Gnovember Gnus
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Science Gnus Almanac  Home 

Gnovember is a busy month, Marie Curie's birthday, Robert Goddard's experiments with rockets. For the Romans, it was the ninth month. . We'll have Election Day, Veteran's Day (see bonus gnus), and Thanksgiving. Also, National Children's Book Week, Cat Week, Indian Heritage Day (the 25th), Favorite Author's Day, and National Stamp Collecting Week. It  is also a very busy day for presidential births featuring; Zachary Taylor, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Garfield and Warren Harding.  

This month's full moon is called the "Beaver Moon"

“Since golden October declined into sombre November / And the apples were gathered and stored, and the land became brown sharp points of death in a waste of water and mud.”…..T.S Eliot

“No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,/ No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, - November!”……Thomas Hood

Science Gnus is an almanacish compendium of News of Science, History, Mathematics and Items of Interest as well as Professor Sy Yentz, Dr. Matt Matician, the Activity of the Month, Factorinos, Trivia Question, Bonus Trivia Question, Extinct, Trivia Answers, Jokes, Obscure Question, Scientist of the Month, and the Flower Rock and Word of the Month

Calendar Highlights


365 – Monday A German is driving his car and a cop pulls him over to the side of the road. Cop: "Sir, do you realize that there are two poisonous snakes on your windshield?" The German: "Off course! Zey are my vinscreen vipers!" ……The Alamanni, a loose confederation of Germanic-speaking peoples living beyond the Rhine,  crossed the river and invaded Gaul. Emperor Valentinian I then moved to a pied-à-terre in Paris to command the army and defend the Gallic cities.  Things went downhill from there as Valentinian advanced to Rheims and sent two generals, Charietto and Severianus, against the invaders. The armies of Charietto and Severianus were promptly defeated and the generals rendered kaput.

846 –Thursday   French Soldier: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries…….Monty Python…… Bon anniversaire/Happy Birthday Louis the Stammerer, French king not to be confused with Louis the Debonair, Louis the Fat, Louis the Lazy, Louis the Young, Louis the Lion, Louis the Cunning, Louis the Quarreller, Louis the Prudent, Louis the Just, Louis The Sun King, and Louis the Headless. Louis was a son of was a son of Charles the Bald, Holy Roman Emperor and king of the West Franks and Beans. After a feeble and ineffectual reign of eighteen months during which the Pope tried to appoint him Defender of the Faith – Louis declined- the Stammerer went kaput at Compiègne on the 10th or 11th of April 879

1141 – Saturday Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me?"
……….Banjo Paterson ……
Empress Matilda's reign as 'Lady of the English' came to its denouement with Stephen of Blois regaining the title of King of England.  The death of Henry I's only legitimate son (William Atheling) in 1120 led him in 1127 to proclaim his daughter, Matilda heir to the throne. We note that Henry, that rascal,  had at least seventeen illegitimate children. Following Henry’s exit, Matilda returned to England after having married Geoffrey Plantagenet, "the Fair". Their first son, Henry (who would become Henry II)  was born in March 1133.  While  Matilda was running around and getting married, On Henry I's death, his nephew, Stephen immediately seized the throne. Many barons joined supported him because of their dislike of Anjou and the rather haughty Matilda. It didn’t help that she was a woman.  Civil war ensued.  Ultimately, When Stephen's eldest son, Eustace, went kaput in 1153, he bowed to the inevitable and recognized Matilda’s son Henry as his successor. Henry IIacceded to the English crown in 1154.

 1500 –Thursday  You dirty rat! You're the guy that killed my brother …..not James Cagney……….Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday, Benvenuto Cellini, Italian renaissance  sculptor/goldsmith/writer born in Florence.  Cellini most famous for his sculpture of Perseus holding the Head of Medusa and his autobiography which was written in the vernacular. Cellini would be the perfect subject for a movie or television series. In addition to his artistic accomplishments he was a soldier and occasionally broke the law.  He was banished from Florence for his alleged role in a brawl.  In his autobiography he claimed to play a role in the unsuccessful defense of Rome in 1527 against the forces of Charles VII, slaying the Constable of Bourbon in one attack and later killing Philibert, Prince of Orange, as well. In 1529 he killed a man who had killed Cellini's brother and, in another incident, wounded a notary of the city. He was imprisoned in 1537 on a charge of stealing gems from a tiara of the Pope. Where the Pope was when the gem went missing from his tiara is unclear. Intervention by Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara (for whom he had created a silver cup) and others brought his release, and Cellini left Rome and spent a few years at the court of Francis I of France before returning to Florence and concentrating on his art rather than his questionable lawlessness.

            1512- Friday I've already grown a goiter from this torture, 
hunched up here like a cat in Lombardy
(or anywhere else where the stagnant water's poison). 
My stomach's squashed under my chin, my beard's 
pointing at heaven, my brain's crushed in a casket, 
my breast twists like a harpy's. My brush,
above me all the time, dribbles paint
so my face makes a fine floor for droppings!
…………..Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome was opened to the public for the first time. (The lines were around the block and kept getting longer as tour groups were inserted into the middle of the line by their guides.)Michelangelo's ceiling frescoes (a fresco is a painting technique in which pigments suspended in water are applied to a damp lime-plaster surface), which took several years to complete, and now are among his most famous. The ceiling is a complex system of decoration featuring figures in nine panels devoted to biblical world history. The most famous of these is The Creation of Adam, a painting in which the arms of God and Adam are stretching toward each other with the fingers almost touching. And, while Charlton Heston starred in the movie, and suffered greatly with paint dripping in his nose  and broken nails,  The Agony and the Ecstasy, no, Michelangelo didn’t do the painting lying on his back. There was an elaborate scaffold system.  In fact, if one looks carefully, one can see the paint-by-numbers outline used by the great artist.  Not once did he paint “over the line”.  The chapel was originally constructed from 1473 – 81 by Giovanni dei Dolci for Pope Sixtus IV (for whom it is named, yes it was the ”joy of Sixtus” or “Sixtus in the City”). The ceiling frescoes were commissioned by Pope Julius II and painted from 1508 – 12. Michelangelo’ other famous painting(s) in the chapel was  the Last Judgment fresco on the western wall which was painted from 1536 – 41 for Pope Paul III. Take a close look at the fresco and find the  figure of St. Bartholomew, the martyr who was flayed alive.  Hanging from the saint’s hand is Michelangelo’s self portrait, his own face in the empty envelope of skin, a metaphor for the artist's tortured soul. The Gnus highly recommends, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King for a great description of the process.

      1520 –Monday  Do you think we should make a left turn up here?  No Magellan, go strait………..Professor Sy Yentz…….. The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America, connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, was first navigated by Ferdinand Magellan during his global circumnavigation voyage. It was another serendipitous moment in history as Magellan found the strait that is now named after him by chance. When two of his ships were driven towards land in a storm, the men feared they would be smashed against the shore. Then, just in time, they spotted a small opening in the coastline. The passage through the strait took over a month.

1585 –Friday The solar system has no anxiety about its reputation. ……..Ralph Waldo Emerson …….Wszystkiego Najlepszego!/Happy Birthday,  Jan Brożek, Polish mathematician, physician, and astronomer born in Kurzelów. Brożek was among the first supporters of the Copernican heliocentric model of the Solar System.  A polymath, he taught importance of geometry and, perhaps above all, of the usefulness of using letters as symbols for unknowns in algebraic equations.

             1604 – Monday I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at; I am not what I am…..Iago, act I, scene I……..Monday can be a tough day for a premier but it didn’t hurt as William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello was first performed, at Whitehall Palace in London before King James I and his court.  The famous Renaissance actor Richard Burbage was the first Othello, contrary to popular thought, Joan Rivers was not the first Desdemona.  The actors, known as the The King’s Men, (not to be confused with the Kingsmen of Louie Louie fame) were beginning their second season for King James I . As their patron James was somewhat more enthusiastic than Elizabeth , and would see the premieres of several of Shakespeare’s plays, including the Tempest in 1611 at the same site, and in 1606 Macbeth at Hampton Court .  See below

1611 – Tuesday  Miranda Sweet lord, you play me false. Ferdinand: No, my dearest love, I would not for the world. Miranda: Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, And I would call it fair play…….The Tempest: Act V Scene 1 …….The Tempest,….Shakespeare's romantic comedy, was first presented at Whitehall Palace in London. The Spanish Maze by Roger Stritmatter and Lynne Kositsky posits that the date may have been earlier, citing other Jacobean plays by other authors that show influence of The Tempest.

            1755- Saturday Unhappy mortals! Dark and mourning earth!
Affrighted gathering of human kind!
Eternal lingering of useless pain!
Come, ye philosophers, who cry, “All’s well,”
And contemplate this ruin of a world.
Behold these shreds and cinders of your race,
This child and mother heaped in common wreck,
These scattered limbs beneath the marble shafts—
A hundred thousand whom the earth devours,
…..Voltaire…..Lisbon, Portugal. An extraordinarily powerful earthquake, felt across Europe, rocked the city three times causing destruction of property, fires and three tsunamis. Over 60,000 people died, most drowning in the enormous tidal waves
. The earthquake struck in mid-morning during a high religious holiday, All Souls Day. Shortly afterward, t three large tsunamis swept over the city's harbor and killed many thousands of refugees. A week later, after uncontrollable fires and unremitting aftershocks, essentially the whole city of Lisbon was in ashes. The earthquake's cause remained a mystery because the tectonic activity of the region was not clearly understood since the plate boundary off southern Iberia—the peninsula occupied by Spain and Portugal—is not well defined. National Geographic reported that a  new study suggested that it happened as a result of subduction—the process of the oceanic lithosphere (the outer solid part of the Earth) diving beneath the continental lithosphere.

  1765 – Friday Such another Experiment as the Stamp-Act wou'd produce a general Revolt in America….. George Mason …….Despite widespread opposition in the American colonies, the British Parliament enacted the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenue for British military operations in America. People were required to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed……..seems very similar to many of the taxes we have today……. This should not be confused with the "Stamp Your Foot Act" - a tantrum thrown by young children and adults when they are angry or frustrated.
        1798- Thursday You’ve heard of General Wellington, 
Who won at Waterloo, 
But there’s a good old Irishman 
I’ll mention unto you. 
He comes from dear old Dublin, 
He’s a man we all applaud, 
For he always finds a corkscrew 
Far more handy than a sword.
  ……….J. Cready….Guinness Song …..La-breithe mhaith agat!/Happy Birthday, Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, Irish brewer born in Dublin. Guinness was the  first lord mayor of Dublin under the reformed corporation in1851. Guinness’ brewery became one of the largest in the world. He had taken control of his grandfather’s business in 1855.  Until his time Dublin stout was chiefly used in home consumption but he developed an immense export trade as expansion was on all fronts: in Dublin, in Britain, and, across Ireland after 1850. Beer was distributed by the new railways through an expanding network of agencies and stores. The company, with fewer than ten tied houses in Dublin, offered only tiny discounts and undertook the most minimal advertising. It  adopted Brian Bóruma's harp as its famous trademark in 1862. Basically Guinness relied on the fame and excellence of its two main beers, single and double stout, and its salesmen, agents, and bottlers. Professor Sy Yentz loves the stout in Ireland, he thinks the imported stuff tastes like swill.  With his success, when Guinness went kaput he was regarded as Ireland's richest inhabitant

        1800-Saturday Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy cause of you and our la, la, la…..
Crosby, Stills & Nash…..President John Adams, in year four of his only term as president, moved into the newly constructed President’s House, the original name for what is known today as the White House. It was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban, who won a gold medal for his design. John and Abigail Adams had been looking for a three bedroom, two-bathroom split level ranch in a good neighborhood with a small but manageable lawn for a small garden, good schools and perhaps a pool. They settled for 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, and 6 levels to accommodate all the people who live in, work in, and visit the White House. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators.

            1815-Wednesday …..we ought to have saints' days to commemorate the great discoveries which have been made for all mankind, and perhaps for all time—or for whatever time may be left to us. Nature ... is a prodigal of pain. I should like to find a day when we can take a holiday, a day of jubilation when we can fête good Saint Anaesthesia and chaste and pure Saint Antiseptic. ... I should be bound to celebrate, among others, Saint Penicillin..........Winston Churchill Happy Birthday, Crawford W. Long, American physician born in Danielsville, Georgia.  Long pioneered use of anesthetics.  He performed his first surgical procedure using sulfuric ether gas on March 20, 1842, when he removed a tumor from the neck of a young man. Though he performed more surgeries using anesthesia over the next several years and began using it in his obstetrical practice, Long did not publish his findings. Note: Anesthetics were named after Anna Sthesia, a Greek philosopher noted for her C-SPAN like monologues that put people to sleep.  There is a Crawford Long Museum in Jefferson, Georgia We don’t think visitors are administered anesthesia when entering the museum.

                 1848 – Wednesday The Doctor called Mrs. Cohen saying, "Mrs. Cohen, your check came back." Mrs. Cohen answered, "So did my arthritis!" …..Henny Youngman…….The Boston Female Medical School, first medical school in the world exclusively for women opened for its first 12 students.  The school was founded by Samuel Gregory, who disapproved of male doctors attending childbirth and so its early curriculum focused on midwifery (which is not a study of the middle wife of a man who has been married three times but the art and science of assisting a woman before during and after labor and birth). These first twelve students graduated in 1850.  In the same year it was expanded to include a full medical curriculum, and began to grant medical degrees to women.  The school operated for 26 years before it merged with Boston University School of Medicine, which thus became one of the first coed medical colleges worldwide.

            1863-Sunday Happy Birthday, The pen is mightier than the sword, and is considerably easier to write with…… Marty Feldman ………..George Safford Parker, American inventor born in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. Parker perfected the fountain pen - after failing to find a pen that wrote well and didn’t leak - and founded the Parker Pen Company to manufacture it. The key element in the Parker Pen was the “Lucky Curve” feed system, a system that allowed ink to flow back into the reservoir….instead of all over the paper, your fingers, your pocket or your purse.

         1870- Tuesday The storm starts, when the drops start dropping
When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping
……….Dr. Seuss……The first official weather observations made by U.S Signal Service- in twenty four locations.  Evidently, someone looked out the window and said, "It's raining by golly. Let’s tell someone.” That made a pretty good observation.  On November 8, the first "cautionary storm signal" was issued for Great Lakes shipping by Increase A. Lapham Also, thank you Jacob Bjerknes, see Nov. 2 below.  There had been unofficial observations prior to this date, The Naval Observatory began an observational program in 1838.Smithsonian observations began at the Institution itself, as well as at other locations in the area around 1850, continuing into the 1860s and early 1870s. Smithsonian records indicate weather  observations were taken at six separate sites during this period

        1871 –Wednesday  …..Under foot there were a few ghastly forms motionless. They lay twisted in fantastic contortions. Arms were bent and heads were turned in incredible ways. It seemed that the dead men must have fallen from some great height to get into such positions. They looked to be dumped out upon the ground from the sky. ……..Happy Birthday, Stephen Crane, American journalist, poet and  author born in Newark, New Jersey. Crane is the author of  The Red Badge of Courage published in  1895.  The action in the book is loosely based on the Battle of Chancellorsville, (Stonewall Jackson killed). Crane describes war from the point of view of an ordinary soldier. It has been called the first modern war novel. 

    1879- Saturday A bridge has no allegiance to either side….Les Coleman……The world's first all-steel railroad bridge was placed in service over the Missouri River at Glasgow, Missouri. It was built for the Chicago & Alton railroad. We know that the 2,700-ft five-span did not get a hernia since it had a truss.  It  took only a year to build but the Glasgow bridge was replaced, for heavier traffic, by a new bridge in 1900 reusing some of the substructure, but with Parker truss (truss, in addition to having faith in someone, is also a structural framework of wood or metal based on a triangular system).

            1880- Monday The Wegener hypothesis has been so stimulating and has such fundamental implications in geology as to merit respectful and sympathetic interest from every geologist. Some striking arguments in his favor have been advanced, and it would be foolhardy indeed to reject any concept that offers a possible key to the solution of profound problems in the Earth's history…..Charles R. Longwell………Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Alfred Wegener, German meteorologist and geophysicist born in Berlin. Wegener presented the first well-developed hypothesis of continental drift - plate tectonics in 1912.  It was one of the most important and far-ranging geological theories of all time. Naturally, when first proposed, it was ridiculed, but steadily accumulating evidence finally prompted its acceptance, with immense consequences for geology, geophysics, oceanography, and paleontology. Wegener found that large-scale geological features on separated continents often matched very closely when the continents were brought together. For example, the Appalachian mountains of eastern North America matched with the Scottish Highlands, and the distinctive rock strata of the Karroo system of South Africa were identical to those of the Santa Catarina system in Brazil. Wegener also found that the fossils (such as are found in the U.S Senate) found in a certain place often indicated a climate utterly different from the climate of today. Fossils of tropical plants, such as ferns and cycads, are found today on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen. Wegener suggested that about 250 million years ago all the present-day continents came from a single primitive land mass, the super continent which he named Pangaea which eventually broke up and gradually drifted apart sort of like Lucy and Desi.  He  was rendered kaput early in November 1930, in attempting to cross Greenland from an ice-cap camp to the Kamarujuk base on the west coast probably due to heart failure through overexertion.

            1880 – Monday Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army football team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the green plain below. Grantland Rice, New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 18, 1924. Happy Birthday, (Henry) Grantland Rice, American journalist born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  Rice was a writer for the Nashville Daily News, Atlanta Journal, Cleveland News, New York Evening Mail, New York Herald-Tribune and New York Daily News.  In 1921, Rice made the first radio broadcast of a World Series game. He also called the first complete World Series in 1922.

1887-Tuesday Why do chemists like nitrates so much? A: They're cheaper than day rates………………….Eleven years after the telephone was invented, the first differentiation between day and night long distance rates went  into effect, with night rates in most, but not all, instances lower than day rates. We found this item in This Day in Geek History but 4/5 iterations of the question found no other references so we’re not sure which phone company, where, or the rates.

1896 – Sunday You say it's urgent
So urgent, so oh oh urgent
Just wait and see
How urgent my love can be
It's urgent
……Foreigner……Opening the way for years of scholarly nature photos that would also titillate thousands of men and boys, a picture showing the unclad (bare) breasts of a woman appeared in National Geographic magazine for the first time. It was a photograph of a Zulu bride and groom in Witwatersrand, South Africa. The wedding was catered by Leonard’s of the Banshee River.  The decision to run the photo set a precedent to publish photos of indigenous peoples. Someone with a lot of time on their hands sifted through all 125 years of the magazine, they found that there had been 529 bare-breasted photos published throughout National Geographic's history. That inspired the idea to do a feature called "Naked Truth" in the October 2013 issue.

            1901- Friday Cancer is a word, not a sentence….John Diamond …..Dr. J.E. Gillman senior Professor of Materia Medica in the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago announced, at a symposium, an X-ray treatment for breast cancer.  Wilhelm Roentgen, Professor of Physics in Worzburg, Bavaria, had discovered x-rays in 1895. Dr. Gillman had performed the radiological procedure on patient, Mrs. Orrin W. Potter.

            1918 – Friday Will I see you tonight
On a downtown train
All of my dreams just fall like rain
All upon a downtown train
…..Tom Waits…… The Malbone Street wreck, at the time, the worst accident on a mass transit system occurred  in Brooklyn,  New York City as as a BRT (Brooklyn Rapid Transit) Brighton Beach line subway train -made up of five wooden cars -being driven by an overtired dispatcher who was  driving for the first time – the motormen were on strike- derailed killing 93 people. The Malbone Street wreck also contributed to the death of the BRT, which went into receivership a month later. It remained in receivership until 1923, when it was reorganized as the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation, or the BMT. The accident even managed to kill Malbone Street itself. The street became so synonymous with the grisly subway disaster that its name was later changed to Empire Boulevard.

1934 –Thursday Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the bull……oft quoted anonymous elementary school student………..A rabbit conceived by artificial impregnation, was the first such animal in the U.S. to be displayed.  Dr. Gregory Pincus, an American biologist, had removed an egg from the ovary of a female rabbit and fertilized it with a salt solution. The egg was then transferred to the uterus of a second rabbit, which functioned as an “incubator.” The rabbit, exclaiming "What's up Doc?" gave a mighty "ahooo, ahooo" and bounced down the road being pursued by a pudgy, odd looking, hunter who kept exclaiming "cwazy Wabbit". Pincus became quite controversial and was denied tenure by Harvard.  In 1891 Walter Heape in England reported the first known case of embryo transplantation from one rabbit species to another, thereby showing that it was possible to transfer the embryos to a gestational carrier without adverse effects other than being able to talk and being more intelligent than 21st century celebutards.

1938 – Tuesday In 1938... the year's #1 newsmaker was not FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. Nor was it Lou Gehrig or Clark Gable. The subject of the most newspaper column inches in 1938 wasn't even a person. It was an undersized, crooked-legged racehorse named Seabiscuit…..Laura Hillenbrand………Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race deemed "the match of the century" in horse racing. War Admiral had won the “Triple Crown”, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes earlier in the year. The five year old Sea Biscuit had won many stakes races and this match at Pimlico Racetrack (site of the Preakness in Baltimore) 1 and 3/16 miles was eagerly anticipated. Seabiscuit won by four lengths.  Grantland Rice, see 1904 above, wrote “A little horse with the heart of a lion and the flying feet of a gazelle yesterday proved his place as the gamest thoroughbred that ever raced over an American track. In one of the greatest match races ever run in the ancient history of the turf, the valiant Seabiscuit not only conquered the great War Admiral but, beyond this, he ran the beaten son of Man o’ War into the dirt and dust of Pimlico.”

             1946 – Friday  They're playing Basketball
We love that Basketball
They're playing Basketball
We love that Basketball
…..Kurtis Blow………The New York Knicks (Knickerbockers) played the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, in the first Basketball Association of America game. The Knicks would win 68-66. Ed Sadowski, with 18 points, and New York's Leo Gottlieb, with 14, led their respective teams. This  game was also notable for the absence of  tattoos, chest pounding, trash talking,  or posing “look at me, check me out” players on either team.  Sam Goldaper notes in the NBA Encyclopedia that Toronto tried hard to promote the game. They ran three-column newspaper ads bearing a photo of 6-8 George Nostrand, Toronto's tallest player, that asked, "Can You Top This?" Any fan taller than Nostrand would be granted free admission to the season opener; regular tickets were priced from 75 cents to $2.50.

1950 – Wednesday A President has to expect these things….Harry Truman….Puerto Rican terrorists  Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempted to assassinate President Harry S. Truman at the Blair House in Washington. D.C. Truman escaped unharmed. The two men had simply walked up to the door of Blair House (the Vice Presidential residence where Truman was staying while the White House underwent renovations) and opened fire.  Later attempts on the president featured blasting Jennifer Lopez recordings through a loud speaker and invitations to join Menudo.  They never made it past the entry steps, however, due to the quick reaction of police officers and guards. Secret Service Agent Leslie Coffelt was mortally wounded in the ensuing melee, but not before he managed to kill Torresola.  Torresola and Collazo were members of the extremist Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, a group fighting for full independence from the United States. These genius "Independistas," as they were commonly called, targeted Truman despite the fact that he was sympathic to their cause through his support of greater Puerto Rican autonomy.

1952- Saturday  If we can use an H-bomb--and as you said it's no checker game; it's real, it's war and nobody is fooling around--isn't it sort of ridiculous to go crawling around in the weeds, throwing knives and maybe getting yourself killed . . . and even losing the war . . . when you've got a real weapon you can use to win? What's the point in a whole lot of men risking their lives with obsolete weapons when one professor type can do so much more just by pushing a button?'……Robert Heinlein……Starship Troopers……The first test explosion of the H- Bomb – “Operation Ivy” (yes, this was the worst case of “poison ivy” that one can imagine) was held at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. The bomb, named, "Mike," was set off at 3,000 miles west of Hawaii. The "mushroom" cloud rose to top out in 5 minutes at 135,000 ft (the top of the stratosphere) and eventually spread to 1000 miles wide.   The USSR, thanks to its extensive espionage system, the country was like the kid next to you that spends peeks over your shoulder at your test, came up with its own H-bomb about a year later. So, Professor Sy Yentz, what is the difference between an atom bomb and a hydrogen bomb, we’re just as dead in either case, right?  Yes but there are more dead with an H-bomb which is the nuclear fusion of hydrogen isotopes. An atomic bomb, works by fission, not fusion,  uranium or plutonium is split into lighter elements that together weigh less than the original atoms, the remainder of the mass appearing as energy.     

1952 – Saturday …….Looking like a hero,
Six-gun at my side,
Chewing my tobacco.
Out on the horizon,
I see a puff of smoke.
Indians on the warpath,
(Indian voice) White man speak-em with forked tongue
……..Boys Don’t Cry…..And on the same day as the explosion of the first hydrogen bomb came the  premier of the epic movie triumph, Son of Geronimo, Apache Avenger – actually it was a 15 episode serial. The cinematic classic, Ingmar Bergman would have been green with envy, starred television’s Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) billed as Clay Moore as he mined for success, Rod Redwing as Porico, son of Geronimo, and Rance Rankin. Geronimo was   played by, really, a native American, Chief Yowlachie. Clayton Moore had left "The Lone Ranger" television series in a contract dispute and was replaced by John Hart for a year.

1956  Thursday She's my transistor sister 
With a radio on her arm 
No one can resist her 
Cause she's loaded with 
A musical charm 
…….Freddy Cannon……….John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley of Bell Laboratories were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing the transistor. Two years before the Prize was awarded, The Regency TR-1 was the first commercially-sold transistor radio, and was the first widely-sold transistorized product. It was designed and manufactured in the United States for just one year starting in Nov., 1954.  A transistor is a  semiconductor device that amplifies, oscillates, or switches the flow of current between two terminals by varying the current or voltage between one of the terminals and a third.  It replaced the much larger vacuum tube as it performs similar functions without requiring current to heat a cathode (or protestantode).

        1959 –Sunday Who was that masked man, anyway? …..weekly query on The Lone Ranger………It was Sunday and a good way to start the week with a new idea.  Goalie Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens became the first goalie to wear a mask in games on a regular basis. Note, Clint Benedict of the Montreal Maroons had 29 years earlier, but it was short-lived experiment….probably because it had no openings for the eyes, nose, or mouth….. ha, ha, ha) Many goalies of the era wore masks in practice, including Plante, but after his nose was broken by a hard shot in a game on November 1 in New York against the New York Rangers, he refused to come back in without his fiberglass face mask. Since there was no backup goalie with the team so Montreal coach Toe Blake gave in. Plante wore a mask from that game on. Les Habitants beat the Rangers 3-1.

            1964- Sunday Any way you want it
You can call me any day, hey, hey, hey
Any way you want it
You can always hear me say, hey, hey, hey……….
Yet another British Invasion band made its US television debut on CBS' Ed Sullivan Show: The vanilla Dave Clark Five, whose clean-cut image visibly relieved the host, who was still traumatized by the Stones riot of a few days' earlier. After the band played  Any way You Want It and the treacly Because Ed went out of his way to tag them as "nice, neat boys." Dave Clark was the drummer.  Lead singer was Mike Smith. The British Invasion would hit bottom with Freddy and the Dreamers causing the U.S to break off diplomatic relations. Also on hand for the fun were;  folk singer, Leon Bibb, singer  Dolores Gray, singer/impressionist Marilyn Michaels, comedians Alan King and Pat Buttram, and Rolando, a balancing artist.

1968 Friday  We can't be movie critics. It's not our job to evaluate the quality of a motion picture. We are simply providing guidelines for the parents of America …..Jack Valenti……The  MPAA -Motion Picture Association of America president, Jack Valenti,  film rating system went into effect with four ratings: G, M, R, and X, with three organizations serving as its monitoring and guiding groups: the MPAA, the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO….really), and the International Film Importers & Distributors of America (IFIDA).  Despite the howling of free-speech advocates, filmmakers, critics and the public, the MPAA ratings serve as the standard against which all other rating programs are measured.  The ratings replaced the earlier moral censorship guidelines, known as the Hays Code, which no one was paying attention to anymore anyway – see The Graduate, 1967.

1969 – Saturday We're caught in a trap
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much baby
…….Suspicious Minds, by Elvis Presley, hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The song was Presley's first # 1  in seven years and would be also his last. The following week it would yield the number 1 spot to Wedding Bell Blues by the Fifth Dimension. (it had replaced the Temptations’ Can’t Get Next to You),  Presley, who made huge contributions to the mainstreaming of Rock and Roll in the mid 1950s, was reduced (under the guidance of Col. Tom Parker) to a bloated, drug addled caricature who posed nightly in Las Vegas during the remaining years of his life.  His musical contributions were reduced to classics such as He's Your Uncle, Not Your Dad ("Speedway") Poison Ivy League ("Roustabout") Dominic the Impotent Bull ("Stay Away, Joe") Queenie Wahine's Papaya ("Paradise Hawaiian Style")          

1970 – Sunday And if I meet you,
What if I eat you?
I am the tiger
……….ABBA, then known as the Festfolk Quartet, played their first-ever concert at a Gothenburg, Sweden restaurant.  They have been giving people indigestion ever since.

 1977- Tuesday What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad……..Dave Barry…………Chiron, the farthest known asteroid (and birthplace of Cher) was discovered by Charles Kowal on a photographic plate taken on October 18. Chiron, located between Saturn and Uranus (reminder the correct pronunciation is "YOOR a nus" – so that Chiron is not located between Saturn and Your Anus) is a small asteroid about 200 km in diameter.  It is volcanically active suggesting that it may not have been in its present orbit for more than a few million years and my have originated in the Kuiper Belt, a disk-shaped reservoir of objects of sizes ranging from tiny particles to (the former planet, currently dwarf planet) Pluto or larger sized bodies at the outer edges of the Solar System.

            1984 Thursday  Caribbean Queen
Now we're sharing the same dream
And our hearts they beat as one
No more love on the run...............Caribbean Queen
(No More Love On The Run) by Billy Ocean swam to #1 on the Billboard Charts replacing one of many lows in Stevie Wonder’s disappointing career, I Just Called to Say I Love You.  Things would again take a turn for the worse as Ocean’s hit was swamped by Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.

1993 – Monday I was turned out because I said to Europe no, no, no. That no, no , no has now turned into yes, yes. Two yes's not three because he got the Social Chapter out and he's reserved his position on the single currency……Margaret Thatcher…… The Maastricht Treaty signed in signed in Maastricht, Netherlands on  February 7,  1992 took effect, formally establishing the European Union. The treaty, a carefully calculated plan of Belgian revenge on the rest of the world would result in corruption on a continental scale, the rule of politically correct Thought Police, pettifogging rules, anti-Americanism, anti-Christianity, and the appearance of Polish waitresses in Irish bars. There were originally  six founding countries — Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands — and, at last count, 28 and it reflected the serious intentions of all countries to create a common economic and monetary union.

1995 Wednesday  Your tale sir, would cure deafness….Miranda, act 1, scene 2…..384 years after its probable premiere at Whitehall Palace, The Tempest had yet another revival, this time at the Broadhurst Theater on Broadway. This was one of Shakespeare’s final plays –either this or The Winter’s Tale- as the magician and former duke Prospero, exiled on an island with his daughter Miranda for years, plots revenge on the brother who usurped his throne.  Magical island creatures joined in the fun. Patrick Stewart starred as Propero.

1998 – Sunday  Cell phones empower the ignorant and amplify the obnoxious…..Peggy Noonan……….Iridium inaugurated the first handheld, global satellite phone and paging system. Featuring pagers manufactured by U.S.-based Motorola and Japan-based Kyocera, would allow customers to receive alphanumeric messages of up to 200 characters in any one of 19 languages and numeric messages of up to 20 digits – allowing them to ignore other people virtually anywhere on the planet.

2000 –Wednesday 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 is hard to do
…….Neil Sedaka…….Serbia and Montenegro joined the United Nations…..we think…..sort of.  The U.N lists Serbia as being a member since Nov. 1, 2000 and Montenegro since 2006.   Well that certainly worked out well.  A European Union creation of 2003, the countries would be called Serbia and Monenegro andwere allowed to have referendums 3 years later.  Surprise!  When Montenegro held an independence referendum in May 2006, just over the required 55% of voters opted for separation from Serbia. The Montenegrins followed up soon afterwards with a declaration of independence and Serbia accepted the inevitable, declaring itself a sovereign state and the successor to the Union of Serbia and Montenegro.

2005 Tuesday I knew Pluto was popular among elementary schoolkids, but I had no idea they would mobilize into a 'Save Pluto' campaign. I now have a drawer full of hate letters from hundreds of elementary schoolchildren (with supportive cover letters from their science teachers) pleading with me to reverse my stance on Pluto. The file includes a photograph of the entire third grade of a school posing on their front steps and holding up a banner proclaiming, 'Dr. Tyson—Pluto is a Planet!'" The discovery of two possible additional moons around former planet, current dwarf planet,  Pluto, designated “S/2005 P1″ and “S/2005 P2,”  was announced. They were then named Nix and Hydra. Two more, Kerberos and Styx were found in 2013.  Probably more to come.

2007 –Thursday  With 10 to the 11th stars in our galaxy and 10 to the 9th other galaxies, there are at least 10 to the 20th stars in the universe. Most of them may be accompanied by solar systems. If there are 10 to the 20th solar systems in the universe, and the universe is 10 to the 10th years old -- and if, further, solar systems have formed roughly uniformly in time -- then one solar system is formed every 10 to the negative 10 yr = 3 x 10 to the negative 3 seconds. On the average, a million solar systems are formed in the universe each hour…..Carl Sagan……..3 new extrasolar (outstide our Solar System) planets about the size of Jupiter were discovered. They're named WASP-3 , WASP-4, WASP-5, - Professor Sy Yentz prefers the waspy names of Buffy, Biff, and Lance – (multicultural diversityists were outraged that ethnic names such as Shaniqua, Guillermo, Weng Ho, and Sal were not used)  and were discovered by a European team of astronomers using observatories in South Africa and the Canary Islands. The new planets were discovered using the Super WASP instruments (we thought polo mallets were WASP instruments).  These are high speed cameras affixed to two telescopes: SuperWASP-North at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma in the Canaries and SuperWASP-South at the South African Astronomical Observatory, South Africa


1470 –Wednesday-  …….They built you a temple and locked you away
But they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done...
Only the good die young
………..Billy Joel…………Happy Birthday, King Edward V of England ,1483. Son of  King Edward the IV and more famously known as one of the “Princes in theTower”.  After Edward IV’s death, his brother, Richard of Gloucester assumed “protection of young Edward V and his younger brother, Richard”. They were confined to the Tower of London and eventually declared illegitimate (Edward IV had a “woman problem” including the possibility that  as a young man he was rumored to wedded a “wench”). Not surprisingly, Gloucester named himself rightful heir to the crown as Richard III.  The two boys never emerged from the Tower and were never seen again,  apparently slewn by, or at least on the orders of, their Uncle Richard. During renovations to the Tower in 1674, the skeletons of two children were found, possibly the murdered boys.  Due to historical controversy which continued to surround the matter of the fate of the Princes in the Tower, King George V gave permission for the exhumation of these bones in 1933. An examination was conducted on the bones. They concluded that these were the bones of two children, the eldest aged twelve to thirteen and the younger nine to eleven. The heights of the two children were calculated to be four feet nine and a half inches and four feet six and a half inches respectively but identification was still uncertain.  Conspiracy stories are always fun and historical discord continued to surround the matter of the fate of the boys  You may wish to read Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time for yet another take on the kapution. Tey points the finger at Richard III’s successor, Henry VII.


 1734 Tuesday-  I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks………Happy Birthday Daniel Boone (brother of singer Pat Boone) frontiersman and explorer, born in Berks County, near present day Reading Pa. If you saw the story of Boone’s life on TV (not counting the Fess Parker shows – which were basically Fess playing his old Davy Crockett role but now as Daniel Boone) it would be hard to believe all of his accomplishments and adventures… 1775 Boone and 30 other woodsmen were hired to improve the trails between the Carolinas and the west. The resulting route reached into the heart of Kentucky and became known as the "Wilderness Road." That same year Boone built a fort and village called Boonesborough in Kentucky, and moved his family over the Wilderness Road to their new home. In 1776, Shawnee warriors kidnapped his daughter and two other girls. Two days later Boone caught up with the Indians and through surprise attack rescued the girls. In 1778, he was captured by another band of Shawnee. Boone learned that the tribe was planning an attack on Boonesborough. He negotiated a settlement with Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee, preventing the attack. The Indians admired their captive for his skill as a hunter and woodsman and adopted him into their tribe as a son of Blackfish. They named him Guppy.  

          1755 –Sunday-  Courage! The moment when my ills are going to end is not the moment when courage is going to fail me…………Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, MarieAntoinette, French queen consort to Louis VXI guillotined in 1793.  Marie Antoinette was born in Vienna, Austria, a daughter (the fifteenth) of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. After reading How to Win Friends and Influence People, Marie alienated the French Court and French etiquette by her behavior. She also alienated most of the French nobility. This made enemies for her husband the king…….not a good thing when the Revolution rolled around.  In fact by  1786 most of France hated Marie Antoinette. Scandalous stories became wide spread of Marie’s sordid private life. In December 1792, King Louis XVI was tried for treason, convicted and put to death in a monarchectomy. In January 1793, he was executed on the guillotine. On October 14, Marie Antoinette was awoken at night and faced the Revolutionary Tribunal and soon after was found guilty and beheaded. You can visit her cell in the Conciergerie in Paris.  And no, she never said, “let them eat cake” although if you research the origins there are as many versions as there are kinds of cake.  The most reasonable appears to be writer Alphonse Karr in 1843 claimed that the line originated with a certain Duchess of Tuscany in 1760 or earlier, and that it was attributed to Marie Antoinette in 1789 by radical agitators who were trying to turn the populace against her.  Jean Jacques Rousseau also used the term in 1766.

             1795-Monday- There is more selfishness and less principle among members of Congress...than I had any conception of, before I became President of the U.S ……Happy Birthday, James K. Polk 11th President of the U.S. 1844-1848 born in Pineville, North Carolina.  Polk was the only Speaker of the House of Representatives to be elected President. When the Democratic party's leading Presidential contenders Martin Van Buren and Lewis Cass failed to attract sufficient support to win the nomination, the deadlocked convention needed a compromise candidate. The Democrats' "dark horse" nominee was Polk.  Rarely does a president keep is promises.  Polk did. A believer in “manifest destiny”, he lead the nation to victory in the provoked war with Mexico and a confrontation with Great Britain over Oregon (“54-40 or fight”). Polk left office  having added California, New Mexico and Oregon to the nation.  During Polk's term of office, the United States acquired over 800,000 square miles of western territory and extended its boundary to the Pacific Ocean. The Polk Administration also achieved economic objectives by lowering tariffs and establishing an independent Federal Treasury. Polk was the last strong president before the Civil War and clearly accomplished the goals set at the beginning of his presidency.

          1815 –Thursday- Boola, Boola, Boola, Boola,
Boola, Boola, Boola, Boola,
When we're through with these poor fellows, 
They will holler Boola, Boo
,………….Alan Hirsch.   Happy Birthday, George Boole, English mathematician born in Lincoln. Boole came up with a type of linguistic algebra- Boolian Algebra- the three most basic operations of which were (and still are) AND, OR and NOT. It was these three functions that formed the basis of his premise, and were the only operations necessary to perform comparisons or basic mathematical functions. His two value system, separating arguments into different classes which can then be processed according to the presence or absence of a certain property, enabled any proposition - regardless of the number of individual items - to draw logical conclusions. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx…….Known as the “Father of Symbolic Logic”, think of him when selecting the appropriate options for connecting search terms to find information in search engines such as Google or Yahoo. But after all of that,  he still couldn’t balance his check book.

1824 Tuesday  Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything. ….Joseph Stalin……Popular presidential vote  was first recorded  recorded although it had no bearing on the election as Electoral votes were all that mattered. Using vote counting machines that would later be used in 21st century New York City, a breathless nation had to wait until December 1 for the results;  Andrew Jackson of Tennessee won 99 electoral and 153,544 popular votes; John Quincy Adams--the son of John Adams, the second president of the United States--received 84 electoral and 108,740 popular votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, who had suffered a stroke before the election, received 41 electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of Virginia won 37 electoral votes. But wait, there’s more.  Since no presidential candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the election of 1824 – 131 were needed- , in February 1825,  the U.S. House of Representatives votes to elect John Quincy Adams, who won fewer votes than Andrew Jackson in the popular election, as president of the United States.

1865 –Thursday-  I don't know what to do or where to turn in this taxation matter. Somewhere there must be a book that tells all about it, where I could go to straighten it out in my mind. But I don't know where the book is, and maybe I couldn't read it if I found it. …..Born on the same date as James K. Polk (see above) – but seventy years later, Warren G.  Harding, 29th President of the United States 1921-1923 born in Corsica, Ohio. Like Democrat Polk, Harding, from Ohio, was nominated to run for president by  the Republican Party as a dark horse candidate – on the 10th ballot- Republican leader Harry Daugherty thought he “looked like a president”. His running mate was Calvin Coolidge.  Harding is consistently ranked as one of the worst presidents of all time. He was inaugurated in 1921 and took over the White House from two-term Democrat Woodrow Wilson. The Harding administration is chiefly remembered for the Teapot Dome scandal, a messy tale of bribery, fraud, and federal oil reserves. He suffered a heart attack  -presumably after meeting the loony residents of San Francisco - and died while visiting the city  in 1923. He was the sixth president to die in office.

            1880 –Tuesday-  Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce...when you realize that the entire system is very easilycontrolled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not
have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate
……..So, in November we have the birthdays of “dark horses” James Polk and Warren Harding.  This day saw the election of another “dark horse” – James Garfield
 who won by a margin of only 10,000 popular votes – we’ve seen it as 7,368-, (although the electoral vote was 214 to 155) Garfield defeated the Democratic nominee, Civil War hero, GeneralWinfield Scott Hancock. Garfield would be assassinated in 1881 (making him the second President to be assassinated)  and succeeded by Vice President, Chester A. Arthur. He also had the distinction of being the first left handed President.  We highly recommend Candace Millard’s Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

 1889 –Saturday- Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable ….North Dakota state motto. Under God, the People Rule …..South Dakota state motto…..North and South Dakota were admitted to the Union; the first time that two states simultaneously became a part of the United States.  Earlier that year, after controversy over the location of a capital, the Dakota Territory was split in two and divided into North and South. Presumably, the North didn’t want a capitol named Pierre (perhaps they preferred Yves?) so they chose Bismarck (naming it after the German Chancellor).   President Benjamin Harrison (sandwiched between Grover Cleveland's two terms) had a concern about admitting the two states on the same day. Which one would be first? He decided it was easier to mix up the admissions papers so no one would know and just list the states alphabetically. That’s why North Dakota is the 39th and South Dakota is the 40th of the United States of America.

         1897-Tuesday-  Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather
Since my man and I ain't together,
Keeps rainin' all the time
…..Billie Holiday……..Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen/Gratulerer med dagen! /Happy Birthday Jacob Bjerknes, Swedish,Norwegian, American meteorologist born in Stockholm, Sweden. Bjerknes’  the father, meteorologist Vilhelm Bjerknes was the “father” of modern weather forecasting. Since they shared the same father that would make Jacob Bjerknes the “brother” of modern weather forecasting.  Bjerknes, was head of the department of meteorology at UCLA when the science of meteorology entered the computer and space ages during the 1950s. He was an early advocate of using photography from rockets to image atmospheric weather patterns, and he would later help usher in the use of satellites for the same purpose. Bjerknes' cyclone model was a key element in the Princeton atmospheric program used to obtain the first accurate computer-aided weather forecast in 1952. Bjerknes' later research focused on the energy exchange of the atmosphere and oceans and, specifically, the El Niño effect. His zepherus studies continued as he discovered that cyclones (low-pressure centers) originate as waves associated with sloping weather fronts that separate different air masses proved to be a major contribution to modern weather forecasting.

