, beginning in 1857.  Evidently they could not obtain a 2,000 mile long extension cord.  In July 1858, however, four British and American vessels--the Agamemnon, the Valorous, the Niagara, and the Gorgon--met in mid-ocean for the fifth attempt.  On August 5, the cable had been successfully laid, stretching nearly 2,000 miles across the Atlantic at a depth often of more than two miles. On August 16, President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria exchanged formal introductory and complimentary messages. He asked her for a date and then they went to see the Broadway musical, Jersey Boys.  Unfortunately, the cable proved weak and the electric current insufficient and by the beginning of September had ceased functioning.  They didn’t get a permanent cable until 1866.

      1861 – Monday I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is – I could be just as proud for half the money…..Arthur Godfrey…….. The Income tax was first passed into law in 1861, NOT 1913. The text of the law read: SEC. 89 And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of modifying and reenacting, as hereinafter provided, so much of an act, entitled "An act to provide increased revenue from imports to pay interest on the public debt, and for other purposes," approved fifth of August, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, as relates to income tax;... They kept calling it a duty not a tax.  This was also fun because a 2nd tax was passed before the first one collected any revenues.  Got it?  A 3% tax on all net income above $600 a year was passed.  However, no revenue was ever raised because a second tax passed before the first was due (on June 30, 1862). The Civil War’s demand on resources made the earlier tax ineffective, and the sale of bonds could not keep up with the expenditures of the administration and the armies

            1864Friday Marge: [checking her watch for the time] One more hour.

Homer: An hour? I can't wait another hour. What's keeping that stupid comet? ….The Simpsons…….. The spectrum (Roy G. Biv…….although you try t find indigo, we can’t…….of a comet was observed by Giovanni Donati who found it contained three emitting lines which would four years later be identified by William Huggins to be carbon. Donati (born in Pisa so he leaned towards comet discoveries) discovered that the spectrum changed when a comet approached the Sun, and that heating caused it to emit its own light rather than reflected sunlight: he concluded that the composition of comets is, at least in part, gaseous. Between 1854 and 1864 he discovered six new comets, the brightest of which, found in 1858, became known as Donati’s Comet.

          1864- Friday Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead  said Union Admiral David Farragut as he lead his flotilla to victory at the Battle of Mobile, Alabama.  Farragut entered Mobile Bay in two columns, with armored monitors leading and a fleet of wooden ships following. When the lead monitor Tecumseh was rendered kaput by a mine, the wooden ship Brooklyn (the commander remarking, “Dis is stoopid, whaddya wanna gettus killed or somtin?” ) stopped, and the line drifted in confusion toward Fort Morgan. Disaster seemed imminent, until Farragut gave his famous orders. He swung his own ship clear and headed across the mines, which failed to explode. The fleet followed and anchored above the forts, which, now isolated, surrendered one by one. The “torpedoes” to which Farragut referred would today be described as tethered mines. With the loss of one of its last major Southern ports, the fall of Mobile Bay was a huge blow to the Confederacy, and the victory was the first in a series of military successes that aided the reelection of Abraham Lincoln over George McClellan in 1864.

1866 – Sunday Rubber ball, I come bouncin' back to you
Rubber ball, I come bouncin' back to you

I'm like a rubber ball
Baby that's all that I am to you
(Bouncy, bouncy) (bouncy, bouncy)
Just a rubber ball…
…Bobby Vee………… Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Carl Harries, German chemist who developed the ozonolysis process (the process of treating an organic compound with ozone to form an ozonide: used to locate double bonds in molecules) for determining the structure of natural rubber (polyisoprene -a thermoplastic polymer, (C 5 H 8 ) n , the major constituent of natural rubber and also obtained synthetically.). He also bounced and stretched  his research to contributeto the early development of synthetic rubber.

       1884 – Tuesday Why does the Statue of Liberty stand in New York Harbor?  Because it can’t sit down…………The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid at Bedloe’s Island (now called Liberty Island), New York. The actual statue, which would follow,  designed by Fredric Bartholdi, was accepted as a gift to the United States from the people of France by U.S. President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886.  And why did it take so long for the statue to arrive?  Bartholdi had been commissioned to design a statue as a gift from France to the United States for the U.S.’s 1876 Centennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The statue was to stand as a symbol of the friendship between France and the United States and of both nations’ commitment to liberty. By July of 1884, Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty was complete but remained in France because funds for building the pedestal, the responsibility of the United States, had not been raised.

     1914 Wednesday Cleveland city of light city of magic
Cleveland city of light you're calling me
Cleveland, even now I can remember
'Cause the Cuyahoga River
Goes smokin' through my dreams
….Randy Newman……..  Traffic lights were installed Cleveland, Ohio.  They had red and green lights and buzzers. The American Traffic Signal Co. turned over to the City of Cleveland, the first set of traffic signals.  These were were installed at East 105th street and Euclid avenue. They cleverly placed the signals in operation at five p.m – rush hour.  these devices were designed to assist traffic police at busy intersections. When the police officer signaled for a change in traffic movement, he would also change the color of the lights illuminated in the signal device.

       1930- Wednesday That's one small step for (a) man...........  Happy Birthday, Neil Armstrong, born in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  The first man to walk on the moon and former test pilot, who conducted test flights of over 50 types of experimental aircraft, logging 2,450 hours of air time. Commander Armstrong’s first space flight occurred in 1966 aboard Gemini 8. During this flight, he and fellow astronaut David Scott successfully performed the first docking in space between two vehicles – a necessary step for the moon landings to come when the lunar module would have to dock with the command module…..and make sure that no aliens jumped out of people’s stomachs.  Armstrong also served as the CAPCOM -- typically the only person who directly communicates with the astronauts during missions to space -- for Gemini 11.  Armstrong almost wasn’t first on the Moon.  Initially, it was planned that Buzz Aldrin, the Lunar Module Pilot would be the first to set foot on the Moon. However, it was determined that because of the positions of the astronauts in the module, it would require Aldrin to physically crawl over Armstrong (in Sicily they would have been engaged) to reach the hatch. As such, it was decided that it would be easier for Armstrong to exit the module first upon landing.

1935 – Monday  Han: Good morning, Mr. Roper. We have been waiting for you.
Roper: What's going on?
Han: Would you be good enough to participate in this morning's edification?
Roper: Edification?
[Roper sees Lee tied with arms behind his back]
Roper: [to Han] What are you going to do to him?
Han: Not me, Mr. Roper, you……..
Happy Birthday, John Saxon, American and actor ostensible star (as Roper)  of the Bruce Lee martial arts breakthrough movie, Enter the Dragon and the only one in the movie who could do who couldn’t do martial arts.

1941 – Tuesday When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere……Robert A. Heinlein………….. S dniom razhdjenia! Leonid Kizim, Soviet cosmonaut who in 1986 commanded the only mission in history to visit two space stations in one flight.  This multiple stop journey also marked the first crewed flight to Mir.  As the initial crew to Mir, the first continuously crewed space station, Kizim and Vladimir Solovyov spent 51 days configuring the core module and unloading two unmanned Progress cargo vehicles that arrived during their stay. The two cosmonauts, who earlier flew together on the Soyuz T-10 mission in 1984.  Due to a shortage of Soyuz spacecraft in the worker’s paradise, and because both space stations were in almost the same orbit, Kizim and Solovyov left Mir on May 5, but rather than returning home to Earth as every other station crew had, they took a side trip, sort of like when you’re on an Alaskan cruise and you take the bus trip to see a glacier, so they maneuvered their Soyuz T-15 spacecraft on a 28-hour rendezvous and docking with Salyut 7, the last of the Soviet Union's "second generation" stations where they performed zero gravity fungus experiments that resulted in the conception of Vladimir Putin.

    1948 – Thursday I was married once -- in San Francisco. I haven't seen her for many years. The great earthquake and fire in 1906 destroyed the marriage certificate. There's no legal proof. Which proves that earthquakes aren't all bad…..W.C Fields…….. In the Andes mountains, an earthquake occurred just about 100 miles from Quito,  Ecuador killing 6,000 people and injuring another 20,000.  The 6.7-magnitude quake was particularly deadly because of the landslides it set off. records that an interesting side note to this disaster is that it exposed the body of Friar Lazaro, which had been mummified at a church in Guano. According to legend, Lazaro was the first missionary sent to the area after the European conquest of the Incas in the 16th century.

1957 –Monday We're goin' hoppin' (Hop!)
We're goin' hopin' today
Where things are poppin'(Pop!)
The Philadelphia way We're goin' drop in (Drop!)
On all the music they play On the Bandstand.! ….
Music by Charles Albertine
Words by Barry Manilow (gadzooks! He’s older than Methusela) and Bruse Sussman
……….American Bandstand, hosted by relentless self-promoter, Dick Clark and featuring lip-synching recording artists and dance trend setting teens, (Kenny Rossi and Arlene Sullivan, Bunny Gibson and Eddie Kelly, Pat Molittieri, Carmen Jimenz, and Joyce Shafer) made its network debut on  the ABC television. Bandstand began as a local program on WFIL-TV (now WPVI), Channel 6 in Philadelphia on October 7, 1952. Then it was hosted by Bob Horn and was cleverly called Bob Horn's Bandstand. After a brief scandal involving the host and underage girls, the show got a new host in July 1956, clean-cut 26 year old Dick Clark. When ABC picked the show up, it was renamed American Bandstand, and made it's first national show debut on this day in  1957.  The 1st song played on the national edition was Jerry Lee Lewis' Whole Lotta Shaking Goin' On and the first lip synching guests were The Chordettes (Just Between You and Me) and Billy Williams (I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter)  The show was moved to Los Angeles in 1964. ….where it jumped the shark or Professor Sy Yentz had moved on musically and didn’t care anymore. From 1963 to 1987 Bandstand was on only once a week, on Saturday.

1962 –Sunday  Get thee to a nunnery…. The BBC banned  Bobby "Boris" Pickett's hit Monster Mash, as great minds decided that the  subject matter -- comical as it is -- may have been  deemed grotesque or otherwise tasteless to the more sensitive listeners.

1962 – Sunday I'm just as sorry as the next fellow about Marilyn Monroe. But as long as she had to do it, what a break that she did it in August…..anonymous reporter…….. Thirty six year old movie actress and sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe was found kaput, an apparent suicide, in her home in Los Angeles of acute barbiturate poisoning" according to publicity mad coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi. The number of people who claim to have talked with Marilyn on her last day could fill Yankee Stadium -- everyone from Joe DiMaggio, Jr., to Marlon Brando, from Sidney Skolsky to Isidore Miller. The scene in the bedroom came straight from a Mack Sennett slapstick comedy and is related quite well on Wikipedia.  Meanwhile,  on the same day in 1984,  He has a terrific way with women.  I don't think he has missed more than half a dozen…..Fredric March ……..  fifty eight year old British actor, and serial husband of Elizabeth Taylor,  Richard Burton died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

            1962 –Sunday Twinkle, twinkle, quasi-star
Biggest puzzle from afar
How unlike the other ones
Brighter than a billion suns
Twinkle, twinkle, quasi-star
How I wonder what you are
……….George Gamow………….And, speaking of stars, (see above) on this day in Australian radio astronomers fixed the location of the previously known radio source 3C 273, in the constellation Virgo. In 1963 this became the first member of a new class of object eventually to be called quasars or "quasi-stellar radio sources" and have been revealed to be the point of origin for the cast numerous reality show cast members. An optical telescope at the Hale Observatory saw it as a faint star-like object with a visible jet. Quasars radiate as much energy per second as a hundred or more galaxies. 3C273 is the still brightest quasar known. We now think these objects are the very bright centers of some distant galaxies, where some sort of energetic action is occurring, most probably due to the presence of a supermassive black hole at the center of that galaxy (supermassive = made up from a mass of about a billion solar masses)

1963- Monday You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer…..Frank Zappa………. The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed.    It banned nuclear weapons tests "or any other nuclear explosion" in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. They could, however, still be tested underground. The treaty was signed in Moscow by the United States, Soviet Union, Godzilla (representing nuclear created monsters…footnote; this would lead to Bambi Meets Godzilla) and Great Britain. The fourth nation to possess nukes the ever obstreperous, France, did not sign the treaty. Nor did China, which was just over a year away from exploding its first nuclear device so that worked out really well.

1967 Sunday Exactly what time did I lose control of this show? …..Johnny Carson………Carl Hilding (Doc) Severinsen, already a member of the house band on NBC-TV's Tonight Show, starring Johnny Carson, replaced Milton DeLugg  who had replaced the retiring Lyle Russell Cedric (Skitch) Henderson as its leader in 1966.

      1969 – Tuesday Mars is essentially in the same orbit. Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If there is oxygen, then we can breathe……Dan Quayle………. Mariner 7 flew past Mars. It took quite a few pictures and made several Martian atmospheric readings regarding temperature and composition. Mariners 6 and 7 both flew by Mars during the summer of 1969, (thank you Bryan Adams)  each returned far and close up views of planet. These data represented a snapshot of the position and extent of time variable albedo (the relative reflectivity of light from a surface) features on Mars at that time. Additionally the Mariners 6 and 7 images have great historical significance in that they clearly showed that Mars heavily cratered similar to our Moon, but that its surface was also fundamentally different than that of the Moon in that many members of the United Nations General Assembly were formed there. Mariner 6 was launched on February 24, 1969, followed by Mariner 7 on March 27 of that year. One hundred million kilometers (62 million miles) later, Mariner 6 encountered Mars on July 31, 1969; Mariner 7 reached the planet four days later on August 4, 1969 August 5 almost had another Martian experience. See below.

       1973 –Sunday If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you have tried…..unknown……… The worker’s paradise, USSR launched Mars 6, which unfortunately made it to Mars. However,  the data sent back was unreadable because of a flawed computer chip. It appears that Soviet scientists discovered that a transistor had failed because of corrosion. It was revealed that a decision had been made two years earlier to replace gold components in the transistors with aluminum in order to save Soviet gold resources. Soviet scientists came to the horrific realization that the equipment in not only Mars 6 but in Mars 4,5 and 7 was peppered with transistors made with a material that could easily corrode. Duh!. Mars 6 stopped relaying its telemetry information two months into its journey. Oh, and  Mars 7 released its lander, but into the void of space rather than onto the surface of Mars.

1976 -Thursday  The merger agreement killed the Nets as an NBA franchise . . . . The merger agreement got us into the NBA, but it forced me to destroy the team by selling Erving to pay the bill …..Roy Boe……..Goodbye red, white and blue basketball…. The American Basketball Association merged with the National Basketball Association (originally announced on June 17).  Tattoos, criminal records and illegitimate children were included. The ABA also had stars, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Artis Gilmore, David Thompson, and Dan Issel all were major talents who would thrive in the new NBA.  with four successful ABA teams - the San Antonio Spurs, New York Nets, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers - joining the NBA. The rest of the ABA, the Kentucky Colonels, Utah Rockies, and the Spirits of St. Louis folded and the players were made available in a dispersal draft.

1981 – Wednesday Let me make one thing plain. I respect the right of workers in the private sector to strike. Indeed, as president of my own union, I led the first strike ever called by that union. ……. But we cannot compare labor-management relations in the private sector with government. Government cannot close down the assembly line. It has to provide without interruption the protective services which are government's reason for being. ……. Let me read the solemn oath taken by each of these employees, a sworn affidavit, when they accepted their jobs: "I am not participating in any strike against the Government of the United States or any agency thereof, and I will not so participate while an employee of the Government of the United States or any agency thereof……..Ronald Reagan fired 11,359 striking air-traffic controllers who ignored his order for them to return to work.  The sweeping mass firing of federal employees slowed commercial air travel, but it did not cripple the system as the strikers  and hysterical media sycophants had forecast. Two days earlier, nearly 13,000 controllers walked out after talks with the Federal Aviation Administration collapsed. As a result, some 7,000 flights across the country were canceled on that day at the peak of the summer travel season.  President Reagan Reagan branded the strike illegal. He threatened to fire any controller who failed to return to work within 48 hours. Federal judges levied fines of $1 million per day against the union.

1983 - Friday  Just take those old records off the shelf
I'll sit and listen to 'em by myself
Today's music ain't got the same soul
I like that old time rock 'n' roll
…….Bob Seger……Risky Business premiered and launched a “tighty whitey” clad, ray ban wearing Tom Cruise to stardom in the story of a teenager hosting a party while his parents are away. Surprise! Things go askew. Written and directed by Paul Brickman, it also starred Rebecca deMornay, Roosevelt High School’s (Yonkers) own Richard Masur, Bronson Pinchot and Joe Pantolino.

1988 – Friday  Proving for the “nth” time that the artistes in Hollywood cannot leave well enough alone, the world was subjected to the premiere of the remake of 1958’s   The Blob.  As before, a blob (this time in color) from outer space lands in a small town and makes a buffet of selected townspeople.  Only the teenagers know it’s there and as usual, only the most intelligent adults listen.  This gem, directed by Chuck Russell starred Kevin Dillon in the Steve McQueen role and Shawnee Smith (superb in the 1990’s sitcom, Becker).  Also starring was Donovan Leitch, son of the Electrical Banana himself. We note that not all remakes are Psycho bad.  Some, in fact have been quite good, notably;  Heaven Can Wait (Here Comes Mr. Jordan), The Thing (John Carpenter – not the regrettable 2011 meatball), Ben Hur (better than the silent version), 3:10 to Yuma, Cape Fear, Scarface, Casino Royale, and even True Grit.  The should have left Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Poseidon Adventure, Swept Away, Stepford Wives, Straw Dogs, Footloose, House of Wax (all copies of the Paris Hilton version should be sent to North Korea), Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Freaky Friday, King Kong, Planet of the Apes, The Manchurian Candidate,  The Pink Panther (they even had the gall to make a Pink Panther 2 – shame on you Steve Martin! Did Father of the Bride go to your head?), Get Carter, The Ladykillers, The Karate Kid and Nightmare on Elm Street and…………many more eyesores alone

2002 – Monday  The turrets and other parts of the ship were heavily struck, but the shots did not penetrate; the tower was intact, and it continued to revolve. A look of confidence passed over the men's faces, and we believed the Merrimac would not repeat the work she had accomplished the day before……… union sailor……….The Civil War ironclad, Monitor saw daylight for the first time in 140 years and the “cheese-box on a raft”  was raised from the bottom of the Atlantic, where it had Titanicked since it went down in a storm while being towed off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina Nine months before going kaput the Monitor had been part of a revolution in naval warfare as well as one of history’s famous pairs – The Monitor and the Merrimack-  On March 9, 1862, she fought  to a draw  with the C.S.S. Virginia (originally the C.S.S. Merrimack) at Hampton Roads Virginia, in one of the most famous moments in naval history-the first time two ironclads faced each other in a naval engagement.

2005 – FridayImitation is the sincerest form of television …..Fred Allen………Even though some movie remakes succeed, movies inspired by television shows are generally awful.  Quick, name a good one.  On this day we had the premiere of The Dukes of Hazzard . Good ol’ boys, Cousins Bo and Luke Duke, cousin Daisy and Uncle Jesse, once again battled the  authorities of Hazzard County, Boss Hogg and Sheriff Coltrane.  Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, this Bergmanesque masterpiece starred Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson (certainly to be included in anyone’s discussion of talentless publicity agent creations) and many unknown thespians.  As for movies based on TV shows?  Lost in Space, Scooby Doo, Miami Vice, Get Smart, Wild Wild West, Avengers, Bewitched, Mod Squad, Sex and the City 2 (they couldn’t leave well enough alone), The A Team, The Beverly Hillbillies, Car 54 Where Are You, Charlie’s Angels, McHales Navy, Dragnet (take your pick, Jack Webb or Dan Ackroyd), The Honeymooners, Leave it to Beaver, My Favorite Martian, Sgt. Bilko, Our Miss Brooks, George of the Jungle, and Starsky and Hutch…..need we say more?  To be fair, a small percentage of little screen to big screen efforts have worked, notably, The Fugitive, Superman (first two), Batman (Clooney version excepted), some Star Treks, The Naked Gun movies (based on Police Squad), Mission Impossible (first two) and Sex in the City.

2011 -Friday-  Jupiter is the Rosetta Stone of our solar system. It is by far the oldest planet, contains more material than all the other planets, asteroids and comets combined and carries deep inside it the story of not only the solar system but of us. Juno is going there as our emissary — to interpret what Jupiter has to say…… Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator ………. Juno Jupiter Orbiter was launched for a five year trek to Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet with the objective to seek to understand the ingredients necessary for planetary formations and explain why put their feet on chairs in public places.


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1181-Thursday  哇!你看到了(Wow! Did you see that?) A supernova was observed by Chinese and Japanese astronomers. A supernova is The explosive death of a massive star whose energy output causes its expanding gases to glow brightly for weeks or months and this one  was first observed in southern China, and independently found one day later from Japan. It  remained visible for 185 days, or more than 6 months. The remnant of this supernova, affectionately known as , 3C 58 or G130.7+3.1, was found by radio astronomers in the 1960s. . F. Richard Stephenson first proposed its identity with the remnant of the supernova 1181. It resembles the Crab Nebula, in that it  is a filled-center supernova (sort of like a Twinkie) remnant, extending now about 9x5 arcminutes (an arc minute is a unit of angular distance equal to a 60th of a degree). It contains a pulsar which rotates about 15 times per second.

1284 –Sunday Quando la luna colpisce il tuo occhio come una grande torta Pisa  (When the moon hits your eye like a big Pisa pie)……apologies to Dean Martin………The Republic of Pisa was defeated in the Battle of Meloria by the Republic of Genoa. No more “Pisa in our time” as the republic lost its naval dominance in the Mediterranean.  The Meloria islet in the Ligurian Sea off the coast of Tuscany.

1506 – Monday  Loves me.  Loves me not. Loves me. Loves me not………The Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the Crimean Khanate in the Battle of Kletsk in the latest episode of the love/hate relationship the Lithuanians had with the Khanate.  First they were friends and allies but  then the Khanate cheated on them an dated the Grand Duchy of Moscow during the Lithuanian Moscow war. When the Tartars invaded, the Lithuanian army led by Michael Glinski defeated them.  However, the pendulum swung the other way a few years later as  Glinski felt slighted by the Lithuanian leadership, went over to the Tartar side and attacked Lithuania.

1538 – Saturday Somewhere out there is a magic city
a place called Santa Fe de Bogotá
Some like Paris, London, New York City
but I love Santa Fe de Bogotá
Espero que en mi soledad
Voy a encontrar
El lugar de mi deso
Mirando el lindo mar
……Jody Bernal…Bogotá, (now in  Colombia),was  founded as the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada by Spanish conquistador,  Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada. He originally named it Santa Fe.  After leading his troops through the jungles to the Columbian Plain, he encounterd the Chibcha Indians, a group of tribes that had attained a relatively high state of culture. The ruler of the Chibchas, the Zipa of Bogotá, fled as Quesada’s army approached. 

1661 – Saturday The Treaty of The Hague was  signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic. In this Treaty of the Hague (there have been others) , the Dutch Republic recognized Portuguese imperial sovereignty over New Holland (Dutch Brazil) in exchange for an indemnity of 4 million cruzados, conversion from 2 million Caroli Guilders, over the span of 16 years, Pele’s autograph, front row seats at the best Carnival parade, Samba lessons, and free Feijoada whenever they wanted it . The Dutch Republic (Dutch Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden ) consisted of of the seven northern Netherlands provinces that won independence from Spain from 1568 to 1609 .  Other Treaties of the Hague are/were: Treaty of The Hague (1428    Treaty of The Hague (1433)    Treaty of The Hague (1603)    Treaty of The Hague (1625)     Treaty of The Hague (1641)     Concert of The Hague (1659)         Treaty of The Hague (1661)    Treaty of The Hague (1697)     Treaty of The Hague (1698)     Treaty of The Hague (1701)     Treaty of The Hague (1709)     Concert (possibly included singing) of The Hague (1710)     Treaty of The Hague (1720)      Treaty of The Hague (1795)    Treaty of The Hague (1895)     Treaty of The Hague (1949)  

  1667- Saturday But just as much as it is easy to find the differential of a given quantity, so it is difficult to find the integral of a given differential. Moreover, sometimes we cannot say with certainty whether the integral of a given quantity can be found or not. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Johann Bernoulli, another in the seemingly countless members of the  Bernoulli family of Swiss mathematicians (he was who was the father of Daniel Bernoulli and brother of Jakob Bernoulli). Johann investigated the then new math of calculus, which he applied to the measurement of curves, to differential (much more pushy than deferential equations) equations. In 1694 he considered the function y = xx and he also investigated series using the method of integration by parts He summed series, and discovered addition theorems for trigonometric and hyperbolic functions using the differential equations they satisfy. Why this is so simple that a child of five could understand it.  Someone fetch a child of five………….Groucho Marx

    1753- Monday I can't stop (stop)
I can't stop myself
(Stop, stop) Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again
…..Lou Christie…………. In a shocking experience
, Professor Georg Richmann of St. Petersburg, Moscow, was killed by his experiment with lightning. One year after Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment, Richmann attached a wire to the top of his house and led it down to an iron bar suspended above "the electric needle" and a bowl of water partly filled with iron filings. It was reported that during a storm, Richmann was struck while about a foot from the bar, and closely observing the needle. "A globe of blue and whitish fire about four inches in diameter" came from the bar struck Richmann's forehead" with "an explosion like that of a small cannon." This was probably ball lightning, rare form of lightning in the shape of a glowing red ball, associated with thunderstorms and thought to consist of ionized gas. It also blew the door off its hinges. Richman’s body was later found among the wreckage of his apparatus, his shoes blown open and clothes charred. This, obviously,  rendered  Dr. Richmann kaput.  He did, however get to join the “circuits”. He also said, “it Hertz”. His resistance to experimenting had been overcome by his capacitance to reason clearly.

1766- Wednesday A chemist walks into a pharmacy and asks the pharmacist, "Do you have any acetylsalicylic acid?"
"You mean aspirin?" asked the pharmacist. "That's it,” said the Chemist, “ I can never remember that word." …………Happy Birthday,
William Hyde Wollaston, English chemist and physicist who discovered palladium in 1803  and rhodium  in 1804, during his investigation of platinum ore. Wollaston  also developed the first method of producing pure platinum from ore and was the first to observe the Fraunhofer lines (A set of several hundred dark lines appearing against the bright background of the continuous solar spectrum and produced by absorption of light by the cooler gases in the sun's outer atmosphere at frequencies corresponding to the atomic transition frequencies of these gases. )in the solar spectrum which led to the discovery of the elements in the Sun.

1775 – Sunday I would walk from here to Drogheda and back to see the man who is blockhead enough to expect anything except injustice from an English Parliament ……L‡ breithe mhaith agat! Daniel O'Connell, known as "the Liberator," born near Cahirciveen in County Kerry. O’Connell was a primary leader of the  movement to repeal British laws that penalized Roman Catholics because of their religion. Catholics were barred from Parliament but O'Connell spearheaded the battle to win political rights for Irish Roman Catholics. In 1823 he organized the Catholic Association, which played an important role in the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829. O'Connell was elected to the House of Commons for County Clare in 1829 although he was by law allowed to stand as a candidate and he was prevented from taking his seat because of the anti-Catholic legislation which was in force. He stood successfully for re-election in 1830 and remained an MP for various constituencies until his death.

1777 - Wednesday    General Nicholas Herkimer was rendered kaput at  the Battle of Oriskany (a creek near Albany New York) during the American Revolution. The British, led by Lieutenant Colonel Barry St. Leger were attacking Fort Stanwix, which is today Rome, New York, and Herkimer was leading a column of relief troops.  Unfortunately, Herkimer led them right into an ambush. The initial volley cut down most of the American leadership, including Herkimer who received  a serious leg wound. He had his men prop him up against a tree and continued to direct the battle. He remarked on how tall everyone looked. Despite his propped up efforts, the Americans had to retreat. Herkimer was taken back to his home where his leg was amputated. For excellent descriptions of 18th century surgery, we recommend  City of Dreams, a novel by Beverly Swerling. He we went kaput shortly thereafter.

1806 –Wednesday  Abdication is funny, it makes a cloudy day sunny
Makes a bee think of honey just as I think of you
Abdication is crazy, your whole perspective gets hazy
Starts you asking a daisy "What to do, what to do?"…..
apologies to Jimmy Van Heusen, Johny Burke….Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicated, thus rendering kaput, ending Holy Roman Empire.  But not to worry, Francis, was still Francis I, emperor of Austria,   Francis, king of Hungary ,and king of Bohemia  happily, and modestly titled himself, (thanks to Wikipidea) "We, Francis the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria; King of Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia and Lodomeria; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Würzburg, Franconia, Styria, Carinthia and Carniola; Grand Duke of Cracow; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Sandomir, Masovia, Lublin, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitz and Zator, Teschen and Friule; Prince of Berchtesgaden and Mergentheim; Princely Count of Habsburg, Gorizia and Gradisca and of the Tyrol; and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria".  The Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a monarchy that encompassed present-day Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech and Slovak Republics, as well as parts of eastern France, northern Italy, Slovenia, the Jersey Shore, Disney World, and a MacDonalds’s in Topeka Kansas, and western Poland at the start of the early modern centuries. It was created by the coronation of the Frankish king Charlemagne as Roman emperor by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in the year 800

1809 –Sunday  Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
……………..Happy Birthday, Alfred (Lord) Tennyson,  born at Somersby, Lincolnshire, fourth of twelve children of George and Elizabeth Tennyson, leading  poet of the Victorian Age- in fact he was Poet Laureate  and author of Idylls of the King, (about King Arthur):  For many a petty king ere Arthur came
Ruled in this isle, and ever waging war
Each upon other, wasted all the land
; Ulysses, The Lady of Shalott , and, of course, The Charge of the Light Brigade, written to memorialize a suicidal charge by light cavalry over open terrain by British forces in the Battle of Balaclava (Ukraine) in the Crimean War (1854-56).

1825 –Saturday …..Bolivianos el hado propicio
coronó nuestros votos y anhelo
es ya libre, ya libre este suelo,
ya cesó su servil condición.
Al estruendo marcial que ayer fuera
y al clamor de la guerra horroroso,
siguen hoy en contraste armonioso
dulces himnos de paz y de unión
……National Anthem…….Bolivia issued its Declaration of Independence  from Spain. Bolivia was the center of the Aymara civilization, which would have to deal with an Inca invasion. After the conquistadors defeated the Inca, the control passed into the hands of Spain in 1538. At that point of time it was known as Upper Peru. Bolivia achieved its independence from Spain largely due to the efforts of Simon Bolivar. After its independence Upper Peru was renamed Bolivia in honor of Bolivar, although the initial try was República Bolívar.

1844 –Tuesday  Mind The Gap………Happy Birthday, James Henry Greathead. Born in South Africa and emigrated to England, Greathead was Chief Engineer of the City and South London Railway, and  the inventor of Traveling Shield that made possible and speeded up the cutting of the tunnels of London's deep level tube system.

1856, Wednesday The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. …..Mark Twain…………..James Nasmyth delivered a scintillating talk  “On the Form of Lightning” at the opening day of the 26th Meeting of the British Association at Cheltenham. You can actually find it at Google Books. Nasmyth said that he wanted to call attention to the fact that Nature never showed a zig-zag dovetail form of lightning that was often portrayed by painters and in other works of art. He divined that the true natural form was irregular curved lines, single or branched. He attributed the artists' error to the form of the thunderbolt in the hand of Jupiter, as sculptured by the early Greeks. This came 103 years too late for poor Georg Richman (see 1753) who was kaputed by balled lightening during a shocking experiment.

1862 –Wednesday  the ship be sinking……..Micheal Ray Richardson……..The  Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas was scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering damage in a battle with ironclad USS Essex near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Engine failure…don’t you just hate when that happens?... caused its demise. Dead in the water and drifting to shore, it was abandoned, scuttled, and set afire. Drifting downstream, it exploded and sank. In case you want to find it, today, the CSS Arkansas rests roughly at the same location but under a levee 1.4 miles south of the auto/rail bridge below Free Negro Point, 690 feet past river mile 233

1866 – Monday  I think I'm the first man to sit on the top of the world …..Happy Birthday, Matthew Henson, American explorer born to free African American parents in Charles County, Maryland.  Henson was the invaluable assistant and fellow explorer with Robert Peary.  He accompanied Peary on each of his attempts to reach the North Pole. An expert with sleds and dogs and fluent in the Inuit language, Henson  was with  Peary, in fact 45 minutes ahead of Peary, when they finally reached the pole on April 6, 1909.  Peary frequently praised Henson as the best man for the job, but Henson's role was largely unrecognized for years. After reaching the pole he earned a living as a customs clerk in New York and occasionally lectured on his experiences

      1881Saturday One sometimes finds what one is not looking for ……Happy Birthday, Sir Alexander Fleming, Scottish bacteriologist, who discovered penicillin. In 1928, while working on influenza virus, Fleming observed that mold had developed accidentally on a staphylococcus culture plate (this has happened to some of our peanut butter sandwiches too) and that the mold had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. He experimented further and he found that a mold culture prevented growth of staphylococci, even when diluted 800 times. The  substance, which he originally named Katie Couric, was quickly renamed penicillin, and began the highly effective practice of antibiotic therapy for infectious diseases. It was two other scientists however, Australian Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who developed penicillin further so that it could be produced as a drug. In 1945, Fleming was co-awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

1890 – Wednesday I killed her,“I had to do it. I meant to. I killed her and I’ll take the rope for it. ….wrong………..At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler achieved  the dubious distinction of being  first person to be executed by electric chair. Kemmler had been convicted of dispatching his lover, Matilda Ziegler, with an axe. This day in History notes that a charge of approximately 700 volts was delivered for only 17 seconds before the current failed.  So they had to start over even though witnesses reported smelling burnt clothing and probably fricasseed charred flesh,  However, Kemmler was not yet kaput, and a second shock was prepared. The second charge was 1,030 volts and applied for about two minutes.  This caused smoke to come from from the head of Kemmler, who was by now deader than the parrot in the Monty Python sketch.  An autopsy showed that the electrode attached to his back had burned through to the spine.

1900 – Monday Cecil H. Green, American geophysicist and philanthropist who co-founded (along with J. Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and Patrick E. Haggerty) Texas Instruments, Inc. in 1951.  A geophysicist studies the  physics of the earth and its environment, including the physics of fields such as meteorology, oceanography, and seismology.

1902 – Wednesday …… You can't beat him. Police, mamma, Helen, mother, please take me out. I will settle the indictment. Come on, open the soap duckets. The chimney sweeps. Talk to the sword. Shut up, you got a big mouth! Please help me up, Henry. Max, come over here. French-Canadian bean soup. I want to pay. Let them leave me alone. ……Dutch Schultz’ last words…………..Happy Birthday Bronx born Arthur Flegenheimer, aka,  Dutch Schultz, gangster whose talents included bootlegging, illegal gambling and murder. Like many of the 20’s through 60’s gangsters, “ you pays your money – you takes your choice” when it comes to bios and nefarious  different sources will have different bios.  What appears to be unanimous is that “The Dutchman”, who had successfully bumped off rivals Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll and Legs Diamond ran afoul of what was called the National Commission – a sort of board of directors for crime- when he wanted to have New York Attorney General, Thomas E. “Wedding Cake” Dewey rendered defunct.  When they would not go along with the plan, he decided to do it himself.  Big mistake. This was where the hired killers affectionately known as Murder Inc. came into play as a team was dispatched to murder incorporate Schultz. At 10:15 pm on October 23, 1935, the former Arthur Flegenheimer,  along with his associates, Otto “Abbadabba” Berman, Abe Landau, and bodyguard, Bernard "Lulu" Rosencrantz, was ambushed in the Palace Chophouse in Newark, New Jersey probably by Charlie "The Bug" Workman and Emmanuel Mendy Weiss. Although all of the targets eventually died from their wounds, Schultz survived long enough to deliver an infamous, 106-degree fever induced, soliloquy

1901 – Tuesday  Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky.

We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say
Yeeow! Ayipioeeay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma O.K.
………Rogers and Hammerstein…….Kiowa land in Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation. Of course the Kiowa didn’t have a whole lot to say about the matter.  While each Kiowa head of household was allotted 80 acres, the only land remaining in Kiowa tribal ownership today is what was the scattered parcels of 'grass land' that had been leased to the white settlers for grazing before the reservation was opened for settlement.  The Kiowas were part of the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 and were assigned a reservation in Oklahoma in 1868.  Things would get worse when oil was discovered in the territory.  On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state.Oil Wells Statehood had become a sure thing, in part due to a discovery which made Oklahoma the "place to go to strike it rich" -- oil.

    1911 – Sunday Looosie,you’ve got some ‘splaining to do….. Happy Birthday comedienne Lucille Ball, born near Jamestown, NY.  Ball had appeared in over 60 filims by the time she married Desi Arnez in the ‘40’s’ but she was immortalized as Lucy Ricardo on the television program I Love Lucy,in 1951  is said to have been seen by more people worldwide than any other. She was just  "Lucy" to generations of television viewers. Ball was  also a shrewd businesswoman, serious actress, and Broadway star as well. However, she didn’t know when to stop.  After the unparalleled success of I Love Lucy, she came back with The Lucy Show (1962–68), which costarred  I Love Lucy’s Vivian Vance and master of the slow burn, Gale Gordon. The Lucy Show was fairly successful.  Unfortunately, she came back with another and this was a turkey.  Here's Lucy which infested the airways from 1968-74.  This one  also featured Gordon, as well Lucy's real life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr……..  Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead

1914 –Thursday  (World War I) was the most colossal, murderous, mismanaged butchery that has ever taken place on earth. Any writer who said otherwise lied, So the writers either wrote propaganda, shut up, or fought……Ernest Hemingway …….In the As the World Turns of World War I, Serbia declaredwar on Germany and  Austria declares war on Russia. Millions would die.  Thanks to First World we have a comprehensive list of who declared war on who. Some of the main players:  Germany - Declared war with Russia on 1 August 1914
Declared war with France on 3 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 9 March 1916
Austria Hungary: Declared war with Serbia on 28 July 1914
Declared war with Russia on 6 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 28 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 15 March 1916
France: Invaded by Germany on 2 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 16 October 1915
Russia: Declared war with Turkey on 2 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 19 October 1915  - we thought Russia would have more declarations but they spent a lot of time fighting themselves.
Great Britain: Declared war with Germany on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 15 October 1915
Costa Rica: Declared war with Germany on 23 May 1918

1926Friday C'mon everybody, c'mon in
Bobby's gonna show you how to do the swim
Kinda like the monkey, kinda like the twist
Pretend you're in the water and you go like this
Now baby swim, baby do the swim
…..Bobby Freeman…………….Gertrude Ederle became the first American woman to swim the English Channel.  It took 14 hours and 34 minutes.  She had just missed the ferry, dove in and never did catch it. Only five men had succeeded in swimming the channel before her, and she beat the record by more than two hours. She left Cape Griz-Nez, France, at 7:05 a.m. and stumbled ashore at Kingsdown, England, 14 hours and 30 minutes later only to discover that all the beach chairs were taken. Because of the stormy weather, she had swum 35 miles in crossing the 21-mile-wide channel.

1926 – FridayWait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!....Al Jolson………… On the same day as Ederle took her plunge,  in New York City, the Warner Brothers' Vitaphone system premiered with the movie Don Juan starring John Barrymore.  Don Juan was the first mainstream film that replaced the traditional use of a live orchestra or organ for the soundtrack. However, in Don Juan there was no dialogue in the film.  Thanks to Wisegeek, we know that The Vitaphone system consisted of a film projector rigged up to a record player. When the projectionist mounted the film, he or she carefully synced the film to a spot on the record sent with the film, so that when the projector was turned on, it would cause the record player to turn, thereby in theory producing a picture synced with the accompanying sound. Of course it was quickly forgotten when sound was introduced into the movies with The Jazz Singer a year later. Don Juan, directed by Alan Crosland, starred John Roche, Jane Winter, and Warner Oland as Cesare Borgia (Oland would go on to be Charlie Chan  the Chan series).  

1926 –Friday   there is no invention to it, there is no trick, there is no fake; you simply lie down in a coffin and breathe quietly And on the same day (we’ve seen this as the 5th) as the previous two items and also in New York, , Harry Houdini performed his greatest feat, spending 91 minutes watching  the Best of Regis and Kelly,  underwater in a sealed tank before escaping. Houdini believed that his experiment could serve as an example for miners who were trapped in shafts with limited oxygen. He said that it was important to not be overwhelmingly afraid when faced with a lack of oxygen.  Houdini would go to that big Magic Show in the Sky two months later when he bit the dust  in Detroit on Halloween, from complications of appendicitis. Several days earlier, he had been struck in the stomach by a student in his dressing room.

     1928 – Monday Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches……….Happy Birthday, check date Andy Warhol (Warhola) in Pittsburgh, PA . Warhol one of the most influential artists and media manipulators of of the latter part of the 20th century. Pop art was a new style of art that began in England in the mid-1950s and consisted of realistic renditions of popular, everyday items. Though he is best remembered for his paintings of Campbell's soup cans, he also created hundreds of other works including commercial advertisements and films. He went out of his way to be off center and  rather weird and the media ate it up.

1930 – Wednesday Judge Crater, call your office……….old joke………Judge Joseph Force Crater stepped into a taxi in New York and drove off into legend as he disappeared, never to be seen again. Crater, described as a tool of Tammany Hall, a man of punctual habits, a bon vivant and a connoisseur of chorus girls, particularly one, Sally Lou Ritz.  On this particular day, Crater had dinner with Ms. Ritz and a friend, then the three (possibly) went to see a play. Someone that night did stop at the box office for Crater's ticket to Dancing Partners. But they remain unknown. It was a month before Crater's wife told police he was missing. When the show was over, Crater hailed a cab, said goodbye to his friends, got into the vehicle and poof! What happened to the Judgester?  Theories abound.  You pays your money, you takes your choice.  Over time the Judge Crater story gained widespread fame. It appeared in every possible book dealing with unexplained or mysterious happenings. It was also a joke as for several decades the term 'pulliing a Judge Crater' was slang for leaving the premises discreetly. Fast forward to 2005 when authorities announced  that they had received a letter from a woman written in the 1950's; in it, she indicated that Judge Crater had been murdered, and that his body could be found at a certain location under the boardwalk in Coney Island. In fact, remains had been discovered at the location and exhumed – alas , lacking any technology at the time to positively identify the body, it was reinterred in a mass grave on Hart Island, the usual spot where unclaimed deceased persons were laid to rest in unmarked plots. So,  Did Sally Lou Ritz have anything to do with the man's murder ? Was Crater being blackmailed, by mobsters or perhaps even corrupt cops? Were Kardshians involved? Was he eaten by Donald Trump? We’ll never know and sadly, Crater is disappearing from history, leaving Amelia Earhart and Jimmy Hoffa as the main subjects of disappearing speculation.

