July Gnus

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July is:  Anti-bordom month, cell phone courtesy month (actually every month should be cell phone courtesy month), blueberries month, and National Recreation and Parks Month.  We'll also celebrate National Education Association Week, National Salad Week, Air Conditioning Appreciation Week, and also Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day, Cow Appreciation Day and Shark Awareness Day (for the source, see our source page).  The full moon is the Full Buck Moon (as opposed to the half buck or 50 cent moon ...........but wait, he's a hip hop artist ....)

Science Gnus is Factual and Fictual almanacish compendium of items of Science , History, Mathematics and Items of Interest with  comment,elucidation, and occasional exaggeration for each day of the year.  It also contains Professor Sy Yentz, answering questions, Dr. Matt Matician connecting science and mathematics, the Activity of the Month, Factorinos, Trivia Questions, Bonus Trivia Questions, Extinct Kaput animals and plants, Jokes, Obscure Questions, and Important Vocabulary Words to enrich your life. .

They have been penalized for both of those in the month of July, as they were in the month of June and the month of May, ... Are we seeing improvement? I am happy to say yes…..George Abbott.


 69 –Monday  I pledge allegiance to Vespasian and to the Flavian Dynasty for which he stands…………Tiberius Julius Alexander ordered his Roman legions in Alexandria to swear allegiance to Vespasian as Emperor. After that lovable loon Nero was kaputed and ended the Augustan Dynasty, Rome would enjoy a musical chairs “year of the four emperors” with three of them emperoring and kaputing within  six months. The first was Galba who lasted seven months before being slewn by Otho. Othos lasted 95 days before being kaputing himself after losing a battle to the forces of the rebellious Vitellius.  Surprise!  Vitellius was emperor. Meanwhile, Vespasian had been gathering support as Tiberius Julius Alexander, Governor and general in Egypt pledged to join his forces.  Vespasian marched on Rome.  Guess who his troops killed.  If you said Vitellius you get to be emperor for a day…..of course you’ll be killed by your successor but………

1569 – Tuesday – Fast forward 1,000 years to the Union of Lublin as the Kingdom of Poland and the Great Duchy of Lithuania unite. The country was called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth was ruled by a single elected monarch who carried on the duties of Polish King and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and governed with a common Senate and parliament (the Sejm).  Lithuania had to recognize incorporation of Podlachia, Volhynia, Podolia and the Kiev regions into Poland and does not have fond memories of the Union. It lasted over two hundred years but Cossack uprisings and foreign interventions lead to the partition of the Commonwealth by Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary in 1795.

1646 – Sunday-  Every present state of a simple substance is the natural consequence of its preceding state, in such a way that its present is big with its future ……Say what?...............Happy Birthday, Gottfried Leibniz, German mathematician born in Leipzig. We thought you’d like to know that his mother was Catharina Schmuck. Leibniz is most famous for We thought you’d like to know that his mother was Catharina Schmuck. Leibniz is probably most well known for having invented the differential and integral calculus (independently of Sir Isaac Newton, although he published his results slightly after Newton)  He published published Nova Methodus Pro Maximus et Minimus (‘New Method for the Greatest and the Least’), an exposition of his differential calculus

1742 – Sunday  Happy Birthday Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German physicist who is more famous for is aphorisms than his physics. An aphorism is A pithy observation that contains a general truth. Among Lichtenberg’s were:    

1770 – Sunday - Lexell's Comet (aka D/1770 L1) passed closer to the Earth than any other comet in recorded history, approaching to a distance of 0.0146 a.u. or 1.4 million miles.  The comet was discovered by Charles Messier, but named for the Swedish astronomer Anders Johann Lexell  who first calculated its orbit. Several gravitational encounters with Jupiter have changed the comet's orbit so that it no longer comes close enough to Earth to be seen and it may even have been ejected from the Solar System altogether.

1837 – Saturday - In the early days of the Indian Territory, there were no such things as birth certificates. You being there was certificate enough. ….Will Rogers…A system of the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths was established in England and Wales.  Registration was undertaken by civil registrars who reported to the Registrar General at the General Register Office (GRO) in London.

1858 –Thursday-  Once upon a time a species is a population of organisms that interbred and had fertile offspring. Living organisms have descended with modifications from species that lived before them……except for the organisms that appear in gossip columns…….. There was a  joint reading of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace's papers on evolution to the Linnean Society. Everyone had to sit in a circle on the rug while the reader sat in a comfy  chair.

1862 – Tuesday - The Russian State Library was founded. Not noted for its taste, among the books were:
The Vladimir Putin Book of Gardening Tips
Joseph Stalin’s Jokes For Any Occasion

Nikita Khrushchev: My Shoe in My Hand and My Foot in My Mouth
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov: My Favorite Cocktails

Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Ivan the Terrible: Extreme Monarching by Boris Gundenov

An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach
The Breast
– Philip Roth
All seven Robert Ludlum “Bourne” books written by Eric Van Lustbaden

Battlefield Earth
by L. Ron Hubbard
All Sherlock Holmes books not written by Arthur Conan Doyle

It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
All Ann Rice after the first three Vampire books.

The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini
On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy by Jim Garrison
The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump
Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind by Alexandra Ripley
The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
Chariots of the Gods by Erich Von Daniken
The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure by James Redfield, Carol Adrienne
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung by Chairman Mao
All the Twilight Books – Stephanie Meyer
All Clive Cussler collaborations
All Tom Clancy collaborations

Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead,
Soviet Communism: A New Civilization? Beatrice & Sidney Webb,
One-Dimensional Man by Herbert Marcuse,
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley),
All James Patterson collaborations

The Walrus was Paul: The Great Beatle Death Clues of 1969 by R. Gary Peterson

1862 – Tuesday The first of several famous battles that occurred on July 1.The Battle of Malvern Hill.  In a preview of Gettysburg a year later, Union artillery cut down Confederate attackers charging uphill - like Pickett’s Charge- in this,  the last of the Seven Days' battles: June 26, 1862    Beaver Dam Creek (Mechanicsville), June 27, 1862 Gaines' Mill,  June 29, 1862 Savage's Station, June 30, 1862, Glendale, June 30, 1862 White Oak Swamp, July 1, 1862, Malvern Hill. Gen. Robert E. Lee launched a series of uncoordinated assaults on  nearly impregnable Union position on Malvern Hill. The Confederates suffered more than 5,300 casualties without gaining an inch of ground. Despite his victory, the ever passive, George McClellan withdrew to entrench at Harrison’s Landing on James River, where his army was protected by gunboats. This ended the Peninsula Campaign. 

     1863  -  Wednesday- We entered Gettysburg in the afternoon, just in time to meet the enemy entering the town, and in good season to drive him back before his getting a foothold……John Buford…………The Battle of Gettysburg began as  advance elements of Lee and Meade's armies clashed in Gettysburg, PA.  The Confederates drove the Union forces from the town but fortunately, the Union now occupied the high ground.  It began as a skirmish but by its end involved 160,000 Americans. Lee would spend the next two days trying retake it and then defeat them.  The battle ended in defeat for the Confederates.