1902 Sunday  The car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete in the urban compound……Marshall McLuhan …….First four-cylinder, gas-powered Locomobile went on sale for the then very high price of  $750.  Previously  the Locomobile was steam powered. Take a look at the Virtual Car Museum site for some of the advertisments - Company founder John Brisben Walker purchased the rights to the Stanley Steamer from the Stanley brothers.  The company went kaput in 1929.

       1913 –Sunday-  Most people seem to think I'm the kind of guy who shaves with a blowtorch. Actually I'm bookish and worrisome…….Happy Birthday, actor Burt Lancaster, born in East Harlem, New York City. Among his films were; The Crimson Pirate (1952), From Here to Eternity (1953), Elmer Gantry (1960), for which he won the academy award as best actor and Atlantic City (1980).  He also turned down the roles of Dirty Harry and Patton as well as Ben Hur.

            1917 –Friday-  Dear Lord Rothschild, I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet. "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.        Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour
….. British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour expressed support for a national home for the Jews of Palestine in what would become known as the Balfour Declaration. It still affects the Middle East. The “declaration” was letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild that made public the British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Balfour Declaration led the League of Nations to entrust the United Kingdom with the Palestine Mandate in 1922.

            1920 –Tuesday-  George is a radio announcer, and when he walks under a bridge... you can't hear him talk…… Stephen Wright …….KDKA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began broadcasting as the first commercial radio station. The first broadcast was the results of the U.S. presidential election, 1920 (Harding beat Davis) from a Westinghouse Electric Company  building in East Pittsburgh. Actually the results were telephoned from the office of the Pittsburgh Post to KDKA. Someone, lost to history,  from the Westinghouse information office read them into a microphone in between, music from a phonograph was played into the microphone. Large numbers of people were tuned in. Harding won the election, and voila, modern radio broadcasting was born. The KDKA claim to be first is complicated by the fact that radio prior to 1920 was mostly experimental and good records were not kept for all "experimental" signals of contesting stations.  On Christmas Eve 1906, Reginald Fessenden broadcast a program with speech and music to an audience of amateurs and ship radio operators who had been previously alerted to tune in.

1920 - Tuesday  America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration ……Warren G. Harding…..And here are the election results referred to by  KDKA of Pittsburgh, see above.  In the battle of the buckeyes, Republican Warren G. Harding of  Ohio and running mate won the  Presidential Election beating Democrat James M. Cox, also of Ohio,  and running mate Franklin D. Roosevelt in  a landslide victory.  Outgoing President Wilson had become increasingly unpopular, and following his severe stroke in 1919 could no longer speak on his own behalf. The economy was in a recession, the public was weary of war and reform, and his sponsorship of the League of Nations produced an isolationist reaction. Other than that, things were fine. Harding virtually ignored Cox and essentially campaigned against Wilson, calling for a return to "normalcy"; with an almost 4-to-1 spending advantage.

1929 – Saturday Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he has not got much of a bark
And sure any he has it’s all beside the mark
….James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake….. Happy Birthday, Richard Edward Taylor  Canadian-American physicist born in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  Taylor shared the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics with Jerome Friedman and Henry Kendall for their experimental investigations that were important to the discovery of quarks. They provided conclusive evidence that protons and neutrons are not fundamental particles of matter, but are themselves comprised of quarks (pronounced kworks), even smaller subatomic particles. The existence of quarks had been predicted but never previously established. They fired beams of electrons into nuclei,  investigated the scattering caused by the particles in the nucleus, and found that when they fired high energy electrons the beams became highly scattered suggesting protons and neutrons were made up of smaller particles. These particles would later be identified as the quarks first discovered by Murray Gell-Man in 1964.

             1931-  Monday, Alas, my love, it might seem obscene
When I slip into my Neoprenes
'Cause when I wear them out to the stream,
They fit like a giant condom.
Neoprenes are my one desire.
They fit so snug and they keep me dryer
Than my old chest waders or stocking feet,
And they make me feel sexy, my Neoprenes
. ….Greg Keeler ……..The DuPont company, of Wilmington, Delaware, announced the first synthetic rubber. It was known as DuPrene, and is now known as neoprene. You’ll find neoprene in
automobile tires, wetsuits, soft coatings on exercise weights and the lips of most women in Hollywood.  The technical name for this synthetic rubber is polychloroprene. Polychloroprene is an organic compound, which means it is mostly composed of carbon (the “duct tape” of organic things – it holds everything together) and hydrogen atoms. And it is a polymer, or long-chained molecule, formed by linking together, end-on-end, many smaller molecules known as monomers.

1932 – Wednesday Neutrinos, they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass
. …..John Updike……Happy Birthday, Melvin Schwartz, American physicist born in New York City – attended the Bronx High School of Science.  Schwartz along with Leon M. Lederman and Jack Steinberger, received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1988 for their research concerning neutrinos. Neutrinos may sound like it but they are not a vitamin supplemented breakfast cereal.  They are subatomic particles that have no electric charge and virtually no mass – sort of like the Protestant Reformation. Using a beam of neutrinos, the team discovered a new kind of neutrino called a muon, and new information about the structure of particles called leptons. Turning on the TV they watched the news and learned about morons. Neutrinos are produced when unstable atomic nuclei or subatomic particles disintegrate and like many sub-atomic particles they are bizarre.  Neutrinos are ghostlike constituents of matter. They can pass unaffected through any wall, in fact all matter is transparent to them

1937 - Wednesday Well, now, they often call me Speedo/But my real name is Mr. Earl. ……Happy Birthday, Earl "Speedoo" Carroll doo wop singer born in Harlem.  Carroll was a major member of 50’s group,  The Cadillacs and then the The Coasters in beginning in1963.  

1938 – Thursday  Each time we part my heart wants to diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee …….Happy Birthday, Jay Black (born David Blatt) of Jay and the Americans born in New York City. Blatt changed his name so he could join Jay and the Americans, replacing former member J.T Traynor (of the Mystics) who had sung lead on She Cried. The new incarnation of Jay and the Americans had a string of pre-Beatles hits – Come a Little Bit Closer, Let's Lock the Door, Think of the Good Times, and Cara Mia.  With Cara Mia, they jumped the shark and future recordings focused on Black’s powerful voice.  There was a regrettable remake of Some Enchanted Evening, and in the 21st century Black later made several appearances on public television fund raising doo wop shows, sans The Americans,  where the highlight was his holding the note for “die” on Cara Mia as long as he could.


   1947- Sunday We'll have people come in and ask, 'Where is it?,'" "We'll tell them, 'Look up.' And they'll say, 'Holy cow!..... Philip Jaeger, director of operations, Evergreen Aviation Museum…..Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, at the time the world's largest plane – a huge seaplane in fact- , flew for the first and last time with Howard Hughes himself at the controls off Long Beach Ca..  The Goose flew for just under a mile at a height of 70 ft. and a speed of 80 mph. It then had to circle Newark Airport for 2 hours waiting for a landing gate.  The plane was 218 ft. long, had a wingspan of 319 ft. and was 79ft. high. It was built from wood  because of  WW II  raw material restrictions on the use of aluminum, and it’s name was actually H-4 Hercules.  After passing through several ownerships since Hughes’ death, the aircraft was acquired by the Evergreen Aviation Museum in 1995, who moved it by barge to its current home in McMinnville, Oregon  where it has been on display since.

   1948 –Tuesday - I had my sandwich and glass of buttermilk, and went to bed at six-thirty. And along about 12 o'clock, I happened to wake up for some reason or other, and the radio was turned on to the National Broadcasting Company. And Mr. Kaltenborn and Mr. Harkness were reporting the situation as it then developed. Mr. Kaltenborn was saying, "While the President is a million votes ahead of the popular vote, when the country vote comes in Mr. Truman will be defeated by an overwhelming majority." Mr. Harkness came on, and analyzed the situation as it was then, and as Mr. Kaltenborn had recorded it. And to the sorrow of myself, and to those who were listening with me, it looked very much as if the elction would be thrown into the House of Representatives because, of course, it was not possible for me to get a majority of the eletoral votes. I went back to bed, and went to sleep. ….When Harry S Truman went to bed, he was thinking he was losing the election for president of the United States to New York Governor, Thomas E. Dewey. Also in the race were southern Democrat – “dixiecrat” Strom Thurmond, and “Progressive” Henry Wallace.  The Chicago Daily Tribune printed the famous headline, “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”. Surprise!  President Truman managed to win 24,105,812 popular votes to Dewey's 21,970,065. More importantly he won 28 states and 303 electoral votes to easily defeat Dewey, who had only 189 electoral votes from 16 states.  The United States presidential election of 1948 is considered by most historians as the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every prediction (with or without public opinion polls) indicated that incumbent President Harry S. Truman and Alben Barkley would be defeated by Republicans  Thomas E. Dewey and Earl Warren.   

        1959 –Monday I have deceived my friends, and I had millions of them …..Charles Van Doren………The “Fifties Quiz Show Scandals”…. Charles Van Doren, whose success on the show Twenty One had made him a national hero (sort of like Ken on Jeopardy)  admitted to a House subcommittee that he had the questions and answers in advance of his appearances on the TV game show which, as we know, makes it a lot easier to answer the questions. In  August 1958, former contestant Herbert Stempel publicly declared that quiz shows were "fixed." Van Doren denied the accusation on the Today show. Twenty One producer, Albert Freedman had given him the answers to the next program's questions. Freedman had also coached him on his performance, and suggested ways to heighten audience suspense. After some months, Van Doren had begged to be beaten because the continual tension was becoming too stressful.

            1960 - Wednesday It was not the passion that was new to her, it was the yearning adoration. She knew she had always feared it, for it left her helpless; she feared it still, lest if se adored him too much, then she would lose herself, become effaced, and she did not want to be effaced, a slave, like a savage woman. She must not become a slave. She feared her adoration, yet she would not at once fight against it……..On a salacious note, Penguin Books was found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case. This was the first test of the Obscenity Act of 1959. A jury unanimously found the publishers not guilty after just three hours' deliberation.  What is now D.H Lawrence's best-known book was unknown during his lifetime. It was privately printed in 1928 two years before Lawrence's death and was a subversive tale of adultery between a rich woman and her husband's servan.  It went unnoticed until U.S. and UK publishers brought it to press in 1959 and 1960, respectively. Both publications inspired pulsating, throbbing, sweaty, high-profile obscenity trials--and in both cases, the publisher won. In case you were wondering, Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1749) by John Cleland holds the distinction of being the longest-banned book in U.S. history. It was initially declared obscene in 1821, a ruling that was not overturned until the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Memoirs v. Massachusetts (1966) decision. During those 145 years, the book was forbidden fruit--but in recent decades, it has attracted little interest from non-scholars since it is basically unreadable.

1963 Saturday I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did.” ….Kurt Vonnegut……The British paper, Daily Mirror inflicted the word “Beatlemania” on an unsuspecting world.  Reviewing the Beatles' concert the night before in Cheltenham, the Daily Mirror used the headline "Beatlemania!". Of course we also have; Gamomania: obsession with issuing marriage proposals, Onomatomania: irresistible desire to repeat certain words, Ablutomania: mania for washing oneself, Aboulomania: pathological indecisiveness (took us while to decide whether to include this one), Doromania: the obsession for gifts, Polkamania, craze for polka dancing, and Potichomania, craze for imitating Oriental porcelain.

1964- Monday If you are driving at the speed of light and you turn on your headlights, what happens?.....Unknown…………The fastest single engine, wheel driven car, the Autolite 999 driven by Bob Herda received a ticket for doing 357 mph in a 30 mph zone.  Costing over $50,000 – less than a well equipped Hummer nowadays- the car actually broke four land speed records.

1966 – Tuesday Guy Montag: Well, it's a job just like any other. Good work with lots of variety. Monday, we burn Miller; Tuesday, Tolstoy; Wednesday, Walt Whitman; Friday, Faulkner; and Saturday and Sunday, Schopenhauer and Sartre. We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes. That's our official motto…….The premiere of  Fahrenheit 451.  The Ray Bradbury novel of the future where the fireman’s job is to burn books.  The 451 is the temperature at which paper burns, or at least ignites.  The movie, directed by François Truffaut, stars Oskar Werner and Julie Christie. We were never Oskar Werner fans so we though he was miscast in the role of the fireman. Julie Christie was so beautiful that she didn’t have to act, so she rarely did.   Also on hand for the fun were; a lot of actors we never heard of.

1974-Saturday  I don't want them to forget (Babe) Ruth, I just want them to remember me………The Atlanta Braves traded Hank Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers for for Minor League prospect Roger Alexander and Dave May.  The traded ended Aaron's long run with the franchise. The trade came after the season that saw Aaron move past Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list. It did return Aaron to the city where his career started. The Braves were in Milwaukee until 1965. Aaron played two seasons with the Brewers and broke baseball's all time RBI record on May 1, 1975.  On  July 20, 1976, he hit his 755th and final home run off the California Angels' Dick Drago at Milwaukee County Stadium.

          1976 –Tuesday Mr. Carter quite simply abdicated the whole responsibility of the presidency while in office. He left the nation at the mercy of its enemies at home and abroad. He was the worst president we ever had…..Eugene McCarthy…….. Former Georgia and perennial space cadet, Governor Jimmy Carter became the first president elected from the Deep South since 1844.  Carter beat the hopelessly confused, slapstick President, Gerald Ford who had assumed the Presidency replacing the odiously criminal Spiro Agnew as Vice President and then the felonious Richard Nixon. The general election campaign began with Ford trailing by over 30 points in the polls. In the second candidate’s debate Ford made a major mistake in blurting out that Eastern Europe was free from Soviet domination.  This came as news to the Eastern Europeans currently under Communist domination. Not to be outdone, Carter gave an interview in Playboy Magazine (his advisors had told him to keep in the news, which Carter confused with nudes) in which he talked candidly about lust in his heart. Carter campaigned as an outsider intent on cleaning up Washington and  won a very narrow victory over Ford, due to his support from the south, labor, blacks and white ethnics

  1978-Thursday We don’t make these things up.  Well sometines in the descriptions but never the items.  The Partridge Family’s own David Cassidy made his debut as the lead character in a police drama, drama David Cassidy: Man Undercover. It lasted for ten episodes.  Along for the fun were Simon Oakland, perennial television second or third banana/frequent villain, someone named Wendy Rastattar as David’s wife,  and for the first episode, Bronco Lane himself, Ty Hardin.

      1982 –Tuesday  Cause we got a little ol' convoy 
Rockin' through the night. 
Yeah, we got a little ol' convoy, 
Ain't she a beautiful sight? 
Come on and join our convoy
…..C.W McCall………..A truck exploded in the Salang Tunnel in Afghanistan, killing an estimated 3,000 people, mostly Soviet soldiers traveling to Kabul. It is believed, the lead truck of  the Soviet military convoy collided with an oncoming fuel truck. Not good. The resulting blast and burning gasoline ignited other vehicles, and most of the deaths were believed to have been caused by asphyxiation from the smoke and fumes that filled the tunnel. The Salang Tunnel is is 1.7 miles long, 25 feet high and approximately 17 feet wide

       1984-Friday I believe that more people would be alive today if there were a death penalty…..Nancy Reagan ……..Velma Margie Barfield, a convicted murderer became the first woman to be executed since capital punishment was reinstated in North Carolina 1976. The Cuddly Mrs. Barfield, was a 52-year-old grandmother and serial poisoner who used arsenic as her instrument of choice.  She received a lethal injection at 2:15 a.m.  Barfield had slewn, Stuart Taylor, her fiance, by putting poison in his beer, her mother and two elderly people for whom she had been hired to care

 1988- Wednesday  From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell …..Shakespeare, Sonnett 71…………“Oops!” On a Wednesday,  a Cornell University graduate student named Robert T. Morris, created a computer "worm"  and it began replicating wildly, clogging thousands of computers around the country. When Morris realized what was happening he sent an anonymous message, instructing programmers how to kill the worm and prevent re-infection. However, because the network route was clogged BY HIS WORM!!!!, this message did not get through until it was too late. Morris, was later arrested, tried, found guilty (of technological stupidity?), fined and given probation. It seems Morris posed the question, How big is the Internet, you ask? And launched 99 lines of code in his quest for the answer. There were bugs in his code that caused affected hosts to encounter a plethora of stability problems that effectively made these systems unusable. The result was increased load averages on over 6,000 UNIX machines across the country which caused between $10,000,000 and $100,000,000 of damage.

1991 –Saturday Ooh
Baby, baby, baby
I wanna get romantic
Turn the lights down
It's time to get romantic
……..Karyn White’s "Romantic" hit #1 for one week on the "Billboard Hot 100" chart.  This was the second of three consecutive one-word song titles, replacing the bombastic wailing of Mariah Carey’s Emotion, and in turn being knocked from the top spot by Prince’s Cream.

        2000 –Thursday Oh, I was just dialling out for pizza and I didn't expect to end up in space….Barack Obama calling ISS……..An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts became the first permanent residents of the international space station, at the start of their four-month mission. After their Soyuz spacecraft linked up, William Shepherd, Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko entered the station, turned on the lights and life support systems, and proceeded to set up a live television link with the Russian mission control to confirm that the move-in was going well, although the movers had broken some china, damaged a couch and left scratches on an antique mahogany table.  The station is in a low Earth orbit and can even be seen from Earth with the naked eye: its altitude varies from 319.6 km to 346.9 km above the surface of the Earth (198.6 to 215.6 mi).  They were confined to two of the space station’s three rooms until space shuttle Endeavor arrived in early December with giant solar panels that would provide all the necessary power. But not before an arachnid looking alien popped out of Gidzenko's stomach and left Sigourney Weaver in her underwear………After the U.S. Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station, while Dragon became the only provider of cargo-return-to-Earth services.

            2009 –Monday The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage….. Mark Russell………The Cassini spacecraft weathered a flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus and sent images and data of the encounter back to Earth. Cassini had approached Enceladus more closely before, but this passage took the spacecraft on its deepest plunge yet through the heart of the plume shooting out from the south polar region. Cassini flew by Enceladus at an altitude of 100 kilometers and a speed of 7.7 km/sec.  In addition to finding ammonia on Saturn’s satellite, Cassini also found the point of origin of a mutant microbe that migrated to Earth causing brain defect that results in those people who ignore tongs or tissues and just stick their grubby hands into bagel or roll containers in supermarkets.


644 – Sunday  The enemy," retorted Yossarian with weighted precision, "is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on,…….Joseph Heller……. Twelve years after Muhammad’s kupution, Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Muslim caliph, after Abu Bakr,  was assassinated by a Persian slave in Medina.  After Muhammad’s death, Umar was in such a state of despair that he threatened to decapitate anyone who said that Muhammad was dead.

1333 – Tuesday  By Thursday noon, November 4, the Arno had swollen so vastly at Florence that it covered the whole plain of San Salvi... And at the first sleep of night the water washed away the city wall above the Corso de' Tintori... Thereupon the whole volume of the flood rushed into the city with such fury that it filled all Florence.... ……Giovanni Villani…….The River Arno flooding causing massive damage in Florence. The three greatest floods in the history of Florence, this one in 1333, the next in 1844, and, the worst, in 1966 all occurred in November

1493 FridayHe gave the world another world……George Santayana…….. On his second voyage to the New World, having set sail on October 13, (they would have left on the 12th but it was Columbus Day, a holiday.)  Christopher Columbus first sighted the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea. Many sources indicate that Columbus named the island after the day of the week on which he spotted it, a Sunday but the  Gregorian calendar makes this a Friday. Turning this into the very first Carnivale/Norwegian/Holland-America/Celebrity/Disney Cruise, the  merry fleet then discovered and explored a number of small islands, including Guadalupe, Montserrat, Redondo, Antigua and several others in the Leeward Islands and Lesser Antilles chains. He also visited Puerto Rico before making his way back to Hispaniola.

1500 SaturdayI say that the art of sculpture is eight times as great as any other art based on drawing, because a statue has eight views and they must all be equally good. ……. Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday, Benvenuto Cellini, Italian sculptor goldsmith and painter born in Florence.  Unfortunately, only a small number of his pieces survive as some of the owners had them melted and sold, when in need of money.  He is also famous for his self puffery autobiography, written in the vernacular .

1558 – Monday Then haste we down to meet thy friends and foes;
To place thy friends in ease, the rest in woes.
For here though death doth end their misery,
I'll there begin their endless tragedy
…..The Spanish Tragedy…… Happy Birthday, Thomas Kyd, English author and playwright born, probably, in London.  A contemporary Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, Kyd was almost forgotten until the end of the 18th century.  His most famous play, The Spanish Tragedy, was written between 1584 and 1589 was licensed for the press in 1592. Despite its full title , The Spanish Tragedie containing the Lamentable End of Don Horatio and Bel-imperia; with the Pitiful Death of Old Hieronimo, (not quite Death of a Salesman) , the play enjoyed  success all through the age of Elizabeth and even of James I and Charles I.

    1633 – Thursday Being pregnant is an occupational hazard of being a wife…… Queen Victoria ……..Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday, Bernardino Ramazzini, Italian physician, born in Capri, Italy.  Ramazzini first recorded  relationships between occupational environment and workers' illnesses and is considered a founder of occupational medicine.  In 1700 he wrote the first important book on occupational diseases and industrial hygiene, De morbis artificum diatribe (Diseases of Workers), it focused on such diseases as “Co- worker halitosis”, Co-worker lack of bathing”, “Boss Tantrums”, and “Copy Machine is Brokenitis”.

         1718- Thursday Do not make a stingy sandwich; Pile the cold cuts high. Customers should see salami coming through the rye……..Alan Sherman…… Happy Birthday, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, born in London, who invented the Montaguwich, It is said he invented the sandwich in 1762, because he often spent excessive amounts of time gambling and he didn't want to get up from the gambling table, so he told his servants to bring him meat sandwiched in between two slices of bread. Another version has him working long hours and not wanting to leave his desk so his servants brought him what would be called sandwiches. The truth may lie sandwiched between those two versions.  The explorer, Capain James Cook named the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) for him. He was also first lord of the Admiralty during the American Revolution.

         1749 – Monday Did Nitrogen and Oxygen walk into a bar? NO…….Happy Birthday, Daniel Rutherford, Scottiah chemist born in Edinburgh.  Rutherford found – but did not name – nitrogen (never did find daytrogen).  Rutherford kept a mouse in a confined quantity of air till it went kaput. He then burned a candle in that same confined area until the candle went out. He then burned phosphorus in what was left after that, until the phosphorus would no longer burn. Next, the air was passed through a solution that had the ability to absorb carbon dioxide. The air remaining now would not support combustion; a mouse could not live in it (the Rodent Liberation Front remains angry about this to this day)  and a candle would not burn.  He called what was left “phlogiston”. Antoine Lavoisier, the French chemist named nitrogen azote meaning without life. The name nitrogen was introduced by J. A. C. Chaptal in 1790.

1783 – Monday How dismal is the Lot of these we see,
Poor Guilty Suff’rers at the Fatal Tree !
Warn’d by their Fate, their Crimes O, Let us Shun
Least We, like them, transgress and be Undone
….inscribed on plaque at Tyborn….John Austin, a highwayman, was the last person to be publicly hanged at London's Tyburn gallows.  Situated at the modern intersection of Edgware and Bayswater Roads on the northeast corner of Hyde Park, the distinctive “Tyburn tree” — a triangular gallows capable of hanging over twenty prisoners simultaneously was the main place of execution for London until 1783. It was also the place where women were burnt for  was referred to as Petty Treason and High Treason and,  to make it inclusive,  soldiers were shot for military offences. 

1812 –Tuesday Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake…. Continuing the “he never should have gone to Russia……..and neither should anyone else theme”, Napoleon's armies were defeated (some say a tactical draw) at the Battle of Vyazma just outside Moscow as Napoleon began his retreat.  Nearly 30,000 French and 25,000 Russians saw action, and the French lost almost 7,000 causalities and 4,000 prisoners. The  Battle of Vyazma crushed French morale and signaled the beginning of the end.

1854- Friday We wanted to see if hormone therapy would do for elderly gentlemen what it would do for their best friends, elderly male dogs……. Dr. Charles Brenton Huggins…… Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!/Happy Birthday, Jokichi Takaminea Japanese/American biochemist born in Takaoka City.  Takaminea was one of the prime movers in the effort to send Japanese Cherry Trees to Washington D.C as a symbol of good will from the Mayor of Tokyo.  In 1901, Takaminea isolated the hormone adrenalin – now called epinephrine but everyone still calls it adrenalin -produced in the adrenal gland that causes the body to respond to emergencies. This was the first pure hormone to be isolated from natural sources. This means he would be “gland” to meet you.  He also He filed the first patent on a microbial enzyme States (a fungal amylase) in the United States in 1894

1863 – Tuesday Be it known that I, J. T. ALDEN, of Cincinnati, in the county of Hamilton and State of Ohio, have invented a new and useful Improvement in the Manufacture or Preparation of Yeast; and I do hereby declare the follow in g to be a full, clear, and exact description of the same……Patent application…. Yeast is Yeast and west is west….. J.T Alden of Cincinnati, was issued a yeast preparation patent for "an improvement in the preparation of yeast" which reduced concentrated yeast from a plastic or semi-fluid state to a dry granular form, a convenient way of preservation for future use. Why yeast?  Yeast is a living, microscopic, single-cell organism that, as it grows, converts its food – through the  process known as fermentation- into alcohol and carbon dioxide. We love yeast because fermentation is what endears it to winemakers, brewmasters and breadbakers.

1863 – Tuesday  Everything in the universe is thus linked. There is no separation between terrestrial physics and astronomy. There is no border between earth and sky. Charles Fabry……….Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Alfred Perot, French physicist born at Nancy.  Perot was co-developer with Charles  Fabry of the Fabry–Perot interferometer, a device used in spectroscopy to measure wavelengths by interference effects produced by multiple reflections between parallel half-silvered glass or quartz plates.  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five….Groucho Marx…..Fabry noted that the terferometer  was undoubtedly so successful because of Perot’s great talent for designing and building equipment

1868 – Tuesday I would feel myself recreant to do the duty imposed upon me if I did not defend their rights in this floor. . . I do not expect nor do I ask that there shall be any favor shown me on account of my race or former condition of that race…….Speech to the House of Representatives…….John Willis Menard was the first African American elected to the United States Congress. Because of an electoral challenge, he was never seated. Menard appeared to have won a special election to succeed the late James Mann, whose district encompassed New Orleans.  But wait, there’s more…his opponent, Caleb Hunt (who had lost to Mann), challenged Menard’s right to be seated. Despite the fact that Menard had won 64% of the vote, the House decided that  neither candidate qualified, leaving the seat vacant for the remainder of the final days of the 40th Congress (1867–1869). In the following Congress, Joseph Rainey of South Carolina won election to become the first African American seated in the House.

1868 – Tuesday I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers……….Union Civil War hero, Ulysses Simpson Grant – running as a Republican with Schyler Colfax as his running mate defeated Democrat Horatio Seymour, of New York, (with running mate Francis P. Blair) for the Presidency. Grant had not campaigned and made no promises. He won 214 Electoral votes to Seymour’s 80 although the popular vote was much closer -3,012,833 to 2,703,249.   This  was the first presidential election to take place during Reconstruction. Three of the former Confederate states (Texas, Mississippi, and Virginia) were not yet restored to the Union and therefore could not vote in the election.

1879-Monday  If it's 0 degrees today, and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow... how cold will it be ? …..Unknown………..Happy Birthday, Vilhjalmur Steffanson, Canadian explorer, born in Ames, Manitoba. Steffanson went on three expeditions into the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic, each of which lasted between sixteen months and five years. For supplies he relied heavily on local resources, and he adopted the Eskimo way of living, thus successfully demonstrating his theory that the rigors of existence in the Arctic were much reduced by the use of such techniques plus he like seal omelets. Steffanson was 41 years old before he learned to pronounce his first name and by that time he had changed it to Bob.  He published 24 books and more than 400 articles on his travels and observations

1883 Saturday I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons-of-bitches…
……Black Bart ( Charles E. Boles) staged his last robbery and held up his last stagecoach in Calaveras County, at Funk Hill, he took a Wells Fargo box,  mail and the celebrated jumping frog. Arriving at the point where the stage was robbed, the sheriff picked up a handkerchief, which incident marked the end of Bart’s career.. “At last we have a clew,” he said and directed his associates’ attention to the laundry mark “FX07” which eventually led to his capture in San Francisco at which time he said “Gentlemen, I pass”. He served just over four years and reportedly moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, (lots of crooks in Harrisburg, home of the Pennsylvania state legislature) after receiving a pardon. All told,  Bart bandit had stolen the grand total of  $18,000 during the eight years of his criminal career.

    1892-  Thursday  One ringy dingy... two ringy dingy. Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?....Lily Tomlin………… The first automatic telephone exchange, using the switching device invented by Almon B. Strowger, was opened.  While working as an undertaker in Kansas City and obviously having a lot of time on his hands, Strowger had developed a system of automatic switching using an electromechanical switch based on electromagnets. The Strowger exchange opened to the public in LaPorte, Indiana, Strowger’s hometown. There were about seventy-five subscribers, who were now able to bypass operators. Instead they got a recorded message “All of our customer care representatives can’t bother coming to the phone for your trivial problem.  You’ll just wait through  repeated commercials until we feel like getting around to you…… peasant.”

1903 Tuesday Alcanzamos por fin la victoria
en el campo feliz de la unión;
con ardientes fulgores de gloria
se ilumina la nueva nacion.

We finally attained victory
In the happy field of union.
With glowing splendour,
The new nation is illumined
…….National Anthem…Panama declared independence.  With the wink wink, nudge nudge, approval of the U.S. government and the presence of the U.S. Navy which just happened to be in nearby waters, Panama declared its independence of Colombia followed by de facto U.S. recognition three days later. Not wasting any time, on the  18th, Philippe Bunau-Varilla, representing Panama, met with Secretary of State John M. Hay in Washington, D.C., to negotiate the treaty that gave the United States in perpetuity – until Jimmy Carter gave it back- a strip 10 miles (16 km) wide across the isthmus for canal construction.. In return Panama was guaranteed its independence and received $10,000,000 outright plus an annuity of $250,000 beginning nine years later and free Faspass tickets to Disney World . The treaty was ratified by both countries in 1904, and the Panama Canal was completed in 1914.

1913 Monday Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman
…..The Beatles…………The 16th Amendment to the Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system. The amendment gave Congress legal authority to tax income and resulted in a revenue law that taxed incomes of both individuals and corporations. Wasting no time, in October of 1913, the same year the 16th Amendment was ratified, the federal government enacted its first permanent income tax law and on November 3 American citizens received information over the new national income tax. A married man living with his wife, with an income of $5,000 paid $10 a year and if his income was $10,000 he paid $60 per year. Also in 1913, the first Form 1040 was created.

1918 – Monday Jeszcze Polska nie zginela,
Kiedy my zyjemy.
Co nam obca przemoc wziela,
Szabla odbierzemy.
Poland has not yet succumbed. 
As long as we remain, 
What the foe by force has seized, 
Sword in hand we'll gain
. …..National Anthem………..Poland declared  its independence from Russia.  Well that certainly turned out well, at least until Sept. 1, 1939. This ended 124 after 124 years of partition and oppression by, in order, Austria, Germany (Prussia), and Russia.  It would become official on November 11 with the signing of the armistice ending WWI.  November 11 is Polish National Independence Day. 

 1930 Monday – ……so you say you wanna build your own tunnel
well don't forget a compass and a shovel
'cause if you dig too deep
you might miss by ten feet
……The Pulsars………. Dedicated on November 1, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel opened for  traffic.   The tunnel is the only existing sub aqueous international vehicular border crossing which means it is the only underwater-tunnel that crosses International borders in the world.  Located between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, The Detroit Windsor Tunnel connects the U.S. Interstates to Ontario's Highway 401. It is a large complex consisting of toll and inspection plazas on each side of the Windsor-Detroit border where you pay for your crossing and undergo inspections by Immigration and Customs.  It’s 4.50 to go from Windsor to Detroit but 4.75 to go from Detroit to Windsor.  People will pay anything to get out of Detroit. 

1933 –Monday  Nice event, Matt” he deadpanned. “It may have cost us the election. But beside that, it was great.”……Dukakis aide to event organizer Matt Bennett……Happy Birthday,Michael Dukakis, American lawyer, academic, and politician born in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Dukakis was the 65th Governor of Massachusetts - served longer in that post than any other person in history- and failed Democratic party presidential candidate, his running mate was……come on now……you know…..we’ll give you a few more moments………….Yes! it was Senator Lloyd Bentson of Texas,  vs. George Bush I in 1988.  Dukakis went a long way towards losing the election on Sept. 13, 1988 when he was featured in a photo op sitting in a 68-ton M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank with a silly helmet on.

           1941 - Monday  Navy Order No. 1 " By Imperial Order, the Chief of the Naval General Staff orders Yamamoto Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleets as follows: " 1. Expecting to go to war with the United States, Britain and the Netherlands early in December for self-preservation and self-defense, the Empire has decided to complete war preparation. " 2. The Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet will carry out the necessary operational preparations. " 3. Its details will be directed by the Chief of the Naval General Staff." ………….The order was issued by Admiral Osami Nagano, to attack the U.S Naval Base at  Pearl Harbor .The Combined Japanese Fleet received Top-Secret Order No. 1.: In 34 days, Pearl Harbor was to be bombed, along with Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines and no chopsticks were to be served with sushi. The Japanese had earlier perfected the art of the sneak attack on the Russians and the Russian Navy in beginning the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.

      1943 – Wednesday Antisemitism is unique among religious hatreds. It is a racist conspiracy theory fashioned for the needs of messianic and brutal rulers, as dictators from the Tsars to the Islamists via the Nazis have shown. …..Nick Cohen……….At the Majdanek Concentration camp in the Nazi's carried out "Operation Harvest Festival" to kill all Jews remaining in the Lublin District of Poland. The slaughter began at dawn when German Nazi SS troops rounded up large numbers of Jews and took them out into nearby trenches and shot them. It is estimated that in two days 42,000 men, women and children were murdered.

       1954-Wednesday The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away ……Linus Pauling (part of the famous singing group of Peter, Pauling and Mary), acknowledged by his colleagues as the most influential chemist since Lavoisier, won the first of his two Nobel Prizes- this one for Chemistry for his research into “the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances". Applying the recently elucidated laws of quantum mechanics, Pauling was the first to describe how atoms bonded to form a molecule. While the physicists regarded the new quantum theory as a solution to understanding physical events on an atomic scale, the chemist, Pauling had a different perspective.  He used quantum mechanics to describe the structure of the electron orbitals, bond angles, bond energies, interatomic distances, and find metal studs in the wall. Later, he was awarded a second Nobel Prize, this one for Peace for his efforts in creating the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Linus Pauling is the only individual in history to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes: for Chemistry in 1954 and the Peace Prize 1962.

·         1954 – Wednesday This is quite a problem, professor. If this keeps up, we'll have to suspend the international shipping routes. Have you found a way? Is there something we can do to defeat it? ……. The first Godzilla film was released in Japan. Godzilla would not appear in the U.S until 1956. Directed by Ishirô Honda, this was  the first appearance of the character of the same name as well as dozens of extras looking up at something off screen and running away in terror.  The giant reptile with radioactive breath was revived by nuclear testing and took it out on Tokyo. We note that Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) was added to the 1956 American version, Godzilla, King of the Monsters. Burr spends most of his time speaking into a tape recorder and watching Godzilla run around from a window.  The movie’s last line:  I can't believe that Godzilla was the only surviving member of its species... But if we continue conducting nuclear tests... it's possible that another Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again….Hoo Boy! We counted 30 Godzilla movies so far. Among them, the execrable Matthew Broderick remake of 1998 and Godzilla (Godzilla, King of the Monsters) [1954]

         Godzilla Raids Again [1955]

·         King Kong vs. Godzilla [1962]

·         Mothra vs. Godzilla [1964]

·         Invasion of Astro-Monster(Godzilla vs. Monster Zero[1965]

·         Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster) [1966]

·         Son of Godzilla [1967]

·         Destroy All Monsters [1968]

·         All Monsters Attack (Godzilla's Revenge) [1969]

·         Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster) [1971]

·         Godzilla vs. Gigan [1972]

·         Godzilla vs. Megalon [1973]

·         Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla [1974]

·         Terror of Mechagodzilla [1975]

·         The Return of Godzilla (Godzilla 1985) [1984]

·         Godzilla vs. Biollante [1989]

·         Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah [1991]

·         Godzilla vs. Mothra (Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth[1992]

·         Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2 [1993]

·         Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla [1994]

·         Godzilla vs. Destoroyah[1995]

·         Godzilla 2000: Millennium (Godzilla 2000) [1999]

·         Godzilla vs. Megaguirus [2000]

·         Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack [2001]

·         Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla [2002]

·         Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. [2003]

·         Godzilla: Final Wars [2004]……with more to come

             1957-Sunday Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it... We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog ……Oleg Gazenko…….Laika,(Russian for "Barker"), a female mongrel, became the first living creature to orbit the Earth aboard Sputnik II.- Sputnik I having been launched a month earlier on October 4.  Since the supply of food and air was limited and the Russians had no intention of bringing her back, Laika also became the first animal to go kaput in space. Laika's fate was described by Dimitri Malashenkov of the Institute for Biological Problems in Moscow who  revealed that data  received from the Sputnik 2 indicated that five to seven hours after launch, there were no life signs from Laika. As soon as the fourth orbit, it was realized that Laika had died from overheating and stress. The information was provided by medical sensors monitoring pulse rate (which had tripled during launch and took an extended time to return to more normal values). Laika had in fact survived just a few hours, and there was no truth in any orignal stories that the dog had lived through several days in orbit. About a dozen dogs travelled into space on the Sputnik series of space missions between Nov 1957 and Mar 1966. The later flights in many cases ended with the safe recovery of the canine passengers, including Vladimir Putin. However accidents resulted in the loss of life for four dogs.

1960 – Thursday Belly up, belly up to the bar boys
Better loosen your belts
Only drink when you?re all alone
Or with somebody else
Belly up, belly up to the bar boys
Better have a few more
And never whirl with a three-toed girl
………..The Unsinkable Molly Brown , music and lyrics by Meredith Wilson, choreographed by Peter Gennaro,  opened on Broadway. Starring Tammy Grimes and  Harve Presnell, the play, involving Titanic survivor, Molly Brown, would become an American theater standard. The show played a total of 532 performances at the Winter Garden Theatre.

 1962 Saturday See the way he walks down the street 
Watch the way he shuffles his feet 
My, he holds his head up high 
When he goes walking by 
He's my guy 
…….The Crystals  landed at  #1 hit with He's A Rebel-, written by Gene Pitney.  Unfortunately, it was not the Crystals.  According to Songfacts, While at Liberty Records as the company's West Coast A&R head in 1962, producer Phil Spector heard Pitney's demo of the song. Knowing it would be a hit, he promptly resigned and his boss, Snuff Garrett, produced a version by Vikki Carr to be released as her first single. Spector assembled his musicians to do HIS version, but the Crystals were 3000 miles away in New York City; so he recruited The Blossoms – the great,  Darlene Love, Fanita James, and Gracia Nitzsche - to sing He's a Rebel.   The song replaced Bobby Boris Pickett’s Monster Mash at the top but would in turn be knocked off by The Four Seasons, Big Girls Don’t Cry.

1962-Saturday (God put a song in the heart of an angel and softly she sang it to me)
I get to thinking lots of times about back when I was a lad
Of the old homeplace where I grew up of the days both good and bad
My overalls were hand-me-downs my shoes were full of holes…..
Clearly overwhelmed by the Crystals’ He’s A Rebel at the top of the rock chart, Billboard Magazine dropped the "Western" from its "Country and Western" chart title and changed it to Hot Country Singles (sounds like an Ozark dating service).  The first #1 Hot Country Single was Mama Sang A Song by Bill Anderson.  It would be replaced by Hank Snow’s I’ve Been Everywhere.

          1964 – Tuesday D.C. residents cast first presidential ……….. While DC residents did have representation in the early 1790’s, DC residents lost their right to vote in 1801 after the passage of the Organic Act, when Congress voted to take control of the District of Columbia. In 1961, the 23rd Constitutional amendment granted DC residents the right to vote in Presidential elections. In 1973, Congress passed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act giving DC the right to a local government (mayor and city council ----talk about The Forty Thieves……). read more below.

1964 – Tuesday I'm liberal up to a degree, I think everybody should be free, but if you think I'll let Barry Goldwater move in next door and marry my daughter, you must think I'm crazy. I wouldn't let him do it for all the farms in Cuba……..Bob Dylan…..,Capitalizing on the enormous wave of sympathy and nostalgia, vitriolic treatment of Conservatives by the media, allegations that his opponent would cut Social Security and other social welfare programs, and the after effects of the assassination of John F. Kenney, Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey crushed Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and William Miller of New York  for the presidency. Johnson had become the 36th president of the United States on the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963.  LBJ won 44 states and the District of Columbia with 486 votes. Senator Goldwater took just six states with 52 electoral votes.

 1969 Monday  The left maintains an iron grip on PBS…..Brent Bozell………….Public Broadcasting Service was founded on November 3, 1969.  It took over  its predecessor, National Educational Television (NET). PBS is made up of 354 member TV stations who collectively own PBS.  Unlike the model of America's commercial television networks, in which affiliates give up portions of their local advertising airtime in exchange for network programming, PBS member stations pay substantial fees for the shows acquired and distributed by the national organization.  That’s where those incredibly annoying fund raising poseur interrupt programing asking for money and offering tote bags.

           1973-  Saturday I had rather be Mercury, the smallest among seven [planets], revolving round the sun, than the first among five [moons] revolving round Saturn…….Johann Wolfgang von Goethe……….Mariner 10 was launched for the first flight to Mercury.  Mariner 10 was the seventh successful launch in the Mariner series, the first spacecraft to use the gravitational pull of one planet (Venus) to reach another (Mercury), and the first spacecraft mission to visit two planets.  The primary scientific objectives of the mission were to measure Mercury's environment, atmosphere, surface, and body characteristics and to make similar investigations of Venus as well as seek out Zsa Zsa Gabor and a race of Amazons as acknowledged in the 1958 documentary, Queen of Outer Space.  On it’s arrival at Mercury, Mariner was attacked by a mysterious object later identified as a Martha Stewart Flying Apron which attempted to redecorate its interior as it attempted to bore it to death.    

1974 Sunday A  Pui Lai Win Hotel guest had cleverly fallen asleep while smoking in bed. Smoke (which rises)  and heat (which also rises)  soon made their way toward the night club on top of the building where most of the victims had been enjoying a late night party. Although there were fire exits, they were locked to prevent patrons from leaving without paying their bills. Not good. Naturally, panic ensued as people scrambled to find way out amid heavy smoke. A total of 89 people were killed

1979 – Saturday Horrible villain, or I'll spurn thine eyes
Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head,
Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine,
Smarting in lingering pickle
……Cleopatra, Antony & Cleopatra, act 2, scene 5…..Five members of the Communist Workers Party were  shot dead and seven were wounded by a group of Klansmen and neo-Nazis as a "Death to the Klan" rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, backfired.  Flyers distributed by the Communist Workers Party for the event "called for radical, even violent opposition to the Klan”  Each side accused the other of firing first.  Some of the Klan members of were arrested but their trial for murder resulted in acquittals. The survivors then brought wrongful death suits against the Klan/Nazis and the city of Greensboro, resulting in a judgment for over $300,000.