1930, Wednesday Recently, a distraught wife went to the local police station, along with her next-door neighbor, to report that her husband was missing. The policeman asked for a description of the missing man.
The wife said, "He is 35 years old, 6-foot 4-inches, has dark eyes, dark wavy hair, an athletic build, weighs 185 pounds, is soft-spoken, and is good to the children."
 The next-door neighbor protested, "Your husband is 5-foot 8-inches, chubby, bald, has a big mouth, and is mean to your children." The wife replied, "Yes, but who wants HIM back?"
……………….A Lost and Found Day as speaking of the missing, Judge Crater went astray but ………. Norwegian explorers on the sealing vessel, Bratvaag of Aalesund, while on White Island (Kvitöa) discovered the debris of the earliest balloon expedition to the North Pole. They also found the remains of a balloonist, diaries and photos. In July of 1897, Dr. Salomon August Andrée of Sweden and two companions had left Danes Island, Spitsbergen in a balloon, Eagle, which Andrée had built himself, hoping to drift over the North Pole. This was the first attempt by air to explore the Arctic. Before you could say, “Amelia Earhart”, they were gone. Nothing was heard of them for 33 years. The diaries recorded that just two days after their launch, an emergency landing on ice had been made. They eventually met a rather unpleasant dénouement in the bitter cold on the island, still hundreds of kilometers from the North Pole.     

1940 – Tuesday  Stalin decides to go out one day and see what it's really like for the workers, so he puts on a disguise and sneaks out of the Kremlin. After a while he wanders into a cinema. When the film has finished, the Soviet Anthem plays and a huge picture of Stalin appears on the screen. Everyone stands up and begins singing, except Stalin, who smugly remains seated. A minute later a man behind him leans forwards and whispers in his ear: "Listen Comrade, we all feel exactly the same way you do, but trust me, it's a lot safer if you just stand up." ……….Estonia was illegally annexed by the workers’s paradise, the  Soviet Union. Stalin’s Communist Utopia decided to spread the joy and the Soviet Union occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as a result of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on 23 August 1939. With the invaluable assistance of the Red Army, new, Moscow-supporting government was formed, and "elections" were organized. Surprise! The  Communist election coalition gained a landslide victory. On July 21, 1940, newly elected lower chamber of the Parliament (Riigivolikogu) declared Estonia a soviet republic and pledged the Estonian SSR to be accepted to the Soviet Union, and surprise again, the  request was granted on August 6, 1940 In the aftermath of World War II, Estonia lost approximately 17.5% of its population.

1943 Friday Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks ……unknown……..Happy Birthday, Jonathan Bruce Postel American computer scientist who played a pivotal role in creating and administering the Internet.  The Internet Society notes that Jon Postel's technical influence can be seen at the very heart of many of the protocols which make the Internet work: TCP/IP determines the way data is moved through a network; SMTP allows us to send emails; and DNS, the Domain Name Service, help people make sense of the Internet.

1945, -Monday Seeking a quick end to World War II and prevent perhaps a million casualties that an invasion of Japan would incur, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, by the American B-29, Enola Gay (named after pilot, Lt. Col. Paul Tibbett's mother). Around 70,000 people were killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning.

1956 –Monday  After finally going bankrupt in 1955 after years of struggling to stay afloat,, the American broadcaster the DuMont Television Network, America's fourth television network which operated from 1946 to 1956,  made its final broadcast, a boxing match from St. Nicholas Arena in New York in the cleverly named Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena series. Notable DuMont shows included: Captain Video and His Video Rangers,  Life is Worth Living - Bishop Fulton Sheen and The Zenith Radio Hour

1956-  Monday The Alan Freed movie Rock! Rock! Rock! goes into production, featuring Tuesday Weld (her singing vocals dubbed by Connie Francis) as teenage girl desperately tries to earn enough money to buy a dress for a school rock and roll dance. Tuesday, before becoming a method actress, went on to fame as Thalia Meninger on the Dobie Gillis series. Also appearing  in the movie were Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, The Moonglows, The Flamingos, Johnny Burnett and LaVern Baker. Sounds like an all-star cast but unfortunately, Cirino and the Bow Ties also performed. The movie would premiere on December 7, 1956.

1959 Thursday  Eve Kendall: [Hanging by their fingers from Mount Rushmore] What happened with your first two marriages?
Roger Thornhill: My wives divorced me.
Eve Kendall: Why?
Roger Thornhill: They said I led too dull a life………..
The premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest  starring a crop duster, Mount Rushmore, and Cary Grant., Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G. Carroll, and a young Martin Landau. Grant starred in a different version of Mad Men, as a New York advertising executive i mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies. He is then pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

1960 –Saturday Actually, Fidel Castro was the most powerful socialist in the world not living in Malibu. Did you know that?"……..Jay Leno……Cuba nationalized American and foreign-owned property  valued at $850,000,000. Asking for the property to be returned, the  U.S offered to send him Oliver Stone, the MSNBC network, NPR, Herbert Marcuse, The Black Panther Party, Martin Sheen, the New York City Council, any Clinton, and a year’s worth of front row seats to Oprah’s show but Fidel Castro held out for an autographed picture of Barney Frank and the  deal fell apart. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords….Kent Brockman.

1960- Saturday  Oh, I don't really know to this day. I was told they wanted a better drummer, I was anti-social, they didn't like my hair, but it is still very much a gray area and the reasons don't hold water…..Pete Best………..After their previous drummer, Tommy Moore, had left earlier in the year, citing touring conditions and Lennon's personality, the Beatles needed a drummer  for a series of dates in Hamburg, Germany, They visited  Liverpool's  Casbah club to invite Pete Best, (his mother owned the club) then of the Black Jacks, to join the group.  Best would be replaced by Ringo Starr in 1962.

1960: Saturday Come on baby let's do the twist
Come on baby let's do the twist
Take me by my little hand and go like this
Ee-oh twist baby baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist
……On Dick Clark’s Saturday Night (Beechnut) Show on ABC,   a lip synching Chubby Checker demonstrated  The Twist for the first time, kicking off a dance craze that would last the better part of two years since In 1962, Chubby Checker's version of "The Twist" again hit number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, becoming the second song to ever be number one on two separate occasions (Bing Crosby's White Christmas was the first). In total, Checker's The Twist  (originally recorded by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters) spent 25 weeks in the top ten.  Also appearing on that Saturday night show were; Conway Twitty, Ray Peterson, Billy Bland and the Ivy Three.

1961 –Sunday  Vostok 2  with Gherman Titov on the 2nd manned orbital flight. After 17.5 orbits, the spacecraft reentered and the cosmonaut landed safely. Titov was also the first  astronaut to experience space sickness or as the Soviets reluctantly reported, his vestibular system had experienced "some changes manifested in unpleasant feelings." Titov’s final request echoed the words of Homer Simpson that he not be sent to that terrible planet of the apes. The day-long flight was a huge blow to America, which had not even orbited a man in space yet (John Glenn, 1962).

1962 –Monday  Jamaica
Eternal Father, Bless our Land
Guide us with thy mighty hand
Keep us free from evil powers
Be our light through countless hours
To our leaders, great defender
Grant true wisdom from above
Justice, truth be ours forever
Jamaica, land we love
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, land we love
……Jamaica became independent from the United Kingdom.  Didn’t help much as Jamaica’s principal export to England continued to be people and crime. Initially a Spanish territory, Jamaica was soon taken over by the British in the 17th century where people can't say "three" or "thing" ...but  instead say "tree" and "ting.

1964 – Thursday They'd smash up the world if they thought it would make a pretty noise…….Terry Pratchett…………Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world's oldest tree, was  cut down. The circumstances were colossally stupid. According to the Earth Caretaker site, a young geographer, Donald R. Currey, a student (but we choose to think of him as an idiot) who was working toward his doctorate, was in the Southwest searching for evidence of Ice Age glaciers. The Wheeler Peak glacier and related phenomena attracted him. When this student and his associate came upon the bristlecones at the timberline, they began to take core samples from several trees, discovering one to be over 4,000 years old! Needless to say they were excited, and at some point, their only coring tool broke. The end of the field season was nearing. They asked for (and I still can't believe it!) were granted permission (!!!!!!!! – emphasis ours)  by the U.S. Forest Service to cut the tree down. It was "Prometheus".    After cutting the trunk at a convenient level, which happened to be more than eight feet above the original base, 4,844 rings were counted. This genius had just killed the oldest living thing on earth! Eventually, dendrochronologists determined the tree to be 4,950 years of age.  

1967- Sunday If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.  ….Quentin Crisp………..Cosmos 167 USSR Attempted Venus Probe was  launched.  This spacecraft was designed to drop a probe through Venus' atmosphere like its twin, Venera 4. and disprove the U.S Space Documentary, Queen of Outer Space which posited that Zsa Zsa Gabor lived on Venus with a tribe of Amazons in short skirts and high heels.  Unfortunately,  the  rocket engine that was to propel it from Earth orbit to Venus failed to fire, and the spacecraft system re-entered the atmosphere after circling Earth for eight days.

      1985 -Tuesday  Q: How does the Urine Processor work? It doesn't…….The 19th space shuttle mission, Challenger landed at Edwards AFB.  The Challenger's next flight, January 28, 1986 would be the disaster 73 seconds after take-off that took the lives of seven astronauts.  The major objective of this mission was to verify the performance of the Spacelab, this one was Spacelab-2, systems with the orbiter as well as to measure the environment created by the vehicle in space.

1986 – WednesdayI can see clearly now, the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. ……Johnny Nash………..Putting a bit of a damper on the Fun-in-the-Sun Festival schduled for the day, a low-pressure system that redeveloped off the New South Wales coast dumped a record 328 millimeters (13 inches) of rain in a day on Sydney.

1991 – Tuesday Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. Lee was working in a computing services section of CERN when he came up with the concept; at the time he had no idea that it would be implemented on such an enormous scale. Particle physics research often involves collaboration among institutes from all over the world. Tim had the idea of enabling researchers from remote sites in the world to organize and pool together information. But far from simply making available a large number of research documents as files that could be downloaded to individual computers, he suggested that you could actually link the text in the files themselves. He and his CERN colleagues created a communications protocol called HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that standardized communication between computer servers and clients. Their text-based Web browser was released to the public in 1991, marking the beginnings of the World Wide Web

1991 –Tuesday  Doi Takako, chair of the Social Democratic Party, became Japan's first female speaker of the House of Representatives. Takako then traditionally entertained and charmed wealthy customers with music, dance, song and witty conversation.

1996 – Tuesday  Dallas: Something has attached itself to him. We have to get him to the infirmary right away.
Ripley: What kind of thing? I need a clear definition.
Dallas: An organism. Open the hatch.
Ripley: Wait a minute. If we let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedure. Twenty-four hours for decontamination.
Dallas: He could die in twenty-four hours. Open the hatch.
Ripley: Listen to me, if we break quarantine, we could all die. …Alien…....
NASA said that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contained evidence of primitive life-forms………. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin announced the discovery of evidence of a primitive life form on Mars. The evidence came from a fossil found on a meteorite in Antarctica believed to have come from Mars billions of years ago.  The meteorite – an igneous rock solidified within Mars about 4.5 billion years ago, about 100 million years after the formation of the planet - showed:  1) hydrocarbons which are the same as breakdown products of dead micro-organisms on Earth, 2) mineral phases consistent with by-products of bacterial activity, and 3) tiny carbonate globules which may be microfossils of the primitive bacteria, all within a few hundred-thousandths of an inch of each other. The primitive life was later identified as Richard Nixon or possibly Al Gore.

2001 – Monday When beggars die there are no comets seen;…..Calpurnia….Julius Caesar…… In the Erwadi fire incident, 25 people including 11 women were burnt  to death. A devastating fire broke out at 5 am, in a thatched hostel housing them. Out of the 46 hostel inmates, 40 were chained to their beds at a faith based institution at Erwadi, Tamil Nadu. People from various parts of the country brought their loved ones to this place in the belief that the Dargah here had magical powers to cure mental illness

2008 –Wednesday
وكن مع الحق الذي يرضاك منك دائرا
ولا تعد نافعا سواه أو ضائرا
واسلك سبيل المصطفى ومت عليه سائرا
وكن لقوم احدثوا في أمره مهاجرا
قد موهوا بشبه واعتذروا معاذرا
وزعموا مزاعما وسودوا دفاترا
واحتنكوا أهل الفلا واحتنكوا الحواضرا
وأورثت أكابر بدعتها أصاغرا
وإن دعا مجادل في أمرهم إلى مرا
فلا تمار فيهم إلا مراء ظاهرا

Be a helper for God, and censure what is forbidden,
And turn with the law which, which He wants you to follow,
Hold no one to be useful or harmful, except for Him,
And walk the path of the chosen one, and die while you are on it!
For what was sufficient for the first of us, is sufficient for the last one, too.
And leave those people who do evil things with respect to God.
They misrepresented him by making him similar, and made all kinds of excuses.
They made bold claims, and blackened notebooks.
They let the nomads and the sedentary people, both make bitter experiences,
And the great sins of their [doctrinal] innovations bequeathed small.
And just in case a disputant, calls you to dispute about their claims,
Do not, then, dispute on them, except by way of an external dispute……National Antlhem….
A military junta led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz staged a coup d'état in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.because he didn’t like his name.  Some of the same military leaders were involved in the 2005 coup that brought Abdallahi to power.In April 2009, Ba Mamadou Mbaré, became Acting President but, surprise, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, became President of what is officially known as the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

2009 -Thursday I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life. …..Sonia Sotomayor……… The Senate approved, 68 to 31, the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. She was the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and the third woman to serve on the Court. President Barack Obama praised the confirmation as “breaking yet another barrier and moving us yet another step closer to a more perfect union.”

Back to Calendar


322 BC –Monday- A Greek and Italian were arguing over who had the superior culture.
The Greek says, "We have the Parthenon."
The Italian replies, "We have the Coliseum."
The Greek retorts, "We Greeks gave birth to advanced mathematics"
The Italian, says, "But we built the Roman Empire."
And so on and so on until the Greek comes up with what he thinks will end the discussion. With a flourish of finality he says, "We invented sex!"
The Italian replies, "That is true, but it was the Italians who introduced it to women
 Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedon. This was the decisive land battle of the Lamian War, an attempt by a Greek coalition led by Athens to win freedom from Macedonia.  The battle was fought north of Thessalian plains, where the Macedonian army under Antipater command  squished  the Greek army led by Hyperides Following Alexander's death on 323 BC Athens rebelled against Macedonian hegemony.

            1420 – Monday A starlit or a moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins
…..W. B. Yeats…. Byzantium….. Construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore (Brunelleschi’s Dome)began  in Florence. We recommend   Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King. Architechturally, this was the beginning of the Renaissance. The dome was built without the use of  centering (a wooden or iron structure) to support the masonry. Filippo Brunelleschi won the competition for its commission in 1418.  He developed some amazing solutions to lighten the imposing structure and to efficiently organize a worksite capable of fulfilling the requirements of the various stages of construction. Brunelleschi employed innovative machines that he designed himself.  The dome is egg-shaped and was made without scaffolding.  The dome was completed in 1436.

            1606 – Monday Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness. (Act I, Scene V).The first documented performance of Macbeth, at the Great Hall at Hampton Court King James I and his brother-in-law, King Christian of Denmark. This initial production starred Snooki as Lady Macbeth, Sylvester Stallone as Macbeth, and Adam Sandler as Macduff. We’ve encountered several dates for the first performance of the play with 1611-12 being the latest.  This 1606 performance was  exacerbated by the sudden illness of boy-actor Hal Berridge, due to play Lady Macbeth (all women’s roles were played by men) and the legend is that Shakespeare had to fill that role himself. The subsequent death of Berridge is one of many tragic events linked with the piece that have led to the idea it is cursed: actors refuse to even name it other than when reciting lines, using such euphemisms as The Scottish Play instead. It is believed that Macbeth was first printed in 1623. As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play would have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

            1679 –Monday A lot of people ask me if I were shipwrecked, and could only have one book, what would it be? I always say 'How to Build a Boat….Steven Wright……The brigantine Le Griffon, commissioned by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, (aka La Salle) specifically for this mission, was towed to the south-eastern end of the Niagara River by Al’s Towing and Body Shop, making  the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes of North America. A brigantine was a two-masted sailing ship with square rigging on the foremast and fore-and-aft rigging on the mainmast.  Le Griffon never returned to the Niagara River as  she sank in a storm in either Lake Michigan or Huron.  Allegedly, the ship was hauling a cargo of furs worth $12,000.00 at the time of her dénouement.

            1726- Wednesday  (breaking our series of Mondays – see above items) Happy Birthda, James Bowdoin  American founder and first president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Governor of Massachusetts 1785-87  Bowdoin was a scientist prominent in physics and astronomy.  Bowdoin College was named in his honor.

            1779 –Saturday I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks….Daniel Boone…….Joyeux Anniversaire! Louis de Freycinet, French explorer who’s most notable mission was mission was to finally determine the shape of the earth and return with detailed reports on geography, people, government, commerce and art of  the islands of the Pacific. =. The 350-ton corvette (a convertible with 350 HP)  Uranie had a crew of 120 men and 23 officers including the artist Jacques Arago and a priest. De Freycinet also secretly added a small cabin on the poop deck to accommodate his young wife Rose who had disguised herself as a young man and came aboard the ship as a stowaway.  Over the next three years Uranie visited Australia, East Timor, Guam, the Marianas, and South America.

            1779 – Saturday I get to go to overseas places, like Canada ….Britney Spears….. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Carl Ritter, German geographer born in Quedlinburg, Prussia. With Alexander Humboldt getting principal credit, Ritter is one of the founders of modern Geography.  Ritter saw geography as an empirical science, he maintained that its methodology required proceeding from one observation to the next, not from opinion or hypothesis to observation. And we thought our Gnus has taken a long time (5 years) to write, but Ritter’s Magnus opus  was a comprehensive geographical treatise of the entire world.  Erdkunde’s (Geography), first volume appeared in 1817. Eventually it ran to nineteen volumes, but when Ritter  went kaput he had only completed Asia and Africa. Erdkunde defined the discipline of geography as the study of the relation between humans and their various environments throughout the world.

            1782- Wednesday The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war …..Douglas MacArthur……..George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, as a  decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.  While at  his headquarters in Newburgh, New York, while waiting for his reservations at one of Newburgh’s new water front restaurants, Washington devised a  badge, for any singularly meritorious Action, that was the "igure of a Heart in Purple Cloth or Silk edged with narrow Lace or Binding." This Badge of Military Merit, was affixed to the uniform coat above the left breast and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge and to have his name and regiment inscribed in a Book of Merit.  It fell out of use after the Revolution until 1931 when General Douglas MacArthur, reopened work on a new design. His objective  was a medal issued on the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart.  The American War Library informs that “the amount/level/degree of a person’s wound or injury is never a factor. When establishing the PH General George Washington made it absolutely clear that awarding/authorizing officers were not permitted to make personal judgments based on how more or less serious a wound or injury appeared, and that being wounded in combat -- by any degree -- was a true distinction of "military merit". Since General Washington's original decision no president, military or Congressional authority has found it necessary to change the PH's issue regulation policy.”

            1794- Thursday Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake…….W.C Fields……… Angry farmers in the Monongahela Valley of Pennsylvania rebelled against the federal tax on liquor and stills. Alexander Hamilton, proposed the bill to help prevent the national debt from growing. Loud protests from all districts of the new nation soon followed. These protests were loudest in the western counties of Pennsylvania. Whiskey is an alcoholic drink made from corn. The farmers grew the corn to make the whiskey. This was the Whiskey Rebellion as the farmers vented their anger by torching tax collector's homes, as well as "tarring and feathering revenue officers." The government moved quickly to quell the revolting situation.  President Washington called in 12,900 Federal troops from to surrounding states to forcefully usher the farmers back to their homes where everyone had a shot of Jack Daniels’ and then another and then another and then they for got what they were angry about.

                1819Saturday Flee the country where a lone man holds all power: It is a nation of slaves……………….Simón Bolívar whupped Spanish forces in the Battle of Boyacá in present-day Colombia.  Spanish general José María Barreiro thought Bolivar’s forces were farther away than they actually were and allowed his army to spread out.  Big mistake. Bolivar attacked the shocked, spread-out main Spanish army and  quickly surrounded them.. Surrounded and cut off from the best soldiers in his army, Barreiro quickly surrendered. All told, the royalists lost more than 200 killed and 1,600 captured. The patriot forces lost 13 killed and about 50 wounded. It was a total victory for Bolívar  and one of the greatest of Bolívar's many triumphs. The stunning, complete victory broke a  stalemate with Spain and gave Bolívar an advantage he never lost.

            1869- Saturday ". . . and the Sun has perished
out of heaven,
and an evil mist hovers over all.
Homer …..
The Odyssey ……You’ve seen versions eclipses of the Sun saving explorers or soldiers from natives in many movies but on this day, George Davidson, a prominent astronomer and explorer was exploring the Chilkat Valley in Alaska and correctly predicted an eclipse of the Sun.  It may have saved his life.  Davidson had been warned that the Chilkat Indians were angry because of previous provocations and might be hostile. His initial meeting with the Chilkat on August 6 was tense and didn’t go well Davidson explained that he had come for purely scientific reasons, and he meant them no harm. Understandably, because of previous treatment from white folks as well as calls to Technical Support at Hewlett Packard, the Indians were skeptical.  Davidson (who had reported on a prior eclipse of the sun in 1854) said that he was especially anxious to observe a total eclipse of the sun that he predicted would occur the following day. The Indians didn’t believe him, but they left the party in peace for the time being. Sure enough on August 7,  the sky grew dark over the Chilkat Valley as the moon eclipsed the sun, as Davidson had predicted. Thereafter, they left Davidson and his party alone, leading one historian to speculate that the astronomer's prediction may have saved the entire team from attack. In 1983 Bonnie Tyler reported on a Total Eclipse of the Heart.

1876 –Monday – Ohh ooh what do you do
No one else can dance like you
So what's all the fuss
There ain't nobody that spies like us
……Paul McCartney……. Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!,  Mata Hari. Born in  Leeuwarden, Netherlands. Mata Hari  (which means the “eye of the day”  in Java – her first husband was a British officer living in Java) was the stage name of the Dutch exotic dancer and prostitute who was shot by the French as a spy on October 15,  1917. Since the Netherlands was neutral during WW I, as a Dutch national, Mata Hari could traipse merrily from country to country.  Sources vary and it is murky as to whom she was spying for.  It was said that while in The Hague in 1916 she was offered cash by a German consul for information obtained on her next visit to France.  In fact, Mata Hari admitted she had passed old, outdated information to a German intelligence officer when later interrogated by the French intelligence service. She also claimed she had been paid to act as a French spy in Belgium (then occupied by German forces), although she had neglected to inform her French spymasters of her prior arrangement with the German consul. She was more of a bumbling amateur, way in over her head,  than the master spy that history and the movies (Greta Garbo) have portrayed.  She was arrested by the French in  February 1917 in Paris.  She was tried by a military court in July 1917 and sentenced to death by a firing squad.  She was rendered kaput in October 1917 in Vincennes near Paris.  She was 41.

1886- SaturdayI knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio. …..Joan Rivers…………Happy Birthday, (Louis) Alan Hazeltine American electrical engineer and physicist  born in Morristown New Jersey.  Hazeltine invented the neutrodyne circuit, a receiver suitable for broadcast reception that employed neutralization of internal capacitive coupling in high-gain amplifiers,  which made commercial radio possible.

            1888 –Tuesday-  I want to make a revolving door that says 'Pull' on it, just see how obedient people are. ………Demitri Martin………...Theophilus Van Kannel of Philadelphia received a patent for the revolving door.  He had actually tried out the concept several times but  he kept going around in circles. Van Kannel’s revolving door served as an airlock, preventing the rapid influx of cold air into warm buildings on chilly, windy days. The revolving door also kept out street noises and fumes and it was handy for getting your luggage stuck in it.  The door proved particularly useful in skyscrapers, where the pressure differences created by a large column of warm air inside the building and the outside cold air made conventional doors difficult to open or close.  He  founded the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company (now International Revolving Door Company).  Can Kannel’s  other inventions included the cherry stoner, which removes cherry pits – we note that Professor Sy Yentz can tie a cherry stem in a knot with his tongue – and the changeable fulcrum door check, an early system for pulling doors gently closed without slamming severely hindering dramatic exit scenes.

     1890 – Thursday Mommy doesn't have her head anymore
Keep it underneath my bed on the floor
That's alright though
That's ok
She never really used her head anyway
…..Offspring…………Anna Månsdotter achieved the dubious distinction of being the last woman in Sweden to be executed.  She was convicted for strangling her daughter in law, Hanna Johansdotter. Anna was having an incestuous relationship with her son, Per, who also received the death sentence for his part in the crime, which was later commuted to life in prison.   Månsdotter was beheaded and details of her kapution include the fact that the angle of the axe was so acute that the blade passed through her jaw instead of clean through her neck.

                 1903 –Friday If the mitochondrial Eve is 202,000 years old and the y-chromosome Adam only 188,000 years old, then he was the first man to fall in love with an older woman. …..unknown………….Happy Birthday, Louis Leakey, British archaeologist and anthropologist born in Kabete, Kenya.. Leakey was largely responsible for convincing scientists that Africa, rather than Java, China, or the Jersey Shore, was the most significant area to search for evidence of human origins. Louis Leakey, his wife Mary, and their second son Richard made the key discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the first men, including Barbara Walters, Regis Philbin, Chuck Berry, and the average Supreme Court Justice.

            1912- Wednesday You go to the White House, you shake hands with Roosevelt and hear him talk – and then go home to wring the personality out of your clothes……Richard Washburn Child…… Theodore Roosevelt, the former U.S. president, was nominated for the presidency by the Progressive Party, a group of Republicans dissatisfied with the re-nomination of President William Howard Taft. Also known as the Bull Moose Party, the Progressive platform called for the direct election of U.S. senators, woman suffrage, reduction of the tariff, many social reforms and the deportation of people who put ice in single malt whiskey. The Party was part of a Presidential snit by Roosevelt who was unhappy with Taft's time in office and put his name forward to become the Republican Party's nominee again. The Party chose to stick with Taft. This angered Roosevelt who stomped out of the convention and then formed his own party, the Progressive Party in protest. Hiram Johnson was chosen as his running mate.  This cleverly split the Republican vote enabling the election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson.  Taft and Roosevelt came away with a combined popular vote of 50% whereas Wilson ended with 43% of the vote.

                1915 -Saturday It's the only reason I watch auto racing. I'm waiting for some accidents, man! I want to see some cars on fire……. I want to see some schmuck with his hair on fire running around punching his own head trying to put it out! I want to see the pits explode! I want to see cars doing 200 mile an hour cartwheels! Hey, where else besides auto racing am I going to see a 23-car collision and not be in the son of a bitch …….George Carlin……..Driving a Peugeot EX3, race-car driver Dario Resta broke the 100mph speed barrier in a race in Chicago.  Nowadays people routinely top 100mph as they race to the last parking space in a mall parking lot during Christmas shopping season.  Resta broke the record while winning the 100-mile Chicago Cup Challenge Race at the Maywood Board Speedway in Chicago. With an average speed of 101.86mph, this was the first event in which such speeds had been attained for a race of this length in the U.S.

                1927 – Sunday I once said cynically of a politician, "He'll double-cross that bridge when he comes to it ……Oscar Levant……….Tolls, the  price of peace, can vary (2012 -$2.70 -EZ Pass) $3.00- for cars up to $13 for buses (which pale in comparison to the 2012 toll rate of $ at New York’s George Washington Bridge) for entering Canada (it’s free to leave) on  the Peace Bridge, a three-lane toll-bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada and Buffalo, NY, which was was dedicated during ceremonies attended by the addled Prince of Wales (future King Edward VIII), Price Albert (future George VI), the prime ministers of Canada and Britain, and U.S. Vice-President Charles Dawes. The  name commemorated the over 100 years of peace between Canada and the U.S eh.  The 1,768-m (5,800-ft) structure crosses the Niagara River, about 20-km (12½-mi) upstream from t Niagara Falls

1928-Tuesday-  And I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar, spend it as fast as I can.
For a wailin' song and a good guitar, the only things that I understand, poor boy, the only things that I understand
……Kingston Trio…………..The first United States issued one dollar bill was printed in 1862.Deflation!  The dollar went to a "shrink"! The dollar was left in the pants pocket and put in the dryer and it shrank.  Yes,  this day the day the dollar literally shrank. It shriveled about 35% . The Treasury unveiled a new version of the note that was one third smaller than its predecessor.  That’s 6.14 × 2.61 × 0.0043 in or  156 × 66.3 × 0.11 mm for the metric minded. All the other bills shrank too.  Shrink shrank shrunk. Now everyone had to change to a new size wallet.

            1929 –Wednesday You can sum up this sport in two words: ‘You never know.’……Lou Duva ……..Happy Birthday,  Don Larsen, pitcher.  A career journeyman - St Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles (1953-1954 & 1965), New York Yankees (1955-1958), Kansas City Athletics (1960-1961) and Chicago White Sox (1961); and the National League's San Francisco Giants (1962-1964), Houston Astros (1964), and Chicago Cubs (1967) – career record 81-91.  Larson was traded to the New York Yankees as part of the largest personnel trade in Baseball history, a  transaction that was announced in the media in two stages - first, on November 18 it was announced that the Orioles had sent the Larsen, who had led the League in losses with 21, (although he managed to win 3 games)  Bob Turley,) and Billy Hunter for pitchers Harry Byrd and Jim McDonald; outfielder Gene Woodling; shortstop Willie Miranda; and minor league catchers Gus Triandos and Hal Smith . Part 2, announced on December 2, had Baltimore send pitcher Mike Blyzka, catcher Darrell Johnson, first baseman Dick Kryhoski, and outfielders Ted del Guercio and Tim Fridley to the Yankees and the Yankees in turn sent to the Orioles pitcher Bill Miller, second baseman Don Leppert, and third baseman Kal Segrist.  Larson would achieve one monumental moment as he became the only pitcher in World Series history to throw a no-hitter as on  October 8, 1956, Larsen pitched a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Sal Maglie, as the New York Yankees won, 2-0.

            1937 - Saturday Happy Birthday, William R. Maples (had a large and syrupy family tree did Dr. Maples), American forensic anthropologist and forensic historian who examined and identified the skeletons of a number of historical figures, including Czar Nicholas II and other members of the Romanov family killed in 1918 by the Bolsheviks. Maples also examined Vietnam MIAs, conquistador Francisco Pizarro, he confirmed that remains found in two boxes in a crypt in the Cathedral of Lima, belonged to Pizarro, President Zachary Taylor -to determine if he had been poisoned, as had been proposed by some at the time. Test results showed that he had not been, and in 1994 helped convict Byron De La Beckwith of the 1963 murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Naturally, his book was titled, Dead Men Do Tell Tales.

1939 - Monday  My darling, I love you so
More than you'll ever know
Each night I kneel and say a prayer
Hoping when I wake you'll still be there

I need your love with all my heart
Promise me we'll never part
We have a love that's sure to be
True love for all eternity
Happy Birthday Ron Holden , born in Seattle,  singer, who’s Love You So – on Donna Records, (with The Thunderbirds)  1960 has one of the great saxophone accompaniments.

1941 -  Thursday – Speaking of saxophones, the premiere of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, or as Robert Montgomery would say, “Mistah Jawden”. Directed by Alexander Hall, it’s the story of a boxer who goes kaput fifty years early due to a heavenly clerical error and is given a new life as a millionaire playboy. It was remade in 1978 a Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty as a football player. This one starred Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains (as Mr Jordan – James Mason would reprise the role in ‘78’), Edward Everett Horton, and a young, un-credited, Lloyd Bridges

1942 –Friday- Most of the men are stricken with dysentery...Starvation is taking many lives and it is weakening our already extended lines. We are doomed. Major-General Kensaku Oda (Referring to the state of Japanese troops on Guadalcanal …….Nine months after the Japanese seak attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. forces landed at Guadalcanal shortly after he heavy cruiser Quincy began bombarding Japanese positions near Lunga Point. This was the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II.  The first of the Marines came ashore soon after 9AM at "Red" Beach, a stretch of grey sand near the Tenaru River. By the afternoon of the following day they had pushed westwards to seize the operation's primary object, the nearly completed Japanese airfield near Lunga Point.

1947 -Thursday In a remarkable feat of navigation in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, while seeking to avoid escalating air fares and over-priced cruise ships,  the wooden raft Kon-Tiki, carried Thor Heyerdahl and five companions more than 4,000 miles for 101 days from Peru, made landfall on a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands – near Tahiti in Polynesia. Heyerdahl had posited the theory that migration to Polynesia had followed the natural North Pacific conveyor, from the coasts of British Columbia and Peru. He believed that Polynesia had been reached by two successive waves of immigrants. The first wave had reached Polynesia via Peru and Easter Island on balsa rafts. Centuries later, a second ethnic group reached Hawaii in large double-canoes from British Columbia. Kon Tiki  was built  of nine 2-foot-thick balsa logs, ranging in length from thirty to forty-five feet, the longest in the middle, and lashed to balsa cross beams supporting a plaited bamboo deck and an open bamboo hut. A bipod mast with a bamboo yard carrying a square sail.  She was  christened Kon-Tiki, after a legendary Sun-King who according to Inca history is supposed to have ruled their land before the coming of the Incas, after which he is claimed to have migrated into the Pacific.  The raft was later entered in a race, the Kon Tiki Derby.

    1956 – Tuesday I'd spit again at those booing bastards….. Great Expectorations – The Boston Red Sox fined star player  Ted Williams $5,000 for spitting at Boston fans.  Presumably it would have been okay to hurl spittle at Yankee fans.  Williams had just dropped an easy fly ball and was being heartily booed by loyal Red Sox supporters.  I played here 18 years, hit .350 lifetime and they still boo me! Teddy Ballgame, in the spirit of Affirmative Action, continued his Flemish rampage by spitting in the direction of the Yankee dugout. P.S – the Red Sox actually won the game 1-0 and the losing pitcher for the Yankees was Don Larson (see 1929 above, who would go on to pitch the only perfect game in World Series history on October 8.

1959 –Friday- A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned,………Benjamin Franklin …..So, first the dollar shrank – see 1928 above) and now, gasp, the Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny went into circulation. This is the one with Lincoln on the front and the Memorial on the back.  Get out your magnifier and take a closer look, you’ll see Lincoln sitting inside the Memorial.  It replaced the "sheaves of wheat" design and is still in use.

1959  Friday- The first photograph ever taken of the earth by a U.S. satellite showed a crescent shape of part of the planet in sunlight. Visible was Mexico (the tiny dots were thousands on illegal aliens crossing into the U.S) taken from 17,000 miles above by the Explorer 6 satellite. The picture took 40 minutes to transmit or about the same time it takes "dial up" internet users to download a picture today.

1963 –Wednesday  Prof. Robert O. Sutwell: Marianne, this book will be my triumph. Marianne: And you'll never get it through the mail. But hang on to the picture rights, I'm sure American International will snap it up in a minute……..The premiere of Beach Party. Directed by William Asher it was the first of the five, or is it seven “official” (and countless copies)  American-International Beach Party movies. The plot involved an anthropologist studying the dating habits of the teens hanging out on a nearby beach. Top billing went to Robert Cummings and Dorothy Malone but the movie and the series were stolen by Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello (strictly for her acting of course).  Also on hand were comedian Morey Amsterdam (fresh from the Dick Van Dyke Show) Harvey Lembeck (reaching dramatic heights as Eric Von Zipper), never quite made it as teen idol, John Ashley, and an embarrassing Jody McCrea. Music, very weak – which contributed to the awful choreography – compare it to American Bandstand) , was provided by Dick Dale and the Deltones.  Beach Party, and all that would follow, was a derivative of the watershed beach movie Gidget – 1959.  In the Biblical sense, Gidget begat Gidget Goes Hawaiian which begat Where the Boys are which begat,sort of, Elvis’ Blue Hawaii.   American International followed up with Muscle Beach Party    1964, (we loved Luciana Paluzzi since she co-starred on Five Fingers with David Hedison,) Bikini Beach 1964, Pajama Party, 1964 , Beach Blanket Bingo 1965,  How to Stuff a Wild Bikini 1965, and  The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini 1966. 1965 also saw Ski Party which was the same thing but they could only wear bikinis indoors.

1970 –Friday Reg: If you want to join the People's Front of Judea, you have to really hate the Romans.
Brian: I do!
Reg: Oh yeah, how much?
Brian: A lot!
Reg: Right, you're in. Monty Python, Life of Brian………Marin County (California) Superior Court judge Harold Haley was taken hostage in his courtroom and killed during in an effort to free George Jackson from police custody.  Haley was killed during the attempted escape of his captors with their hostages. Seventeen year old  Jonathan Jackson brought guns into Judge Haley's courtroom, where San Quentin inmate James McClain was on trial. The plan was to use the hostages to gain the release of Jonathan’s murderous brother, GeorgeMcClain escaped along with two other San Quentin inmates, Ruchell Magee and William Christmas, who were present at the trial as witnesses. Jackson and the prisoners took Haley, Thomas, and three female jurors but Haley, Jackson, McClain and Christmas were killed as the abductors attempted to drive away from the courthouse. Haley was apparently hit by fire from a sawed-off shotgun that had been fastened to his neck with adhesive tape by the abductors. George Jackson, one of several career criminals who caused orgasmic reactions in left wing media when they spewed racial hatred and portrayed themselves as victims, was serving a prison term for killing a gas station attendant during a robbery.  He then killed a prison guard, wrote Soledad Brother, became the darling of self-styled revolutionaries (it was either the age or something in the water) and media sycophants and got himself killed in 1971 trying to escape prison armed with a 9 mm pistol.

1974 – Wednesday For several hours I let them have it: I describe the spying, the sneaking, the disguises, the deliveries -- everything ... I answer questions and conclude by offering suggestions on ways to improve security at the World Trade ….Center Philippe Petit performed a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Center 1,368 feet (417 m) in the air. Without official approval, the French high wire artist arrived just after six in the morning, with only some friends and passersby staring up as he crossed the steel rope between the towers at 1,350 feet (400 meters). Petit would actually make the crossing six or eight times (the total varied between the accounts of his arithmetically challenged friends) before he was  eventually seized by several police officers. The charges were eventually dropped. Instead, Petit would be requested to explain to the security department of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey how he did it.  Ironcially, Petit was working on a book about his feat when the Islamic terrorists crashed into the towers in 2001.

1976 – Saturday I'm moving to Mars next week, so if you have any boxes.....Steven Wright…….Viking 2 , launched on launched on  September 9, 1975.entered orbit around Mars. Actually, it was inserted into a 1500 x 33,000 km, 24.6 hr. Mars orbit  NASA's Viking Mission to Mars was composed of two spacecraft, Viking 1 and Viking 2, each consisting of an orbiter and a lander. The primary mission objectives were to obtain high resolution images of the Martian surface, characterize the structure and composition of the atmosphere and surface, search for evidence of life and bring back refrigerator magnets, t-shirts, Martian dish towels, and photos of Gerald Nadler’s birthplace. The orbiter developed a leak in its propulsion system that vented its attitude control gas. It was turned off on  July 25, 1978 after returning almost 16,000 images in 706 orbits around Mars.

1981 Friday -They say don't go on Wolverton Mountain
If you're looking for a wife
'Cause Clifton Clowers has a pretty young daughter
And he's mighty handy with a gun and a knife
Her tender lips are sweeter than honey
And Wolverton Mountain protects her there
The bears and the birds tell Clifton Clowers
If a stranger should enter there
…..Claude King……….Wolverton Mountain Day was  declared in Arkansas by Governor Frank B. White.. Woolverton Mountain is in Conway County, Arkansas.  

1985 –Wednesday I was able to Introduce some Japanese food to my crew mates and they loved the Japanese curry .In fact, I was told  it is the favorite food of the International Space Station, too. ……Mamoru Mohri……..Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai were chosen to be Japan's first astronauts. They immediately vowed to kill Godzilla, Mothra, and Ghidra the Three-Headed Monster. Mamoru Mohri became the first Japanese to fly into space by aboard the  Space Shuttle Endeavour, in September, 1992.  Chiaki Mukai, an experienced surgeon, flew aboard Colombia in 1994 and Takao Doi flew on the Columbia in 1997.

1987 – Friday  Dick Dale: You're asking me if I, Dick Dale, can play Venus?
Frankie, the Big Kahuna: Yes.
Dick Dale: No.
The movie Back to the Beach opened in the U.S.  Everyone needed the money so…… Frankie and Annette are all grown up and have kids in the mid-west. They return to LA to visit their daughter who lives…………guess where?.......Directed by Lyndall Hobbs, Frankie and Annette were about it from the original but they found Connie Stevens somewhere and stuck her in the movie too.  And if Connie Stevens (Cricket from 77 Sunset Strip) was there, then Edd Byrnes (Kookie, from the same show) had to have a cameo, as did, Don Adams, (Get Smart), Barbara Billingsley (Leave it to Beaver), Bob Denver( Gilligan’s Island), Tony Dow (Leave it to Beaver),Alan Hale Jr. ( Gilligan’s Island), Jerry Mathers (Leave it to Beaver),  And Paul Reubens  (Pee Wee Herman)

1998 –Friday Hang, cur! hang, you whoreson, insolent noise-maker!...Antonio……The Tempest, 1. 1 …….Islamic terrorists –Osama bin Laden, although (Pasta) Fazul Abdullah Mohammed would be credited for being the mastermind behind the bombings-  set off a pair of major explosions near U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killing 224 people, including 12 Americans. In the Tanzania, authorities believed that a bomb was planted in a refrigeration truck and then parked outside of the embassy. The attack on the Tanzanian embassy resulted in 11 deaths and 86 injuries, though none of the victims were Americans. The embassy bombing in Kenya resulted in the deaths of 213 people with over 5,000 injuries. In the Kenyan bombing 12 of the people killed were Americans.

2007–Tuesday- Haven't you heard about the guy known as the cheater
he'll take your girl and then he'll lie and he'll mistreat her
it seems every day now
you hear people say now
Look out for the cheater
make way for the fool-hearted clown
look out for the cheater
…Bob Kuban and the In-Men……melon sized headed Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants broke baseball great Hank Aaron record by hitting his 756th home run. The Giants lost to the Washington Nationals 8-6.

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1220 –Saturday  How Swede it is …apologies to Jackie Gleason……Estonian tribes 1 – Sweden  0 as Sweden was defeated by the Estonian tribes in the Battle of Lihula. In 1193 Pope Celestine III called for a crusade against the Baltic “Pagans” and the country was overrun by Danish and German knights by 1220 but for some reason, they neglected to overrun Lihula and the Swedes saw an opening for conquest.  Most Xeroxian internet sites seem to rely on the Wikipedia account  which in turn relies on  the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia and Livonian Rhymed Chronicle (was composed to be read to the crusading knights of the Livonian Order during their meals.).  The Primary Source Analysis of The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia by Ruth Williamson who notes that Henry wrote this history of the church in Livonia as a report to the papal legate William of Modena, to whom he was assigned as interpreter in 1225 through 1227. At any rate, itappears that Swedish troops, initially led by King John, had earlier in 1220 invaded the western coast of Estonia, hoping to visit Matsalu National Park and the Kaali Meteor Crater, an area not yet conquered by the Crusading Teutonic Knights. The Swedish army took the Lihula fortress and set up a small garrison.  On August 8, a combined Oeselian and Rotalian army encircled - a Lihula Hoop if you will-  the castle at dawn. The castle caught fire during the course of the fierce battle that ensued. Swedish troops tried to escape  but they were killed on site except for a few soldiers that succeeded in escaping to Tallinn, (present capital of Estonia)  which was then held by Denmark. Almost 500 other Swedes were rendered kaput leaving Estonia a Swede-Free Zone for the next 300 years.  