    1867 –Monday  O Canada! Our home and native land
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The true north, strong and free
From far and wide, O Canada
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
……………….Canadian Independence Day. The autonomous Dominion of Canada, a confederation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the future provinces of Ontario and Quebec, was officially recognized by Great Britain with the passage of the British North America Act.  Lower Canada was renamed Quebec, and Upper Canada was renamed Ontario and middle Canada was named Fred.  Prior to 1982, Canada Day was known as Dominion Day and Confederation Day. The name was changed to Canada Day on October 27, 1982 by an act of parliament.  The name Canada derives from an Iroquoian word for "village," kanata, that French explorers heard used to refer to the area near present-day Quebec City. Today, Canada comprises ten provinces and three territories.

            1869 – Thursday – Ten censure wrong, for one that writes amiss……Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism ………….Happy Birthday,  William Strunk, Jr., American grammarian born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Strunk had  a long career as an educator. He taught English at Cornell for forty-six years. But it is for The Elements of Style that he is famous. Strunk wrote the first edition of The Elements of Style for the use of his students and had it privately printed in 1918. A revised edition titled The Elements and Practice of Composition, with Edward A. Tenney as coauthor, was printed in 1935.  And what were/are the elements of Strunk’s original book – it was  enhanced by E.B White in 1957- Elementary Rules of Usage  sets forth eleven rules of English usage dealing with the formation of possessives; correct use of commas, colons, and dashes; nounverb agreement; pronoun cases; and participial phrases. Elementary Principles of Composition-Another set of eleven rules addresses structure in written work, moving from the overall structure of a piece. A Few Matters of Form covers details of the actual presentation of written work—what it should look like on the page. Issues addressed range from margins and headings to where to place punctuation marks in relation to parentheses and Words and Expressions Commonly Misused.

1872 Monday Happy Birthday, Louis Bleriot, French aviator who invented the monoplane (precursor of the stereoplane?).  He is best known for his tlhirty seven minute flight over the English Channel on July 25, 1909, the world's first flight over a large body of water in a heavier-than-air craft.  The airplane used was one of his own design, designated the Bleriot XI.  The flight was from Calais to Dover.

            1874 – Wednesday - I heard that if you locked William Shakespeare in a room with a typewriter for long enough, he'd eventually write all the songs by the Monkeys…………..Unknown…….. The Sholes and Glidden typewriter, the first commercially successful typewriter, went on sale. The typewriter was it was produced by the gunmakers E. Remington & Sons in Ilion, NY. It was not exactly as  successful as the Ipad since not more than 5,000 were sold. Christopher Latham Sholes thought of a simple device with a piece of printer's type mounted on a little rod, mounted to strike upward to a flat plate which would hold a piece of carbon paper sandwiched with a piece of stationery. The percussive strike, like a piano,  of the type should produce an impression on the paper.  Carlos Glidden was a lawyer and was exchanging ideas with Sholes and showed him an article about a typewriter written in Scientific American. for The original Sholes & Glidden used the QWERTY keyboard, but typed in capitals only.

 1874- Wednesday  Someone told me
It's all happening at the zoo.
I do believe it,
I do believe it's true.
The monkeys stand for honesty.
Giraffes are insincere.
The elephants are kindly but they're dumb.
Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages
And the zookeeper is they fond of rum.
Zebras are reactionaries,
Antelopes are missionaries.
Pigeons plot in secrecy
And hamsters turn on frequently.
What a gas you got to come and see
At the zoo. …
.Paul Simon……….The first public zoo in the U.S  - Philadelphia - was opened.  The charter establishing the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was approved and signed on March 21, 1859. Due to the Civil War, however, it was another 15 years before America's first zoo was ready to open.  Admission was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children to see all 813  animals.  The rate remained the same  for the next half century.  The Zoo website informs us that  “the Frank Furness Victorian gates and gatehouses, and the Zoo's location, are the same today as they were on the day it opened. One of its assets, then and now, is John Penn's home, The Solitude, which sat on the land chosen for the Zoo. John Penn was the grandson of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. The Solitude is considered to be Philadelphia's most precise and elegant expression of neoclassical style.”

            1881 – Friday The world's first international telephone call is made between St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, and Calais, Maine, United States. New Brunswick: “You don’t sound French”. Calais: “I’m not French”. New Brunswick:  Isn’t this Calais?”  Calais: “Oui”. New Brunswick:  “Isn’t Calais in France?” Calais: “Oui”.  New Brunswick: “So you’re French.”  Calais: “ Mais non, Je suis Americaine, cette Calais est situé dans le Maine, USA….n'est-ce pas une boule de bowling Brunswick?” So, how’s the weather? Cold. Us too. Mosquitos? Yup. Us too.

            1890 – Tuesday  Canada and Hamilton,  Bermuda were linked by telegraph cable as fair skinned Canadians rushed to make reservations for beach front condo rentals and madras shorts. On July 12 the Governor of Bermuda sent formal telegraph messages over the new submarine cable to Halifax, to Queen Victoria, the Governor-General of Canada, Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby,  and President Benjamin Harrison.

            1898 - Friday  Get me a proctologist right away! …Daffy Duck……….The Battle of San Juan Hill occurred as part of the campaign to capture Spanish-held Santiago on the southern coast of Cuba.  The U.S. Army Fifth Corps attacked Spanish forces at El Caney and San Juan Hill.  Included among the U.S. ground troops were the Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt-led "Rough Riders," a collection of Western cowboys and Eastern blue bloods officially known as the First U.S. Voluntary Cavalry.  The US had absolutely no experience fighting in the tropics, and the unprepared US Army showed up in Cuba with vast supplies of wool clothing. Also, unfortunately, the Rough Riders’ horses had not yet arrived so the charged up the hill on foot.  Won the battle anyway.

            1903- Wednesday Happy Birthday, Amy Johnson, pioneering British female aviator, the first womanto fly solo  from London to Darwin, Australia. Echoes of Amelia Earhart, Johnson, while on a flying mission for the Air Ministry on Jan. 5 1941 crashed in the Thames River estuary while ferrying airplanes for the RAF and was drowned.

            1903 Wednesday- Get a bicycle.  You will not regret it if you live……….Mark Twain………………. A banner day for the performance enhancing drug industry as 1st Tour de France bicycle race began. All riders used training wheels. Hickcock Sports.com tells us that this, the world's greatest bicycle race originated in 1903 because of a feud between two French sports newspapers. Le Velo was the original publication. Its competitor, L'Auto-velo, was founded by a former advertiser who had become unhappy with some of Le Velo's editorial policies. In January of 1903, Le Velo won a trademark suit against its competitor, and L'Auto-velo was forced to become simply L'Auto.Fearful that the name change would kill the newspaper, L'Auto editor Henri Desgrange decided that a major race would create publicity and circulation. His cycling reporter, Georges Lefevre suggested a six-day race over roads and through towns rather than on a track et voila!  Even though the race had to be postponed once more, to July 19, for logistical reasons, it was an enormous success. When winner Maurice Garin entered Paris, a crowd of 20,000 paying spectators greeted him. And a special edition of L'Auto sold 130,000 copies, 100,000 more than the newspaper's circulation had been six months earlier.