1984 Saturday. And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.
……Bob Dylan…………In Tampa, Florida, serial killer Bobby Joe Long abducted and sexually assaulted 17-year-old Lisa McVey. She would manage to escape and information she provided to police led to the November 16  capture and arrest of Long, who was eventually found guilty of 10 murders committed in the Tampa area throughout the early ‘80s. Unfortunately, shoddy police questioning led to his two death sentences being vacated leaving Long with four 99-year sentences and 28 life sentences.

 1995 Friday  The seed ye sow, another reaps; The wealth ye find, another keeps; The robes ye weave, another wears; The arms ye forge, another bears. …. Percy Bysshe Shelley …….Speaking of Bob Dylan, see introductory quote above, Hootie and the Blowfish reached an out-of-court settlement with Bob Dylan for an undisclosed amount after courts ruled the adult alternative group lifted lyrics from Dylan's Idiot Wind from his Blood on the Tracks Album for their mega  hit Only Wanna Be With You..  Really, if you’re going to steal lyrics, find someone like the Bob Lind, not someone as well known as Bob Dylan.  Put on a little Dylan.  Bob Dylan: They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
I can't help it if I'm lucky…..
Hootie; Said I shot a man named gray
Took his wife to italy
She inherited a million bucks, and when
she died it came to me
I can't help it if I'm lucky

1998 Tuesday I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun
…..Michael Gore and Dean Pitchfield…..Ex wrestler, Jesse “The Body” Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota winning a three way race over Norm Coleman and Hubert Humphrey III.  Ventura ran on a platform of cutting taxes, reducing state government, and reducing public school classroom sizes to a 17 to 1 ratio.While he was at it, he  also supported a public debate on the viability of legalized prostitution.  In 2008 Minnesota elected a comedian to the senate.  No, a real comedian, not and inadvertent one like Charles Schumer of New York.

2002 Sunday For the first time we have discovered that a social variable, namely the presence of a spouse, can influence the brain's response to pain.  When people pay too much attention to another's pain it tends to reinforce that pain…… Herta Flor ……Studies were presented in Orlando, Florida at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience regarding the connection between back pains and spouses. Really.  We don’t make these up.  Enhance a wee bit, yes but ………..Overly solicitous spouses -- those who, for example, serve the suffering something to drink or fetch the television remote control -- actually reinforce pain in their husband or wife, researchers said. According to the findings in these studies, it was reported that back pains in a person could flair up simply by a spouse being in the room and that’s in addition to the headaches.  One of the methods of testing for this experiment included that which measures brain activity while being stimulated by touch. Variations of study included whether or not their spouse ignored or downplayed the pain.

2007 Saturday  Ridin' along in my automobile
My baby beside me at the wheel
I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
My curiosity runnin' wild
…..Chuck Berry…….In a Robotic car competition, the DARPA Grand Challenge,  teams were asked to build an driverless vehicle that would be capable of driving in traffic, performing complex maneuvers such as merging, passing, cutting off other drivers, giving them a robotic finger, driving 15 mph under the speed limit, driving 15 mph over the speed limit, parking and negotiating intersections in downtown Oro Grande. The event was seen as groundbreaking and the first time that autonomous vehicles had interacted with both manned and unmanned vehicle traffic in an urban environment. Tartan Racing, from Carnegie Mellon University in  Pittsburgh, won first place. The DARPA Urban Challenge took place the former George AFB in Victorville, California.

            2007 –Saturday  A plumber attended to a leaking faucet at the neurosurgeon's house. After a two-minute job, he demanded $150.  The neurosurgeon exclaimed, "I don't even charge that amount and I am a brain surgeon." 
The plumber replied, "I agree. You are right! I too, didn't either, when I was a surgeon. That's why I switched to plumbing."
………………..Aboard and outside the Space Shuttle Discovery (launched Oct. 23), physician astronaut, Scott Parazynsky, a medical doctor by profession, successfully stitched a torn solar panel, in a risky and unprecedented space walk to ensure an adequate power supply at the International Space Station. Parazynsky  spent more than four hours attaching the end of a robotic boom knitting together the damaged solar panels of the space station with makeshift wire "cufflinks" to fix the problems caused by a snagged wire when the panels unfurled.The mission was a bit dangerous  as touching the panels risked a shock from the 300-volt current they carried. Afterwards, Parazynsky told the ISS crew that they should “give it two aspirin and call me in the morning”.  Before work began everyone made sure that the solar panels were covered under the space station HMO and that Parazynsky had a referral letter from the primary physician.

Back to Calendar


         1429 – Wednesday Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there you will find it……..Mark Twain…….. Joan of Arc captured the Burgundian town  of Saint-Pierre-le-Moûtier. It was another of her successful direct assaults as her small army went over the walls.  A bigger challenge was preventing the victorious troops from raping and pillaging afterwards. This was Joan’s last victory. On May 23, 1430  she would be captured  at Compiègne and sold by the Burgundians to the English.

1501 – Monday Hello, I love you 
Won't you tell me your name? 
Hello, I love you 
Let me jump in your game
 …..The Doors………….Catherine of Aragon (later Henry VIII's first wife) met Arthur Tudor, Henry VIII's older brother – they would later marry.  It was a speed dating “Meet a Monarch” event. Catherine, the youngest child of Spanish rulers Ferdinand and Isabella, had been betrothed to Arthur at age 3.  Arthur was not yet 2. Now 16, Catherine had arrived in England to meet the love of her life.  They would be married on November 14.  Six months later, Arthur was kaput.  Eight months after that she was betrothed to Arthur’s younger brother, Henry, age 11. 

1576 – Thursday They're the Canada of France………Craig Ferguson…… During the Eighty Years' War -1568–1648-, in Flanders, Spain captured Antwerp which got them so excited that after three days the city was nearly destroyed.  The Eighty Years War was the war of Netherlands independence from Spain, which led to the separation of the northern and southern Netherlands and to the formation of the United Provinces of the Netherlands aka, the Dutch Republic. Antwerp is in modern day Belgium and it is important to note that a rule of war in Europe is that if you wish to invade another country, you have to go through Belgium first. Also, here is a list of “numerical” wars; 1454–1466 Thirteen Years' War, 1337–1453 Hundred Years' War (actually 116), 1568–1648 Eighty Years' War, 1563–1570 Northern Seven Years' War1, 594–1603 Nine Years' War (Ireland), 1618–1648 Thirty Years' War, and 1756–1763 Seven Years' War

    1677-Thursday- Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing… she goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays……Henny Youngman…………. A social note - The future Mary II, daughter of King James II of England married William, Prince of Orange (aka, King Billy, Mr. Caliban, William of Holland) of the Netherlands. The bride, wore a miniskirt by Mary Quant of Carnaby Street.  The groom wore  a big crown. The reception was held a Geert’s Windmills R’ Us with wooden shoe clog music by Douwe and the Dykes.  The monarchs would later be known as William and Mary. James II, (nicknames, the beshitten and Fiery Face…in Ireland he was Séamus á Chaca) a Catholic had been forced to leave England in 1688.  Protestants William and Mary were invited by Parliament to become the new rulers of the realm.

1765 – Monday Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it……Margaret Atwood……… Bon anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Pierre-Simon Girard, French mathematician and engineer born in Caen.  In 1798 he was among the scientific experts in many fields called to take part in Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt and in.  1799 he registered a patent to harness the energy of wave power in the form of a water turbine.  His work on a canal connecting the Seine and Ourcq came to a screeching halt when Napoleon met his Waterloo and the monarchy was brought back and Girard dismissed.

            1841-Thursday-  ………I've got the perfect place in mind
It's in the middle of nowhere only way to get there
You got to get a little mud on the tires…
..Brad Paisley………Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin Goodrich the industrialist who founded the B.F. Goodrich Rubber Co., born in Ripley, New York believe it or not.  His was the first tire company west of the Allegany Mountains. Yes, he never got tired of making tires until, of course, he retired (actually kaput at age 46).  Goodrich became involved in the rubber industry in 1869, becoming the largest stockholder in the Hudson River Rubber Company in New York. Goodrich faced stiff competition from numerous other rubber producers and decided to move his business to Akron, Ohio. He opened his Akron plant, the Akron Rubber Works, in March 1871

               1842 –Friday-  And the man keeps sayin’ Do you take this woman
to be your awful wedded wife?  Heh, heh
And then I started thinkin’  about no more winkin
At the pretty little gals a-boppin’ by.
No more dancin’and new romancin’
Lord, it made me want to sit down and cry.
Aw, no pool shootin’ and a rootinґ and a-tootin’
With the boys if I take you for my wife
. …….The Big Bopper………Another social note, see William and Mary 1677 above,  Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln at her sister’s home in Springfield Illinois, after a 3-year courtship. She was 23, the groom, 33. The bride, resplendent in a gown by Vera Wang and jewelry from Harry Winston, marched down the aisle with the then beardless Abe who was wearing a velvet burgund rented Calvin Klein tuxedo. 
About 30 relatives and friends attended the ceremony which was conducted by Reverend Charles Dresser. A reception was held at Anthony’s of  Springfield.  Music was provided by  Muskrat Mel and His Magical Wash Board.  

            1846-Wednesday-  She's got legs, she knows how to use them
She never begs, she knows how to choose them
She only lets you wonder how to feel them
Would you get behind them if you could only find them
….Z.Z Top……And they said he “didn’t have a leg to stand on”….the first U.S. patent for an artificial leg was granted to Benjamin F. Palmer of Meredith of New Hampshire. The limb had a pliable joint that worked noiselessly and preserved its contour in all positions. Artificial limbs were nothing new.  Stories of them date back to the age of Herodotus, 487 B.C.  In fact, the oldest artificial leg in existence is now in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London. It was exhumed with a skeleton form a tomb at Capus, Italy. It is described as  “Roman artificial leg; the artificial limb accurately represents the form of the leg; it is made with pieces of thin bronze, fastened by bronze nails to a wooden core. It probably belonged to Joan Rivers.

            1873 –Tuesday-   Any way you slice it, any way you slice it
You know you can't deny it, any way you slice it
…….Kiss……….A banner day in the  history of the liverwurst hero sandwich as Anthony Iske  of Lancaster, Pa. received a patent (US 144206 A)  for  a meat slicing machine. Descriptions have it looking like a mandolin, a musical instrument resembling a fat guitar, with a frame to hold the meat while sliding it against the blade.  One is actually listed for sale on eBay.  They called it "Machines for Slicing Dried Beef". No word on how many fingers got sliced in the process but that would take us back to 1846 and the patenting of artificial limbs – see above.  We checked Iske’s patents – There are others, US 253819A  and US 225387 A, the first issued March 9, 1880 and the second February 14, 1882, both issued to Anthony and Albert Iske. In 1898, Dutchman, Welhelmus Adrianus Van Berkel put together a concave blade, that precisely reproduced the movement of a hand and knife, and a mobile plate that slid towards the blade. So there it is and any way you slice it, it’s……………..

            1873- Tuesday The Smiths were shown into the dentist's office, where Mr. Smith made it clear he was in a big hurry. "No fancy stuff, Doctor," he ordered, "No gas or needles or any of that stuff. Just pull the tooth and get it over with." "I wish more of my patients were as stoic as you," said the dentist admiringly. "Now, which tooth is it?" Mr. Smith turned to his wife Sue. "Show him, honey." …..Remember, patents are issued on Tuesdays (see 1873 above).  The  first U.S. patent for a gold crown was issued to Dr. John B. Beers of San Francisco, California on "artificial crowns for teeth" . Although he claimed the process was like pulling teeth, Dr. Beers technique was to prepare a hollow metal crown which would be slipped over the projecting portion of the old tooth and secure to it so that it would continue to function for chewing as before, while also preventing further decay. A Dr. W.N Morrison claimed to have used gold crowns in 1869 according to the International Dental Journal vol. 4 but Beers using them in 1868. 

1879-Tuesday-  Put money in thy purse; follow thou the
wars; defeat thy favor with an usurp'd beard. I say put money in
thy purse. It cannot be long that Desdemona should continue her
love to the Moor—put money in thy purse—nor he his to her
……Iago………Othello Act 1, scene 3, 336–344 ……………..The first patent for a cash register was issued. (Registered?) James Jacob Ritty  and brother John invented that first cash register. It was intended to combat theft by bartenders in the Pony House Restaurant, his Dayton, Ohio tavern. The cash register operated by pressing a key that represented a specific amount of money. There was a bell to ring up sales. It also had a total adder that summed all the cash values of the key presses during a day. There was as yet no cash drawer. Ritty patented the design in 1879 as "Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier."

1879 Tuesday   The Short Memories Of American Voters Is What Keeps Our Politicians In Office. ……..Happy Birthday, William Penn Adair “Will Rogers” author and wit born in Oologah Oklahoma. Rogers, a “cowboy” entertainer, became one of the most well-known celebrities during the 1920s and 1930s. He started in rodeos but eventually his jokes were more popular than his lassoing.  Rogers went into  vaudeville act 1904 and  spent the next ten years performing his act around the country. He went into movies in 1918, and in 1929, he began making movies with sound as well as radio broadcasts

          1884 –Tuesday-  Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters. …….Democrat Grover Cleveland, Governor of New York, was elected president, (Vice President was Thomas Hendricks of Indiana)  defeating Republican James G. Blaine of Maine. Blaine’s only possible competition for the Republican nomination was  General William Tecumseh Sherman who ended speculation that he would run by making what has become known as a Sherman statement: "If nominated, I will not accept, and if elected I will not serve." The major issue in the election was the integrity of the candidates themselves. Blaine was attacked for his close relations with the railroad interests, from which it was claimed that he received financial benefits. Cleveland, on the other hand, was attacked for being immoral for his affair before his marriage with Maria Halpin, which produced a son. The Republicans would chant "Ma Ma Where's my Papa". Cleveland defused the story by telling the truth and blaming it on George W. Bush. He won the election in a close vote- 219 Electoral votes to 192 for Blaine. Cleveland then lost the 1888 presidential election to Benjamin Harrison but returned to office in 1892 when he defeated Republican Harrison.

            1884 –Tuesday  She thinks my tractor's sexy
It really turns her on
She's always starin' at me
While I'm chuggin' along
She likes the way it's pullin' while we're tillin' up the land
She's even kind of crazy 'bout my farmer's tan
……Kenny Chesney………La-breithe mhaith agat! Happy Birthday, Harry Ferguson, Irish engineer born in County Down. Fergueson invented the 3-point hitch for tractors,  hydraulic regulation of the working depth of the various implements linked to the tractor. . It was dubbed the "Ferguson System". After meeting with Henry Ford in 1938, it was agreed that the 3-point hitch system would be installed on the Ford tractors being produced at that time.

1899-Saturday-  Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.……….Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams (Die Traumdeutung)was published. The book is the classic text on dream analysis and interpretation. Freud believed that dreams are highly symbolic, containing both overt meanings (manifest content) as well as underlying, unconscious thoughts (latent content).  Freud even influenced music, almost sixty years later as the Everly  Brothers, sang All I Have to Do Is Dream.

1908 – Wednesday I did not imagine that the second half of my life would be spent on efforts to avert a mortal danger to humanity created by science………Wszystkiego Najlepszego!/Happy Birthday, Joseph Rotblat, Polish-English physicist and academic born in Warsaw.  Rotblat  and his creation, the Pugwash Conferences (named for the Canadian village in which they were held) on Science and World Affairs were jointly awarded the 1995 Nobel peace prize. He participated in Manhattan  project. After the war, he devoted himself to the peaceful application of nuclear physics.

             1916-Saturday-  Every little girl needed a doll through which to project herself into her dream of her future,………..Happy Birthday,  Ruth Mosko Handler, American inventor who created the Barbie Doll in1959 , a teenage doll with a tiny waist, slender hips, and a healthy bosom……as Handler said in 2002…… If she (a little girl)  was going to do role playing of what she would be like when she was 16 or 17, it was a little stupid to play with a doll that had a flat chest………Ken, a boy doll followed in 1961.She had named the dolls after her children. Handler co-founded the Mattel company in 1942. Most expensive of the dolls is “Divorced Barbie”.  With it you get Ken’s house, boat, and bank accounts.

            1916 –Saturday-  Same day as the inventor of  the Barbie Doll, ….And that's the way it is……..Happy Birthday, Walter Cronkite, American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for The CBS Evening News. Cronkite anchored The CBS Evening News for two decades. It was television's most watched newscast, and Cronkite's dead-serious demeanor, no happy talk, no on the lighter side, just straight news,  earned his reputation as "the most trusted man in America". Cronkite was also a reporter having worked his way through newspapers, covering WWII, radio and then to television beginning with the show, You are There. No one around on November 22, 1963 will ever forget his reporting of the Kennedy assassination.  Also note, that born on the same day, different year – 1969 was relentless self promoter and  societal parasite, Sean (Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Diddy) Combs.

            1922-Saturday-  “Tut Tut….Mummy Dearest”. King Tut (King Tut)
Now when he was a young man
He never thought he'd see (King Tut)
People stand in line
To see the boy king (King Tut)
……Steve Martin…………The  entrance to King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in Egypt in the Valley of the Kings where the English archaeologist Howard Carter had been making extended excavations. Later in the month, Carter would actually open the virtually intact tomb of the, then, largely unknown child-king Tutankhamen, who became pharaoh at age 9 and died at 19.  During his reign, his powerful advisers restored the traditional Egyptian religion and art, both of which had been set aside by his predecessor Akhenaton.Tut’s  tomb remained hidden from the time of his death in 1323 B.C until Carter’s discovery.         

             1924 –Tuesday-  Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men………Joseph Conrad ………After the death of her husband, William Bradford Ross, the governor of Wyoming, in 1924, his widow, Nellie T.  Ross was elected to replace him, becoming the first woman to serve as a governor in the United States upon her inauguration on January 5, 1925. Unfortunately, Ross was a Democrat in a heavily Republican state (we believe that 23  people of the entire state population of Wyoming -32…at the time…..were Republicans) so she lost the 1926 election and so didn’t really accomplish much other than being first woman governor. She became active in the national Democratic Party after her term was completed and  was a strong supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt during his presidential campaign of 1932. When he was elected to office, he named Ross to the federal post of director of the United States Mint, making her the first woman to hold that post, a job she held for 20 years.

            1928- Sunday As long as they're willing to pay to prove it, I'm willing to let them………….Arnold Rothstein  was rendered kaput. Arnold Rothstein,  New York's most notorious gambler, was shot and killed during a poker game at the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan. After finding Rothstein bleeding profusely at the service entrance of the hotel, police followed his trail of blood back to a suite where a group of men were playing cards. Reportedly, Rothstein had nothing good in his final hand.  It is generally believed that Rothstein was the guiding force behind the fixing of the 1919 World Series, the infamous “Black Sox” scandal. Although the identity of his shooter or shooters is unknown, quite possibly, he got involved in a feud between gangsters Legs Diamond and Dutch Schultz. Schultz may have been responsible for Rothstein’s kapution in retaliation for Diamond’s bumping off of a Schultz colleague. Or……….in a previous poker game, Rothstein started by winning $60,000, then dropped $340,000 to his pals. "I'll probably have to sell an apartment house to meet these losses," he said, "but I have this and that will help wipe out some of it. ""This" was $37,000 he laid on the table for the winners to split. "That's all I have," he explained, "You'll have to wait for the rest of it." He gave them IOUs for the rest, which they willingly accepted, and mentioned several million dollars' worth of collateral. "I'm Rothstein, that name ought to be good for the money." He welshed….and ironically, It was election day and, had he lived, he would have won $500,000 he had laid on Herbert Hoover, but his death voided his winnings and his losses. ….. note: Rothstein had never been convicted of breaking any law during his lifetime.

1933 – Saturday If you really look at it, I was trying to sell a dream ... There was very little I could put in concrete to tell these people it was really real………..San ruit kua lok!/Happy Birthday, Charles K. Kao, Chinese physicist and engineer born in Shanghai. Kao was one of the pioneers of fiber optics.  He demonstrated that the loss of signal in fiber optic cables was a result of impurities in the glass rather than a fundamental flaw in the technology. Kao won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics.  According to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings website, in 2004, Kao was diagnosed as having Alzheimer disease, and he and his wife May-wan—a former Fortran programmer that he met while he was a student in London in the 1950s— eventually moved to California to live closer to their children. After Kao received the Nobel Prize, his wife stated in an interview that the Nobel Prize money would be used to pay Kao's medical expenses, perhaps the first time the award was used for such purposes.

         1939-Saturday-  The Greenberg brothers entered the offices of Henry Ford. Hyman Greenberg, the eldest of the three, announced, "We have a remarkable invention that will revolutionize the automobile industry and we would like to demonstrate it to you in person."   They wanted him to  enter a black car that was parked in front of the building. "What!?" shouted the tycoon. "Are you crazy? It must be one hundred degrees in that car!"  "It is," said brother, Max, "but sit down and push the white button."   All of a sudden a whoosh of freezing air started blowing from vents all around the car, and within seconds the automobile was not only comfortable, it was quite cool!   "This is amazing!" "How much do you want for the patent?"   Norman said "The price is one million dollars. and there is something else. We want the name 'Greenberg Brothers Air Conditioning' to be stamped right next to your logo."   "Money is no problem," Ford said, "but no way will I have a Jewish name next to my logo on my cars!" They haggled back and forth for awhile and finally they settled. One and one-half million dollars, and the name Greenberg would be left off. However, the first names of the Greenberg brothers would be forever emblazoned upon the console of every air conditioning system. And that is why today, whenever you enter a vehicle, you will see those three names clearly defined on the air-conditioning control panel: NORM - HI - MAX! …….The first air-conditioned automobile was exhibited by its manufacturer, Packard Motor Co. of Detroit Michigan. The main air-conditioning unit was located behind the rear seat of the car - it had no thermostat -where a special air duct accommodated two compartments, one for the refrigerating coils and one for the heating coils. This must have made riding in the back seat a delight. The "Weather Conditioner" was a $279 option that required the Packard One-Eighty to visit a second factory for installation, since the unit connected to the engine and took up half the trunk space; Packard advertised  it as not just for comfort but privacy, since riders could finally arrive without having the windows down. The option didn't sell well  since there was no way to moderate the air from the unit,  and Packard dropped it after 1942. Packard (built by Studebaker in the final year) itself, was dropped after 1958. 

1943 –Thursday  The entire world will be in nuclear war, and only the Swiss will be going, 'Vhat's that noise?'"…..Robin Williams……. The X-10 atomic reactor located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee went critical and began operations. It was the second nuclear reactor to achieve chain reaction and used the neutrons from the fission of uranium to create plutonium-239 for use in the atomic bomb program. The reactor consisted of a 24 foot cube of graphite slabs surrounded by a thick concrete radiation shield. DuPont broke ground for the X-10 complex at Oak Ridge in February 1943.  The site would include an air-cooled experimental pile reactor, a pilot chemical separation plant, and various support facilities.  A series of huge underground concrete cells, the first of which sat under the pile, extended to one story above ground.  Aluminum cans containing uranium slugs would drop into the first cell of the chemical separation facility and dissolve and then begin the extraction process resulting in unfortunate atomic fallout that ended up with Godzilla attacking Tokyo. The X-10 reactor was shut down in 1963 and declared a National Historical Landmark in 1965.         

1952 –Tuesday-   I like Ike” beat All the Way with Adlai” as Republican  World War II hero, Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, defeating Illinois Governor Democrat Adlai Stevenson 442 electoral votes to 89. Eisenhower would be re-elected in 1956. With unpopular Democratic President Harry Truman declining to run, General Eisenhower was actively courted by both parties. Eisenhower however, was basically a  Republican and agreed to run for the "good of the nation." At the Republican convention in Chicago General Eisenhower was nominated on the first ballot with the odious Richard Nixon as his Vice President . President Truman supported Governor Stevenson (His grandfather Adlai E. Stevenson  had been Vice President  under President Grover Cleveland from second term, 1893-1897.) for the Democratic nomination. At the Democratic convention in Chicago Stevenson was elected on the third ballot with Senator John Sparkman of Alabama as the Vice Presidential candidate.

1956-Sunday I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery…. Jean Jaqueas Rousseau …….The happy go lucky, fun loving Soviet Communists, demonstrating that even though Stalin was gone, they were still thugs,  put brutal end to Hungarian revolution with tanks and troops.  The spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before.  At 5:20 a.m., Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced the invasion to the nation in a, 35-second broadcast, declaring: "Our troops are fighting. The Government is in its place." However, within hours Nagy would have to seek asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest while his former colleague and imminent replacement, Communist puppet and Quisling,  János Kádár, who had been flown secretly from Moscow to the city of Szolnok, 60 miles southeast of the capital, prepared to take power with Moscow's backing.

       1960-Friday- Christ, I'm glad this picture's finished. She damn near gave me a heart attack. ……. Clark Gable on the last day of filming re: Marilyn Monrone, ….While the usual practice of the Editorial Board of the Gnus is to note premieres,  The Misfits filming was declared a wrap.  The plot,  involves  a sexy divorcée, Marilyn Monroe,  falls for an over-the-hill cowboy, Clark Gable  .Released in 1961, would be the last movie for both stars, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Gable suffered a heart attack and went kaput three days after filming ended. Monroe bit the dust in August  of 1962. Co-star, Montgomery Clift would die six years later. It wasn’t a very good movie either. Also on hand for the fun were perennial second banana, Thelma Ritter, greatest Mexican bandit ever, Eli Wallach playing a character named Guido, Invasion of the Body Snatchers own Kevin McCarthy, and an uncredited John Huston.

            1961 –Saturday-  So one mornin’ when the sun was warm
I rambled out of New York town
Pulled my cap down over my eyes
And headed out for the western skies
So long, New York
Howdy, East Orange….
Bob Dylan……...Talkin’ New York………. …Encouraged by recent positive press and an overdose of hubris, a young Bob Dylan appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time. Bad idea. Only about 50 people attended , mostly friends of the singer.
The set list included: Pretty Peggy-O, Backwater Blues, Fixin’ To Die,Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre, This Land Is Your Land, Freight Train Blues, Song To Woody, and Talkin’ New York

            1965 –Thursday- Go on and write me up for 125
Post my face, wanted dead or alive
Take my license n' all that jive
'cause I can't drive 55!
…Sammy Hagar……..Lee Ann Roberts Breedlove, wife of land speed record-holder Craig Breedlove, became the first female driver to exceed 300 mph when she accelerated up to 308.50 mph in the Spirit of America - Sonic 1 vehicle over the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Mrs. Breedlove had just heard about the special “3 hour Le Creuset cookware sale at Macy’s and she had coupons too.  The Sonic 1 was a four-wheel “car” powered by a J79 jet engine. Two policemen hiding behind a billboard speed trap caught her and she was immediately cited for exceeding the 30 mph speed limit and ordered to appear in traffic court.  A few hours after Lee Ann jet-powered across the one-mile course, Craig Breedlove shattered his own record from the previous year when he reached 555.49mph in the Spirit of America. He too was cited for speeding and he and Lee Ann had to take a ten hour defensive driving course.

1966 - Friday  The first drizzling shower is born...
[Then] the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this devoted town. ...
....Jonathan Swift………. Heavy rains began falling in Tuscany in September. The rains increased in October and November, and on November 2 alone, seventeen inches of rain fell in twenty-four hours on Monte Falterona. The snow on the mountain melted, and slushy rivers headed toward Florence. The Arno River flooded causing the flooding of nearly 2/3 of Florence with some areas of the city in as much as 8 feet of water. The floods knocked out all power to the city including hospital emergency generators and resulted in the death of more than 100 people.  Twenty thousand families lost their homes, fifteen thousand cars were destroyed, and six thousand shops went out of business. Florence has always been famous for it's historic books/manuscripts and fine art and estimates put the number damaged between 3 and 4 million with 10's of thousands damaged beyond repair and restoration.

           1971-Thursday-It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage. ….. George William Curtis……..Four men, and a cat –a kitten when the voyage began (named Minette) completed a raft ride across the Pacific from Ecuador to Australia. Spaniard, Vital Alsar and three compatriots - Marc Modena, French, Gabriel Salas, Chilean,and Normand Tetraule, a Canadian, .sailed from Ecuador on La Balsa, a 7-log balsa raft with mangrove masts. There were also three parrots and another cat, but these all went kaput. They passed l000 miles north of Thor Heyerdahl's (Kon Tiki raft trip, aka The Kon Tiki Derby) final destination and made their way to Mooloolaba on the east coast of Australia. At the end of the trip, they complained about the service, the food and the entertainment (Sylvester Stallone as Hamlet, Paris Hilton as Ophelia), and vowed to use a cruise line in the future. Sumary quote was "cruise lines have better food and I missed the rock climbing wall but the kitten was delicious".

          1977 –Friday- Go out yonder, peace in the valley
Come downtown, there's a rumble in the alley
Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in…………………..
The Band… The Last Waltz, A film account, directed by Martin Scorsese, of the final concert of The Band - Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel,  Levon Helm, and Garth Hudson  ...  premiered in New York City. Also appearing in the concert were: Eric Clapton,  Neil Diamond,  Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell,  Neil Young,  Emmylou Harris   Ringo Starr, Paul Butterfield, and   Dr. John. The Band had been Dylan’s back up group for several years.  They were on stage with him as he was booed in the 60’s for turning electric.

             1979 –Sunday- It's almost impossible to deal with a crazy man, except that he does have religious beliefs, and the world of Islam will be damage d if a fanatic like him should commit murder in the name of religion against 60 innocent people….Jimmy Carter…..Student schmudentAxis of Evil. Iranian “students”, as part of a Death to America course, final performance evaluation assessment, stormed the U.S embassy and held 90  (they released women and minority Americans shortly after) Americans for over a year until Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency.

           1980-Tuesday-  Ask yourself, 'Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was?......Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter in a landslide for the presidency. Reagan, the Governor of California (Vice President would be George H.W Bush) ended the hopelessly bumbling four year term of Carter (Populus me sibilat …..everybody hisses at me)by receiving 489 electoral votes to Carter’s 49. Republican Congressman John B. Anderson,  ran as an independent.  Republicans won control of the United States Senate for the first time in 28 years. This election marked the beginning of what is popularly called the "Reagan Revolution."

1990 Sunday  John Dunbar: The strangeness of this life cannot be measured: in trying to produce my own death, I was elevated to the status of a living hero……..The premiere of  Dances with Wolves, all three hours of it, as Kevin Kostner, channeling his inner Man Called Horse,  began taking himself very seriously indeed, directing himself in this painfully politically correct Western epic about the relationship between a Civil War soldier and a band of Sioux Indians

1995 Saturday The time for peace has come.  We, the soldiers who have returned from battles stained with blood, we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes, . . . we who have come from a land where parents bury their children, we who have fought against you, the Palestinians -- we say today in a loud and clear voice: Enough of blood and tears. Enough……….. Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. And no, it wasn’t a whackadoodle Muslim doing the deed.  It was Yigal Amir, a 27-year-old Jewish law student.  Israeli police arrested Amir at the scene of the shooting, and he later confessed to the assassination, explaining at his arraignment that he killed Rabin because the prime minister wanted "to give our country to the Arabs."  The Israeli Prime Minister had been at the center of the major events in his nation's history for five decades and had been making conciliatory moves towards the Palestinians.

            1998 –Wednesday- Having my baby,
What a lovely way of saying how much you love me,
Having my baby,
What a lovely way of saying what you're thinking of me
I can see it, your face is glowing,
I can see it, in your eyes I'm happy you know it
……Paul Anka…….. Bizarre accused pedophile, Michael Jackson announced that his “wife”, the lovely, svelt,  Debbie Rowe was pregnant with his first child. Jackson denied tabloid reports that Rowe was paid to be artificially impregnated and carry the child to term.  Why would anyone think that?

            2001 –Sunday- Q: What do a tornado, a hurricane and a redneck divorce have in common?

A: In the end, someone is going to loose a house trailer……. Hurricane Michelle, a Category Four with sustained winds estimated at 135 mph. hit Cuba destroying crops and thousands of homes and causing approximately $49.53 worth of damage in the Communist Workers Paradise. The United States made the gesture of sending humanitarian aid. On December 16, 2001, Cuba received the first commercial food shipment from the U.S. in nearly 40 years

             2008 –Tuesday- …… I've now been in 57 states — I think one left to go… a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon, May 9, 2008……….. Barack Obama, Senator from Illinois and Media darling, became the first African-American to be elected President of the United States, defeating the rather inept John McCain of Arizona.  Running mates, “Scranton’s Own” Joe Biden and Alaskan punch line, Sarah Palin provided comic relief.  

2008 –Tuesday I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman…..Arnold Schwarzenegger……..Californian voters have approved Proposition 8, which banned  same-sex marriages. The results were 7,001,084, 52.24% in favor of the ban and 6,401,482 47.76% against. This was in spite years of television’s flood of sympathetic gay characters in attempts to alter the public opinions of homosexuality.  On May 26, 2009, the California Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 8 .  When is 1 more than7,001,084?  In August 2009, a federal judge , Vaughn Walker set January 11, 2010 as the date when he will open a federal trial to decide whether or not Proposition 8 is unconstitutional  On The Supreme Court later dismissed an appeal(5-4) over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, ruling Wednesday private parties do not have "standing" to defend California's voter-approved ballot measure barring gay and lesbian couples from state-sanctioned wedlock. And now Heather has two mommies.

Back to Calendar


1414 -  Saturday Christianity is a wonderful religion.  We should try it sometime…..Unknown……….The Opening of the Council of Constance.(we’ve also seen it as November, 16)  In one of many clever attempts at organization during the High Middle Ages, the Church headship at the Council of Pisa in 1409 had only added to the confusion and scandal that afflicted all Christendom since 1378  ( the Western Schism, aka the Babylonian Captivity).   Now there were three popes, (Moe, Larry and Curley) the two deposed by the council (Gregory XII and Benedict XIII) and its own creation, Alexander V who went kaput in and was succeeded by horrid Cardinal Baldassare Cossa as John XXIII.  The council was called by the German King Sigismund and was held from 16 1414 to  April 1418, in Constance (currently known as Konstanz). Its main purpose was to end the Papal schism which had resulted from the confusion following both the Avignon Papacy and the Council of Pisa (which had sought to resolve the situation). The Council of Constance marked the high point of the Conciliar movement to reform the Church. The Council  was attended by roughly 29 cardinals, 100 "learned doctors of law and divinity," 134 abbots, 183 bishops and archbishops, and Constance Towers, Constance Bennett, Constance Marie, Constance Moore, Constance Ford, and Constance Talmadge.  By 1416, they had replaced all three Popes with one, Martin V.  They also found time to condemn and burn reformer, Jan Hus, who had been promised a safe conduct to appear at the Gala.

1499 – Sunday I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything……Steven Wright Publication of the Catholicon in Tréguier in Brittany (a named after the acclaimed 21st century singer). The  Breton-French-Latin dictionary was actually  written in 1464 by Jehan Lagadeuc.  It was the first Breton dictionary as well as the first French dictionary. Lagadeuc was a priest in the diocese of Tréguier who composed the dictionary to help those unfamiliar with Breton………..which was, like, the entire world. Should you wish to brush up on your Breton, there is a copy of the dictionary in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.

1530 –Wednesday  The rain it rains without a stay
In the hills above us, in the hills;
And presently the floods break way
Whose strength is in the hills.
The trees they suck from every cloud,
The valley brooks they roar aloud--
Bank-high for the lowlands, lowlands,
Lowlands under the hills!
….Rudyard Kipling………The St. Felix's Flood, a storm surge from the North  Sea destroyed a large part of the Netherlands. Named because it occurred on St. Felix’s Day, most of the parts of Flanders and Zeeland (Part of Netherlands) were washed away.  Surviving was the city of Reimerswaal, a city that was built at a higher level when compared to its surroundings. An estimated 100,000 people were killed. It was known as “Evil Saturday” but that was before the advent of the Gregorian Calendar.

   1605 – Saturday Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be fought …..    English Folk Verse…… The Gunpowder Plot could have made for an explosive Saturday.   English Catholics attempted to blow up Parliament and King James 1 as retribution for their persecution under Queen Elizabeth 1. This day is known as Guy Fawkes Day in England after the conspirator who was caught with the explosives.  Along with the rest of the conspirators, Fawkes was sentenced to be hanged, drawn & quartered. He foiled the sentence by jumping off the ladder leading to the scaffold and breaking his neck and thus avoided unpleasantness of being drawn and quartered…..while still alive.  In May of 1604, Guy Fawkes met with Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright and Thomas Wintour at an inn called the Duck and Drake in London, and formed  the gunpowder conspiracy. In March 1605, the conspirators hired a cellar beneath Parliament, and  filled the room with barrels of powder.  Things went askew when the “Monteagle Letter”came to the fore  at the end of October. Monteagle received a letter clearly warning him not to attend Parliament on November 5th. The letter was shown to Robert Cecil, the chief minister.

1688 –Friday She seems to be of a good nature, and that she takes nothing to heart; whilst the Prince her husband has a thoughtful countenance, is wonderfully serious and silent, and seems to treat all persons alike gravely, and to be very intent on affairs: Holland, Ireland, and France calling for his care …..Mary Evelyn…………..William III of  Orange (Netherlands) who had married Mary, the daughter of English King James II landed  with a Dutch fleet and army at Brixham, Southwest England.  James II, who ranks near the top of historical monarchial military incompetence, James fled to France, and in February 1689 William and his wife were crowned King William III and Queen Mary II. Parliament passed the Bill of Rights which prevented Catholics for succeeding to the throne ensuring that Mary’s sister Anne would become the next queen, and after the autocratic rules of Kings Charles II and his brother James II limited the powers of monarchs so that they could neither pass laws nor levy taxes with parliamentary consent.

1757 – Saturday We must not forget that we are dealing with a prince who is at once his own commander in the field, chief minister, logistical organiser and, when necessary, provost-marshal.  These advantages outweigh all our badly executed and badly combined expedients…..Cardinal DeBernis, French Foreign Minister………During the Seven Years' War: (French & Indian War in the Colonies), 1756–63,   Frederick the Great defeated the allied armies of France and the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Rossbach in Saxony.  Rossbach was a stunning blow for the French Monarchy.  It is believed that Rossbach was a significant cause for the descent into the French Revolution. Checking your Seven Years War programme, we have  , France, Austria, Saxony, Sweden, and Russia vs. Prussia, Hanover, and Great Britain. The war arose out of the attempt of the Austrian Habsburgs to win back the rich province of Silesia, which had been taken from them by Frederick II the Great of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession 1740–48.

1775 Sunday Washington condemned Guy Fawkes festivities, see 1605 above, which had become an anti Catholic celebration:  As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.

1854 –Sunday  The optimist sees the glass half full. The pessimist sees the glass half empty. The chemist sees the glass completely full, half with liquid and half with air…….

Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Paul Sabatier, French chemist, born in Carcassonne.  Sabatier was a corecipient, with Victor Grignard, of the 1912 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their research in catalytic organic synthesis, in particular for discovering the use of nickel as a catalyst in hydrogenation (the addition of hydrogen to molecules of carbon compounds), known as the Sabatier reaction.

1855 - Monday  You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows…..Bob Dylan………Bon Anniversaire/Happy Birthday,  Léon-Philippe Teisserenc de BortFrench meteorologist born in Paris. Teisserenc de Bort discovered the stratosphere while summing his conclusions on the atmosphere in 1902  He found that above an altitude of 7 miles (11 km) temperature ceased to fall and sometimes increased slightly and  named this upper part of the atmosphere the stratosphere, because he thought that the different gases would lie in distinct strata as, without temperature differentials, there would be no mechanism to disturb them. The lower part of the atmosphere he named the troposphere as here, with abundant temperature differentials, constant change and mingling of atmospheric gases occurred.

         1862 – Wednesday  Everyone in command of the Army of the Potomac please step forward…not so fast George. ………GeorgeMcClellan  was removed as Commander of the Army of  the Potomac by Abraham Lincoln.  This ended the love/hate professional relationship of the two men.  McClellan was a master at building and training an army.  As a commander he was overly cautious and had cost the Union several possible victories, most recently at Antietam.  A few days later, Lincoln named General Ambrose Burnside to be the commander of the Army of the Potomac.  Burnside would prove to be a disaster at Fredericksburg.

1862 - Wednesday The U.S. government broke more than 98 percent of all the hundreds of treaties - signed and ratified by Congress - made with the sovereign First Nations of North America. …..Richard Twiss…….Over 300 Santee Sioux sentenced to hang in Minnesota. Following a conflict over, surprise, broken treaties, Little Crow and the Sioux were defeated at the Battle of Wood Lake on Sept. 23. The conflict had resulted in some 77 soldiers killed, between 75 and 100 Sioux, and – as an afterthought – between 300 and 800 white settlers. The Sioux who surrendered were promised safety……ha ha ha. But hundreds of Sioux – some of whom had had nothing to do with the uprising – were arrested and summarily tried by a five-man military commission. The trials were perfunctory affairs, some lasting less than five minutes. Of the 393 tried for “murder and other outrages,” 323 were convicted, and 303 sentenced to hang – including those who had surrendered with a promise of safety. The final decision on the executions rested with President Abraham Lincoln.  An Episcopal Bishop, Henry Whipple,  convinced Lincoln to have each case re-examined.  The final death toll would be 38, those proven to have taken part in the uprising, and be the largest mass execution in American history.

1863 – Thursday  Take me riding in the car, car; 
Take me riding in the car, car;
Take you riding in the car, car; 
I'll take you riding in my car.
…..Woody Guthrie……….Happy Birthday,  James Ward Packard American engineer and inventor born in Warren, Ohio.  Packard founded Packard Automobile Company. Disappointed with the performance of his first car, the Winston, engineer Packard wrote to the Cleveland firm in 1898 with a set of complaints and suggestions. When Alexander Winton rebuffed those ideas and told Packard to build his own car instead, he did.  In 1899, he built his first Packard, the "Ohio Model A." The Packard Motor Car Co. began manufacturing cars in 1900 and later built a 3.5 million square foot factory in Detroit. Packards were regarded as among the finest luxury cars in America.  He Introduced several automotive innovations, including the hook-up accelerator pedal, the hand throttle, the "H" gear slot, and automatic spark advance . 

1892 – Saturday I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose…….. Janam Din ki badhai!/Happy Birthday, J. B. S. Haldane, English-Indian geneticist and biologist born in Oxford.  Haldane, son of physiologist John Scott Haldane,  became famous for his work in population genetics, which applied mathematical systems to the combined work of Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel.  Haldane’s principle, from his 1928 paper On Being the Right Size, posits that since biological systems needed by larger species might be unnecessary in smaller species (for example, thick, weight-bearing skeletons or oxygen-carrying bloodstreams), size can be a determining factor in evolution. In 1935 he developed the first map of specific genes on the human X chromosome.

 1895- Tuesday Everything that can be invented has been invented.. -- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Patent Office, 1899……….. George B. Seldon was awarded the first U.S. patent for an automobile. He had originally applied for it in 1879.  Ever the eternal optimist, it was said of him, "For Seldon is heard a discouraging word............." Selden had great ability as both an inventor and a lawyer. Unfortunately, he was not so good as  a production engineer. He kept his patent alive by filing amendments to delay its issue. Meanwhile, the Duryea brothers, Ranson Olds (of the Oldsmobile), and many others created workable cars. Duryea cars were on the market while Selden was still struggling to produce one in fact, he never built a car.  In 1904 in the middle of a  patent suit with Henry Ford (Ford wouldn’t pay Seldon), a judge ordered a car to be built according to Seldon’s patent.  Didn’t work. His patent was overturned in 1911.