            1503 –SaturdayToday I met the boy I'm gonna marry
He's all I wanted all my life and even more
He smiled at me and the music started playing
Here comes the bride when he walked through the door
….Darlene Love…… After meeting on, and texting just forever!, King James IV of Scotland married thirteen year old, Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, Scotland. The affair was catered by Harry’s Haggis of Holyrood.  Music provided by D.J Bagpipes Wow Wow.  The groom was resplendent in a kilt by Martha Stewart of K Mart, the bride glowed in a Vera Wang. The wedding would eventually result in a Stuart becoming King of England 100 years later. Margaret would have six children with James, only one of whom survived….the future James V, who was seventeen months old in 1513 when his father was killed at Flodden, fighting an English army It was her great-grandson, James VI, who succeeded to the English throne in 1603.

            1576 –Sunday-  Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now
. …..Sarah Williams…….The cornerstone for Tycho Brahe's obervatory, Uraniborg was  laid on island of Hven, in the sound between Denmark and Scania.. The Brahe website notes that Uraniborg was the first building ever designed with astronomical observations as its primary design criteria. The purpose of all the towers and balconies was that they should serve as instrument platforms. The orientation of the building was chosen for maximum coverage of the sky with the instruments, remember, the telescope was not invented yet, and to simplify the precise alignment of the great mural quadrant.

            1647 –Thursday Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy……W.B. Yeats……At the Battle of Dungans HillEnglish Parliamentary forces defeated Irish forces for a change. Actually, Parliamentary forces defeated the Irish forces almost every time – see Drogheda and Wexford. Although, we note that they defeated England in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. After the defeat of King Charles in the English Civil War, the Parliament turned its attention to the conquest of Ireland. The Marquis of Ormond surrendered Dublin and in June 1647, the first contingents of the New Model Army landed in Ireland under the command of Colonel Michael Jones. Ormond surrendered Dublin to Jones on 19 June and formally handed over his sword of office to Parliament's commissioners in July.  Jones then Jones led an army out of Dublin towards Trim, in County Meath, which Leinster leader Thomas Preston was besieging. Preston circled around  the relief army and moved towards Dublin but was caught at Dungan's Hill Jones's cavalry proved vastly superior and the Irish infantry were forced into a bog. Preston's army suffered between 2,000 and 5,000 casualties.

            1709 – Thursday Nobody can be un cheered with a balloon …..Winnie the Pooh………Portuguese priest, Bartolomeu de Gusmão demonstrated the lifting power of hot air by putting Senator Charles Schumer in gondola in an audience before John V of Portugal in Lisbon.  It was It was a soap bubble rising in the hot air surrounding the flame of a candle that started Gusmão to consider the difference between the densities of air. An object lighter than air could should then be able to fly.  The Gusmão Society informs us that this was attempt number three to impress the King, On August 3, he made the first attempt in the Hearing Room of the Palace. Unfortunately, the small balloon made of paper was set on fire before it could rise in flight. Undeterred, two days later, a second attempt was successful. This time the balloon started to rise, but, unfortunately,  the palace servants attacked the device, thinking it would catch fire before it had reached the ceiling. Gusmão was back  at it on August 8, 1709,  but the third trial was attempted  in the Patio of the House of India… case of fire… This time he had total success. The King was so impressed that he granted to the right any and all flying ships to Gusmão from then on. And for all those who dared to intervene or to copy his ideas, the penalty would be the death.  The first clearly recorded instance of a balloon carrying passengers used hot air to generate buoyancy. The balloon was built by the Montgolfier brotherss in Annonay, France in 1783.

            1786 –Tuesday The ascent itself was magnificent; an amazing feat of endurance and sustained courage, carried through by these two men only, unroped and without ice axes, heavily burdened with scientific equipment and with long iron-pointed batons. The fortunate weather and a moon alone ensured their return alive …..Eric Shipton…..Jacques Balmat and Dr Michel-Gabriel Paccard  made the first successful attempt to climb Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe,  on the FrenchItalian border. They received a pen in recognition.

            1794 –Friday Not considering this opening worthy of more attention, I continued our pursuit to the Northwest, being desirous to embrace the advantages of the prevailing breeze……George Vancouver…….Joseph Whidbey, master of the Discovery,  and George Vancouver led an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage near Juneau, Alaska. They didn’t find it but they did note that “you can see Sarah Palin from here”.  This was part of the larger Vancouver Expedition (1791–1795), a five-year voyage of exploration and diplomacy, commanded by Captain George Vancouver. The expedition circumnavigated the globe, touched five continents and at various times included between two and four vessels, and up to 153 men, all but six of whom returned home safely.

            1829, Saturday  Well I lay my head on the railroad tracks
waitin for the double E
but railroad don’t run no more
poor poor pitiful me………..
Warren Zevon…………To carry coal from the mines down to the canal, the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company (D&H)bought a locomotive from England's Foster, Rastrick, and Company, which was named Lion or  Stourbridge Lion. The Lion made its first test run on D&H's own railroad track near Honesdale, PA. on August 8, 1829 . This was the first use of a steam locomotive on an American railroad. But the Lion proved to be too heavy for the wooden track, and it was quickly sidelined for use as a stationary steam boiler. The Lion travelled at 10 m.p.h. on the wooden tracks faced with wrought iron that already existed as a gravity railway, used to carry coal from mines at Carbondale to the canal terminus at Honesdale.  1829 was a busy year for railroading as Peter Cooper of New York built the Tom Thumb, a vertical boiler 1.4 HP locomotive, for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. It hauled 36 passengers at 18 mph in August 1830. It had a revolving fan for draught, used gun barrels for boiler tubes, and weighed less than one ton. Also in 1829, James Wright of Columbia, PA. invented the cone "tread" of the wheel, which prevents wear of flanges (not many things are worse than a worn flange) and reduced resistance.

            1854- Tuesday Gimme back my bullets
Put 'em back where they belong
Ain't foolin' around 'cause I done had my fun
Ain't gonna see no more damage done
Gimme back my bullets
………..Lynyrd  Skynyrd …...Metal bullet cartridges were patented by Smith & Wesson.  The .22 Short, introduced in 1857 for the first S&W revolver, was the first American metallic cartridge. The cartridge was based on the work of Walter Hunt who also invented the first workable sewing machinge.

            1876 –Tuesday Give a member of Congress a junket and a mimeograph machine and he thinks he is Secretary of State. ……Dean Rusk………..Thomas Edison and his purple finger tips received a patent for his mimeograph. he mimeograph machine is a low cost printing press and works by forcing ink through a stencil onto paper. Actually, Edison patented a stencil duplicator called “autographic printing.” and Albert Blake Dick invented the mimeograph in 1884.  The A. B. Dick Co., Chicago, acquired Edison’s copying system patents and, with Edison’s support, began manufacturing and marketing Edison Mimeograph systems in 1887

            1879 –Friday      Men of the South! It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees or…… I would rather die standing than live on my knees!...or...It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees…..or…….I prefer to die standing than to live forever kneeling…….or ..Prefer death on your feet to living on your knees. …..Variants of a Zapata quote………………Feliz Cumplea–os! Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary/”insurgent” of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920. Zapata was instrumental in bringing down the corrupt thirty five year dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz in 1911 by hurling stale burritos, chimichangas and Selena CDs at the poor man. Zapata later joined forces with other revolutionary generals to defeat  Diaz’ good friend and also dictator Victoriano Huerta in 1914. In 1911 Zapata issued his Plan de Ayala, a document that called for a radical transformation of the landowning pattern in Mexico, demanding the return to the peasants of all lands stolen by the landowners and for the expropriation of one-third of all hacienda lands for distribution to landless peasants. Zapata was himself rendered kaput after a falling out with former ally, Venustiano Carranza who who assigned Gen. Pablo González out the “zapatistas” without success. González sent Col. Jesús Guajardo to trick Zapata into receiving him as an ally. Zapata was ambushed and killed at Chinameca on April 10, 1919.

      1899- Tuesday  If it weren't for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all. ……Joey Adams………..The Xeroxian World of the Interet regurgitates that on this day “The refrigerator was patented by A.T. Marshall”.  It wasn’t, it was the first household refrigerator.  So  we went to U.S Refrigeration and Air Contitioning Patents  and found that A.T. Marshall of Brockton, MA actually received three patents for the refrigerator - "an automatic expansion-valve for refrigerating apparatus." 630,616 Albert T. Marshall Brockton, MA, August 8, 1899 -Application filed: June 4, 1897…Automatic Refrigeration apparatus - 630,617 Albert T. Marshall Brockton, MA-August 8, 1899Application filed: February 11, 1898Automatic expansion-valve for refrigerating apparatus630,618 Albert T. Marshall Brockton, MA, August 8, 1899 -Application filed: August 29, 1898 Automatic regulator.  It took quite a few more years for refrigerators to become common in households.  The first known artificial refrigeration was demonstrated by William Cullen at the University of Glasgow in 1748.  John Gorrie, built a refrigerator in 1844 to make ice to cool the air for his yellow fever patients. The modern domestic refrigerator is based to a great extent on the work of the Frenchman Edmond Cane. In the 1830′s, Carre perfected the first refrigerating machine to be widely adopted for individual use. Carre’s machines were used in many Paris restaurants for the production of ice and ice cream products. Marshall’s was the first  first household refrigerator patent in the United States.  

1900 – Wednesday To err is human. To put the blame on someone else is doubles……Anonymous……… The first  Davis Cup tennis competition, named after Dwight Filley Davis, began at Longwood Cricket Club in Mass. We went straight to the source, Davis Cup History, for this one.  The idea of Davis Cup was conceived a year earlier by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, who wished to set up a match between USA and Great Britain. Once the two respective national associations had agreed, one of the four players, Dwight Davis, designed a tournament format and ordered a trophy, buying it with his own money. In this inaugural, the U.S defeated the British Isles (as they were called then), 3-0.

            1901- Thursday I am mindful that scientific achievement is rooted in the past, is cultivated to full stature by many contemporaries and flourishes only in favorable environment. No individual is alone responsible for a single stepping stone along the path of progress, and where the path is smooth progress is most rapid. In my own work this has been particularly true.  ……Happy Birthday, Ernest Lawrence, the South Dakota born physicist (aka, Lawrence of South Dakota) winner of the 1939 Nobel Prize for Physics for his invention of the cyclotron  in 1929.  The cyclotron is a device for accelerating nuclear particles to very high velocities without the use of high voltages to make good, thin crusted pizza. The swiftly moving particles are used to bombard atoms of various elements, disintegrating the atoms to form, in some cases, completely new elements. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  as well as  Element 103 Lawrencium (a radioactive synthetic chemical element with the symbol Lr) were named for him.

    1908 – Saturday  Captain, how soon can you land? ('I can't tell.') You can tell me, I'm a doctor. ('No, I mean I'm' not sure.') Well, can't you take a guess? ('Well, not for another two hours.') You can't take a guess for another two hours?.....Dr. Rumack….Airplane ……..Wilbur Wright made  his first flight at the Hunaudieres race course, five miles south of Le Mans, France. It was the Wright Brothers' first public flight.  Orville had made the first flight on at Kitty Hawk, NC on December 17, 1903. Actually, Wilbur made over 100 flights near Le Mans, with t- the longest one, on Dec. 31, a record flight: 2 hours, 19 minutes.  The luggage was lost and after landing the ground crew did not have the jet way ready. Later, Wilbur concluded an agreement with a French syndicate for construction of flying machines in France.

            1910 – Monday  The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss……..Douglas Adams………Two years after Wilbur’s Le Mans flight, the US Army installed  the first tricycle landing gear on the Wright Flyer.  Tricycle landing gear consists of a forward (nose) wheel and a pair of wheels located midway on the fuselage. The nose gear is steerable by means of the rudder pedals.

            1911 –Tuesday- A man goes along to the Patent Office with some of his new designs. He says to the clerk, "I'd like to register my new invention. It's a folding bottle.""OK," says the clerk. "What do you call it?" "A fottle.""A fottle? That's a stupid name. Can you think of something else?" "I can think about it. I've got something else though. It's a folding carton." "And what do you call that?" asks the clerk."A farton." "That's rude. You can't possibly call it that." "In that case," says the man, "You're really going to hate the name of my folding bucket." The millionth patent was filed in the United States Patent Office. It was Francis Holton’s application  for a tubeless vehicle tire.  In case you were wondering, Patent Number 2,000,000 came in 1935 for Joseph Ledwinka for his invention of a vehicle wheel to increase the safety and longevity of pneumatic tires (a million patents later and still with the tires). In  1961 along came Patent Number 3,000,000 to Kenneth Eldredge for his invention of an automated reading system that  translated numbers, letters and symbols into data processing code. Fifteen years later came Patent Number 4,000,000, issued to Robert Mendenhall for his invention of a process for recycling asphalt. And another fifteen years later, (1991)we had patent Number 5,000,000  to Lonnie Ingram, Tyrrell Conway and Flavio Alterthum for their invention of a more efficient way to produce fuel ethanol. Just eight years down the line (1999) the pace had picked up and Patent Number 6,000,000  went to Jeffrey Hawkins and Michael Albanese for their invention of a data transfer system (HotSync).  In 2006 Patent Number 7,000,000  was issued to John O’Brien for his invention of “polysaccharide fibers” (cotton-like fibers biologically derived from plants such as corn) and a method of producing them. Holton’s contribution was evidently not a rousing success since In 1903, P.W. Litchfield of the Goodyear Tire Company patented the first tubeless tire, however, it was never commercially exploited until the 1954 Packard.

            1921 – Monday  Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai la tete
Je te plumerai la tete
Et la tete, et la tete
Et la tete, et la tete
Happy Birthday, John Herbert Chapman, British physicist, space scientist, administrator,  and architect of the Canadian space program.  Chapman played a key role in initiating and directing the spectacularly successful Alouette/ISIS scientific Earth Satellite program. With the launch of Alouette 1 in September 1962 Canada became the third country to design and build an Earth satellite. Alouette 1 (and Alouette 2) conducted a top-down study of the ionosphere.

            1922 – Tuesday The pitcher wound up and he flang the ball at the batter. The batter swang and missed. The pitcher flang the ball again and this time the batter connected. He hit a high fly right to the center fielder. The center fielder was all set to catch the ball, but at the last minute his eyes were blound by the sun and he dropped it…….Dizzy Dean……..The Pirates set a record of 46 hits in a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Pirates had 27 hits in the first game, which, surprise, they  won 19-8. In the 2nd game, the Phillies pitching staff managed to scatter 19 hits while losing 7-3. Pirate right fielder, Reb Russell had eight hits for the two games. 

            1929 – Thursday WOW!! Whoopie, a Zeppelin!!.....Randy………A Christmas Story……….The German airship Graf Zeppelin, piloted by Dr Hugo Eckener,  began a round-the-world flight.  Publisher, William Randolph Hearst decided to sponsor a round-the-world flight for the dirigible, starting in Lakehurst, New Jersey. He placed female reporter Lady Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay on the ship to file exclusive stories on the trip for his newspaper chain, and, as a result, she became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by air.  The flight was made in five stages; Lakehurst Friedrichshafen, Friedrichshafen – Tokyo, Tokyo – Los Angeles, Los Angeles – Lakehurst, and Lakehurst – Friedrichshafen.  At 776 feet long, the Graf Zeppelin was four times the size of the Goodyear blimps (192 feet).

             1931 – Saturday Happy Birthday, Sir Roger Penrose, English mathematician who, with his father Lionel, developed the Penrose stairs, Penrose triangle, and Penrose tiles (think Escher). A Penrose by any other name would surely smell as sweet……… The World of Escher site notes that Penrose wanted to cover a flat surface with tiles so that there were no gaps and no overlaps. There are several shapes that will do the job, regular triangles, rectangles, hexagons, or  it can be done with combinations of shapes, resulting in a pattern that repeats regularly. Penrose began to work on the problem of whether a set of shapes could be found which would tile a surface but without generating a repeating pattern (known as quasi-symmetry). It turned out this was a problem that couldn't be solved computationally. So, armed with only a notebook and pencil, Penrose set about developing sets of tiles that produce 'quasi-periodic' patterns.. Eventually he found a solution to the problem but it required many thousands of different shapes. After years of research and careful study, he successfully reduced the number to six and later down to an incredible two. He  also calculated the basic features of black holes….namely they are like Robert Frost’s woods – “dark and deep”.

             1938 –Monday CONNIE: Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb. Kookie, Kookie?
EDWARD: Well now, let's take it from the top & grab some wheels & on the way we'll talk about some cuckoo deals.
C: But Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb. Kookie, Kookie?  Happy Birthday, Connie Stevens, American singer and actress  - husky voiced teenage temptress Cricket on ABC’s  77 Sunset Strip who took advantage of the hit show to cut a hit record
 (even though she couldn’t sing………….see Paul Peterson, Donna Reed Show), 16 Reasons -
One) the way you hold my hand
(Two) your laughing eyes
(Three) the way you understand
(Four) your secret sighs
They're all part of sixteen reasons why I (why I) love you

             1940 –Thursday Es iz nit geshtoygen un nit gefloygen ….( It never rose and it never flew ----Yiddish saying)The Aufbau Ost  directive is signed by Wilhelm Keitel.  This was the the German operational code name for the mobilization of forces before the start of Operation Barbarossa and the subsequent invasion of the Soviet Union.  Keitel was head of the German armed forces high command and one of Adolf Hitler's most trusted lieutenants. But he  was generally regarded as a weak officer and served chiefly as Hitler's lackey. He signed  another document in 1945, the act of Germany's military surrender. After the war he was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and executed as a war criminal.

            1948 – Sunday Happy Birthday, Svetlana Savitskaya , Russian cosmonaut and  the second woman in space .  She was selected as a cosmonaut in 1980, as part of a female team selected to upstage pending U.S  female astronaut flights on the space shuttle. Savitskaya became the second woman in space in 1982, seven months before Sally Ride became the first American female astronaut in space  She also became the first woman to walk in space. Her later command of an all-female crew to Salyut 7 on the occasion of International Woman's Day was cancelled due to problems with the space station and PMS. Issues at the  station included who got to use the bathroom first thing in the morning, whose eye shadow was whose, and who got control of the remote so she could watch Oprah.

      1960 -Monday ……No one knows what happened that day
Or how his car overturned in flames
But as they pulled him from the twisted wreck
With his dying breath, they heard him say
Tell Laura I love her
Tell Laura I need her
Tell Laura not to cry
My love for her will never die
Now in the chapel where Laura prays
For her poor Tommy, who passed away
It was just for Laura he lived and died
Alone in the chapel she can hear him cry
Tell Laura I love her
Tell Laura I need her
Tell Laura not to cry
My love for her will never die
……… Inexplicably, .England's Decca Records destroyed 25,000 copies of Ray Peterson's Tell Laura I Love Her  for being in bad taste. This was their vinyl answer to the problem. The song, a shining example of the early 60’s death genre (see Last Kiss, J. Frank Wilson and the Caveliers), actually reached #7 on The U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart although we’ve searched the Editorial Board of the Gnus has searched its memory and cannot remember seeing anyone dance to it. Decca Records in England decided  that it was "too tasteless and vulgar ".An alternate cover version by Ricky Valance, released by EMI on the Columbia label, was #1 on the British charts for three weeks. In this one Tommy bit the dust in a stock car race but there was no twisted wreck.

             1963 – Thursday A gang of robbers broke into a lawyer's club by mistake. The old legal lions gave them a fight for their life and their money.The gang was very happy to escape. "It ain't so bad," one crook noted. "We got $25 between us." The boss screamed: "I warned you to stay clear of lawyers ... we had $100 when we broke in!" The Great Train Robbery  was pulled off in England, as a gang of 15 train robbers stole 2.6 million pounds in bank notes from the Glasgow to Euston mail train. The mastermind was Bruce Reynolds, a known armed burglar. Using inside information on mail movements, he assembled a gang to intercept the overnight train in a quiet part of Buckinghamshire. The robbers struck when the train stopped near Cheddington after the gang had changed a signal to red. However, careful as they were, finger prints were left all over the place.  By January 1964, police had gathered enough evidence for 12 of the 15 to be put on trial. Within two years of the first trial, both Charlie Wilson and Ronnie Biggs had escaped from prison. Wilson was caught in Canada in 1968, but Biggs became the UK's most famous fugitive as he continued to evade recapture until giving himself up by flying back to the UK from Brazil in 2001.

            1966 – Monday, Axis Scientist: Frankenstein's heart.
Mr. Kawai: Frankenstein? It's alive?
Axis Scientist: It is immortal.
Mr. Kawai: Immortal?
Axis Scientist: You never heard what was said of Frankenstein's experiments?  The premiere of the Bergmanesque,  Frankenstein Conquers The World or Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon as it was known in Japan. Directed by Ishirô Honda (really!) the American actor selected for U.S audiences was the Rebel, Johnny Yuma himself, Nick Adams. Deviating slightly from Mary Shelley’s story, this one featured a Japanese version of the Frankenstein Monster, who became giant-sized to fight the giant subterranean monster, Baragon.

 1974 -  Thursday  I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is opposed to every instinct in my body …..President Richard M. Nixon announced his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. He was threatened with impeachment and the release of self-incriminating White House tapes involving him in the scandal to cover up the infamous Watergate burglary of the Democratic National Committee in 1972 as well as proof that daughter Tricia was a Stepford Wife. Just before noon on the next day, August 9, Nixon officially handed in his papers and ended his term as the 37th president of the United States with a mighty wave as he stepped onto the Presidential helicopter to leave Washington. On Aug. 5, a tape recording from June 1972 was released, revealing that President Nixon and the White House chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman, had conspired to thwart the F.B.I. investigation. This disclosure ended any realistic hope that Mr. Nixon could remain as president. Slapstick politician Gerald R. Ford  (who had been appointed Vice President when Spiro T. Agnew resigned, became the 38th president.

            1978 – Tuesday The U.S. launched Pioneer Venus 2, which carried scientific probes to study the atmosphere of Venus. Pioneer Venus 2 consisted of four separate atmospheric probes; one large probe 1.5 meters in diameter, which deployed a parachute to slow its descent, and three small probes (0.8 meters or 2.6 feet across) which plunged straight through the atmosphere.  The large probe was released from the spacecraft bus on November 16, 1978. The three smaller probes were released four days later. All of the probes arrived at Venus on December 9, 1978. Immediate results indicated the the 1958 epic movie, Queen of Outer Space was in fact an accurate description of the planet.  Venus was inhabited by a race a Amazons, led by Queen Yllana. A member of her court,  Zsa Zsa Gabor fell in love with astronaut Eric Fleming (trying to escape Clint Eastwood on Rawhide).  Each probe took atmospheric measurements as they descended through the cloud layer. One of the probes survived to transmit data for over an hour after it impacted with the surface. The spacecraft bus that carried the probes also had instruments and made measurements in Venus’ uppermost atmosphere before burning up.

            1988 – Monday Having finally located an extension cord and surge protector, the  lights were  turned on at Wrigley Field for the first time, making it the last major league stadium to host night games. The Chicago Sun Times reported that At 6:05 p.m., 91-year-old Cubs fan Harry Grossman began the countdown. "Three . . . two . . . one . . . Let there be lights!" Grossman pressed a button, and to the cheers of thousands of fans, six light towers flickered to life.  Starting pitcher Rick Sutcliffe was nearly blinded by the thousands of flashbulbs that went off as he delivered the first pitch. As Sutcliff was still clearing his eyes,  Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Phil Bradley deposited Sutcliffe's fourth pitch into the bleachers. Then, with the Cubs leading 3-1 in the fourth inning, a monsoon brought the game to an end.  This proves that the Cubs are cursed, said one fan, as she ran from the ballpark. The following morning, the Tribune editorialized, Someone up there seems to take day baseball seriously.

1989 –Tuesday Q: Tell us about what you're looking forward to on Thanksgiving Day menu? A:  We'll have turkey, corn and cranberry desert and green bean casserole. Space food tastes like goldfish food, only warmed up……….STS-28 Mission – Space Shuttle Columbia took off on a secret five-day military mission. The crew, Commander Brewster H. Shaw Jr., Pilot Richard N. Richards, Mission Specialists James C. Adamson, David C. Leestma and Mark N. Brown all wore fake glasses, moustaches and beards and called each other “Agent 99”.

            1991 –Thursday Did you hear about the Polish couple found frozen to death at the Drive-in Movie?  They went to see Closed for the Winter……….The Warsaw radio mast, at one time the tallest construction ever built, collapsed. The  646.38 meter (2,120.67 ft) pole (no pun intended) was built in July 1970 and completed on May 18, 1974.  The collapse was caused by an error in exchanging the guy-wires on the highest stock.. The mast first bent and then snapped at roughly half its height. The helix building and the transmitter building (including the transmitter devices in it) were not damaged.

            2000 –Tuesday Submarine life most of the time is hours and hours of boredom with intermittent terror thrown in to keep you on your toes! …..The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley was raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor and 30 years after its discovery by undersea explorer E. Lee Spence and 5 years after being filmed by a dive team funded by novelist Clive Cussler.  Harnesses were slipped underneath the 39 ft. long sub one by one and attached to a truss designed.. Then after the last harness had been secured, the crane from Karlissa B began hoisting the submarine from the mire of the harbor. On August 8 at 8:37 AM the sub broke the surface for the first time in over 136 years.  Although not this nation's first submarine, Hunley was the first submarine to engage and sink a warship as on February 17, 1864, the Confederate submarine made a daring late night attack on USS Housatonic, a 1,240-ton sloop-of-war with 16 guns, in Charleston Harbor off the coast of South Carolina. H.L. Hunley rammed Housatonic with spar torpedo packed with explosive powder and attached to a long pole on its bow. The spar torpedo embedded in the sloop's wooden side was detonated by a rope as Hunley backed away.  Unfortunately, it backed away neither fast enough nor far enough as  the resulting explosion that sent Housatonic with five crew members to the bottom of Charleston Harbor also sank Hunley with its crew of eight.

              2005 -Monday  I don't mind going back to daylight saving time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I've saved all year……Victor Borge ………The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, An Economical Project. Set those clocks! The U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed by President George W. Bush. Congress, ever masterful at adding  existing confusion extended Daylight Saving Time, effective in 2007, to begin three weeks earlier on the second Sunday of March and end a week later on the first Sunday of November. The Act also addressed energy production in the United States, including: (1) energy efficiency; (2) renewable energy; (3) oil and gas; (4) coal; (5) Tribal energy; (6) nuclear matters and security; (7) vehicles and motor fuels, including ethanol; (8) hydrogen; (9) electricity; (10) energy tax incentives; (11) hydropower and geothermal energy; and (12) climate change technology.  Well that has certainly worked out well. We note that The official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time. Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle). It modifies time and tells us more about its nature; namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight..

2007- Wednesday Let me out. Let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here. What's the matter with you people? I was joking! Don't you know a joke ….. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein………Young Frankenstein………..Over 21 years since Christa McAuliffe  and the rest of the crew perished during the Challenger tragedy, Barbara Morgan became the first educator to safely reach space. Morgan was aboard launched on the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour. en route to the International Space Station.  The 55 year teacher waited and trained to fly in the Space Shuttle. Morgan initially trained as the backup to Christa McAuliffe. Endeavour crew included pilot Charles Hobaugh and mission specialists Alvin Drew, Tracy Caldwell, Dave Williams and Rick Mastracchio. During the mission, the astronauts delivered 5,000 pounds of cargo, several pepperoni pizzas, several swatches for re-upholstering the seats, a fresh supply of lavender Glade, and an MP3 recording of the collected speeches of  Dwight D. Eisnenhower. to the space station, attached a new truss segment to the outpost and replaced a gyroscope that helps control the station's orientation. Morgan spent time answering questions from students in Idaho, Virginia and Canada.

Back to Calendar


48 BC –Sunday- Our march at present, and set our thoughts on battle, which has been our constant wish; let us then meet the foe with resolute souls. We shall not hereafter easily find such an opportunity. …..At the  Battle of Pharsalus,  (in southern Thessaly, in Greece) Julius Caesar decisively defeated  the troops of the Roman Senate, commanded by his rival Pompey the Great (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus to his friends). Caesar's victory marked the end of the Roman republic.  Friction between Caesar and the Senate had been increasing for several years.  Caesar was forbidden to bring his troops into Italy while he was in command in Gaul.  On January 10, 49 BC, Caesar led 5,000 men to the Rubicon River, which marked the border of Gaul and Italy; crossing it meant war. Caesar lingered briefly, considering the implications of his actions, then made his famous remark, 'Alea iacta est' ('The die is cast'), and led his troops over into Italy. he Battle of Pharsalus cost Caesar between 200 and 1,200 casualties while Pompey suffered between 6,000 and 15,000. His army destroyed, Pompey fled to Egypt seeking aid from King Ptolemy XIII. Shortly after arriving at Alexandria, he was slewn by the Egyptians. Pursuing his enemy to Egypt, Caesar was horrified when Ptolemy presented him with Pompey's severed head.

378 –Wednesday You go to know when to hold em. Know when to fold em.  Know when to walk away. Know when to run….. – Kenny Rogers……… Towards the denouement of the Roman Empire, the Romans lost a lot more battles than they won.  That’s, of course, why it “fell”.  In one of the most decisive battles in history, a large Roman army under Valens, the Roman emperor of the East (the empire was split into east and west by this time), was defeated by the Visigoths at the Battle of Adrianople in present-day Turkey. Two-thirds of the Roman army, including Emperor Valens himself, were killed. This critical battle also established the dominance of cavalry over infantry for the next thousand years. In AD 376 Valens made the fateful decision to allow the Visigoths to cross the Danube and settle in imperial territory along the Danube.. Unfortunately, by now, the Empire was totally corrupt and provincial officials and governors mistreated and exploited the new arrivals. The Visigoths rose in rebellion, threw off Roman rule and ran amok within imperial territory. Valens “Goth”  more than he anticipated when  they were soon joined by their former neighbors the Ostrogoths who crossed Danube and drove into the area ravaged by the Visigoths. Valens cleverly decided not to wait for aid from Gratian, the Roman emperor of the West. At first things went well as the 20,000 men of the Roman cavalry and the 40,000 men of the Roman infantry outnumbered the 50,000 Gothic foot soldiers. But……the Goth Cavalry arrived.  That was another 50,0000. Adieu Valens.  The official end of the Roman Empire came in when Rome itself was conquered by the Visigoth Odoacer and his men in 476 AD.

        681 –Tuesday-  Proudly rise the Balkan peaks,
At their feet Blue Danube flows;
Over Thrace the sun is shining,
Pirin looms in purple glow.

Oh, dear native land,
Earthly paradise!
For your loveliness, your beauty
E'er will charm our eyes.
(repeat chorus)
Happy Bulgaria existence day. Bulgaria was founded as a Khanate on the south bank of the Danube, after defeating the Byzantine armies of Emperor Constantine IV south of the Danube delta.  At first, what is now Bulgaria constituted the Roman provinces of Moesia and Thrace, a territory in which Christianity was preached at a very early period.  During the migratory period Slavic races pushed forward into this region. Around  the middle of the seventh century, the Bulgars, a people of Hunnic and Finnic stock, who had been driven from their habitations on the Volga as far as the Lower Danube, began to make incursions into Moesia and Thrace. Completing their conquest of the country in a war with the Byzantine Empire, they founded an independent kingdom about 680. The First Bulgarian Kingdom, considered to be Bulgaria's "Golden Age," emerged under Tsar Simeon I in 893-927.

            1173 –Thursday-  You're the Nile,/ You're the Tower of Pisa,/ You're the smile/ On the Mona Lisa……..Cole Porter………….. “Sei sicuro che questo è diritto? "" Sì, no problem " (“You sure this is straight?”  “Yeah, no problem”) . Construction of the Tower of Pisa begian , and it took two centuries to complete - 1350.  The campanile was seen as the final structure of the magnificent cathedral complex on the Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa. The settling of its foundations and resulting lean became apparent before it was even finished - after only three stories were completed. The substrate beneath it was too loose to support the weight of the tower and as a result it soon began to lean south west at a 3.99 degree angle. The engineer, believed to be Bonnano Pisano, tried to compensate by making the new stories a little taller on one side. However, the extra materials caused the tower to sink even more.

            1537 –Monday-  A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his client to plant vines……Frank Lloyd Wright…… Buon Compleanno!, Francesco Barozzi, Italian mathematician, astronomer and humanist who was part of the movement to revive science by studying Greek texts.  He became the most important architect working in Rome immediately after the kapution of Michelangelo and designed the Villa Giulia, the Palazzo Farnese, and was architect to the Basilica of San Pietro, Rome where he carried on Michelangelo's designs. He wrote La Regola delli Cinque Ordini d'Architettura (The Rule for the Five Orders of Architecture) in 1562.

1593Monday-  FISH: an animal that grows the fastestbetween the time it’s caught and the time the fisherman describes it to his friends………… Happy Birthday, Izaak Walton, English naturalist who wrote The Compleat Angler – the story of geometry ……, no, no – Professor Sy Yentz has his Pythagorean sense of humor ---in 1653 but Walton continued to add to it for a quarter of a century. (it has had over 300 printings). The Compleat Angler  combines practical information about fishing with folklore and is the story of three friends, traveling through the English countryside.  Walton was not an expert with the fly; the fly fishing in his first edition was contributed by Thomas Barker, a retired cook and humorist, who produced a treatise of his own in 1659. Walton was, however, an expert  b in the use of the live worm, the grasshopper and the frog "Piscator" . Of the frog he said, use him as though you loved him, that is, harm him as little as you may possibly, that he may live the longer.

       1631 – Saturday, We must beat the iron while it is hot, but we may polish it at leisure……Dryden…..Dedication of the Aeneis …….Happy Birthday, John Dryden, English Poet Laureate, literary critic, dramatist and leader in Restoration comedy wrote the comedic play Marriage A-la-Mode in 1672, and the tragedy All for Love in 1678. Dryden was arguably the greatest English poet of the 17th century.  Absalom and Achitophel , (political) 1681 and Mac Flecknoe (literary) 1682 are considered his satiric masterpieces.

            1678 –Tuesday- The Bronx? No Thonx……..Ogden Nash….  The Mohegan Indians sold the Bronx (about 500 acres, anyway)  to a Swedish sea captain from the Netherlands, Jonas Bronck for 400 beads.  He established his farm about where 132nd Street and Lincoln Avenue in Mott Haven is today, thus becoming the first European settler in the area. He gave his name to the Bronx River, from which the Borough of The Bronx and Bronx County received their names as did the expression about “going to the Broncks”. Most of the eastern half of the area now known as the Bronx was bought in 1654 by Thomas Pell of Connecticut, who invited sixteen families to form the village of Westchester near what is now Westchester Square. Professor Sy Yentz was born in Union Hospital at 260, 188th street.

1776Friday- One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do
Two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one
….Three Dog Night……..Buon Compleanno, Count Amadeo Avogadro Italian chemist and physicist who discovered that at the same temperature and pressure equal volumes of all perfect gases contain the same number of particles. This is known as Avogadro's Law.  His law led to the Avogadro's Number.  The Marvelettes thought that Avogadro’s number was Beechwood 45789 but it was really  6.022 x 1023 units per mole of a substance. He realized the particles could be either atoms, or more often, combinations of atoms, for which he coined the word "molecule."  We  know considerably less famous Avogardo's Favorite Letter of the Alphabet, Avorgaro's Recipe (for mole stew), or Avogadro's Avocado.  

    1803- Monday- I am a person who would quit authorizing in a minute to go to piloting, if the madam would stand it. I would rather sink a steamboat than eat, any time.
Mark Twain……….. In 1769, Scottish inventorJames Watt patented an improved version of the steam engine that ignited in the Industrial Revolution. The idea of using steam power to propel boats occurred to inventors soon after the potential of Watt's new engine became known. The first steamboat in America came courtesy of John Fitch  who made the first successful trial of a forty-five-foot steamboat on the Delaware River on August 22, 1787, in the presence of members of the Constitutional Convention.  However the idea had still not caught on. On this day in 1803, Robert Fulton tested his steam paddle-boat in France, on the River Seine. The project was undertaken in connection with Chancellor Robert R Livingston, the U.S. ambassador in Paris. His first attempt was less  than a rousing success, as the experimental boat, sank because the engine was too heavy. But this one, operated successfully.  Good thing too since it was witnessed by hundreds of spectators spectators, including a committee of the National Academy, consisting of  Louis Antoine d’Bougainville, Bossuet, Lazare Carnot, and Casimir Périer.  The steamboat moved but slowly, making only between three and four miles an hour against the current. However, no sales were made, no commissions issued and a year later Fulton was attempting to interest the English in his concept.

             1819 –Monday-  Patient: Doctor, I have yellow teeth, what do I do? Dentist: Wear a brown tie... …………Happy Birthday, William T.G Morton,  American surgeon who was the first dentist to use ether (letheon) during an tooth extraction, -1846. He followed this by a public demonstration of this method of anesthesia (the word is eponymously derived from Anna Sthesia – Greek philosopher who put people to sleep with her lengthy soliloquies) on Oct 16 1846 during an operation performed by Dr. John Collins Warren at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The patient, Gilbert Abbott, age 20, had a small superficial tumor removed from beneath the left lower jaw.  To alleviate the pain of tooth extraction Morton experimented with such drugs as opium and alcohol, or watch ESPN Sport Center,  but only succeeded in making his patients violently sick. The use of ether was His innovation was well received by the leading surgeon John Warren and the use of ether quickly gained acceptance in medical practice.  Unfortunately, Morton lost all his money trying to protect his patent and died penniless but at least he had all his teeth.

            1842 –Tuesday-  The proper function of a government is to make it easy for the people to do good, and difficult for them to do evil. …..Daniel Webster……The U.S and Canada signed the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. After the War of 1812, the United States complained that Britain still habitually violated American sovereignty. The dispute over the northeastern boundary, between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada was getting contentious and all six people who lived in that frozen land were quite upset.  Secretary of State Daniel Webster met with the British Foreign Minister, Alexander Baring, the first Baron Ashburton .  Clearly defined borders were drawn between Maine and New Brunswick, and also in the Great Lakes area; the United States received control of 7,015 square miles of the disputed territory and Britain, 5,012 square miles.  In addition, the United states agreed to station ships off the African coast in an effort to detect Americans engaging in the slave trade, however, Webster rejected a request to allow boarding of American ships by the British Navy. This treaty also rectified the U.S.-Canada boundary at the head of the Connecticut River, at the north end of Lake Champlain, in the Detroit River, and at the head of Lake Superior.

             1859 –Tuesday- An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience …..Mitch Hedberg……The invention of the escalator escalated as the first U.S. patent for an escalator design improvement in was issued to Nathan Ames, of Saugus, Mass. The escalator had steps mounted on an inclined endless belt or chain. No model of Ames' design was ever built. In fact, his idea was initially dismissed due to Ames' lack of detail in describing his creation. Plus, Ames  appear to have considered a possible power source for his 'Moving Staircase', nor was his suggestion of building it out of wood and chains very viable. Other than that, it was fine. Did you hear about the blond who was late for a meeting because the escalator broke?  On March 15 1892, Jesse Reno patented his moving stairs or inclined elevator as he called it but The escalator as we know it was later re-designed by Charles Seeberger in 1897, who created the name 'escalator' from the word 'scala', which is Latin for steps and the word 'elevator', which had already James Otis had already popularized.

    1892 – Tuesday- Dit dot ditty dit dot a ditty ditty
Dit dot ditty dit dot a ditty ditty
Dit dot ditty dit dot a ditty ditty
Dit dot ditty, Baby come home to me
…..The Capris….Morse Code of Love….Thomas Edison received a patent (for a change) for a two-way telegraph, a system allowed both people communicating to speak simultaneously. Previously, communication devices only allowed one person  to speak at a time.

             1896-Sunday- The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done. …………Joyeux Anniversaire! Jean Piaget, Swiss child psychologist and zoologist. At age 15 he was contributing articles on mollusks  to journals of zoology, and his doctoral degree thesis was on the distribution of mollusks ( "Good Golly Miss Mollusk") in the Valaisian Alps in Switzerland.  From mollusks he somehow turned to researching how mental growth in humans develops in several successive stages from infancy to adulthood. Called "the embryology of intelligence", it made him famous, not to mention an adjective -"piagetian" and a must read for every teacher education course ever given. He was the first to systematically study how children learn. Piaget established developmental phases, otherwise known as a genetically determined timetable, for every child's mental, emotional, and psychological growth.

     1898-Tuesday-  My invention has a reference to improvements in internal combustion engines . . . The process consists in first compressing air or a mixture of air and a neutral gas or vapour to a degree producing a temperature above the igniting point of the fuel to be consumed, then gradually introducing the fuel for combustion in the compressed air while expanding against resistance ……….Inventor Rudolf Diesel (born in France)  received patent #608,845 for the diesel internal combustion engine. Diesel believed that the best way to improve efficiency was to change the fuel used The diesel engine allowed trains and ships to operate more efficiently with oil instead of coal.  In case you were wondering, a gasoline engine intakes a mixture of gas and air, compresses it and ignites the mixture with a spark. A diesel engine takes in just air, compresses it and then injects fuel into the compressed air.  In 1913 Diesel vanished overboard from the steamer Dresden (see Robert Fulton 1803 above)  bound for London; his body washed up ten days later.    

       1902 –Saturday-   I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder …..Queen Victoria……..Monarchial tub of goo, Edward VII was crowned king of England following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria. Edward, (aka the Uncle of Europe, the Peacemaker, Good Old Teddy, Tum Tum)  was 60 by the time the dour ancient Hanover queen, who began her “queenship” in 1837,  went kaput.  He would  reign until 1910.

            1910-Tuesday -And I looked up in the sky
And I looked up in the clouds
And I saw this face looking down at me
And it's a women's face
And she threw a quarter down at me and she said:
"honey, here's a quarter go put it in the washing machine
”…..Sonic Youth……… The Tide turned as the electric washing machine (invented in 1908)  was patented by Alva J. Fisher of Chicago, Illinois.  Introduced by the Hurley Machine Company the Thor washing machine was a drum type washing machine with a galvanized tub and an electric motor. In  1797 the first patent, called “Clothes Washing”, was granted to Nathaniel Briggs. Unfortunately , the patent office was destroyed in a fire in 1836, so  there is no description of the device . A device that combined a washing machine with a wringer mechanism did not appear until 1843, when John E. Turnbull patented a “Clothes Washer with Wringer Rolls.  In case you were wondering, The electric clothes dryer was invented in 1930 by J. Ross Moore. In 1936, he patented both an electric and a gas version.        

1918-Friday-   I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car…… Will Shriner……. With its historic and always impeccable planning and timing, the U.S Government ordered a stop to the production of automobiles. Of course an armistice ending WW I three months later would be signed on Nov. 11, 1918. The government required that all production in auto factories would be for military purposes as of January 1, 1919, thus the only cars that would be made would be staff cars for the military.      

        1927  - Tuesday- No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what it's doing; but most of the time, we aren't either….Happy Birthday, Marvin  Minsky biochemist and the founder of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Project. His 1987 book, The Society of Mind, put forward a detailed and mechanistic theory of how the mind works, and how it might be artificially duplicated. In 1974 Minsky introduced the concept of ‘frames’. A frame is a package of knowledge stored in the mind, which allows us to understand many things about a certain topic. For example, the ‘dog frame’ includes what dogs look like, the sorts of things they do, and many other aspects of their nature and behavior. Another example is  the idiot frame includes people we see on television as well as people we encounter whilst driving. Because we possess numerous such frames we are able to communicate about the world without too much confusion, and to distinguish routinely between the ‘bark’ of a tree and the ‘bark’ of a dog. Only when a computer could be stocked with an enormous number of ‘frames’, some interlocking, others slotted hierarchically in other frames, could it begin to show signs of intelligence.