1908 – Wednesday - So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me
The love you gave me, nothing else can save me
……ABBA………SOS was adopted as the international distress signal. It replaced CDQ (which did not stand for Come Quick, Danger) In 1904, the Marconi company had suggested the use of "CQD" for a distress signal and it was established on February 1 of that year. It is a general call, "CQ," followed by "D," meaning distress. At the Berlin Radiotelegraphic Conference of 1906 the  distress signal chosen was SOS which was officially ratified in 1908. However people were reluctant to give up CQD and it was still around in 1912 when the Titanic went kaput.  The logs of the SS Carpathia, indicate that the Titanic first used "CQD" to call for help.  

1910-  Friday The first time I tried organic wheat bread, I thought I was chewing on roofing material …..Robin Williams………..It was kneaded.  The first completely automatic bread plant in the U.S. was opened by the Ward Baking Company of Chicago, Illinois. The company  actually opened this first automatic bread baking plant in Bronx, New York.  A 20 minute process could produce 172 loaves a minute without the dough or loaf being touched by human hands until it emerged from the packaging machine.              

1916 Saturday - The trench was a horrible sight. The dead were stretched out on one side, one on top of each other six feet high. I thought at the time I should never get the peculiar disgusting smell of the vapour of warm human blood heated by the sun out of my nostrils. I would rather have smelt gas a hundred times. I can never describe that faint sickening, horrible smell which several times nearly knocked me up altogether. ..British Captain Leeham……….The Battle of the Somme began as the British under the command of the conspicuously incompetent Douglas Haig ( his strategy of attrition aka, “kill more Germans” resulted in monstrous British casualties) launched a massive offensive against German forces in the Somme River region of France. During the preceding week, 250,000 Allied artillery had pounded German positions near the Somme. As the battle opened, 100,000 British soldiers came out of their trenches and into no-man's-land on  expecting to find the way cleared for them by the shelling . But no..... (just like Gettysburg when the artillery fired OVER the Union lines and Pickett’s soldier charged into fully fortified defenses) disastrously, many  heavy German machine guns had survived the artillery attack, and the infantry were massacred. Haig kept sending wave after wave of soldiers and by the end of the day, 20,000 British soldiers were dead and 40,000 wounded. It was the single heaviest day of casualties in British military history. The disastrous Battle of the Somme stretched on for more than four months, with the Allies advancing a total of just five miles.

      1923 Sunday- The premier of  King Tut-Ankh-Amen's Eighth Wife directed by Andrew Remo and….whoops……the Gnus Editorial Board liked the title but we can’t find a synopsis nor a cast listing.  We do know it was a mystery.

            1930 – Tuesday- He rocks in the tree tops all day long
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and singing his song
All the little birdies on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet, tweet, tweet
Rockin' robin, rock, rock
Rockin' robin'
Blow rockin' robin
'Cause we're really gonna rock tonigh
Happy Birthday, Bobby Day, born Robert Byrd in Ft. Worth, Texas, American singer who reached  # 2 on the Billboard Charts in 1958 with Rockin’ Robin.  Two Day written songs became hits when they were covered by other artists, Little Bitty Pretty One by Thurston Harris and Over and Over by the Dave Clark Five.

1934 - Sunday -Dr. Warren Sausser made , a full-body X-ray picture showing the entire skeletal system of an adult human. The Eastman Kodak Company cooperated fully on this project, making a special 20 x 70 inch film. The entire technique for the full-skeleton exposure was described in the February, 1935 issue of the National Chiropractic Journal. This first X-ray photograph of the whole body taken in a one-second exposure, using ordinary clinical conditions such as would exist at an average hospital. Wilhelm Rontgen had taken the first x-rays in 1895 (he x-rayed his wife’s hand) X-rays were so named Roentgen because they were then rays of unknown origin which, al-though' they could not be seen, could penetrate the human body and many other substances. Since the human body has different densities (skin, bones, cartilage), the differences in them could then be captured in gradations by the photographic medium behind the subject.  A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…….Groucho Marx

1941 - Tuesday A day that should live in infamy as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Brooklyn (yes, Brookly…..where they belong….)Dodgers 6-4.  But that’s not the infamous part. NBC broadcast the first official TV commercial during the game . In the first commercial, the Bulova watch company paid $9 to advertise its watches on the air…..for 10 seconds showing a map of America with a Bulova watch superimposed with the slogan, “America…..runs…..on……Bulova….time.” 

1941 – Tuesday – Happy Birthday - Alfred G. Gilman, 1994 Nobel Prize winning pharmacologist famous for his discovery of G-protein cell signal transmission in which which information from the beyond a specific cell is conveyed to within that cell through a complex chain of events usually consisting of texting, tweeting, Facebooking,  phone calls and yelling through the mitochondria. G-proteins bind to guanine nucleotides, a key component of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).

1942 – Wednesday  Everyone must be imbued with the desire kill Germans, even the padres - one for weekdays and two on Sundays.….Bernard Montgomery, El Alamein battle orders………. Yet another famous battle on this day, (Malverne Hill, Gettysburg) El Alamein, about 150 miles from Cairo, Egypt as British forces under General Bernard (Monty) Montgomery halted the German army advance led by the great Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (the Desert Fox). The Allied victory at El Alamein lead to the retreat of the Afrika Korps and the eventual German surrender in North Africa in May 1943. The Germans were threatening to capture the Suez Canal, the main artery for allied supplies.  El Alamein was the last opportunity to stop Rommel’s tank corps. El Alamein was a bottleneck that ensured that Rommel could not use his favoured form of attack - sweeping into the enemy from the rear. Why would Rommel have to fight here?  The allies had deciphered key codes and knew the German battle plan……..see McClellan coming across Lee’s plans for Maryland igniting the Battle of Antietam..............The battle would continue for months.  By November 2nd 1942, Rommel knew that he was beaten. Hitler maniacally ordered the Afrika Korps to fight to the last man but Rommel refused to carry out this order. On November 4th, Rommel started his retreat.

1943 – Thursday Seeking to combat attacks by Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gamera, Ghidra, the Three Headed Monster and the cast of Jersey Shore,  Tokyo City merged with Tokyo Prefecture and was dissolved. Since then, no city in Japan has had the name "Tokyo" (present-day Tokyo is not officially a city).  The governor of Tokyo became a Cabinet minister reporting directly to the Prime Minister. The system remained in place until 1947 when the current structure of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government was formed. This merger was similar to a Consolidated city–county in the US.

1956 - 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. ……………………E
lvis Presley appeared on The Steve Allen Show. He was told not to dance and Allen had him sing Hound Dog to a real basset hound wearing tails. The Steve Allen website quotes Allen, "When I booked Elvis, I naturally had no interest in just presenting him vaudeville-style and letting him do his spot as he might in concert.  Instead we worked him into the comedy fabric of our program.  I asked him to sing "Hound Dog" (which he had recorded just the day before) dressed in a classy Fred Astaire wardrobe--white tie and tails--and surrounded him with graceful Greek columns and hanging draperies that would have been suitable for Sir Laurence Olivier reciting Shakespeare.   For added laughs, I had him sing the number to a sad-faced basset hound that sat on a low column and also wore a little top hat.  (I learned not long ago that small ceramic statues of the dog-and-top-hat are now among the more popular items of Presley memorabilia.  I think somebody owes me royalties.)  We certainly didn't inhibit Elvis' then-notorious pelvic gyrations, but I think the fact that he had on formal evening attire made him, purely on his own, slightly alter his presentation.     "For his other spot, I wrote a spoof of a typical country-and-western TV or radio show.  Presley played my sidekick and the two of us were well supported by Andy Griffith, who in those days was a comedian, and  Imogene Coca.