          1906 – Monday Nature, to each allots his proper Sphere, But, that forsaken, we like Comets err: Toss'd thro' the Void, by some rude Shock we're broke, And all our boasted Fire is lost in Smoke………..William Congreve…………..Happy Birthday, Fred L. Whipple, American astronomer born in Red Oak, Iowa.  Whipple proposed the "dirty snowball" model for comet nuclei and then squeezed the Charmin. He believed that as a comet approached the sun, its light vaporized ice in the comet's nucleus. The jets of particles that resulted acted like a rocket engine that either slowed or accelerated the comet. He also theorized that the glowing comet tails contained particles that originated from frozen reservoirs in comet nuclei. Whipple's theories were proven correct in 1986 by close-up photographs of Halley's comet by the European Space Agency's Giotto spacecraft.  Whipple also had a strong  influenced during the early era of spaceflight. Awarel of the damage to spacecraft from meteors, in 1946 he invented the Meteor Bumper, a thin outer skin of meta this would eventually create the Meteor Bumper Car Effect as Earth orbit became crowded with satellites and they would be able to bounce off each other while registering scoring bells on radar. Also known as the Whipple Shield, this mechanism explodes a meteor on contact, preventing the spacecraft from receiving catastrophic damage. Improved versions of it are still in use today.

         1906 – Monday When one considers the progress of Physics in the last decade, one is surprised by the changes it has produced in our ideas about electricity and about matter…. Lecture – opening sentence………….Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie gave her inaugural lecture as she became first woman lecturer at the Sorbonne. She explained the theory of ions in gases her treatise on radioactivity, and Oprah vs. Ellen  to120 students, public and press. The lecture, featuring PowerPoint and videos, inquiry based hands on activities and cooperative learning techniques wowed the audience as she addressed the new Common Core as well as the Next Generation of Science Standards. Curie had been invited to occupy the Physics chair at the Sorbonne held by her late husband, Pierre Curie, until his accidental death (he was run over by a horse carriage near the Pont Neuf). Curie was scheduled to begin the lecture at 1:30 but the hall was filled by noon. Note; Susan Quinn’s Marie Curie: A Life has an excellent description of the lecture.

      1911 – Sunday When I die, just skin me out and put me up on old Trigger and I'll be happy……………Happy Birthday, Leonard Slye, better known as Roy Rogers “King of the Cowboys”, born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rogers  started out  playing minor roles for Republic Pictures, the same studio where cowboy star Gene Autry worked. When Autry quit over a dispute with the studio in 1937, Rogers gained more exposure. Starring with his trick horse, Trigger – there were two Triggers, the original went kaput in 1965 at age 31, and Trigger Jr. kaput in 1969 -  and his frequent co-star Dale Evans,  aboard Buttermilk. later joined by Andy Devine as Jingles, Rogers soon became one of the top 10 moneymakers in Hollywood. Later he starred in a television series where it appeared that he never changed his checkered shirt since he wore it in every show.  After Trigger died, he started a restaurant chain featuring…….horse burgers. While Roy never really played a villain, he was sort of a villain playing a dual role in 1940’s Dark Command starring John Wayne.  He got to kill a guy in the picture too.

            1912 – Tuesday ….there are so many people in the country who don’t like me……William HowardTaft………Woodrow Wilson  was elected president (Vice President Thomas Marshall) over Republican incumbent,William Howard Taft ( Taft’s vice president, James Sherman went kaput in October) and Bull Moose Party candidate, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt outpolled Taft with 88 electoral votes to 8.  Wilson collected 435 and 48% of the popular vote.  Taft's 8 Electoral Votes fewest ever for an incumbent

1914 – Thursday France and the British Empire declared war on the Ottoman Empire. Here is your WWI war declarations 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


1916 – SundayThe Kingdom of Poland is proclaimed by the Act of November 5th of the emperors of Germany and Austria-Hungary.

1916 –Sunday People, I just want to say, can't we all get along? Can't we all get along?......Rodney King……….Two boatloads of workers and members of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World, often called "Wobblies") traveled by steamer from Seattle to Everett to hold a free speech demonstration in support of striking shingle mill workers in Everett, and in support of First Amendment rights. Things didn’t go well.  Rather than a rousing welcome, The  Everett Massacre occurred as they were met at the dock by local police, hired guards, citizen deputies, The Hulk, Captain America, Ironman, Thor, The Black Widow and Hawkeye.  Shots were fired, fatally wounding or killing five “Wobblies” aboard the steamer Verona. Two deputies also died on the pier, “friendly fire” victims as they were shot in the back by their comrades during the fusillade.

1925 – Thursday I've always wanted to be a spy, and frankly I'm a little surprised that British intelligence has never approached me…..Elizabeth Hurley……Secret agent Sidney Reilly, born Sigmund Rosenblum in Odessa, famous as  the first "super-spy" of the 20th century, was executed by the OGPU, the secret police of the Soviet Union.  He had changed his name to Sidney George Reilly in 1899 while working for British Intelligence.  Not terribly popular with the Bolsheviks after attempting to aid in the toppling of the regime in 1918, in 1925 he was lured back to the worker’s paradise by a Soviet counterintelligence project Operation Trust. Intending to meet anti-Bolshevik agitators, he was instead arrested at the border and tortured at the infamous Lubyanka Prison, where he kept notes on cigarette papers about enemy interrogation techniques for the eventuality of an escape or release that never occurred.  He was portrayed by Sam Neill in the 1983 mini-series, Reilly, Ace of Spies.

1937 –Friday The history of all ages - the Roman Empire and the British Empire - had proved that expansion could only be carried out by breaking down resistance and taking risks...there had never been spaces without a master...the attacker always comes up against a possessor …..Adolf Hitler informed fellow Nazis at  a secret meeting Reich Chancellery of  his plans for acquiring "living space" – Lebensraum- for the German people.  Present at this conference were; German War Minister, Werner von Blomberg, Commander in Chief of the Army, Werner von Fritsch, Commander in Chief of the Navy, Erich Raeder, Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göring, Foreign Minister, Constantin von Neurath, and Colonel Friedrich Hossbach who took the minutes of the conference. The meeting has thus come to be known as the Hossbach Conference or Hossbach Memorandum.

         1940 Tuesday  I would rather lose in a cause that I know some day will triumph than to triumph in a cause that I know some day will fail. ….Wendell Wilkie……….Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to his third term (Vice President was  crypto communist, Henry Wallace) as president defeating Wendell (Win With Wilkie) Wilkie and Vice Presidential candidate, Charles L. Nary. Roosevelt’s 3rd term was highly controversial.  Despite the fact that 78% of the newspapers endorsed Wilkie,  Roosevelt carried all of the large cities except for Cincinnati as he harvested 449 electoral votes.  Roosevelt, aware of strong isolationist sentiment in the U.S., promised there would be no foreign wars if he were reelected.  The passing of the 22nd Amendment of the United States Constitution in 1947 made  this election the only occasion in American history in which a candidate was elected to a third term as president.

1942 Thursday This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning…..Winston Churchill…….The British won the Second Battle of El Alamein – the first was in July of 1942-with the Eighth Army headed by ( Monty ) Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery when the ( Afrika Korps ) commanded by Field Marshal Rommel ( Desert Fox ) were forced to surrender exhausted and dying from dehydration. El Alamein is 150 miles west of Cairo.  If the Afrika Korps got to the Suez Canal, the ability of the Allies to supply themselves would be severely inhibited.  Hitler ordered the Afrika Korps to fight to the last but Rommel refused to carry out this order. For a while it looked like the the British would cut off Rommel's army but a sudden rain storm on 6th November turned the desert into a quagmire and the chasing army was slowed down. Rommel, now with only twenty tanks left, managed to get to Sollum on the Egypt-Libya border.

1948 – Friday Thank God for giving us such a wonderful and interesting universe to explore……William Daniel Phillips, American physicist and academic born in Wilkes Barre, PA.  In 1997, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and Steven Chu “for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light” as well as with  a butterfly net.  Using Chu’s research , Phillips developed new and improved methods for measuring the temperature of laser-cooled atoms. In 1988 he discovered that the atoms reached a temperature six times lower than the predicted theoretical limit. Cohen-Tannoudji then refined the theory to explain the new results, and he and Phillips further investigated methods of trapping atoms cooled to even lower temperatures until they could freeze a banana and make it shatter when they dropped it.  Another result of the development of laser-cooling techniques was the first observation, of the Bose-Einstein condensate, a new state of matter originally predicted 70 years earlier by Albert Einstein and the Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. In this state atoms are so chilled and so slow that they, in effect, merge and behave as one single quantum entity that is much larger than any individual atom.

    1956 – Monday ... started out to become a jazz pianist; in the meantime I started singing and I sang the way I felt and that's just the way it came out. ……Singer, Nat King Cole became the second African-American (after jazz pianist/singer Hazel Scott in 1950)  to host a television program: The Nat King Cole Show on NBC.  The show, with Gordon Jenkins leading the orchestra and singers,  The Boataneers, originally started as a fifteen minute show and went to become a thirty minute show. The show had no sponsors that were interested in a permanent relationship with the series so the show was sponsored by NBC. The final show was in December of 1957. 

            1960 – Saturday  In 1814 we took a little trip along with Col. Jackson down the mighty Mississip ….Strange Twists of Fate Department as Country Western singer,  Johnny Horton, whose number one hit Battle of New Orleans topped the Billboard 100  for six solid weeks in 1959, was killed in an auto accident in Milano, Texas. Horton had just played his last show at the Skyliner in Austin, Texas, where, in 1953, country legend Hank Williams also played his last show, before dying in an automobile as he drove to his next performance. In another twist of fate, Johnny Horton was married to Billie Jean Jones, the widow of Hank Williams.

1968- Tuesday The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it. P.J O’Rourke……In a much closer election than anyone thought would occur, upopular Democratic incumbent Lyndon Johnson decided not to run and V.P Hubert Humphrey was that much more popular,  Richard Nixon was elected president (Vice President was Spiro T. Agnew) defeating Hubert H. Humphrey, and “the man from Maine”, Ed Muskie. Electoral votes were 301 to 191 but the popular vote differential was about five hundred thousand. The election also featured
a strong third party effort by former Alabama Governor George Wallace who won 46 electoral votes in the South.

1972  Sunday -I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, 
I can see all obstacles in my way 
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind 
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) 
Sun-Shiny day.
 …………Johnny Nash's I Can See Clearly Now landed at  #1 on the Billboard Charts replacing Chuck Berry’s Baroque interpretation of My Ding-A-Ling.  I Can See Clearly Now would stay on top for almost a month before being replaced by the Temptations, Papa Was a Rolling Stone.

1988 Friday – Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego,
baby why don't we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo
,………..Continuing our #1 theme – see 1972 above - The Beach Boys’ Kokomo rose to #1 on the charts.  This achievement set a record (no pun intended) for having the longest gap between #1s - 21 years and ten months from 1966's Good Vibrations as well as a the longest stretch of career #1s (dating back to when they were actually boys), with their first, I Get Around, 24 years and four months earlier. When we look at # 1 songs we realize there is no accounting for taste as Kokomo replaced Phil Collins’ Groovy Kind of Love in the top spot.  Kokomo would in turn be topped by Wild Wild West  by Escape Club.  Sure, you remember that one.

          1992- Thursday 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 discovery of chemical evidence of 5000-year-old beer found at Godin Tepe in the Zagros mountains of Iran was reported  in the journal Nature. Scientists found residue from beer-brewing in the interior grooves of a jug atthe site. Beer was the preferred fermented beverage of the ancient Sumerians. It also explains the whackadoodle behavior of contemporary Iranians who have clearly been imbibing the stuff.  Professor Sy Yentz had what tasted like this 5,000 year old beer the other night but it was just Bud Lite.  How did they know  it was beerstone?  They compared the chemical composition to residue scraped from the inside of a brew kettle at Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewery……really……as well as to scrapings from an ancient beer vessel from the museum’s Egyptian New Kingdom collection.

1994 Saturday I want to keep fighting because it is the only thing that keeps me out of the hamburger joints. If I don't fight, I'll eat this planet……. George Foreman………. Bloated George Foreman became the  oldest heavyweight champ. Behind on the scorecards of all three judges, Foreman managed to knock out previously undefeated 26 year old Michael Moorer in the 10th round.  In effect, he was no longer Moorer the Merrier. Foreman vs Moorer took place nearly 20 years to the day from the time Big George suspiciously to our eyes,  lost his heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali on October 30, 1974 in the “Rumble in the Jungle”.

1996 Tuesday It's as it was when it sank……Ashraf Abdel-Raouf…… Divers discovered the ancient port of Alexandria from 2000 years ago. The port was swallowed by the sea and contains the ruins of Cleopatra’s Palace and Mark Anthony's home (a split level ranch with a two chariot garage) along with hundreds of artifacts from the last dynasty to rule over ancient Egypt before the Roman Empire annexed it in 30 B.C.They also found thousands of artifacts dating back to 323BC to 30BC and many of the original columns are still standing and in remarkable condition. An even more successful dive and retrieval was conducted in November of 2012. 

2003 – Wednesday …….because I thought I could kill as many as I wanted without getting caught……The Green River Killer Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of murder.  Death penalty schmeth penalty, Ridgeway avoided the death penalty by confessing to more murders than any other serial killer in U.S. history.  The 54-year-old former truck painter provided gruesome details of the 48 women he murdered. Ridgeway’s killing spree began in 1982, when women in the Seattle area, mainly runaways and prostitutes were targeted. The first victims turned up near the banks of the Green River south of Seattle, giving Ridgway his nickname.

            2007 – Monday If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they'd immediately go out…….William Blake…..

China's first lunar satellite, Chang'e 1  went  into orbit around the Moon. Chang’e was named after an angel in a Chinese fairy tale who takes a magic potion and flies to the Moon to pick up an order of deep fried won tons, crab Rangoon, moo shu pork, candied banana fritters. This was number 1 of   a three-part series of missions that would finish in about 2020. An unexpected problem occurred one hour after launch when the satellite felt it wanted to be launched again. Objectives included; Obtaining three-dimensional images of the landforms and geological structures of the lunar surface, so as to provide a reference for planned future soft landings. Analyzing and mapping the abundance and distribution of various chemical elements on the lunar surface as part of an evaluation of potentially useful resources on the Moon. Probing the features of the lunar soil and assessing its depth and Probing the space environment between 40,000 km and 400,000 km from the Earth, recording data on the solar wind and studying the impact of solar activity on the Earth and the Moon. The mission was extended until March1,  2009, at 08:13:10 UTC, Chang'e 1 crashed onto the surface of the Moon, ending its mission. It was probably shot down by Grand Lunar, chief villain of the 1964 documentary, First Men in the Moon

2007 MondayIn Beverly Hills...they don't throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows. ……Woody Allen………A writers strike halted production of TV shows, movies. 12,000 movie and television writers represented by the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East began the first industrywide strike since writers walked out in 1988.More than 60 TV shows had to be shut down, causing a drop in ratings and the loss of tens of millions of dollars in ad revenue for the networks..  Issues included writers’ demands for a large increase in pay for movies and television shows released on DVD, and for a bigger share of the revenue from such work delivered over the Internet. A frustrated viewing public would have to get by without;  The Black Donnellys, Painkiller Jane, Big Shots,  John From Cincinnati, and  Viva Laughlin.

2009 - Thursday  Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes…..Anne….Richard III act 1, scene 2…………Muslim Army Major and terrorist, Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounding 32 during a shooting spree at  Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where troops were getting medical checkups before deploying to Afghanistan. Hasan, who was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan a few weeks later, shouted “Allahu ­akbar!” meaning “God is great,” before targeting soldiers with his high-powered, high-capacity handgun he had fitted with laser sights. He was captured alive by military police officers after firing more than 200 shots. He would receive the death penalty but don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. The Obama Administration refused to classify the Ft. Hood shooting as a "terrorist act, " and so the victims and heroes were unable to collect the additional benefits that they would had it not been classified "workplace violence."

2011 Saturday Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you…..Soupy Sales……..Canadian dentist, Michael Zuk, purchased  a tooth of John Lennon's that had been removed in the 1960's. Lennon had originally given the tooth to his housekeeper to dispose of or give to her daughter. Zuk, who had also bought one of Elvis’ crowns, paid $30,000 for the molar. Denying that he had bitten off more than he could chew,  Zuk later announced that he would attempt to use the tooth to clone Lennon’s DNA.  Your appointment with Dr. Zuk, of Red Deer, Alberta, is at 11:00 tomorrow morning.  Yes, there is a website called JohnLennon’s’tooth. 

2013 – Tuesday  Men of Earth, we of the planet Mars give you this warning. Listen carefully and remember: We have known your planet Earth since the first creature crawled out of the primeval slime of your seas to become man. For millennia, we have followed your progress. For centuries, we have watched you, listened to your radio signals and learned your speech and your culture, and now you have invaded our home. …Martian Voice, Angry Red Planet…….India launched  the Mars Orbiter Mission, MOM,  its first interplanetary probe. Scheduled arrival, according to technology trouble shooter, Steve from Calcutta would be September 2014. if successful, MOM would become the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and European Space Agency.  The orbiter will conduct atmospheric studies, particle environment studies and surface imaging studies.  The Indian Space agency acknowledged concerns about the  of success of the mission after viewing the Martian Bat-Rat-Spider as seen in the 1959 documentary, Angry Red Planet

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1153 – Friday Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last……..Charles de Gaulle ……..Treaty of Wallingford (Oxfordshire) was signed between King Stephen and the Empress Maude ending the anarchy, a  period of civil war in England from 1135-1154, caused by conflicting dynastic claims to the throne. When King Henry I went kaput in 1135, he believed he had secured the English crown for his daughter , Matilda.  Whoops, nephew Stephen of Blois and other ideas, mainly of himself as king,  and the conflict was on. Henry, Matilda's son and later Henry II, attacked the siege forts that Stephen had built and a peace treaty was concluded which stated that Henry would become King after Stephen's death. Henry II received the castle after the period of anarchy ended.

 1494 – Tuesday Slave of God, master of the world, I am Suleyman and my name is read in all the prayers in all the cities of Islam. I am the Shah of Baghdad and Iraq, Caesar of all the lands of Rome, and the Sultan of Egypt. I seized the Hungarian crown and gave it to the least of my slaves. ……Dogum gunun kutlu olsun! /Happy Birthday, Suleiman the Magnificent, the Sultan of Turkey from 1520-1566. Led by Suleiman, the Ottoman Empire reached the height of its power. Also known as the Lawgiver, he built bridges, mosques, aqueducts, and fortresses, and vastly increased the expanse and wealth of the Ottoman Empire while continuing hundreds of years of attacks on Christian Europe. Suleiman was just one of a large family including; Bob the Brilliant,  Glenda the Glorious, Gorgeous George, Proud Mary, Olaf the Resplendent, Steve the Splendid,  and Suzanne the Splendorous.

              1528 -Tuesday Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston Spanish
……Glen Campbell………Conquistador, Albeza de Vaca discovered Texas.  Actually, he was shipwrecked on Galveston.  He stayed at South Padre Island for Spring Break, partied with the college students and then went back to conquistadoring.

        1638- Saturday So far as the theories of mathematics are about reality, they are not certain; so far as they are certain, they are not about reality ……Albert Einsten…….Happy Birthday, James Gregory, Scottish mathematician born in Drumoak. Gregory invented a reflecting telescope in 1661, which he described in his best selling page turner,  Optica promota (1663).  His eponymous Gregorian telescope was the first practical reflecting telescope and remained the standard observing instrument for a century and a half.  The telescope uses two concave mirrors—a primary parabolic-shaped mirror and a secondary elliptic-shaped mirror—to focus images in a short telescope tube. However, the Gregorian telescope design is rarely used today, as other types of reflecting telescopes are known to be more efficient for standard applications. Turning to mathematics, he later wrote the scintillating, Vera Circuli et Hyperbolae Quadratura (1667; “The True Squaring of the Circle and of the Hyperbola”) and molten Geometriae Pars Universalis (1668; “The Universal Part of Geometry”) Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five………Groucho Marx

             1771- Wednesday Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years…. Henry David Thoreau ………Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Alois Senefelder, German lithographer born in Prague.  In fact, Senefelder was the inventor of lithography in 1798.  He didn’t start out that way, first he tried acting and then he became a fairly successful comic playwright. He quickly  discovered  that the profits were very little unless he could find a method to make multiple copies of his songs and play quickly. To publish his own work, he needed a less expensive and more efficient printing alternative to relief printed hand set type or etched plates. In those days copper plates were used in printing. However, creating the text and images to be printed in reverse on the plates was a difficult process. Senefelder decided to use cheap slabs of Bavarian limestone to practice the art of reverse imaging. In the meantime he also made a liquid of wax, soap, lamp black and rainwater to help him correct mistakes on the copper plates. It was these two materials – limestone and the correction fluid that subsequently became the cornerstones of litho printing His invention was the biggest revolution in the printing industry since Gutenberg's movable type but he still didn’t sell a lot of plays.

1814- Sunday Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you……..Charlie Parker…… Joyeux Anniversaire! Happy Birthday Adolphe Sax, Belgian musician born in Dinant.  Sax invented the…………..saxophone.  Yes, the invention was the joy of Sax".  Some of his compositions involved violin accompaniment yes, it was "sax and violins". And, yes he lived in a large metropolis so it was "sax in the city".   Oh......we have no shame!  The original prototype was a keyed bugle, called a saxhorn.  Then he went to work on his eponymous phone.  The composer Hector Berlioz wrote approvingly of the new instrument in 1842, but it was not patented until 1846, after he had designed and exhibited a full range of saxophones (from soprano to bass).

              1860 –Tuesday  I trust that I have the courage to lead a forlorn hope……John C. Breckinridge ……….Abraham Lincoln was elected president (Vice President was the immortal Hannibal Hamlin) after defeating Stephen Douglas (VP – Benjamin Patrick), John Breckinridge, and John Bell. William Seward was the front runner when the Republicans met in Chicago in May of 1860, but Lincoln quickly pulled ahead and won the nomination on the third ballot. The Republican platform opposed slavery in the territories but upheld the right of slavery in the South. It also opposed the Dredd-Scott decision. The Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas and the Southern-Democrats who called themselves National Democrats nominated John Breckinridge. In addition, John Bell was nominated by the Constitutional Union party.  Lincoln won 180 electoral votes, Breckinridge, 72, Bell 39 and Douglas finished last with 12.  Lincoln received only about 40% of the popular vote in a divided nation on the brink of Civil WarIn this election, the original 13 States controlled fewer than 50% of total Electoral Votes for first time

            1865 –Monday Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have ……Steven Wright…………Happy Birthday ,William Boog Leishman, Scottish physician and pathologist born in Glasgow.  Leishman  developed the vaccine for typhoid fever.   The inoculation was used during WW1. It is estimated that, without it, there would have been about 551,000 cases of typhoid and over 77,000 deaths. Thanks to the vaccine, there were only 1191 deaths from 21,139 cases, thus freeing up those men to be slaughtered during the repeated failed attacks on trenches ordered by General Douglas Haig. Leishman’s first major success was his discovery in 1900 of the protozoan parasite (Leishmania) responsible for the disease known variously as kala-azar and dumdum fever.  Dumdum fever is widespread now, and is usually found in city, state, and national legislatures. After the war Leishman became the first Director of Pathology at the British War Office and later Medical Director of the army medical services.

         1854 –Monday  Oh oh Souza darling…..apologies to Robin Luke …..Happy Birthday, American composer, John Philip Sousa born at 636 G Street, SE, Washington, D.C., near the Marine Barracks where his father, Antonio, played trombone in the U.S. Marine Band. Sousa, the “March King”  a fixture for  American patriotic occasions became a musical legend during his own lifetime with such music as Stars and Stripes Forever, and  The Liberty Bell (best known as the theme song for Monty Python's Flying Circus).  In all, he composed 136 military marches. He also wrote operettas. In the 1890s he developed a type of bass tuba now known as the sousaphone.

             1861- The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play 'Drop the Handkerchief.'………..Happy Birthday, James Naismith, born in Almonte, Ontario and educated at McGill University and Presbyterian College in Montreal inventor of the game of basketball.  The early game was quite different from the game of today.  For one thing there were no tattooed poseurs thumping their chests after making a basket.  The first formal rules were devised in 1891. Initially, players dribbled a soccer ball up and down a court of unspecified dimensions. Points were earned by landing the ball in a peach basket. Iron hoops and a hammock-style basket were introduced in 1893. At this point the bottom was still closed so each basket required someone standing on a ladder to retrieve the ball from the basket. It was another ten years before the innovation of open-ended nets put an end to the practice of manually retrieving the ball from the basket each time a goal.   James Naismith wrote the 13 rules on Dec. 21, 1891, while he was a physical education instructor at a YMCA training school in Springfield. His boss had given him two weeks to come up with a new indoor activity for his gym class, and he wrote down the rules on the eve of that deadline.

          1861 –Wednesday I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent the war, but I could not. The North was mad and blind, would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came…….One year after Abraham Lincoln was elected President, Jefferson Davis, of Kentucky, was elected president of the Confederacy.  He ran unopposed and was elected to serve for a six-year term. Well that certainly worked out well.  Davis had already been serving as the temporary president for almost a year.  Vice President was Alexander Stephens of Georgia. In addition, the new constitution was ratified (the approval of only five states was needed), general elections for congress and for presidential electors (as under the federal Constitution) were held and on Washington's birthday in 1862, the "permanent" government was inaugurated at Richmond.

         1869 –  Saturday Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein …..Joe Theisman…….(but not televised) In New Brunswick, New Jersey Rutgers University defeated Princeton University, 6-4, in the first official intercollegiate American football game. According to the Princeton Companion, the game played was a form of association football, forerunner of later-day soccer. The 25 players from each college played in their street clothes, and the several hundred spectators stood around on the side or sat on a wooden fence. The Rutgers Targum reported that Princeton's first goal was made "by a well directed kick, from a gentleman whose name we don't know, but who did the best kicking on the Princeton side." The Targum was equally silent about the identity of the first wrong-way player in American football history, a Rutgers man "who, in his ardor, forgot which way he was kicking," and scored for Princeton instead of Rutgers. Rutgers ended up winning the game 6 to 4. A week later, however, Princeton won the return match on its grounds, 8 to 0.

            1888- Tuesday I knew that my staying up would not change the election result if I were defeated, while if elected I had a hard day ahead of me. So I thought a night's rest was best in any event……Benjamin Harrison……… Republican Benjamin Harrison was elected president, (with Levi P. Morton of NY as Vice President) beating incumbent Grover Cleveland (VP Allen G. Thurman) in the Electoral College, even though Cleveland led in the popular vote by about 1,000.  The major issue in the campaign was the scintillating issue of tariffs, with Harrison supporting a strong tariff (on a culinary note, Harrison liked saltwater tariffs) policy as opposing Cleveland's policy of reducing tariffs. Cleveland  lost New York's crucial 34 votes with the help of his old adversary the Tammany Hall machine of New York City. Cleveland would come back to win the election of 1888.

            1900 – Tuesday Four more years of the full dinner pail ….Campaign slogan….President William B. McKinley (with Theodore Roosevelt as Vice President was returned to office, defeating Democrat William Jennings Bryan (VP Adlai E. Stevenson, father of 1952 and 1956 Democratic presidential candidate). The major issue was ultimately the issue of continued prosperity. The Republicans theme was “a full lunch pail”. The prosperity of the McKinley era ultimately decided the election and McKinley’s winning margin was higher than 1896 at 292 to 155. McKinley would be rendered kaput in 1901, assassinated in Buffalo, NY by anarchist lunatic, Leon Czolgosz.

             1917- Tuesdayall animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others ……George Orwell…..The beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia - resulting in decades of misery and slaughter for millions of people.  The Bolsheviks overthrew the Provisional Government that had been set up following the monarchectomy which resulted in the deposition of the conspicuously incompetent Tsar Nicholas II. The Bolshevik's were led by Vladimir Illyich Lenin.  Bolshevism appealed to the poorer classes of Russian society, in particular the industrial workers and the lower ranking members of the military. They believed, generally speaking, in the works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and vowed to redistribute wealth away from the aristocracy to the proletariat (lower classes).  Of course they didn’t. 

            1917 – Tuesday I died in hell – (They called it Passchendaele)….Lieutenant Siegfried Sassoon…..While the Bolsheviks were beginning the enslavement of Russia, another of World War I’ bloody battles came to a close.  After three months of horrific fighting, the Third Battle of Ypres finally ended when Canadian forces took the village of Passchendaele in Belgium. In one of the bloodiest  of all the abatoir battles of World War I, a combination of over-ambitious aims, terrible weather conditions, and misguided persistence by British Field Marshal Douglas Haig led to nearly 250,000 total casualties suffered by both sides. At the time Allied forces were scheduled to begin the long-planned offensive, Allied artillery and unusually heavy rains had turned the battlefield into a sea of mud. Soldiers fought in the mud, slept in the mud, and some men drowned in the mud when they slipped into water-filled shell craters. When the offensive was finally called off, after the Canadian victory at Passchendaele, the total Allied advance amounted to only five miles.  Haig emerged unscathed.

           1923 –Tuesday Well it's perfectly clear,
between the TV and beer,
I won't get so much as a kiss.
As I head for the door,
I turn around to be sure,
did I shave my legs for this?
Darling, did I shave my legs for this?......
Deana Carter……Schick happens as a patent was issued to Colonel Jacob Schick  from Ottumwa, Iowa, for the first electric shaver.  He later established his own company, The Schick Dry Shaver Co, Inc. in Stamford, Conn. While exploring (hoping to set up mining operations) in British Columbia and Alaska he generated ideas for his two most famous inventions in response to the difficulties of shaving at Arctic temperatures: a device that would inject a blade into a safety razor--an awkward and at times dangerous process for human fingers at subfreezing temperatures--and a motorized appliance that would facilitate "dry shaving" when hot water and, at extreme temperatures, fluid cold water were unavailable. And, of course, he was married to a Schicksa.

            1928- Tuesday We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but, given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and we shall soon, with the help of God, be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation. . . …..Herbert Hoover…….On the day that Republican Herbert Hoover (or, as he would be introduced by announcer Harry Von Zell during a 1931 radio broadcast as Hoobert Heever) and Vice Presidential candidate, Charles Curtis were defeating Democratic (NY) Governor Al Smith,  and  Joseph Robinson,  the nation’s first Motogram machine, invented by Frank C. Riley,  also known as the zipper began displaying news headlines along the base of the New York Times building in Times Square. The first news to be displayed was the election results. Unfortunately for New York, the news of the day was not good as favorite Smith was trounced in the presidential election. On the bright side, the loss spared Smith the fate of Hoover, whose presidency was only months old when the Great Depression began.

1935 – Wednesday I thought Armstrong would invent some kind of a filter to remove static from our AM radio. I didn't think he'd start a revolution—start up a whole damn new industry to compete with RCA……..David Sarnoff………. Engineer, Edwin Armstrong presented his paper that first described what would become FM broadcasting  to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers. Of course he called it, "A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation" . Briefly, in conventional, amplitude modulation (AM), the strength of a radio signal is proportional to the strength of the audio signal that is being transmitted. In FM, the frequency of the main signal is varied instead of its amplitude. But what is modulation?  Glad you asked. It is the act of modifying a certain aspect of the carrier frequency in accordance to the information being sent. AM is more prone to signal distortion and degradation compared to FM.. FM doesn’t degrade linearly with distance.  AM usually broadcasts in mono which makes it sufficient for talk radio – reason enough to get rid of it altogether.  FM can transmit in stereo making it ideal for music. AM has a longer range than FM. FM had been tried in the 20s and rejected. It was thought to be a way to pack more signals into a given frequency band. Detailed mathematical analysis showed that a narrow-band FM signal would always sound worse than an AM signal of the same power

1935 –Wednesday It was a delightful aeroplane - not as agile as a Spitfire, but it had a very good gun platform. It was very steady and took a tremendous amount of battle damage without appearing to worry too much……… Pilot officer R G A Barclay……Same day as FM radio, see above, came the first flight of the Hawker Hurricane, developed by Sidney Camm, with its K5083 first prototype. The Hawker Hurricane was the first operational R.A.F. aircraft capable of a top speed in excess of 300 m.p.h and proved invaluable during the Battle of Britain.

1935 – Wednesday  I'm standing on my Monopoly board that means I'm on top of my game……..Eminem…..  Still the same day as FM radio and the Hawker Hurricane, see above, Parker Brothers acquired the forerunner patents for Monopoly, aka The Landlords Game, developed in 1904,  from Elizabeth Magie. In 1933, Charles B. Darrow adapted the game and it became a popular pastime among his family and friends. He filed for a patent and begins hand-making games, selling them as his own invention for four dollars each.  Parker Brothers, aware of Darrow's success decided to buy the rights to the game. To cover all angles, Parker Brothers also paid off Lizzie Magie and anybody else who had copyrights to games similar to Monopoly and now had a monopoly on Monopoly. They paid Lizzie a flat $500.  She would receive no royalties. They then give Charles B. Darrow credit as Monopoly's inventor.

1941 –Thursday  Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for.*Don’t imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the Soviet régime, or any other régime, and then suddenly return to mental decency. Once a whore, always a whore……… George Orwell…………… Soviet dictator and mass murderer, Joseph Stalin addressed the Soviet Union for only the second time during his 27-year rule. Surprise! He lied. In a speech delivered at The Joint Celebration Meeting Of The Moscow Soviet Of Working People's Deputies And Representatives Of Moscow Party And Public Organizations He falsely statedthat even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, the Germans had lost 4.5 million soldiers and that Soviet victory was near.

1944 –Monday Researches at Yale found a connection between brain cancer and work environment. The No. 1 most dangerous job for developing brain cancer? Plutonium hat model….. Jimmy Fallon……. Plutonium was first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility on the Columbia River in Washington State. and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.  From 1944 to 1989 the Hanford Atomic Facility produced 74,000 tons of weapons-grade plutonium-239. Nearly two-thirds of all the plutonium in the U.S. military’s nuclear arsenal was refined there, and the plant, birthplace of Godzilla, Ghidera the Three Headed Monster, Mothra and the New York City Council was highly contaminated to say the least.

1947 –Thursday Meet the Press made  its television debut, it had been on radio since 1945. Created by Martha Rountree and Lawrence Spivak, Roundtree was the show’s first moderator.  The first guest was James A. Farley, former postmaster general of the United States under FDR (and back when it was a cabinet post) and former DNC Chair.  

1954-Saturday ……. Well, that's all right, mama
That's all right for you
That's all right mama, just anyway you do
Well, that's all right, that's all right.
That's all right now mama, anyway you do
………..Elvis Presley signed  a year-long contract with the Shreveport concert radio show Louisiana Hayride… a follow up to his October 16 appearance singing Arthur Crudup’s That’s All Right Mama. It was a big day for the Pelvis as he also recorded his one and only commercial, a radio spot for the city's "Southern Maid Doughnuts" outlet in which he sang the company jingle: You can get them piping hot after 4 pm, you can get them piping hot. Southern Maid Donuts hit the spot, you can get them piping hot after 4 pm.  This commercial was broadcast during the Louisiana Hayride

1961-Wednesday Ev'ry mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six foot six and weighed two forty five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew, ya didn't give no lip to Big John (Big John, Big John)
Big Bad John
(Big John)……….
How could we pass up this one, a pre-sausage,  Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John hits #1 replacing Dion’s Runaround Sue.  Big Bad John would in turn be knocked from the top by the Marvelette’s Please Mr. Postman.

       1962 –Tuesday  I leave you gentleman now. You will now write it; you will interpret it; that's your right. But as I leave you I want you to know.... just think how much you're going to be missing. You don't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference, and I hope that what I have said today will at least make television, radio, the press recognize that they have a right and a responsibility, if they're against a candidate give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who'll report what the candidate says now and then. Thank you, gentlemen, and good day. Former Vice President, Republican Richard M. Nixon lost the California election for governor to Democrat Edmund Brown. Ever the good sport, Nixon blamed the news media for his loss whining our introductory quote. Alas, he broke the promise in 1968, won the Presidential Election and was kicked around for six more years until he resigned his Presidency in disgrace in 1974.

              1965 – Saturday  I know a girl who's soft and sweet
She's so fine, she can't be beat
Got everything that I desire
Sets the summer sun on fire
I want Candy, I want Candy
………….The Rolling Stones, Strangeloves, Jackie Wilson (Baby, Work Out), Billy Joe Royal (Down in the Boondocks) and Fontella Bass (Rescue Me) appeared on  the TV show, Shindig! – season 2, episode 67.  The Stones performed forgettable lip synchs of Good Times and Have Mercy.  Now we know our 60’s music and either we never heard of The Strangeloves or we forgot them.  They lip synched Roll on Mississippi and we never heard of that one either. Oh, wait.  We looked them up.  Their big hit was I Want Candy.  Now we remember……who could forget?

            1968-Wednesday Mrs Ace: Well, if it isn't God's gift to the eight-year-olds…… The Monkees' first and only feature film, Head, premiered in New York. This pretentious blather attempted  to make the band look hip – sorry Director Bob Rafelson, you can’t make Peter Tork look hip - while endeavoring to destroy their teenybopper image. It was   a complete flop at the box office.  The advertising campaign which focused on someone saying “Head” into the camera may have had something to do with the failure.  Victor Mature and Annette Funicello were on hand for the fun. Never the less, the cognoscenti cannot be underestimated, and now the film has gained a cult reputation as a surreal masterpiece for the pseudo hip.  Trust us, we saw it in 1968 and it was awful. Still is.

1977- Sunday The water is pushing
The river is wishing
The dam break
 Samantha Crain………39 people were drowned as the 42 ft. hight Kelly Barnes Dam burst above Toccoa, Georgia, after heavy rains.   The breakup of the dam at about 1:30 a.m. released 176 million gallons of water just above Toccoa Falls College campus from the 186-foot high Toccoa Falls onto the lower campus of the college, where some 250 people lived in dormitories, houses and mobile homes at the foot of the falls.

           1981- Friday Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception……Carl Sagan…… A  black-footed ferret was found in Wyoming.  They were previously thought to be extinct. The black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes – a member of the weasel family) is the only ferret species endemic to North America.   It is 46 - 60 cm (18 - 24") long, including a 13 - 15 cm (5 - 6") tail. It weighs 0.7 - 1.1 kg (1.5 - 2.5 lb), with males slightly larger than females.  Native to North America’s arid, short grass prairies, the ferret lived primarily around and feasted on prairie dogs. Wide-scale poisoning programs to eradicate prairie dogs and the destruction of grassland habitat also killed off the ferret. It now survives in a few places in the western United States where ranchers are compensated for not molesting prairie dog towns and where management programs for the prairie dog and the ferret are being developed. It takes about 100 acres of prairie dog colony to support one ferret family (a female and her young). Predators such as owls, eagles, hawks, coyotes, badgers, foxes, and bobcats are now the main cause of death for wild ferrets. 

            1982 Saturday Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death…….. William S. Burroughs……… “Black widow” , Shirley Allen was arrested for poisoning her husband, Lloyd Allen, with ethylene glycol, commonly known as anti-freeze. She claimed she didn’t want his block to freeze.  Shirley's daughter turned her in to the police after witnessing her mother spike Lloyd's drinks with the deadly concoction. Lloyd Allen was Shirley's sixth husband and the second to die from mysterious causes; the other four had, fortunately,  divorced her. While Allen was now dead, thanks to the antifreeze he could withstand temperatures of up to 35 below zero.  He noted that it had a “piquant” taste of smoky wild berries and that it was a perfect compliment to a good gouda cheese. Gourmet murderess Allen was sentenced to life in prison and a diet of windshield washer fluid.

1986 –Thursday  If helicopters are so safe, how come there are no vintage / classic helicopter fly-ins? ……Unknown…………The Sumburgh disaster as a British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashed 21⁄2 miles east of Sumburgh Airport in the Shetland Islands killing 45 people, with only 2 survivors. The helicopter was carrying the workers from Shell's Brent Field platform to Sumburgh airport.  It was the deadliest civilian helicopter crash on record.

1995 – Monday Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction……Erich Fromm….Cleveland Browns owner, Art Modell announced that he signed a deal that would relocate the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens, the first time the city had a football team since 1983 when sleazoid owner Robert Irsay took the Baltimore Colts out of town to Indianapolis in the middle of the night. Modell, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, bought the Browns in 1961. Modell’s decision 

was not only a shock to the city of Cleveland, Ohio, but to the entire National Football League (NFL) community.  If the Browns, a team with a tremendous amount of history, tradition, and a notoriously supportive fan base could pick up and move cities, then it was truly possible for any professional sports franchise to relocate.  NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue described Modell’s decision as, “more than a public relations jolt.  It’s a deep psychological jolt.  It’s a storied franchise”. But Modell wanted a new stadium and the Cleveland wouldn’t build one.  But fear not, just as soon as Cleveland built a new state of the art stadium, in 1999 and after a three year absence the NFL returned to Cleveland. The Cleveland Browns 2.0 would have the Cleveland Browns history but basically, they were an expansion team and awful and other than one 10 win season, they remained awful.  The ex-Browns, now the Baltimore Ravens have won 2 Super Bowls and counting.

2005 – Sunday …Dusty: "The Suck Zone". It's the point basically when the twister... sucks you up. That's not the technical term for it, obviously…….movie, Twister….. The Evansville Tornado of November killed 25 in Northwestern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana.  It was a worst case scenario. A strong F3 tornado hit a populated area in the middle of the night when most people are asleep. The NOAA report - TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 2 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF SMITH MILLS IN HENDERSON COUNTY KENTUCKY AND MOVED NORTHEAST ACROSS THE OHIORIVER AND ACROSS ELLIS PARK; STAYED SOUTH OF I-164 IN EVANSVILLE;CONTINUED MOVING NORTHEAST INTO WARRICK COUNTY THROUGH DE GONIASPRINGS AND SOUTH OF TENNYSON; LIFTED 1.5 MILES SOUTH SOUTHWEST OFGENTRYVILLE IN SPENCER COUNTY.* PEAK WIND: ESTIMATED 200 MPH PATH LENGTH - APPROXIMATELY 41 MILES. MAXIMUM WIDTH - 400+ YARDS.  On the Fujita Scale an F3 tornado with winds of 158-206 causes severe damage. Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown. F5, like the one that brought Dorothy to Oz has winds of 261-318 mph.

2005 – Sunday Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one……Thomas Paine……..The military junta of Myanmar (Burma) begins moving its government ministries from Rangoon to Nay Pyi Taw aka Napyidaw but no one can pronounce it. .  Civil servants and government officials were ordered to move 200 miles north. While governmental buildings in Nay Pyi Taw had been under construction for more than two years, its construction was not widely publicized.

2012 – Tuesday Unfortunately, due to an emergency we are closed for the day,…..Apple Valley Farms answering machine……..5 people were shot at a poultry processing plant in Fresno, Ca.  Disgruntled worker, Lawrence Jones, a discharged parolee with a long criminal record, possibly frustrated by the “chicken or the egg” controversy, pulled out a gun at 8:20 a.m. and shot four co-workers.  He then went outside and shot himself.