1936 –Sunday- It was all right with me," he said years later, referring to Hitler’s refusal to shake his hand, "I didn't go to Berlin to shake hands with him, anyway. All I know is that I'm here now, and Hitler isn't.  Continuing to embarrass Adolf Hitler and his “master race”, Black American Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay. His previous three medals were in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash and the long jump.  Interestingly, it was racism that got Owens into the relay as he  had not been scheduled to run in the relay. Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller were, but American Olympic officials, led by Avery Brundage, wanted to avoid offending the Nazis. They replaced Mr. Glickman and Mr. Stoller, both Jews, with Mr. Owens and Ralph Metcalfe, both blacks.

            1944 –Wednesday-  With a Ranger's hat and shovel
and a pair of dungarees,
you will find him in the forest
always sniffin' at the breeze.
People stop and pay attention
when he tells 'em to beware,
'cause ev'rybody knows that
he's the Fire Prevention Bear
. After rejecting Smokey the Amoeba, Smokey the Armadillo, and Smokey the Yak, the  United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council released  posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time. Walt Disney's Bambi character and the forest fire scene was very powerful so Bambi was used on an initial anti-fire poster. The success of this poster demonstrated that an animal of the forest was the best messenger to promote the prevention of accidental forest fires. The Smokey Bear Song was written by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins in 1952. They are also responsible for for Frosty the Snowman and Peter Cottontail" The song is responsible for the confusion between Smokey Bear and Smokey 'the' Bear. When the song was written, Smokey Bear didn't fit the music so 'the' was added to make the name 'fit' the music.

            1945 –Thursday-  Science has nothing to be ashamed of even in the ruins of Nagasaki. The shame is theirs who appeal to other values than the human imaginative values which science has evolved. The shame is ours if we do not make science part of our world........Jacob Bronowski……….Seeking a quick end to WW II, after Japan refused an unconditional surrender following Hiroshima, an atomic bomb was dropped by a B-29 ('Bockscar')flying from Tinian Island,  on Nagasaki, Japan, a ship building center.  The immediate surrender of the Japanese meant that a third bomb, which would have been ready around August 17, would not be needed and the predicted  million or so casualties resulting from an invasion on Japan would be avoided.  In addition, there was a desire to limit the influence of the Soviet Union in East Asia by bringing the war to an end before the Soviet forces advanced far into China toward Japan.  Nagasaki was not America's primary target. The three potential targets for a second bomb were Kokura, Kyoto and Niigata. Nagasaki was only added to a list of potential targets when Kyoto was withdrawn (it had been the secondary target for a second bomb) because of its religious associations. The third potential target was Niigata - but this was withdrawn from the list as the distance to it was considered to be too great. Therefore, the Americans were left with just two targets - Kokura and Nagasaki. Kokura was covered with clouds.

      1960 – Tuesday-Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
Big Sam left Seattle in the year of '92,
With George Pratt, his partner, and brother, Billy, too.
They crossed the Yukon River and found the bonanza gold.
Below that old white mountain just a little south-east of Nome
……. Johnny Horton (previous hits included The Battle of New Orleans and Sink the Bismarck)  recorded  North To Alaska.  It would be his last recording session.  In November, of 1960, he was returning from a concert with his manager, Tillman B. Franks, and his bass player, Tommy Tomlinson. A car driven by a drunk driver came out of the fog and collided with Johnny's car head on. Horton was killed instantly.

1963 – Saturday The British music show Ready, Steady, Go  made its debut with Presenters, Keigh Fordyce & David Gell and a performance by the soulful Pat Boone .  Well, Pat didn’t exactly perform, he  introduced a clip from his movie The Main. However, ,  The unfortunately named

1965– Monday- Onward Singapore 
(Revised translation 2001)
Come, fellow Singaporeans
Let us progress towards happiness together
May our noble aspiration bring
Singapore success
Come, let us unite
In a new spirit
Let our voices soar as one
Onward Singapore
Onward Singapore
………National Anthem…………For me, it is a moment of anguish. All my life, my whole adult life, I have believed in merger and unity of the two territories…..Lee Kwan Yew…… Singapore and Bulgaria (see 681) in the same sentence. Singapore seceded from Malaysia and gained independence. Former British colonies, both Malaysia and Singapore wanted to unite the two countries. Singapore wanted to have access to Malaysia's abundance of natural resources, while Malaysia wanted to make sure that Singapore remained anti-Communist. Malaysia feared that Malaysian communists could go to Singapore and plan to take over Malaysia. Unfortunately also, racial tensions raised its ugly head and Muslims (yes, them again) and Chinese were battling. On the morning of 9 August 1965, the Parliament of Malaysia voted 126–0 in favor of a constitutional amendment expelling Singapore from the federation; hours later, the Parliament of Singapore passed the Republic of Singapore Independence Act, establishing the island as an independent and sovereign republic.  The new state became the Republic of Singapore and Yusof bin Ishak was appointed the first President.

            1969-Saturday-  Now is the time for Helter Skelter……Charles Manson……….Early in the morning of the 9th, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Charles “Tex” Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel members of Charles Manson's drug addled collection of loons that formed his bizarre cult stabbed and mutilated five people in movie director Roman Polanski's Beverly Hills, California, home. The victims included  Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Steven Parent. Genius Krenwinkel misspelled Helter Skelter writing in blood on the wall, Healtor Skeltor.   Later on the  night of the 10th,  they murdered  a wealthy couple, Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. All were convicted including Manson.  Unfortunately, none were executed.  All remain in prison. Recommended reading: Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi.

            1973- Thursday-  The  USSR launched the Mars 7, on a Proton SL-12/D-1-e booster. It was one of several Soviet Mars probes - Mars 4, 5, 6, and 7 - launched in Jul-Aug 1973. The Mars 7 spacecraft was made up of a flyby bus and a descent module intended separate to study the atmosphere and land on the Martian surface with instruments to study soil composition, and mechanical properties soil sensors. The combined vehicle reached Mars on  March 9 1974.  But whoops, an  equipment problem believed to be due to a faulty computer chip resulted in the premature ejaculation of the lander. Being released about 4 hours too early, the lander missed the planet by  only 1300-km. So both the bus and the lander instead travelled into solar orbits where eventually disturbed Higgs Bosons made it back to Earth and affected the cognitive development of many people causing them to  actually watch shows like Real Housewives of…………

             1974 -Friday Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d lie just to keep his hand in…….Harry Truman…………Richard Nixon bid adieu to   Washington as an ex-president having officially resigned at noon. He hopped on a helicopter, which took him to  Andrews Air Force base in Maryland and at Andrews, he and his family boarded Air Force One to El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in California, and then were transported to his home in San Clemente. Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as president, beginning two slap stick years of falls, serial faux pas, and occasional hilarious incompetence. A month after his resignation, Nixon belched during a phone call with Ford, said, “pardon me” and so Ford did.

            1988-Tuesday-  President Ronald Reagan nominated Lauro Cavazos to be Secretary of Education and the first Hispanic to serve in the Cabinet. He would also serve under George H.W Bush until 1990.

            1988 – Tuesday -  It was like trading  all the Maple Trees, all the beavers, the CN Tower, the Mounties, the word “eh’,  or Molson’s, as 27 year old, Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest hockey player of all time…..the Editorial Board of the Gnus prefers Bobby Orr)  was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in one of the most controversial player transactions in ice hockey history, upsetting many Canadians that some considered him a "traitor" to his home country. He said vs. he said.  Edmonton owner Peter Pocklington claimed Gretzky forced the trade.  Gretzky claimed he had nothing to do with it (although with each denial his nose grew just a little bit).  The cash strapped Pocklington received $15,000,000 in cash and a collection of stiffs – Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, and three first round draft picks.  The Oilers would actually win the Stanly Cup two years later.  Gretzky?  Nope.  Not even after being traded to the New York Rangers.

1995 – Wednesday- Well, you know Tom, I'm no health nut……….. Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, went kaput from a heart attack at a drug treatment center in Novato, Calif., where he was reportedly attempting to end a recurring heroin habit. It was just days after his 53rd birthday.      The Grateful Dead's legacy is so sprawling, influential and important that the University of California, Santa Cruz even dedicated an entire wing of its library to the band's living heritage

2001 – Thursday - Look! It's moving. It's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, IT'S ALIVE! …..Henry Frankenstein, Frankenstein, 1931…………President George W. Bush allowed stem cell research, approving federal funds for studies using existing strains of stem cells. This wasn’t the break though that reseachers had hoped for as  he announced that federal funding would now be restricted to a limited number of stem cell lines already created by that date—a decision that denied support to many promising avenues of biomedical research in an effort not to "sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos." The issue of stem cell research burst on the scientific scene in November of 1998 when researchers first reported the isolation of human embryonic stem cells called, hESCs)=. The discovery was  made by Dr. James A. Thomson, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  It offered great promise for new ways of treating disease. The cells, which are derived from several-day-old embryos, can theoretically differentiate into virtually any type of human cell, from blood cells to skin cells to avoiding people who seldom bathe.  Scientists hoped  to find ways of using them to repair damaged tissue.

            2007 – Thursday – It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours. ………Harry S. Truman (again, see Harry’s quote about Richard Nixon, - 1974 above) The first rocks started falling before the avalanche with the emergence of the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. A liquidity crisis resulted from the Subprime mortgage crisis. The subprime crisis came about in large part because of financial instruments such as securitization where banks would pool their various loans into sellable assets, thus off-loading risky loans onto others. In 1999 t Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were under pressure from the Clinton administration to increase lending to minorities and low-income home buyers--a policy that necessarily entailed higher risks. G.W Bush continued the policies. The regulators, in both the Clinton and Bush administrations, were the enforcers of the reduced lending standards that were essential to the growth in home ownership and the housing bubble.

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955 – Sunday  Ridin’ along in my ottomobile…..apologies to Chuck Berry…….Otto I, Holy Roman Emperr defeated the Magyars, led by Bela Lugosi and the Gabor sisters, Zsa Zsa, Eva, and Magda, ending 50 years of Magyar invasions of the West at the Battle of Lechfeld, somewhere south of Augbsurg on the banks of the River Lech, The battle also had an important role in the creation of the Holy Roman Empire and the unification of Hungary. Otto used this victory as a propaganda to increase his fame and political power. The Árpáds of Hungary then seized control of defeated tribes’ territory, laying down the fundamental of a unified Hungary. In addition to loss of life and territory, the defeat at Lechfeld , had a negative impact for Hungarian chiefs.  They had been treated as equals, but now king Otto simply hanged the captured chieftains instead of demanding a ransom as a civilized man.

            1270 –Sunday Make Do With What You Got ……Solomon Burke………Yekuno Amlak took the imperial throne of Ethiopia, (he brought it to Ed’s Reupholstering and 2nd Hand Furniture) restoring the Solomonic dynasty to power after a Zagwe dynasty of  about 300 years.  According to contemporary sources such as the Gale Encyclopedia, traditions in manuscripts written after the 13th century indicate that  the Solomonic kings, whose ancestry was traced back to Solomon and Sheba, had been ousted by a northern dynasty known as the Zagwe about the 10th century.

        1296 – Friday I'd rather live in Bohemia than in any other land;
For only there are the values true,

And the laurels gathered in all men's view.
The prizes of traffic and state are won
By shrewdness or force or by deeds undone;
But fame is sweeter without the feud,
And the wise of Bohemia are never shrewd
….John O’Reilly…….. Vsechno nejlepsi k Tvym narozeninam! John of Bohemia – mainly because we like monarchs named John - King of Bohemia from 1310 until 1346 when, blind , and with his horse lashed together with those of two knights, he was rendered kput at the Battle of Creçy  fighting with King Edward III of England (and the Black Prince) against the French.

            1316 – Monday  I was going to give him a nasty look but he already had one! …Irish one-liner…….and we’ll wager you didn’t know about the first (fought in 1249 by Normans and Irish), but at the Second Battle of Athenry,( which  took place at Athenry (Irish: Áth-na-Rí) in Ireland on  during the Bruce campaign in Ireland, the Connacht Gaels, who were allied with the Scotsman Edward Bruce (distant cousin of Lenny the Bruce) suffered a devastating defeat to an Anglo-Irish force led by Rickard de Bermingham and William Liath de Burgh. Bruce was seeking to become undisputed King of Ireland.

            1519 –Sunday  The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church …….Portuguese explorer (sailing for Spain)  Ferdinand Magellan's (aka Fernão Magalhães) five ships - the Trinidad (flagship), Victoria, San Antonio, Concepción and the Santiago as well as the Donder and Blitzen, set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe. Second in command Sebastian Elcano, Basque navigator would, complete the expedition after Magellan was rendered kaput in the Philippines. Magellan was convinced that a new route to the lucrative Spice Islands could be found by going through the New World. He presented his plan to the King of Portugal, Manuel I, but was rejected.  Determined to get funding for his trip, he went to Spain, where Charles V agreed to finance his journey.

            1602 –Saturday  Geometry is just plane fun ……….Joyeux Anniversaire! Gilles de Roberval, born near Senlis French mathematician   Roberval is generally considered to be the founder of kinematic geometry, which is, of course, a branch of mechanics that deals with pure motion. He was also noted for his discoveries about plane curves and the method he developed for drawing the tangent to a curve. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. …..Groucho Marx…… de Roberval also invented the In 1637, having managed to square with an arch of the cycloid, he invented the sinusoid which although nasally linked is also The graph of the equation y = sin x.

            1628 –Thursday  You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try ……Homer Simpson……….Well that certainly worked out well….The Swedish warship  Vasa sank in Stockholm harbor after only about 20 minutes on her maiden voyage. At the time, she was the most powerfully armed warship in the world, with 64 bronze cannons. Twenty minutes into her journey, the ship was hit by two strong winds. It heeled to port, water gushed in, and  before you could say “Vasa matter?” the ship sank. She had travelled about a mile. The ship was raised in 1961 and is now a museum.  It appears that the ship was asymmetrical, more so than most ships of the day and archeologist Fred Hocker noted that  “There is more ship structure on the port side of the hull than on the starboard side.  Unballasted, the ship would probably heel to port.”  Surpirse! The Vasa tipped to the port side when the winds hit.

            1680–Saturday  Doctor, doctor, no puedo recordar nada
- Vaya, y desde cuándo tiene usted este problema?
- ¿Qué problema?
- Doctor, doctor, I can't remember anything
- Oh well, and how long have you had this problem?
- What problem?
……..The Pueblo Revolt began in New Mexico.  After 140 or so years of oppression and maltreatment by the Spanish, the  Indians, led by the ironically named (since many priests were killed in the uprising) Popé, in more than two dozen pueblos simultaneously attacked the Spanish authorities. A force of 2,500 Indian warriors sacked and burned the colonial headquarters in Santa Fe. By the time the revolt succeeded, Indian fighters had killed more than 400 Spanish soldiers and civilians (including two-thirds of the Catholic priests in the region) and had driven the surviving Europeans back to El Paso. The Indian leaders then restored their own religious institutions and set up a government that lasted until 1692.

            1792 – Friday - Dans les révolutions autorité reste avec les plus grands scélérats. (In revolutions authority remains with the greatest scoundrels)………Georges Jacques Danton……….Another gearing up  in the  French Revolution  occurred with the storming of the Tuileries Palace. Intellectually challenged monarch, Louis XVI of France was arrested and taken into custody. The Sections , which were the local political unitof Paris, declared themselves to be in insurrection and marched on the Tuileries .  Although the Royal family had fled to the nearby Assembly and remained unharmed, no one thought to leave orders for the the Swiss Guard in the Palace. Members of the Guard, armed only with single shot muskets,  fired on the crowd.  Big mistake. They were quickly overwhelmed by the mob of some 30,0000 600 of the soldiers, some after their surrender, were killed. There followed the inevitable looting.  The Assembly declared the monarchy suspended until a new legislative body could take up the issue, and in the meantime, the king became a prisoner in the old fortress, The Temple.

            1821 – Friday Hush-a-bye, ma baby, slumbertime is comin' soon;    Rest yo' head upon my breast while Mommy hums a tune;    The sandman is callin' where shadows are fallin',    While the soft breezes sigh as in days long gone by.    Way down in Missouri where I heard this melody,    When I was a little child upon my Mommy's knee;    The old folks were hummin'; their banjos were strummin';    So sweet and low.    Strum, strum, strum, strum, strum,    Seems I hear those banjos playin' once again,    Hum, hum, hum, hum, hum,    That same old plaintive strain…………As part of Henry Clay's Missouri Compromise of 1920 (Maine entered as a “free” state), Missouri entered the Union as the 24th state making it 12 free states and 12 slave states. Missouri was the first state located entirely west of the Mississippi River.  Some symbols: American folk dance - Square dance , Amphibian-North American bullfrog,   Animal- Missouri mule, Aquatic animal -Paddlefish or Spoonbill,  Bird -Bluebird , Day -Missouri Day, 3rd Wednesday in October, Dessert -Ice cream cone,  Dinosaur -Hypsibema missouriensis ,Fish -Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), Fossil -Fossilized remains of Crinoidea or the average visitor to Branson,,  Grass-Big bluestem, Horse -Missouri fox trotting horse,  Insect –Honeybee, or Kimora Lee Simmons, Invertebrate-Crayfish, also called crawfish and crawdad, Mineral –Galena, Musical instrument –Fiddle,  Reptile - Three-toed box turtle, Song Missouri Waltz, arranged by Frederick Knight Logan from a melody by John Valentine Eppel, with lyrics by J. R. Shannon . The murderous Hernando de Soto visited the Missouri area in 1541. France's claim to the entire region was based on  de la Salle's travels in 1682. French fur traders established Ste. Genevieve in 1735, and St. Louis was first settled in 1764. The U.S. gained Missouri from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and the territory was admitted as a state following the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Throughout the pre–Civil War period and during the war, Missourians were sharply divided in their opinions about slavery and in their allegiances, supplying both Union and Confederate forces with troops as well as killing each other. However, the state remained in the Union. Missouri  also played a leading role as a gateway to the West, St. Joseph being the eastern starting point of the Pony Express, while the much-traveled Santa Fe and Oregon trails began in Independence.

        1839 – Saturday The ejection of electrons from a solid (or less commonly, a liquid) by incident electromagnetic radiation…..Ambrose Bierce………..S dniom razhdjenia!  Aleksandr Stoletov, Russian physicist who’s major contributions included major contributions include pioneer work in the field of ferromagnetism (either the study of magnetic ferrets or phenomenon exhibited by materials like iron (nickel or cobalt) that become magnetized in a magnetic field and retain their magnetism) and discovery of the laws and principles of the outer photoelectric effect (aka photoemission) . In 1888 Stoletov built the first photoelectric cell. This was based on based on that outer photoelectric effect discovered by Heinrich Hertz in 1887 - The ejection of electrons from a solid (or less commonly, a liquid) by incident electromagnetic radiation.

            1846 – Monday Larry Daley: Sorry. Last time I checked, I thought we lived in a free country, so...
Brandon: No, we don't.
Larry Daley: No?
Brandon: It's the United States of "Don't Touch That Thing Right in Front of You……From……Night at the Museum, Battle of the Smithsonian………. An Act of Congress (trying to look busy?) established the Smithsonian Institution. In
1829 English scientist James Smithson left his fortune ($508,318) to the people of the United States to found an institution for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge." In Washington D.C.  In the 21st century we see this as an oxymoron.  The great minds of the U.S then spent the next 12-14 years  trying to figure out what kind of institution (university? Science museum? Museum?) it would be.  The Act signed by President James K. Polk recognized the Smithsonian Institution as a trust to be administered by a Board of Regents and a Secretary of the Smithsonian. Since its founding .more than 164 years ago, the Smithsonian has become the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, the National Zoo and nine research facilities.

         1856 – Sunday I don't mind going back to daylight saving time. With inflation, the hour will be the only thing I've saved all year ……Victor Borge……….Happy Birthday, William Willet, English builder, living in Kent,  who came up with the idea for  Daylight Saving (remember, no ‘S’) Time (see August 8). In 1907 he circulated a pamphlet to many Members of Parliament, town councils, businesses and other organizations in which  he indicated the that for nearly half the year the sun shined upon the land for several hours each day while folk were asleep, and has rapidly neared the horizon, having already passed its western limit, when people reach home from work before it is over. His original idea was to make four weekly changes of 20-mins each, for a total of 80-mins. (Oh wouldn't that have been a joy!). The first Daylight Saving Bill in 1908, which proposed a single one hour at the change of season failed to pass in Parliament in Britain.  The idea finally came to  “light” during WW I for wartime fuel savings and the rest is …..well, daylight savings and a new disease, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

       1859 –Wednesday  Well I woke up this mornin'
Looked outdoors
I can tell my milk cow
I can tell by the way she lows
If you see my milk cow
Please drive her on home
Cuz I ain't had no milk and butter
Since That cow been gone
…..Eddie Cochran………….In Boston , the first milk inspectors were appointed. In the Xeroxian netherworld of the Internet, that’s it for the reference.  We looked at Massachusetts Laws, nada. But we do know that this was not full inspections on dairy farms. Rather than inspect the conditions of the farm, the government would inspect the milk and test the milk for the amount of solids it contained. This raised concern because some batches of milk came from barns that were unsanitary.

            1874 –Monday Ladies and Gentleman, the President of the United States, Hoobert Heever……Harry von Zell (later a regular on Burns and Allen)….. Happy Birthday, Herbert C. Hoover, the 31st U.S. President.  As Missouri was the first state west of the Mississippi, Herbert was the first U.S. President born west of the Mississippi River - in West Branch, Iowa to be exact.  From 1921-28 he served as the Secretary of Commerce for Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge.  He was also the president to have a telephone at his desk. "Hello, I can't come to phone right now, this Depression has me depressed." Post President, Hoover ran for reelection in 1932 but was souondly defeated by Franklin Roosevelt. He was appointed as the coordinator of the Food Supply for World Famine (1946-47). He was chairman of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government or Hoover Commission (1947-49) and the Commission on Government Operations (1953-55) which were intended find ways to streamline government. Well that’s certainly worked out well.

       1885 – Monday Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell
Zing, zing, zing went my heart strings
For the moment I saw her I fell
Chug, chug, chug went the motor
Thump, thump, thump went the brake
Thump, thump, thump went my heart strings
When she smiled I could feel the car shake
…… Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane ………America's first commercially operated electric streetcar, invented by English-born Leo Daft, of Newark, N.J,  began operation from Baltimore to Hampden.  Daft converted the Baltimore and Hampden line from horse-drawn cars to his third rail system. The pioneering technology used current from a middle rail as its power supply. The Monument City Blog snippily reminds us that the electric street car originally  was attributed to Frank Sprague but Daft’s electric train was in service before Sprague electrified Richmond Virginia’s public transit system.

             1889 –Saturday- Englishman,  Dan Rylands of the Hope Glassworks Hiram Cobb, inventor of the Cobb Bottle had been partners with his father, Ben) in Yorkshire, patented the screw cap for bottles. However,  they were not t successful until 1926  when the 'White Horse Distillers' began using them for whiskey.

         1889- Saturday Why did the mammoth cross the road?A: Because they didn't have chickens in the Ice Age. …….Archeologists using an early mammothgram, discovered the  complete skeleton of a thirty-six foot long and fifteen-foot high mammoth was found in St. James, Nebraska, founded only three years earlier in 1856. St. James is way up at the N E corner of the state, near the Missouri River.  The Marion County Echo (Arkansas) reported  “A mammoth skeleton, supposed to be that of a mastodon(sic) has been unearthed near St. James, Neb.”  The mammoth was later identified as Bill Clinton’s ego. A mammoth was also a large, elephant-like mammal of the extinct genus Mammuthus,  from the Pleistocene Epoch, having hairy skin and ridged molar teeth and a corn-cob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal.  

1889- Saturday I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly...........Steven Wright………..Same day again – Happy Birthday, Charles Brace Darrow  (Philadelphia) American inventor who designed the board game Monopoly. He had invented the game on  March 7, 1933. On  Dec  31, 1935, a patent was issued for the game of Monopoly assigned to Parker Brothers, Inc., by Charles Darrow of Pennsylvania.   Darrow was paid off in Monopoly money plus Baltic Avenue and a Get Out of Jail Free card.  Of course the story is not as simple as that or it wouldn’t be Monopoly. Darrow’s Monopoly was was heavily based on an earlier game known as The Landlord's Game designed by Elizabeth Magie. Darrow made his own copies of his game, in which he used the names of streets in nearby Atlantic City and obtained  a copyright for this game in 1933. In 1934, he sold copies to a department store in Philadelphia and showed the game to both Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley. It was initially rejected by both companies, but Parker Brothers, much to their future  delight,  later reconsidered. In 1935, Darrow acquired a patent for Monopoly (U.S. Patent 2,026,082), which included nearly all of the graphics still in use today.

        1897 - Tuesday If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children".” "……….Dr. Felix Hoffmann successfully created a chemically pure and stable form of acetylsalicylic acid........aspirin to relieve his father’s rheumatism. His handwritten laboratory notes - aspirin's "birth certificate" - suggested: "Through its physical characteristics such as a sour taste without any corrosive effect, acetylsalicylic acid has an advantage over salicylic acid and will therefore be tested for its usability in this context."  Although he wrote it in German, which would be Durch ihre physikalischen Eigenschaften wie einen sauren Geschmack ohne ätzende Wirkung hat Acetylsalicylsäure einen Vorteil gegenüber Salicylsäure und wird daher für ihre Verwendbarkeit in diesem Zusammenhang geprüft werden. Scientists had know for a while that salicyn from willow bark could be a pain reliever but salicylic acid was tough on stomachs.  In 1853, French chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt neutralized salicylic acid by buffering it with sodium (sodium salicylate) and acetyl chloride, creating acetylsalicylic acid. Gerhardt's product worked but he didn’t market it and  and abandoned his discovery. Hoffman used Gerhardt’s formulas and “ rediscovered it“.

        1902 – Sunday A small piece of ice which lived in a test tube fell in love with a Bunsen burner. "Bunsen! my flame! I melt whenever I see you" said the ice. The Bunsen burner replied :"It's just a phase you're going through ……Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen,  Arne Tiselius, Swedish chemist who was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on electrophoresis - the motion of colloidal particles suspended in a fluid medium, due to the influence of an electric field on the medium. - and other new methods of separating and detecting colloids and serum proteins.  He noted that when two cars colloid it can back up traffic for hours.

            1909 - Tuesday  Some are skeptical. My mom thought the guitar was going to fizzle out in two weeks, that it was just a fad-and that was in 1958. …..Jeff Beck………… Happy Birthday, (Clarence Leonidas) Leo Fender (brother of Repeat O. Fender and Chronic O. Fender), American inventor of electronic musical instruments. In 1948 he invented the first solid-body electric guitar to be mass-produced, the Fender Broadcaster. It was later renamed the Fender Telecaster.  Fender’s  Stratocaster, developed in 1954,      which featured a contoured, double-cutaway body, three (as opposed to two) single-coil pickups and a revolutionary string-bending (tremolo) unit,  became the favored guitar of rock guitarists. The Telecaster and Stratocaster are arguably, the most popular and successful guitar designs in history. Jimi Hendrix (probably used a lot of them since he liked to set them on fire), Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, The Beatles (not Ringo), Dave Gilmour, John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kurt Cobain and many others have used Stratocasters.   He also designed the electric bass.  See 1937 below

             1921 – Wednesday  If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate. ... Choose science. ……Carl Sagan………..Future President, Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello.  Roosevelt thought he had “lumbago” but poliomyelitis is a crippling viral disease that would leave him paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life. The infection passes from person to person by the fecal-oral route. Roosevelt had run for Vice President on a ticket with James Cox  in 1920 .  He became the 32nd president in 1933, and was the only president to be elected four times.

            1929 – Saturday  The premiere of The Mysterious  Dr. Fu Manchu, directed (un-credited) by Roland V. Lee and starring (in his prep for Charlie Chan) Swedish actor, Warner Oland, Jean Arthur and Neil Hamilton in a story of revenge during the Boxer Rebellion.  Fu Manchu’s family is killed.  Westerners must die. Fu Manchu was a compelling villain so…………. The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930) Daughter of the Dragon (1931 The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)  The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966) The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967 The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)) The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969)  Flesh Gordon (1974) The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980) and  One False Move (1992)

            1932 – Wednesday  Like a meteor, it strikes from above without warning. Unlike a meteor, it then carries you off and eats you…..Razorfoot Griffin………..A 5.1kg (11.2-pound) chondrite-type meteorite broke into at least seven pieces and landed near the town of Archie in Cass County, Missouri missing a bystander by less than a yard. From there a mysterious blob exited the cracked stone and oozed into a town where it ate people in a supermarket and a movie theater until Steve McQueen figured out it didn’t like ice and it was frozen and dropped in the arctic.Chondrite meteors are  Stony are characterized by chondrules--small spheres (average diameter of 1 mm) of formerly melted minerals that have come together with other mineral matter to form a solid rock. Chondrites are believed to be among the oldest rocks in the solar system.. 82 percent of meteorite falls are chondrites.

            1937 - Tuesday Q: What do you tell a guitarist that is freaking out? A: Don’t fret. On Leo Fender’s birthday (see 1909)….The electric guitar—the instrument that revolutionized jazz, blues and country music and made the later rise of rock and roll possible—was recognized by the United States Patent Office on this day in 1937 with the award of Patent #2,089.171 to G.D. Beauchamp for an instrument known as the Rickenbacker Frying Pan for the Electro String Instrument Corporation. founded in 1931 by Adolph Rickenbacker and George D. Beauchamp,  The “Frying Pan” "Frying Pan" was an electric Hawaiian model, played flat in the lap, and it caught on immediately with Hawaiian-style guitarists. As the This Day in History site informs – “Unfortunately for the Electro String Corporation, Beauchamp's specific invention had long since been obsolesced by the innovations of various competitors, rendering the patent awarded on this day in 1937 an item of greater historical importance than economic value.”

                  1937   Tuesday A hydrogen ion walks into a bar. The bartender sees him and says, "You don't look so hot. Are you okay?" The H+ says, "Well, I think I just lost an electron." "Really, are you sure?" says the bartender. The H+ says, "I'm positive." Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!  Wolfgang_Paul, German physicist who shared Nobel Prize for Physics in 1989 with Hans G. Dehmelt. Paul received his share of the prize for his development of the Paul trap—an electromagnetic device that captures ions (electrically charged atoms) and holds them long enough for their properties to be accurately measured. The divice consists of a flat board, a spring with a rectangular outline in metal and a little piece of metal where you place some peanut butter.  When the ion  goes after the peanut butter……..thwap!  It is also a device consisting of three electrodes – two end caps and an encircling ring. The ring is connected to an oscillating potential. The direction of the electric field alternates; for half the time the electron is pushed from the caps to the ring and for the other half it is pulled from the ring and pushed towards the caps.

            1943– Tuesday  woa-oh, woa-oh oh oh
have I ever told you
how good it feels to hold you
it isn't easy to explian
and though I'm really trying
I think I may start crying
my heart can't wait another day
when you kiss me I've just got to say
(baby I love you)
come on baby
(baby I love you)
oh-ee baby
baby I love only you
…..Happy Birthday Veronica “Ronnie” Spector, lead singer of the Ronettes and subject of a Professor Sy Yentz crush in the early ‘60s’.  The Ronettes, (sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley )  began as dancers at the Peppermint Lounge in New York – think Twist – and were “discovered” by “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector in 1963,  releasing great songs and smash hits like Be My Baby, Walking in the Rain, Do I Love You, and I Can Hear Music.

             1945- Friday  I have the honor to inform you that the Japanese Minister to Switzerland, upon instructions received from his Government, has requested the Swiss Political Department to advise the Government of the United States of America of the following: In obedience to the gracious command of his Majesty the Emperor who, ever anxious to enhance the cause of world peace, desires earnestly to bring about a speedy termination of hostilities with a view to saving mankind from the calamities to be imposed upon them by further continuation of the war, the Japanese Government several weeks ago asked the Soviet Government, with which neutral relations then prevailed, to render good offices in restoring peace vis a vis the enemy power. Unfortunately, these efforts in the interest of peace having failed, the Japanese Government in conformity with the august wish of His Majesty to restore the general peace and desiring to put an end to the untold sufferings entailed by war as quickly as possible, have decided upon the following.The Japanese Government are ready to accept the terms enumerated in the joint declaration which was issued at Potsdam on July 26, 1945, by the heads of the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, and China, and later subscribed by the Soviet Government with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler. The Japanese Government sincerely hope that this understanding is warranted and desire keenly that an explicit indication to that effect will be speedily forthcoming. ….. Grässli Chargé d' Affaires ad interim of Switzerland  to U.S Secretary of State, James F. Byrnes………..A day after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan agreed to the Potsdam Conference terms of unconditional surrender.   President Harry S. Truman ordered a halt to atomic bombing.

            1947 – Sunday  Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there. ….unknown………..William Odom completed an around-the-world solo flight in a Douglas A-26 Invader "Reynolds Bombshell" .  He set the solo record by completing the 19,645 miles flight in 73 hours and 5 minutes.

            1948 – Sunday When it's least expected - you're elected. You're the star today Smile! You're on Candid Camera! With a hocus-pocus - you're in focus. It's your lucky day.  Smile! You're on Candid Camera!............... Candid Camera made its television debut on ABC after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone. Before that it was Candid Telegraph and before that it was Candid Smoke Signals and before that it was Candid Cave Writing.  The format of the program featured footage taken by a hidden camera of everyday people caught in hoaxes devised by the show's host Allen Funt with co-hosts, Arthur Godfrey (1960-61), Durward Kirby (1961-66), Bess Myerson (1966-67), and son, Peter Funt (1990) The program aired from 1948-1951, 1960-1967 and 1996 – 2004 and was arguably the grandaddy of all reality shows  (but we liked it anyway).

     1960 - Wednesday We should develop anti-satellite weapons because we could not have prevailed without them in `Red Storm Rising…Dan Quayle……An ejected space capsule from Discoverer 13 was recovered by the U.S Navy in the Pacific off the coast of Hawaii, when it returned from orbit. It was the first man-made object recovered from space. Mysterious electronic ions  from the object resulted in the compulsion of many people to name their children Tyler.  Discoverer 13 was an earth-orbiting satellite designed to test spacecraft engineering techniques and to attempt deceleration, reentry through the atmosphere, and recovery from the sea of an instrument package. It represented the first-ever successful recovery of an object from orbit.

            1962 - Friday  Dr. Bill Cortner: Oh, come on now, Doris. Do I look like a maniac who goes around killing girls? …..The premiere of  The Brain That Wouldn't Die, a documentary about the creation of women who appear on The Bachelor.  Directed by Joseph Green and starred Jason Evers and Virginia Leith, or at least her head in pan for most of the movie, as a mad scientist tried to find a body for his girlfriend who had, unfortunately, been decapitated in a car crash. 

            1969 – Sunday Don't let them know you are going to kill them…..Charles Manson…….A day after murdering Sharon Tate and four others, members of Charles Manson cult killed  Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Manson had, expressed his displeasure with the attack at the Tate residence.  He considered it too messy and  decided to accompany the next Helter Skelter mission, which he scheduled for that very night.  In addition to the four Family members  - Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Linda Kasbian, from the previous night's mission, Manson was joined by Clem Tufts and Leslie Van Houten.  Manson ordered Kasabian to cruise neighborhoods of Los Angeles, in search for potential victims, before settling on the home of Leno and and Rosemary LaBianca.  Watson, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten were the killers chosen by Manson.  Police found Leno LaBianca with a knife lodged in his throat, twelve stab wounds, and seven pairs of fork wounds.  The word "WAR" had been carved on his stomach.  Rosemary LaBianca was found with multiple stab wounds in her chest and neck.  On the LaBianca's living room wall, written in blood, were the words "DEATH TO PIGS"  and "RISE."  On the refrigerator door was written, "HEALTER SKELTER."-misspelled by the orthographically challenged Krenwinkel.

1969 - Sunday  When I had you to myself
I didn't want you around
Those pretty faces always made you
Stand out in a crowd
……..Jackson 5…………Notable fooney nooney,  Diana Ross held a party for 350  of her nearest and dearest at Beverly Hills' Daisy Club to announce her “discovery” of the singing group the Jackson 5. This was as faux as everything else about the self-important Ross, who’ serial publicity mongering far outdistanced her talent, as Gladys Knight had  previously actually recommended them to Motown head Berry Gordy.

            1977 – Wednesday   You got me. What took you so long?....David Berkowitz….Big day for murderers (see Mansons – 1969 above) as Ii Yonkers, New York, 24-year-old postal employee David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") was  arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year. Berkowitz had murdered six and injured seven. It was a parking ticket that ended it. A witness had seen a man who matched the description of the killer walking around earlier in the evening and pulling a ticket off his car for being illegally parked. The police were able to trace the ticket to a vehicle owned by Berkowitz.

            1984- Friday  Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years... Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet troops invade... Cuba and Nicaragua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall... Greens Party gains control of West German Parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil... Mexico plunged into revolution... NATO dissolves. United States stands alone. ….Prologue………The action thriller Red Dawn, directed by John Milius and starring Patrick Swayze, opened in theaters as the first movie to be released with a PG-13 rating. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which oversees the movie rating system, had announced the new PG-13 category in July of that same year.  The MPAA film rating system was instituted in November 1968 as an alternative to federal regulation of motion picture content by the United States government. The original ratings wer:  Rated G – Acceptable to "general" audiences, including children.    Rated M – For "Mature" audiences.    Rated R – Restricted. Children under the age of 17 (originally 16) must be accompanied by a parent or "guardian" (i.e., supervised by an adult).    Rated X – Children under the age of 17 not admitted.  PG-13 was Parent strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.  As for Red Dawn, in which a a group of teenagers banded together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces, it had quite a cast.  In addition to Swayze, there were Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Gray, Ben Johnson and even Ryan O’Neal.

                1990 Friday The American space probe Magellan arrived at its planned polar orbit around Venus where it discovered that the 1958 movie, Queen of Outer Space starring Zsa Zsa Gabor as Talleah, a member of the court of the Amazaon Queen was in fact, all true.  Magellan circled the planet once every 3-hr 15-min, collecting radar images of the surface in strips about 17-28 km (10-17 mi) wide and radioed back the information. Magellan  had been  carried into space in the shuttle cargo bay of the space shuttle Atlantis, launched in  May of 1989 with Sigourney Weaver at the controls.  It  was the first planetary spacecraft to be released from a shuttle in Earth orbit. Mysterious neutrinos emitted during separation from the space shuttle resulted in a a 21st century epidemic of effeminate men and manly women on American television.

            1994 – Wednesday Plaintiff Paula Corbin Jones, by counsel, brings this action to obtain redress for the deprivation and conspiracy to deprive Plaintiff of her federally protected rights as hereafter alleged, and for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and for defamation. …..Complaint……….Presidential stud muffin, Bill Clinton claimed presidential immunity (from STDs?)  when he asked a federal judge to dismiss, at least for the time being, a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Corbin Jones.  In 1998, after six years of rulings and appeals, evidently Clinton was too busy being president and scoping out babes to be distracted by a trial, President Clinton reached an out-of-court settlement with Jones, agreeing to pay her $850,000 but acknowledging no wrongdoing.

            2003-  Sunday We're having a heat wave,
A tropical heat wave,
The temperature's rising,
It isn't surprising,
She certainly can can-can
. …..Irving Berlin……….The United Kingdom recorded its first-ever temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course since they are Celsius, folks woke up, heard 37.77777777 and promptly put on overcoats before going out. August 2003 was the hottest August ever recorded in the northern hemisphere and broke all previous records for heat-related deaths.  Researchers said the unusual heat was entirely consistent with predictions of climate change caused by rising emissions of greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) from power stations, motor transport and, increasingly, aircraft as well as open windows during Question Time in Parliament

            2003 – Sunday  I’ve nothing much to offer
There's nothing much to take
I'm an absolute beginner
And I'm absolutely sane
As long as we're together
The rest can go to hell
I absolutely love you
But we're absolute beginners
With eyes completely open
But nervous all the same
….David Bowie…..Sex in space presents a number of challenges beyond tangible matters like zero gravity or awkward enclosures Yuri Malenchenko became the first person to marry in space. Malenchenko was in  space but the bride, one Ekaterina  Dmitriev walked down the aisle in the main hall of the Gilruth Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.  A life-size cutout of the groom greeted guests at the reception.  The groom wore of course a formal tuxedo space suit by Tommy Hilfigger. The bride was resplendent in a gown by Olga of Vladivostok.  The bride marched in to David Bowie’s Absolute Beginners, and she then (really, we’re not making this up)  recited the lyrics. Following Texas law, they performed a proxy marriage ceremony (one of Yuri’s friends, a Russian flight surgeon, stood in for him in Houston) and then blew kisses to each other. As the bride left the altar, Lu played Mendelssohn’s traditional Wedding March music on the keyboard aboard the station, and it was clearly audible.We recommend Packing for MarsThe Curious Science of Life in the Void By Mary Roach. .

2006- Thursday  'Tis such fools as you.That makes the world full of ill-favor'd children…………Rosalind…….As You Like It, 3. 5………..British authorities announced they had thwarted yet another virgin obsessed Islamic terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up ten  aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in hand luggage.  Killing thousands of people would, of course, make the world a safer place for peace and tolerance. Other than an Oliver and a Donald in the collection of 24, it was the usual Ahmeds, Waheeds, Assads, and Muhammeds.


3114 BC – Tuesday  I love, I love, I love my calender girl
Yeah, sweet calender girl
I love, I love, I love my calender girl
Each and every day of the year
….Neil Sedaka…………The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Mayans, began either today or tomorrow but what’s 5200 years or so. We don’t even know the  Mayan name for the Long Count (although it could have been when Dempsey knocked down Tunney in 1926) but it  is  considered the Maya's linear count of days because  its great length of at least 5126 years makes it essentially a linear count through all of Maya history. The earliest known Long Count date, carved in 31 BC, was found at the Olmec site of Tres Zapotes. The Editorial Board of the Gnus went to the Calendars Through the Ages website and got this explanation - Logically, the first date in the Long Count should be, but as the baktun (the first component) are numbered from 1 to 13 rather than 0 to 12, this first date is actually written Experts  disagree on what corresponds to in our calendar but they  have come across three possible equivalences: = 8 Sep 3114 BC (Julian) = 13 Aug 3114 BC (Gregorian) = 6 Sep 3114 BC (Julian) = 11 Aug 3114 BC (Gregorian) = 11 Nov 3374 BC (Julian) = 15 Oct 3374 BC (Gregorian)Assuming one of the first two equivalences, the Long Count will again reach on 21 or 23 December AD 2012 - a not too distant future. The date may have been the Mayas’ idea of the date of the creation of the world. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…….Groucho Marx

    2492 BC – Monday And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he has swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more to him: yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall. …..Jeremiah 51:44 …………..This is the traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, originator and founder of the Armenian nation. The Armeniapedia notes that Hayk Nahapet (Armenian: Հայկ; also known as Haig; transliterated as Haik) is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. He is said to have settled at the foot of Mount Ararat, traveled to assist in building the Tower of Babel, (he did the crown molding)  and, after his return, defeated the Babylonian king Bel (believed by some researchers to be Nimrod) on August 11, 2492 BC (Navasard) near the mountains of Lake Van, in the southwestern part of historic Armenia (present-day eastern Turkey).