1960 – Friday Soomaaliyeey toosoo
Toosoo isku tiirsada ee
Hadba kiina taagdaranee
Taageera waligiineeIdinkaysu tookhaayoo
Idinkaysu taamaayee
Aadamuhu tacliin barayoo
Waddankiisa taamyeelooSharcigaa isku kiin tolayoo
Luuqadaa tuwaaxid ahoo
Arligiina taaka ahoo
Kuma kala tegeysaan oo
……… The Independence of Somalia. In 1969 Abdi Rashid Ali Shirmarke, Somalia's second President, was assassinated and in the following days a military coup, led by Major General Muhammed Siyad Barre, tgained control of the country. In 1970 Barre declared Somalia to be a socialist state.  Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory. The internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government controls only a small part of the country. Somalia has been characterized as a failed state and is one of the poorest[10] and most violent states in the world…well that’s certainly worked out well.

1960 – Friday Ghana
Hail the Name of Ghana
God bless our homeland Ghana,
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend for ever
The cause of Freedom and of Right;
Fill our hearts with true humility,
Make us cherish fearless honesty
……………. Ghana became a Republic and Kwame Nkrumah becomes its first President as Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom ceases to be its Head of state. Ghana has since had 15 heads of state with more on the way. Well that’s certainly worked out well. Ghana is a West African country bordering on the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana is bounded by Côte d'Ivoire (formerly the Ivory Coast) to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It’s about the size of  Oregon, and its largest river is the Volta which is sparsely populated , leading to the slogan, “one man, one Volta”.

1962 – Sunday Rwanda, our beautiful and dear country
Adorned of hills, lakes and volcanoes
Motherland, would be always filled of happiness
Us all your children: Abanyarwanda
Let us sing your glare and proclaim your high facts
You, maternal bosom of us all
Would be admired forever, prosperous and cover of praise……………
Independence of Rwanda. Rwanda has had only eight presidents (the U.S has had ten) since 1962. However there was that little matter of the Rwanda Genocide of 1994  when, in just three months, an estimated 800000 people were massacred. Most of the dead were Tutsis - and most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus.  Rwanda, in east-central Africa, is surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi. It is slightly smaller than Maryland.

1962 – Sunday Original Kirundi Words
Burundi Bwacu, Burundi buhire,
Shinga icumu mu mashinga,
Gaba intahe y'ubugabo ku bugingo.
Warapfunywe ntiwapfuye,
Warahabishijwe ntiwahababuka,
Uhagurukana, uhagurukana, uhagurukana, ubugabo urikukira. …..
The Independence of Burundi which has had thirteen presidents as of 2011.  Burundi is stuck in there between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda in east-central Africa, Burundi occupies a high plateau divided by several deep valleys. Continuing our Maryland comparison theme, Burundi is equal in size to Maryland

1962: Tuesday- Well, be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby
Be-bop-a-lula, I don't mean maybe
Be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby
Be-bop-a-lula, I don't mean maybe
Be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby love
My baby love, my baby love
……….Perhaps to celebrate the independence of all the African countries listed above, Gene Vincent performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, opening for the house band……………..The Beatles.

1963 – Monday Horatio:
He waxes desperate with imagination. Marcellus:
Let's follow. 'Tis not fit thus to obey him.  Horatio:
Have after. To what issue will this come?  Marcellus:
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.  Horatio:
Heaven will direct it………..Hamlet Act 1, scene 4, 87–91  ZIP Codes were  introduced for United States mail. In June 1962, the a President John Kennedy appointed Advisory Board of the Post Office Department, after a study of its overall mechanization problems, made several primary recommendations. One was that the Department give priority to the development of a coding system.  Postmaster, it was actually a cabinet post in those days,  General John A. Gronouski announced that the ZIP Code would begin on July 1, 1963. A five-digit code had been assigned to every address throughout the country. So, how do you interpret a zip code? How do you solve a problem like Maria?  How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria? A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown! Each number is deep with  meaning,  first digit designated a broad geographical area of the United States, ranging from zero for the Northeast to nine for the far West. This was followed by two digits that more closely pinpointed population concentrations and those sectional centers accessible to common transportation networks. The final two digits designated small post offices or postal zones in larger zoned cities.

 1963 – Monday 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.
Secret Agent Man
Secret Agent Man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
………… The British Government finally!!!!!!! admitted that four times married former diplomat Kim Philby had worked as a Soviet  communist spy. Philby had alerted notorious spies and poofters, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean that the authorities were on to them.  They escaped to the proletarian workers paradise and even though Burgess and Maclean did escape successfully to the Soviet Union in May of 1951, Philby immediately came under suspicion by the SIS and U.S. intelligence. Amazingly, however, for ten more years he evaded full-scale incrimination, largely because many officials, both in the Foreign Office and in the British Parliament, simply refused to believe the spiraling evidence against him. If the evidence were true, they reasoned, it would prove an outrageous embarrassment to both the United States and British governments.  On the evening of Wednesday, January 23 1963, Philby vanished from Beirut, failing to meet his wife for a dinner party at the British Embassy. The Dolmatova, a Soviet freighter bound for Odessa, had left Beirut that morning. Philby claimed that he left Beirut on board this ship. However, others maintain that he escaped through Syria overland to Soviet Armenia and thence to Russia. Either way he was gone. It was not until 1 July 1963 that Philby's flight to Moscow was officially confirmed and revealed.  We note that On  October, 23,  1955, the newspaper, New York Sunday News, reported that Philby was a Soviet spy.

1976 – Thursday He at first refus’d us peremptorily; but at dinner with his council, where there was great drinking of Madeira wine, as the custom of that place then was, he softened by degrees, and said he would lend us six. After a few more bumpers he advanc’d to ten; and at length he very good-naturedly conceded eighteen…..Benjamin Franklin…………….After much whining and wining,  Portugal granted autonomy to Madeira granting the island its own parliament that passes local laws and regulations but still adhering to mainland Portugal laws as well. Madeira, discovered in 1419 is a Portuguese archipelago just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union which made it a great jump off point for explorers Christopher Columbus and James Cook. Madeira is a fortified wine. Starting in the 1500s, the natives of Maderia would add brandy to their local wine to help the wine survive the long, hot ship voyages it would take to Europe.

1979 – Sunday A kluger farshtait fun ain vort tsvai ….A wise man hears one word and understands two…Yiddish saying……….Sony introduced the Walkman.  The TPS-L2 was 14 ounce, blue-and-silver, portable cassette player with bulky, unwieldy buttons, headphones and a leather case. It even had a second earphone jack so that two people could bop along at once. Originally the Walkman was introduced in the U.S. as the "Sound-About" and in the UK as the "Stowaway," but the challenge of coming up with new, non-copyrighted names in every country it was marketed in proved costly so  Sony eventually decided on Walkman, although they actually called it the ウォークマン.