2013 – Thursday -–Open the door, get on the floor 
Everybody walk the dinosaur 
Open the door, get on the floor 
Everybody walk the dinosaur 
……Was (Not Was)………A new species of tyrannosaur was unearthed in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument southern Utah. The huge carnivore inhabited Laramidia, a landmass formed on the western coast of a shallow sea that flooded the central region of North America, isolating western and eastern portions of the continent for millions of years during the Late Cretaceous Period, between 95-70 million years ago before attacking Toyko in 1954. The newly discovered dinosaur, belonging to the same evolutionary branch as the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex, was at full size, the two-legged carnivore may have weighed more than four tons and stretched nearly the length 30 feet.  This was a juvenile and only a partial skeleton so they had to extrapolate to adult size.

Back to Calendar


  1492 –Monday- 

Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone. ….. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow………While Columbus was basking in the Sun in the Caribbean,   the Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, struck the earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France. Un jeune garçon was the only eyewitness and he led the local populace to the field, where the meteorite lay in a crater a meter deep. After it was retrieved, the townsfolk,  believing the object to be of supernatural origin, begin to chip off bits for souvenirs, until the locat magistrate put a halt to it.. Many of these fragments ended up in museums around the world. The remaining specimen, a rounded gray mass weighing only 55 kg and nearly without any fusion crust, can be seen today at Ensisheim. Fall out from the meteor is cited as the source of the peculiarly French disease, Jerry Lewisium Hilariousieia…..reason that the French think that American comedian Jerry Lewis is funny.

1637 – Saturday A company of legall professors lie, poring on the law which Christ hath established……….Anne Hutchinson, the first female religious leader in the American colonies, was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for heresy by the Puritans ……who came to the colonies seeking religious freedom. She had organized weekly meetings to discuss recent sermons, in which she also expressed her own theological views. In particular, she stressed the individual's relationship with God as opposed to reliance upon ministers.  This did not go over well with Puritan ministers. She would end up in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, where despite their tolerance, she was given land in the unprotected area of what is now lower Westchester County where she and five of her six living children would be killed by Indians. 

1687 – Friday Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell
Where the banshees live and they do live well
Stonehenge! Where a man's a man
And the children dance to the Pipes of Pan
…..Spinal Tap……Happy Birthday, William Stukeley, English archaeologist and physician born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire. Stukeley Stukeley was one of the founders of field archaeology, who pioneered the investigations of Stonehenge and Avebury. He developed the theory that they were built by Druids. 

1776 Thursday  One good thing about the Post Office -- it's over 200 years old
 and yet it's never been hindered by progress. ……Unknown……It’s all in the family as the Post Office stayed  in the Franklin household. Congress selected Richard Bache to succeed his father-in-law, Benjamin Franklin, as postmaster general. Franklin had sailed for France on behalf of the Continental Congress the previous month. In 1753, to fill a vacancy caused by death, Benjamin Franklin and Colonel William Hunter, of Virginia, were appointed Postmaster General of the Colonies. New regulations the work of Franklin were put into effect, delivery by carriers was introduced, and the practice of advertising unclaimed letters was begun.

            1811-Thursday- Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
Th' immortal Jove's dread clamors counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone
……Othello Act 3, scene 3, 350–357 …….The Battle of Tippicanoe, on a Thursday,  near what is now Lafayette, Indiana.  It is considered one of the opening battles of the War of 1812.  In 1808, Tecumseh, a Shawnee chieftain, and his brother Tenskwatawa (known to the Americans as The Prophet) launched a reform movement among their people. They attempted to end the sale of additional lands to the whites and to resist alcohol, botox, polo shirts and other nasty temptations of the competing culture. William Henry Harrison was governor of the Indiana Territory and superintendent of the Northwest Indians. Aware of the growing strength of Tecumseh’s confederacy, Harrison decided to strike first. Tecumseh was temporarily out of the area busy recruiting among the Creeks in the south, (he would be suspended by the NCAA for illegal payments) but his brother prepared the men for battle with fiery oratory, visions of 40 virgins ….no, no, that’s Muslims…… — including promises that they could not be harmed by the white men’s bullets. Well that certainly worked out well. The Indians prepared to attack Harrison first but, the attack was foreseen by William Henry, who ordered that the soldiers sleep fully clothed and battle-ready.  He assured them that if there was no attack, they could iron the wrinkles out in the morning.  Sure enough, The Prophet attacked. After two hours of fighting, the Americans lost 62 soldiers and 126 were wounded. While the Indian casualties were unknown, they lost their spirit. Probably because they discovered that bullets were Prophet proof. Angry at the Prophet, his followers stripped him of his power and forced him to flee. Then they abandoned Prophetstown which was burned by the Americans the following day. Harrison, used Tippicanoe in in 1840 Presidential campaign with “Tippicanoe and Tyler too”.

            1840-Saturday- Darwin's theory was received in Russia with profound sympathy. While in Western Europe it met firmly established old traditions which it had first to overcome, in Russia its appearance coincided with the awakening of our society after the Crimean War and here it immediately received the status of full citizenship and ever since has enjoyed widespread popularity……….S dniom razhdjenia! /Happy Birthday, Aleksandr Onufriyevich Kovalevsky, Russian founder of comparative embryology and experimental histology (the structure, especially the microscopic structure, of organic tissues.) born in Vārkava, Vitebsk.  Kovalevsky extended the germ layer concept of Christian Heinrich Pander and Karl Ernst von Baer to include the invertebrates, (this included members of congress, noted network anchors, and sports teams that keep giving serial offenders another chance) establishing an important embryologic unity in the animal kingdom. He established that there was a common pattern in the embryological development of all multicellular animals. Kovalevsky studied the lancelet, a fish-shaped sea animal. Sir Lancelet was a fish shaped member of King Arthur’s Round Table who fell in love with King Arthur’s guppy.

            1867-Thursday- One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done…………… Wszystkiego Najlepszego/Joyeux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday Marie Sklodowski Curie, Polish/French chemist and physicist born in Warsaw.  In 1898, her now famous experiments on uranium minerals led to discovery of two new elements. First she separated polonium, and then radium a few months later she separated Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The quantity of radon in radioactive equilibrium with a gram of radium was named a curie in her honor. With Henri Becquerel and her husband, Pierre Curie, she was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics. She was then sole winner of a second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time in Chemistry. Her family won five Nobel awards in two generations. She died of radiation poisoning from her work before the need for protection was known.  In fact, a strand of her hair, when examined in the 1980's was found to be still dangerously radioactive and readers of her lab papers and even her cookbook have to don hazmat suits.

       1872 –Thursday-  When they found us on the water
They didn't see our faces
I hear the voices in the warmth
But we can't get outside
So we try a little harder
Of mirage on the sea
Our desire was too much
So we are still here
…….Gazpacho…………….The brig Mary Celeste sailed from New York with Captain Benjamin Briggs, his wife, his daughter and a crew of eight. Mary Celeste would eventually to be found  floating…….deserted. Belowdecks the boarding party found, the ship's charts had been tossed  around, and the crewmen's belongings were still in their quarters. The ship's only lifeboat was missing, and one of its two pumps had been disassembled. Three and a half feet of water was sloshing in the ship's bottom, though the cargo of 1,701 barrels of industrial alcohol – scheduled for Genoa, Italy, was largely intact. There was a six-month supply of food and water—but not a soul to eat it. The captain, his family and crew were never seen again. The popular mystery of the Mary Celeste did not begin until 1884 when Arthur Conan Doyle (the future author of the Sherlock Holmes series) writing under a pseudonym published a story about a derelict ship which he called Marie Celeste. It was titled J. Habakuk Jepson's Statement in Cornhill magazine.  

             1876-Tuesday- I need more cigarettes
Give me more cigarettes, I need
Gotta get more cigarettes
…..The Replacements…………….. A patent for the first U.S. cigarette manufacturing machine was issued to Albert Hook of New York City . Hook had invented the  machine in 1872, but did not come into practical commercial use until 1881 when the first cigarette factory was opened. The first commercial cigarette brand was called Duke and Durham. Initially sales for the first commercial cigarette company were around 10 million cigarettes the first year the factory was open, but within five years one billion cigarettes were sold commercially.  Hook’s produced a continuous cigarette of indefinite length, to be cut into individual cigarettes. Tobacco was fed onto a ribbon of paper

            1876 –Tuesday- (Bo)((bom doo-wop,))(bo)((bom doo-wop,))
(Bo)((bom doo-wop,))(bo)((bom doo-wop,))
(Bo)((bom doo-wop,))(bo)((bom doo-wop,))
(Bo)((bom doo-wop,))(bo)((bom doo-wop.))
……..You cheated, you lied,
You said that you love me.
You cheated, you lied,
You said that you want me.
Oh, what can I do….
The Shields………In a preview of the contentious U.S Presidential election of 2000, (see below) Republican candidates Rutherford B. Hayes and William Wheeler seemingly defeated Democratic candidates Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas Hendricks, although the results would not be known until much later. At the close of the day, Tilden had 184 electoral votes to Hayes’ 165, with 20 votes yet uncounted. These 20 electoral votes were in dispute: in three states (Florida –yup, Florida again-, Louisiana, and South Carolina) each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon one elector was declared illegal (on account of being an “elected or appointed official”) and replaced. The votes were ultimately awarded to Hayes after a bitter electoral dispute.  Each of the states with disputed votes submitted two sets of electoral ballots, one favoring Tilden, the other Hayes. The Constitution had not foreseen this event and offered no remedy. In the end, Congress opted to appoint an "impartial" Electoral Commission to find a solution. An informal agreement between the two parties, sometimes called the "Compromise of 1877," convinced the Democrats that they should accept the Republican dominated Commission's 8-7 vote, which made Hayes the new president

             1878-Thursday-  You must not blame us scientists for the use which war technicians have put our discoveries……Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday physicist Lise Meitner, born in Vienna. Meitner was the scientist who first defined fission as the separation of the nucleus of the atom into protons and neutrons. She refused to work on the atomic bomb project as she would not participate in the development of weapons of war. We guess she would rather they have gone "fission". After Austria was annexed by Germany in 1938, Meitner was forced to flee to Sweden. She continued her work at Manne Siegbahn's institute in Stockholm, but with little support, partially due to Siegbahn's prejudice against women in science. Then, German physicist Otto Hahn and Meitner met secretly in Copenhagen in November to plan a new round of experiments. The experiments that provided the evidence for nuclear fission were done at Hahn's laboratory in Berlin and published in January 1939.  After Hahn and Fritz Strassmann demonstrated that barium appears in neutron-bombarded uranium, Meisner and her nephew Otto Frisch  explained the physical characteristics of this division and in 1939 proposed the term fission for the process. She shared the 1966 Enrico Fermi Award with Hahn and Strassmann. Element 109, meitnerium, is named in her honor.

      1879 –Friday-  Revolutions are always verbose ………S dniom razhdjenia!/Happy Birthday, Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary born Lev Davidovich Bronstein in Yanovka, Ukraine . Old Leon was right there with Lenin on November 7, 1917(now October 25 Julian Calendar) in Petrograd as the Bolsheviks usurped  the more moderate Menshevik Government ensuring decades of misery and death for millions of people all over the world.   It was the second phase of the overall Russian Revolution of 1917, after the February Revolution of the same year. This October Revolution overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and gave the power to the Soviets dominated by Bolsheviks. It was followed by the Russian Civil War (1917–1922) and the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922. Trotsky was rendered kaput via ice pick in 1940 as he was assassinated in Mexico on orders from the monstrous Josef Stalin.

            1885-Saturday- Sure, the next train has gone ten minutes ago…….Punch …….At world famous obscure remote Craigellachie (sounds like a single malt scotch) in the mountains of British Columbia, the last spike was driven into Canada's first transcontinental railway. Begun in  1880 when  the Canadian government contracted  with the Canadian Pacific Railroad to construct the first all-Canadian line to the West Coast, during the next five years, the company laid 4,600 kilometers of single track, uniting various smaller lines across Canada. Despite the logistical difficulties posed by areas such as the muskeg (bogs) region of northwestern Ontario, five for fighting and a game misconduct vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the high rugged mountains of British Columbia, the railway was completed six years ahead of schedule. The transcontinental railway was instrumental in populating the vast western lands of Canada, providing supplies and commerce to new settlers (all 37 of them). Many of western Canada's great cities and towns grew up around Canadian Pacific Railway stations.

1903 –Saturday All too willingly man sees himself as the centre of the universe, as something not belonging to the rest of nature but standing apart as a different and higher being. Many people cling to this error and remain deaf to the wisest command ever given by a sage, the famous "Know thyself" inscribed in the temple of Delphi……….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!//Happy Birthday, Konrad Lorenz, Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist born in Vienna.   In 1966, he wrote On Aggression in which he argued that animal aggressive behavior is motivated by survival, while humans aggressive behavior may be channeled or modified. Obviously he never met political activists.  Lorenz won a Nobel Prize (shared with Karl Von Frisch & Niko Tinbergen) in Physiology or Medicine in 1973 for his studies of human and animal behavior.  This was the first such prize to be awarded to behavioral scientists and was shared by the founders of the field of ethology.

1904 -Monday Give my regards to Broadway 
Remember me to Herald Square
Tell all the gang at Forty-Second Street
That I will soon be there
Whisper of how I'm yearning
To mingle with the old time throng
Give my regards to old Broadway
And say that I'll be there e'er long……
The great show tune, Give My Regards to Broadway……made its debut at the opening of George M. Cohan's Little Johnny Jones at the Liberty Theatre on, yes Broadway.  The show, which also featured Yankee Doodle Dandy, is  story of an American jockey in England would last just 52 performances, but …..for those of a certain age, Channel 9 in New York used to run the same“Million Dollar Movie” every night for a week.  It may only seem like James Cagney’s Yankee Doodle Dandy, featuring Cohan’s songs was on all the time but that’s just memory.  After all, they had to show King Kong a few dozen times too.

     1908 –Saturday-  If you can't explain your physics to a barmaid it is probably not very good physics.……..Professor  Ernest Rutherford announced in London that he had isolated a single atom of matter at the famous Rocky and Bullwinkle Academy, Wossamotta U.   Rutherford  described the atom as having a central positive nucleus surrounded by negative orbiting electrons. This model suggested that most of the mass of the atom was contained in the small nucleus, and that the rest of the atom was mostly empty space. Rutherford came to this conclusion following the results of his famous gold foil experiment. Rutherford has been described as being to the atom what Darwin is to evolution, Newton to mechanics, Faraday to electricity, Einstein to relativity and Monty Python to parrots.  He should certainly be a lot more famous than he is to the general public.

            1908 Sunday- Sundance Kid: Butch and me have been talking it all over. Wherever the hell Bolivia is, that's where we're off to. Butch Cassidy: Yeah, we'll go down there and play it safe……… Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid …..On  the same day as Ernest Rutherford described the atom, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were reportedly killed in San Vicente, Bolivia. Butch, born Robert Leroy Parker, and Sundance, born Harry Longbaugh, robbed trains, banks and stole horses in the 1890’s West.  With their success came detectives and bounties and bounty hunters. It became difficult to rob banks and trains while being relentlessly  pursued. Butch, the Kid and Butch’s fiancée Etta Place travelled to New York and then sailed to Argentina in 1901 launch a revived career in crime.  In South America, they, surprise, robbed banks and trains. For a while they retired to run a ranch in Argentina, but the quiet life didn’t last long and evidently they moved up to Bolivia to pursue their occupation.  In 1908 the Bolivian government claimed Butch and the Kid were trapped by their soldiers. In the ensuing gun battle, they said that the Kid was killed and Butch shot himself. However, other reports claim the outlaws returned to the USA under aliases and lived out their lives peacefully. Of course Butch and Sundance may have remained quaint footnotes in the history of American outlaws but for the 1969 movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman with its likable, whimsical characters and apocalyptic ending. 

            1910-Monday-.  In a certain light he looked like Elvis
In a certain way he feels like Jesus
Everyone dreams of him just as they can
But he's only the humble delivery man
…..Elvis Costello……. The first air freight shipment, a bolt of silk,  a roll of cloth)  was flown by  Phil O. Parmelee in a  Wright Brothers Model B for the Max Moorhouse Department Store from Dayton to Columbus Ohio as a publicity event Reported in the local Columbus newspaper, the story noted that the shipment had beaten the railroad express between the two cities……64 miles, 104.5 kilometers, 56.4 nautical miles. Unfortunately, the box was smashed by the baggage handlers at Columbus and they also ran out of  box lunches as well as peanuts during the flight.

             1913 –Friday- At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face………….The Myth of Sisyphus ………Joyeux Anniversaire, Happy Birthday, Albert Camus, French existentialist author and Nobel Prize winner, born in Algiers. Famous for The Stranger, The Plague, and The Myth of Sisyphus, he wrote, He wrote: "This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes that Camus's philosophy found political expression in The Rebel, which along with his newspaper editorials, political essays, plays, and fiction earned him a reputation as a great moralist. It also incurred the wrath of  his friend, Jean-Paul Sartre, thus inciting the major political-intellectual divide of the Cold-War era as Camus and Sartre became, respectively, the leading intellectual voices of the anti-Communist and pro-Communist left. Furthermore, in posing and answering urgent philosophical questions of the day, Camus articulated a critique of religion and of the Enlightenment and all its projects, including Marxism .In 1960, after accepting a ride from strangers while hitchhiking, Camus was killed in a car wreck at age 46.

 1915 – Sunday Philip Morrison, American astrophysicist and academic born in Somerville, New JerseyMorrison was among the scientists of the Manhattan Project, along with J. Robert Oppenheimer, his former graduate-school teacher, and helped assemble the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and was part of a team that toured Japan after the country's surrender ended World War II. Following the war, Morrison became a forceful advocate of international arms control. He later became a bit of a television star, hosting a six-part PBS miniseries called The Ring of Truth.

1916  Monday What one decides to do in crisis depends on one's philosophy of life, and that philosophy cannot be changed by an incident. If one hasn't any philosophy in crises, others make the decision…….. Running as a Republican, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, became first U.S. congresswoman. Later, only four days after taking office, she achieved infamy by being one of 50 to vote against U.S. entry into World War I and then violating protocol by speaking during the roll call before casting her vote.   Fast forward 24 years and one day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. House voted 388-1 to declare war on Japan and thrust America into World War II.The sole “no” vote came from Montana’s Rep. Jeannette Rankin. We’re not aware of any Jeanette Rankins in Germany, Japan, or Russia and if there were, they would be dead.

 1918-Thursday-  Bahn's Law of Rocketry: Amateurs talk Propulsion, Professionals Talk Insurance. …….Pat Bahn ………American scientist Robert Goddard demonstrated tube-launched solid fuel rockets. "Tube be or not tube be" can be a fuelish question. The tube-launched rocket was the basis for WWII's "bazooka" anti-tank weapon. These experiments led Goddard to believe that a rocket could be propelled better by liquid fuel. No one had ever built a successful liquid-propellant rocket before. He finally  succeeded on March 26,1926. Liquid oxygen and gasoline fueled it. The rocket only flew for a little over 2 seconds, and it flew about 15 feet (12.5 meters).

         1928 –Wednesday-  Romeo: O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die
…….. Romeo and Juliet (V, iii, 119-120)
 Happy Birthday, David N. Zinder, American biologist and molecular geneticist who studied a species of Salmonella (bacteria that cause illnesses such as typhoid fever or food poisoning in humans and other warm- blooded animals). He discovered genetic transduction (the transfer of genes from one type of microorganism to another by an agent such as a bacteriophage or a Kardashian) in Salmonella bacteria. Sal Monella was also a hit man for the Gambino crime family famous for his dirtiness and propensity for eating uncooked food. Using this transduction, later researchers were able to show that bacterial genes affecting certain physiological processes were grouped together in what are now known as operons. His experiments also led to the discovery of the first bacteriophage that contained RNA as its genetic material. Salmonella is usually found in poultry, eggs, unprocessed milk and in meat and water. It may also be carried by pets like turtles and birds. How to avoid Salmonella? Pay attention to cleanliness. Make sure that all food is thoroughly cooked.

1929 – Thursday You know I love my baby, ...(love my baby)
Love the way she hugs. ...(way she hugs)
But people don't understand it, ...(don't understand it)
She's a banana slug ...(banana slug)
………She just got one foot,
She ain't got no toes.
She hangs out in the forest,
To help it decompose
. Steve Van Zandt and the Banana Slug String Band……. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Eric Kandel, Austrian-American neuroscientist and psychiatrist born in Vienna.   Kandel’s research focused on the sea slug Apylsia, which, like TV reality show participants,  has relatively few nerve cells, many of them very large and easy to study. The sea slug also has a protective reflex to guard its gills. Kandel used these to study the basic learning mechanisms. These experiments, combined with his later research on mice, established that memory is centered on the synapses, as changes in synaptic function form different types of memory. Along with Arvid Carlsson and Paul Greengard, Kandel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000 for discovering the central role synapses play in memory and learning.

 1934 Opening night of Dark Victory, no, not the movie one of the great weepers in Broadway history, and endlessly imitated. Tallulah Bankhead stars at the Plymouth Theatre as a spoiled heiress who discovers she has just months to live, and must mend her evil ways, live life to the fullest and make peace with the world before she departs. Bette Davis will take the role in the 1939 film version.

         1940 –Thursday- Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me dow
n……Paul Simon………. At approximately 11:00 am, the first Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge collapsed due to wind-induced vibrations. Situated on the Tacoma Narrows in Puget Sound, near the city of Tacoma, Washington, the bridge had only been open for traffic a few months. At the time, it was the third-longest suspension bridge in the world. The collapse was filmed and is shown quite often on TV. During the collapse, the main suspension cables were thrown violently side to side, twisted, and tossed 100 feet into the air. They slipped from their positions in the cable saddles atop each tower. And, they fell hard on the approach spans. On the north cable at mid-span, where the cable band loosened, it broke more than 350 wires. Other wires were severely stressed and distorted.  Other than that, things were fine.

1942 – Saturday There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes
Another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow
…..P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri……Happy Birthday, Johnny Rivers, (John Henry Ramistella) American singer-songwriter, guitarist born in New York City but raised in Baton Rouge.  We note him because we believe that no one had as many “cover “ hits.  Rivers’ versions of Memphis, Maybelline, Midnight Special, Seventh Son, Baby I Need Your Lovin' The Tracks of My Tears, Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu, Blue Suede Shoes and Help Me Rhonda. Left to his own devices he came up with Secret Agent Man and the particularly mawkish, Poor Side of Town.

1943- Sunday They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot SPOT
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
…..One year after Johnny Rivers, Happy Birthday,  singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, born Roberta Joan Anderson in Fort McLeod, Alberta, Canada.  Mitchell came to fame as a songwriter with  Chelsea Morning, Both Sides Now,  and Woodstock among others and then as a singer in her own right. The Editorial Board of the Gnus loves her titles such as Court and Spark, Free Man in Paris, Chalkmark in a Rainstorm, Turbulant Indigo, and of course Big Yellow Tax.

1944 –Tuesday You know I am a juggler, and I never let my right hand know what my left hand does. I'm perfectly willing to mislead and tell untruths……An aging and increasingly infirm, FDR won unprecedented fourth term.  He would live long enough to give away the store at Yalta. Fortunately, he had replaced dangerous left wing loon Henry Wallace with Harry Truman (Missouri) as Vice Presidential candidate.   They handily defeated Republicans Thomas E. Dewey and John W. Bricker of Ohio,  432 – 99 Electoral votes and over 3 million popular votes.

            1946-Thursday- We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched 'round and 'round 'til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
…..Bruce Springsteen……..The first U.S. coin-operated television to be publicly exhibited was displayed in New York City. It operated when a 25-cent coin was inserted. Viewers could then watch Oprah for fifteen minutes. As Today in Science History relates it, the receiver, named the Tradio-Vision, contained 20 tubes and a 5-in cathode (only Cathodes, no Protestants or Jews)  ray tube that reflected a 500-line image on  mirror on the lid of its metal cabinet (16-in high, 8-in deep, 9-in wide). The manufacturer was Tradio Inc., of Asbury Park, N.J.

1963 –Thursday  Lennie Pike: Then what happens next? I'll tell you what happens: Then they all decide that I'm supposed to get a smaller share! That I'm somebody extra special stupid, or something! That they don't even care if it's a democracy! And in a democracy, it don't matter how stupid you are, you still get an equal share!.........The comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World  premiered in Hollywood.  This huge 3 hour mish mosh of a chase – the dying words of a thief started the fun- had almost everyone who was anyone in 50s/early 60’s comedy plus Spencer Tracey.  To whit;  Milton Berle Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman,  Mickey Rooney,Dick Shawn,          Phil Silvers,Terry-Thomas, Jonathan Winters,Edie Adams, Dorothy Provine, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Jim Backus, Ben Blue, Joe E. Brown, William Demarest,  Andy Devin, Selma Diamond, Peter Falk, Norman Fell, Paul Ford, Stan Freberg,  Leo Gorcey, Sterling Holloway, Edward Everett Horton,  Buster Keaton, Don Knotts, Mike Mazurki, Charles McGraw, Cliff Norton, Zasu Pitts, Carl Reiner, Madlyn Rhue, Roy Roberts, Arnold Stang, The Three Stooges, Sammee Tong, Jesse White,  and Jimmy Durante as the thief.

1972 – Tuesday I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue……Richard Nixon was re-elected President along with soon to be unmasked felon, Spiro T. Agnew.  Unlike,1968, this one wasn’t even close with  the Democrats nominating Liberace sound-alike, George McGovern and   first the previously unhinged Thomas Eagleton (shock treatment) and then scrambling for a replacement and getting Kennedy brother-in-law Sargent Shriver. Nixon  won the Electoral votes 520 to 17 – Massachusetts and Washington D.C went for McGovern – the popular vote by 18 million.  Of course it would all come crashing down in Watergate leaving the country with slap stick president Gerald R . Ford less than 2 years later.

1983 Monday O, my offense is rank, it smells to heaven,
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't—
A brother's murther. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will…..
King….Hamlet Act 3, scene 3, 36–39……David Hendricks, a businessman on the road,  called police in Bloomington, Illinois, to request that they check on his house and family. Hendricks claimed no one had answered the phone all weekend and he was worried. When the police searched the home the next day, they found the mutilated bodies of Hendricks' wife and three children, ages 9, 7, 5 all of whom had been hacked to death with an ax and butcher knife.  Surprise! The husband did it….or did he?  Hendricks, was convicted of murdering his wife and children. He was sentenced to four consecutive life terms.  Seven years later, the Supreme Court ordered another trial where a jury acquitted him. He was released and at last count was on his 4th marriage.  The murders are unsolved.

            1988 –Monday- In 1988 I had to go through a plagiarism trial where I was sued for sounding like myself, and people tell me this was unprecedented. I spent more than three years trying to resolve these issues, but sadly it didn't work…….John Fogerty, the creative genius of rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival,  won his suit where he was accused of plagiarizing himself,  court battle with Fantasy Records. The label claimed Fogerty copied his own song, Run Through The Jungle when he wrote The Old Man Down The Road. The label wouldn't have been able to bring the suit if Fogerty hadn't cleverly sold them the rights to his old material, something any contemporary  singer would be strenuously advised not to do.  Fogerty won the case, but then had to jump through further legal hoops to win back $1.35m dollars in costs.

            1996 –Thursday-  I'm moving to Mars next week, so if you have any boxes.Steven Wright………The launch of the Mars Global Surveyor. The Global Surveyor began orbiting Mars on Sept. 11, 1997. It pioneered the use of aerobraking at Mars, using careful dips into the atmosphere for friction to shrink a long elliptical orbit into a nearly circular one. The mission then started its primary mapping phase in April 1999. The original plan was to examine the planet for one Mars year - nearly two Earth years. Based on the value of the science returned by the spacecraft, NASA extended its mission four times. Among the discoveries of Global Surveyor was that Mars is the home base of all the Nigerian Princes who send you irresistible business opportunities…..dear beloved.

            2000-Tuesday-  It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting……Tom Stoppard…….Republican George W. Bush was elected president (Vice President, Richard Cheney of Wyoming )over incumbent Democratic Vice President Al Gore, although Gore won the popular vote by a narrow margin. The winner was not known for more than a month because of a dispute over the results in Florida. The dispute was settled by the United States Supreme Court on December 12.  The decision allowed Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris’s previous certification of George W. Bush as the winner of Florida's electoral votes to stand. Florida's 25 electoral votes gave Bush, the Republican candidate, 271 electoral votes, defeating Gore, who ended up with 266 electoral votes (with one D.C. elector abstaining). A majority (270) of the electoral votes are needed to win the Presidency or Vice Presidency in the Electoral College.  Despite screams of protest about “stolen elections”, private recounts by the New York Times and Washington Post showed that Bush had indeed won Florida by several hundred votes.

            2006 –Tuesday  Well I saw the thing comin' out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin' and I said "ooh-eee"
It looks like a purple eater to me
……Sheb Wooley……….There was  Chicago O'Hare Airpot UFO sighting as twelve people (employees of United Airlines) claimed to have seen a UFO hovering above the airport  Collectively, they seem to agree that it stayed for about two minutes (starting at about 4:30 pm) and then shot up through the clouds, leaving a hole to the clear blue sky beyond. They also all state that it was M&M shaped, silver and shiny, and spinning in place as it hovered.  Of course we believe it because aliens have nothing better to do than travel for thousands of miles at the speed of light just to pop in a O’Hare, see the lines and the long, endless walks from gate to gate and then leave again.

2013 – Thursday I don't have a mission. I don't have a torch to burn…..Mel Brooks……..Three astronauts arrived at the International Space Station bearing the Olympic Torch. The just barely made it as the torch had burned down to the bottom and their fingers were getting hot. It would then  be taken on a spacewalk, possibly to light the way for returning aliens from the 2006 O’Hare airport incident (see above) before returning to earth Monday. The torch would eventually make its way to Sochi, Russia for the Winter Games.  After the torch was out and the Games over, Russia celebrated by annexing Crimea.

Back to Calendar


35 Thursday One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs…. Robert Firth……. Fortuna dies natalis!/Happy Birthday, Nerva, (aka nerve fibera, neurona, axona, dendritea) short-lived Roman Emperor 96-98. Nerva succeeded the violent, unhinged, Domitian, removed in an emperorectomy,  and was the first of Edward Gibbon's so-called "Five Good Emperors," Nerva is credited with beginning the practice of adopting his heir rather than selecting a blood relative. This came to an unfortunate ended when Marcus Aurelius’ son, the odious, Commodus, assumed the emperorship.  Claimed as an ancestor by all the emperors down to Severus Alexander, he has traditionally been  highly regarded at the expense of his predecessor, Domitian. So Domitian was not only pushy, he had some Nerva. Nerva would be succeeded by Trajan.

            1431 –Tuesday (but it could have been December) If Dracula can't see his reflection in the mirror, how come his hair is always so neatly combed? ……Steven Wright……………La Multi Ani!/Happy Birthday, Vlad the Impaler, (aka Vlad III, Dracula, Drakulya,  or Tepes) the model for Bram Stoker (also born on this day -1847) Dracula. He was born in in the Transylvanian fortress of Sighisoara, located in Romania. The Vladster was known for the exceedingly cruel punishments he imposed during his reign in southern Romania. It’s difficult to separate fact from fiction but In total, Vlad is estimated to have killed about 80,000 people through various means. This includes some 20,000 people who were impaled and put on display outside the city of Targoviste: The sight was so repulsive that the invading Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, after seeing the scale of Vlad's carnage and the thousands of decaying bodies being picked apart by crows, quickly turned back and retreated to Constantinople. Vlad is gone but not forgotten and Max Shreck, Bela Lugosi,John Carradine, Atif Kaptan, Francis Lederer, Christopher Lee, Jack Palance, Udo Kier, George Hamilton, Klaus Kinski, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman, Leslie Nielsen, Gerard Butler, Stephen Billington, Dominic Purcell, Richard Roxburgh,Rutger Hauer and Marc Warren who have all played Dracula, are fans

             1519 – Saturday We Spaniards know a sickness of the heart that only gold can cure……..Hernan Cortez……. He should have said “we’re not home, come back next year” but nooooooo, when Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán, Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomed him with a great celebration. Well that didn’t work out very well.  Some accounts say that the Aztecs may have believed Cortés was Quetzalcoatl, a legendary god-king who was light-skinned and bearded and, according to a prophecy, was expected to return from the east.  At any rate, like The Man Who Came to Dinner, Cortés would not leave and when finally driven out, returned and  on August 13, 1521, after a desperate siege of three months, Cuauhtémoc, the new emperor, was captured, and Tenochtitlán fell.  Cortés built Mexico City on the ruins of Tenochtitlán. Colonists were brought over from Spain, and the city became the principal European city in America.

            1656- Wednesday In the year 1456 ... a Comet was seen passing Retrograde between the Earth and the sun... Hence I dare venture to foretell, that it will return again in the year 1758 ………Happy Birthday, Edmund Halley (rhymes with valley – or sometimes hally but never hailey as in old time rock group Bill Hailey and His Comets) ,born in Haggerston, Shoreditch – near London.  In addition to discovering YOU KNOW WHAT COMET,  Halley was also the first to chart the stars of the southern hemisphere. Incidentally, the comet named after him has been sighted at intervals of 76 years since 240 B.C.  Unfortunately, Halley went kaput in 1742 and never saw his prediction come true.  He also pioneered our understanding of trade winds, tides, cartography, naval navigation, mortality tables, and stellar proper motions.

          1793- Friday I'd like to go back to Paris someday and visit the Louvre Museum 
Get a good running start and hurl myself at the wall 
Going to hurl myself against the wall 
'Cause I'd rather feel bad than feel nothing at all 
And it ain't that pretty at all 
Ain't that pretty at
all…..Warren Zevon…..The Louvre, the great museum in Paris, was officially opened. Construction originally began in 1204. Five Hundred and  eighty nine years is also approximately how long it will take to rebuild Ground Zero in New York City Philippe August began construction of a fortress on the right bank of the Seine. However this original edifice comprised less than a quarter of the present Cour Carrée on the eastern end of the Louvre (the Sully wing of the Museum). It first became the official royal residence under Charles V who also constructed a new perimeter with a moat …..after all, “the moat the merrier”…. In 1546 the architect Pierre Lescot was appointed by King Francis I to erect the west wing of the complex. The Louvre grew larger as the royal collections increased. The Grande Galerie was completed under the reign of Henry IV and in 1624 Louis XIII had Jacques Lemercier plan more extensions to the Louvre. Beginning in 1667, the east façade was designed by Claude Perrault. The Louvre was abandoned as a royal residence when Louis XIV moved the court to Versailles in 1682.After the Revolution of 1789, Napoleon I, later kings, and Napoleon III lived in the Tuileries. The Louvre was used for offices and a museum. Along the Rue de Rivoli, Napoleon I began a wing parallel to that of Henry IV along the Seine. Napoleon III finished the wing, thus closing the great quadrilateral.  In 1989, Chinese-born American architect I. M. Pei designed a controversial glass pyramid (completed in 1989) at the entrance to the Louvre.  We’re not sure whether his silly glasses had anything to do with his vision.

          1805- Friday Great joy in camp we are in view of the Ocian... this great Pacific Octean which we been so long anxious to See. and the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (as I suppose) may be heard disti[n]ctly. …..Explorers Lewis and Clark (Jerry Lewis and Dick Clark) first saw the Pacific at the mouth of the Columbia river. However, they could not see the ocean from back at the tonsils of the Columbia river. We highly recommend, Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West-- by Stephen Ambrose. The Corps of Discovery left Camp Wood and began its journey up the Missouri River "under a gentle breeze" on May 14, 1804. They would return on September 23, 1806reaching St. Louis nearly two and a half years after their journey.

          1836 – Tuesday Just one game," they said, and started to play -- that was yesterday." ……Chinese proverb ……… It was a roll of the dice but…..Happy Birthday, Milton Bradley, American game manufacturer born in Vienna, Maine. In 1860 Bradley designed a board game called The Checkered Game of Life, now called The Game of Life. The object was to obtain a happy old age instead of financial ruin and a player's luck was decided by a numbered spinner. Players moved game pieces over sixty-four squares, which could be good, bad, or neutral according to their color. By 1861, Bradley had sold more than 45,000 copies of his game.  He formed Milton Bradley and Company in 1864 to print other games and game manuals.  It has since been purchased by Hasbro. Bradley was also an advocate of kindergarten programs and early art education, and for many years his company manufactured materials and published books focused on early childhood education.

             1847 – Monday  Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make! ………On the birthday of Dracula inspiration Vlad the Impaler (see 1441 above) Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker, Irish author of the novel, Dracula. Dracula is generally regarded as the culmination of the Gothic vampire story, preceded earlier in the nineteenth century by Dr. William Polidori's The Vampyre, Thomas Prest's Varney the Vampyre, J. S. Le Fanu's Carmilla, and Guy de Maupassant's Le Horla.  Culminating the great tradition of vampire novels and later movies was 2004’s Dracula 3000. Its Dracula in outer space with Casper Van Dien, Erika Eleniak,  and some named Coolio. Count Dracula terrorizes the crew of a spaceship. Oh Bram, what hath ye wrought? Ye hath wrought - Max Shreck, Bela Lugosi,John Carradine, Atif Kaptan, Francis Lederer, Christopher Lee, Jack Palance, Udo Kier, George Hamilton, Klaus Kinski, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman, Leslie Nielsen, Gerard Butler, Stephen Billington, Dominic Purcell, Richard Roxburgh,Rutger Hauer and Marc Warren

            1854 – Wednesday Q: What did the Mass Spectrometer say to the Gas Chromatograph? A: Breaking up is hard to do. …….Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen/Happy Birthday,  Johannes Rydberg, Swedish physicist and academic born in Halmstad. Rydberg's most notable work was on spectroscopy – the study of matter and radiated energy - where he found a relatively simple expression relating the various lines in the spectra of the elements.  In 1890 he found a general formula giving the frequency of the lines in the spectral series as a simple difference between two terms. His formula for a series of lines is: ν = R(1/m2 – 1/n2) where n and m are integers. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five………Groucho Marx……The constant R is now known as the Rydberg constant.

1864- Tuesday Now that the election is over, may not all, having a common interest, re-unite in a common effort, to save our common country?..........Abraham Lincoln  and Vice Presidential candidate, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, defeated Union General - Democrat George MacClellan and running mate, George Pendleton of Ohio. Presidential elections are dirty. This one was no exception.  McClellan strongly criticized Lincoln for the emancipation of the slaves. The Democrats also attacked Lincoln for being a liar, despot, braggart, having bad breath and being a Dallas Cowboy fan, and much more. Meanwhile, the  Democrats were accused of treason, and McClellan’s war record was ridiculed. The platform of the Democratic party called for a cease-fire. McClellan repudiated the Democratic platform saying the only basis for ceasefire was the restoration of the Union. Lincoln’s re-election was in doubt at the beginning of the year but Union Army victories and progress in recapturing the South made his election fairly easy with 212 Electoral votes to 21 for “Little Mac”.  This may have also been the biggest size discrepancy election, Lincoln was 6’4, MacClellan, 5’4.

           1881 – Tuesday Elaine Dickinson: "There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?.........Airplane………… Joyeux Anniversaire, Happy Birthday, Robert Esnault-Pelterie, French engineer and aviation pioneer born in Paris. Esnault-Pelterie invented the aileron (the movable airfoil at the edge of the wing of a plane). The aileron causes the airplane to roll left or right ……..this sort of helps with the steering.

            1884- Saturday  Psychological tests are doorways of insight through which we move out of the box and into the light. …….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Herman Rorschach,  Swiss psychiatrist born in Zurich.  Rorschach devised his eponymous inkblot test that is widely used clinically for diagnosing psychopathology. As a child, Rorschach enjoyed Klecksography, the making of fanciful inkblot "pictures." There blot for fortune go I and  Rorschach would make inkblots his life's work. In 1918 he began experiments with 15 accidental inkblots, showing the blots to patients and asking them, "What might this be?" Their subjective responses enabled him to distinguish among his subjects on the basis of their perceptive abilities, intelligence, emotional characteristics and dirty finger tips. The Rorschach test is based on the human tendency to project interpretations and feelings onto ambiguous stimuli, in this case, inkblots. His published results in 1921 drew little interest (mostly because people complained about the unsightly inkblots all over the paper)  until after his death about a year later and then his findings were splattered all over the place.

            1887 –Tuesday  The speediest, deadliest man with a gun
A bloody gambler but a gentleman dog
A frontier vagabond who charms all the dames
Hello ladies, how's your day today?
Let me introduce you to myself
Doc Holliday
The outlaw man's roar
The outlaw man
….Doc Holliday kaput.  Gunfighter/Dentist, Dr. John Holliday, of Gunfight at the O.K Corral (1882) fame, died of tuberculosis.  He was 36.  Probably the two best actor portrayals of Doc Holiday were Victor Mature in the great My Darling Clementine, and Val Kilmer in Tombstone. Other “Doc actors” included; Caesar Romero, Walter Huston, Kirk Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Adam West (TV’s Batman), Jason Robards, Dennis Hopper, Willie Nelson and assorted Quaids, Randy and Dennis.

·                     1889 –Friday Montana, Montana,
Glory of the West
Of all the states from coast to coast,
You're easily the best.
Montana, Montana,
Where skies are always blue
Montana, I love you…
..State Song (although it also has a State ballad – Montana Melody)……Charles C. Cohan & Joseph Howard…..Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41ststate. Created out of the Idaho Territory in 1864, the name Montana is a derivation of the Latin word "montaanus" which means, yes,  mountainous. Even today, Montana is one of the least populous we know from Tourism slogans such as "Come to Montana and Visit Both of Us", or "Ed's Visiting His Cousin In  Idaho But I'll Be Home All Day", and "Montana - If the Buffalo Find Out There Are More of Them Than Us, We're in Trouble". And state symbols; bird: Western Meadowlark,  butterfly: Mourning Cloak  fish: Blackspotted Cutthroat Trout,  flower: Bitterroot,  fossil: Duck-billed Dinosaur,  gems: Sapphire and Agate, grass: Bluebunch Wheat grass,  mammal:  state slogan: Big Sky Country  and tree: Ponderosa Pine 

            1892 – Tuesday  The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their government, its functions do not include the support of the people…..2nd Inaugural Address…..Grover Cleveland, after enjoying a four year hiatus -having lost the 1888 U.S. election, it was to William Henry Harrison’s grandson, Benjamin, was re-elected president, (Vice President was Adlai Stevenson – grandfather of the 1952 and 1956 Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson III) defeating incumbant Benjamin Harrison and Vice President Whitelaw Reid . Grover became the only president to win non-consecutive terms in the White House ,making him the 22nd and 24th Presidents of the United States.  The Democratic ticket received 277 Electoral votes, the Republicans, 145 and Populist (Silver) Party candidate, James Weaver, 22.

            1895-  Tuesday, I was working with a Crookes tube covered by a shield of black cardboard. A piece of barium platino-cyanide paper lay on the bench there. I had been passing a current through the tube, and I noticed a peculiar black line across the paper. ...The effect was one which could only be produced in ordinary parlance by the passage of light. No light could come from the tube because the shield which covered it was impervious to any light known even that of the electric arc. ...I did not think I investigated. ...I assumed that the effect must have come from the tube since its character indicated that it could come from nowhere else. ... It seemed at first a new kind of invisible light. It was clearly something new something unrecorded. ...There is much to do, and I am busy, very busy………….X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. He didn't know what to call these offshoots of cathode rays (protestant rays?). Roentgen found them quite by accident when experimenting with vacuum tubes. A week later, he took an X-ray photograph of his wife's hand which clearly revealed her wedding ring and her bones. The photograph excited the general public and aroused great scientific interest in the new form of radiation. Roentgen called it "X" to indicate it was an unknown type of radiation. The name stuck, although (over Roentgen's objections), many of his colleagues suggested calling them Roentgen rays. They are still occasionally referred to as Roentgen rays in German-speaking countries.  As the wavelengths of light decrease, they increase in energy. X-rays have smaller wavelengths and therefore higher energy than ultraviolet waves.