    106 – Wednesday Q: What's big, black, noisy, makes a lot of smoke and cuts carrots in five? A: The Romanian machine for cutting carrots in four. The south-western part of Dacia (modern Romania) became a Roman province, cleverly renamed, Roman Dacia.  After decades of unsuccessful attacks on Dacia and finally an uneasy peace, the emperor Trajan in a second campaign from 105 to 107 AD launched a  two pronged assault on Sarmizegethusa, (the attack was delayed a week while strategist argued over how to pronounce Sarmizegethusa),  the destruction of the Dacian army and the suicide of King Decebalus. With Trajan's conquests, the Roman frontier was extended to the Carpathians and the Dniester, pushing the borders of the Roman Empire to its greatest extent.

    355 – Thursday (What they do)
(They smile in your face)
All the time they want to take your place
The back stabbers (back stabbers)
(They smile in your face)
All the time they want to take your place
The back stabbers (back stabbers
)….O’Jays……….. Proving once again that the best defense is a good offense, Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II. Alas poor Claudius Silvanus we hardly knew ye.  When Constantius, at Mediolanum (Milan), received the news about the revolt of Silvanus, he sent  his general Ursicinus to Gaul to replace Sivanus. When the general arrived a Colonia Agrippina, the letter he carried simply ordered Silvanus to return to Mediolanum and contained no evidence that the emperor knew of the revolt and although Silvanus hoped that his replacement would support him, Ursicinus, instigated a plot by some Silvanus supporters who then rendered Silvanus kaput  while he was on his way to a Christian service on Sept. 7  355. He  had been in power for twenty-eight days.

    1332 – Monday No one in Scotland can escape from the past. It is everywhere, haunting like a ghost.….Geddes MacGregor….. At the  Battle of Dupplin Moor – Scots under Domhnall II, Earl of Mar began a long losing streak of battles to the English (although they used Scottish puppets)  as they were routed by Edward Balliol. After Robert the Bruce (brother of Lenny the Bruce) went kaput in 1329 he was succeeded by his young son, David II.  This presented an opportunity for Edward Balliol, who claimed the crown of Scotland by the right of his father King John Balliol, who had reigned in Scotland until 1296. Always anxious to stir the pot in Scotland,  Edward III of England  gave tacit support for a ‘private’ invasion of Scotland.  The mainly English force, destroyed a far larger Scottish army, using tactics that would make English armies a dominant force in Europe for the next hundred years, the English longbow.

1673 –Friday  Nurse: Doctor, the man you just gave a clean bill of health to dropped dead right as he was leaving the office. Doctor: Turn him around, make it look like he was walking in………Henny Youngman………Happy Birthday, Richard Mead, English physician.  Among his patients were Queen Anne, George I (German Georgie) George II,  the British prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, Sir Isaac Newton, and the poet Alexander Pope.

1722 –Tuesday  A doctor gave a man six months to live. The man couldn't pay his bill, so he gave him another six months. …..Henny Youngman……….Happy Birthday, Richard Brocklesby, English physician who, as an army doctor, seved in Prussia during part of the Seven Years' War.   In 1764 he published Economical and Medical Observations, which contained suggestions for improving the hygiene of army hospitals including the “curing of  soldier’s camp diseases”

 1804 –  Saturday  It's good to be king, if just for a while
To be there in velvet, yeah, to give 'em a smile
It's good to get high, and never come down
It's good to be king of your own little town
…..Tom Petty…………Emperor shmemperor, Francis II. The last Holy Roman Emperor, he would abdicate in 1806, but consoled himself by assuming the title of first Emperor of Austria. He would also beFrancis, king of Hungary (1792–1830) and King of Bohemia (1792–1836). Born in Florence on Feb. 12, 1768, Francis was the eldest son of Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany but since his uncle Emperor Joseph II had no heirs, Leopold was  designated as his successor as Holy Roman Emperor.

1806    Monday Damn you, Lewis cried. You have shot me. Reminicent of the carnage that occurs each year on the first day of Hunting Season, and coming to then of the epic Lewis and Clark journey, Meriwether Lewis was hunting elk,  accompanied by Private Pierre Cruzatte. Lewis was just about to fire his rifle when he was hit by a bullet which slashed a three-inch gash in his hip. Knowing that Cruzatte was blind in one eye and nearsighted in the other, Lewis immediately assumed the private had mistaken him for an elk. Don’t we all?  In his September 23, 1806 letter to Thomas Jefferson, Lewis said, It is with pleasure that I anounce to you the safe arrival of myself and party.... In obedience to your orders we have penitrated the Continent of North America to the Pacific Ocean, and sufficiently explored the interior of the country to affirm with confidence that we have discovered the most practicable rout which dose exist across the continent by means of the navigable branches of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers…Meriwether Lewis, letter to Thomas Jefferson, September 23, 1806…………but he neglected to mention that just over a month before, he was shot in the leg, actually the hip, we’ve also seen buttock,  by one of his own men.

1807Tuesday Old Man Rhythm is-a in my shoes
It's no use sittin' here singin' the blues
So be my guest, you've got nothin' to lose
Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?
……Frankie Ford………….Robert Fulton, started commercial steam ship navigation as he sailed the Clermont 150 miles (241 kilometers up the Hudson River from New York City.  After extensive rebuilding, the boat began to provide regular passenger service on the Hudson. Fulton did not invent the steam ship. In 1769, the Scotsman James Watt patented an improved version of the steam engine.  In 1787 when John Fitch , who would be granted the first patent, made the first successful trial of a forty-five-foot steamboat on the Delaware River on August 22, 1787, in the presence of members of the Constitutional Convention. Fitch later built a larger vessel that carried passengers and freight between Philadelphia and Burlington, New Jersey.  It was Fulton who turned it into a commercial success.

           1807 Tuesday  Do you hear that whistle down the line
I figure that it's engine number forty-nine
She's the only one that'll sound that way
On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe
…..Johnny Mercer……….Happy Birthday,  David Atchison of Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad fame.  The town of Atchison, Kansas is named for him and   The railroad itself was founded by founder was Cyrus K. Holliday.  Atchison  was actually president for a day on March 4, 1849, when as President Pro Tem of the U.S Senate he served on the Sunday before Zachary Taylor (Old Rough and Ready) was inaugurated.  The term of incumbent James Polk ended Saturday at noon, leaving the office theoretically vacant until Taylor could be sworn in on Monday as Taylor had refused to be inaugurated on a Sunday. Atchison was never sworn in but his grave stone epitaph reads "David Rice Atchison -- President of the United States for One Day."

    1812 – Tuesday To have good soldiers, a nation must always be at war…..Napoleon Bonaparte…… French troops fought British-Portuguese forces in the Battle of Majadahonda. Majadahonda was part of the Peninusula War, a subset of the Napoleonic Wars, fought on the Iberian Peninsula. French forces occupied Portugal in 1807 and Napoleon installed his brother Joseph Bonaparte as king of Spain in 1808. Surprise!  A rebellion in Madrid began what was called in Spain the War of Independence, and insurrections soon erupted in other cities. It was a revolting situation.  In this battle, a  British-Portuguese cavalry force under Major-General George Bock and Brigadier-General Benjamin d'Urban fought a French cavalry division led by General of Division Anne-François-Charles Trelliard. The French scored an initial success by routing a Portuguese cavalry brigade they later withdrew when reinforcements arrived Majadahonda  is a Honda dealership and is located  northwest of Madrid.

1836 –Thursday  Hey, know any good jokes about sodium? Na……Gratulerer med dagen! Cato Maximilian Guldberg,  Norwegian chemist born inChristiana, now Oslo.  Much of Guldberg’s work, since it was published in Norwegian, was ignored by non-Norse contemporaries. In 1864 Guldberg with his brother-in-law Peter Waage, formulated the law of mass action, a fundamental law of chemistry, which today is known to every beginning chemistry student.  The “law” details the effects of concentration, mass, and temperature on chemical reaction rates and states that the rate of a chemical change depends on the concentrations of the reactants. Thus for a reaction: A + B -> C the rate of reaction is proportional to [A][B], where [A] and [B] are concentrations. . A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…….Groucho Marx

 1858 –Wednesday  The two guides kindly gave me the place of first man up …Charles Barrington……….The Eiger in the Bernese Alps was ascended for the first time by Charles Barrington accompanied by Christian Almer and Peter Bohren. It was later climbed by Clint Eastwood  in 1975 as he battle with George Kennedy in The Eiger Sanction. Irishman Charles Barrington along with Grindelwald guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren made the ascent.  The only written account of the climb by one of the participants is a letter written by Barrington to his brother some 24 years later and published in the English Alpine Journal.

1858 – Wednesday  I have seen a medicine
That's able to breathe life into a stone,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary
With spritely fire and motion, whose simple touch
….Lafew…. All's Well That Ends Well Act 2, scene 1, 72–78…….. Hartelijk gefeliciteerd! Christiaan Eijkman Dutch scientist, physician, hygienist who demonstrated that beriberi, a disease of the peripheral nerves,  is caused by poor diet led to the discovery of vitamins. He investigated beriberi (Sinhalese word for “extreme weakness”) in the Dutch East Indies in 1886.  His experiments isolated a dietary component vital amine (organic compound).  Casimir Funk would later shortened the term "vital amine" to coin a new word, vitamin. Beriberi is the result of a thiamin or B1 difficiency.  Eijkman won the Nobel Prize for Medicine (Physiology) in 1929 – actually, he shared it with Gowland Hopkins.

1860 – Saturday  Q: What's grey, crispy and hangs from the ceiling? A: An amateur electrician. …………..Boldog szuletesnapot! Ottó Bláthy, Hungarian electrical engineer designed and used the transformer in both experimental, and commercian systems using transformers to distribute power. Note to researchers.  Search for history of the transformer, not transformers or else you’ll get …Milions of years ago, the planet of Cybertron was made by the Quintessons as a production plant for the robots they needed. At the start they experimentated with creatures partially robot and partially organic, later they made real robots. There were two types of robots; military units and consumer goods. A computer; Vector Sigma, situated somewhere deep under the surface of the planet was used to give all the robots their own unique personalities. The Quintessons were very hard on their own robots and gradually more and more robots started to rebel. However the Quintessons had built gigantic robots to protect themselves; the Guardian Robots. Finally the great rebellion started and the robots under the leadeship of A-3, managed to defeat the Guardian Robots. ……Actually, Nicholas Joseph Callan put the two coils together in 1836, and created a spark between the output wires when he disconnected the battery from the input wires. Energy had been transferred from the input coil to the output coil using magnetism.

1861 – Sunday This case is reported because of the unusual blood findings, no duplicate of which I have ever seen described……….. Happy Birthday, James B. Herrick, American physician and clinical cardiologist who was the first to observe and describe sickle-cell anemia.   Herrick also published Clinical Features of Sudden Obstruction of the Coronary Arteries, in 1912.  This provided  the medical world a definitive description of coronary thrombosis.  His studies emphasized the important observation that sudden obstruction of a coronary artery is not necessarily fatal.  In 1910 Herrick  described the symptoms of a 20-year-old black male student, Walter Clement Noel,  from the West Indies (Grenada). The man had reported "shortness of breath, palpitations, and episodes of icterus (yellow eyes). He had an anemia." Dr. Herrick described the patient's blood smear as showing "thin, sickle-shaped and crescent-shaped red cells."

       1874- Tuesday The quick response of home fire sprinkler systems greatly improves the chance of saving lives, minimizing property damage and safely returning fire fighters home to their families—that is worth any cost……..Firefighter Joe Morgan ……Harry S. Parmelee of New Haven, Conn. received a patent for the sprinkler head…not for lawns, for fire but an  “Improvement in Fire-Extinguishers" It was an attachment to distributing-pipes in buildings for extinguishing fires. The construction was heat sensitive so that it would  automatically open the valve and allow the discharge of water.

     1877 – Saturday That planet has a considerable but moderate atmosphere. So that the inhabitants probably enjoy a situation in many respects similar to ours…..Sir William Herschel………….. American astronomer Asaph Hall  discovered the two moons of Mars, which he named Phobos and Deimos. In Greek mythology, they were the sons of Ares (Mars) and Aphrodite (Venus). Deimos is Greek for "panic" and phobos is Greek for "fear".  They are probably asteroids pulled by Jupiter into orbits that allowed them to be captured by Mars. There is some speculation that they originated in the outer solar system rather than in the main asteroid belt....maybe even asteroid suspenders.  Mars was in opposition on the night of the 11th when Hall searched for Martian satellites using the Naval Observatory's  (Washington D.C) 26-in. (66-cm) refractor. On August 11, he found a tiny moon (Deimos, as it turned out) dimensions of 12.2 x 15 x 11 km  but then he had to wait a further six nights for mist to clear from over the Potomac before he could confirm his sighting and discover the 2nd moon, Phobos –dimensions 27 x 21.6 x 18.8 km.

      1896 –Tuesday Chain, chain, chain
(Chain, chain, chain)
Chain, chain, chain
(Chain, chain, chain)
Chain, chain, chain
(Chain of fools)
…….Aretha Franklin………..We're not pulling your chain but Harvey Hubbell of Bridgeport Ct. patented (patent number 565541) the first electric light bulb socket featuring an on-and-off  pull chain. This socket came with an internal pulley switch operated by a silk tuna line pull cord that came with a ball at the end. It was not an immediate success since folks would yank the chain too hard and voila! Light bulb over there and chain in your hand.

    1898 – Puerto Rico
My heart's devotion
Let it sink back in the ocean
Always the hurricanes blowing
Always the population growing
And the money owing
And the sunlight streaming
And the natives steaming
. …...Anita…… ., West Side Story…… Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein ………During the Spanish-American War, American troops commandedby Nelson A. Miles entered the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico’s third largest city.  The troops barely had time to visit the Mayguez Zoo, the Statude of Christopher Columbus, Plaza Colon or the Tropical Casino at Holiday Inn Nayaquez,  since they had landed at Guánica Bay on July 25, immediately moving to the city of Ponce and  then to Mayaguez.  They never got to the Puerto Rican capitol of San Juan since on August 13th to sign a peace treaty with the United States, putting an end to all military hostilities.

1900 – Saturday  An archeologist is a person whose career lies in ruins!....... Happy Birthday Philip Phillips, American archaeologist who also recorded Sea of Love in 1959….well not really…we disambiguate ……..but he did co-author (with G. R. Willey) Method and Theory of Archaeology, one of the most important books ever published in American archaeology.

1903- Tuesday  I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time….. Steven Wright………The first U.S. patent for instant coffee was issued to Satori Kato of Chicago, Illinois. It was entitled "Coffee Concentrate and Process of Making Same" (No. 735,777). And we know, of course, that the instant coffee served on the Titanic was Sanka (the salads featured iceberg lettuce). Kato initially developed the technique  to make instant tea, and then applied it to coffee and served it to the Green Hornet (we disambiguate again).  The earliest documented version of instant coffee was developed in Britain in 1771 but the Editorial Board had been unable to stir up a name. The product had a short shelf life and went rancid quickly , so it went kaput.  Kato introduced the powdered substance in Buffalo, New York, at the Pan-American Exposition, however,  Belgian immigrant, George Constant Louis Washington developed his own instant coffee process a few years later and first marketed it commercially in 1910.

     1909 – Wednesday   So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me
The love you gave me, nothing else can save me
……..ABBA………….The liner S.S. Arapahoe was the first ship to use the S.O.S. radio distress call. Its wireless operator, radioed for help after a propeller shaft snapped while off the coast at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Yes, the first S.O.S was the result of someone getting the shaft.  The first use of wireless in communicating the need for assistance came in March of 1899. The East Goodwin Lightship, mapping  the southeastern English coast, was rammed in a fog in the early morning hours by the SS R. F. Matthews. A distress call was transmitted to a shore station at South Foreland and help was sent.  It took a while to get to S.O.S.  At first it was CQ.  Then SSSDDD.  Then wireless radio inventor, Marconi recommended CQD. At the second Berlin Radiotelegraphic Conference of 1906, the subject of a distress signal was again addressed. The distress signal chosen was SOS, or  ...---... repeated at brief intervals. The Arapahoe’s call was received by the United Wireless station at Cape Hatteras, and help was sent. Ironically, the next  distress call occurred on October 20, 1909, when ironically the SS Arapahoe received an "SOS" distress call from another American ship the SS Iroquois, after it struck a rock and ran aground.

1912 – Sunday But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks,
They are all fire and every one doth shine……Juliius Caesar, Julius Caesar, act 3 scene 1………….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Eva Ahnert-Rohlfs, German astronomer noted for her observations of variable stars. This pertains Box Office sure things like Tom Cruise who’s later movies are financial flops.  And astronomical variable star is a star that changes in brightness. Variable stars fall into two general categories: intrinsic variables, in which physical changes, such as pulsations or eruptions, are involved, and extrinsic variables, in which the light output fluctuates due to eclipses or stellar rotation. Ahnert-Rohlfs’ work expanded the research of Henrietta Swan Leavitt who t noticed that a type of star known as a Cepheid variable (after the constellation cepheus….look through a telescope and “cepheus self”) pulsated with a regular rhythm.  This was vital in determining the size and age of the universe as Cepheids are quite rare but most of us know at least one – Polaris, the North Star.

1914 –Tuesday …. the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty 'Hi-yo, Silva…….apologies to the Lone Ranger…… Happy Birthday, José Silva, American parapsychologist – interviewed patients while parashooting.  The patient was lashed to a couch attached to another parashoot. Silva was author of the Silva Method and the Silva UltraMind ESP System which would ostensibly increase their I.Q but definitely increased Silva’s bank account.  

    1918 – Tuesday  My arms have mutinied against me — brutes!
My fingers fidget like ten idle brats,
My back's been stiff for hours, damned hours.
Death never gives his squad a Stand-at-ease. ……Wilfred Owen (English Poet and soldier killed in World War I…………….
The first phase of  the Battle of Amiens (about 75 miles north of Paria)  came to an end.  Begun on August 8, it  proved to be the most decisive battle against the Germans on the Western Front. Amiens was the first to incorporate an all-armed co-ordinated attack, bringing together artillery, tanks, infantry and aircraft. On  March 21, 1918, the Germans had launched Operation Michael, their Spring Offensive, the first in a series of attacks planned to drive the Allies back along the length of the Western Front.  By this day, the Germans had returned to their original, pre-Spring Offensives lines.  It was dubbed the "Blackest Day of the German Army" by Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff. as Allied losses numbered 22,200 killed wounded and missing. German losses were a  whopping 74,000 killed, wounded, and captured.

    1919 –Monday  Her eyebrows are clipped parentheses, and she paints her face for the last days of the Weimar Republic. Frizzy orange curls grow in her wild hair like snapdragons pleading for water…..Paul Gardner …… The constitution of the Weimar Republicwas  adopted. – well that certainly worked out well. The government, composed of members from the assembly, came to be called the Weimar coalition and included the SPD; the German Democratic Party (Deutsche Demokratische Partei--DDP), a descendant of the Progressive Party of the prewar period; and the Center Party.  On January 30th 1933,  Adolf Hitler was summoned to President Paul von Hindenburg’s chambers and sworn in as chancellor.

   1920 –Wednesday  From thy hated presence part I so…..Hermia, Midsummer Night’s Dream, act 3 scene 2…………..The Latvian–Soviet Peace Treaty, which relinquished Russia's authority and pretenses to Latvia, is signed, ending the Latvian War of Independence.   Well that certainly worked out well.  The Communists  would be back. On August 23, 1939, about a week before World War II the invasion of Poland Germany and the USSR signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. The treaty contained a secret protocol that sanctioned the USSR to annex Latvia and its Baltic neighbors. In  June 1940 the USSR accused Latvia of forming a secret anti-Soviet military alliance with neighboring Estonia and forced the Latvian government to resign. The same month Soviet forces occupied Latvia. Latvian elections were held under Soviet supervision (only one, Soviet-appointed, candidate was allowed to run for each position), and, surprise surpise, a  Communist government was installed. In August Latvia officially became the 15th constituent republic of the USSR and was thereafter known as the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR).

1921 –Thursday  ….the most exciting time was June 1948 when the first machine worked. Without question. Nothing could ever compare with that ……Happy Birthday, Tom Kilburn British electrical engineer. Kilburn wrote the computer program used to test the first stored-program computer, the Small-Scale Experimental Machine, SSEM, also known as "The Baby." It was first tested on June 21,  1948.  The program took 52 minutes to run which is about what it takes a dial up internet connection to boot up these days. . The tiny experimental computer had no keyboard or printer.  By October 1949, Kilburn, partner Freddie Williams and team had built the full-sized Manchester Mark 1, the first computer with a fast random access two-level store (i.e. with a magnetic drum 'backing' store, the ancestor of the hard disc). This was used as the prototype for the first manufactured production computer, the Ferranti Mark 1, the first one being delivered, to the department, in February 1951.

1926 – Wednesday A group of organic molecules were having a party, when a group of robbers broke into the room and stole all of the guests’ joules. A tall, strong man, armed with a machine gun came into the room and killed the evil doers one at a time.  The guests were very grateful to this mysterious stranger, and they wanted to know who he was. He replied:

-My name is BOND, Covalent Bond………….. Sir Aaron Klug British biochemist, born in Zelvas, Lithuania,  who received the 1982 Nobel Prize for Chemistry "for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes. (think Ribosomes)"…whew!   Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…….Groucho Marx….Crystallographic electron microscopy uses the same principles of x-ray crystallography, but uses electrons instead of x-rays to determine the structure. The process also takes two images from slightly different angles to create a stereo three dimensional image.

1934 – Saturday – Alcatraz is an unsafe place to actually make a movie in many ways because there are cliffs and rotting corroding steel pipes everywhere and old nails sticking up……Nicholas Gage………It was house warming day for federal prisoners as Warden James A. Johnston welcomed them into/onto Alcatraz.  The former military detention center became America’s first maximum security civilian penitentiary. This “prison system’s prison” was specifically designed to house the most horrendous prisoners, the troublemakers that other federal prisons could not successfully detain.  The prison on was expensive to operate, as all supplies had to be brought in by boat. The island had no source of fresh water, and almost one million gallons were shipped in each week. Building a high security prison elsewhere was more affordable for the Federal Government, and it was closed in 1963.  The island received its name in 1775 when Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala charted the San Francisco Bay, and named this tiny speck of land La Isla de los Alcatraces, which translated to "Island of the Pelicans."  It was also a  great day for the movie industry, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz.  Think of all the movies that wouldn't have been made or worse, the alternative titles; The Birdman of the Federal Correctional Facility at Atlanta or Escape From the Minimal Security Correctional Facility at Poofville…..but we have, Birdman of Alcatraz, Escape from Alcatraz,The Rock,Seven Miles from Alcatraz,Experiment Alcatraz,Alcatraz Island, and Murder in the First.

    1942 –Tuesday  Any girl can be glamorous. All she has to do is stand still and look stupid………… Actress Hedy Lamarr (Ecstasy)  and composer George Antheil (Ballet Mécanique) received  a patent for a frequency hopping, spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.  Their idea was to defeat jamming efforts by sending synchronized radio signals on various wavelengths to missiles, which could then be directed to hit their mark. They called the technology,  called spread spectrum The patent specified that a high-altitude observiation plane could steer atorpedo from above.

1950Friday All of a sudden, we’ve lost a lot of control,’ he said. ‘We can’t turn off our internet; we can’t turn off our smartphones; we can’t turn off our computers. You used to ask a smart person a question. Now, who do you ask? It starts with g-o, and it’s not God…”…..Happy Birthday, Steve Wozniak , co-founder with Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne, of Apple Computer. Wozniak and Jobs designed a more "user-friendly" alternative to the new computers being introduced by IBM. Wozniak worked  for Hewlett-Packard, and when that company refused to back the new computer, (see famous prescient business decisions)  he and Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. in 1976 to make their Apple I. The next year they introduced the Apple II personal computer which featured a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive and basically launched the personal computer industry.     

1956 – Saturday Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true….. Bertrand Russell…….. Joyeux Anniversaire! Pierre-Louis Lions French mathematician born in born in Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes Lions  was awarded the Fields Medal (the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize)  in 1994 for his work since the 1980's on partial differential equations – which are differential equations containing partial derivatives. Partial derivatives are A derivative of a function of two or more variables with respect to one variable, the other(s) being treated as constant so we’re glad we could clear that up for you. The sources of such equations are many - for example, physical, probalistic or geometric and other diverse subareas - each studying different phenomena for different nonlinear partial differential equations by utterly different methods. A child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five………Groucho Marx.    

    1960 – Thursday La Tchadienne
Peuple Tchadien, debout et à l'ouvrage!
Tu as conquis la terre et ton droit;
Ta liberté naîtra de ton courage.
Lève les yeux, l'avenir est à Toi.

O mon Pays, que Dieu te prenne en garde,
Que tes voisins admirent tes enfants.
Joyeux, pacifique, avance en chantant,
Fidèle à tes anciens te regardent.
…… Chad declared independence. In addition to be an annoying name for boys, Tyler is another one, Chad  is a landlocked country in north-central Africa, Chad is about 85% the size of Alaska. Its neighbors are Niger, Libya, the Sudan, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Nigeria. The country gets its name from, yies, Lake Chad, which lies on the western border with Niger and Nigeria. In the north is a desert that runs into the Sahara.  Politcally, Chad is a mess. Here’s how Info Please sums it up…The first premier and president, François Tombalbaye, was killed in the 1975 coup and succeeded by Gen. Félix Malloum, who faced a Libyan-financed civil war throughout his tenure in officeNine rival groups meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, in March 1979 agreed to form a provisional government headed by Goukouni Oueddei, a former rebel leader. Fighting broke out again in Chad in March 1980, when Defense Minister Hissen Habré challenged Goukouni and seized the capital. Libyan president Muammar al-Qaddafi, in Jan. 1981, proposed a merger of Chad with Libya. The Libyan proposal was rejected and Libyan troops withdrew from Chad that year, but in 1983 they poured back into the northern part of the country in support of Goukouni. France, in turn, sent troops into southern Chad in support of Habré. Government troops then launched an offensive in early 1987 that drove the Libyans out of most of the country. In 1990, Idriss Déby, a former defense minister and head of the Patriotic Salvation Movement, overthrew Habré, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the legislature. In 1994 a new constitution was drafted and an amnesty for political prisoners was declared. Déby won multiparty elections in 1996 and was reelected in 2001….and still there as of 2012 but that could change before we finish this sentence.

1962- Saturday Don't take your love away from me
Don't you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I'll be blue
'Cause breaking up his hard to do…………
Neil Sedaka's  Breaking Up Is Hard To Do , a nice cha cha,  replaced Bobby Vinton’s Baroque classic, Roses are Red (My Love ) at  #1  on the Billboard Charts. It would in turn be replaced by Little Eva’s The Locomotion.   Little Eva had been a live-in nanny for Carol King (Sedaka’s former girlfriend – Oh Carol-) and husband Gerry Goffin

1962 -Saturday   Furue: My corns always hurt when they're near a monster. ……The Japanese premiere (it would be unleashed on the U.S in June of 1963) of  King Kong Vs. Godzilla. Poor Kong, just off the disabled list from a fall, was captured again, this time by a pharmaceutical company and  guess who else reappears after being released (by Americans of course) from an iceberg.  Technically, the battle was a draw but really, fire breathing immortal 400 ft tall lizard vs. flesh and blood large gorilla?

1962-- Satudrday  It's just a bunch of junk up there……..Harry Monroe The Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev on a 94-hour flight in Vostok III.  This set an endurance record at the time circling the Earth 64 times and  completing1,650,000 miles which gave him enough frequent flyer miles for a round trip flight to Salt Lake City although with black out days and restrictions he could only fly on a Tuesday between 8 and 11 p.m.  Eighteen months after Yury Gagarin became the first man in space, Nikolayev became Russia's third cosmonaut to travel into space. Pavel Popovich was launched in Vostok IV the next day. The pair made the first simultaneous flights and both returned on 15 Aug. and announced their engagement.  Nikolayev returned to space in 1970 for his second and final mission on the Soyuz 9 craft, setting yet another endurance record, spending 18 days in space.  This was the flight that brought back the microbes that mutated into the being to be called the Vladimir Putin.

1964- Monday  Ringo: I don't snore.
George: You do, repeatedly.
Ringo: Do I snore, John?
John: Yeah, you're a window-rattler, son.
Ringo: That's just your opinion. Do I snore, Paul?
Paul: With a trombone hooter like yours, it would be unnatural if you didn't.
Grandfather: Now, Paulie... don't mock the afflicted.
Paul: Ah, come off it, it's only a joke!
Grandfather: Aye, it may be a joke to you, but it's his nose. He can't help having a hideous great hooter! And his poor little head, trembling under the weight of it! ……..The Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night, had  its US premiere in New York City.  Richard Lester directed the black and white movie descsribing a “typical day” in the life of the emerging superstar group. Beatlemania had hit volcanic proportions with the group’s first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9 and had only gotten more intense since then.

1965 – Wednesday  In the old days, I was often confused with Merv Griffin. We were the same height, the same weight and we were both Irish tenors………Happy Birthday,  Mike Douglas – also kaput on his birthday, 2006. We note Douglas because of his kapution on his birthday and as a representative of  60/70s’s ish daytime talk show hosts –see Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore. Unfortunately, they spawned the later evil of Sally Jesse Raphael, bounding Phil Donohue, Jerry Springer,and Morton Downey Jr.  Douglas’ show originated in Cleveland of the flaming Cuyahoga River, was syndicated in 1963 and lasted until 1981 when daytime talk shows began turning into daytime angst shows.

1965 –Wednesday  When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame……Dan Quayle (referring to Watts 2.0, the later Rodney King riots)……….It was time for new appliances, free liquor and some groceries  as race riots (the Watts riots) began in the Watts area of Los Angeles, California.  The Watts riots began on the evening of August 11 when a white police officer conducted a routine traffic stop, pulling over a black motorist who was driving while intoxicated. The officer placed the driver under arrest, but an altercation broke out, leading to the arrest of the driver’s brother and mother, who were also in the car. The five-day riot resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damages  none of which was paid for by the rioters and all of which was paid for by the taxpayers.

1972 – Friday …….So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go……
Peter, Paul & Mary……….The last United States ground combat unit left South Vietnam. Well that certainly worked out well.  On July 8, 1959 Two military advisors were killed by Viet Minh guerilla soldiers in a raid at Bien Hoa in South Vietnam. These were the first American deaths (non-combat) reported in Vietnam.  The first American combat troops arrived on March 8, 1965. By the end of 1965, the U.S. troop strength in Vietnam exceeded  200,000. January 27, 1973 Representatives from South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the United States signed a peace agreement in which a ceasefire was declared, the U.S. agreed to withdraw combat troops, and the government of South Vietnam promises to hold free elections to allow its people to decide their future and the communist North just bided its time.  In July, 1973, despite renewed fighting between the NLF and the South Vietnamese, the U.S. Congress votes to prohibit any further U.S. combat role in Vietnam.

1972- Friday Hey man how am I drivin?... I think we're parked man………Up in Smoke…...The mayor of San Antonio, TX, declared the day to be "Cheech and Chong Day" after the popular comedy team.  Neither Cheech Marin nor Tommy Chong  was born anywhere near the city, which even sent  two delegations to the airport to meet the comedy duo. Obviously clueless about the comedians' notoriety for their profanity and sex-and-drugs routines, a mayoral rep gushed: "It's a pleasure to have Cheech and Chong in our fair city..."

1972- Friday  There's a hold up in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights.
There's a traffic jam in Harlem
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.
There's a scout troup short a child,
Kruschev's due at Idlewild
Mars 3 , Where Are You?......apologies to Car 54 Where Are You?.............
– The USSR Mars Orbiter/Soft Lander (launched May 28, 1971) stopped reporting. Mars 3 arrived at Mars on December 2, 1971. The lander was released and became the first successful landing on Mars.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that it failed after relaying 20 seconds of video data to the orbiter. The data consisted of a broadcast “wow, look at that.  It’s moving.  It’s reaching down to grab us. It’s……………  Other side effects of the radio waves in the brief data return included the insertion of annoying child actors in American  television sit coms.

1973-Saturday  Maybe I'm a man and maybe I'm a lonely man
Who's in the middle of something
That he doesn't really understand
Maybe I'm a man, maybe you're the only woman
Who could ever help me
Baby won't you help me to understand
Ooh hoo hoo hoo
Ooh hoo ooh oh
…..Usually bands break up over jealousy or drugs or death but , rather than join Paul McCartney in traveling to Nigeria (who wouldn’t want to go to Nigeria?) to record the band's latest, and what would be their most successful album, Band On The Run, guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell both quit Wings, forcing Paul, stage candy wife Linda, and former Moody Blue, Denny Laine to record the album as a trio. McCullough and Seiwell probably headed for the Bronx and a party as…………see below,

1973 - Saturday   I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, a you don’t stop
the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the
boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.
Now what you hear is not a test. I’m rappin to the beat and me,
the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet
……Sugar Hill Gang Hip Hop was  born at a birthday party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx.  DJ Kool Herc,( Clive Campbell) a building resident, was entertaining at his sister, Cindy Campbell’s back-to-school party, they were raising money for school clothes.  Herc  tried something new on the turntable as he extended an instrumental beat (breaking or scratching) to let people dance longer (break dancing) and began MC’ing (rapping) during the extended breakdancing.

1978-Friday  Half the art of ballooning is to make your crashes so gentle that you can fool yourself into calling them landings……..Richard Branson……… The first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by balloon began when three Americans, Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman, took off in their Double Eagle II from Presque Isle, Maine. The 3,100-mile flight ended on  August 17 137-hours and 6-minutes  later, in a barley field near the town of Evreux ,France. The Double Eagle II, a helium balloon, was 112- ft high, 65-ft in diameter with a  capacity of 160,000 cu.ft. with a 15x7x4½-ft The passenger gondola was named The Spirit of Albuquerque. On October 15, 1783, Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes were the first human passengers on a  (brothers) Montgolfiere balloon. The balloon was in free flight, meaning it was not tethered.

    1982 – Wednesday Let vultures gripe thy guts!  Pistol…..The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1. 3….A bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo to Honolulu, killing one teenager and injuring 15 passengers. The plane managed to safely land in Honolulu. The bomb was placed by, surprise, a Muslim terrorist, Jordanian Mohammed Rashed.

    1984 – Saturday My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes. - United States President Ronald Reagan, while running for re-election, joked while making a sound check as he prepared to make his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio.The major media outlets, not being Reagan fans, were beside themselves with coverage and reaction. The Soviet news agency, Tass, wasn’t too thrilled either, news agency, Tass is authorized to state that the Soviet Union deplores the U.S. president’s invective, unprecedentedly hostile toward the U.S.S.R. and dangerous toward the course of peace.

1994 – Thursday  How many members of a labor union does it take to change a light bulb?  Nine. One to fill out the form, one to get the ladder, one to get the bulb, one to bring the ladder, one to bring the bulb, one to take the bulb out of the box, one to climb the ladder and to screw the bulb in, one to collect dues and one to supervise. …….Seattle’s Randy Johnson striking out Oakland’s Ernie Young at 9:45 p.m. PDT and then Major leaguers walked  off the job.  The dispute, surpise, involved money.  The owners wanted to place a salary cap on the players’ earnings while the players felt they had the right to negotiate the salaries they deserved. Naturally, everyone lost. The World Series was canceled for the first time in 90 years, players missed out on millions of dollars, including poor Matt Williams of the Giants who lost the chance to break Roger Maris’ home-run record, with management suffering to around the tune of $1 billion. Fans were disgusted by both sidesbut they really hated union leader Donald Fehr.  Attendance plunged 20 percent the following year, from a record average of 31,612 in 1994 to 25,260 altlhough a few years later, steroidal mutants pumped some popularity back into the game.

 1999 – Wednesday It’s a twister.  It’s a twister……….Johnny……….Airplane…..The Salt Lake City Tornado rumbled through the downtown district of the city, killing one person.  The F2 tornado - (having winds of 113 to 157 mph -lasted ten minutes injured more than 80 people and caused more than $170 million in damages. It was the most destructive tornado in Utah's history

  2003 – Monday Some of the generals are saying, 'We're making progress. We are clearing an area.' But you really don't defeat the Taliban by clearing an area. They move….Colin Powell………. NATO took over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history as it engaged the 7th century centered terrorists, the Taliban Well that’s certainly worked out well.

  2003 Monday – …whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood…Richard Plantagenet…Henry VI Part 1, 2. 4 …………Jemaah Islamiyah – guess which peace loving religion - leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand. The Jemaah Islamiyah, long track record of bomb attacks in the region. hope to establish a caliphate in Maylaysia. Isamuddin was imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay

2011 Thursday – Satellite's gone up to the skies
Thing like that drive me out of my mind
I watched it for a little while
I like to watch things on TV
Satellite of love
Satellite of love
Satellite of love
Satellite of ...
Satellite's gone way up to Mars
Soon it will be filled with parking cars
I watch it for a little while
I love to watch things on TV….Lou Reed
………Designed by  Steve from Islamabad, who also does technical support for American technology and communications companies, Paksat 1R - Communications satellite, Pakistan’s first, was launched.  The satellite would be deployed at 380E in the Geo-stationary orbit and it replaced  the existing satellite PAKSAT-1. provided TV broadcasting, Internet and data communication services across South and Central Asia, Eastern Europe, East Africa and the Far East.  Viewers could now delight in the pleasures of assorted Kardashian shows, Hillbilly Hand Fishing, Bridezillas, Biggest Loser, My Super Sweet 16, Anderson Cooper’ nightly  smirking,  and websites such as, as well as new regional fare such as the Real Housewives of Karachi Selling Bahawalpur and My Mother the Yak. The satellite now enabled extending of communication services to all areas of Pakistan which was of enormous comfort to 7th century centered Islamacists living in caves.

2011 – Thursday - However, it's not completely pitch black. It's so hot that it emits a faint red glow, much like a burning ember or the coils on an electric stove. ….Astronomers discovered the darkest known exoplanet (a planet that orbits a star in a solar system other than that of Earth) - a distant, Jupiter-sized gas giant known as TrES-2b. Their measurements indicated that TrES-2b reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our solar system. " TrES-2b orbits its star at a distance of only three million miles. The star's intense light heats TrES-2b to a temperature of more than 1,800° Fahrenheit . The atmosphere contains light-absorbing chemicals like vaporized sodium and potassium, or gaseous titanium oxide. We call it Planet Goth.  All inhabitants wear heavy, dark make-up and black clothes with dyed black hair.Movie theaters show only Film Noir films, radio stations play only songs by Clint Black or Cilla Black, Conrad Black is Director of Finance and Hugo Black is the Supreme Court judge. The national anthem is Black Hole Sun.


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30 BC – Monday With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate.  Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool. Be angry, and dispatch……Cleopatra, Act V, scene II, Antony and Cleopatra …….Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, rendered herself kaput, allegedly by means of an asp bite. Ms. Philopator did not take the news of lover Marc Antony’s defeat by Octavian’s forces at Alexandria very well. Although Cleopatra poisoned herself, no-one quite knew how. Plutarch notedthat there were two slight pricks on her arm and that poison might have been hidden in a hollow comb. Cassius Dio commented upon the marks as well, which may have been caused by a poisonous pin used to fasten her hair. Or, it may have been the ever popular bite of an asp, (probably the Egyptian cobra or possibly the horned viper) which must have been hidden in a basket of flowers (or figs) or a water jar, although no snake ever was found. Octavian favored the notion that Cleopatra died from a snake bite, which is how she was depicted in his triumphal procession, with an asp clinging to her image, and so she went into history suffering a pain in the asp.  In 27 B.C. Octavian became Augustus, the first and arguably most successful of all Roman emperors.

            1099 –Saturday Always remember to pillage BEFORE you burn ….Unknown……….During the First Crusade, at the  Battle of Ascalon  Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeated  Fatimid forces led by Al-Afdal Shahanshah. This was considered the last battle of the First Crusade and eventually 1099 became a tax deduction in the U.S. The battle was fought a month after the fall of Jerusalem to the crusaders. The  Fatamid Caliphate of Egypt, and the vizier of Egypt, al-Afdal were not happy about losing Jersusalem and raised a 50,000 man army to recapture the city. Godfrey (along with brother Beef) of Bouillon was  now the Guardian of Jerusalem. On August 12, the 10,000 crusaders were outnumbered five to one by the Egyptian army, but the crusaders formed up and charged quickly, catching al-Afdal entirely by surprise. This was just about the high water mark for the Crusades. Jerusalem was recaptured and the Islamisists, busy defending their territory, were no longer attacking Europe. Internescent squabbles and sheer stupidity would eventually cost all the gains and once again open Europe to hundreds of years of Muslim attacks.

            1121 –Friday-  No cold without a gust; and without Turks no bad guests….
Serbian Saying…………. At the Battle of Didgori, the Georgian army (“How ‘bout dem Bulldogs!)  under King David IV “ the Builder” won a decisive victory over the famous Seljuk commander Ilghazi “the General Contractor”. The Seljuks The Seljuks (Selçuklular) were a tribe of Tartars from Central Asia who had established a powerful empire in Persia in the 11th century. A defeat for the Muslims, David would eventually recapture Tblisi and usher in a “golden age” for Georgia.

            1281 –Tuesday- …. So hoist up the John B's sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, yeah yeah
Well I feel so broke up
I wanna go home
……….The Beach Boys…….. Japanese legend claims that two 'divine winds', known as The Kamikaze, destroyed both of Kublai Khan's vast invasion fleets with the loss of thousands of troops. The first was in 1274.  With this one in 1281 the over 70,000 man and 4,400 ship Mongolian fleet set to conquer Japan was destroyed by a typhoon while approaching  the country.  . In October 2011, Marine archaeologists discovered a wreck from one of Kublai Khan's 13th century Mongol invasion fleets just yards off the coast of Japan.

                1332 – Monday No one in Scotland can escape from the past. It is everywhere, haunting like a ghost.….Geddes MacGregor….. At the  Battle of Dupplin Moor – Scots under Domhnall II, Earl of Mar began a long losing streak of battles to the English (although they used Scottish puppets)  as they were routed by Edward Balliol. After Robert the Bruce (brother of Lenny the Bruce) went kaput in 1329 he was succeeded by his young son, David II.  This presented an opportunity for Edward Balliol, who claimed the crown of Scotland by the right of his father King John Balliol, who had reigned in Scotland until 1296. Always anxious to stir the pot in Scotland,  Edward III of England  gave tacit support for a ‘private’ invasion of Scotland.  The mainly English force, destroyed a far larger Scottish army, using tactics that would make English armies a dominant force in Europe for the next hundred years, the English longbow.