1980 – Tuesday O Canada officially became the national anthem of Canada replacing You’re Having My Baby  by Paul Anka

1987 – Wednesday  Host: We have Ralph from Bayside on the line. Ralph? Ralph: Hi, long time listener, first time caller.  Host: What’s up Ralphie.  Ralph: Why don’t the Yankees trade Derek Jeter?  He hasn’t had a hit in two games.  Maybe we can get something for him before it’s too late. Host: Ralph, you may be overreacting. Ralph: No, no, really, we can trade Steve Whitaker and Horace Clarke for Willie Mays and Hank Aaron…….Host: Thanks Ralph.  Now we have Guido  from …………….The American radio station WFAN in New York, New York was launched as the world's first all-sports radio station.  The first voice heard on the new station was that of Suzyn Waldman, with a sports update, (every 20 minutes) followed by the first show, which was hosted by Jim Lampley. Other hosts besides Lampley included Bill Mazer, Pete Franklin, Greg Gumbel, Art Shamsky, and Ed Coleman.

1990 Sunday - Cogito sumere potum alterum….I think I'll have another drink….. Evoking their inner ’62 Mets’ essence, the New York Yankees (they were 28-45 at the time under the leadership of the immortal, Stump Merrill)  managed to lose a game to the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.  Yankee pitcher Andy Hawkins pitched a no-hitter (while walking five) but succeeded in losing the game 4-0.  Things turned ugly in the scoreless game when the White Sox batted in the bottom of the 8th inning with two outs as third baseman, Mike Blowers bungled a grounder, followed by twowalk. . Jim Leyritz, a rookie playing in left field, then dropped a fly ball with the bases loaded. Three runs scored. Rightfielder Jesse Barfield then dropped one and another run scored. Since the White Sox were the home team, they did not bat in the 9th inning so Hawkins (he was 1-4 entering the game) pitched an 8 inning no hitter.   On September 4, 1991 the Committee for Statistical Accuracy, appointed by Commissioner Fay Vincent, changed the definition of a no-hitter to require that a pitcher throw at least nine full innings and a complete game. Since Hawkins played for the visiting team, the White Sox never batted in the ninth inning and Hawkins lost the credit for a no-hitter.

1999 – Thursday The Scottish Parliament was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.  On this day that legislative powers were officially transferred from the old Scottish Office in London to the new devolved Scottish Executive in Edinburgh.  Fortunately, the official Scottish Parliament building would not open until 2004.  The monstrosity across the street from the Holyrood Palace ranks up there with the world’s ugliest buildings. Designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, some of the principal features of the complex include leaf-shaped buildings, a grass-roofed branch merging into adjacent parkland. It has nothing to do with the 16th -19th century architecture of Edinburgh but looks like a cheap Epcot Center ride-a-rama. It is truly hideous and someone must have imbibed too much single malt to a – approve the design and b- built the hideous eyesore.

1999- Thursday Deep Space 1 (DS1), launched 24 October 1998  flew by the Mars-crossing near-Earth asteroid 9969 Braille. The landscape consists of patterns of raised dots arranged in cells of up to six dots in a 3 x 2 configuration. Each cell represents a letter, numeral or punctuation mark. Some frequently used words and letter combinations also have their own single cell patterns. The Deep Space 1 was the first of a series of technology demonstration probes developed by NASA's New Millennium Program. It again flew by comet Borrelly in September 2001.  Unfortunately, radio waves transmitted to Earth contained mutant quarks that were able to subsume the thought processes of highly susceptible humans causing them to text while carrying on a conversation with another human.

2002 –  Monday Lawyer: This myasthenia gravis -- does it affect your memory at all?  Witness: Yes. Lawyer: And in what ways does it affect your memory? Witness: I forget. Lawyer: You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?…..  well that’s sure worked out well. The International Criminal Court was established to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.  he court's official seat is in The Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings may take place anywhere they have a place to sit.

2004 – Thursday – The Saturn orbit insertion of Cassini-Huygens.  Tthe spacecraft began a 4-year tour of the Saturnian system comprising nearly The tour included  71 gravity-assist flybys of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and dozens of flybys of Saturn's smaller attendant moons. Unfortunately, photos sent to earth contained rogue mesons which entered the brains of susceptible humans causing them to not bath for weeks at a time and then ride on crowded subway trains.

2005 - Friday Don't gimme no Buick
Son you must take my word
If there's a God in heaven
He's got a Silver Thunderbird
You can keep your Eldorados
And the foreign car's absurd
Me I wanna go down
In a Silver Thunderbird
…….Marc Cohen………The last Ford Thunderbird was produced.  A beautiful car in the 1950s and into the 1960s, the geniuses at Ford couldn’t leave it alone and it turned into an eyesore….really, you have see the ghastly machine they paraded around during the 80s………  Attempts at revival in the early 21st century failed.

2007 – Sunday The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth…
….Monty Python……… The Big Bang to the Big Bounce and ……….? The journal Nature Physics, posited the “Big Bounce” theory of the universe. Recall that the  Big Bang theory holds that a infinitesimally small  “singularity” (about the size of Lindsay Lohan’s brain) containing of zero volume nevertheless contained infinite density and infinitely large energy went BANG …ergo, big bang……and created our expanding universe.  But noooooooooo saysome  physicists used a mathematical time machine called Loop Quantum Gravity…..which is also helpful in opening bottles of beer…….. This theory, which combines Einstein's Theory of General Relativity with equations of quantum physics that did not exist in Einstein's day, is the first mathematical description to systematically establish the existence of the Big Bounce and to deduce properties of the earlier universe from which our own may have sprung. Instead of being infinitely small and dense, the singularity compacted down into a ball of some volume and density. The researchers believe that a previous Universe collapsed down to a tiny ball, and then had a Big Bounce to expand again. The previous Universe was very similar to the space-time geometry we have in our current Universe.  And there you have it.

Back to Calendar


  419 – Tuesday Mama, Quanto ti voglio bene
Queste parole d'amore
Che ti sospira il mio cuore
Forse non si usano piu
Ah Mama
Ma la canzone mia piu bella sei tu
Sei tu la vita e per la vita non ti lascio mai piu..
……Connie Francis…….Happy Birthday, Valentinian III, the last of three Valentinians, Roman Emperor, born Placidus Valentinianus. A ‘momma’s boy’, Valentinian was fairly useless as an Emperor.  His mom, was the emperor Honorius' sister Galla Placidia and she pretty much ran the show since Valentinian didn’t seem to have had much of an aptitude for rule. He is described as spoiled, pleasure-loving, and influenced by sorcerers and astrologers. But, like his mother, Valentinian was devoted to religion.