1900 - Thursday  I’ll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day……..Scarlet O’Hara……….Happy Birthday, Margaret Mitchell, born in Atlanta Georgia, the author of Gone With The Wind, a saga of the Civil War and  one of the most popular books of all time. The novel was published in 1936 and sold more than a million copies in the first six months. Shortly after the book's publication the movie rights were sold to David O. Selznick for $50,000, the highest amount ever paid for a manuscript up to that time. In 1937 Mitchell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

1904 – Tuesday  I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being. Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, who had succeeded the assassinated and kaput William McKinley, was elected to a term in his own right. Vice President was Charles Fairbanks of Indiana, and yes, Fairbanks Alaska is named after him). He defeated Democrat Alton B. Parker of New York (V.P candidate Henry Davis) with 336 Electoral votes to 140.    Following his election, Roosevelt announced he would not run in 1908.  Big mistake. During the election campaign, Roosevelt called on the voters to support his "square deal" policies. Meanwhile, the best that  Parker, Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, could do was appeal for an end to what he called "rule of individual caprice" and "usurpation of authority" by the president.

             1910-Tuesday As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect…… Franz Kafka……..  Insect zapping for fun and profit. The first U.S. patent -No. 974,785 - for an "electric insect destroyer" was issued to William H. Frost of Spokane, Washington. The invention used a number of electrically energized parallel wires so that a flying insect passing between them would complete the circuit by bridging the wires with its body and electrocute the insect. In the 21st century a California judge ruled it to be “cruel and unusual punishment” for insects.  He decreed that insects could only be killed by forcing them to read rulings by the California supreme court for twelve hours at a time, while stinging or biting members of the American Civil Liberties Union.

            1922 –Wednesday  You've gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin' you'll never win
That's when the grin should start………
Richard Adler……….Happy Birthday, Christian Barnard, the South African surgeon who performed the first human heart transplant operation. In a five-hour operation on  December 3,  1967, Barnard successfully replaced the diseased heart of  fifty three year old Louis Washkansky  with a healthy heart from Denise Darvall, a woman in her mid-20s with the same blood type, who had died in the hospital after an automobile accident. Washansky survived for eighteen days before he developed pneumonia as the treatment drugs lowered his resistance to disease. 
In 1974, Barnard carried out the first double heart transplant. He ended his career in surgery because of the impact of arthritis. Barnard died in 2001……………….of heart disease.

            1923-Thursday Happy Birthday, Jack Kilby, American electrical engineer born in Jefferson City, Missouri.  It was Kilby, while working for Texas Instruments who invented the first integrated circuit (IC) -  a small electronic device made out of a semiconductor material., another name for a chip , for which he shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics with along with Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer..  The microchip shrunk the size and cost of making electronics and impacted the future designs of all computers and other electronics. The first successful demonstration of the microchip was on September 12, 1958 Semiconductors have had a monumental impact on our society. You find semiconductors at the heart of microprocessor chips as well as transistors and on trains when you see just the torso and in front of orchestras when they use only one arm. Anything that's computerized or uses radio waves depends on semiconductors. Semiconductors are made of silicon (named after a convict who acted silly), Silicon is a very common element -- for example, it is the main element in sand and quartz. Kilby designed and co-invented the first pocket-sized calculator called the "Pocketronic" as well the thermal printer that was used in portable data terminals.

1926 –Monday ……..Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key
Wont you tell him please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me
………George and Ira Gershwin's musical Oh, Kay premiered on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre.    Book byGuy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse;  Lyrics by  Ira Gershwin.  Starring Gertrude Lawrence, Victor Moore and Oscar Shaw, the musical, set in the Hamptons, featured a great score including our favorite, Someone to Watch Over Me. It was made into a movie in 1928………..a silent movie.

1928 –Thursday  Ive got a crush on you, sweetie pie
All the day and night-time give me sigh
I never had the least notion that
I could fall with so much emotion
……..Two years to the day later, George & Ira Gershwin's musical Treasure Girl premiered  on Broadway at the Alvin Theater.  Book by Fred Thompson and Vincent Lawrence with lyrics by Ira Gershwin.  Unlike, Oh Kay (see above) which ran over 250 performances, Treasure Girl only lasted for 68 although I’ve Got a Crush on You was our featured song.

1947 – Saturday As chairman of the Senate subcommittee responsible for NASA appropriations, I say not a penny for this nutty fantasy……Senator William Proxmire…… Happy Birthday, Margaret Rhea Seddon, American physician and astronaut born in in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In three shuttle missions, she logged over 722 hours in space, serving as a mission specialist on STS 51-D Discovery in 1985 and on STS-40 Columbia in 1991.  Seddon  was the payload commander on STS-58 Columbia again,in 1993.  She also found time to marry fellow astronaut Robert Gibson and have three children.

1947 – Saturday I asked him repeatedly what his favorite thing as a doctor was.  He said: ‘I love surgery. I love to fix things…..Rick Smith, Angels trainer…….Happy Birthday, Lewis Yocum, American physician and surgeon born in Chicago.  Yocum was famous for saving the careers of baseball players, notably in what is called, Tommy John surgery – named after the pitcher on whom it was first performed-.  Developed by Dr. Frank Jobe, it is also called UCL reconstruction. UCL is short for ulnar collateral ligament. During Tommy John surgery, a surgeon replaces the injured UCL with a tendon taken from somewhere else in the patient's body. Yocum was team physician for the Los Angeles, California, Anaheim, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and saved the careers, among others, of Stephen Strasburgh, Jordan Zimmerman, C.J Wilson, Kendrys Morales (leg surgery) Francisco Liriano, Billy Wagner, Dustin Pedroia (foot), and Jacoby Ellsbury (ribs).

1948 – Monday Let's face it, space is a risky business. I always considered every launch a barely controlled explosion…….Aaron Cohen, NASA administrator. …….Big day for astronauts, see Rhea Seddon above, Happy Birthday Dale Gardner, American captain and astronaut born in Fairmont, Minnesota.  Gardner logged a total of 337 hours in space and 225 orbits of the Earth on two shuttle flights, STS 8, Challenger and STS 51A, Discovery.  During 51A, he conducted the first salvage mission conducted in space history. Gardner successfully captured two satellites, loading them into the shuttle to return them to Earth for repair. Fortunately, he spotted several Kardashian barnacles on the satellites, and pulled them off.  Otherwise there would be even more of them here on Earth.  He performed his EVAs in space untethered using NASA’s Manned Maneuvering Unit.

1949- Tuesday I never expected to have a career in music. But I thought, ‘Geez, if I want to take a semester off from college and support myself by making $50 here and there, well. . . .’……..Happy Birthday to one of our favorite singers, we love her voice, Bonnie Raitt, born in Los Angeles,California. Daughter of Broadway star, John Raitt – Carousel, Pajama Game- , it took her a while to become a major star with 1989’s Nick of Time, which earned her four Grammys, followed by Luck of the Draw., Longing in Their Hearts two more Grammys and  double-live Road Tested, Fundamental , Silver Lining , and Souls Alike.  She came out with Slipstream in 2012.

            1954 –Monday  The franchise was beset by problems from all sides. A bad team, sparse crowds, burdensome debt, and internal strife all were set against the backdrop of playing in an old ballpark located in a declining neighborhood with limited parking and bad transportation. Grumblings were being heard from other American League clubs that were dissatisfied with the paltry receipts they were getting from games played in Philadelphia…….Robert D. Warrington…..But other than that, things were fine. After a horrible 51-103 last place finish during the season The American League approved the transfer of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team to Kansas City, MO. The Athletics had a great tradition but had fallen on hard times. Connie Mack’s team had been sold to Arnold Johnson who moved them to great metropolis of Kansas City….where they were just as miserable and unsuccessful as in their final years in Philly, although they had limited fame as the “farm team” of the 1950’s New York Yankees. . After the 1967 season they moved to Oakland California.  

            1956 –Thursday If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style. …..Quentin Crisp……With great fanfare, the Ford Motor Company decided on the name Edsel  for its new car model in development for the 1958 market year. Edsel Ford was also the oldest son of founder Henry Ford. The hideous machine was officially introduced to the public a year later. It was a disaster. Time magazine popularized the wisecrack that it looked like an Oldsmobile sucking a lemon.By 1960, the Edsel was abandoned, and its name would forever be synonymous with business failure

                . 1960 – Tuesday Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything……Joseph Stalin…………….John F. Kennedy and V.P candidate Lyndon Johnson, narrowly defeated Richard Nixon and V.P candidate, Henry Cabot Lodge,  for the presidency.  Note, if you were concerned about the role of Florida the 2000 presidential election, take note of the shenanigans in Illinois, particularly in Chicago, that resulted in Kennedy's victory in the state -Kennedy won the state by 8,858 of 4.7 million votes - and consequently the election. Kennedy earned 49.7% of the popular vote to Nixon's 49.5%. Kennedy polled only about 100,000 more votes than Nixon out of over 68 million votes cast. The electoral college awarded the election to Kennedy by a 303-219 margin, despite Nixon winning more states than Kennedy.

1962 Thursday Hold tight wait till the party's over
Hold tight We're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house
……Talking Heads……Six years earlier on this day, Ford announced the Edsel. Today it was a rotundababque for Ford’s Rotunda.  No, it wasn’t a car.  It was designed by Albert Kahn, for the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.  After the fair closed, Ford had the Rotunda disassembled and moved to Dearborn, Michigan, where it took 18 months to rebuild on a site directly across from Ford Motor Company's Central Office Building. On this day, an employee noticed smoke.  The ensuing fire caused the roof to collapse and that was it for the Ford Rotunda.

1964 Sunday Garland, at 42, was entering the last phase of her difficult life, and while she rouses herself now and then, her singing can be mannered and out-of-breath, her diction sometimes slurred. If she is noticeably past her peak, however, her 18-year-old daughter is nowhere near hers……William Ruhlmann………Judy Garland and Liza Minelli performed together at the London Palladium, a performance recorded for American television and, surprise,  the LP Live At The London Palladium. Duets included Hello Dolly, Together, Wherever We Go, a medley, and the encores, Swanee, Chicago, and San Francisco.  Judy got to warble Over the Rainbow by herself.

1966 Tuesday All tragedies are finished by a death, all comedies by a marriage…..Lord Byron…….Lyndon B. Johnson signed Public Law 89-800 which allowed  the National Football League ( NFL ) to merge with American Football League ( AFL ) and exempted the action from Anti-Trust restrictions. With a straight face, NFL Commissioner, Pete Rozelle promised  that if the merger was allowed, no existing Professional Football franchise of either league would be moved from any city; and (2)  Stadiums seating 50,000 were declared to be adequate for Professional Football's needs. The two leagues would combine to form an expanded league with 24 teams, to be increased to 26 teams by 1969, and to 28 by 1970, or soon thereafter. Those teams were the New Orleans Saints in 1967, the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968, and the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976. The Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins were already established and set to start play for the 1966 season, before the merger was announced in June. All existing franchises would be retained, and none of them would be moved outside of their metropolitan areas.  Louisiana Representative Hale Boggs and Senator Russell Long were instrumental in passage of the new law, and in surprise surprise……. Rozelle approved creation of the expansion New Orleans Saints franchise less than one month after the bill was signed into law.

1972 – Wednesday A cable TV installer walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, "You'll be served sometime between 9  and 5……HBO launched its programming, with the broadcast of the 1971 movie (base on Ken Kesey’s novel) Sometimes a Great Notion, starring Paul Newman and Henry Fonda. We miss the opening montage and music as the camera zooms through the street and ends up in a living room where a family is watching……….HBO.  We also miss the fish swimming in an aquarium as time filler. The channel was one of the first movie channels available on cable television.

1974- Friday Always know there are friends somewhere rooting for you. There are people you don’t know, always praying for you and lifting you before God. - Jenee, from To the Survivors by Robert Uttaro……After returning to her Howard Johnson's hotel room in Jericho, CT, following a show at the nearby Westbury Music Fair, singer Connie Francis was attacked at knifepoint and raped. Her rapist was never caught and Francis and was so shattered by the incident she quit touring for seven years and eventually divorcesd her husband. Francis would successfully sue the hotel chain for $3 million for neglecting to repair a broken lock and torn screen on her room before the attack.

1974 Friday  I would describe him being as close to being like the devil as anyone I ever met……Joseph Aloi……….See same day, Connie Francis above, serial killer Ted Bundy botched an abduction attempt.  The victim was 18 year old Carol DeRonch, 18, in a Utah Shopping Mall. She was approached by Bundy, who told her that someone had been trying to break into her automobile. She thought that he was a police officer and Bundy later showed her a badge. Bundy asked her to accompany him to the car to see if anything was missing. Upon reaching the car the girl looked in and determined nothing was missing. He eventually asked her if she could go to the station to make a complaint. Bundy drove her in his Volkswagon, and pulled over on the way and forcibly placed a pair of handcuffs on her wrist. She screamed and fought her way outside the vehicle and eventually got away.

1977 – Tuesday An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her……..Agatha Christie……. Manolis Andronikos, a Greek archaeologist and professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, discovered the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great,  at Vergina. The tomb of Philip II had two rooms. The main room included a marble sarcophagus with a larnax made of 24 carat gold weighing 11 kilograms. In 1978, the other undisturbed tomb was discovered to belong to Alexander IV, son of Alexander the Great.   Philip was assassinated in 332 B.C by Pausanias, a young Macedonian noble    As for Alexander?  When Mr. Great died at Babylon on the banks of the Euphrates River in June of 323 B.C., was explicit in his last wish. He wanted his body thrown into the river so that his corpse would disappear. They didn’t but his corpse has.  No one is sure of his current resting place.

              1980 –Saturday Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance 
With the stars up above in your eyes
  …….Van Morrison……….Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California announced the discovery of a 15th moon orbiting the planet Saturn, courtesy of Voyager I.  There are currently at least sixty known moons, some “pending” moons – they may be moons- and more to be discovered.  In Eugene O’Neill’s words it is A Moon for the Misbegotten. It’s a long way from the nine moons that everyone knew of before Voyager and that Professor Sy Yentz learned in school.

            1984 – Thursday  Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another….Plato……On crew member Dale Gardner’s birthday (see 1948 above) Launch of the shuttle Discovery, STS-51-A. The astronauts successfully launched two communications satellites and then recovered two others during extraordinary spacewalks – during which the fought off attacks by both Alien and Predator- using jet-propelled backpacks and muscle power. Unfortunately, alien charmed quarks attached to the wings of the shuttle, sort of like the monster that scared William Shatner in the Twilight Zone, came to Earth, mutated and eventually caused the disease, Screen Chatinitis which causes the victim to talk back out loud to the characters while watching a movie to the delight of all those sitting near them.  

            1988 – Tuesday Read my lips: no new taxes………Vice President George Bush I (Herbert Walker was I and W was II) and running-mate Indiana Senator Dan Quayle were elected President and Vice-President of the United States 426 to 111 Electoral votes.  They defeated Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis (famous for posing in a tank with a silly helmet on) and his running-mate, Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen (famous for telling Dan Quayle he was no John Kennedy). Bush was the first incumbent vice president to win election since Martin Van Buren won in 1836

1997- Saturday Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away…..Arthur Golden….Damn, dam….. the main channel of the Yangtze River in China began to be blocked in preparation for the world’s largest hydroelectric power project.  The dam project – called the Three Gorges (the design was described as the gorgeous gorges) Dam, begun in 1994 and went operational in 2009.  Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest at 7.575 feet long and 594 feet high. The reservoir behind the dam is  410 miles ……………..dammit. The Yangtze is the third longest river in the world, at almost 4,000 miles. It passes through some of China’s most spectacular scenery.  Well there is some spectacular scenery not but a lot of it is now under water.  The Communist government of the proletarian worker’s paradise relocated at least 1.24 million people.  The Chinese river dolphin which is native to the Yangtze River, and the Yangtze finless porpoise have now become two of the most endangered cetaceans in the world.

            2002 Friday Over the years all these vampire movies have come out and nobody looks like a vampire anymore…..Johnny Depp….In honor of Bram Stoker and Vlad the Impaler, both born on this day see see 1431 and 1847 above, we note the premiere of the movie, Killer Barby’s Vs. Dracula, at the San Sebastián Film Festival.  This Bergmanesque rumination on life and busts was  produced in Spain and stars someone named Sylvia Superstar.

            2007 –Thursday  The Shuttle Discovery returned to Earth. This 15-day mission was longer than most — and more stressful, too, with the astronauts' impromptu repair to the torn solar wing at the space station.

2011 – Tuesday The potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth (about 324,600 kilometres or 201,700 miles), the closest known approach by an asteroid of its size - about 1,300 feet (400 meters) -wide. since 2010 XC15 in 1976.  The asteroid was discovered in 2005 by astronomer Robert McMillan of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.  There were some after effects of close encounter with a world-wide outbreak of Amplificatius Banalus Restaurantesia – people who talk loudly in restaurants.

2012 Thursday  I'm Chiquita banana and I've come to say - Bananas have to ripen in a certain way - When they are fleck'd with brown and have a golden hue - Bananas taste the best and are best for you - You can put them in a salad - You can put them in a pie-aye - Any way you want to eat them - It's impossible to beat them - But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator - So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator……..words and music by Garth Montgomery, Leonard Mackenzie, and William Wirges………The world breathed a sigh a relief as The "Banana War" ended after twenty years when the European Union and ten Latin American countries came to an agreement that would end eight different WTO (World Trade Organizaion) cases. The brouhaha involved tariffs placed on Latin American bananas that the Latin American countries believed favored former European colonies.

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   694 –Friday What matters is not what the goyim say, but what the Jews do ……David Ben-Gurion …………From the Department of Irony………. Egica, a king of the Visigoths of Hispania, accused Jews of aiding Muslims, and then sentenced all Jews to slavery.  Although the majority of the laws were hardly enforced, especially in the major centers of Iberia and away from the capitol of Toledo, the measures angered many in the Jews communities, and as a result, with the  Muslim invasion in 711 the Spanish Jews viewed the new Muslim conquerors as liberators.

1494 –Friday-  Bye bye love, I'll catch you later
Got a lead foot down on my accelerator and the rearview mirror torn off
I ain't never lookin' back. And that's a fac
t.………Jo Dee Messina………..The de' Medici family were expelled from Florence. The Medici influenced the destinies of Florence from the 15th century until 1737. They achieved immense wealth as merchants and bankers, became affiliated through marriage with the major houses of Europe, and, besides acquiring (1569) the title grand duke of Tuscany, produced three somewhat crooked popes ( Leo X , Clement VII , and Leo XI), two queens of France ( Catherine de' Medici and Marie de' Medici ), and several cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. Kicking the Medici out became a favorite Florentine pastime as they were driven from power and expelled from Florence in 1433-34, from 1494 to 1512, and from 1527 to 1530.  This time they were ejected from Florence following the 1494 French invasion of Tuscany. This allowed wackadoodle Dominican priest, Savonarola to essentially became the ciy's theocratic dictator.  The Medici would be back in 1531.

1620 –Monday- If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there
(You're sure)
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod
(Cape Cod, that old Cape Cod)If you like the taste of a lobster stew
Served by a window with an ocean view
(You're sure)
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod
……Patti Page………. Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sighted land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts (that’s November 19 on the modern calendar)  and first landfall was made November 11, 1620. The voyage from Plymouth, England to Plymouth Harbor is about 2,750 miles, and took the Mayflower 66 days or just about what it takes landing clearance at Logan Airport.

1720 –Saturday-  Department of Irony 2 (see 694 above) - On mo’es iz tomid a to’es….. Being without money is always a mistake. The synagogue of Yehudah he-Hasid was  burned down by Arab creditors, leading to the expulsion of the Ashkenazim from Jerusalem.

1731-Friday-  Presumption should never make us neglect that which appears easy to us, nor despair make us lose courage at the sight of difficulties……… Happy Birthday, Benjamin Banneker, a black scientist, compiler of almanacs and writer born in Baltimore County, Maryland.  Banneker taught himself mathematics and astronomy by reading borrowed textbooks. His grandfather was a slave from Africa and his grandmother, an indentured servant from England.  Banneker was also a surveyor, who worked closely with Pierre L'Enfant, the architect in charge of planning Washington D.C. L'Enfant had a bad temper and it cost him the job. When he left, he took the plans with him. Banneker recreated the plans from memory, saving the U.S. government the effort and expense of having someone else design the capital.

1799 – Frenchmen, you will no doubt recognize in my conduct the zeal of a soldier of liberty and of a devoted citizen of the Republic. Liberal, beneficent, and traditional ideas have returned to their rightful place through the dispersal of the odious and despicable factions which sought to overawe the Councils……Napoleon Bonaparte, "Proclamation to the French Nation" ……..Napoleon led the Coup d'état of 18 Brumaire (Brumaire being one of those silly months made up during the French Revolution…it was their 2nd month) ending the Directory government, and becoming one of its three Consuls.  The Directory, which had never been a strongly popular government but rather a government of convenience decided by several different interests. Napoleon, Abbé Sieyes and Roger Ducos became the respectively the First, Second and Third Consuls under the Consulate, though Napoleon really exercised the only true authority. On December 31, Napoleon replaced Sieyes and Ducos with the more malleable Consuls Cambaceres and Lebrun. He then declared that "The Revolution is over!" So was any pretense of a Republic. In 1804, Napoleon officially declared himself Emperor of France. He would keep that title until 1814 and then again for the Hundred Days in 1815 before finally losing his crown and his freedom after Waterloo.

          1801-Monday-  When Rabbit said, `Honey or condensed milk with your bread?' he was so excited that he said, `Both,' and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, `But don't bother about the bread, please …..A.A Milne……A condensed Happy Birthday to Gail Borden, American manufacturer born in Norwich, New York.  Borden  invented a commercial method of condensing milk by heating it in a vacuum to preserve it, patented, after three years of trying,  in 1856.  This was very important for people in big cities which were distant from the farm sources, as well as supplying the military, travelers and seamen. The Civil War didn’t hurt either as it created an enormous demand for the powdered stuff.  Borden  also patented processes for concentrating fruit juices and other beverages. He had superb powers of concentration.

            1825 –Wednesday- There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl's complexion……..Audrey Hepburn………… Limelight was first used in a practical way. Thomas Drummond, a British engineer had invented the limelight in 1816 but it took a while to catch on and come into the limelight.   Limelight is produced by directing a sharp point of oxygen-hydrogen flame against a cylindrical block of lime. The tiny area of lime becomes incandescent and emits a brilliant white light that is soft and mellow. Drummond heated a small ball of lime to incandescent in front of a reflector.  When he set it up at Ireland's Slieve Snaght, the light was seen from Divis Mountain, over 66 miles away. This new form of bright light that would be used not only in theaters, but also in lighthouses. Further experiments adding lemon for lemon limelight were less successful.

         1841 –Tuesday- I thought everyone must know that a short jacket is always worn with a silk hat at a private view in the morning………..Happy Birthday, Edward VII  (Bertie) rotund king of England 1901-10. Edward was sixty by the time his mother, Queen Victoria went kaput. He has the distinction of having been heir apparent to the throne longer than anyone in English or British history, although he did have an era (the Edwardian Era) named after him.  So having been born during the Victorian Era it was in one era and out the other. Known as The “Uncle of Europe”, Edward was related to nearly every other European monarch and came to be known as the "uncle of Europe".[2] The German Emperor Wilhelm II, (Stupid Willy),  Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Grand Duke Ernest Louis of Hesse, Duke Charles Edward of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Duke Ernst August of Brunswick were Edward's nephews; Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, Crown Princess Marie of Romania, Crown Princess Sophia of Greece, Empress Alexandra of Russia, Grand Duchess Alexandra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and Duchess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen were his nieces;

            1862 –Sunday-  Having lost sight of our objectives we need to redouble our efforts …..Anonymous……General Ambrose Burnside took command of the Union Army of the Potomac following the removal of George B. McClellan (again) by Abraham Lincoln. Burnside had distinguished himself by helping turn a potential route of the Confederates at Antietam into a stalemate with the infamous “Burnside’s Bridge”…..His decision to have his Ninth Corps charge across the narrow Lower Bridge at Antietam Creek (thus gumming up th works) rather than simply ford the stream came in for major criticism. "Go and look at it," sniffed Confederate staff officer Henry Kyd Douglas, "and tell me if you don't think Burnside and his corps might have executed a hop, skip, and jump and landed on the other side. One thing is certain, they might have waded it that day without getting their waist belts wet in any place."  Alas poor Ambrose, we hardly knew ye.  In December his army moved toward Robert E.Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Fredericksburg, Virginia He attacked Lee's entrenched troops on December 13 and suffered horrendous loses. Within one month, officers began to mutiny against Burnside's authority, and  Lincoln appointed Joseph Hooker on January 25.


             1864-Wednesday- ……(Germs) I rub and scrub until my flesh is raw and bleeding
(Germs) But they just come right back
(Germs) I can't even see 'em, but I know they're up to something
Hey, don't touch that - you don't know where it's been
…..Weird Al Yankovic…..S dniom razhdjenia! Happy Birthday, Dmitry Iosifovich Ivanovsky, Russian microbiologist born in Nizy.  From his study of mosaic disease in tobacco, (mosaic disease also occurs in tomatoes) Ivanovsky first reported the characteristics of the organisms that were later called viruses on February 12, 1892. While studying that nasty mosiac tobacco disease, he found that the agent causing the disease was small enough for pass though ceramic filter that are small enough to trap all bacteria. This is generally accepted as the beginning of Virology as well as Vladimir Putin. Although Invanovsky is generally credited as the discoverer of viruses, they were also independently discovered and named by the Dutch botanist M.W. Beijerinck a few years later. Beijerinck was the first to recognize that viruses are reproducing entities that are different from other organisms.

            1871-Thursday I hope my studies may be an encouragement to other women, especially to young women, to devote their lives to the larger interests of the mind. It matters little whether men or women have the more brains; all we women need to do to exert our proper influence is just to use all the brains we have Happy Birthday, Florence Sabin, American anatomist (an expert in anatomy) born in Central City, Colorado. Sabin was one of the first women physicians to pursue a research career. She reversed prevailing thought about the lymphatic system (bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes and a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells) when her investigation proved that lymphatic system developed from the veins in the embryo and grew out into tissues…..and then handkerchiefs…. Sabin was the first woman appointed to the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  In 1926, she was the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

            1872 – Saturday Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I can't see no reason to put up a fight
I'm living for giving the devil his due

And I'm burning, I'm burning, I'm burning for you
I'm burning, I'm burning, I'm burning for you
…….Blue Oyster Cult……Just over a year after the Chicago Fire, came the Great Boston Fire of 1872. The fire started in a building at 83-85 Summer Street, at the corner of Kingston Street, in the downtown area. The first alarm was received at 7:24PM from Box 52 located at Summer and Lincoln Streets. The exact cause of what started the fire was never determined but the common consensus is that coal spark from a steam boiler that powered an elevator in the building may have ignited dry materials stored near the boiler.  Then things really went wrong.  Most of the horses in the Boston area were stricken by an epizootic flu forcing the fire department to organize teams of men to pull each piece of equipment to the fire. Water supplies in the commercial district were outdated and inadequate and consequently many hydrants had on water pressure.  Then a group of citizens convinced the Mayor that it would be a great idea to blow up buildings in the fire’s path to create a gap.  Bad idea. The fire destroyed more than 65 acres of the most valuable business property of the city.

1874- Monday As the mushroom said to the toadstool “why not go out with me, I’m a fungi”. Happy Birthday, Albert Blakeslee, American botanist and geneticist whose international recognition began with his thesis on his discovery of sexuality in the lower fungi, Sexual Reproduction in the Mucorineae, published in 1904. It was significant to the understanding of sexual reproduction of the lower plants. He discovered an entire sub culture of fungi speed dating, Fungi, and mushroom blind dating in the dark.

            1888 –Friday  I’m not a butcher, I’m not a Yid, Nor yet a foreign skipper, But I’m your own light-hearted friend, Yours truly, Jack the Ripper……. Mary Jane Kelly kaput.  She was the last victim of the serial killer, “Jack the Ripper”. Like the four earlier victims, Kelly was a prostitute. She was reportedly born in city of Limerick, Ireland  in 1863 making her much younger than the other victims. The Daily Telegraph described her as being of "fair complexion, with light hair, and possessing rather attractive features…" Over a period of six weeks from August 31 with Mary Ann Nicols until November 9, “Jack” went on his rampage, killing and mutilating the five (confirmed – there were a possible thirteen others) prostitutes.  Despite the largest manhunt in London history, he managed to elude arrest even though he killed two of his victims with some policemen in the vicinity. After Kelly’s death, poof, he vanished into thin air, disappearing as abruptly as he had arrived.  Kelly’s mutilated corpse was found lying on her bed, her body was so viscously mangled that her “boyfriend”, Joe Barnett would only be able to identify her by her hair and eyes. The Editorial Board of the Gnus looked up Jack the Ripper suspects.  Big mistake.  The Casebook web site lists 50.  Contemporary police thinking (not worth much considering he was murdering women almost under their very noses, focused on; Montague John Druitt, Seweryn Kłosowski alias George Chapman, Aaron Kosminski, Michael Ostrog, John Pizer James, Thomas Sadler, and Francis Tumblety. Later, in the interest of affirmative action and diversity, there was a “Jill the Ripper” and also Prince Albert and Doctor William Gull,  Physician to Queen Victoria and the British royal family

            1906 –Friday We were [in Panama] three days and we worked from morning till night. ……. Fortwo days there [were] uninterrupted tropic rains without a glimpse of the sun, and the Chagres River rose in a flood, higher than any for fifteen years; so that we saw the climate at its worst. It was just what I desired to doLetter to his son Kermit…. Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting President of the United States (actually he wasn’t sitting…he had to stand up and walk a few times) to make an official trip outside the country. He went to  inspect progress on the Panama Canal posing for pictures at the controls of a Bucyrus shovel, then buying  a tee shirt that said “Isthmus Be the Place”, a refrigerator magnet with a picture of a ship in the canal, and a small vial of “Official Panama Canal Dirt” . Roosevelt traveled by sea aboard the USS Louisiana and then by train to the Canal Zone, arriving on November 14, 1906. Roosevelt spent three days in Panama Ironically, when the Panama Canal opened officially on August 15, 1914 the  attention of the world was otherwise occupied as  German troops were driving across Belgium toward Paris.  The ever alert media relegated Panama to their back pages. The greatest engineering project in the history of the world had been dwarfed by beginning of World War I.

1913 – Sunday………..And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along
………Samuel Taylor Coleridge ……The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, aka, White hurricane. Freshwater Fury. Big Blow.  This was the most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, destroying 19 ships and killing more than 250 people. The storm was a combination of two of the worst meteorological phenomena: a blizzard and a hurricane. The Weather Channel notes that technically, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 was an extratropical cyclone, caused by the convergence of two major storm fronts.  The storm hit all five great lakes including just the northern end of Erie.  Can you name them?  The mnemonic is HOMES. 

1921 – Wednesday You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother……..Albert Einstein  was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for his work with the photoelectric effect, in their words,  ”"for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". In the photoelectric effect a light shines on a metal plate. This causes electrons to be knocked loose (ejected) from the metal plate. He then measured the kinetic energy of the fastest electrons ejected by the light. Extending the work of Max Planck, Einstein proposed that the incident light consisted of individual quanta, called photons.  His  photoelectric effect paper helped to initiate the fundamental revolution in science that we now call Quantum Physics, not to mention television…..Also, it’s why digital cameras work.  In quantum theory, light is not just a particle and not just a wave: it can be one or the other, depending on how it is measured. And it was discovered later that even the electrons are not just particles but are waves too.

            .1934- Friday Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. ……Happy Birthday, Carl Sagan, astronomer, biologist, and author born in Brookln.  . He was perhaps the world's greatest popularizer of science, reaching millions of people through newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts, particularly his work on the PBS series Cosmos, which became the most watched series in public-television history. It was seen by what it seems like a gazillion people in 60 countries. The accompanying book, Cosmos (1980) – one of twenty that he wrote -  was on The New York Times bestseller list for 70 weeks and was the best-selling science book ever published ……although the Editorial Board of the Gnus  would rank Bill Bryson’s  A Short History of Nearly Everything as the best science book we’ve read.   Director of Cornell’s Laboratory for Planetary Studies,  Sagan also did pioneering research in biology and evolution.  While studying the universe and its history, Sagan posed many theories on the origin of the earth and mankind as well as life on other planets. Sagan published over 600 papers, wrote or co-wrote more than 20 books….he was a busy guy.

            1936- Monday A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air."Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife annual and tosses it over his shoulder."I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation. Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”…… Lynne Truss…….. It was pandemonium as a  giant panda was captured by American  socialite and dress designer Ruth Harkness, who was on a mission to capture a panda,  in the bamboo forests of the Szechuan mountains of southwestern China. We guess this could be construed as "panda-ing" to the tourist business.  The (approximately) two month old panda, named Su-Lin, was exhibited in America at the Brookfield Zoo until it went kaput from pneumonia on April 1, 1938.  It was the first panda to be exhibited outside China.  

         1938 Wednesday-All of a sudden, these people came around the corner screaming anti-Semitic slogans. A boy I had been in kindergarten with was shooting at me with a slingshot. It was the first time I had seen my father totally defenseless. I put my hand in his and I felt sweat from his hand on mine …….Alex Lebenstein……..Kristallnacht, or "the Night of Broken Glass," because of the cost of broken glass in looted Jewish shops--$5 million marks ($1,250,000). The Nazi terror campaign against Jews began after the shooting of a German official by a 17 year old seeking revenge for the deportation of his father.  Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, and Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the SS after Heinrich Himmler, ordered "spontaneous demonstrations" of protest against the Jewish citizens of Munich. As many as 7,500 Jewish shops were looted, 20,000 Jews were arrested  and there were many incidents of rape. Three days later, on November 12, Herman Goering called a meeting of the top Nazi leadership to assess the damage done during the night and place responsibility for it. Present at the meeting were Goering, Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Walter Funk and other ranking Nazi officials. The intent of this meeting was two-fold: to make the Jews responsible for Kristallnacht and to use the events of the preceding days as a rationale for promulgating a series of anti semitic laws which would, in effect, remove Jews from the German economy.

            1957 – Saturday I'm a big laser believer - I really think they are the wave of the future……..Courteney Cox…..Yet another example of patent delays, patent failures and patented mistakes which have rewarded some and denied credit to others  as Gordon Gould , a doctoral student at Columbia University under Charles Townes, the inventor of the maser,  wrote  the principles of what he called a laser on a Saturday night. By Wednesday morning he had a notary witness and date his notebook. Note: notebooks must be submitted as part of the patent process.  In the notebook, he had described what he called "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," or, "laser." Unfortunately, he misunderstood the patent process, and did not file promptly. Fearing competition, Goul had abandoned his doctorate in order to get his invention into production quickly. He spent 1958 refining and improving his model, but did not file for a patent until 1959, believing that he had to build a prototype before filing. Big mistake.  Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow, did file for a patent on their similar but independent discovery of how to make a laser.  Gould was the first person to use the word "laser". He failed to file for a patent his invention until 1959. It took until 1977 for Gordon Gould to finally win his patent war and receive his first patent for the laser.

            1958-  Sunday 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.
…..Jerry Lieber……..Elvis Presley's huge hit cover of Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog – B side, Don't Be Cruel (also a massive hit) became only the third record in history to sell more than three million copies, following those hard rockers,  Bing Crosby's White Christmas and Gene Autry's Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

             1961 – Thursday When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky. …..Anonymous……..U.S Air Force  Major Robert M. White took the X-15 rocket plane at a world record speed of 4,093 MPH – six times the speed of sound- and to 30,970 m in height.  The X-15, bridged the gap between air and space flight. Half plane, half rocket, half human, half monster it would terrorize the city of Tokyo……no, no, no Professor Sy Yentz has his mutants sense of humor…. the North American X-15 took test pilots to the edge of space for the first time. Of course at that speed  there was no time for a “food an beverage service” before it got to its destination but they did get a small bag of pretzels.

            1961 –Thursday  On 9 November 1961, Brian took his PA, Alistair Taylor, along for support and they stood at the back of the crowd and heard John, Paul, George and Pete on stage, although they can't have seen much. Nevertheless, Brian was bowled over by them. It was fortunate that Brian saw a good performance when he came down to the Cavern that lunchtime. He also liked how they behaved, and he found them very animalistic. They were unkempt, they didn't comb their hair - and, most importantly, they were lithe and physically attractive. …..Bob Wooler…..On the same day as a record flight (see above), a different kind flight began – this one involving fame and riches. Record store manager Brian Epstein went to a Liverpool nightclub called the Cavern to hear a group called the Beatles. He got one of those black light stamps so he could go in and out. Two months later, he became their manager and helped them land their first record deal, in 1962. The "Fab Four"-Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison--recorded Love Me Do, the group's first Top 20 hit less than a year.

           1963 -  Saturday  …..You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day
……Daniel Powter…………..Not a good day in Japan.  First the Miike coal mine (between Omuta and Arao prefectures)  explosion killed 458 miners and hospitalised 839 with carbon monoxide poisoning after 18 runaway carts traveling over 70 mph crashed into the bottom of the mine.  And then a three-train crash occurred in Yokohama, killing more than 160 people. A  12-car commuter train headed for Tokyo crashed into  three cars from a derailed freight train between the Tsurumi and Shin-Koyasu stations on the Tokaido line. The  commuter train then veered off course and collided head-on with another passenger train.

            1965- Tuesday This is the type of day were you remember everything…everything you did, everything you ate. I'll remember it all. …..Anonymous…….The great "Northeast Black out" began at At 5:27 p.m. The Editorial Board of the Gnus was in a phone booth at a bowling alley talking to his girlfriend when the lights went out. Most of the Northeastern U.S lost power when a transformer burned in upstate N.Y.  Don’t you hate when that happens? It was the biggest electricity grid failure in U.S. history and caused the 13-hour blackout in northeast America and parts of Canada.  In the subways of New York, 800,000 people were trapped. Overall, some 80,000 square miles, and 25 million people were affected.  There was virtually no looting and no violence.  It was a different time.

          1967 Thursday Well we're big rock singers
We got golden fingers
And we're loved everywhere we go
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten thousand dollars a show
We take all kinda pills
That give us all kinda thrills
But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll getcha
When you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin' Stone……….
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
………….. First issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published on this day.  While Dr. Hook would eventually achieve their dream, John Lennon was on this – in army helmet - cover plugging his movie, How I Won the War.  The magazine also came with a free roach clip with every issue.  The front-page story was an investigation into what happened to the profits from the Monterey Pop Festival.  Other news covered included the Byrds breaking up David Crosby left - as well as Country Joe dumping the Fish. 

              1976- Tuesday I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell
……Macbeth….Macbeth (II, i, 62……..Smokey the Bear kaput.  The original "Smokey the Bear" (a brown bear) died of old age and eating porridge that was too hot. Smokey became the mascot to
raise public awareness to protect America's forests.  Earlier mascot attempts such as; "Smokey the Walrus" "Smokey the Yak," "Smokey the Wombat", and "Smokey the Amoeba" had been rejected. In 1952, Smokey Bear had enough public recognition to attract commercial interest. An Act of Congress was passed to take Smokey out of the public domain and place him under the control of the Secretary of Agriculture. The Act provided for the use of collected fees and royalties for forest fire prevention. One of the first licensed items was a Smokey Bear stuffed toy. Remember, Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!

            1985 –Saturday  My problem with chess was that all my pieces wanted to end the game as soon as possible……Dave Barry……Becoming the Wizard of Ovs (Kaspera and Karp)…….Garry Kasparov 22, (Bobby Fischer was 29 when he became champion)  of the Soviet Union became the youngest World Chess Champion by beating Anatoly Karpov, also of the Soviet Union. The website notes in classic Chesstopia; “The match began at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow on September 3, 1985. It was a closely contested battle, with Kasparov pulling ahead in the the 16th game in a positional masterpiece. In the last game, Kasparov sought counterplay in the Sicilian Defense, and sacrificed a pawn on the 26th move and then another on the 31st move, to obtain activity in a complicated position. After a blunder by Karpov, a simple tactical sequence brought the house down.”  Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx.

            1989- Thursday As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality." Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom. ……Ronald Reagan……..East Germany, home to manly female Olympic athletes, one of the most doctrinaire and repressive of the Communist Soviet puppet states, opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. The wall, one of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was soon reduced to rubble that was quickly snatched up by souvenir hunters. It was erected in 1961 because more than 2.6 million East Germans escaped the  proletarian worker’s paradise to West Berlin or West Germany from 1949 to 1961

                  1994- Wednesday Here today – gone in a nanosecond. Alas poor darmstadtium,, we hardly knew ye………The first atom of element 110 was detected at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany. A thin lead foil target was bombarded with accelerated nickel atoms (yes, it wasn’t worth “a plugged nickel). A lead nucleus fused with a nickel nucleus to form a new nucleus of element 110, an isotope with atomic mass number of 269. After a small fraction of a thousandth of a second, it was kaput, decaying into lighter elements by emitting alpha-particles which are the nuclei of helium atoms. After rejecting suggestions for a name such as “now you see it now you don’tium” it was initially known as ununnilium, symbol Uun but officially named in 2003 as darmstadtium, symbol Ds. Darmstadtium, is a synthetic element, just like television reality show participants,  that is not present in the environment at all.

            2005 – Wednesday Lt. Mike Cruze: Oh, come off it! How could a bunch of women invent a gizmo like that?  Lt. Larry Turner: Sure, and even if they invented it, how could they aim it? You know how women drivers are! The Venus Express mission of the European Space Agency was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  Venus Express arrived at its destination on April 11, 2006, after jetting about 250 million miles (400 million kilometers) from Earth. The spacecraft fired its engines for a planned 50-minute burn to insert itself into orbit. It quickly confirmed information from the 1958 documentary, Queen of Outer Space, of a planet inhabited  by  beautiful women wearing short shirt dresses and high heels, ruled  by a despotic queen despite the heroic efforts of Zsa Zsa Gabor to thwart her as she saved astronaut Eric Fleming of television’s Rawhide. The 2,800-pound spacecraft spent more than five years circling the shrouded planet, watching long-term trends in the atmosphere and using instruments to peek below the clouds to the surface.

2011 Wednesday  In hindsight; I wish I had done more ….. well that was a bit of an understatement as legendary Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, was fired over a child abuse scandal involving his former assistant Jerry Sandusky. Paterno had been made aware of claims of sexual abuse against boys by Sandusky but had not contacted the police over the claims. The longtime coach, the winningest in major college football, was ousted at the end of day that began with his announcement to retire at end of the season, his 46th.

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  1341 –Friday- You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I'll be there
Yes I will
You've got a friend
….Carole King…….Happy Birthday, Henry Percy, the 1st Earl of Northumberland and the first of Shakespeare’s  “Percy’s of Northumberland”.  He was a leading figure during the reigns of England's Richard II (dethroned and kaputed) and userper/successor, Henry IV.  In fact, Bolingbroke (Henry IV) would not have become king without  the Earl of Northumberland.  He and his son Sir Henry Percy, famous as “Hotspur,” are commemorated in William Shakespeare's play Henry IV. Part 1.