            1480 Thursday- Laws are silent in times of war …..Marcus Tullius Cicero….In the first of of a continuing Battle of Otranto, Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror's amphibious attack against Otranto, included about 10,000 Turkish troops.  They took the small city after a brief, three-day siege. The Muslims beheaded  800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam and sold many others into slavery.  Through the winter of 1480 and into the following year an allied Italian force maintained a blockade of Otranto, but the decisive event of the siege really occurred back in Constantinople as the sultan's went kaput in May 1481. The resulting squabbles among potential successors eliminated the possibility of reinforcing Otranto, and so in September 1481 the Turkish garrison surrendered

            1687 –Tuesday You are an angel, angel divine
You're sent from heaven
You're really mine
Oh darling, oh darling
Oh my darling Lorraine…The Knockouts
 Charles of Lorraine defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Mohács.   This was actually the second Battle of Mohács. The first didn’t go so well and resulted in  the defeat of the Hungarians, and end to their country and a Muslim occupation. In 1787, a large Christian army led by Duke Charles of Lorraine defeated Sultan Mehmed IV’s larger Ottoman force.  The disintegration of the Ottoman army allowed the  Habsburg armies to conquer large areas. They took over Osijek, Petrovaradin, Sremski Karlovci, Ilok, Valpovo, Požega, Palota,  Eger and other unpronouncible places.. Most of present-day Slavonia and Transylvania came under Hapsburg rule and the tide of resistance to Muslim aggression had turned. This Charles of Lorrain was the third Charles. We counted six Charles of Lorraines between 953 and 1780

            1812- Wednesday The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but you still have to mow it. ….Unknown…………..Happy Birthday, Ephraim Ball born in Greentown Ohio. Ball was an inventor and manufacturer whose "Ball's Ohio Mower" was the first widely successful of the two-wheeled flexible or hinged bar mowers.  The hinged bar mowers greatly influenced the change from single driving-wheel machines to those with double drivers.  The mow the merrier. The lawn mower was invented in 1830 by Edwin Beard Budding, an engineer from Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.   Ball and Cornelius Aultman also organized a business for the manufacturing of the Hussey Reaper. They were quite proud of it so it was actually a shameless Hussey Reaper.  Ball was also a Union Army Officer. He served during the Civil War as Colonel and commander of the 162nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. 

            1829 – Wednesday AUSTRALIA, n. A country lying in the South Sea, whose industrial and commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island.  Ambrose Bierce………The birth of  Perth as the Western Australia  city was founded. Naturally, the French made them do it, as it was settled mainly  because the British feared the French would establish a colony in Western Australia. In 1827 Captain James Stirling had sailed to the Swan River in his ship HMS Success. Stirling believed the area would be ideal for a settlement since it had the Perth Mint, Swan Bells Tower, Art Gallery of WA and Kings Park botanical gardens, plus both Both Trigg and Scaborough have great surfing. He persuaded the British government to found a colony there which would be independent of the colony in New South Wales. Perth was named after the birthplace, Perthshire,  of Sir George Murray who was British Secretary of State for the Colonies). Unlike eastern Australia,  this colony was not to be manned by convicts. Instead the government would sell land cheaply to private citizens. The first ship to arrive in the Swan River Estuary was HMS Challenger captained by Charles Fremantle. On  May 2, 1829 he claimed the whole of Australia outside New South Wales for Britain. Stirling arrived in June.  The new colony developed on two sites. The port town was named Fremantle in honor of the Captain.  Perth itself was founded on this day 1829. To mark the event a tree, probably eucalyptus,  was cut down on the site of Kings Park.

1833 –Monday I have struck a city - a real city - and they call it Chicago... I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages…..Rudyard Kipling…..A big day for city foundings (see Perth above) - The village of Chicago, Illinois was incorporated. Since the population was 200 people it had a long way to go to becoming a city. The original village included an area of about three-eighths of a square mile on a small site along Lake Michigan. Under its town charters, Chicago was governed by an elected Board of Trustees which wielded little political or financial power. In 1837 Chicago received its first city charter, which divided the city into six wards, allowed for a mayor elected to a one-year term, and legally incorporated Chicago as a municipality.  The name "Chicago" derived from the Indians but it is not known which tribe named the town and many theories have been advanced to explain the origin of the name.  It probably means “city in which Cubs go over 100 years between World Series Championships”.

         1851 –Tuesday  Ohhh, the sewing machine, the sewing machine
A girl's best friend
If I didn't having my sewing machine
I'd a-come to no good end
But a bobbin a bobbin and peddle a peddle
And wheel the wheel by day
So by night I feel so weary that I never get out to play……….
Frank Loesser, ….The Perils Of Pauline………….Isaac Singer was issued a patent for a sewing machine with a double treadle. He had to pay huge settlements to Elias Howe, another sewing machine patent holder..Singer, instituted business innovations such as installment buying, after-sale servicing and trade-in allowances.  The English inventor and cabinet maker, Thomas Saint was issued the first patent for a complete machine for sewing in 1790.  Since Saint never actually built a machine, the first functional sewing machine was invented by the French tailor, Barthelemy Thimonnier, in 1830.     

              1865 -Saturday But when it has been shown by the researches of Pasteur that the septic property of the atmosphere depended not on the oxygen, or any gaseous constituent, but on minute organisms suspended in it, which owed their energy to their vitality, it occurred to me that decomposition in the injured part might be avoided without excluding the air, by applying as a dressing some material capable of destroying the life of the floating particles. Upon this principle I have based a practice. ……After studying Louis Pasteur's germ theory of disease (that infections are caused by bacteria), Dr. Joseph Lister became the first surgeon to use disinfectant during an operation. Pasteur had shown that faulty fermentation of wine, which resulted in undrinkable sour wine, was caused by outside germs entering the wine. Lister made the immediate connection to his own pursuit. Lister used phenol (carbolic acid) as a disinfectant for surgery. He applied a piece of lint dipped in carbolic acid solution onto the wound of an eleven year old boy at Glasgow Infirmary, who had sustained a compound fracture after a cart wheel had passed over his leg. After four days, he renewed the pad and discovered that no infection had developed, and after a total of six weeks the boy's bones had fused back together. In an 1867 article in the Lancet, it was reported that Lister's postoperative surgery mortality rate dropped from 45 percent to 9 percent after he started to use chemical disinfectants in operative settings.We recommend Candice Millard’s    Destiny Of The Republic -A Tale of Madness, Medicine,and the Murder of a President in which President James Garfield’s doctors refused to pay attention to Lister’s innovations and the president went kaput. We’ve also seen this item  as March 1865  but that time Lister’s patient went kaput.

            1883 – Sunday Few problems are less recognized, but more important than, the accelerating disappearance of the earth's biological resources. In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it is perched. …..Paul Erlich…….The quagga (Equus quagga) became extinct when the last mare at Amsterdam Zoo died. The quagga looked like a zebra but it only had stripes on the front of its body - sort of like someone ran out of paint. The quagga had been merrily over hunted until           extinction without it being realized until many years later. The Quagga, formerly inhabited areas of South Africa.  Unfortunately, they  were seen by the settlers as competitors for the grazing of their livestock, mainly sheep and goats plus the meat was said to have been welcome food for the farm laborers, quagga burgers were quite popular,  while the skin was used as grainbags and leather. Great numbers of raw animal hides were exported during the 19th century for the leather industry.So, alas poor quagga, we hardly knew ye.  The quagga was the first extinct animal to have its DNA studied. Now, by breeding with selected southern plains zebras an attempt is being made to retrieve at least the genes responsible for the Quaggas coloration and it’s turning into a real quaggamire.

    1885 –Wednesday Quantum physics has always been a particularly tough branch of science," UCLA physicist Dr. Hideki Watanabe said. "But in addition to being some of the smartest Einstein-y stuff around, it is undeniably a really stupid, pointless thing to study, something you could never actually use in the real world. This paradoxical dual state may one day lead to a new understanding of physics as a way to confuse and bore people……Science is Hard….The Onion………….Joyeux Anniversaire!Jean Cabannes, physicist born in Marseille. Cabannes studied how gas molecules diffused light and in  1914 he showed that pure gases could scatter light.

            1887– Friday …..Take one ordinary cat, one large box, a particle detector, a radiation source, a bottle of cyanide gas. Hook up the detector so that if it detects a particle from the radiation source, it will open the cyanide gas. Set it up inside the box in such a way that there will be a 50% probability of a particle being detected from the radiation source within a five minute period. Add the cat to the box. Theory says that the cat will enter a quantum state where it is 50% alive and 50% dead until the experimenter looks inside the box. However, reality teaches us that the severely pissed off cat cat WILL escape the box well before the 5 minutes are up, attack the experimenter and depart just in time for the severely lacerated experimenter to watch the hammer descend on the cyanide bottle one inch from his nose. ……..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Erwin Schrödinger, physicist and cat lover born in Vienna. Erwin Schrödinger invented wave mechanics in 1926. Wave mechanics - theory that interprets the behavior of matter (especially subatomic or other small particles) in terms of the properties of waves.  Wave mechanics was an independent formulation of quantum mechanics, which, as we all know is a theory of the mechanics of atoms, molecules, and other physical systems that are subject to the uncertainty principle  The central equation of wave mechanics is  now known as the Schrödinger equation, whichturned out to be much simpler for physicists to solve in most cases.  In 1935 Schrodinger proposed a famous thought experiment in which a cat was somehow both alive and dead at the same time. Schrodinger was attempting to demonstrate the limitations of quantum mechanics: quantum particles such as atoms can be in two or more different quantum states at the same time but surely, he argued, a classical object made of a large number of atoms, such as a cat, could not be in two different states. So, follow the bouncing ball here; We place a living cat into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid. There is, in the chamber, a very small amount of hydrocyanic acid, a radioactive substance. If even a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will, in turn, break the vial and render the cat kaput.  The observer cannot know whether or not an atom of the substance has decayed, and consequently, cannot know whether the vial has been broken, the hydrocyanic acid released, and the cat killed. Since we cannot know, according to quantum law, the cat is both dead and alive, in what is called a superposition of states. It is only when we break open the box and learn the condition of the cat that the superposition is lost, and the cat becomes one or the other (dead or alive). This situation is sometimes called quantum indeterminacy or the observer's paradox: the observation or measurement itself affects an outcome, so that the outcome as such does not exist unless the measurement is made. Got it? Good. This will be on the mid-term.

            1889 –Monday See Jane
Jane is married to Bob
Jane loves Bob very much
Bob is a real mensch…
Yiddish with Dick and Jane….Ellis Weiner……….Happy Birthday, Zerna Sharp American writer and educator born in Hillisburg Clinton County, Indiana. As an elementary school teacher, in Laporte, Indiana,  Sharp believed that children would enjoy learning to read and learn much easier if they identified with children shown in illustrations throughout books. Before you could say, See Spot run, she had created the The Dick and Jane book series, the most popular reading language of all time, was taught from 1930 through the 1970's in elementary schools throughout the world. By the late ‘60s, though, Dick and Jane’s days were numbered. Educators (they love to tinker with success) wanted children’s books reflecting all kinds of kids, not just white, middle-class ones and before you could say See Dick run, reading scores plummeted and have remained problematic to this day.

            1889 -Monday  My hands shook as I started to unwrap them. I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful biblical Hebrew . . I looked and looked. and I suddenly had the feeling that I was privileged by destiny to gaze upon a Hebrew scroll which had not been read for more than two thousand years. Wszystkiego Najlepszego! and A Freilekhn Gebortstog! Eliezer Lipa Sukenik Polish-born Israeli archaeologist and head of Hebrew University’s Department of Archeology who   excavated the Third Wall of Jerusalem, the city of Samaria, and the synagogues in the town of Beth Alpha. Sukenik also established the date and provenance of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Sukenik was shown two scrolls in the jars in which they had been discovered. When he began reading the Hebrew, Sukenik noted that the language was in a style similar to the Psalms, but the text was unknown to him.  He brought the scrolls home to Jerusalem to study and several days later purchased them.  One was a collection of psalm-styled poems, later named the Thanksgiving Scroll and the other was an apocalyptic description of a war in the end of days between the sons of light and the sons of darkness. There was also an itemized bill from the Mellman Bar Mitzpha held at Hirschel’s House of Chutspah.   The price of the scrolls was $324.00.  There are now identified among the scrolls, 19 copies of the Book of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies of the Psalms .

             1898-Friday The funniest thing was when at the close of the Spanish-American War the United States paid poor decrepit old Spain $20,000,000 for the Philippines. It was just a case of this country buying its way into good society. Honestly, when I read in the papers that this deal had been made, I laughed until my sides ached. There were the Filipinos fighting like blazes for their liberty. Spain would not hear to it. The United States stepped in, and after they had licked the enemy to a standstill, instead of freeing the Filipinos they paid that enormous amount for an island which is of no earthly account to us; just wanted to be like the aristocratic countries of Europe which have possessions in foreign waters. The United States wanted to be in the swim, and it, too, had to branch out, like an American heiress buying a Duke or an Earl. Sounds well, but that's all.
…. interview ….Mark Twain interview…… Baltimore Sun, 10 May 1907, p. 14…..The armistice ending the  four-month Spanish-American was signed as the  brief, one-sided conflict concluded when Spain formally agreed to peace on U.S terms.  The United States annexed the former Spanish-ruled colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. There would be yet another Treaty of Paris to be signed on December 10, 1898.  The U.S likes Treaties of Paris. Note: that the 1898 Treaty of Paris was one of a plethora of Parisian Peace Pacts including: Treaty of Paris (1229)—ended the Albigensian Crusade
Treaty of Paris (1259)—between Henry III of England and Louis IX of France
Treaty of Paris (1623)—between France, Savoy, and Venice against Spanish forces in Valtelline
 Treaty of Paris (1763)—ended the Seven Years' War
 Treaty of Paris (1783)—ended the American Revolutionary War
 Treaty of Paris (1810)—ended the war between France and Sweden
 Treaty of Paris (1814)—ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition
 Treaty of Paris (1815)—followed the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo
Treaty of Paris (1856)—ended the Crimean War
Treaty of Paris (1898)—ended the Spanish-American War
Paris Peace Conference, 1919—treaties with the defeated powers of the First World War
 Treaty of Paris (1920)—united Bessarabia and Romania
Paris Peace Treaties, 1947—formally established peace between the World War II Allies and Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Finland
 Paris Peace Accords (1973)—ended American involvement in the Vietnam War

       1908 -Wednesday People can have the Model T in any color - so long as it's black……Henry Ford…………The first Model T, Ford known as the "Tin Lizzie," was produced in Detroit, Michigan. The Model T, was  designed by Childe Harold Wills along with Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas. It  revolutionized the automotive industry as it provided an affordable, reliable car (previously cars were viewed as being for rich folks) for the average American.  The first "Tin Lizzie" cost only $850 and seated two people and that didn’t include  "dealer incentives" or 0% interest “regardless of you credit history”, or "President's Day Sales Events".  The Model T was an automobile built from 1908 until 1927. It was was offered in several body styles, including a five-seat touring car, a two-seat runabout, and a seven-seat town car. All bodies were mounted on a uniform 100-inch-wheelbase chassis. A choice of colors was originally available, but from 1913 to 1925 the choic of colors was …

    1939 Saturday Dorothy: It really was no miracle. What happened was just this...
Dorothy: [singing] The wind began to switch / The house, to pitch / And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch / Just then the Witch / To satisfy an itch / Went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch!
Munchkin: And, oh, what happened then was rich!
Munchkins: [singing] The house began to pitch / The kitchen took a slich / It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch / Which was not a happy situation for the Wicked Witch!...................... The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Burt Lahr, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton, directed by Victor Fleming (with uncredited help from George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor – who directed the Kansas scenes) and featuring words and music by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg and Harold Arlen, made its world premiere in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin at the Strand Theater.  The movie had a Hollywood premiere three days later, on Aug. 15, at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Why Oconomowoc?  It appears that MGM studio honchos spent so much money on its production ($2.7 million) that they were eager to see how it would play in America's heartland. Oconomowoc was also the hometown of one of the Munchkins (Meinhardt Raabe) and Wisconsin was the home state of Herbert Stothart, who won an Oscar for the musical score but that was just accoutrements.

1943 –Thursday I just looked around and he was gone……….Dion……….Alleged date of the first Philadelphia Experiment test on Unite States Navy ship USS Eldridge. Gather round the camp fire boys and girls as it is told that a U.S. Navy destroyer was made invisible and teleported from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Norfolk, Virginia, in the incident known as the Philadelphia Experiment. Records in the Operational Archives Branch of the Naval Historical Center have been repeatedly searched, but no documents have been located which confirm the event, or any interest by the Navy in attempting such an achievement.  Ever inquisitive, the editorial board of the Gnus went to the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) site and discovered that first of all the date we found was incorrect.  The Eldridge was commissioned on August 27, 1943. Supposedly, the crew of the civilian merchant ship SS Andrew Furuseth observed the arrival via teleportation of the Eldridge into the Norfolk area. Andrew Furuseth's movement report cards are in the Tenth Fleet records in the custody of the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Admnistration, (8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001), which also has custody of the action reports, war diaries and deck logs of all World War II Navy ships, including Eldridge.

            1948 – Thursday Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places …..H.P Lovecraft………The Cleveland Indians got  29 hits in a 9 inning game.  It was the 2nd game of a doubleheader and Cleveland had lost the first to the St. Louis Browns (who would later become the Baltimore Orioles) but managed to eek out a 26-3 victory in this one. Two Browns relief pitchers, Al Widmar (in 2.2 innings) gave up 9 hits and Bryan Stephans (in 3.2 innings) gave up 10 hits. Needless to say, everyone in the Cleveland line-up got a hit……people were even coming out of the stands and getting hits…….including pitcher Gene Beardon and SS Lou Boudreau with 4 each.

            1952– Tuesday  So vile a lout!.......King John, 2. 1…… In The Night of the Murdered Poets, thirteen prominent Jewish intellectuals were murdered on trumped up charges of treason and espionage by a paranoid Joseph Stalin in the Communist workers paradise, USSR in Moscow.  In the group were famous writers such as Peretz Markish, David Bergelson, and Itsik Fefer—which is why the date has come to be marked annually as the Night of the Murdered Poets—but the murdered also included an actor, a former deputy foreign minister, a scientist, and a general.  A fourteenth defendant died during the four years the group suffered in Moscow's hideous Lubyanka prison.   

             1953- Wednesday You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer…..Frank Zappa………Thanks to spies and traitors, notably, Klaus Fuchs David Greenglass, Harry Gold, Theodore Hall, Allan Nunn May, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and  Morton Sobell, who provided the technology, the Soviet Union detonated its first hydrogen bomb, at the Semipalatinsk Test Site, in Kazakhstan, less than a year after President Harry Truman announced that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb. Joe 4 the first Soviet thermonuclear weapon. It wasn’t really a "true" hydrogen bomb, this device obtained nearly all of its yield from fission and was limited for practical purposes to yields of less than a megaton. It was never widely deployed.

       1957 – Monday I'm not a juvenile delinquent
No-no-no, I'm not a juvenile delinquent
Do the things that's right
And you'll do nothing wrong
Life will be so nice, you'll be in paradise
I know, because I'm not a juvenile delinquent
… Another group kaputed by lead singer ego (see: Supremes to Diana Ross and the Supremes, to Diana Ross, to Miss Diana Ross) Frankie Lymon officially split with the Teenagers (Jimmy Merchant, first tenor, Herman Santiago, second tenor, Joe Negroni, baritone, and Sherman Garnes, bass) of Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Fame.  Marv Goldberg’s R&B Notebooks notes that on July 19, Frankie did a solo spot (probably his first) on the week-old Big Beat TV show, hosted by Alan Freed. The whole group had originally been booked, but that was over now. (Another performer on that show was an unknown Bobby Darin.). The dramatic breakthrough was Why Do Fools……in February of 1956.  Goody Goody, his the last record with the Teenager was released in July 1957. By 1958, at age fifteen, Lymon had lost his soprano voice.

            1958 Tuesday Happy birthday, happy birthday, baby
Oh, I love you so
Sixteen candles make a lovely light
But not as bright as your eyes tonight (as your eyes tonight) (Oh)
Blow out the candles, make your wish come true
For I'll be wishing that you love me, too (that you love me, too)
You're only sixteen (sixteen)
But you're my teenage queen (you're my queen)
You're the prettiest, loveliest girl I've ever seen (I've ever seen) (OH!)
…..The Crests recorded  16 Candles, one the most popular slow dance teen party songs of the late 50’s and early sixties and a perennial birthday favorite.  They did follow the Teenagers model,  (like Frankie Lymon, Johnny Maestro was one of the great voices of Rock n Roll) becoming Johnny Maestro and the Crests.  Then just Johnny Maestro and then Johnny formed the Brooklyn Bridge (with Dion’s post Belmonts back up group) but they evolved into Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge.

            1960 – Friday Every so often, I like to go to the window, look up, and smile for a satellite picture …..Steven Wright………….Echo 1A NASA's first successful communications satellite,was launched. There were two, the first was launched in May of 1960 but failed. Each spacecraft was a large metallized balloon designed to act as a passive communications reflector to bounce communication signals transmitted from one point on Earth to another. Following the failure of the launch vehicle carrying Echo 1, Echo 1A (commonly referred to as Echo 1 …why dwell on failure) was successfully orbited, and was used to redirect transcontinental and intercontinental telephone, radio, and television signals. The success of Echo 1A proved that microwave transmission to and from satellites in space (could heat up cold pizza)  was understood and demonstrated the promise of communications satellites. Negative effects from Echo 1A  included renegade photons causing the brain patterns of suseptible people to leave their shopping carts in the middle of parking lots. 

            1961-Saturday General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!…..Ronald Reagan…………In an effort to stem the tide of people attempting to move into communist  East Berlin, and then forward into other communist countries, the communist government of East Germany offered free blintzes to all who would stay in the workers paradise.  When that failed they began they building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin. East German State Council Chairman Walter Ulbricht signed an order to erect the wall and by midnight, construction had begun.  Unfortunately, thkey did not use the contractors that the editorial board of the Gnus has come in contact with.  These folks came on time, followed up and then completed the job which can happen when death is an alternative.  Our contractors fail to call, fail to show up, do shoddy work and then disappear. Construction of the wall caused a crisis in U.S.-Soviet bloc relations, and the wall itself came to symbolize the Cold War.

            1961 Saturday  - I could have clasped the red walls to my bosom as a garment of eternal peace. "Death," I said, "any death but that of the pit!" Fool! might I have not known that into the pit it was the object of the burning iron to urge me?.....Edgar Allen Poe……..While the East Germans were building a wall,The  Pit And The Pendulum, premiered. Based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story and directed by maestro Roger Corman, the cinema verite masterpiece starred (as per Edgar Allen Poe 50’s and 60’s movie code) Vincent Price along with John Kerr and Barbara Steele. 

                1962 -Sunday The Russian Space Agency had fallen on hard times.
The Director called a meeting to address the cosmonauts:
"I have some good news and some bad news. Which do you
want to hear first?
The Cosmonauts all shouted, "The good news! The good news!"
"Alright. Youre all going to get a change of underwear."
The Cosmonauts cheered. The Director continued, "And now
for the bad news. Group A, change with Group B.
Group C, change with...
" ……The Soviet Union launched Pavel Popovich into orbit  on board Vostok 4. Popovich and Andrian Nikolayev, (Vostok 3)who was launch a day before, both landed on August 15.  The goal of Vostok 3/4 was to have the two spacecraft pass closely by each other while in orbit to prepare for long-range plans of a rendezvous in space. While in space the cosmonauts in the two spacecraft never saw each other,

            1969 – Tuesday You are now entering a free zone
August 69, the gauntlet has been thrown
The young fleet shall never be at peace
They're marching in the towns
There's riots in the street
……Shilelagh Law………..Violence erupted  after the Apprentice Boys of Derry march in Derry, Northern Ireland, (a city with a majority Catholic population and a Protestant government and years of  festering grievences and restentments) resulting in a three-day communal riot known as the Battle of the Bogside. The Apprentice Boys (Protestant)  hold their annual march to commemorate the 1689 defense of Derry against the army of the (hapless) Catholic King James II.  At about 3:45 p.m, the first stones were thrown by Catholic protestors. The Protestants retaliated and………….. The riots ended with direct British intervention when four hundred British soldiers were deployed on the streets of Derry. Operation Banner, as it was called,  would last another 38 years.

            1977- Friday NASA Guy: [counting down to launch] Three... Two... One... MAKE ROCKET GO NOW! …..from Deep Space Homer, The Simpsons………..The Enterprise, named after the Star Trek space module and the prototype for the space shuttle, made its first flight on its own within Earth's atmosphere after being launched from a Boeing 747, separated, and then touched down in California's Mojave Desert. It would make several attached “flights” including one over New York – the editorial board of the Gnus, teaching Astronomy at the time, brought the students out into the school yard to watch the flyover. The Enterprise never actually flew in space. It was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield.   In all test flights it was mounted on the 747 (it looked like they were mating) and flew and landed after separation. Following in the incredibly short sighted kapution of the shuttle program intiated by President G.W Bush, there was a shuttle diaspora and Discovery was sent to Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Chantilly, Virginia, Atlantis to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and Endeavour to the California Science Center, in Los Angeles.  The ersatz shuttle Enterprise, was sent the    Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. New York pretended it was a real shuttle so feeling would not be hurt.

       1980 –Sunday A panda walks into a bar, interrupting a heated argument between two customers. The bartender turns to the panda and says, "Hey, just the guy we needed! Tell Ollie and Neville here... are you a bear or some kind of raccoon?" The panda ponders this for a moment and replies, "Hmmn. You know, not everything is black and white like that."…………..In a Mexico zoo, the giant panda Yingying (Ying Ying) gave birth to a baby named Xengli, the first giant panda cub born in captivity outside of China. However, the baby survived only nine days. Yingying, a resident at Zoologico de Chapultepec  in July the following year gave birth …father was Pe Pe……(really) Tohui, a female cub, the first giant panda born outside China who stayed alive and then snuck into the U.S and immediately qualified for:  child care/child support, food/nutrition, housing, healthcare,  and anxiously awaits the Dream Act. Meanwhile, Ying Ying and Pe Pe got really busy and Shuan Shuan was born on June 15, 1987 .  Then Xin Xin ") was born on July 1, 1990 at the Chapultepec Zoo. Her mother is Tohui (234) and her father is Chia Chia  making her the eighth cub to be born in that hot bed of Ailuropoda melanoleuca sex,  the Chapultepec Zoo.

1981 –Wednesday- Press the any key ... hmmm where's the any key?.....Homer Simpson…….At the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, and in Boca Raton, Florida,  IBM introduced the PC personal computer.  The first PC ran on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor and used Microsoft´s MS-DOS operating system….all yours for $1565, altlhough afully loaded version with color graphics would run you $6000 . IBM also ntroduced the Microsoft Adventure game for the IBM PC, Microsoft's first non-language non-OS software product. On August 24, Apple Computer ran a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal with a headline that read "Welcome IBM. Seriously."

       1990 -Sunday  Hollister: Do you know what happens when a dinosaur eats cow vindaloo, two and a half tons of mint-choc ice cream, followed by four hundred crates of orange ice-pops, and swills it all down with two thousand gallons of a popular fizzy drink, after it's burped?
Rimmer: It feels sick?
Hollister: Oh no! It doesn't feel sick, Rimmer - it is sick! Five of our best men nearly drowned! Two others are in hospital, concussed by pieces of carrot the size of tree trunks…….Red Dwarf………….Fossil hunter, diver, archaeologist, explorer Susan Hendrickson discovered three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  No, it wasn’t Jimmy Hoffa. They turned out to be part of the largest-ever Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever discovered, a 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer. After Sue was discovered she underwent a lengthy custody battle – surprise, surprise! Finally, in 1997, the custody fight ended after Sue was auctioned in New York. The Field Museum of Natural History, in Chicago, Illinois, bought Sue. The price, a piddling  $8.36 million.  although the skeleton is generally referred to as a “she,” no one really knows whether Tyrannosaurus Sue was male or female. The skeleton's very large size could suggest that the dinosaur was female, because among birds of prey—T. rex's closest ancestors—females are generally larger than males. Sue’s skeleton is 90% complete over 200 bones.  The best specimen ever found. She is 13 feet high at the hips and 42 feet long from head to toe.  Sue's five foot-long,2,000-pound skull with its 58 teeth, one is a foot long,  and is actually mounted separately since the skeleton could not support it. In her teeth were found remnants of Japanese people victimized during  her attack on Tokyo in 1958.

            1991 –Monday- . ….. It's gonna blow... Volcano
It's gonna blow... Volcano
It's gonna blow... Volcano
Now the island is shiftin'... the plates are liftin'
The core is creamy...docile and dreamy
Stopped up and steamy
Happy campers... poop in their pampers
When the mountain... becomes a fountain
Of white hot lava... molten magna
Super sonic... plate techtonics
Stero phonic... lava and tonic
The boom is bionic
……Presidents of the United States of America………..We didn't want to "pull the wool over your eyes". We are not sheepish about mentioning this ewe know, but,  Mt. Hudson, in the Chilean Andes, located in the border area in between Chile and Argentina,  erupted, sending up a cloud of gas that killed 1 million sheep. Mt. Hudson (Cerro Hudson to the locals) is a a stratovolcano and  the mountain itself is covered by a glacier. There is a caldera at the summit from an ancient eruption; modern volcanic activity comes from inside the caldera.  A stratovolcano is a large, steep volcano built up of alternating layers of lava and ash or cinders.

            2000 – Saturday- All the crew from the sixth, seventh and eighth compartments went over to the ninth. There are 23 people here. We made this decision as a result of the accident. None of us can get to the surface.... I am writing blindly.... Lt. Dmitry Kolesnikov …….Kursk kaput. The Russian nuclear submarine sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea . All 118 crew members were later found dead. The exact cause of the disaster remains unknown altlhough the sub was conducting torpedo tests and sonar indicated a torpedo caused explosion.  It is believed that HTP, a form of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide used as propellant for the torpedo, seeped through rust in the torpedo casing. A similar explosion caused by an HTP-fuelled torpedo was responsible for the loss of HMS Sidon in 1955 The Russians preferred to blame a collision with the USS Memphis, a submarine that was monitoring the Russian tests. Kursk was eventually raised from her grave by a Dutch team using the barge Giant 4, and 115 of the 118 dead were recovered and laid to rest in Russia.

            2007 –Sunday Don't learn safety rules simply by accident …..Unknown………….Bad day for ships (see Kursk above) as the bulk carrier M/V New Flame collided  with the oil tanker Torm Gertrud at the southernmost tip of Gibraltar.  The damage sustained by the New Flame resulted in her taking in water with Nos. 1 and 2 holds being completely flooded. This caused the vessel to start sinking by the bow, at which point the crew of 23 abandoned ship safely. They swam to a nearby island and took shelter with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionair and his Wife.  The Movie Star, the professor and Mary Ann….The vessel then drifted to a nearby reef, where it came to rest.           

 2010  -Thursday They are afraid of reporting on dark matter because they think it is contagious. …..David Letterman………..The search for dark matter grew blacker as  a team of scientists deployed  a 4-kilogram bubble chamber at SNOLab, as part of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Ontario, Canada. They anticipated that dark matter particles will leave bubbles in their tracks when passing through the liquid in one of these chambers. Dark matter accounts for nearly 90 percent of all matter in the universe. It is  invisible to telescopes but scientists can observe the gravitational influence that dark matter exerts over galaxies. "There is a lot more mass than literally meets the eye," said team member Juan Collar, Associate Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. "When you look at the matter budget of the universe, we have a big void there that we can't explain."Likely suspects for what constitutes dark matter include Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPS),  axions, Kardashian brains, the Chicago Cubs, the New York City Council, and celebrities who appear on Jeopardy.

Back to Calendar


It’s Blame Someone Else Day ….credit, or blame,  seems to go to Anne Moeller of Clio, Michigan for creating this day. On the first Friday the 13th of 1982, her  alarm clock did not go off, and she over slept. As a result, she was late for appointments all day long. According to the story, she spent the day spreading the blame, and making excuses for being late.  Blame someone else day is usually celebrated on the first Friday the 13th of the year.

            1422Tuesday  The printing press is either the greatest blessing or the greatest curse of modern times, one sometimes forgets which…..James M. Barrie………Happy Birthday, William Caxton, the first English printer.  Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press in Germany around 1450, but Caxton  ), was the first English printer. Caxton was probably  born probably in Tenterden, Kent but the year is uncertain.  His translation and print of The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, in 1474, was the first book printed in English. He also printed the Canterbury Tales , Gower's Confession Amantis , Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Barney: Sharing is Caring , It Takes a Village and  some Danielle Steele books. Amongst the books he printed were Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales',.Although he printed more than 100 books in his lifetime fewer than 40 of Caxton's publications still exist. 1474, was the first book printed in English

       1521 – Saturday  …….for kindness I have shown the Spaniards though it has occasioned my ruin. For all my misfortunes, Maliche, (said to be what Montezuma referred to Cortes as) I bear you ill will ……..last words of Moctezema…………Tenochtitlán (present day Mexico City) was conquisted by  conquistador Hernán Cortés. The last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtémoc,  (Moctezuma  having been rendered kaput the previous year) did the surrendering. Cortés had had twelve warships built which were carried across land in separate pieces and then reassembled, equipped with cannons, and deployed into the lake surrounding Tenochtitlan. Then the Spanish broke their fresh water aqueduct and slowly advanced, tearing down the city block by block, and filling in the canals with the debris. The last straw was loudspeaker broadcasts of Snoop Dogg’s greatest hits for 72 consecutive hours.

            1553 – Thursday If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight. …….John Calvin…….Michael Servetus (Miguel Serveto) was arrested by John Calvin in Geneva as a heretic. a Spanish physician who was the first to accurately describe cardiopulmonary circulation but it was his religious opinions that would result in him being burned at the stake.  His belief was strongly opposed by Catholics and Protestants of his time. In 1531 he repudiated, in his De Trinitatis Erroribus (On the Error of the Trinity), the tripartite personality of God.  On October 27, 1553, his executioners placed a crown of leaves and straw onhis head, tied a copy of his last book to his arm, and burned him at the stake in Champel, Switzerland. Calvin appeared as a witness at Servetus’ trial.  He was the leading French Protestant Reformer and the most important figure in the second generation (first generation was Martin Luther)  of the Protestant Reformation. His interpretation of Christianity and the institutional and social patterns he worked out for Geneva influenced Protestantism elsewhere in Europe and in North America. He also had a pet tiger named Hobbes.

            1625 – Wednesday, Blinded by the light,
revved up like a deuce,
another runner in the night
Blinded by the light,
revved up like a deuce,
another runner in the night
…..Manfred Mann………..Tillykke med fodselsdagen! Rasmus Bartholin, Danish physician, mathematician and physicist famous for a discovery that was ahead of its time, the double refraction of a light ray by Iceland spar (calcite). Double refraction is also called birefringence and is an optical property in which a single ray of unpolarized light entering an anisotropic medium is split into two rays, each traveling in a different direction. East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.  One ray (called the extraordinary ray) is bent, or refracted, at an angle as it travels through the medium; the other ray (called the ordinary ray) passes through the medium unchanged. Since no contemporaries quite understood the nature and properties of light., his work would not be appreciated until after 1801 when Thomas Young proposed the wave theory of light.

             1642 – Wednesday You couldn't get me on Mars if it were the last place on earth. …..Erma Cohen…………Christiaan Huygens, Dutch astronomer and discoverer of the rings of Saturn, discovered the Martian south polar cap. Previously people couldn’t decide whether is was a Martian south polar chapeau, sombrero, top hat, or beret so they settled on cap.  The south polar cap has a thin frozen carbon dioxide coating in the southern hemisphere winter. Beneath this is the perennial south polar cap, which is in two layers. The top layer consists of frozen carbon dioxide and about 8 meters (27 feet) thick. The bottom layer is very much deeper and is made of water ice. Data collected by the Marsis radar instrument aboard Mars Express indicated that enough water is locked up at Mars' south pole to cover the planet in a liquid layer 11 m (36ft) deep. And what, you may ask, of the northern polar cap?  Well it consists almost entirely of water ice with just a dab of carbon dioxide coating in the winter.

            1655- Wednesday Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet……….. Kalman Opperman ……..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!, Johann Denner, German inventor, maker of musical instruments and inventor of the clarinet.  Previously, single reeds were used only in organs (kidney? pancreas? ladder?)and folk instruments such as the chalumeau, a small mock trumpet, or chalumeau, an adaptation of a folk reed pipe that Denner is credited with improving. Benny Goodman sends his thanks.

       1704 – Wednesday "It was the English," Kaspar cried,
"Who put the French to rout;
But what they fought each other for
I could not well make out;
But everybody said," quoth he,
"That 'twas a famous victory.
….Robert Southey, The Battle of Blenheim………… The Battle of Blenheim pitted British, Austrians, Hungarians, Hanoverians, Prussians, Danes and Hessians against the French and Bavarians with team leaders, The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy against Marshall Tallard, Marshall Marsin and the Elector of Bavaria. fought during the War of the Spanish Succession….here we pause to look at the origin of the War of the Spanish Succession, In November 1700 Charles II, King of Spain, died, leaving his throne in his will to the Duke of Anjou, grandson to Louis XIV, King of France. Louis XIV permitted his grandson to accept the throne of Spain, thereby plunging Europe into a general war; the main antagonists being France and the Austrian Habsburg Empire, whose emperor would not stand by and see the Bourbons absorb Spain…..and now back to the battle which occurred at Blenheimin Bavaria. The French were thoroughly trounced and losses were immense with over 30,000 killed, wounded and missing. Worse yet, the myth of French invincibility (remember, this was pre-Napoleonic France)  had been destroyed and Louis's hopes of an early and victorious peace  were kaput.  

            1792 –Monday 30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
30 days in the hole
That's what they give you
30 days in the hole
I know
 ………Humble Pie…………..A big day for arrests, see Michael Servetus 1553 above, as King Louis XVI of France was formally arrested by the National Tribunal, and declared an enemy of the people.   Charged with treason because because he tried to flee the country with his family and requested the help of other European monarchs to overcome this revolution and restore the monarchy in France. Louis, one of the dimmer bulbs in the monarchial chandelier,  was sent to the Temple, an ancient Paris fortress used as a prison. On 21 September, 1792 the National Convention declared France to be a republic and abolished the monarchy.  Found guilty of treason by the National Convention, he was executed on January 21, 1793.

            1814 – Saturday It was just a colour out of space—a frightful messenger from unformed realms of infinity beyond all Nature as we know it; from realms whose mere existence stuns the brain and numbs us with the black extra-cosmic gulfs it throws open before our frenzied eyes….H.P Lovecraft………..Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen  Anders Jonas Ångström, Swedish physicist born in Medelpad and one  of the founders of spectroscopy which involves either sticking a camera up your spectra, or the dispersion of an object's light into its component colors (i.e. energies). By performing this analysis of an object's light, astronomers can infer the physical properties of that object such as temperature, mass, luminosity,  and composition. Ångström  also discovered that the sun’s atmosphere consists of hydrogen, among other elements. He published a map of the normal solar spectrum, scintillatingly titled,  Recherches sur le spectre solaire that included detailed measurements of 1000 spectral lines. In 1867, he became the first astronomer to examine the spectrum of the aurora borealis or the northern lights.

            1819–Friday ….. However, a breakthrough discovery is challenging our long-held perceptions about our discipline—the discovery that science is really, really hard…..The Onion…………. La-breithe mhaith agat! George Gabriel Stokes, Irish mathematical physicist born in Skreen, County Sligo who stoked the world of 19th century science with Stokes Law - giving the force resisting motion of a spherical body through a viscous fluid. Stokes Theorem - a generalization of Green's theorem from circulation in a planar region to circulation along a surface….Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx.  Stokes Phenomenon - The asymptotic series of the Airy function Ai(z) (and other similar functions) has a different form in different sectorof the complex plane. Stokes conjecture- a deriviative of Stokes Theorem,  and the Navier-Stokes equations – according to the McGraw Hill Technical Dictionary they are simply the equations of motion for a viscous fluid which may be written dV/dt = -(1/ρ)p + F + ν2V + (⅓)ν(·V), where p is the pressure, ρ the density, F the total external force per unit mass, V the fluid velocity, and ν the kinematic viscosity; for an incompressible fluid, the term in ·V (divergence) vanishes, and the effects of viscosity then play a role analogous to that of temperature in thermal conduction and to that of density in simple diffusion. Please note that this will be on the mid-term.  Possibly, he was the great great grand father of Stokely Carmichael.

            1831 – Saturday – Having soon discovered to be great, I must appear so, and therefore studiously avoided mixing in society, and wrapped myself in mystery, devoting my time to fasting and prayer……Nat Turner………… We’ve all heard the stories of explorers or missionaries or soldiers seeing an eclipse of the sun and lives are spared or peace breaks out.  Sometimes it works the other way.  Nat Turner, slave and demented religious fanatic,  saw  a solar eclipse, which he believed was a sign from God. Eight days later he and 70 other slaves killed  approximately 55 whites in Southampton County, Virginia.

            1851 –Wednesday Up in the morning and off to school
the teacher is teaching the golden role.
American history and pracitcal math
you study them hard, hoping to pass
working your fingers right down to the bone
the guy behind you won´t leave you alone.
Ring, ring,ring goes the bell….
Chuck Berry………….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag and Happy Birthday,  Felix Adler, German-born American educator and one of the creators of the Society for Ethical Culture which belived that either  petri dish samples should display correct moral behavior or was a a liberal religious movement with the motto "Deed not creed", which also inspired  the title of one of his books, Creed and Deed. In 1876 he established the New York Society for Ethical Culture and, in connection with the Ethical Culture School,(now called The Ethical Culture Fieldson School with yearly tuition of a zillion dollars) and  the first free kindergarten in New York City.

             1860- Monday God intended women to be outside as well as men, and they do not know what they are missing when they stay cooped up in the house …….Happy Birthday, Annie Oakley, born  Phoebe Ann Oakley Mozee in Darke County, Ohio and the greatest of the Western female sharpshooters.  Be it  a pistol, rifle, or shotgun, the legendary markswoman was masterful with them all. She was called  "Little Sure Shot" by Sitting Bull (she was 5 feet tall),for  her sharp shooting in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. She could shoot off the end of a cigarette held in her (probably heavily sedated) husband's lips, hit the thin edge of a playing card from 30 paces, and shoot distant targets while looking into a mirror. A railroad accident in 1901 left her partially paralyzed, but she continued to perform until her retirement in the 1910s.. The  Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun (1946) based on her life story.

 1872 – Tuesday ……Chlorophyll, the deep sea green bullet. Once I did watch delighted and fell in. I fell in. April’s tendrils, she crawls through grassy fields to form a crown of crocuses, a paper crane.
It’s an unfolding parade, an unbeatable cascade and its going fast
…..Son, Ambulance……….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Richard Willstätter, German organic chemist born in to a Jewish family in Karlsruhe.  Willstätter was was awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research into plant pigments. He identified the structure of chlorophyll. Willstätter also determined that the porphyrin compound in chlorophyll was similar to the heme group in hemoglobin, but then don’t we all know that? He developed a method of paper chromatography - the separation of a mixture into its components by filtering it through a strip of special paper-independently from the method of Mikhail Tsvet who invented it in 1906.

            1888-Monday- The image of the dummy's head formed itself on the screen with what appeared to me an almost unbelievable clarity. I had got it! I could scarcely believe my eyes and felt myself shaking with excitement……..Happy Birthday, (we’ve also seen it as August 14 from British sources.  Perhaps it’s the time difference.)  John Logie Baird, Scottish engineer and inventor  born in Helensburgh, who was the first man to televise outline pictures of objects, including a Maltese cross in 1924. This was followed the next year by recognizable human faces, his test subject was a ventriloquist's dummy, "Stooky Bill" which was placed in front of the camera apparatus. On January 26,  1926 he gave the world's first demonstration of true television before 50 scientists in an attic room in central London.    Unfortunately, Baird’s mechanical television system was not as efficient as electronic television invented in 1927 by Philo T. Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworkin who demonstrated his all-electronic television receiver using a "Kinescope" (picture tube) in 1929. In Beverly Hills...they don't throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows……Woody Allen.