 626 – SundayYou cheated. You lied. You said that you loved me…..The Shields…….America has The Gunfight at the O.K Corral, China has The Incident at Xuanwu Gate. Li Shimin, the future Emperor Taizong of Tang, Emperor of China, ambushed and killed his rival brothers Li Yuanji and Li Jiancheng. Emperor Gaozu of Tang (the founding emperor of the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty – based on his success in creating a powdered orange drink- in 618) and his wife, Duchess Douhad four sons, Li Jiancheng, Li Shimin, Li Xuanba (who died in 614) and Li Yuanji. Li Shimin had an intense rivalry with his older brother Li Jiancheng the Crown Prince and fearing that Li Jiancheng was about to render him kaput, set an ambush at Xuanwu Gate, the gate leading to Emperor Gaozu's palace, and killed Li Jiancheng and a younger brother, Li Yuanji the Prince of Qi, who had supported Li Jiancheng. He then sent forces into Emperor Gaozu's palace. Emperor Gaozu, under intimidation, installed him as crown prince, and two months later passed the throne to him (as Emperor Taizong).  The ambush had a Mack Sennett touch as When Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji reached the palace, they sensed that something was wrong, and began to head back to Li Jiancheng's palace. Li Shimin personally chased them and yelled out, "Big brother!" Li Yanji yelled, I hate that show, the Great Race is much better” and fired three arrows at Li Shimin, missing each time. Li Shimin then fired an arrow at Li Jiancheng, killing him. Li Shimin supporter, Yuchi Jingde then arrived with 70 soldiers, and Li Yuanji did what any of us would do, he fell off his horse. Li Shimin's horse was spooked and took him into a forest. Li Shimin where, yes, he  fell off the horse too and could not get up. Li Yuanji then entered the forest and tried to strangle Li Shimin with his bow, but at this point Yuchi arrived, and as Li Yuanji tried to flee,  Yuchi chased him down and killed him with an arrow.   Whew!

706 – Monday An inexperienced preacher was to hold a graveside burial service at a pauper’s cemetery for an indigent man with no family or friends. Not knowing where the cemetery was, he made several wrong turns and got lost. When he eventually arrived an hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, the backhoe was next to the open hole, and the workmen were sitting under a tree eating lunch.The diligent young pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Feeling guilty because of his tardiness, he preached an impassioned and lengthy service, sending the deceased to the great beyond in style.As he returned to his car, he overheard one of the workman say to the other, “I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years and I ain’t never seen anything like that.” …….Emperor Zhongzong of Tang (yes, the Tangsters were still around)  interred the bodies of relatives in the Qianling Mausoleum, located on Mount Liang outside Chang'an.  Qianling is the most typical and best preserved of all the eighteen Tang mausoleums.  It is situated some 80 kilometers away from Xian, on a stone mountain named Mt. Liangshan. It is the joint tomb of Emperor Gaozong, the third emperor of Tang Dynasty, and his empress Wu Zetian, the only Queen in Chinese history.

1262 – Sunday – Happy Birthday, Arthur II, Duke of Brittany.  The editorial board chose Arthur for mention because his father was John II and his son, when he became duke, was John ‘the Good’. 

1489 – Tuesday – And forasmuch as my hand offended in writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be punished.  Thomas Cranmer at his execution. ………… Happy Birthday, Thomas Cranmer, the Uriah Heep of early Tudor England and toady of Henry VIII and later Archbishop of Canterbury. Cranmer supported, at least in public, Henry's numerous marital maneuvers. In his role as Archbishop of Canterbury he officially dissolved Henry's marriage with Katherine of Aragon, and later helped preside over the trial of Anne Boleyne, the divorce from Anne of Cleves, and Catherine Howard's trial and execution. This demonstrated his pliability; he seemed unable to deny Henry (who was always right) any whim.  In 1549 Cranmer produced The Book of Common Prayer, which produced a storm of controversy. Cranmer presented the view that a proper Christian Communion depends more on the heart of the practitioner than the actual bread and wine used in the ceremony. He also encouraged the public reading of the Bible by the entire congregation.  Unfortunately for Cranmer, Henry VIII bit the dust and was succeeded by his Catholic daughter, Mary who blamed him for her mother (Katherine of Aragon)’s divorce.  Cranmer was tried as a heretic and burned at the stake.

1613 Tuesday  Samuel Argall led  first English expedition from Massachusetts against Acadia, which the English called Nova Scotia.  Lucky Acadia, it was right on the border between the English colonies and the French colonies so it played the colonial role of the remote control being fought over by two people on the couch. Argall, an English adventurer was working for the Virginia Company of London. Acting under authority from the Governor of Virginia, Argall was authorized to expel the French from all territory claimed by England and granted to the 'Company'. Argall was a busy beaver, later in the year, on a voyage up the Potomac, Argall captured Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan. Argall took her to Jamestown and held as hostage for English prisoners held by her father.

1644 – Saturday - My Lord King,
You stoop to betray your own people,
And even in the eyes of God,
Do you not relent?
I am therefore bound by no other course
I shall raise an army;
Together we will march against you and your kind,
And every born man will fight to regain his own freedom,
And cleanse his wretched soul……..Electric Light Orchestra…………The Battle of Marston Moor….Marston Moor was one of the major battles of the English Civil War and the defeat inflicted on the Royalists, led by Prince Rupert, (the nephew of Charles I) at Marston Moor was a major reverse and any power that they might have had in the north was ended.  A moor is a broad area of open land, often high but poorly drained, with patches of heath and peat bogs. Rupert cleverly placed his army on the moor.  The Roundheads, led by Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven and Edward Montagu, Earl of Manchester did not. The Battle of Marston Moor cost the Cromwellians approximately 300 killed while the Royalists suffered around 4,000 dead and 1,500 captured.

1698 – Wednesday Soon shall thy arm, Unconquer'd Steam! afar
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;
Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear
The flying-chariot through the fields of air. …
Erasmus Darwin………….. Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine.  Scotsman James Watt is credited with inventing the first practical engine.  In order in order to condense steam there had some cooling taking place. Watt came up with the idea of the separate condenser, which he patented.  Savery published a script in which he described the advantages and the mode of operation of an engine that would transport water out of mines easier. He called his script The Miners Friend.  In describing the clout of his engine, Savory was the first to use the term, horse power.   

1776 – Tuesday – When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 2.1 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ……….Citing the horse faced offspring of the Royal family, the insertion of the letter u in words like labour, driving on the wrong side of the road, angry television chefs, and Liverpudlian accents…..The Continental Congress adopted a resolution severing ties with Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence was not approved until July 4.  On June 11th the Congress took a vote on whether or not to vote on the matter of independence now or to wait until later. The decision came out 7 colonies against 5, with New York abstaining, (naturally) to push the vote three weeks later to July 2.  Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston and Robert Sherman were appointed to the committee that was responsible for writing a draft version of a formal Declaration of Independence.  Jefferson hid everyone else’s pens and then put sand in their ink so he wrote write the actual document because he was an eloquent writer, because he was a Virginian, and it was important for this leading state to appear to be in the forefront of the movement. On July 2nd, twelve colonies, excluding New York, naturally, voted to accept Richard Henry Lee's resolution for independence. This is actually the day American independence was declared, not July 4th. Immediately after voting for independence, the delegates began to examine and debate Jefferson's drafted declaration. They debated the various parts and the wording for the rest of the 2nd, the 3rd and into the morning of July 4th.