1433 – Sunday  Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title…….Thomas Paine…….. Joyeux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Charles the Bold, Burgundy (born in Dijon)  son of Philip the Good …mainly because we like French nobility nicknames…, Charles the Bad, Charles the Drunkard,  Charles the Child , and Charles the Fat and don’t get us started on Louis or Philips.  Charles the Bold was the last of the great Dukes of Normandy. Gene Chandler was the last Duke of Earl.  Charles spent most of his Dukedom friending and unfriending King Louis XI. 

            1444 – ……most Christians, believed war against the Muslims to be justified partly because the latter had usurped by force lands which once belonged to Christians and partly because they abused the Christians over whom they ruled ……..Rodney Stark…..The Islamic invasions of Europe continued at The Battle of Varna (that’s in eastern Bulgaria for the geographically challenged) as the army of King Vladislaus III of Varna (also known as Ulaszlo I of Hungary and Wladyslaw III of Poland…obviously, he had an identity crisis) were crushed by the Turks under Sultan Murad II. Vladislaus was rendered kaput and his army was thoroughly varnished after Varna. This was also curtains for Constantinople as Europeans would be unable to save the beleaguered city and it would fall in 1453..

             1483 –Sunday Saturday-  Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Happy Birthday, Martin Luther, Augustinian Monk and later German Protestant reformer born in Eisleben. Luther dealt the symbolic blow that began the Reformation when he arguably nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church in 1517.  Did he actually?  The webstie Lutherde. Notes that the first written account of the event comes from Philipp Melanchthon who could not have been an eye-witness to the event since he was not called to Wittenberg University as a professor until 1518.Also, this account appeared for the first time after Luther's death and he never commented on 'nailing anything up' in 1517. Announcements of upcoming disputes were supposedly regularly hung on the door of the Castle Church. But, openly hanging the theses without waiting for a reaction from the Bishops could have been seen as a clear provocation of his superiors. Luther would not have done that because he only wanted to clear up some misunderstandings, but he did publish them on October 31, 1517. That document contained an attack on papal abuses and the sale of indulgences by church officials but 16th century “theses” were and invitation to debate.  Like St. Francis before him, Luther’s ideas for reform were spot on.  Unfortunately, like St. Francis before him, men twisted h s ideas into mutating beliefs or sub-sects. Thanks to the printing press, Luther's '95 Theses' and his other writings spread quickly through Europe. Luther’s translation of the Bible brought the Bible to the common folk – as opposed to them relying on the Church for Biblical sources – and also helped to develop a standard version of the German language while adding several principles to the art of translation. Luther's hymns (A Mighty Fortress is Our God) sparked the development of congregational singing in Christianity. His marriage, on June 13, 1525, to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, began the tradition of clerical marriage within several Christian traditions.

1520 – Wednesday There is no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger.

…….Menenius…..Coriolanus  act 5, scene .4…… A big day for slaughtering the vanquished – see below 1580 - Danish King Christian II executed dozens of people in the Stockholm Bloodbath after a successful invasion of Sweden.  Mostly nobility and clergy supporting the Sture party were executed, despite a promise by Christian for general amnesty.  The “Bloodbath” was a consequence of conflict between Swedish pro-unionists who were in favor of the Kalmar Union, then dominated by Denmark,  and anti-unionists who were supporters of Swedish independence)

1580 – Monday Smerwick sowed with the mouthing corpses
Of six hundred papists, ‘as gallant and good
Personages as ever were beheld
.’………….Seamus Heaney…….The slaughter continues – see 1520 above - After a three-day siege, the English Army beheaded  over 600 Papal soldiers -Spanish, Italian,Basques and Irish civilians at Dún an Óir, Ireland. The Papal forces had landed in August setting the scene for  General Arthur Grey, Baron de Wilton, the Lord Deputy of Ireland, to be sent by Queen Elizabeth with a force of 6,000, to suppress this  Second Desmond Rebellion. Grey’s first battle, in August of 1580, ended in an embarrassing defeat and the loss of 800 of his men at the Battle of Glenmalure in County Wicklow. He was anxious to venge his losses as he surrounded the Catholic forces at Dún An Óir.

            1730 –Friday- An ugly man and a poor man is society only for himself, and such society the world lets me enjoy in great abundance. . . . I may sit down and laugh at the world, and at myself, the most ridiculous object in it ……Happy Birthday, Oliver Goldsmith, Anglo-Irish poet essayist, novelist, dramatist, and eccentric , who wrote the essays, The Citizen of the World, or, Letters from a Chinese Philosopher ,  the poem The Deserted Village, the novel The Vicar of Wakefield, and the play, She Stoops to Conquer.

1764 – Saturday Chemistry is all about getting lucky...Robert Curl ………Feliz Cumplea–os!/Happy Birthday, Andrés Manuel Del Rio born in Madrid. Rio was a Spanish mineralogist who discovered the element vanadium. Vanadium is an example of a transition metal. Transition metals are the elements found in the middle part of the periodic table – there it is # 23 between Titanium and Chromiium. In 1801, while examining samples from a mine in Zimpan, he arrived at the conclusion that he had found a new metallic element. He prepared various compounds of the new element which he named pancromium sent his samples to be verified by Alexander Humboldt. They were mistakenly identified as chromium and his claim was rejected. Twenty nine years later, Swedish chemist Nils Sefström rediscovered the element and named it vanadium.  after the Scandinavian goddess of love and beauty Vanadis. In the same year German chemist Friedrich Wholer analyzed Del Rio's samples and found that pancromium and vanadium were the same.

1766 – Monday ….to plant a university or seminary for young men destined for study in the learned languages and liberal arts, and who are to be instructed in the philosophical sciences; also that it may be a school of the prophets in which children of God may be prepared to enter upon the sacred ministerial office in the church of God. ……petition to the government of the Netherlands.  The last colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, and illegitimate son of Ben Franklin,  signed the charter of Queen's College (later renamed Rutgers University) allowing it to join the Big Ten. The idea came from the Dutch Reform Church but they could not get a charter from the Netherlands and so turned to the English.  Queen’s College was named for Charlotte, the Queen Consort to George III. 

            1775-Friday- Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem….Ronald Reagan…….. Semper Fi. The Continental Congress passed a resolution creating two battalions of Continental Marines, later renamed the United States Marine Corps to serve as landing troops for the recently created Continental Navy.  The first Marine landing on a hostile shore occurred when a force of Marines under Captain Samuel Nicholas captured New Province Island in the Bahamas from the British in March 1776 liberating several tee shirt shops, two tea parlors, and noting that With sapphire-blue water everywhere, The Exumas are an exotic collection of dream destinations. Footprint-free beaches and ultraexclusive resorts and islands fit for celebrities make this tropical paradise an absolute gem. Here, nature outnumbers man, coastlines remain flawless and private homes play host to some of the world’s most famous stars. The Exumas truly are the ultimate escape………….Nicholas was the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines and is celebrated as the first Marine commandant. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy’s ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines disbanded. Following the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines fought in conflicts with France, landed in Santo Domingo and conducted operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli."

1793 – Sunday A l'exemple de Saturne, la révolution dévore ses enfant …….Like Saturn, the revolution devours its children……..Jacques Mallet du Pan……….A Goddess of Reason was  proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of the persistently anti-Catholic Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette.  As personification for the Goddess, Sophie Momoro, actress and wife of the printer Antoine-François Momoro, was chosen. The Goddess was celebrated in Notre Dame de Paris as she was put on the high altar in the Cathedral.  On 23 November, Chaumette obtained a decree closing all the churches of Paris, and placed the priests under strict surveillance. Maximilien Robespierre thought the seemingly atheistic Cult of Reason excessive and counter to the objective of establishing a republic of virtue. He sought  to preserve a religion based on the notion of a higher power that would replace Christianity and organized the Festival of the Supreme Being held in June 1794. Chaumette was arrested and imprisoned, condemned by the Revolutionary Tribunal and executed on April 13, 1794. Robespierre followed him on July 28, 1794

1793 Sunday Loveliest of trees, the cherry now / Is hung with bloom along the bough….

….A. E. Housman ………..Happy Birthday, Jared Potter Kirtland,  American naturalist, horticulturist physician, and member of the House of Representatives, born in Wallingford, Connecticut. Kirkland is credited with originating 26 varieties of cherries and 6 of pears. In 1838, he  published the first list of amphibians collected in Ohio. On 13 May 1851 he made the first discovery of a migrating song bird on his farm near Cleveland, Ohio, which was eponymously named Kirtland's Warbler. It is also one of the rarest birds in the world.  Also in 1851 Kirtland served on a committee to secure safe drinking water for Cleveland. Kirtland

1808 - Thursday The United States, being anxious to promote peace, friendship and intercourse with the Osage tribes, to afford them every assistance in their power, and to protect them from the insults and injuries of other tribes of Indians situated near the settlements of the white people, have thought proper to build a fort on the right bank of the Missouri, a few miles above the fire prairie, and do agree to garrison the same with as many regular troops as the President of United States may, from time to time, deem necessary for the protection of all orderly, friendly and well disposed Indians of the Great and Little Osage Nations who reside at this place, and who do strictly conform to and pursue the counsels or admonitions of the President of the United States through his subordinate officers……Treaty of Fort Clark. We'll have Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island too…..Rodgers & Hart………….The Osage Indians ceded Missouri and Arkansas lands to the United States.  Big mistake.  Lewis and Clark reported that in 1802, the tribe comprised the Great Osage on the Osage River, the Little Osage upstream, and the Arkansas band on the Vermillion River, a tributary of the Arkansas River. The tribe then numbered some 5,500.  By the terms of the treaty of 1808, the Osage title to all land in Missouri was extinguished, excepting a strip twenty-four miles wide lying eastward from the western boundary of the State, and extending from the Missouri River south into the Territory of Arkansas. Kind of a happy ending though as the Osage were eventually pushed into Oklahoma where they ended up owning major oil and gas reserves making them very rich indeed…..although of no comfort to those who suffered hardships for over 100 years.

            1810-Saturday- The toilets at a local police station have been stolen. Police say they have nothing to go on…….Flushed with success, Happy Birthday, George Jennings English sanitary engineer and plumber born in Brighton.  Jennings invented the first public toilets.  They were first used for visitors at the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park London, in 1851. Jennings, then a plumber from Brighton installed the toilets. He felt strongly that there should be decent public facilities. To offset the cost, visitors were charged 1 pence for using the toilet.   827,280 of them handled the matter so obviously Jennings’ investment did not go down the drain. After the success of Jennings’s Crystal Palace loos, public toilets started to appear in the streets with the next one  at 95, Fleet Street, London, next to the Society of Art  in February 1852. There was one for with one for women opening a little later 51 Bedford Street. Called ‘Public Waiting Rooms’ they contained water closets in wooden surrounds. The charge was 2 pence entrance fee and extra for washing or clothes brushes.

1847 –Wednesday  Or shipwrecked, kindles on the coast False fires, that others may be lost. ….. William Wordsworth……..The packet ship Stephen Whitney was wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board. The disaster resulted in the construction of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.  A packet ship carried mail as well as passengers.   177 feet (54 meters) high, with a lamp the strength of 1.3m candles, the lighthouse was called, from the navigator's point of view, the most important outpost of Europe.  Fastnet Rock lighthouse is on a small islet in the Atlantic Ocean and the most southerly point of Ireland.

            1851 –Monday ….How do you like your eggs, scrambled or fertilized? …..Happy Birthday, Francis Maitland Balfour, British zoologist, younger brother of the statesman and Prime Minister Arthur J. Balfour, born in Edinburgh. Balfour was a founder of modern embryology- the study of the development of the embryo.  He  showed the evolutionary connection between vertebrates and some invertebrates (a politician and an amoeba, for example) through comparative embryology. He went kaput when, recovering from Typhoid Fever in Switzerland,  he cleverly attempted to climb Mt. Blanc.

           1861-Sunday Astronomers, like burglars and jazz musicians, operate best at night……Miles Kington …….Happy Birthday, Robert Innes, Scottish astronomer, like Balfour –see above- born in Edinburgh.  Innes discovered Proxima Centauri in 1915. Proxima Centauri is  the closest star to earth after the Sun. It is  about 4.2 light years away and is faint red dwarf star. It is also much cooler than the Sun , with a surface temperature of about 3100 C. just about the same as Tucson Arizona on a July afternoon.  It is only visible with a good telescope, and only then from southern latitudes.  Innes had gone to Australia at an early age and lived most of his adult life in South Africa. So if you’re like Professor Sy Yentz and you were taught and even read that the closest star to the Sun is Alpha Centauri what gives with this Proxima stuff?  The closest star system to the Sun is the Alpha Centauri system. Of the three stars in the system, the dimmest -- called Proxima Centauri -- is actually the nearest star. The bright stars Alpha Centauri A and B form a close binary as they are separated by only 23 times the Earth- Sun distance - slightly greater than the distance between Uranus and the Sun.

             1865-Friday- Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe…..Maria Mitchell………..Big day for astronomers – see Robert Innes above-  The first woman professor of Astronomy in America, Maria Mitchell, began teaching at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. In fact, Maria Mitchell was the first person, male or female, appointed to the Vassar faculty. This made her, briefly, THE Vasser faculty.  Meetings were short and frequently broke due to arguments amongst the participants.  She had the use of a twelve-inch telescope, the third largest in the United States. In 1848 she became the first woman to be permitted to join the American Academy of Arts and Scientists, allowing her access to other serious scientists. She would be the only woman allowed to join for over a hundred years.

1865 – FridayVat you tink dem Yankees do, if dey get me prisoner, up Nort-eh?... Dey will kill me sure! But I shall take care dey vill no catch me – but if dey do I am certain dey will kill me so quick – so quick, I tell you – dat I shall know nothing about it! …. Sgt. Henry Wirz ……..Confederate prison camp commander Henry Wirz, born in Zurich, Switzerland,   was executed. The gallows were surrounded by Union Army soldiers who throughout the procedure chanted Wirz, remember, Andersonville.  Wirz was put in charge of Andersonville Prison in Georgia in 1863. By August, 1864, there were 32,000 Union Army prisoners in Andersonville. The Confederate government did not provide enough food for the prison and men began to die of starvation. The water became polluted and disease was a constant problem. Of the 49,485 prisoners who entered the camp, nearly 13,000 died from disease and malnutrition. Following the war, Wirz was charged with "wanton cruelty". Wirz appeared before a military commission headed by Major General Lew Wallace (author of Ben Hur) in  August, 1865.

            1871-Friday-Baby, now that I've found you
I can't let you go
I'll build my world around you
I need you so
Baby, even though you don't need me
You don't need me.
…..The Foundations……..  Journalist  Henry M Stanley, working for the New York Herald,  finally found Scottish explorer David Livingstone. In 1855, Livingstone had discovered a spectacular waterfall which he named 'Victoria Falls'. He reached the mouth of the Zambezi River on the Indian Ocean in May 1856, becoming the first European to cross the width of southern Africa. In 1866 he began his search for the source of the Nile River and was not heard from.  Sort of like Shelley Long leaving Cheers to be a movie star.  He was presumed to be kaput. It was Stanley who found Livingstone near Lake Tanganyika and uttered the famous introduction of "Dr. Livingstone, I presume." With new supplies from Stanley, Livingstone continued his efforts to find the source of the Nile. He could have asked Professor Sy Yentz.  He has been in denial for years.

          1885-Tuesday- Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
……….Steppenwolf…….  Paul Daimler tested his father's invention, the motorcycle.  Earlier in 1885, the world's first motorcycle was designed by Gottlieb Daimler. The frame and wheels were made of wood. A leather belt transferred power from the engine to large brass gears mounted to the rear wheel. The leather saddle wasn't very comfortable since there was no suspension (front or rear). Presumably, Daimler had a much higher pitched voice after the tests. The motorcycle did not have training wheels.

1903 – Tuesday  The other day I was on my way home from work and as I sat there at a red light, out of nowhere, a bird slammed into my windshield. If that wasn’t bad enough, the poor creature got its wing stuck under my windshield wiper.

Without any other apparent options, turning on the windshield wipers seemed the only thing I could do. It actually worked. On the upswing, the bird flew off, and it promptly slammed right onto the windshield of the car behind me. …….a police car. Of course, his lights went on, and I was forced to pull over. The officer walked up and told me he saw what had happened at the light. He simply stated: “I am going to have to write you up for flipping me the bird.” …..Mary Anderson patented  the windshield wiper - Patent No. 743,801.  - The invention was designed to clean snow, rain, or sleet from a windshield by using a handle inside the car operated by the driver from within the vehicle via a lever.  During a trip to New York City, the Alabama-born inventor noticed that streetcar drivers had to open the windows of their cars when it rained in order to see. Windshield wipers became standard equipment on all American cars by 1916

1918 – Sunday Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is 10, or something…..Dennis Rodman …….Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Ernst Otto Fischer, German chemist born in Munich. Fischer shared  the 1973 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Geoffrey Wilkinson for their independent pioneering work with organometallic compounds. Fischer had learned  about a newly developed synthetic compound called ferrocene but the structure of ferrocene was unknown. After studying the substance, he concluded that it consisted of two five-sided carbon rings with a single iron atom sandwiched between them. Ferrocene like a ham and cheese on rye, was a sandwich compound.  Fischer also worked on compounds with transition metal complexes and catalysts to hydrogenate alkenes into alkanes.       

  1924 –Monday-  I’m gonna retire Johnny.  The rackets are wearing me out.  The Gennas are invading my territory and the bodies are piling up ……no more guns, no more street fights………..Dion O'Banion kaput. O’Bannion, leader of Chicago’s  North Side Gang was assassinated in his flower shop by members of Johnny Torrio's (and Al Capone’s) gang, sparking the bloody gang war of the 1920s in Chicago culminating in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. O'Bannion was happily clipping chrysanthemums (there were no witnesses so “mum” was the word) in a back room when  Mobster Frankie Yale aka, Francesco Ioele, entered the shop with Torrio/Capone gunmen John Scalise and Albert Anselmi. When O'Banion attempted to greet Yale with a handshake, Yale clasped O'Banion's hand in a “death” grip so he could not go for his gun. At the same time, Scalise and Anselmi fired two bullets into O'Banion's chest, two in his cheeks, and two in his throat. Dean O'Banion died instantly  Yale would later have the dubious distinction of being the first victim of  the Thompson submachine gun used in New York gangland warfare.

            1925 –Tuesday- Joan Collins (about Richard's womanizing): Richard, I do believe you would screw a snake….Richard (in response to Joan): It would have to be wearing a skirt, darling, and it would have to be a female snake. ……Happy Birthday, Richard Burton, British stage and film actor bron in Pontrhydfen, South Wales.  He earned seven Oscar nominations for work like The Robe, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Becket and Equus. Burton wasted his career and life drinking and marrying Elizabeth Taylor.

                1928 –Saturday- Go go go migo
Go go go migo
Go go migo
Go go go
Go go go go go...
Go migo
Go migo
Migo go go
……..Chorus from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. …….Buon Compleano/Happy Birthday, Ennio Morricone, Italian composer born in Lazio, Italy. Morricone’s soundtracks added suspense and atmosphere  to the mid-1960s “spaghetti westerns”, notably the Clint Eastwood trilogy of Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and the best…. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. In all, Morricone wrote more than 400 film scores. Michael Brook writes on the ImdB that His score for that film, (Fist Full of Dollars) with its sparse arrangements, unorthodox instrumentation (bells, electric guitars, harmonicas, the distinctive twang of the jew's harp) and memorable tunes, revolutionized the way music would be used in Westerns, and it is hard to think of a post-Morricone Western score that doesn't in some way reflect his influence.

            1928 –Saturday-   Meanwhile, as  Ennio Morricone was being born in Italy Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne was in  the Bronx at Yankee Stadium, giving his famous “Win one for the Gipper” speech at half time of the Notre Dame – Army football game. Although historians believe that it is doubtful that Rockne's version of Gipp's last words was true, underdog,  Notre Dame would go on to win the game 12-6. George Gipp, later brought to life in them movies by Ronald Reagan in Knute Rockne, All American – Pat O’Brian in the title role,  had been a Notre Dame football star who went kaput in 1920 from a staph infection.

            1928 – Saturday  I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another……. Erich Maria Remarque published the first installment All Quiet on the Western Front in Vossische Zeitung, a German magazine.  It is the story of six German soldiers who volunteered to fight in World War I, and it chronicles their deterioration, intellectually, spiritually, and physically. The novel is told from the perspective of soldier, Paul Bäumer, who exposes details of life on the Western Front –the fighting area in France and Flanders where the British, French, Belgian and American armies met the German army -  from gas attacks, to fatal illnesses, to rat infestations. Remarque himself had fought on the Western Front when he was eighteen years old.  The novel called into question the values set forth by Nazi Germany's "fatherland" propaganda. All Quiet on the Western Front was banned and burned in Germany along with hundreds of other books with similar themes.

1938 – Thursday- God bless america, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless america,
My home sweet home
………Singer Kate Smith, on her weekly radio show, sang, Russian immigrant Isadore Baline, later renamed -   Irving Berlin’s God Bless America for the first time. It would become her signature song and one that many believe

should be the national anthem.   Berlin had written a version of the song in 1918 and was asked by the producer of Smith’s program for a patriotic song.  He updated it and voila!            


1951-Saturday-Don't hang up. You've angered me, and when you anger me you anger the phone company and all the power necessary to tie up your lines for the next fifty years. Do I make myself clear? …..Lily Tomlin…………..The first direct dial long distance telephone service........Later that minute, occurred the first direct dial long distance busy signal.  Mayor M. Leslie Downing of Englewood, N.J., picked up a telephone and dialed 10 digits. Eighteen seconds later, he reached Mayor Frank Osborne in Alameda, Calif (across the Bay from San Francisco)…….who announced that he was rushing to a cabinet meeting and could he call back……no,no,no Professor Sy Yentz has his long distance sense of humor, actually the mayors chatted for a while.  The inauguration of the Direct Distance Dialing eliminated the need for a "number, please" operator, accelerated connection speed, and cut the cost of long-distance calls.


1955- Thursday   Well, since my baby left me,
I found a new place to dwell.
It's down at the end of lonely street
at Heartbreak Hotel.
……From the Elvis archives, in his Nashville hotel room, songwriter Mae Axton played Elvis Presley a demo of a song she's co-written (lyrics by Tommy Durden ) called Heartbreak Hotel. He would record it on January 10, 1956.  The band included guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, drummer D.J. Fontana, plus Chet Atkins on guitar, Floyd Cramer on piano and vocal group the Jordanaires. It would become his first # 1 hit.


            1958 –Monday-  People see us everywhere
They think you really care
But myself, I can't deceive
I know it's only make believe
……..Continuing a few weeks of possessive pronoun titles and replacing Tommy Edwards’ It’s All in the Game,   It's Only Make Believe by Conway Twitty and his pompadour,  topped the Billboard charts and stayed there for 2 weeks. It would be replaced by the Kingston Trio’s Tom Dooley.

            1964 Tuesday  ……and its 1,2,3 what are we fightin for?
don't ask me i don't give a dam, the next stop is Vietnam,
and its 5,6,7 open up the pearly gates. Well there aint no time to wonder why...WHOPEE we're all gunna die…
…..Country Joe MacDonald………… With a straight face and fingers crossed behind his back and without benefit of a laugh track,  Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara announced  that U.S. had  no plans to send combat troops to Vietnam. Five years later, more than 500,000 American troops were in South Vietnam.

1969 –Monday- Now leave me alone and get lost! …..Oscar the Grouch………..Sesame Street, the brainchild of Jim Henson and created for the Children’s Television Workshop made its debut on PBS. Since then the acutely politically correct muppet/puppet and people show delighted and instructed children and their parents all over the world.  During this first season, Oscar the Grouch (who was orange for the first season)  and Big Bird were the only Muppets to appear regularly in Street scenes, while most of the other Muppets debuted in separate segments.  Bob, Mr. Hooper, Gordon, and Susan were the original human cast members. In this episode, Gordon introduced Sally to Sesame Street


1969 –Monday  Sister Michelle: [after she reveals herself to be a nun, Dr. Carpenter is shocked] Say something.

Dr. John Carpenter: I'll be damned.

 Mercifully, Elvis Presley’s movie career came to an end with the opening of his last feature film, Change of Habit.  Although nothing could sink to the level of Clambake or Harem Scarem, Change of Habit was pretty bad.  Directed by William Graham and co-starring Mary Tyler Moore as a just about to officially become a nun, one could also find Edward Asner (later to star on Mary’s sitcom) in the cast. The advertisement for  the film should have served as a warning, “When the King of Rock Meets the Queen of Comedy, Romance Rules. “

1973 Saturday  …… If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don’t damage children much. They didn’t damage us when we were young. It was evil deeds and lying that hurt us. ….Kurt Vonnegut, Letter to President of  Drake School Board…….Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five was  burned in North Dakota.  The Minot Daily News headlined: "Books at Drake Burned By School Board." This and subsequent stories noted that a 26-year-old English teacher at Drake High School named Bruce Severy had decided to assign Vonnegut's 1969 novel to his sophomores as a change of pace. Big mistake.  One precocious 15 year old complained to her mother about some of the more salty language (recall this was 1973 in the days before the coarse language epidemic of the 21st century). The Drake School Board reacted calmly. They  ordered that the copies of Slaughter-House Five be Farenheit 451ed and for good measuere, ordered school Superintendent Dale Fuhrman to collect and burn about 60 copies of Deliverance, by James Dickey and an anthology entitled Short Story Masterpieces, with works by Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, among other famous writers. The teacher, after emphasizing that no student would be forced to read this or any book.  He was also astounded, as was the Editorial Board of the Gnus, that books were burned in the United States of America.

            1974 –Sunday- einstein was not a handsome fellow
nobody ever called him al
he had a long moustache to pull on
it was yellow
i don't believe he ever had a girl
one thing he missed out in his theory
of time and space and relativity
is something that makes it very clear he
was never gonna score like you and me
he didn't know about
quark strangeness and charm
quark strangeness and charm
quark strangeness and charm
quark ssenegnarts and charm …….Hawkwind……….The discovery of the "charmed quark" subatomic particle was announced simultaneously by the two American experimental groups responsible. One was an MIT group at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the other a SLAC-Berkeley group  at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Prior to this quarks were generally thought to be boorish and ill-mannered and could never be charming. The new particle, of mass 3095 MeV (as we all know, MeV is Mega electron volts), had a lifetime about 1000 times more than that of other particles of comparable mass…..obviously due to its charm.  In 1976, the scientists leading those groups Samuel Ting and Burton Richter, were awarded the Nobel prize in physics.  Quarks, named by physicist Murray Gell-Mann, from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake – “Three quarks for Muster Mark!......     are one of the two basic building blocks of matter – the other is gluon. Scientists have discovered six different kinds of quarks: Top, Bottom, Up, Down, Strange and Charm.  The charmed quark is more massive than the up, down, and strange quarks.

            1975 –Monday-  When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck
Sayin' "Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya"
At seven PM a main hatchway caved in
He said, "Fellas, it's been good to know ya"
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald…….
Gordon Lightfoot……Edmund Fitzgerald kaput.  The Edmund Fitzgerald, at 729 ft. long, the biggest and fastest freighter on the Great Lakes, sank in Lake Superior during a storm featuring 60 mph winds and 15 ft. waves. 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan. All 29 crew members were lost. The ship lies broken in two sections in 530 feet of water.

            1980-Monday-  We must believe then, that as from hence we see Saturn and Jupiter; if we were in either of the Two, we should discover a great many Worlds which we perceive not; and that the Universe extends so in infinitum…..Cyrano de Bergerac….Voyager 1 flew past Saturn. Saturn was the last planetary flyby for this  Voyager.   Voyager 2 would arrive in 1981. Both Voyagers measured the rotation of Saturn (the length of a day) at 10 hours, 39 minutes, 24 seconds. Both discovered answers and questions (sort of like the Jeopardy TV Show) about the rings such as should the engagement ring be returned if the bride breaks off the engagement? And,  will she really notice it it’s cubic zirconia.  Voyager 1 spacecraft was launched in September 1977 and flew by Jupiter and Saturn before continuing on toward interstellar space. NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft also flew by Jupiter and Saturn and went on to explore Uranus and Neptune.  Voyager 1 and 2 are currently in the "Heliosheath" -- the outermost layer of the heliosphere where the solar wind is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas and non-handicapped people who park in handicap parking spaces are formed

1983 –Tuesday  To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer…..Bill Gates and Microsoft introduced Windows 1.0 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. 1.0 was a next-generation operating system that would provide a graphical user interface (GUI) and a multitasking environment for IBM computers. How quaint. They promised that the new product would be on the shelf by April 1984.  Surprise!  Microsoft finally shipped Windows 1.0 on November 20, 1985, almost two years past the initially promised release date.

1983 –Tuesday-  I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image…..Stephen Hawking…….From the Department of Irony, on the same day as Gates introduced Windows 1.0…..Student Fred Cohen presented to a security seminar the results of his test - the first documented virus, created as an experiment in computer security. Cohen created this first virus when studying for a PhD at the University of Southern California.  Cohen inserted his proof-of-concept code into a Unix command, and within five minutes of launching it onto a mainframe computer, had gained control of the system. Cohen’s academic adviser, Len Adleman (the A in RSA Security), likened the self-replicating program to a virus, thus coining the term. Now there are almost 60,000 viruses in existence and they have gone from being a nuisance to a permanent menace. Thanks Fred.   Among the worst have been, The Morris Worm, The Concept Virus, CIH, the Anna Kournakova  (created by an obsessed admirer of the  dim bulb tennis celebrity),  The Melissa, ILOVEYOU, and the Blaster Worm with more to come.   Thanks Fred.

            1988 –Thursday-  I say thank God for government waste. If government is doing bad things, it's only the waste that prevents the harm from being greater. …..Milton Friedman……Good news….., Secretary John Herrington of the Department of Energy (quick now, explain what the Department of Energy does)  announced that Ellis County, Texas would be the home of a $4.4 billion atom- smashing super collider. The superconducting super collider would become the world's largest particle accelerator, the basic research tool in high energy physics for studying the nature of matter and energy. Bad news…… in 1993 after investing over $2 billion dollars into the project, Presidential stud muffin, Bill Clinton and Congress cancelled it entirely. Highly sophisticated machinery and laboratories were simply sold to the highest bidder, and thousands of acres of empty land were parceled off and sold as well. All that now remains are 200,000 square feet of still-vacant factories and labs, and over 30 km of carved-rock tunnels slowly filling with water.  Some guy wants to make it the world’s largest mushroom farm.  Obviously he’s a fungi.

1990 –Saturday It doesn't sound anything like 'Under Pressure. ……. Vanilla Ice aka Rob Van Winkle,  started a 16-week run at No.1 on the US album charts with To The Extreme an assault on music that would forever stain rap. 

1994 –Thursday I love everything that's old, - old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine……Oliver Goldsmith……..The Codex Leicester, the only Leonardo da Vinci manuscript owned in the United States and the only one in the world still in private hands, was sold at auction. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates paid $30.8 million for it. The Codex Leicester was written around 1508, and is one of 30 or so similar books produced by Da Vinci across his lifetime. It is  72 loose pages with around 300 notes and detailed drawings rendered in chalk and brown ink, alongside Leonardo's famed 'mirror writing'.All of these sketches are based around a common theme: water and how it moved. Codex Leicester's – it got its name from Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester who was an early owner - historical importance is further bolstered by the fact that Da Vinci is thought to have used its contents as research to paint the background of his masterwork, the Mona Lisa.

2008 –Monday By the time I get to Phoenix she'll be rising
She'll find the note I left hangin' on her door
She'll laugh when she reads the part that says I'm leavin'
'Cause I've left that girl so many times before
……Glen Campbell……..Over five months after landing on Mars, NASA declared the Phoenix mission concluded after communications with the lander ended on November 2.  Either seasonal decline in sunshine at the robot's arctic landing site is not providing enough sunlight for the solar arrays to collect the power necessary to charge batteries that operate the lander's instruments or rocks that looked like the face of Elvis and emitted beams that broadcast Do the Clam, were cited as the cause of transmission interruptus. Phoenix was a lander sent to the surface of Mars to search for evidence of past or present microbial life. Using a robotic arm, it could dig up to half a meter into the Red Planet to collect samples and return them to onboard instruments for analysis. Besides verifying the existence of water-ice in the Martian subsurface, Phoenix discovered traces of the chemical perchlorate, a possible energy source for microbes a potentially valuable future resource for human explorers, and the birthplace of many members of the New York City Council. 

2012 Saturday  The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat…..Albert Einstein….The Danish government declared that it would  end the country's "fat tax" that put a tax on foods with more than 2.3 percent saturated fats.  The tax was cancelled when they realized  that it had only inflated food prices. It also put Danish jobs at risk and drove customers to buy food in Sweden and Germany.  The fat tax was levied on all products containing saturated fats - from butter and milk to pizzas, oils, meats, and  pre-cooked foods.  An example cited was when the tax was introduced the price of a pack of 250 grams of butter rose by 2.20 kroner ($0.37) to more than 18 kroner ($2.95).

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 308 –Wednesday Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due………Ambrose Bierce……..The Congress of Carnuntum, in attempting to keep peace within the Roman Empire, declared that Maxentius and Licinius to be Augusti (co-emperors), while rival contender Constantine I was declared “Caesar” of Britain and Gaul. Former emperor Diocletian had come out of retirement to organize the Congress held in present day Hainburg, Austria.  His retirement had caused the chaos that resulted in almost as many emperors as Elizabeth Taylor had husbands.  Constantine would emerge victorious in 312 after the Battle of Milivan Bridge just outside of Rome, leading the charge of his Gallic cavalry, and his army thoroughly routed Maxentius' army. The fleeing troops had only one escape route, over the Milvian Bridge, across the Tiber River. There was a massive bottleneck effect at the bridge (which had been destroyed by Maxentus and rebuilt as a pontoon bridge.  Instead of waiting for Constantine to cross the bridge, Maxentus crossed. Not even Maxentius could get across during the disastrous retreat and  tried to swim across instead. Genius that he was, he didn’t take his heavy armor off and it dragged him to kaputville.

1100 – Sunday  I'm going to the backseat of my car with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes………..Homer Simpson…………..On a social note, Henry I of England married Matilda of Scotland, the daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland.  There had been a bit of a delay as Matilda's years in the convent raised questions of whether she had taken vows and was thus not free to marry legally. Henry asked Archbishop Anselm for a ruling, and Anselm convened a council of bishops. Surprise! They heard testimony from Matilda that she had never taken vows, had worn the veil only for protection, and that her stay in the convent had only been for her education. Matilda was eligible to marry Henry.  Things would end badly as their daughter, also Matilda was named Henry’s heir.  This was disputed by nephew Stephen of Blois.  Civil war ensued.

            1493 – Saturday Many have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver. For me such is not the aim, but to consider only what virtue and power may lie in medicines. ………Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, - possibly…..we’ve alsi seen December 17 Paracelsus, born, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim born in Egg. Paracelsus  (ancient ancestor of football coach Bill Parcelsus) German-Swiss physician and alchemist who is one of the benchmarks between ending alchemy and beginning chemistry.  He established the role of chemistry in treating medical ailments.  Wolfram Science World notes, he was a hermit, and his works are largely unintelligible. He is also credited with introducing opium and mercury into the arsenal of medicine

1569 – Tuesday  If by fire Of sooty coal th' empiric alchymist Can turn, or holds it possible to turn, Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold. ……John Milton………A big day for German alchemists – see Paracelus above- Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday Martin Ruland the Younger, German physician and chemist and yes, (see above) alchemist, born in Lauingen, Bavaria. Ruland was influenced by Paracelus and wrote Lexicon alchemiae (The Dictionary of Alchemy).

           1572 –Monday  On the 11th day of November in the evening after sunset, I was contemplating the stars in a clear sky. I noticed that a new and unusual star, surpassing the other stars in brilliancy, was shining almost directly above my head; and since I had, from boyhood, known all the stars of the heavens perfectly, it was quite evident to me that there had never been any star in that place of the sky, even the smallest, to say nothing of a star so conspicuous and bright as this. I wqs so astonished of this sight that I was not ashamed to doubt the trustworthyness of my own eyes. But when I observed that others, on having the place pointed out to them, could see that there was really a star there, I had no further doubts. A miracle indeed, one that has never been prevoiously seen before our time, in any age since the beginning of the world…………A supernova was observed in the constellation Cassiopeia. Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was on his way home when his attention was attracted by a star in Cassiopeia which was shining at about the brightness of Jupiter. The “star” had not been there before.  Tycho was so impressed by this event that he devoted the rest of his professional life solely to astronomy. People have asked Professor Sy Yentz about the difference between a nova and a supernova.  The difference is that in between super and just plain nova there is the "pretty good nova". Actually, a supernova is the explosive death of a massive star whose energy output causes its expanding gases to glow brightly for weeks or months. A supernova remnant is the glowing, expanding gaseous remains of a supernova explosion.

           1620 –Wednesday  IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620. …..In what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod, the Mayflower Compact was signed on, yes,  the Mayflower, establishing the basic laws for the Plymouth Colony. The compact, a round, hinged beauty aide with a mirror on one side and powder on the other was only 5 inches in diameter and Professor Sy Yentz can’t figure out how they wrote all those laws on such a small surface. The Pilgrims had obtained permission from English authorities to settle in Virginia, whose northern border at the time extended up to what is now New York.  The Mayflower Compact was an attempt to establish a temporary, legally-binding form of self-government until such time as the Company could get formal permission from the Council of New England.  This formal permission came in the form of the Pierce Patent of 1621. 


The original Mayflower Compact has been lost,  almost 400 years of searching lady’s powder rooms has come up d ry. The text was first published in London in 1622

            1647- Monday But to go to school in a summer morn, Oh, it drives all joy away! Under a cruel eye outworn, The little ones spend the day-- In sighing and dismay….. William Blake………..The first American compulsory school law was passed in Massachusetts. It provided for a teacher for every community of over 50 families. It is known as the Old Deluder Satan Law (after the law's first sentence). Remember, the Puritans specifically framed ignorance as a Satanic ill. Nowadays it doesn’t even prevent people from being elected to political office.  Several secondary and some elementary schools were opened as a result of the edict.

1673 – Saturday  Q: How did the Ottomans conquer Poland so fast? A: They marched in backwards and the Polish thought they were leaving……….During the Polish – Ottoman War (the Poles just couldn’t find something comfy to put their feet on while sitting in a comfy chair) came the Second Battle of Khotyn (Chocim) – the first had been in 1621- in the Ukraine. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under the command of Jan Sobieski defeated the Ottoman army. During  this battle, rockets made by Kazimierz Siemienowicz were successfully employed.  Things didn’t go well for the Commonwealth as the final peace treaty ended with the Muslims keeping 2/3 of the territory taken during their invasion.

1778 Wednesday …..The enemy killed, scalped, and most barbarously murdered 32 inhabitants, chiefly women and children, as well as Colonel Alden. They committed the most inhuman barbarities on most of the dead and the lieutenant colonel; all the officers and continental soldiers were stripped and drove naked before them …contemporary newspaper report cited on………..Seneca Indian and Tory  forces attacked a village and fort in eastern New York State during the American Revolutionary War, killing more than 40 soldiers and civilians.  The Seneca miffed angry about the burning of Tioga by forces led by Colonel Thomas Hartley, his accusations of atrocities by the Iroquois at the Battle of Wyoming, and the colonists' destruction of their settlement of Onoquaga.   The Tories were angry that they were out of tea bags.

 1675 – Monday Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five…..Groucho Marx……… German mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz demonstrated  integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x).  He introduced several notations used in calculus to this day, for instance the integral sign "+ representing an elongated S from the Latin word summa and the d used for differentials from the Latin word differentia.  Integral calculus is part of infinitesimal calculus, which in addition also comprises differential calculus. In general, infinitesimal calculus is the part of mathematics concerned with finding tangent lines to curves, areas under curves, minima and maxima, and other geometric and analytic problems. Isaac Newton and Leibnitz, working independently, get credit for the development of calculus.  Newton considered variables changing with time, Leibniz thought of the variables x and y as ranging over sequences of infinitely close values. He introduced dx and dy as differences between successive values of these sequences. Leibniz knew that dy/dx gives the tangent but he did not use it as a defining property. On the other hand, Newton used quantities x' and y', which were finite velocities, to compute the tangent. Of course neither Leibniz nor Newton thought in terms of functions, but both always thought in terms of graphs. For Newton the calculus was geometrical while Leibniz took it towards analysis.  Got it?

1729-   Friday BOTANY, n. The science of vegetables—those that are not good to eat, as well as those that are. It deals largely with their flowers, which are commonly badly designed, inartistic in color, and ill-smelling…….Ambrose Bierce …….Joyeux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, Louis Antoine de Bougainville French navigator and scientist, born in Paris. Bougainville was elected to the British Royal Society in 1754 in recognition of a work on calculus that he wrote at age 25.  Bougainville was un gars occupé  as he was an accomplished scholar and also a man of action who fought in the Seven Years War and explored the Pacific Ocean. He  made a voyage around the world from1767–69 and  visited many of the islands of the South Pacific and compiling a scientific record of his findings. The largest of the Solomon Islands is named after him, as is the colorful tropical climbing plant, Bougainvillia.

1743 – Monday What does a botanist sleep on? A monocot……….Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen /Happy Birthday Carl Peter Thunberg, Swedish botanist, entomologist, and psychologist born in Jönköping.  He was a student of Carolus Linnaeus.  A traveler too, Thunberg spent 3 years in South Africa where he collected over over 3000 species of plants, about  a third of these were new to science and several gave him a rash.

        1790- Thursday A chrysanthemum by any other name would be a lot easier to spell…..Robert C. Savage……….. Speaking of Botany – see Bougainville above -  “Mums the word” - chrysanthemums were introduced into England from China.  The flowering herb  was described in writings as early as the 15th Century B.C. In 1753 Swedish botantist, Carolus Linnaeus had combined the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold with anthemon, meaning flower. These hardy plants have since been found native in Japan, northern Africa, and southern Europe. Their flowers come in every color except blue.

            1821 – Sunday If God does not exist, then everything is permitted……. S dniom razhdjenia!/Happy Birthday, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist born in Moscow (Oct. 30 O.S calendar) He almost didn’t get to write Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov as in 1849, Dostoevsky was arrested with other members of radical group  and was sentenced to death. He was placed in solitary confinement in the Petropavlovsky Fortress for eight months. During this time, Tsar Nikolai I changed his sentence but ordered that this change only be announced at the last minute. On December 22, Dostoevsky and his fellow prisoners were led through all the initial steps of execution, and several of them were already tied to posts awaiting their deaths when the reprieve was sounded. This was followed by 4 years of hard labor in Siberia.  No wonder he was a tad gloomy. 

            1831 –Friday Turner's insurrection effectively put an end to what lingering support for emancipation remained in the South, and led directly to ever more stringent restrictions on blacks, as well as on whites who dared to publicly challenge the institution of slaver……Fergus M. Bordewich…….. Nat Turner kaput.  Nat Turner,   the leader of a bloody slave revolt.  and 75 followers had rampaged through Southampton County, Virginia attempting to instigate a general slave rebellion – which only lasted two days -  while, killing about 60 whites. Turner was hanged in Jerusalem, the county seat.  The aftermath included the execution of 56 blacks accused of being part of Turner's slave rebellion. In addition, two hundred blacks were also beaten and killed by white militias and mobs reacting with violence. Across south,  state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free blacks, and requiring white ministers ( with big gigantic hair weaves) to be present at black worship services.