 1889- Tuesday ….. I need a cup of coffee
And a couple dollars change
Callin' Baton Rouge
Operator won't you put me on through
I gotta' send my love down to Baton Rouge
Hurry up won't you put her on the line
I gotta' talk to the girl just one more time
…Garth Brooks……………….William Gray of Hartford, Connecticut, received a patent for a coin-operated telephone. “Please deposit an additional 50 cents for ten more seconds…………..” Alfred Leif on the Modern Mechanix site notes that his first idea fell flat with the money makers at the phone company.  He had a box covering up the mouthpiece. On the principle of the slot machine, the box could slide open and give the caller access to the telephone. But the telephone company officials felt the thing was impractical. It let a person make any number of calls on one nickel. It did not permit a call to be made to another pay station unless the person called also deposited a coin to unlock that instrument. No means was provided for returning the coins if calls didn’t go through. Other than that it was fine. The next idea was Gray decided that the instrument should remain open. A user would reach the operator in the usual way, then deposit money as she directed. With each drop in the slot the caller would ring a bell  as the coin fell in. Of course in the era of cellular phones, the pay phone and its hygienic issues are fading from view.

            1899- Tuesday – There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it….. Happy Birthday, Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, “the Master of Suspense”, English born movie director of such hits as, Pyscho, North By Northwest, Strangers On a Train, The Birds and duds like Marnie., Frenzy, and Torn Curtain (Julie Andrews?).  Hitchcock’s 1929 film Blackmail is said to be the first British "talkie." During the 1930s he directed such classic suspense films as The Man Who Knew Too Much and The 39 Steps. Just before WW II Hitchcock left England for Hollywood. The first film he made there, Rebecca in1940, won an Academy Award for best picture. His works became celebrated for their depictions of violence while  many of his plots merely function as decoys meant to serve as a tool for understanding complex psychological characters.He  cameo appearances in his own films –he appeared in 39 in all, notably with his picture in the newspaper in Lifeboat- as well as his interviews, film trailers and the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents which aired from1962-65.

        1902 Wednesday Dr Gruber: (Michael Palin) Hello my name is Carl Gruber. Thank you for inviting me into your home. My method is the result of six years work here at the institute in which subjects were exposed to simulated embarrassment predicaments over a prolonged period, time. Lesson one, Words. Do any of these words embarrass you? Assistant: (John Cleese) Shoe, megaphone, grunties. Dr Gruber: Now lets go on to something ruder.  Assistant: Wankel rotary engine…………. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! The German engineer Felix Wankel, inventor of a rotary engine, an internal-combustion engine in which power is transmitted directly to rotating components, was born in Lahr.  Ironically, Wankel never possessed a driver's license in his life. The  Mazda RX-8 (or RX-7is  one of the only cars on the road using a rotary (Wankel) engine Why? Other than apex sealing issues, poor fuel economy, poor emissions and incomplete thermal oxidation of fuel, it works just fine.

            1907 Tuesday If, in New York, you arrive late for an appointment, say, "I took a taxi”…….Andre Maurois…… The first taxi cab in New York City. This probably also the day for the first illegal taxi turn, obnoxious horn honking, cutting off other drivers, taking the "scenic route", and getting "lost" going to the airport. raham Russell Gao Hodges in his book Taxi, notes that even then taxi rip offs were an honored tradition as a thirty-year-old New York businessman named Harry N. Allen became incensed when a hansom cab driver charged Allen five dollars for a three-quarter-mile trip from a Manhattan restaurant to his home. Angered by this vehicular extortion, Allen vowed to create a new cab service. He recalled later: I got to brooding over this nighthawk. I made up my mind to start a service in New York and charge so-much per mile. Hodges also gives the day of October 1, 1907 for the parade of new cabs but individual taxis were in operation in August. Eventually, the New York Taxicab Company imported six hundred cars from France. They were gasoline powered (remember the oil companies had not killed the electric car yet) and the red-and-green-paneled (not the yellow of today)  cars were the first in a new generation of city transportation. Most contemporary drivers seem to come from countries ending in ‘stan’.  The word taxi comes from taximeter, the instrument used to measure distance traveled and cost.  Cab comes from cabriolet, which was a taxi predecessor, but with one horse pulling it.

            1912 –Tuesday Straight down the middle
It went straight down the middle
Then it started to hook just a wee wee bit
That's when my caddie lost sight of it
That little white pellet has never been found to this day
But it went straight down the middle like they say
…..Bing Crosby…… Happy Birthday,  Ben Hogan, golf great born in Dublin Texas,  and probably the greatest golfer of his time.  In 292 career PGA Tour events, Hogan finished in the top 3 in 47.6-percent of them. He finished in the top 10 in 241 of those 292 events.  He won the U.S. PGA championship (1946, 1948), the U.S. Open (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953), the Masters Tournament (1951, 1953), and the British Open (1953); several of his victories followed a 1949 car accident in which he was injured so severely that he was not expected to walk again.

            1912 –Tuesday All diseases run into one - old age……Ralph Waldo Emerson ……Buon Compleanno! Happy Birthday, Salvador Luria, Italian-born American microbiologist.  His work focused on the genetics of bacteriophages.  These are  viruses that infect bacteria. Notable bacteriophages include Kardashians, models in movies, lawyers who advertise on television and Al Gore. Luria’s famous experiment with Max Delbrück in 1943 demonstrated statistically that inheritance in bacteria must follow Darwinian (natural selection) rather than Larmarckian principles  (that evolution was the “acquired traits” of a species being inherited by its offspring. and that mutant bacteria occurring randomly can still bestow viral resistance without the virus being present. He was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

            1918 –Tuesday Science is an intellectual dead end, you know? It’s a lot of little guys in tweed suits cutting up frogs on foundation grants…….Woody Allen, Sleeper…….. Happy Birthday, Frederick Sanger, English chemist born in in Rendcomb, Gloucestershire. He is the only two time winner of a Nobel Prize for Chemistry.  Marie Curie also won two Nobels but one was physics, the other chemistry. John Bardeen won two for physics.  Linus Pauling won one for chemistry and a Peace Prize.  The International Committee of the Red Cross has been awarded three Peace Prizes and the UNHCR ((United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) won two Peace prizes.  Sanger was awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of insulin, determining the sequence of the 51 amino acids in the insulin molecule. He received his second Nobel Prize in 1980 for his determination of base sequences in nucleic acids - DNA molecules as he and his research team established the sequence of more than 5,000 nucleotides along a strand of DNA from a bacterial virus later identified as Snooki from Jersey Shore.

            1920 – Friday I don't go in thinking he's a villain. The audience might, but the villain doesn't think he's a villain. Even a killer condones what he's done. I just create this human being under the circumstances that are given. I don't think he's a villain. Everybody just condones his own actions…..on playing villains…..Happy Birthday, Neville Brand, American actor and our personal favorite Al Capone. Brand played Capone in the television series, The Untouchables, the movie based on the TV series Scarface Mob, and The George Raft Story, retitled, Spin of a Coin….although Rod Steiger was amusing in his over the top portrayal, Ben Gazzara failed the sinister test, Robert DiNiro was Robert DiNiro and Jason Robards? Please!   

            1926– Friday Fidel Castro, for getting away with it for so long…..Richard Madeley in Guardian Weekend magazine, when asked: Which living person do you most despise, and why? ……..Feliz Cumplea–os! Fidel Castro, Cuban revolutionary, dictator and mass murderer. Following the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista, Cuba was fortunate to get a new one, and a Marxist as a bonus.  Castro, the cockroach of politicians – impossible to kill, just ask JFK -  became closely aligned with the Soviet Union.  The Soviets bought large amounts of sugar and supplied Cuba with economic and military assistance.  Castro also assisted Marxist  revolutions in Angola and Ethiopia.

            1942 - Thursday I was a hip kid. When I saw Bambi it was the midnight show….George Carlin……….. Walt Disney's Bambi opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Thumper bit the dust.  Roast venison. Ever reliable IMbD notes a plethora of directors; James Algar (sequence director) Samuel Armstrong (sequence director) (as Sam Armstrong) David Hand (supervising director) (as David D. Hand) Graham Heid (sequence director) Bill Roberts (sequence director) Paul Satterfield (sequence director) Norman Wright (sequence director).  The cast, uncredited, included the voices of Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, and Bobette Audrey.

            1952 - Wednesday  You ain't nothing but a hound dog
Been snoopin' 'round the door
You're just an old hound dog
Been snoopin' 'round my door
You can wag your tail
But I ain't gonna feed you no more….
Jerry Leiber - Mike Stoller’s Hound Dog was recorded by rhythm-and-blues singer Ellie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton  in Los Angeles, California.  Johnny Otis (Willie and the Hand Jive) produced the record and played drums on the recording. However, Elvis Presley’s  1956 Hound Dog" (B side – Don’t Be Cruel) is one of the biggest and most instantly recognizable pop songs in history. As with many Caucasian cover versions, it was cleaned up a bit by Freddie Bell of Freddie Bell and the Bellboys: You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
Cryin’ all the time.
You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
Cryin’ all the time.
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
And you ain’t no friend of mine

            1965 Thursday Do away with people blowing my mind
Do away with people wasting my precious time
Take me to a simple place
Where I can easily see my face
Maybe, baby I'll see that you were kind
Know I love you baby, yes I do
Know I love you baby, yes I do
 …..Jefferson Airplane…..3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds……….The Jefferson Airplane performed their first concert, at the opening of the Matrix Club, at 3138 Fillmore Street, in San Francisco.  The group's original lineup, featured founder Marty Balin, (who also founded the Matrix),  Jorma Kaukonen (guitar, vocals) and Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), and was  fronted, no not by Gracie Slick, but  by singer Signe Toly (later Signe Anderson). Gracie (the editorial board of the Gnus had a crush on her before she was Grace) Slick joined in August 1966.

1969 – Wednesday A man returns from Africa and is feeling very ill. He goes to see his doctor, and is immediately rushed to the Hospital, to undergo a barrage of tests.
The man wakes up after the tests in a private room at the hospital, and the phone by his bed rings.
"This is your doctor. We've had the results back from your tests and we've found you have an extremely nasty virus, which is extremely contagious!"
"Oh my gosh," cried the man, "What are you going to do, doctor?"
"Well we're going to put you on a diet of pizzas, pancakes, and pitta bread."
"Will that cure me?" asked the man.
The doctor replied, "Well no,'s the only food we can get under the door."…………. After fears of aliens popping out of their stomachs, alien pods taking over their bodies, and no killer clowns form outer space were hiding in their boots, but also assuaging nervousness at the prospect of meeting Spiro T. Agnew,  the Apollo 11 astronauts were released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker-tape parade in New York. That evening, at a state dinner in Los Angeles, they were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Richard Nixon.

1972 -Sunday Rock' [music]. . . is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe…..Pope Benedict XVI…… It’s not always an Isle of Wight or a money maker like Woodstock so festival organizers lost hope when only 20,000 of an expected 40,000 attended the second day of the Festival of Hope held at Roosevelt Raceway in Long Island NY.  As critic Robert Christgau intoned, “it was not a rock festival--it felt more like . . . an outing.” The fans reacted  lackadaisically to the acts, and there were some good ones, althought the performances were, on the whole, lackluster - James brown,Chuck Berry, Elephants Memory (sans John Lennon and the Japanese pilot fish), Commander Cody, Manassas (Stephen Stills in post CSNY mode), Jefferson Airplane, Bo Diddley, the inevitable Sha Na Na,  and even Sly Stone showed up. When receipts were counted, it  was learned that while the festival had raised $300,000 for Easter Seals, but it had incurred expenses of $400,000 which sounds more like Hollywood movie accounting

            1982 - Friday This is U.S. History, I see the globe right there. ……Sean Penn, as  Jeff Spicoli,  stole the movie, created the stereotype and sentenced us to 30 years of derivative stoner characters in cinema.  Yet another teenage coming-of-age comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High opened in theaters around the United States. Written by Cameron Crowe and directed by Amy Heckerling, the film followed a year in the life of high school students Jennifer Jason Leigh, luscious Phoebe Cates), Brian Backer and Robert Romanus,  their assorted classmates and teachers. The ensemble cast also featured the (then relatively unknown) future A-list actors, then down to B list and lower,  Penn, Nicolas Cage and Forest Whitaker, and Judge Reinhold.

            1982 – Friday, Vera Sanchez: [sees Jason now wearing a goalie mask] Who are you?
[Jason points a speargun at her]
Vera Sanchez: What are you doing?
[Jason is still pointing the speargun at her]
Vera Sanchez: Hey cut that out, that's not funny!
[Jason shoots Vera in her left eye with the speargun. She falls dead into the water. Jason casualy drops the spent speargun to the ground and walks off]……….. And, opening on the same day as Fast Times……(see above) the Bergmanesque romp, Friday The 13th, Part III. By now it was a director and cast of unknowns but in this  ‘chop em up’ Jason Voorhies (spoiler alert -  remember it was Betsy Palmer who was the murderer in Part 1 and Jason didn’t appear until the end when he jumped out of the lake and pulled the last surviving teens into the depths) spontaneously revived at the morgue with the usual consequences for nubile teenagers.  In case you were wondering, at last count, we have this list - Friday The 13th – 1980, Friday The 13th Part Two – 1981, Friday The 13th Part III – 1982. Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (promises, promises) – 1984 Friday The 13th: A New Beginning1985 Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI -1986 Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood – 1988 Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – 1989 Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday( we seem to have heard that one before) – 1993 – 2001  Jason X , 2003 -Freddy vs. Jason -2009- Friday The 13th… Crosby, Stills,  Nash and Young said………….We have all been here before, we have all been here before
We have all been here before, we have all been here before
We have all been here before, we have all been here before

            1990 - Monday  Maybe the words that I say is just another way to pray…….48 year old Curtis Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down in an onstage accident in Brooklyn. Mayfield, former member of the Impressions (with Jerry Butler – that’s Mayfield singing with Butler on He Will Break Your Heart) and solo star – Superfly, had just come on a  temporary stage at Wingate Field in East Flatbush, when an unexpected gust of wind toppled a heavy lighting scaffold overheadThe blow broke his neck, paralyzing him from the neck down.

            2008 – Wednesday  The best way to follow your dreams, is to put GPS on the back of your eye lids………..Michael Phelps set the Olympic record for the most gold medals won by an individual in Olympic history with his win in the men's 200m butterfly.  Phelps also plunged into victories in the Men's 200 meters Freestyle, Men's 4 × 100 meters Freestyle Relay, Men's 4 × 200 meters Freestyle Relay , Men's 100 meters Butterfly , the Men's 200 meters Individual Medley      and Men's 400 meters Individual Medley, Men's 4 × 100 meters Medley Relay  - that’s six individual gold medals.  Unfortunately, Phelps was not as gifted on terra ferma and proceded to behave rather badly for the next few years squandering a great career. Phelps feat overshadowed the scandal of the Polish swimmer protesting her loss in the 100 meter breast stroke.  She complained that the winner had used her arms.     

2011 – Saturday,  A big gust of wind came through. You could see a lot of people panicking. All the scaffolding and speakers -- all that came crashing down -- and the whole stand just collapsed…..Eerily reminiscent of the Curtis Mayfield tragedy 21 years earlier on this day – see 1990-  The main stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis during a hurricane-force wind gust ahead of an approaching severe thunderstorm, killing 7 and injuring 45.  Some 12,000 people were waiting for a Sugarland concert to start at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis when the 60-to-70-m.p.h. gust of wind hit.  Six minutes after a National Weather Service warning, the crowd was told there was bad weather in the area and that if it worsened, the concert would be called off. They were provided instructions on seeking shelter, but few left. The gust of wind hit four minutes later, at roughly 8:49 p.m.

Back to Calendar


554 -Wednesday Old goths never die, they just need less makeup….unknown……..Ravenna became the seat of Byzantines military  governor in Italy. Bologna became the footstool, Forli the side table and Rimini, the reading lamp. The Byzantine Empire expressed fervent claim to all of Italy, France, and Spain, believing that it was their former territory as part of the original Roman Empire of Constantine. In addition, this was a time when the Christian Church was splintered and, the Gothic Empire of Italy was identified by its heretical Arian faith plus way too much eyeliner, dyed black hair, nose piercings, and overplaying Cure music.  The Byzantine Empire, ruled by Emperor Justinian and his general Belisarius, sent the Byzantine armies to Europe the Goths were kaputed in the Gothic War of 535-554. Ravenna was now called the  Exarchate of Ravenna.

1248 -FridayI believe in the sun, even when it is not shining. andI believe in love, even when there's no one there. and I believe in God, even when He is silent. I believe through any trial, there is always a way…….. inscription on a  cellar wall in Cologne…..Beginning of construction of Cologne Cathedral, world's tallest building from 1880 to 1890.  Construction of Cologne Cathedral actually took over 640 years to complete and was officially completed in 1880 giving the Cathedral the title of the world's tallest building although this title was only to last for 4 years until 1884 when the Washington Monument, was finally completed. In 1164 Archbishop Rainald von Dassel brought the relics of the Three Wise Men/Magi/Kings to Cologne after he “liberated them from Milan. The original cathedral was built in 1170 but as workers tried to tear it down piece by piece, it caught fire and…………

 1385 – Sunday Oh, I found my April dream
In Portugal with you
……Ray Conniff………In the Battle of Aljubarrota, or the as we call it, the Battle of the Johns – Portuguese forces commanded by King João (John)  I and his general Nuno Álvares Pereira, supported by English troops, defeated the Castilian army of King Juan I (John).  The victory assured that João (John) uncontested King of Portugal and the House of Aviz ascended to the crown of Portugal. In 1386,Portugal and England entered in a permanent military alliance in  the Treaty of Windsor,  still active in existence. His marriage to Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt and sister of the to be King Henry IV,  in 1387 initiated the Portuguese second dynasty, and one of their children,  Henrique, or Henry the Navigator, sponsored expeditions to Africa.

1457 –Friday  Outside of a dog, a book is your best friend, and inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. ……Groucho Marx…….The oldest known exactly dated printed book, the  Mainz Psalter, printed in the Fust–Schöffer shop,  21 years after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with replaceable/moveable wooden or metal letters in 1436 . WiseGeek informs that evidence suggests that ceramic movable type was invented in China by Bi Sheng around the year 1040. Unfortunately, no surviving printed books from this period have been found other than Hilary Clinton’s It Takes a Village.  It's fairly clear that if the Chinese invented movable type, however, they were probably putting it to practical use. This means that the oldest printed book is likely a Buddhist religious text from the 11th century, even if researchers don't know which one. The Diamond Sutra, a Clancyesque thriller  on a scroll was printed in 868.

1559 – Friday It is illegal to roll a barrel on any street, fines go up according to the contents of the barrel…………A woman can be fined (only after death), for being electrocuted in a bath-tub because of using self-beautification utensils…….contemporary Pensacola Laws………. Spanish explorer Tristane de Luna (brother of Clare de Luna)  landed in Pensacola Bay,Florida and and established the city of Santa Maria de Filipinos.  De Luna would eventually leave for Mexico and the Pensacola settlement disbanded completely within several months of his departure as the tourist business dried up and the bank forclosures skyrocketed. De Luna would appointed governor of Yucatan in 1563.

1585 – Wednesday I won't dance, don't ask me
I won't dance, don't ask me
I won't dance, Madame, with you
…..Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II…………Queen Elizabeth I refused sovereignty of Netherlands, then called the the Low Countries but issued a declaration taking the Netherlands under her protection. This was in the context of Protestant Britain vs. Catholic Spain and Catholic Spain vs. the Protestant Netherlands. She had been formally offered sovereignty of the rebel provinces, of Holland and Zeeland in 1576

1586 – Thursday I thinke the soule to be nothing but Light ……Anne Hutchinson……..William Hutchinson, Rhode Island colonist born in Lincolnshire, England. He married married Anne Marbury in 1612 and the happy Hutchinsons and the remaining eleven of their fourteen children arrived in America in 1634. Anne Hutchinson organized weekly meetings of Boston women to discuss recent sermons and to express their own theological views. Before long, ministers and magistrates were attracted to her sessions, at which she criticized the narrow Puritan orthodoxy and espoused a covenant of grace.  The resulting controversy resulted in her banishment and William removed with most of his family in 1638 to Rhode Island. As first treasurer of the new colony, he succeeded William Coddington as Judge (Governor) on the formation in 1639 of the Newport Colony. William died in Newport in 1642. His widow, Anne and her younger children moved to Pelham Bay, New York where a year later, they were massacred by Indians. They were unable to escape as the Hutchinson River Parkway had not yet been built.

    1592 –  Thursday  Etlekh days`du shoulda nor stayed arayn bet  (Yiddish – some days you shoulda just stayed in bed)…..During the Imjin War as Japan attempted to conquer Korea, at Battle of Hansando, Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin decisively defeated  the Japanese Navy at Hasan Island. The Ultimate Naval Battle site notes that the Japanese fleet’s casualties were unprecedented as they lost 59 warships. The Korean Joseon dynasty, obviously inspired by 20th century dictator and superman, Kim Jong-il,  lost no ship and casualties were insignificant.

1598 –Friday We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English…….Winston Churchill ……..At the Battle of the Yellow Ford , during Nine Years War,  Irish forces under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force led by  Henry Bagenal. The ultimate result of the Battle of the Yellow Ford was the expansion of the Nine Years' War from a conflict fought largely in Ulster to a struggle against English control throughout Ireland as a whole. In a Romeo and Juliet, Running Bear and Little White Dove connection, we note that  Bagenal’s sister Mabel was canoodling with Tyrone and later eloped with him.  The Nine Years War in Ireland took place from 1594-1603 and was fought between the Gaelic clans of O'Neill and O'Donnell and Queen Elizabeth I's forces. This Nine Years War item inspired the Editorial Board of the Gnus to research wars identified by a time frame.  In no particular order they are: Six Days War
Seven Years War
100 Years War
Northern Seven Years' War
Northern Seven Years' War
Long War (Ottoman wars)
Thirty Years' War
Nine Years' War – This was another 9 years war -  Dutch Republic,  England,  Holy Roman Empire, Spain,  Piedmont-Savoy Sweden (until 1691) and  Scotland vs. France
Hundred Days War
The Thirty Days' War
Thousand Days' War
Ten-Day War 

1777 – Thursday A Tale of Two Sicilies  Buon Compleanno! Francis I,King  of the Two Sicilies. The tale of two Siclies?  It was a kingdom consisting of the island of Sicily and southern Italy.  In 1860 Garibaldi helped drive the Spanish rulers out of the kingdom, which became part of a united Italy.

1777 – Thursday My uncle's dying wish - he wanted me on his lap. He was in the electric chair…..Rodney Dangerfield……….Tillykke med fodselsdagen! Hans Christian Ørsted, Danish physicist who, in 1820, discovered that electric current in a wire can deflect a magnetized compass needle.  This discovery was the first time electricity and magnetism were linked together and inspired the development of electromagnetic theory.  Ørsted was also the first to successfully produce aluminum metal.

1784 – Saturday In Russia we only had two TV channels. Channel One was propaganda. Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you: Turn back at once to Channel One…Yakov Smirnov……. Although Alaska had been sighted by a Russian expedition led by Danish explorer, Vitus Bering in 1741, and Russia had been sighted by Sarah Palin,  on this day the first permanent Russian settlement, founded by fur trader, Grigory Shelikov, (you’ll find him on the Famous people of Irkutsk  site) was established on Kodiak Island at Three Saints Bay.  They immediately placed an order for mail-order brides,(preferably beardless) lots of vodka, The two page tome, The Wit and Wisdom of Vladimir Putin, 50 lbs. of salo, fermented sour cabbage, and Fyodor Dostoevsky books with a happy ending. The settlement was moved to the site of the present-day city of Kodiak in 1792.

1820- Monday Doctor, my eyes, tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long
………Jackson Browne………The New York Eye Infirmary, the first U.S. eye hospital, opened in New York City. Many medical schools sent their best Pupils. Really! These puns keep getting Cornea. Edward Delafield, M.D., and John Kearney Rodgers, M.D founded the first Infirmary at 45 Chatham Street, now 83 Park Row.  Public notices were placed indicating that "the primary object in establishing the Infirmary was to contribute toward the relief of the poor who, by a diseased state of one of the most important organs of the human body, are deprived of the means of gaining a livelihood.".  All professional care and medicine were supplied free of charge and the posted clinic hours were 12:00 to 1:00PM on Mondays, Wednesday s, and Fridays.

         1840 – Friday Sexual instinct—as emotion, idea, and impulse—is a function of the cerebral cortex. Thus far no definite region of the cortex has been proved to be exclusively the seat of sexual sensations and impulses. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!,  Richard von Krafft-Ebing, German neuron-psychiatrist who opened the field of sexual psychopathology, particularly deviant sexual behavior. He also introduced the term "paranoia." But that didn’t necessarily mean someone was out to get him………………….His most noted work is Psychopathia Sexualis. In the preface he wrote, A scientific title has been chosen and technical terms are used throughout the book in order to exclude the lay reader; for the same reason certain portions are written in Latin.

    1842 – Sunday The case of the Seminoles constitutes at present the only exception to the successful efforts of the Government to remove the Indians to the homes assigned them west of the Mississippi. ……Martin Van Buren…..Second Seminole War ended  with the Seminoles forced from Florida to Oklahoma. Some 4,420 Seminoles surrendered and were deported to Oklahoma. A few hundred managed to remain in the Everglades under the leadership of Billy Bowlegs, their principal chief and, yes,  The Third Seminole War would ensue. The federal government, John Tyler was President,  was committed to a policy of removing all eastern Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi River. The First Seminole War was caused by Andrew Jackson's campaign to remove of all Indians in Florida to the Indian Territory in the West (present-day Oklahoma) was the best solution for persistent conflict between the Seminole and encroaching white settlers and the poor quality of the food at Epcot Center, recruiting scandals and arrests of Florida State football players, the refusal of elderly Seminole women to dye their hair blue, and conflicts over the spelling of Okefenokee.  By the terms of the Treaty of Paynes Landing,183), the Seminole were supposed to migrate west of the Mississippi River within 36 months. By 1834, 3,824 Indians had made the move. The largest faction of Seminole, led by their chief Osceola refused to go….ergo Second Seminole War.

    1848 – Monday  Oregon: It's OR-EE-GUN, you idiot!....Darlene Forsman……. The Oregon Territory was organized by act of Congress. The area that included what is today Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and western Montana.  It had been explored by Lewis and Clark but the first permanent settlement was established in the Willamette valley by a group of Methodists, led by Jason Lee in the 1830s. Of course it wasn’t that easy.  The native americans didn’t have much to say about it but  the Oregon Territory was one of the major diplomatic issues of the first half of the 19th century. The territory became a focus of those who believed that it was the United States' obligation and right to extend its rule and liberties across the North American continent. Originally Spain, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States claimed the territory. In 1819, under terms of the Transcontinental Treaty, Spain ceded its claims to the territory to the United States. Shortly thereafter the United States contested a unilateral Russian move to grant its citizens a fishing, whaling, and commercial monopoly from the Bering Straits to the 51st parallel.  The U.S. claim was based on the explorations of Lewis and Clark and on the establishment of trading posts set up by John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, such as Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River. Great Britain based its claim, in part, on James Cook's exploration of the Columbia River.  It was all fershlugina. Oregon joined the union as a state in 1859.

1851 – Thursday  Old Doc Holliday was tendin' the town old Doc Holliday was tendin' the town
But he heard the news goin' around that the plain Fuel Kid is gonna shoot him down
Won't you have another drink on me Doc Holliday
Have another drink on me (Doc Holliday)
Have another drink on me Doc Holliday the Kid ain't gonna shoot you down
…..Hank Williams Jr…………….Happy Birthday, Doc (John Henry) Holliday, American gambler and dentist. Shortly after beginning his dental practice, Holliday was diagnosed with tuberculosis (generally called "consumption" in that era).  He was given only a few months to live, but thought moving to the drier and warmer southwestern United States might reduce the deterioration of his health. This move would result in the deterioration of the health of several western denizens.  Holliday was was close friends with fellow gunman Wyatt Earp. They were the two most famous faces in what is regarded as the most legendary battle of the West, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral inTombstone, Arizona.   In a newspaper interview, Holliday was once asked if his killings had ever gotten on his conscience. He is reported to have said, I coughed that out with my lungs, years ago.  There has been a plethora of Doc Hollidays in movies and television.  Among the notable…the favorite of the Editorial Board of the Gnus, is Val Kilmer in Tombstone…..
Cesar Romero,Walter Huston ,Victor Mature in My Darling Clementine, Kirk Douglas in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Douglas Fowley in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp television series 1955–1961, Gerald Mohr and Peter Breck each played Holliday more than once in the 1957 television series Maverick. Arthur Kennedy played Holliday in director John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn. Batman himself, Adam West played Holliday on an episode of the TV series Lawman,Jason Robards in Hour of the Gun, a 1967 sequel to the 1957 movie, with James Garner as Earp, Sam Gilman in the 1968 Star Trek episode Spectre of the Gun, and Stacy Keach in Doc, in 1971, in which the Tombstone events are told from his perspective, Dennis Hopper in Wild Times, even Willie Nelson in the 1986 remake of Stagecoach,   Dennis Quaid in Wyatt Earp, in 1994,  and, not to be outdone, brother Randy Quaid in Purgatory, a 1999 TV film about dead outlaws in a town between Heaven and Hell.

         1860 Tuesday The culture and civilization of the White man are essentially material; his measure of success is, "How much property have I acquired for myself?" The culture of the Red man is fundamentally spiritual; his measure of success is, "How much service have I rendered to my people? ……..Happy Birthday, Ernest Thompson Seton, English born American naturalist, illustrator,  and writer who was an early practitioner of the modern school of animal-fiction writing. Wild Animals I Have Known was one Professor Sy Yentz favorite childhood books. The chapter about Lobo, the king of Currumpaw was read over and over but Lobo, the wolf always died at the end when the evil trapper poisoned his mate Bianca and used her as bait to kill Lobo. In 1930 with second wife, Julia Moss Buttree,  he founded the Seton College of Indian Wisdom (later the Seton Institute of Indian Lore).

1865 – Monday Buon Compleanno! Guido Castelnuovo, Italian mathematician. His most important work was done in the field of algebraic geometry, near the corn.  In the early 1890s he published three famous papers, including one with the first use of the characteristic linear series of a family of curves. The Castelnuovo-Severi inequality was co-named after him. We believe it is the irreducibility of Wd1(X) for d ≥ g − h + 1, where X is a curve of genus g which admits a degree two map onto a general curve C of genus h > 0, is shown. Also the existence of a base-point-free pencil of relatively low degree on a k-gonal curves has been proved.  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five………..Groucho Marx.  Another theorem named partly after Castelnuovo is the Kronecker-Castelnuovo theorem but since we are clueless about the Castelnuovo-Severi inequality, we’re not going near this one.

1866 –Tuesday How do you prove that all odd numbers are prime?
Well, this problem has differen
t solutions whether you are a:
3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, and by induction we have that a
ll the odd integers are prime.
3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is an experiment
al error...
3 is prime, 5 is pr
ime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime...
3 is prime, 5 i
s prime... hey, let's publish!
Modern physicist using renormalization:
3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ... 9/3 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime, 15 is ... 15/3 is prime, 17 is prime, 19 is pri
me, 21 is ... 21/3 is prime...
Quantum Physicist:
All numbers are equally prime and non-prime until observed
Joyeux Anniversaire! Charles Jean de la Vallée-Poussin, Belgian mathematician. A big day for mathematicians (see Castelnuovo above).  Vallée-Poussin was responsible for proving the prime number theorem. A prime number is a number that can be divided by only one and itself without producing a remainder, and de la Vallée-Poussin--like many others--set out to prove the relationship between prime numbers.

 1871 -  Monday  Good golly miss Mollusk, sure like to ball,
Good golly miss Mollusk, sure like to ball,
A-When you're rockin' and a rollin', can't hear your mama call
……apologies to Little Richard………Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! And Happy Birthday, Paul Bartsch German-American zoologist who was an authority on molluscs.

1880 Saturday  A construction worker dies on in a fishing accident on his 40th birthday and finds himself greeted at the Pearly Gates by a brass band. Saint Peter runs over, shakes his hand and says “Congratulations!”“Congratulations for what?” asks the construction worker.“Congratulations for what?” says Saint Peter. “We are celebrating the fact that you lived to be 160 years old.”“But that’s not true,” says the construction worker. “I only lived to be forty.”“That’s impossible,” says Saint Peter, “we added up your time sheets.”…………At 10:00 a.m the last stone was laid, 632 years after construction began. And c onstruction of Cologne Cathedral, the most famous landmark in Cologne, Germany, was completed. This is about how long road repairs appear to take in the 21st century.  See 1248 above.  The Cathedral was actually the world's tallest building although this title was only to last for 4 years until 1884 when the Washington Monument, was finally completed.

    1885 –Friday Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza…..Dave Barry…….Japan's first patent was issued to the inventor of an anti corrosive  paint.日本の出願人がパリ条約又はTRIPS協定の署名者である他の国での特許出願に基づく優先権を請求することができる。日本語のアプリケーションは、英語または日本語、図面、必要の仕様のコピーを提出した、次の情報であってもよい…… We looked up the history of Japanese patents at the History of Japanese Patents web site and discovered that under the shogunate, one of the strategies by the Tokugawa government to control the civilians was to prohibit luxury and make them live in a modest manner, which resulted in the ‘shinki gohatto’ law (1721) prohibiting people from inventing.  After Meiji Restoration in 1868,  a group of over 100 Japanese delegates (called the Iwakuni Mission) were shipped to the US for 6 months and then to Europe in 1872.   The Patent Monopoly Act (senbai tokkyo jo-rei) issued in 1885 was based on the French Patent Law,

1886 -Saturday What is an isotope anyway?…..: I think it's a lonely tope. ……..Happy Birthday Arthur Jeffrey Dempster Canadian-American physicist who in 1918 built the first mass spectrometer (based on the invention of Francis W. Aston). A mass spectrometer is an analytical instrument in which ions, produced from a sample, are separated by electric or magnetic fields according to their ratios of charge to mass. A record is produced (mass spectrum) of the types of ion present and their relative amounts. Now, with the separation of Church and State, they are called non-denominational spectrometers.  In 1935, Dempster was able to show that uranium did not consist solely of the isotope uranium–238. In fact,  seven out of every thousand uranium atoms were in fact uranium–235. It was this isotope, 235U, that was later predicted by Niels Bohr to be capable of sustaining a chain reaction that could release large amounts of atomic fission energy.

1888 –Tuesday Making records is like making sausages, the end result is palatable but you don't want to see how it's done ….possibly Bono but the Internet went wild with this one…………An audio recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan's  The Lost Chord , one of the first recordings of music ever made, was  played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison's phonograph in London.  The encore, Sir Mixalot’s  I Like Big Butts, had them dancing in the aisles. The Lost Chord was performed by cornet and piano, alas the performers are unknown. The record format was an Edison yellow paraffine cylinder recorded by Col. George Gouraud, foreign sales agent for Thomas Edison.

         1888- Tuesday Ben Franklin may have discovered electricity- but it is the man who invented the meter who made the money….Earl Warren……. The first electric meter was patented by Oliver B. Shallenberger in Rochester PA........................and this was a good thing?  When Thomas Edison started selling electricity for illumination in 1882, he charged per lamp. He soon replaced that with a complicated chemical ampere-hour meter. Dave's Old Watthour Meter Webpage informs that Shallenberger,  an Annapolis graduate who worked for the Westinghouse company,  was working on a new arc lamp one day when a spring fell out and landed on a ledge inside the lamp. Before an assistant could reach in to replace it, the observant Shallenberger noticed the spring had rotated. He soon determined that the lamp's rotating electric fields had caused the spring to turn and  realized he could use the effect to turn wheels in a meter to measure electrical charge. Not only could he use it, he did ... and built an alternating-current ampere-hour meter in just three weeks. The Shallenberger meter was a key part of George Westinghouse's AC electrical system. (Nikola Tesla later pointed out to Shallenberger that the induction meter was a type of AC motor.) The meter went into commercial use within months, selling 120,000 units in 10 years. The ampere is a measure of current, and the ampere-hour a measure of charge. So power companies that used these meters charged by the charge.

    1893 –Monday What did the blonde do when she couldn't afford a personalized license plate? A: She changed her name to JKM345………….. France became the first country to introduce motor vehicle registration. Police in Paris required “number plates” to indentify mechanical vehicles

1894- Tuesday Dit dot ditty dit dot a ditty ditty
Dit dot ditty dit dot a ditty ditty
Dit dot ditty dit dot a ditty ditty
Dit dot ditty, Baby come home to me
…..The Capris…….Morse Code of Love……….The first wireless transmission of information using Morse code was demonstrated by Oliver Lodge during a meeting of the British Association at Oxford. The message was transmitted about 150 yards (50-m) from the old Clarendon Laboratory to the University Museum. Lodge had designed a device called a 'coherer' which  was a radio-wave detector and the basis of the early radiotelegraph receiver. Wireless is a term used to describe telecommunications in which electromagnetic waves (rather than some form of wire) carry the signal over part or all of the communication path. Unfortunately, Lodge stopped there. As  Today I Science History (an invaluable resource for the Editors of the Gnus) notes he later wrote in his romantic thriller, Work of Hertz and Some of his Successors, the idea did not occur to him at the time that this might be developed into long-distance telegraphy. Stupidly enough, no attempt was made to apply any but the feeblest power, so as to test how far the disturbance could really be detected. =.

   1900 – Tuesday I should warn you that underneath these clothes I'm wearing boxer shorts and I know how to use them……Robert Orben…………During the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Eight-Nation Alliance occupied Beijing, in a campaign to end the bloody Boxer Rebellion led by Floyd Patterson, Muhammed Ali, Sonny Liston, Joey Giardello, Carmine Basillio, Jake LaMotta, the Sugars – Ray Robinson and Ray Leonard, Macho Camacho, Archie Moore, Kid Gavilan, Boom Boom Mancini, Bobby Chacon, Joe Louis, and Gaspar Ortega   in China. At first, the Boxers - I-ho ch'üan ……..Righteous and Harmonious Fists but called Boxers by the West, wanted to destroy the Ch'ing dynasty (which had ruled China for over 250 years) and wanted to rid China of all foreign influence (which they considered a threat to Chinese culture). When the Empress Dowager backed the Boxers, the Boxers turned solely to ridding China of foreigners. On June 18, 1900, the Empress Dowager ordered all foreigners to be killed. Several foreign ministers and their families were killed before the international force could protect them. On this day, the international force, British, Russian, American, Japanese, French, and German troops,   took Peking and subdued the rebellion. With the end of the Boxer Rebellion, everyone in China now had to wear Briefs.

          1901 Wednesday  Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute……George Bernard Shaw……Two years and four months before Orville Wright’s flight, Gustave Whitehead, born in Leutershausen, Germany,  claimed to have made the first powered flight,  in his Number 21 near in Fairfield, Connecticut.    Understandably, there’s a bit of controversy hear since there is no official record of Whitehead’s flights.  The site Flying Machines sums it up as “The few newspaper reports made about his supposed flights all seem to be burdened by phrases such as "... flew at night to avoid crowds" and "It was reported that..." which hardly bolsters the argument made on his behalf. At least a few of the witnesses to Whitehead's endeavors stated reasonable observations, such as those of John S. Lesko, who affirmed in 1934 that "About September, 1901, I was present on the occasion when Mr. Whitehead succeeded in flying his machine propelled by motor, on a flight of 50-foot intervals at about four feet off the ground, for a length of time approximating a few seconds at a time." Perhaps the last word in the matter should be left to Gustave Whitehead's wife, Louise Tuba Whitehead, who never recalled seeing her husband fly in his flying machines.”

1903 – Friday If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls' sports, such as hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing, and such and such…….Homer Simpson………. Speaking of the Boxer Rebellion (see 1900 above) James J Jeffries knocked out (Gentleman) James J Corbett in the 10th round  to claim the  Heavyweight boxing title. Corbett had defeated the great John L. Sullivan (boxers had to have middle initials in those days) and defended the title just once before losing to Bob Fitzsimmons (no middle initial).  Corbett then challenged Jeffries in 1900 but was knocked out in the 23rd round.  He was back again on this day but only lasted until the 10th.

    1911 –Monday If you're hanging around with nothing to do and the zoo is closed, come over to the Senate. You'll get the same kind of feeling and you won't have to pay…..Robert  Dole………... United States Senate leaders agreed to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the Senate among leading candidates to fill the vacancy left by William P. Frye's death.  There were six senators and only five chairs and the music started and………….The President pro tempore is the senator who presides over the U.S. Senate in the absence of the Vice President.  This time, shockingly, the senate was divided and couldn’t come to a decision on Frye’s successor. After the kerfuffle between Republicans, conservative Republicans, and Democrats reached a compromise by which each of their candidates would rotate holding the office from 1911 to 1913. Twenty of the solons would hold the office during the next two years. Ten of them were Augustus Bacon, Jacob H. Gallinger – seven times, and future vice president Charles Curtis held the illustrious post for eight whole days.

    1912 –Wednesday …….Managua, Nicaragua is a heavenly place
You ask a seorita for a 'leetle' embrace
She answers you, "Caramba! scram-ba bambarito"
In Managua, Nicaragua, that's "No
”……. Albert Gamse and Irving Fields…………2,700 United States marines United States Marines, looking for beach front condos, sea shell clocks, and Caribbean scene cooking aprons, invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government installed there after José Santos Zelaya had resigned three years earlier when the U.S ramped up it’s meddling in the country. Minister of War General Luis Mena forced  President Juan Estrada to resign. Estrada's vice president, the conservative Adolfo Díaz, then became president. In mid-1912 Mena persuaded a Constituent Assembly to name him successor to Díaz when Díaz's term expired in 1913. Surprise! The United States refused to recognize the Constituent Assembly's decision, Mena rebelled against the Díaz government. A force led by liberal Benjamín Zelaydón quickly came to the aid of Mena. Surprise, Díaz, relying on what was becoming a bit of a tradition, requested assistance from the United States. In August 1912, the  force of 2,700 United States marines once landed again at the ports of Corinto and Bluefields. Mena fled the country, and Zelaydón was killed.

    1916 – Monday Q: What's big, black, noisy, makes a lot of smoke and cuts carrots in five?

A: The Romanian machine for cutting carrots in four. …….Romania declared war on Austro-Hungary, joining the Entente in World War I.  Your World War 1 scorecard: Germany - Declared war with Russia on 1 August 1914

Declared war with France on 3 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 9 March 1916
Austria Hungary: Declared war with Serbia on 28 July 1914
Declared war with Russia on 6 August 1914
Declared war with Belgium on 28 August 1914
Declared war with Portugal on 15 March 1916
France: Invaded by Germany on 2 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 16 October 1915
Russia: Declared war with Turkey on 2 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 19 October 1915  - we thought Russia would have more declarations but they spent a lot of time fighting themselves.
Great Britain: Declared war with Germany on 4 August 1914
Declared war with Austria-Hungary on 12 August 1914
Declared war with Turkey on 5 November 1914
Declared war with Bulgaria on 15 October 1915
Costa Rica: Declared war with Germany on 23 May 1918

    1933 – Monday Smoke on the water
A fire in the sky
Smoke on the water
….Deep Purple………….Loggers – they blamed it on friction caused by a falling Douglas fir - caused a forest fire in the Coast Range of Oregon, later known as the first forest fire of the Tillamook Burn. It  would not be extinguished until September 5, after destroying 240,000 acres (970 km).  But that was a temporary respite.  The Tillamook Burn was a catastrophic series of large forest fires that struck at six-year intervals through 1951, burning a combined total of 355,000 acres (554 square miles).  This first one was the largest The largest of the four fires—and the most devastating—began about noon in a logging operation on the slopes above the North Fork of Gales Creek, west of the town of Forest Grove. The near-record weather conditions on that day (104 degree temperature with a relative humidity of about 20 percent), a tinder dry forest made for a perfect storm.