1777 – Wednesday Vermont, which had broken away from New York, became the first American territory to abolish slavery.  Between 1777 and 1804, all states north of the Delaware voted to gradually abolish slavery.  Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791.

1839 – Tuesday  Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally………………..Abraham LincolnSpeaking of slavery, Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, fifty rebelling African slaves led by Joseph Cinqué took over the  Spanish slave schooner Amistad. It  It was to transport its human cargo 300 miles to two plantations on another part of Cuba at Puerto Principe but ended up in U.S court where civil rights issues involved in the affair made it the most famous case to appear in American courts before the landmark Dred Scott decision of 1857.  The slaves they killed the captain and the cook but spared the life of a Spanish navigator, so that he could sail them home to Sierra Leone. The navigator managed instead to sail the Amistad generally northward. Two months later the U.S. Navy seized the ship off Long Island, New York, and towed it into New London, Connecticut. The mutineers were held in a jail in New Haven, Connecticut, a state in which slavery was legal. In 1840, a federal trial court found that the initial transport of the Africans across the Atlantic (which did not involve the Amistad) had been illegal, because the international slave trade had been abolished, and the captives were thus not legally slaves but free. Given that they were illegally confined, the Africans were entitled to take whatever legal measures necessary to secure their freedom, including the use of force. After the US Supreme Court affirmed this finding on March 9, 1841, supporters arranged transportation for the Africans back to Africa in 1842.

 1853 – Saturday Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred
…..Tenneyson…………The Russian Army crossed the Pruth river into the Danubian Principalities, Moldavia and Wallachia……sounds innocuous but it set off the Crimean War since they had previously been controlled by Turkey. Britain and France were concerned about Russian expansion and attempted to achieve a negotiation withdrawal. Turkey, unwilling to grant concessions declared war on Russia.  After the Russians destroyed the Turkish fleet at Sinope in the Black Sea in November 1853, and, before you could say “Charge of the Light Brigade”, Britain and France joined the war against Russia.  Crimea is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea and on the western coast of the Sea of Azov, bordering Kherson Oblast from the North……it’s just south of the Ukrain.  Crimea is connected to the mainland by the 5–7 kilometres (3.1–4.3 mi) wide Isthmus of Perekop, about which Buckwheat of the Little Rascals said, “isthmus be the place”.

 1862 - Wednesday Happy Birthday, Sir William Henry Bragg, Australian physicist and chemist famous for his work on the atomic structure of crystalline substances and the measurement of x-ray lengths.   We're not sure if Bragg bragged about his work or not but according to Groucho Marx, A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…………Bragg and his son,  Sir William Lawrence Bragg , was awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize for physics for his pioneering work on X-ray crystallography.  The Bragg ionization spectrometer William designed and built is the prototype of all modern X-ray and neutron diffractometers….we refer you to the afore mentioned Groucho Marx. X-ray crystallography is a technique that exploits the fact that X-rays are diffracted by crystals. Diffraction changes the directions and intensities of a group of waves after passing by an obstacle or through an aperture whose size is approximately the same as the wavelength of the waves.  Diffractions are also the parts of a whole.

1867-  Tuesday   An old man with long gray whiskers came through the cars selling popcorn, chewing gum and candy. Hey! said one of his customers. I thought young boys were supposed to do your job?……. I was a boy when this train started. -- On A Slow Train Through Arkansas, Thomas W. Jackson, 1903……………The “El”…….The first elevated railroad in the U.S. opened  in New York City. The first half-mile test section was built by Charles T. Harvey on single columns. It ran along the curb line of Greenwich Street, between Battery Place and Dey Street. It traveled at speeds up to 15 mph which is much faster than today’s high speed rush hour subways if you’re trying to get to work. The first elevated line with passenger service was the cable-powered West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway, which opened in 1868 and ran for just a few years.  The earliest elevated railway was the London and Greenwich Railway which was built on a brick viaduct of 878 arches between 1836 and 1838.

1877 – Monday Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity…………Happy Birthday, Hermann Hesse, German-born -in Calw, Germany-  writer and Nobel Prize winner in 1946.  Hesse, explores in his work the duality of spirit and nature and individual's spiritual search outside restrictions of the society. Among his more famous works are, Siddhartha,  a short lyric story of an Indian youth's quest for self-actualization and the ability to answer technology customer support calls from America.  In Steppenwolf the artist-hero's double nature of human and wolfish forces him into a labyrinth of nightmarish experiences including listening to Born to be Wild on an endless loop.  Hesse's last novel, Magister Ludi is set in a utopian future, and is generally seen as a resolution of the author's recurring concerns about gastro intestinal problems.

1881 - Saturday  Nurse: "Doctor, the man you just gave a clean bill of health to dropped dead right as he was leaving the office". Doctor: "Turn him around, make it look like he was walking in."………Henny Youngman………… Four months into his administration, President James A. Garfield was shot as he walked through a railroad waiting room in Washington, D.C. The assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, was a deranged office seeker who had unsuccessfully sought an appointment to the U.S. consul in Paris. The president was shot in the back and the arm, and Guiteau was arrested. Garfield, mortally ill, was treated in Washington and then taken to the seashore at Elberon, New Jersey, where he attempted to recuperate with his family. During this time, Vice President Chester A. Arthur served as acting president. On September 19, 1881, after 80 days, President Garfield died of blood poisoning due to  mind boggling medical incompetence - at least a dozen medical experts probed the president’s wound, often with unsterilized metal instruments or bare hands, as was common at the time- …… One man suggested that they turn the president upside down and see if the bullet would just fall out………as much as much as to  Guiteau’s bullets,. The following day, Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st president of the United States.

1897 – Friday Do you remember lying in bed
With your covers pulled up over your head?
Radio playin' so no one can see
We need change, we need it fast
Before rock's just part of the past
'Cause lately it all sounds the same to me
Oh oh oh oh, oh oh. Rock'n, rock'n'roll radio Let's go….......
..The Ramones………Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi obtained a patent for radio in London.  That patent – British Patent 12039 Improvements in Transmitting Electrical impulses and Signals, and in Apparatus therefore  – was applied for on June 2 of 1896. Unfortunately for Marconi, Nicola Tesla had been granted similar patents in America, and the two men would spend decades locked acrimonious dispute over the matter. In fact, in America it would only be resolved by a court decision after both men had died – the court found in favor of Tesla, ruling that he withstood the tesla of time. Tesla filed his own basic radio patent applications in 1897. They were granted in 1900. Marconi's first patent application in America, filed on November 10, 1900, was turned down. Marconi's revised applications over the next three years were repeatedly rejected because of the priority of Tesla and other inventors.  But Marconi won anyway – it’s his name, not Tesla’s, which is used as a synonym for ‘radio’ even today.