            1834 –Tuesday and  1858Thursday  Goin' to the chapel
And we're gonna get ma-a-arried
Goin' to the chapel
And we're gonna get ma-a-arried
Gee, I really love you
And we're gonna get ma-a-arried
Goin' to the chapel of love
……The Dixie Cups…………..A presidential doubleheader social note as on this day, the future President Franklin Pierce (1852- 1856) married Jane Appleton.  And on this day in 1858, future President James Garfield (1800-1881) married, Lucretia Rudolph. Surprisingly, both brides wore Vera Wang and the grooms, Tommy Hilfiger tuxedos (Pierce’s was rented).  Both weddings were catered by Izzy Lipschitz “Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs  for Democrats and Whigs”.  Music was  provided by the Barry Manilow Orchestra.

1851- Tuesday  Be it known that I, ALVAN CLARK, of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex and State of Massachusetts, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Telescopes; and I do hereby declare that the same is fully described and represented in the following specification and accompanying drawings, letters, figures, and references thereof. …….Even though telescopes had been around since Galileo in 1610, yhe first U.S. patent for a telescope design was issued to Alvan Clark of Cambridge, Mass. - No. 8,509. Clark was a portrait painter who was interested in astronomy and  had made several small lenses and mirrors as a hobby. The first observatories built in the U.S. were equipped with telescopes from Europe. Alvan Clark, along with his sons Alvan Graham Clark and George Basset Clark, improved on them and they became the world's preeminent makers of telescopes in the second half of the 19th century. Their company, Alvan Clark & Sons, built instruments for almost every American observatory as well as some overseas. Five times the Clarks beat their own record by making the lens for the world's biggest refracting telescope. That’s a 36” refractor telescope made my Clark at the Lick Observatory.

1875 -Thursday  Happy Birthday, Vesto Melvin Slipher American astronomer born in Mulberry, Indiana.  Slipher while working at the Lowell Observatory – Arizona -1912  took spectrographic readings of distant stars and discovered that they appeared to be moving away from us. He discovered that the universe isn’t static………it is moving.

Slipher discovered a red shift – light moving away from us shifts toward the red end of the spectrum.  Light coming towards us shifts to blue. Unfortunately…….At the time, the Lowell Observatory was focused on Percival Lowell’s obsession with canals on Mars.Without Vesto Slipher there would have been no Edward Hubble.

1880Thursday  More men than I have put men to death, but I am the last man in the world that would take a man's life. Two years ago — even if my own life was at stake — and I am confident, if I thought a man would shoot me — I would give him a chance of keeping his life, and would part with my own; but if I knew that through him innocent persons' lives were at stake, I certainly would have to shoot him if he forced me to do so; but I would want to know that he was really going to take my innocent life….49 years later,  same day Nat Turner was hanged……..Australian bushranger (An outlaw living in the Australian bush), Ned Kelly was  hanged at Melbourne Gaol. Kelly and his gang - brother Dan, and Joe Byrne and Steve Hart -were infamous through Australia in the 1870s for highway robbery, bank swindles and battles  with local police. In  1878, the gang also constructed unusual bullet-proof, plate-metal armor and helmets from farm tools, which gave them their trademark look – think of the Monty Python knight in Holy Grail that had his arms and leg cut off. Kelly and the gang became Australian folk heroes.

       1885 –Wednesday  Keep on advancing… whether we go over, under, or through the enemy…..Happy Birthday, George Patton, American General born in San Gabriel, California.  During the first World War  (see 1918 below) Patton was deployed to  the Western Front in France where he served under General John Pershing before being given command of 304th Tank Brigade.  He was known as "Blood & Guts" for his hard-driving discipline, which paid off in lower casualties and great success on the battlefield. In WWII, he led the U.S. 7th Army in its invasion of Sicily and swept across northern France at the head of the 3rd Army in the summer of 1944. Late that same year, Patton’s forces played a key role in defeating the German counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge, as he turned the entire army around in 24 hours to meet the Nazi assaul, after which he led them across the Rhine River and into Germany, capturing 10,000 miles of territory and liberating the country from the Nazi regime. He was also an outspoken critic of the Soviets. Openly saying he would like to fight the Communists. Patton is now considered one of the greatest military figures in history.

1887 –  Friday No power on Earth can rob the working man of his knowledge of  how to make bombs- and that knowledge he possesses…..George Engel, Haymarket defendant….. Big day for executions as Anarchist Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer and George Engel were executed.    During a May 4, 1886 labor protest, organized by labor radicals to protest the killing and wounding of several workers by the Chicago police during a strike the day before at the McCormick Reaper Works, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, someone threw a bomb at the police.  Eight people were killed and over 100 injured.  Police arrested hundreds of people, but never determined the identity of the bomb thrower. Amidst public clamor for revenge, however, eight anarchists, including prominent speakers and writers, were tried for murder. It wasn’t much of a trial.  The judge and jurors were prejudiced against the defendants of whom only 2 were American born.  The rest were from Germany. 

1889 –Monday  ……..Washington my home;
Where ever I may roam;
This is my land, my native land,
Washington, my home.
Our verdant forest green,
Caressed by silvery stream;
From mountain peak to fields of wheat.
Washington, my home………
Helen Davis………..Washington was admitted as the 42nd U.S. state. The state is named after George Washington, and is the only U.S. state named after a president.  In 1775, Spanish explorers landed near present-day Point Grenville and claimed the Washington region for Spain.  Spain began exploration of Washington in an attempt to stop the Russians from claiming land farther south,  plus they wanted to have lunch at the top of the Space Needle. In 1811, John Jacob Astor established Fort Okanogan, the first permanent American settlement within what is now the state of Washington.  In 1818, the U.S. and England agreed that settlers from both countries could move into Washington, which was then part of the Oregon Country. Symbolically the state has - State Bird –Goldfinch, State Insect -Green darner dragonfly, State Fish - Steelhead trout,  State Flower - Coast rhododendron, State Tree - Western hemlock, State Fruit –Apple, State Vegetable- Walla Walla Sweet Onion, State Grass- Bluebunch Wheat grass, State Fossil - Columbian Mammoth, State -Gem Petrified wood, State Ship - The President Washington, and the State Dance - Square dance

1904- Friday  A mathematical proof must be perspicuous. ….. Ludwig Wittgenstein…..Happy Birthday, John Henry Constantine Whitehead British mathematician born in Chennai, India.  Whitehead greatly influenced the development of homotopy theory  - a special kind of mapping of topological spaces).  His work in differential geometry included the paper “On the Covering of a Complete Space by the Geodesics Through a Point”  which contained pioneering contributions to this area of mathematics. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five….Groucho Marx….. He later moved  on to Algebraic Topology which we think is near Cleveland.

            1918- Monday  But fame is theirs - and future days
On pillar'd brass shall tell their praise;
Shall tell - when cold neglect is dead -
"These for their country fought and bled
…..Philip Freneau……. The armistice ending World War 1 began in France on a Monday at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The armistice was signed
 in Compiègne, Northern France, at 5am and six hours later, the fighting stopped.  Communications were slow and many soldiers died in those six hours. The day was originally called Armistice Day and is now called Veteran's Day in the U.S since June 1, when President Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day. The day is called Rememberence Day in the British Commonwealth and Armistice Day in France.  The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure……..and the armistice sewed the seeds for the second world war, twenty one years later.

            1921 – Friday Here Rests
In Honored Glory
An American Soldier
Known But To God
…..Tomb inscription……….Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was unveiled. It was  dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.  The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.  It is now called the Tomb of the Unknowns

1922 – Saturday  So It Goes …….Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut, American soldier, author, and academic born in Indianapolis.  On December 14, 1944, Vonnegut was captured during the Battle of the Bulge- see George Patton, 1885 above-  He was held as a POW  during the pattern bombing of Dresden, a beautiful German city with no major industries or military presence. Vonnegut and the other POWs were some of the only survivors. They waited out the bombing in a meat cellar deep under a slaughterhouse.  See Slaughter House Five,or The Children’s Crusade, A Duty-Dance With Death,  his masterpiece.  Famed for his satirical literary style, as well as the science fiction elements in much of his work. Vonnegut also wrote, Cat’s Cradle , Sirens of Titan and Breakfast of Champions.

           1925 –Wednesday  Indeed, nothing more beautifully simplifying has ever happened in the history of science than the whole series of discoveries culminating about 1914 which finally brought practically universal acceptance to the theory that the material world contains but two fundamental entities, namely, positive and negative electrons, exactly alike in charge, but differing widely in mass, the positive electron—now usually called a proton—being 1850 times heavier than the negative, now usually called simply the electron. …….Happy Birthday, Robert A. Millikan American physicist born in Morrison, Illinois.  Millikan coined the name of "cosmic rays" as he announced his discovery of same.  He had received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his study of the elementary electronic charge and the photoelectric effect,  two major achievements -  the first was measuring the charge of the electron in his famous oil-drop experiment balancing the downward gravitational force and the upward electrical and buoyant forces of charged oil droplets suspended between two metal plates. and the, 2nd, verifying Einstein's prediction of the relationship between light frequency and electron energy in the photoelectric effect, a phenomenon in which electrons are emitted from matter after the absorption of energy from electromagnetic radiation such as x-rays or visible light.

1924 –Tuesday  She still comes back--stands by the stove thar in the evenin'--she can't find it nateral sleepin' an' restin' in peace. She can't git used t' bein' free--even in her grave ….Eben………….The original New York production of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms opened  at the Greenwich Village Theatre. Starring Walter Huston, Charles Ellis and Mary Morris, it would run for 49 weeks.  Desire Under the Elms draws from Euripides’ Hippolytus and Jean Racine’s Phèdre, both of which feature a father returning home with a new wife who falls in love with her stepson…..always a popular theme. It wasn’t popular everywhere as first Los Angeles cast was arrested for performing an obscene work. That’s Los Angeles, home of Hollywood,  thespian spawning ground of Paris Hilton, Steven Seagal, Krisin Stewart, Keanu Reeves, oy, we could go on and on……….

            1926 –Thursday If you ever plan to motor west. Travel my way, the highway that's the best.
Get your kicks on Route 66!
……Bobby Troup (later seen as a doctor in the 1970’s television show – Emergency)  The famous cross country U.S.A road, Route 66 was established. Running from Chicago to Los Angeles, Route 66 did not follow a traditionally linear course. Its diagonal course linked hundreds of predominantly rural communities in Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Chicago; thus enabling farmers to transport grain and produce for redistribution.  It was also, of course, a good place to “get your kicks on route 66”.

1930 – Tuesday We gotta move these refrigerators …..Dire Straits……….Patent number US1781541 was awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator.  Instead of cooling the interior of the refrigerator with freon — a serious contributor to global warming — Einstein's design used  ammonia, butane and water. It also required  very little energy.  The refrigerator never went into production.  The invention came about when Einstein  read about a family that was poisoned by a sulfur dioxide-emitting refrigerator.

1930 –Tuesday  Happy Birthday, Hugh Everett III, American physicist and mathematician born in Washinton D.C.  Everett was a brilliant mathematician, a quantum theorist and, later, a successful defense contractor . He introduced a new conception of authenticity to physics. Science-fiction aficionados will be forever indebted to him as, the man who invented a quantum theory of multiple universes through his a famous paper Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics, on the foundations of quantum mechanics describing what has become known as the ‘many worlds’ interpretation.

1933 – Saturday In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage……. John Steinbeck…….Dust Bowl – not a football game.  In this one the winner gets to survive. Strong winds stripped the topsoil from the drought affected farms of South Dakota and within two days, dust from the storm had reached all the way to Albany, New York (of course, being Albany, they immediately put a tax on it). This was just one of a number of winds that took topsoil from farmland due to the soil turning into dust through severe drought. Houses were shut tight, and cloth wedged around doors and windows, but the dust came in so thinly that it could not be seen in the air, and it settled like pollen on the chairs and tables, on the dishes…Steinbeck……Out of adversity, many changes in farming practices were developed from these periods of time including introduction of hedges and other soil conservation techniques . The jet stream normally flows west over the Gulf of Mexico and turns northward pulling up moisture and dumping rain onto the Great Plains. As the jet stream weakened and changed course, it traveled farther south than normal starving the Midwest of precious rain. The number and severity of dust storms increased over the next two years as the severe drought continued turning 100,000,000 acres of previously fertile farming land into dust bowls forcing farmers and their families to leave their land.  The worst effected states were Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, South Dakota and Kansas.     

   1935-Monday  Well, the odds must be against anybody being able to fly around the world in a balloon on the first attempt. All of us who are attempting to go around the world in balloons are effectively flying in experimental craft because these craft cannot be tested. …..Richard Branson……A then record 72,395 feet was reached by Lt. Col. Albert William Stevens and Capt. Orvil Anderson, by helium balloon in a sealed gondola, Explorer II. They were high enough to see the curvature of the Earth. This set a sub-stratosphere record that stood for 21 years until Malcolm D. Ross and Victor E. Prather went 113,740 feet over the Gulf of Mexico in 1961.  They also almost set a record for distance traveled as the Ross, ever the practical joker, stuck a pin in the balloon and they whooshed and zig zagged all over the Caribbean, southern U.S.A, Central America, Venezuela, and Bermuda before landing in Tierra del Fuego. Of course in October 2003, a 46-year-old man from England made it into the record books by setting a new world record for a flight powered by party balloons.  Ian Ashpole, reached a height of 11,000ft, while strapped to 600 balloons in a harness.

1938 – Thursday- God bless america, land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless america,
My home sweet home
………Singer Kate Smith, on her weekly radio show, sang, Russian immigrant Isadore Baline, later renamed -   Irving Berlin’s God Bless America for the first time. It would become her signature song and one that many believe should be the national anthem.   Berlin had written a version of the song in 1918 and was asked by the producer of Smith’s program for a patriotic song.  He updated it and voila!            

1940 – Monday Why does the New Italian navy have glass bottom boats? To see the Old Italian Navy! …..Henny Youngman…….  Off by one vowel while looking for a city in Canada, came the  Battle of Taranto - a coastal city in Puglia, Southern Italy- as the  Royal Navy launched the first aircraft carrier strike in history, on the Italian fleet at Taranto.   British Swordfish – not the password but torpedo planes, eft the battleship Conte di Cavour kaput and the battleships Littorio and Caio Duilio heavily damaged. They also badly damaged a heavy cruiser. British losses were only two Swordfish. In one night, the Royal Navy had succeeded in halving the Italian battleship fleet and had gained a tremendous advantage in the Mediterranean. As a result of the strike, the Italians withdrew the bulk of their fleet farther north to Naples and toured Pompeii.

1940 Monday  - Reporter Johnny Layton: [to Dr. Paul Carruthers] Not so funny when it's your own jugular vein that's in danger. Is it, doc? The premiere of The Devil Bat, starring…a stretch for him…..Bela Lugosi as …no, not  vampire, a mad scientist who develops a lotion that causes bats to attack anyone wearing it.   Also on hand for the fun were, well no one we ever heard of and IMDb doesn’t even have their pictures in the cast listing.

1943 Thursday Even with Jimmy Savo in the cast and George Balanchine as director, it was not an auspicious debut ….Stanley Green…………The songwriting team of Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe made their Broadway debut with a now-forgotten musical, What's Up?, which starred Jimmy Savo and was directed by (later) famed choreographer George Balanchine. It lasted just 63 performances at the National Theatre. If at first you don’t succeed……the team went  on to write Brigadoon, Camelot and My Fair Lady, among other shows.

1958 – Tuesday 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
………..Hank Ballard and the Midnighters recorded Ballard’s song The Twist…The Rockabilly website notes that Ballard had done a self-financed session in Miami and sent demo tapes of the songs to the Vee-Jay label in Chicago. Twist was relegated to B-side status on their first single for King Records. The A-side was a ballad Teardrops On My Letter, which wentto # 4 R&B in the spring of 1959 - # 87 pop. The Twist charted in its own right - # 16 R&B chart. Whither goest Chubby Checker?  Dick Clark decided to use Chubby’s version of  The Twist on American  Bandstand. Checker’s version was almost identical to Ballards but!!!!!!!!!! But Chubby was able to introduce a distinctive dance step to go with it and Ballard became a trivia answer.

1963-  Monday  Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies,
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks!
……Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim………The Beatles dressed up as policemen to escape a crowd of fans. We know, because there are photos, that they donned policeman’s hats on Nov. 10 before ther gig in the Birmingham Hippodrome but we cannot find a source citing their dressing up as police to escape the crowd on the following night other than the Xeroxing World of the Internet.

1966- Friday There is just one thing I can promise you about the outer-space program - your tax-dollar will go further…..Wernher Von Braun……Astronauts James Lovell – who would become famous for commanding the aborted Apollo 13 Moon mission in 1970,  and Buzz Aldrin, who would become the second man on the Moon in July 1969,  completed the last of the two-man  Gemini flights, Gemini 12. The principal goal of the Gemini missions was to work on docking procedures with another space craft that would be necessary for return to Earth after Moon landings. The Gemini-Titan  achieved  low earth orbit and docked with its Agena target vehicle which had been placed aloft only an hour and a half earlier. Aldrin then spent over five hours working outside the spacecraft….before Lovell would let him back in only if he promised to “do the dishes”. There were also 14 scientific experiments were frog egg growth under zero-g, synoptic terrain photography, synoptic weather photography, nuclear emulsions, airglow horizon photography, UV astronomical photography, and dim sky photography. The frog egg growth had unpleasant side effects as on return to Earth, the tadpoles mutated, escaped to the wild and would eventually reappear as people who pass wind in their airplane seats. 

1967-Saturday Ro ro ro ro ro ro ro rosey,
Ro ro ro ro ro ro ro rosey.
You're the apple of my eye,
Ice cream in my cherry pie, pie
…..Van Morrison made his only appearance on American Bandstand, lip-synching his big hit, Brown Eyed Girl and the forgettable, Ro Ro Rosey. Also appearing was someone named Little Dion.

1973-Sunday   I'm a dude dad
All the young dudes (hey dudes)
Carry the news (where are ya)
Boogaloo dudes (stand up come on)
Carry the news
All the young dudes (I want to hear you)
Carry the news (I want to see you)
Boogaloo dudes (and I want to talk to you all of you)
Carry the news
…..Whoops!   Billed as “live”, a  Mott The Hoople show was simulcast over 30 U.S radio stations. However, it was later revealed to be the group's actual studio songs with applause overdubbed. The Editorial Board of the Gnus suspects that Milli Vanilli was somehow involved.

1978 - Saturday Just'a good ol' boys
Never meanin' no harm.
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born…..Waylon Jennings………..The Dukes of Hazzard  Dodge Charger, The General Lee jumped into history even though the Dukes wouldn’t appear on TV until 1979.  On this day, they filmed the opening sequence. A  stunt man, Craig R. Baxley, on the campus of Oxford College in Georgia, not England, made the  Lee 1's first and only jump.  It  was 16 feet up and over the cruiser, landing 82 feet from the take off ramp. The only cast member that ever drove Lee 1 was John Schneider, who played Bo Duke.  Although more than 300 different General Lees appeared in the series, which ran on CBS from 1979 until 1985, this first one was the only one to play a part in every episode as that jump over the police car ran every week at the end of the show's opening credits.  After 23 years in a junkyard, in Metro Atlanta, Lee 1 was rescued and professionally, passionately restored to pre-jump condition over a 16 month period

1978 - Saturday – ……MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain

I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again, oh noooooo
…..Jim Webb……As  the General Lee was jumping over a police car – see above,  Love to Love You Baby? .  I Feel Love ?   Last Dance ? No Donna Summer earned her first #1 pop hit with the treacly  MacArthur Park which replaced Anne Murray’s maudlin, You Needed Me.  But wait.  There’s more.  Things got worse as MacArthur Park was knocked from the top spot by You Don't Bring Me Flowers, courtesy of Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond.

        1982- Thursday From the very beginning I often wondered, if it had not been an anonymous entry 1026 but rather an entry by Maya Lin, would I have been selected?....The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by twenty one year old Chinese-American architect, Maya Lin,  was opened to its first visitors in Washington, D.C.  It would be dedicated on Nov. 13.  There are 58,191 names are inscribed in chronological order of the date of the casualty on the a V-shaped wall showing the war as a series of individual human sacrifices and giving each name a special place in history.  Several of the names on the wall are those of friends of Professor Sy Yentz.  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built without government funds. Jan C. Scruggs, a wounded Vietnam War vet, was the moving force.  All donations, however, came from the private sector. And celebrities, notably, Bob Hope helped with fundraising, and by 1981 over275,000 Americans, along with corporations, foundations, veterans groups, civic organizations and labor unions, had given $8.4 million to the project

1987 Wednesday Now I still have to tell you that the exhibition of the Indépendents is open, and that your two pictures are there, the "Irises" and "The Starlit Night." The latter is hung badly, for one cannot put oneself at a sufficient distance, as the room is very narrow, but the other one makes an extremely good showing. They have put it on the narrow wall of the room, and it strikes the eye from afar. It is a beautiful study full of air and life. Vincent Van Gogh  letter to his brother, Theo………Sotheby's ( U.S.A. ) sold the painting "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh for the then record price of $49m….with the 10% commission, the buyer paid over 53 million.   “Irises”  was painted in 1889 during the artist's first week at the asylum at St.-Remy.  The painting is currently on display at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Van Gogh (supposedly) sold only one painting in his lifetime, “The Red Vineyard,”  for 400 Francs to the impressionist painter and heiress Anna Boch

1988 Friday The sewer's backed up …..Dorothea Puente (explanation of the smell at her house)……….Apparently, Ms. Puente’s boarders did not check out.  Well, they checked out, but they didn’t leave.  On this day police found them residing under the Puente lawn at 2100 F Street in Sacramento, California. Puente cashed the Social Security checks of her elderly and mentally disabled boarders. Those who complained were poisoned and buried in her yard.  Seven bodies were eventually found. Puente was charged with a total of nine murders, convicted of three, two life sentences, and died in prison in 2011.

              1988 – Friday  It isn't easy to become a fossil. ... Only about one bone in a billion, it is thought, becomes fossilized. If that is so, it means that the complete fossil legacy of all the Americans alive today - that's 270 million people with 206 bones each - will only be about 50 bones, one-quarter of a complete skeleton. That's not to say, of course, that any of these bones will ever actually be found …..Bill Bryson…….The oldest known insect fossils (390 million yrs) were reported in Science.  They appeared to be actresses Joan Collins and Faye Dunaway. Professor Sy Yentz has his entomological sense of humor.  The well-preserved specimens were discovered in a chunk of mudstone on the north shore of Quebec's Gaspe Bay. They were described as a bristletail, a member of the most primitive order of insects and a distant relative of the silverfish that infest modern households.  It is also the oldest record of terrestrial animal life from North America, surpassing Larry King. The findings pointed to the possible emergence of land animals in the late Silurian period of geologic time, from 421 million to 408 million years ago.

1992 – Wednesday  It strongly affirms that the gifts which women bring to the ordained ministry are quite significant and complement the priesthood in a way that has been needed for many, many centuries. ….Bishop David E. Johnson…..The General Synod of the Church of England voted to allow women to become priests.  After approving draft legislation in 1988, the snail like pace of progress came to 38 out of 44 Diocesan Synods voted in favor, in General Synod and in Convocation, the measure to permit women to be ordained as priests where it received the necessary two-thirds majority in all three Houses. General Synod also approved a measure providing for financial provision for clergy who resigned their offices over the theological issue of women's ordination.

1994 –Friday Louis - Her blood coursed through my veins sweeter than life itself. And as it did, Lestat's words made sense to me. I knew peace only when I killed and when I heard her heart in that terrible rhythm, I knew again what peace could be. ……54 years after Devil Bat  - see 1940 above - Interview with the Vampire made its debut.  The movie stayed fairly faithful to Ann Rice’s novel.  Less fortunate was the casting, notably Tom Cruise as Lestat which was painful to watch.  Also on hand for the fun were Brad Pitt, Antonio Bandaras, Kirsten Dunst, Stephen Rea, and Christian Slater for the 123 minutes of period gloom.  

2000 Saturday  A spark neglected makes a mighty fire..Robert Herrick…… 155 skiers died in cable-car fire and only 12 people survived the accident at the Alpine resort of Kaprun when fire raced through the cable car inside a tunnel.  The cable train was in a steep, narrow underground tunnel nearly two miles long which carries skiers up Mount Kitzsteinhorn in the ski resort of Kaprun, south of Salzburg.  In 2004 a court in Austria acquitted 16 people charged over the fire - mainly train operators, suppliers and inspectors. The judge in Salzburg ruled there was insufficient evidence to find them to blame for the blaze.  The disaster was blamed on a faulty heater. A report by experts found the heater, at the back of the train, ignited oil dripping from a system for hydraulic brakes. The fire then spread to the plastic-coated floor.

            2004 – Thursday  He lied all the time. And he knew it. I'd say, 'Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat's war name], cut the crap. Let's talk serious.' And then he could either talk serious or not talk serious. He'd say nonsense…….Terje Roed Larsen …..Palestinian leader and terrorist, Yasser Arafat died in Paris at age 75. Presumably he went straight to hell. He was diagnosed with a serious blood disorder and died of a stroke on 8 November 2004 There was an attempt to blame it on radiation exposure, by Swiss and French investigators following accusations by Al Jazeers (an unbiased source if ever there was one)  meaning it was murder  but the Russians, who have some experience in radiation poisoning of dissidents, in a 3rd investigation said no, it was death by  natural causes

2008 – Tuesday I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men…..H.P. Lovecraft ……..RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) set  sail on her final voyage to Dubai. It was built in Scotland in 1967 but sold to Dubai in 2008 for £70million.  The Dubsters planned to turn the former pride of the Cunard Line into a luxury hotel but the world- wide financial collapse of 2008 put kibosh on that brilliant idea.   In 2013 there was another, even more final voyage as the ship was sold to different Arabs.  We last heard of it being sent to Singapore for refitting as a hotel.

Back to Calendar


1330 –Sunday  Ambush in the night,
All guns aiming at me;
Ambush in the night,
They opened fire on me now.
Ambush in the night,
Protected by his majesty.
Ooh-wee, ooh-wee. ooh-wa-ooh!
(ooh-wee) ooh-wee, ooh-wee (ooh-wa), ooh-wa!
Ooh-wee, ooh-wee, ooh wa-ooh!
Ooh-wee, ooh-wee, ooh wa-ah!
….Bob Marley ……At the  Battle of Posada, site under debate by historians, the Hungarian army of Charles I was crushed by Wallachian Voievode Basarab I in surprise attack. Wallachia is in present day Romania.

1439 –Tuesday I was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
Into the bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
I'd sit on his lap in that big old Buick and steer as we drove through town
He'd tousle my hair and say son take a good look around this is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown
…..Bruce Springsteen………… Plymouth, England, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament. Modern definition is A municipal corporation is a city, town, village, or borough that has governmental powers. A municipality is a city, town, village, or, in some states, a borough. A corporation is an entity capable of conducting business. Cities, towns, villages, and some boroughs are called municipal corporations because they have the power to conduct business with the private sector. In 1254 Plymouth’s  town status was recognised by Royal Charter from King Edward I.  Plymouth is located between moorland to the north and the English Channel to the south, and is flanked by the river Plym to the east and the river Tamar to the west. It also used to be car.

1602 – Tuesday   Of all the dilapidated, miserable-looking places I have ever seen, this was the altogether dreary, sunblasted point of departure for nowhere.......

Mary Chase Walker, San Diego’s first school teacher, 1865………….

 Burnt Corn, no  - Toad Suck, no - Skidoo & Weed,no -   Slaughter Beach, no -  Kickapoo, no - Gnaw Bone, no………How about naming it  San Diego?  Sebastian Viscaino landed at and named San Diego, California.  You thought it’s slow travel with airline delays?  Vizcaíno left Mexico City on March 7, 1602, and arrived in Acapulco on the 19th, watched some cliff diving, bought shot glasses that said Sebastian’s Bar, and then sailed on May 5. They reached Cabo San Lucas on June 8, where they were forced to abandon the long boat and turn it into a beach front condo. They finally reached San Diego on November 10--a voyage of six months and five days!  San Diego was chosen as the name of the port for the feast of San Diego de Alcalá on November 12.

1775 Sunday Let us separate, they are unworthy to be our Brethren. Let us renounce them and instead of supplications as formerly for their prosperity and happiness, Let us beseech the almighty to blast their councils and bring to Nought all their devices ……Abigail Adams, letter to John.  Abigail was miffed after  madcap King George III rejected the Olive Branch Petition which expressed hope for reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain.

1793 – Tuesday How many biologists does it take to change a light bulb?  Four. One to change it and three to write the environmental-impact statement. ……..Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/Happy Birthday, Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz, Livonian physician and botanist born in Dorpat. Eschscholtz participated in a circumnavigation of the globe sponsored by Russian Tsarina, Catherine the Great.  Under the command of Captain Otto von Kotzebue, the object of the voyage was……..surprise!.... to search for a northern passage between the Pacific and Atlantic, meanwhile exploring the coast of North America and the Pacific Ocean. Eschscholtz was the naturalist. 

1793 –Tuesday  A l'exemple de Saturne, la révolution dévore ses enfants…. Jacques Mallet du Pan….Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, was guillotined. To think that nowadays impeachement is a big deal. Lavoisier wasn’t the only scientist to bite the dust during the madness of the French Revolution.  Bailly was an astronomer noted for his computation of an orbit for Halley’s Comet  in 1759  and for his studies of the four known satellites of Jupiter.  Elected deputy from Paris to the Estates-General, he was led the famous proceedings in the Tennis Court on June 20. He was proclaimed the first mayor of Paris on July 15, 1789.

1795 – Thursday  An old farmer and his wife lived near the village
church. One warm Sunday evening, while they sat dozing on the porch, the crickets set up a loud chirping.
“I just love to hear that chirping noise,” said the old man drowsily.
And before the crickets had stopped he was fast asleep.
Soon after, the church choir broke into a beautiful chant.
“Just listen to that,” exclaimed his wife; “ain’t it beautiful?”
“Yes,” murmured the old farmer sleepily, “They do it with their hind
Happy Birthday, Thaddeus William Harris, American entomologist and botanist born in Dorchester (Dawchesta) Mass.  He compiled the first systematic classification of American insects.  It was noted for pithy names such as “the one that gave me a rash”, “the one that lives in my small intestine”, and the one that crawls in your ear and eats your brain”.  He authored dozens of articles on botany and entomology

1799 –  Tuesday …. whole heaven appeared as if illuminated with sky rockets, flying in an infinity of directions, and I was in constant expectation of some of them falling on the vessel. They continued until put out by the light of the sun after day break…….The first record of a meteor shower in North America, as Andrew Ellicott Douglass, an early American astronomer born in Vermont, witnessed the Leonids meteor shower from a ship off the Florida Keys. Douglass was looking up while listening to Wasted Away in Margaritaville.  The Leonids meteor shower – which appears out of the constellation Leo, is an annual event that is greatly enhanced every 33 years or so by the appearance of the comet Tempel-Tuttle. When the comet returns, the Leonids can produce rates of up to several thousand meteors per hour that can light up the sky on a clear night.

1815 – Sunday  I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns ……Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American  suffragette born in Johnstown, New York. In 1848, Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized  the first Woman’s Rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. She wrote “The Declaration of Sentiments,” calling for changes in law and society - educational, legal, political, social and economic - to elevate women’s status, and demanding the right to vote. Those present at the convention signed the Declaration.  In 1868, she worked with Susan B. Anthony on the Revolution, a weekly paper. The two then formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in 1869. Stanton was the NWSA’s first president - a position she held until 1890.  She also found time to have 7 children.

1833 – Tuesday Respectable people do not write music or make love as a career……….S dniom razhdjenia! Happy Birthday, Alexander Borodin, Russian composer and chemist born in St. Petersburg.  Chemist/Composer is an interesting mix.  Borodin earned a doctorate in organic chemistry with his dissertation "On the analogy of arsenic acid with phosphoric acid in chemical and toxicological behaviour." He also did  advanced research on aldehydes and in 1872, discovered the "Aldol-reaction/condensation" - an organic reaction in which an enolate ion reacts with a carbonyl compound to form a ß-hydroxyaldehyde or ß-hydroxyketone, followed by dehydration to give a conjugated enone. Why a child of five could understand this.  Someone fetch a child of five……….Groucho Marx…..He studied piano and taught himself the cello.  Borodin became part of the so-called "Mighty Five" or "Mighty Handful," a loose group of composers who aimed to write a "Russian" music, as opposed to a "German" one.  It took him four years to complete his first symphony.  He is also famous for two string quartets, and his opera Prince Igor. Music from Prince Igor and his string quartets was later adapted for the musical Kismet

1840Thursday I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don't need…. Joyeux Anniversaire/Happy Birthday, August Rodin, French sculptor, born in Paris.  He is considered to be one of the greatest and most prolific sculptors of the 19th and 20th centuries.  He is best known for is best known for Le Baiser 1886 and The Thinker 1880, of which there seem to be thousands of them.  Success came late.  He worked as a decorative bricklayer for nearly two decades, from the late 1850s to late 1870s.  He esculpted his first piece, The Vanquished (renamed "The Age of Bronze"), which was exhibited in 1878.

            1842- Saturday But oh they love to watch him strut
Oh they do respect her but
They love to watch him strut
……apologies to Bob Seger……Happy Birthday, John Strutt, 3rd Baron of Rayleigh, English physical scientist  born in Maldon, Essex. Strutt’s discoveries in the fields of acoustics and optics that were essential to the theory of wave propagation in fluids- the ways in which waves travel through a medium, in this case, fluids.  Stutt  also provided the answer to “Why is the Sky Blue?”  as his  research included work on electromagnetism, color, acoustics, and diffraction gratings, and his theory explaining the blue color of the sky evolved into the Rayleigh scattering law. In 1904 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his isolation of argon. In order to be isolated, argon was told to go sit by itself until it learned to get along with the other elements.  

             1847 –Friday ….the lady to whom it was first exhibited during parturition had been previously delivered in the country by perforation of the head of the infant, after a labour of three days duration. Three hours and a half after labour commenced, I placed her under the influence of the chloroform by moistening with half a teaspoonful of the liquid, a pocket-handkerchief rolled up into a funnel shape and with a broad or open end of the funnel placed over her mouth and nostrils. The child was expelled in about 25 minutes after the inhalation was begun……(In gratitude the child was baptised ‘Anaesthesia')……….. In Great Britain, Sir James Young Simpson, Scottish obstetrician and the father of modern anesthetics, (note: ancient anesthetics usually consisted of getting the patient very drunk) used chloroform ("perchloride of formyle") for the first time as an anesthetic in an operation. The obstetric procedure was performed on  the wife of Dr Carstairs of Edinburgh and the report was published in the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh in 1847. Simpson had already been using ether – in January of 1847-, but soon began searching for an anesthetic that was less of an irritant (sort of like watching Meet the Press) He was not the first to use chloroform but it was his advocacy which led to its acceptance. In fact, in 1853 and 1857 John Snow, the royal anesthetist, delivered Queen Victoria's children with the aid of chloroform possibly because he didn’t want her to faint when she saw the rather ugly children she was producing. Note: Anna Sthetic was a Greek Philosopher who put everyone to sleep with her boring soliloquies

1864 Saturday  You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end…………The destruction of Atlanta  began. Atlanta was the gateway through which most of the traffic passed between the south Atlantic seaboard and the regions to the west, and the city became a major prize during the Civil War. General William Tecumseh Sherman captured the city in September after a five-month campaign, but he knew he couldn’t hold it for long, as his army’s supply line ran hundreds of miles back to Nashville, Tennessee.  He ordered the business district of Atlanta, Georgia, destroyed before he embarks on his famous March to the Sea.

1866 Monday  It is only after mature deliberation and thorough preparation that I have decided upon the Program of Revolution and defined the procedure of the revolution in three stages. The first is the period of military government; the second, the period of political tutelage; and the third, the period of constitutional government. …….Sun Yat Fai Lok!/Happy Birthday, Sun Yat-sen, Chinese physician and politician, 1st President of the Republic of China born in Cuiheng village, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. He was leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang and is  known as the father of modern China. Sun Yat-sen was influential in overthrowing the Manchu dynasty, served as the first provisional president of the Republic of China and later as de facto ruler  from 1923–25. 

1871 Sunday  A million million spermatozoa,
All of them alive:
Out of their cataclysm but one poor Noah
Dare hope to survive.
And among that billion minus one
Might have chanced to be Shakespeare, another Newton, a new Donne—
But the One was Me.
….Aldous Huxley….. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!/HappyBirthday, Erich Tschermak von Seysenegg? Austrian agronomist born  in Vienna. Tschermak was one of three scientists who independently (as did Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns) rediscovered Gregor Mendel's work on the laws of genetics of the 1860's. Mendel’s work had been ignored for 35 years in part because it was not published in a widely read journal, and in part because it tackled a problem, the physical basis of heredity, that few other scientists were exploring at that time. Correns, de Vries and Tschermak found that their experiments and work was what Mendel had done in 1865.  Tschermak was also  a plant breeder, and his hybridization experiments were done with the idea of improving crops using the laws of heredity. He did most of the work himself, and produced high-yielding food crops such as wheat, barley, and oats

1891Thursday Seth Barnes Nicholson was an American astronomer best known for discovering four satellites of Jupiter. As a graduate student at the University of California, while photographing the recently-discovered 8th moon of Jupiter with the 36-inch Crossley reflector, he discovered a 9th (1914). During his life career at Mt.Wilson Observatory, he discovered two more Jovian satellites (1938) and the 12th (1951), as well as a Trojan asteroid, and computed orbits of several comets and of Pluto.         

            1892 – Saturday If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead…..Erma Bombeck ………..Joe Montana? John Elway?  Brett Farve? Tom Brady? Johnny Unitas?  Bronco Nagurski? ......The first professional football player was William "Pudge" Heffelfinger. Heffelfinger was paid $500 as ringer by Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Athletic Association $500 to play in the S game against its rival Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The payment did not become public for almost 80 years until the Pro Football Hall of Fame received and displayed a document – an expense accounting sheet of the Allegheny Athletic Association that clearly shows a "game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500. In the pre-Heffelfinger era players had traded their services on the field for expense money, "double expenses," or knickknacks that players could pawn back to the team--but no one had ever openly accepted a cash payment to play football. Heffelfinger scored the game's only touchdown when he forced a fumble, recovered it, and ran 25 yards into the endzone. Touchdowns counted four points in 1892, so Allegheny won 4-0. Pudge went on to become a prominent insurance executive and congressman from Minnesota.

            1894 –Monday Used as kites, these rigid stable aeroplanes are superior to the very best cellular kites I can make; they are lighter, pull harder per square foot, attain a greater angle of elevation, and have fewer parts…..Lawrence Hargrave……Australian, Lawrence Hargrave achieved flight thanks to a  train of four of his "cellular kites". He had connected four huge box kites (a kite shaped like a box open at both ends ) together, added a sling seat, and flew - attached to the ground by piano wire. The Hargrave-designed box kite was to provide the theoretical wing model that allowed the development of the first generation of European (and American) airplanes. Hargrave developed several styles of kites and gliders, refined and developed the concept of curved surface wings, and also invented the rotary engine. He never patented any of his inventions, preferring them to be available for the advancement of mankind.     

Do you want to know a secret
Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh, oh
Let me whisper in your ear
Say the words you long to hear
…..The Beatles…………..Decisions on the the first Nobel Prizes for Physics and for Chemistry were made at a meeting of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The first Nobel Prize in Physics was to be awarded to Wilhelm Röntgen for his discovery of X-rays. The first Nobel Prize in Chemistry was to be awarded to Jacobus H. van Hoff for his work on rates of reaction, equilibrium and osmotic pressure. Two days earlier, the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1901 that would be awarded to Emil von Behring The prizes were presented to the recipients at an Award Ceremony on  December 10, 1901, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death

            1906 Monday ….But I ain't up to my baby tonight
'Cause it's too darn hot
It's too darn hot
It's too darn hot
….Ella Fitzgerald……….. The 106 degrees F recorded in Craftonville California represented the hottest November temperature ever in the U.S.   It also put a damper on the plans for the Fun in the Snow Festival scheduled for that day.

           1912 –TuesdayHad we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for. …..Robert Falcon Scott, final entry in journal………..Talk about a run of bad luck. The body of explorer Robert Scott was discovered in a tent by a mission sent to find them.  Scott and two companions were in the tent, two others had died in a few days earlier.  Scott  had gone kaput eight months earlier after reaching  the South Pole, and finding that Roald Amundsen and a team of Norwegian had beaten them to the pole by four weeks. So, Scott endured months of hardship to be the first at the South Pole and then found someone had beaten him to it , then died on the journey back. Scott left behind letters and a journal detailing the disastrous northward trek.

            1926 – Friday If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?.....Steven Wright…..Happy Birthday, Jack Ryan, American inventor. He redesigned the Barbie doll, which had been invented by Ruth Handler in 1959.  Ryan also developed Hot Wheels, Chatty Cathy,  and  military missiles, the Hawk and Sparrow. Dr. Ryan invented the joints that allowed Barbie to bend at the waist and the knee. He actually sued Mattel Toy Company seeking recognition as inventor of the Barbie Doll but lost.  Before he designed that very first Barbie, Ryan worked at the Pentagon He was also the sixth husband of serial bride, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor but found the Barbie doll had a higher I.Q.  

          1927 – Saturday The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is. ……..The  Holland Tunnel, (a twin-tube design by Clifford Holland, a pioneer in tunnel construction opened.  In 1919, Holland became chief engineer of the tunnel that eventually bore his name connecting New Jersey and New York – under the Hudson River. It  officially opened on November 13 at midnight.  However on this day, after an opening ceremony, 20,000 people walked the 9,250 feet length of the tunnel from shore to shore, of which 5,480-ft runs under the river.  The trip took five  hours since most people didn’t have E Z Pass and had wait in line at the cash lanes.

1927  Saturday   These last few weeks of holding on
The days are dull, the nights are long
Guess it's better to say
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to you
……Scandal………Mass murderer Josef Stalin assumed full control of the Soviet Union as fellow mass murderer Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party, paving the way for millions of deaths. Trotsky served as the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and the People's Commissar of War and was the founder and commander of the Red Army. He was also a founding member of the Politburo, the central policymaking and governing body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  Trotsky was exiled to Alma Ata on January 31, 1928. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in February 1929 and assassinated in Mexico City in 1940.

1931 – Thursday  Well, you can't have everything and doubtless the Leafs will show better hockey when a bit of the shine wears off on the new furniture. Any way, it was a great house warming and those who were in charge of handling the monster crowds, both inside and out, deserve credit for the minimum of inconvenience which was caused to customers ……The Evening Telegram ……Maple Leaf Gardens opened in Toronto as the  Chicago Blackhawks beat  the Leafs, 2-1. The first goal in Maple Leaf Gardens was scored by Chicago's Mush Marsh at 2:30 of the first period.  From 1946-1990 there wasn't an unsold seat in the arena during Leafs Games. The last Leafs game at the Gardens was played Feb 13, 1999.  It’s still there although lately as a Loblaws grocery store and an athletic facility for Ryerson University.

            1933 – Sunday Four Sundays ago after church I went for my usual walk near where the river enters the Loch. The Loch was like a mill pond and the sun shining brightly. An object of considerable dimensions rose out of the water not very far from where I was. I immediately got my camera ready and snapped the object which was two or three feet above the surface of the water. I did not see any head, for what I took to be the front parts were under the water, but there was considerable movement from what seemed to be the tail, the part furthest from me. The object only appeared for a few minutes then sank out of sight. ……Around noon, near the mouth of river Foyers,  Hugh Gray took the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster. Gray was walking back from church when he saw an “object of considera