1933 –Monday  The secret to shimming an NMR spectrometer is not to let your mind wander. The mind can play tricks on even an experienced shimmer. ….Chris Blake………..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Richard R. Ernst, Swiss chemist and Nobel Prize winner for for his pioneering work in the development of techniques for high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy - an analytical chemistry technique used in quality control and reserach for determining the content and purity of a sample as well as its molecular structure. This became a recognized tool for the exploration of atomic nuclei. As nuclei possess a magnetic moment they will tend to align themselves with any strong magnetic field, or whoever will pick up the check in an expensive restaurant. If, however, nuclei are subjected to radiowaves of the appropriate frequency, they will be raised to a higher energy level, and align themselves in a different direction with respect to the field. Because of Ernst’s work, nuclear magnetic resonance techniques became valuable tools in chemistry and also found application in other sciences.

    1935 – Wednesday I care about our young people, and I wish them great success, because they are our Hope for the Future, and some day, when my generation retires, they will have to pay us trillions of dollars in social security …..Dave Barry……….During the depths of the Depression, the United States Social Security Act  was signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, creating a government pension system for the retired. Social Security online tells us that as usual, the government was ready to hit the ground running; The SSB was an entirely new entity, with no staff, no facilities and no budget. The initial personnel were donated from existing agencies, and a temporary budget was obtained from Harry Hopkins and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Frances Perkins , Secretary of Labor, offered one of her Assistant Secretaries, Arthur Altmeyer, to be an initial Board member, and she even gave her high-backed red-leather executive chair to Altmeyer since the SSB had no furniture. The Board itself consisted of three presidentially appointed executives and such staff as they needed to hire.

    1936 –Friday  Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head, Tom Dooley
Poor boy, you're bound to die
….Kingston Trio………..Rainey Bethea was  hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in the last public execution in the United States.  Arrested for killing a 70-year-old woman while in the midst of a drunken burglary, he had cleverly left his  ring at the scene. Fingerprint analysis also helped establish his guilt. Bethea could be charged with for, robbery and rape. The former two indictments would have subjected him to electrocution at the state penitentiary. The rape charge still carried the punishment of public hanging in the local county seat. He  was charged only with rape.  The execution drew national media coverage focused on a black man being executed by a white, female sheriff (Florence Thompson) with the help of a professional hangman.  While the national media was orgasmic with tales of public celebrations – Time Magazine reported in 1936 that Every bar was packed to the doors. Down the main street tipsy merrymakers rollicked all night. 'Hanging parties' were held in many a home.  Perry Ryan,an assistant attorney general in Kentucky who wrote a 1992 book about Bethea's hanging, The Last Public Execution in America, and said witnesses didn't recall a rowdy atmosphere as Bethea died. He reported that the witnesses found the event “scary” and just stood there.

    1941 – Thursday At long last Mr. President……Winston Churchill…. Glad to have you aboard, Mr. Churchill ….Franklin Roosevelt aboard the USS Augusta. Optimists, Winston Churchill aboard HMS Prince of Wales and Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard the USS Augusta agreed to the Atlantic Charter of war at Placentia Bay, off the coast of Newfoundland. stating postwar aims and celebrating the birth of David Crosby (see below) . They declared they would seek no territorial gains but declared  that they were fighting the Axis powers to "ensure life, liberty, independence and religious freedom and to preserve the rights of man and justice."  There were eight points; (1) neither nation sought any aggrandizement; (2) they desired no territorial changes without the free assent of the peoples concerned; (3) they respected every people’s right to choose its own form of government and wanted sovereign rights and self-government restored to those forcibly deprived of them; (4) they would try to promote equal access for all states to trade and to raw materials; (5) they hoped to promote worldwide collaboration so as to improve labour standards, economic progress, and social security; (6) after the destruction of “Nazi tyranny,” they would look for a peace under which all nations could live safely within their boundaries, without fear or want; (7) under such a peace the seas should be free; and (8) pending a general security through renunciation of force, potential aggressors must be disarmed.  We were curious as to which ship the Charter was signed on and our research discovered that no one ever signed the “Atlantic Charter”, not anywhere at any time.  The text of what about a week later would be termed “The Atlantic Charter” was in the form of a mimeographed press release that was titled “Joint Statement”. It contained no signatures.

1941 – Thursday  Barney Gumble
David Crosby? You're my hero.
David Crosby
Oh, you like my music?
Barney Gumble
You're a musician?....The Simpsons………………. Happy Birthday, David Crosby, bloated American musician. Crosby was a founding member of Crosby, Stills (from Buffalo Springfield), and Nash (from the Hollies). Crosby earned many gold and platinum records and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 with original group,  the Byrds (Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke)  and in 1997 with Crosby Stills & Nash (and occasionally Neil Young).

1945 –Tuesday  I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too ……..Happy Birthday Steve Martin, American comedian, , actor and banjo player,  born in Waco, Texas. After years of stand up comedy - the arrow through the head was a staple – Grammy Award winning albums, his first movie, The Jerk, was one of his best.  The Editorial Board of the Gnus has also enjoyed Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Man with Two Brains, My Blue Heaven, All of Me, and Roxanne.  We could have done without, the Father of the Bride collection, The 3 Amigos, the shameful Pink Panther, compounded by a Pink Panther 2, and Sgt. Bilko.  His 2007 autobiography, Born Standing Up is a great read and his appearences on Saturday Night Live are must sees.

    1945 – Tuesday Won't you please surrender to me
Your lips, your arms, your heart, dear
Be mine forever
Be mine tonight
…..Elvis Presley………..Japan accepted  the Allied terms of surrender in World War II and the Emperor recorded the Imperial Rescript on Surrender (August 15 in Japan standard time).  During  the afternoon of August 14, Japanese radio announced that an Imperial Proclamation was soon to be made, accepting the terms of unconditional surrender drawn up at the Potsdam Conference. That proclamation had already been recorded by the emperor. The B Side was Don’t Be Cruel.  On September 2nd, 1945, a huge force of Allied ships gathered in Tokyo Bay. Aboard the battleship USS Missouri, the Japanese signed the formal surrender document, watched by thousands of Allied representatives and the crew. General Douglas MacArthur presided over the signing, accompanied by his former subordinate General Jonathan Wainwright, who had been a POW since 1942.

          1953- Friday I did it like this.   I did it like that.  I did it with a wiffle ball bat…….Beastie Boys…………David Mullany Sr. invented the whiffle ball (hollow plastic, sometimes with holes like swiss cheese – see August 1), a ball that curved when it was thrown, for his 13-year-old son.  Mullaney Sr., a former pitcher chose as his original medium a hard plastic ball that served as packaging for Coty perfume. After having his son and friends experiment with various designs, Mullany perfected on the Wiffle Ball - the design that still exists today of eight oblong slots cut in the top of a feathery plastic ball that weighs two-thirds of an ounce, less than a third of the weight of a baseball. The Wiffle ball got its  name  from baseball slang for a strike out is to whiff, except Mullany  left out the ‘h’.  In 2011 Time Magazine listed it as of the All-Time 100 Greatest Toys.


1956- Tuesday You know I can be found,
sitting home all alone,
If you can't come around,
at least please telephone.
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true
……. Washington DC disc jockey Bob Rickman formed  the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Elvis Presley after reading too many derogatory  news articles. Rickman claimed that too many news articles that make him out to be a hick and/or a threat to society.

    1959 –Friday Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence. ….Erma Bombeck…..The founding and first official meeting of the American Football League called by Lamar Hunt at Chicago's Conrad Hilton Hotel.  Charter memberships were issued to Dallas (Texans), Denver (Broncos), Houston (Oilers), Los Angeles(Chargers), Minneapolis and New York (Titans). Buffalo (Bills) and Boston (Patriots)  were admitted later that year. Play would begin in 1960.   Early in 1960, Minneapolis (the Vikings) defected to the National Football League and Oakland (Raiders) was picked as a replacement city. On September 9, 1960,  The Denver Broncos defeated the Boston Patriots in the first AFL regular-season game.  Hunt had been rebuffed in his efforts to establish an NFL franchise there, and in 1959, decided to form a new professional football league, which would be called the American Football League. On June 8, 1966, the league would merge with the National Football League.

1962 Tuesday  Get thee to a nunnuery.  Act 3, scene 1, Hamlet………Allegedly producer George Martin was unhappy with his drumming and, possibly, the rest of  the group unhappy about his teen idol looks so, Pete Best was officially let go from the Beatles. Actually he was on double secret probation since manager Brian Epstein didn’t inform  him until three days later.After an Orwellian performance at the Cavern Club (he was fired but Best didn’t know it)  and then  cutting off contact with the other members of the group. (Lennon admitted to the group's "cowardly" handling of the event in a later interview.)  Best was the victim of a Beatlectomy. Mediocre drummer Ringo Starr, drummer for fellow Liverpool scenemakers Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, was asked to join the group.

1965 Saturday  They say we're young and we don't know
We won't find out until we're grown
Well I don't know if all that's true
'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

I got you babe
I got you babe
Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe  arrived at  #1.  The opus replaced Herman’s Hermits Wagnerian I’m Henry VIII.   A week later Sonny and Cher would be knocked out of #1 by the Beatles’ Help.

    1969 –Thursday Whether it be a matter of personal relations within a marriage or political initiatives within a peace process, there is no sure-fire do-it-yourself kit…..Seamus Heaney ……..In Operation Banner British troops were  deployed in Northern Ireland.  It would be the British army's longest continuous campaign, lasting 38 years. The military operation to assist the police began in Northern Ireland when the Troubles flared up.  In total, 763 soldiers would go on to die as a direct result of terrorism in the conflict with republican paramilitaries. During the course of the operation, the army was also accused of murdering civilians, including the 13 who were shot dead on Bloody Sunday in 1972.  The Troubles is the term used to describe the periodic communal violence involving republican (Catholic) and loyalist (Protestant) paramilitary organizations, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), the British Army and others in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s until the late 1990s ending with the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998

    1971 – Saturday Our Bahrain,
Country of security,
Nation of hospitality,
Protected by our courageous Amir,
Founded on the principles of the Message,
Justice and Peace,
Long live the State of Bahrain!
……..Bahrain declares independence, cleverly naming itself the State of Bahrain.  Bahrain, which means “two seas,” is an archipelago in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia. A causeway connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.  After centuries of being ruled by the Persians, Bahrain became a British protectorate in 1820.

1971 –Saturday Havin' my baby
What a lovely way of sayin'
How much you love me
Havin' my baby
What a lovely way of sayin'
What you're thinkin' of me
I can see it, face is glowin'
I can see in your eyes
I'm happy you know it
……Paul Anka…………Ever the phooney nooney, Diana Ross became the proud mother of her first child, Rhonda Suzanne Silberstein.  Ross soon married her manager, Robert Silberstein, a few days later to mask the fact that the baby was actually the child of Motown's already married founder, Berry Gordy.

    1974 – Wednesday  A Greek and a Turk get into a car accident and it's a bad one. Both cars are totally demolished, but, amazingly, neither of them are hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the Greek sees the guy is wearing a T-shirt with Turkish written on it and says, "So you're a Turk. I'm a Greek. Just look at our cars. There's nothing left, but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days." The Turk replies, "I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God." The Greek continues, "And look at this. Here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of Retsina wine didn't break. Surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune." Then he hands the bottle to the Turk. He agrees, takes a few big swigs, and hands the bottle back to the Greek. The Greek takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap on, and hands it back to the Turk. The Turk asks, "Aren't you having any?" The Greek replies, "No...I think I'll wait for the police..."……………… Shades of the Ottoman Empire, as the  second Turkish invasion of Cyprus (Operation Attila II – we note that the first invasion on July 20 was Operation Attila I) began. 140,000 to 200,000 Greek Cypriots become refugees. One hundred and twenty six Turkish Cypriots were massacred.  Cyprus is he third-largest island in the Mediterranean and lies off the southern coast of Turkey and the western shore of Syria.  Cyprus was the site of early Phoenician and Greek colonies and for centuries its rule was a colonial musical chairs as it passed through many hands. It fell to the Turks in 1571, and a large Turkish colony settled on the island.  At the beginning of World War I, Great Britain annexed the island and it became a Crown Colony in 1925.  Things got ugly during the 1950s when the Greeks launched a war for union with Greece and later independence.  Meanwhile the Turks wanted the island partitioned so they could have a monopoly on the sales of Turkish Delight, carpets, kilims, Eval eyes, ceramics, tandır ekmeg, and kebabs.  It remains divided In fact, Nicosia the capital is the only divided capital in the world.

1975 Thursday  Hi, my name is Brad Majors... (Asshole!) ...this is my fiancee, Janet Weiss. (Slut!)…………The  British premiere (U.S premiere Sept. 26) of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Directed by Jim Sharman, Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon starred as a honeymooning couple who’s car breaks down.  Seeking help they end up in the residence of Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry). The movie was a film adaptation of the British rock musical stageplay, The Rocky Horror Show, written by Richard O'Brien.Th film became a cult classic when the Waverly Theater in New York started holding midnight viewings in April 1976.  By the time Halloween came around that year people had started to attend the midnight viewings in costumes and were talking back to the screen. The audience participation has kept it going…..all over the world.

    1980 – Thursday Follow me everything is alright
I'll be the one to tuck you in at night
And if you
Want to leave I can guarantee
You won't find nobody else like me
……Uncle Kracker…….Lech Wałęsa led the strikes at the Gdańsk, Poland shipyards.  They initially began in protest over the dismissal of militant crane driver Anna Walentinowicz.   With Walesa and other veterans of earlier workers' protests, the strikers decided to occupy the (Lenin)  shipyard instead of marching into the city and inviting a confrontation with troops. Spreading news of their action to other enterprises on the Baltic coast, they organized an inter-factory committee to negotiate with party leaders and demanded that the talks be broadcast on television. Eventually the regime granted most of their demands, and a new independent organization, Solidarity, is born and the Iron Curtain was rusting.

    1994 – Sunday   They accuse him of being a terrorist, but Carlos really was a revolutionary fighter,….Hugo Chavez ( who then went on to praise Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, and Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as "brothers" and said the late Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, may have been a misunderstood patriot.)….. Media chia pet and romantized  Marxist Venezuelan terrorist, Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also known as "Carlos the Jackal," was captured.  Ramírez Sánchez achieved notoriety for a 1975 raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, which killed three people. This was followed by a string of attacks against Western targets. For many years he was among the most wanted international fugitives. Carlos was dubbed "The Jackal" by The Guardian after one of its correspondents reportedly spotted Frederick Forsyth's 1971 novel The Day of the Jackal (a failed attempt to assassinate DeGaulle) near some of the murderer’s belongings.  The  French intelligence service - Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire- in collaboration with the Sudanese government caught him in a villa in the city of Khartoum and transported him to Paris. He was tried and wsentenced to life in prison for the assassination of two French agents and their informant in 1975.

          1994 – Sunday The noxious gases of Uranus could kill a man ……The Hubble space telescope photographed Uranus with rings. The rings had previously been discovered in photos sent back  by Voyager.  Remember the pronunciation of the planet's name has the emphasis on the first syllable, NOT the middle.  The rings are around "yure-ehnus", while you may have rings around yur AIN us, we don't really want to know. Of course if you insist on mispronouncing it, there is a list that can be interesting: there is methane in yur AIN us, yur AIN us has many moons, yur Ain us is gaseous, yur AIN us is greenish/blue......and so on....please feel free to add to the list if you are anal.  The rings of Uranus were first discovered in 1977 by the astronomical team of James L. Elliot, Edward W. Dunham, and Douglas J. Mink. When he first discovered Uranus more than 200 years ago, William Herschel also reported seeing rings, but that’s probably impossible, because the rings of Uranus are very dark and thin. Astronomers now know that Uranus has 13 distinct rings. They start at about a distance of 38,000 km from the center of Uranus, and then extend out to about 98,000 km.

1994-  Sunday  They say don't go on Wolverton Mountain
If you're looking for a wife
'Cause Clifton Clowers has a pretty young daughter
He's mighty handy with a gun and a knife
……..Claude King……Clifton Clowers, the real-life Tennessee mountain man who was the subject of Claude King's 1964 country hit Wolverton Mountain, went kaput at the ripe old age of 101.  Clowers was still on the mountain (which is actually spelled "Woolverton"). It appears that he couldn't keep suitors away from his daughter or any of his other daughters as well as the legend suggested.  He fell down somewhere since  as he left behind fifteen grandchildren, twenty-seven great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren

    1996 –Wednesday  Twenty two years after the Turkish invasion, Greek Cypriot refugee Solomos Solomou was murdered by Turkish forces while trying to climb a flagpole in order to remove a Turkish flag from its mast in the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus.

     2003- Thursday A major blackout knocked out power across the eastern United States and parts of Canada.A  high-voltage power line in northern Ohio brushed against some overgrown trees and shut down—a fault, as it's known in the power industry. The line had softened under the heat of the high current coursing through it. Normally, the problem would have tripped an alarm in the control room of FirstEnergy Corporation, an Ohio-based utility company, but the alarm system failed since the canary was already dead. It started at 4:10 p.m. ET and twenty one power plants shut down in just three minutes. Fifty million people were affected, including residents of New York, Cleveland ,  and Detroit, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. Although someone located a flashlight and some candles, power companies were able to resume some service in good time,however, the  power remained off in other places for more than a day.    In February 2004, after a three-month investigation, the U.S.–Canada Power System Outage Task Force concluded that a combination of human error, faulty canaries, overloaded extension cords, use of a 100 watt bulb in a 40 watt socket by Clyde C. Fentworth of Millerton NY,  and equipment failures had caused the blackout.

    2006 – Monday …. Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done ?"
God says. "Out on Highway 61".
……Bob Dylan…………Chencholai bombing  by the Sri Lankan Air Force in which rebel forces disguised as  61 Tamil girls were killed. Even after killing the 61 innocents, the Sri Lankans maintained it was a rebel base. After much hand wringing by the United Nations…nothing was done.

    2007 –Tuesday  I went to a Muslim birthday party last night. Damn if that wasn't the fastest game of Hot Potato I've ever seen! ………..The 2007 Kahtaniya bombings killed at least 796 people. Three suicide three suicide bombers , guess which religion, driving fuel tankers attacked towns in northern Iraq. Kahtaniya, near Mosul.  The attacks struck three villages west of Mosul that are home to the Yazidis, a pre-Islamic Kurdish sect.

Back to Calendar


This is National Relaxation Day and National Failures Day.  Obviously there is a connection here although Ozzie Nelson was a success and he was relaxed.

    778 –Tuesday  Count Roland lifts the horn up to his mouth,
Then sets his lips and blows it with great force.
The hills are high; the horn's voice loud and long;
They hear it echoing full thirty leagues.
King Charles and his companions hear it sound.
The king declares, "Our men are in a battle."
…..Stanza CXXXIII, line 1753, Song of Roland…………. The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland was killed.  Miffed because Charlemagne had torn down the wall of their city, Pamplona, a group of Basques ambushed  on the Frankish rearguard. Using their knowledge of the terrain, they decimated the Franks, plundered the baggage trains, tore up pictures of Edith Piaf, and captured much of the gold Charlemagne had received at Zaragoza.  The Battle of Roncevaux Pass is also remembered as the inspiration for one of the oldest known works of French literature, the Song of Roland (Hrodland, Count of the Marches of Brittany).  The poem is the first of the great French heroic poems known as "chansons de geste." It is written in stanzas of various length, bound together by the vowel - rhyme known as assonance. Chanson de Roland is sometimes confused with Chanson d’Amour by Art and Dotty Todd.

    927 – Friday – Searching for Maple Leaf Gardens but alas, in the wrong city, the Saracens (Canadiens fans)  conquered  and destroyed Taranto, one of the most important cities in the Byzantine possession in southern Italy.  Then the Byzantines rebuilt it  forty years later.

    1018 –Saturday  Grozna si kato salata (you’re as ugly as salad0….Bulgarian insult……….. In our Bulgarian history note of the day. Byzantine general Eustathios Daphnomeles  captured and then blinded Ibatzes of Bulgaria after a fifty five day siege, via trickeration. Ibatzes agreed to a private meeting with Daphnomeles.who hid in some bushes and when the Ibatzester appeared alone, Daphnomeles and two soldiers attacked and blinded him thereby ending Bulgarian resistance against Emperor Basil II's conquest of Bulgaria.

    1040 – Saturday But they're cousins,
Identical cousins all the way.
One pair of matching bookends,
Different as night and day
………Patty Duke Show theme song……….. King Duncan I was  killed in battle near Forres against his first cousin and rival Macbeth, aka Mac Bethad mac Findláich, who had a claim to the throne through his mother. Macbetth became King of Scotland.

1057  Saturday     Yet I will try the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damn'd be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!"
…Act 5, scene 8…………Yes Shakespeare fans, there really was a Macbeth, his wife was named Grauch. . On this day at the Battle of Lumphanan, King Macbeth of Scotland was slain by Malcolm Canmore (means "big head"), whose father, King Duncan I, was slewn by Macbeth 17 years earlier on this day .   Respected for his strong leadership qualities, MacBeth was a wise king who ruled successfully.   Shakespeare's play takes place over a year whereas in reality, MacBeth ruled for 17 years.

1195 – Tuesday Earthly riches are like the reed. Its roots are sunk in the swamp, and its exterior is fair to behold; but inside it is hollow. If a man leans on such a reed, it will snap off and pierce his soul. Buon Compleanno! Anthony of Padua, Portuguese saint, canonized in 1232.  First an Augustinian and later a one of the most loyal followers of St. Francis as a Franciscan friar, he his the patro saint of Portugal.  Franciscan friar, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of Portugal.

1461 –Thursday  We are the Sultans
We are the Sultans of Swing
…..Dire Straits……………Eight years after the fall of Constantinope (1453) to the Muslims, The Empire of Trebizond, comprised the entire southern coastal region of the Black Sea except its westernmost section, which, of course belonged to Nicaea, but you knew that, surrendered  to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II. This is regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire.  Muhammad forced Emperor David Comnenus  to surrender, and a few years later the sultan had him put to death together with all the Comnenus males. Trebizond was annexed to the Ottoman Empire.

    1483 –Wednesday I've grown a goitre by dwelling in this den —
As cats from stagnant streams in Lombardy,
Or in what other land they hap to be —
Which drives the belly close beneath the chin:
My beard turns up to heaven; my nape falls in
Fixed on my spine: my breast-bone visibly
Grows like a harp: a rich embroidery
Bedews my face from brush-drips, thick and thin
…..Michelangelo Buonarotti………The  Sistine Chapel was consecrated and and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere. Sixtus had the old Vatican Cappella Magna restored between 1477 and 1480. The 15th century decoration of the walls includes: the false drapes, the Stories of Moses (south and entrance walls) and of Christ (north and entrance walls) and the portraits of the Popes (north and south and entrance walls). The work was done by a team of painters made up initially of Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Roy Lichtenstein,  and Cosimo Rosselli.  The chapel is rectangular in shape and measures 40.93 meters long by 13.41 meters wide which are the exact dimensions of the Temple of Solomon, as given in the Old Testament.

1519 –Friday  Panama, Panama
Panama, Panama
Panama, Panama
…..Van Halen……………Panama City, Panama, was founded by Gaspar de Espinosa, chief alcalde of Darien, acting under the orders of the governor of Panama Pdrarias Davila.  . Six years after Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean, then called the South Sea.   Davila, decided to locate his capital city on the site of  an Indian village.On this day,  395 years before the opening of the Panama Canal, Pedrarias issued a proclamation promising to defend the capital for Dona Juana, the Queen, and Don Carlos, her son. Arrgh! When Henry Morgan looted the city in 1671, Panama's governor ordered the powder magazine burned and the whole city went up kablooey. The capital was moved two miles to the west, and present-day Panama City was founded in 1673.

    1537 – Sunday  America's health care system is second only to Japan... Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, ... well all of Europe. But you can thank your lucky stars we don't live in Paraguay! …….Homer Simpson………..A big day for city founding  (see Panama above) as Asunción,  actually Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Paraguay,was, yes,  founded. Pregant with exploratory anticipation after its founding, Asunción is known as the "Mother of Cities". It served as a base for the colonial expeditions departed to found other cities, including the second foundation of Buenos Aires and of other tourist attractions such as Villarrica, Corrientes, Santa Fe and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.  Juan de Salazar y Espinosa and Gonzalo de Mendoza, were sent in search of  the missing governor, Pedro de Mendoza.  They were unable to find him so they founded a city instead. On his way up and then down the river, de Salazar stopped briefly at a bay in the left bank to resupply his ships. He found the natives friendly, and decided to found a fort there, and voila!  Whereas the pirate Henry Morgan destroyed the original Panama City, it was Indians that destroyed the original Buenos Aries in 1641.  Guess where everyone went?  Did you say Asunción?

  1549 –Monday By the favor of God we all arrived at Japan in perfect health on the 15th of August, 1549. We landed at Cagoxima, the native place of our companions. We were received in the most friendly way by all the people of the city, especially the relations of Paul, the Japanese convert, all of whom had the blessing to receive the light of truth from heaven, and by Paul's persuasion became Christians. During our stay at Cagoxima the people appeared to be wonderfully delighted with the doctrines of the divine law, so entirely new to their ears. Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier, one of the great Christian missionaries,  arrived in the Japanese port of Kagoshima aboard a Portuguese ship. Xavier is  credited for his idea that the missionary must adapt to the customs and language of the people he evangelizes, and for his advocation of an educated native clergy—initiatives not always followed by his successors… usual, throughout history,  people’s behavior distorts religious ideas.

1717 – Sunday  On the road again -
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again.
On the road again
…..Willie Nelson…………Happy Birthday, Blind Jack, aka John Metcalf,  English roadbuilder.  Yes, he was blind.  He was the first of the professional road builders during the Industrial Revolution.  Jak had operated a trundle wagon over roads and was familiar with terrain,  He constructed a total of about 180 miles of roads in all. 

 1769 – Tuesday Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake……..Joyeux Anniversaire! Napoleon Bonaparte, (The  Little Corporal (Le Petit Caporal) and The Corsican.) the Corsican-born French military officer, one of history’s great military commanders and first Emperor of France.  In 1799, with Revolution turning corrupt, as many revolutions tend to do, he helped overthrow the Directory.  His legal reform, the Napoleonic Code, has been a major influence on many civil law jurisdictions worldwide, but he is best remembered for his role in the wars led against France by a series of monarchial (they saw the Revolution as a threat) coalitions There were quite a few coalitions, The first two c were against Revolutionary France. In 1793-1795, the members were England, the United Provinces, Prussia, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Piedmont-Sardinia, the Papal States, and the Kingdom of the Two SiciliesIn 1798-1799, the members were England, Austria, Russia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Ottoman Empire

The third coalition in 1805 comprised Britain, Austria, Russia and NaplesThe 'fourth coalition' in 1806 was made up of Britain, Russia and Prussia. This coalition is disputed by some historians: see here for details.The fifth coalition (from 1808 to 1809) linked Britain with Austria and SpainThe sixth from 1813 to 1814 comprised Britain, Austria, Sweden, Russia and Prussia.  Some of Napoleon’s greatest hits and misses……….the misses did him in:  1. Austerlitz, 1805
2. Dresden, 1813
3. Jena, 1806
4. Ulm, 1805
5. The Pyramids, 1798
6. Arcola, 1796
7. Rivoli, 1797
8. Craonne, 1814
9. Ligny, 1815
10. Marengo
And we’d include Borodino but even though the Russians would retreat, they could replace their losses in this horrific battle, the French couldn’t.
Major Misses include: Invading Russia,
2.  1809  Aspern-Essling
3.  1813  Leipzig and of course,
4.  1815 -Waterloo

1771 –Thursday  Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive……….Marmion………Co` latha breith sona dhuibh! Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet born in Edinburgh.  Speaking of Napoleon, (see above), Scott published a biography of Bonaparte, nine volumes in all, in 1827.   However, Scott’s fame is for his early poetry, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Marmion but mostly his nationalistic swash buckling novels, Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Waverly, and The Tale of Old Mortality.  His memorial, the  Scott Monument dominates Princes Street in Edinburgh.

1780 –Tuesday Swamp Fox! Swamp Fox! Tail on his hat, Nobody knows where The Swamp Fox's at. Swamp Fox! Swamp Fox! Hiding in the glen, He runs away to fight again.  ……..Folks of a certain age recall that flushed by the success of Fess Parker - Davy Crockett television series, Disney came out with, Elfago Baca (Robert Loggia), Texas John Slaughter (Tom Tryon – we loved the suble theme song Texas John Slaughter made ‘em do what they oughter. Cause if they didn’t they died). And so it was with Framcis Marion, the Swamp Fox had his own show starring Leslie Neilson of later Police Squad and Naked Gun fame. There really was an Elfago, a Davy and yes, a lawman named Texas John Slaughter.  We know that there was a Francis Marion because the editorial board of the Gnus worked at P.S 85 on  marion avenue in the Bronx.  But we digress.  On this day the Swamp Fox, a Lieutenant Colonel, and his irregular cavalry force of 250 thoroughly thrashed  a party of Loyalists commanded by Major Micajah Gainey at Port's Ferry, South Carolina. Marion acquired the  "Swamp Fox" nickname for his ability to strike and then quickly retreat without a trace into the South Carolina swamps.

         1794 Friday  A mushroom walks into a bar and orders a drink.  He is refused service by the bartender and says “Why not? I’m a fun guy.”Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen, Elias Fries, a Swedish botanist born in Femsjö, Sweden.  Fries was the developer of the first system used to classify fungi by the physical characteristics and forms of their fruitbodies - in particular the spore color, behavior on reality shows involving hillbillies,  and the structure of their spore-bearing surfaces  such as gills, pores, teeth, folds, smooth surface, and IQ as compared to Bridezillas.

1835-Saturday ………….And I looked out and it turned into a big field
And I looked up in the sky
And I looked up in the clouds
And I saw this face looking down at me
And it's a women's face
And she threw a quarter down at me and she said:
"honey, here's a quarter go put it in the washing machine"
…………..Sonic Youth…..A U.S. patent was issued for a rotary washing machine to C. H. Farnham.  It was hand cranked and rotated a perforated cylinder within a covered wooden shell. Clothes were put inside the cylinder through a hatch in the shell and a removeable panel in the cylinder.In 1782, Henry Sidgier was issued a British patent for a rotating drum washer, which consisted of a cage with wooden rods and a handle. American, James King patented the first washing machine to use a drum in 1851, the drum made King's machine resemble a modern machine, however it was still hand powered. The first patent for a washing machine issued in the U.S was granted  March 3, (we’ve also seen it as March 28 according to Lee Maxwell’s book Saves Women’s Lives: A History of Washing Machines) 1797 to Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire for "an improvement in washing clothes. However, the patent office was destroyed in the great fire of 1836., which means that there is no description of the device other than that it left women’s hands feeling soft and silky.

1839 – Thursday      Out of 200 fish in an aquarium, 99% are guppies. How many guppies must be removed so that the percent of guppies remaining in the aquarium is 98% ? Originally, there must have been 200 × 0.99 = 198 guppies. If x guppies are then removed, the ratio of guppies remaining is (198 – x) / (200 – x). Since 98% of the remaining fish must be guppies, the following equation results:(198 – x) / (200 – x) = 98/100………..Solving for x yields x = 100. Although the algebra is not difficult, most folks find it counterintuitive that 50% of the fish have to be removed from the aquarium to reduce the percent of guppies by just 1%. ……We thought we’d start with a guppy math problem since guppies are so good at multiplication……….Happy Birthday, R. J. Lechmere Guppy, English civil engineer, geologist, conchologist and paleontologist but most famous for those inexpensive little fish in your tropical fish tank that keep having live young that get eaten by other fish, the guppy.  Guppy discovered his eponymous t fish in Trinidad in 1866.  However, we note that,the fish had previously been described by Wilhelm Peters in 1859 .  Guppy  sent specimens to the British Museum, where the curator, Albert C. L. G. Gunther,  assigned it a species name of gupppii.

    1843 –Tuesday Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Friendly old girl of a town
'Neath her tavern light
On this merry night
Let us clink and drink one down
To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Salty old queen of the sea
……Danny Kaye…….The Line Cutters were already there.  You know them. There’s nothing worse than waiting in a long line, just to have some idiots  push by you to “join their friends in the front of the line”. …..  Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. Tivoli's founder, Georg Carstensen had seen “pleasure gardens”  on his journeys through Europe, and in 1841 he applied to King Christian VIII for permission to establish and run his 'Tivoli & Vauxhall' for five years.Carstensen's description of Tivoli was: 1. A Bazaar for trading Danish and foreign products2. A Concert Pavilion 3. A Theatre for Dance, Masques etc. 4. A Cosmorama or Panorama5. Fireworks platform 6. Swings, Merry-Go-Rounds, Slides etc. 7. Skittle alleys and other games 8. Billiards  9. A restaurant 10. Coffee houses and smoking salons11. Patisseries.  Strangely, there was no mention of, t-shirts, Tivoli refrigerator magnets, and other kitchy souvenirs.  Today Tivoli Gardens is the most visited attraction in Denmark, and it is the 3rd most visited amusement park in Europe.  Unfortunately not much of the original park remains (one notable exception is a wooden rollercoaster (Rutschebanen) which was built in 1914 making it one of the oldest in the world).  Denmark was occupied by Germany throughout much of World War II, and during this Nazi extended visit much of Tivoli burned down after it was bombed on June 25th 1944.

1848, Tuesday  A man goes to his dentist, says, "Doc, I've got yellow teeth, what should I do"?Dentist says, "wear brown suits"…..Henny Youngman……….The first U.S. patent for a surgical or dental operating-chair with adjustable elevation and tilt of the seat and back was issued to Waldo M. Hanchett of Syracuse, N.Y. (No. 5711). He called it an improvement in surgical or dental operating-chairs. Today in Science History notes that the chair included a footrest with adjustable elevation. We note that it must have had an attachment that could hold lots of objects for the dentist to stick in your mouth all at the same time as he engages you in conversation.  In 1850, J. D. Chevalier, of New York, made a head-rest for attachment to an ordinary chair and the hydraulic chair was patented in 1851, whileT. C. Ball patented the lifting jack in 1855.

1859 – Monday Robber: "Don't make a move, this is a stickup. Now, come on. Your money or your life."  Jack Benny paused, and and waited….and  waited.  The robber then repeated his demand: "Look, bud! I said your money or your life!" Benny snapped back, without a break, "I'm thinking it over!"  …………..Happy Birthday, Charles Comiskey, founder and  owner Chicago’s other team, the White Sox.  He also played for and managed the St. Louis Browns of the American Association during the 1880’s.  When Ban Johnson took over the struggling new Western League Comiskey assisted Johnson by purchasing the Sioux City franchise, which he shifted to St. Paul, and in 1900, to Chicago, where it was christened the White Stockings. By  1901 the Western League, now the American League was an equal of the established National League For the next 31 years, Comistkey, now dubbed "The Old Roman" was the driving force behind the White Sox, who won championships in 1901, 1906, 1917, and 1919. Of course 1919 gets a bit of an asterisk since they were the “Black Sox” who were bribed to throw the World Series to the Cinncinati Reds.  Many said that the players were susceptible to the bribes since Comiskey was a cheapskate who held their wages down. Nevertheless, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939/

         1877-Wednesday Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
………….Pink Floyd………Thomas Edison coined the telephone greeting "Hello." Edison wrote to a friend who was setting up a phone system in Pittsburgh: I don’t think we shall need a call bell as Hello! can be heard 10 to 20 feet away. What do you think? He suggested the use of hello to the president of the Telegraph Company to answer the phone instead of "Ahoy-hoy" suggested by Alexander Bell.  Edison had invented the carbon microphone that was used in the Bell telephone receivers so he had some interest in the matter.. Edison claimed “hello” was easier to hear. However, it’s not as if everyone ran around yelling hello at each other before the telephone,  Professor Allen Koenigsberg author of The Patent History of the Phonograph noted  that the greeting hello is a fairly recent invention and believed  the word wasn't in use much before Thomas Edison introduced it as a way to let a caller know you had picked up a ringing phone.

1892 Wednesday  But soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It speaks, and yet says nothing
. ……Romeo….. Romeo and Juliet: Act 2, Scene 2 …..Joyeux Anniversaire! Louis, duc de Broglie, French physicist, and Nobel Prize winner best known for his research on quantum theory and for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons. In 1923, as part of his Ph.D. thesis, he argued that since light could be seen to behave under some conditions as particles (photoelectric effect) and other times as waves (diffraction), it should considered that matter has the same ambiguity of possessing both particle and wave properties. Voila!  He was awarded the 1929 Nobel Prize for Physics.  Einstein built on de Broglie's idea of matter-waves; based on this work, Schrödinger (no comment from the cat) constructed the system of wave mechanics.

1896 – Saturday  I don't excercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor…….Joan Rivers……….”Vsechno nejlepsi k Tvym narozeninam! And Happy Birthday Gerty Cori, Czech/American biochemist, and later, the first American woman Nobel Prize winner. She met her husband Carl Ferdinand Cori while attending medical school in Prague.  The chemistry between them resulted in a 1920 marriage. They became U.S. citizens in 1928 and shared the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with Bernardo Houssay)  "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen." Which is, as we all know the biochemical process by which the body reversibly converts glucose to glycogen, explaining how carbohydrates supply energy to muscles during exercise and how carbohydrates are regenerated and stored until needed again by the muscles. Gerty Cori was the third woman to receive a Nobel Prize in science, the other two being Marie Curie and Irène Joliot-Curie.

 1896 –Saturday  I'm pickin' up good vibrations
She's giving me excitations
I'm pickin' up good vibrations
(Oom bop, bop, good vibrations)
She's giving me excitations
(Oom bop, bop, excitations)
Good good good good vibrations
…..Beach Boys………..S dniom razhdjenia! Leon Theremin, Russian inventor of the eponymous musical instrument the Thereminvox.  Theremin’s Thereminvox was/is a  machine whose pitch and volume could be controlled by the movements of the performer's hands -- without touching the instrument. We can think of many performers who should not be allowed to touch instruments. In 1927 Theremin emigrated to the United States, where he patented his Thereminvox in 1928.  and contracted with RCA to market and distribute them. During the '20s and '30s Theremin worked in New York and associated with high society, and his instrument gained fame thanks in part to the classical performances of Clara Rockmore. In 1938 Theremin was kidnapped by Russian agents and brought back to the Communist worker’s paradise.  He never got out again.  Beginning in the 1940s the Theremin was used for movie soundtracks, and most commonly associated with 1950s science fiction films such as the Day the Earth Stood Still.  You’ll hear on the Beach Boy’s Good Vibrations.  

1901 – Thursday I got algorithm
I got music
I got my girl
Who could ask for anything more ?....apologies to George Gershwin…
…S dniom razhdjenia! Pyotr Novikov, Russian mathematician who worked with algorithms.  Novikov showed, in 1952, that the word problem for groups is insoluble. Well thanks a lot! The word problem asks the fundamental question of whether there is an algorithm to determine whether a word in a group given by a presentation consisting of a finite number of generators and relations is trivial. The problem was first posed by Dehn in 1912 and Novikov was able to show that no such algorithm exists in general. So these two vertices walk into a bar right? And the bartender notices that they’re having an argument about their participation in Dijkstra ’s Algorithm. So the bartender says, “Hey guys, what’s the problem?”. And the one vertex says,”Well sir, my friend and I are having a minor disagreement. I think I have the shortest path back to the source vertex, and he thinks he has the shortest path back to the source vertex. We’ve been fighting about it for hours!” So the bartender just looks at both of them and says “Guys… just relax!”

1904 – Monday I was young and full of beans. It was wonderful to have been at the lab because it was fun. Serious fun. ……Happy Birthday, George Klein, Canadian inventor, in fact, one of the most prolific Canadian inventors of the 20th century. Among his inventions were  the electric wheelchair for quadriplegics patented in 1955,,the microsurgical staple gun and the development of the robotic arm Canadarm used on the space shuttle and on the International Space Station.

1911- Tuesday There was a mature gentleman wandering around in a supermarket calling out at intervals, "Crisco, Cris--co!" Finally a store clerk approached."Sir, the Crisco is on aisle five." "Oh," replied the old gentleman, "I'm not looking for cooking Crisco, I am calling my wife." "Your wife is named "Crisco? "Nah," he answered, "I only call her that when we come to the supermarket." "Oh? What do you call her when you are not in the supermarket?" "Lard ass."……….. Procter & Gamble Company (candle maker William Proctor and his brother-in-law, soap-maker James Gamble) of Cincinnati, Ohio, introduced Crisco, the epitome of fake food. The glop is a hydrogenated shortening to provide an economical alternative to animal fats and butter. The food product was initially named Krispo, but that involved trademark complications so P&G had to look for another name. They next try was Cryst which until someone in management noted a religious connotation. Eventually they chose the near-acronym Crisco, which can be derived from CRYStalized Cottonseed Oil.  To emphasize the purity of the product within, the Crisco can came inside an additional, removable over-wrap of white paper. Crisco, was the result of hydrogenation, developed by German chemist E. C. Kayser, new process which produced mouth watering shortening that would stay in solid form year-round, regardless of temperature just like the faces of some of the women on Real Housewife shows.

1912 Thursday Bounces, molds, stretches, snaps & more! ….slogan on silly putty case……Happy Birthday, Peter Hodgson, American marketing executive was an and entrepreneur who named “Silly Putty” and promoted it as a toy. In 1943, engineer James Wright was attempting to discover a synthetic rubber while working in General Electric's laboratory in New Haven, Conn. when he discovered that when he hadcombined boric acid and silicone oil, it produced an interesting gob of goo. Wright then  discovered it could bounce when dropped, stretch farther than regular rubber, didn't collect mold, and had a very high melting temperature. It was a lump of rubber-like material could be stretched, rolled into a bouncing ball, or used to transfer colored ink from newsprint…..sort of like a Happy Meal. Fast forward to 1949 when Hodgson convince toy store owner Ruth Fallgetter to sell it as “bouncing putty”.  When Fallgetter lost interest in the product, Hodgson marketed it himself as ………….  

    1914 – Saturdayisthmus be the place….Buckwheat…….. On the anniversary of the founding of Panama City, see 1519 above, The Panama Canal opened to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship SS Ancon. The history of the canal is a bit sordid.   The United States fomented a rebellion to get the land encouraging Panamanians to break away from Colombia. It runs generally southeastward from what was known as Cristobal on the Caribbean to Balboa on the Pacific Ocean.  The canal cuts across the lowest point in the continental divide and through one of the narrowest points between the two oceans. Before the Panama Canal was built, sea trade had to gone all the way around South America's sea sick inducing, Cape Horn. The initial cost of the project was $366,650,000.  While this was the official opening, the first transit completed through the Canal was done as part of a work routine on January 7, 1914, when the crane Alexander La Valley crossed the Pacific locks without any type of ceremony.  Cost to traverse the canal?  The highest Canal toll was $141,344.91, charged to a cruise ship called the Crown Princess, and the lowest toll ever paid was 36 cents by adventurer and author,  Richard Halliburton, who swam the Canal in 1928.