      1900- Monday  - Accompanied by the pound beat of Stairway to Heaven……..the dirigible, Zeppelin made its first flight at Lake Constance in Germany.   The German company Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, owned by Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, was the world's most successful builder of rigid airships. Zeppelin flew the world's first eponymously named airship, the LZ-1, carrying five passengers. It was about 420 feet (128 meters) long and 38 feet (12 meters) in diameter. During this first flight, it flew about 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) in 17 minutes and reached a height of 1,300 feet (390 meters).  It didn’t work too well and that’s why it landed in Lake Constance.  Dirgible? Blimp? Zeppelin?....oh, my………A dirigible is any lighter-than-air craft that is both powered and steerable (as opposed to free floating, like a balloon).  Blimps like the famous Goodyear blimp or the dozens of imitations, rigid airships like the Hindenburg which blew up over New Jersey, and semi-rigid airships like the Zeppelin NT are dirigibles. A blimp (technically called a “pressure airship”) is a powered, steerable, lighter-than-air vehicle whose shape is maintained by the pressure of the gases within its envelope.  A blimp has no rigid internal structure; if a blimp deflates, it loses its shape like Congressman Gerald Nadler of New York. A zeppelin is a rigid airship manufactured by a particular company, the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin of Germany

   1902 - Wednesday The main idea, is to win. ….John J  (Mugsy) McGraw became manager of  New York Giants. Nicknamed "Little Napoleon," under McGraw, the Giants won pennants from 1911 through 1913, in 1917, and from 1921 through 1924. They had only three losing seasons from 1903 through 1931, his last full season as manager. On June 3, 1932, he abruptly resigned, hiring first baseman Bill Terry as his replacement.

   1903- Thursday It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth……….George Burns………The only major league baseball player to fall over Niagara Falls - Hall of Fame outfielder Ed Delahanty,  then playing for  the Washington Senators, was suspended by the team for breaking training rules and was traveling by train from Detroit to New York.  At International Bridge near Niagara Falls, the conductor put him off the train for being drunk and disorderly. That may have been due to the five whiskeys he had consumed.  Staggering along the tracks in the dark, he fell through an open drawbridge and was swept over the falls to his death. The Baseball Almanac obituary supplies the gruesome details, “Delehanty's body was mangled. One leg was torn off, presumably by the propeller of the Maid of the Mist, near whose landing the body was found.” In his 16 seasons with Philadelphia, Cleveland and Washington, Delahanty batted .346, with 101 HRs and 1464 RBI, 522 doubles, 185 triples and 455 stolen bases. He also led the league in slugging average and runs batted in three times each, and batted over .400 three times.

    1908 – Thursday None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots……..Happy Birthday, Thurgood Marshall, the grandson of a slave, civil rights activist, and associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1967 to 1991.  Marshall was the first African American member of the Supreme Court. As an attorney, he successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which declared unconstitutional racial segregation in American public schools.

1922- Sunday Ooh-hoo, water ski
Tough to get to where you wanna be
Oh, those skis just keep falling off, and
Ooh, barefoot, goes more like planned
…..Larry Hensley……The first water skis as they are used today were were put to use by 19 year old (actually, it was the day before his 19th birthday), Ralph W. Samuelson at Lake Pepin, Minnesota. He had tried a few days earlier with barrel staves and snow skis, but they were a Titanic failure. Samuelson had proposed the idea that if you could ski on snow, you could ski on water……………..whatever………..on June 28  Ralph first attempted water skiing towed by his brother Ben. The brothers experimented for several days and then Samuelson  managed to make skis out of two 8 x 9 inch boards in which he attached leather straps to hold his feet in place. To make the attempt complete, he used a 100-feet long sash cord with an iron ring for the handle. This served as his towrope and then  Ralph discovered that leaning backwards with ski tips up lead to successful water skiing…..which is not particularly good for snow skiing.

    1925 – Thursday  A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers' blood
A finger fired the trigger to his name
A handle hid out in the dark
A hand set the spark
Two eyes took the aim
Behind a man's brain
But he can't be blamed
He's only a pawn in their game…
..Bob Dylan………..Happy Birthday, Medgar Evers, American civil rights activist.  Following service in World War II, became the first state field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi. As state field secretary, Evers recruited members throughout Mississippi and organized voter-registration efforts, demonstrations, and economic boycotts of white-owned companies that practiced discrimination. On June 12, 1963, President  John Kennedy, in a speech to the nation, stated that whites standing in the way of civil rights for blacks represented "a moral crisis" and pledged his support to federal action on integration, or ending segregation. That same night, Evers returned home just after midnight from a series of NAACP functions. As he left his car, he was shot in the back. Evers died shortly thereafter at the hospital

      1937 - Friday Amelia Earhart disappeared as the aircraft carrying her and navigator Frederick Noonan was reported missing near Howland Island in the Pacific. The pair were attempting to fly around the world when they lost their bearings during the most dangerous part their of the journey from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island, a tiny island 2,227 nautical miles away, in the center of the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca received intermittent messages from Earhart as she approached Howland Island and the last was that she was lost and running low on fuel. She was never heard from again and she probably tried to ditch the plane in the ocean. In 2010 array of artifacts from the 1930s and bones found on the uninhabited Pacific atoll of Nikumaroro suggested that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, endured lingering deaths as castaways on a desert island and were eventually eaten by crabs. Researchers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (Tighar) found what might have been a phalanx from a finger and two other bones, one of them from the neck, alongside a host of other clues after two decades and 10 expeditions attempting to solve the mystery. The suspected finger is being tested for human DNA. It turn out to be from a turtle – which have similar bones in their flippers. But the other discoveries substantiated the theory that Earhart died on the atoll after going missing en route to Howland Island in July 1937 at the age of 41 – she was declared legally dead 18 months later.

      1940- Tuesday A neutron walks into a bar. "I'd like a beer" he says. The bartender promptly serves up a beer. "How much will that be?" asks the neutron. "For you?" replies the bartender, "no charge."………..A patent was issued to Enrico Fermi and colleagues, for a process of producing radioactive substances.  We quote; “The process, for production of isotopes including transuranic elements by reaction of neutrons, employs means for generating neutrons having a high average energy, slowing down and scattering the neutrons by projecting them through a medium of an element of a class including H, He, Be, C, Si, and Pb, and then passing the neutrons into a mass of material containing an element capable of forming a radioactive isotope by neutron capture, including radioactive isotopes capable of emitting beta rays.” Groucho? Take it away…..A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. In 1934, Fermi came up with the idea to use neutrons, which have no charge, as projectiles. Fermi would shoot a neutron like an arrow into an atom's nucleus. Many of these nuclei absorbed the extra neutron during this process, creating isotopes for every element. By 1939 he had discovered that if you split an atom's nucleus, that atom's neutrons could be used as projectiles to split another atom's nucleus, causing a nuclear chain reaction. Each time a nucleus was split, an enormous amount of energy was released. Fermi's discovery of the nuclear chain reaction and then his discovery of a way to control this reaction, and poof!,  led to both the construction of atomic bombs and of nuclear power.

1946 – Tuesday ….. Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell …
…..Lynyrd Skynyrd……….Richard Axel, American neuroscientist and Nobel laureate. You may have asked the question, How does the brain know what the nose is smelling?  Unable to locate Groucho Marx’s child of five (see above), we rely on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the explanation.  In 1991, Axel, working with Linda Buck—who was then a postdoctoral fellow in Axel's lab—discovered a family of roughly 1,000 genes that encode odor receptors lining the nasal cavity. These receptors in the olfactory epithelium contain neurons that send messages directly to the olfactory bulb of the brain. When a particular odor excites a neuron, the signal travels along the nerve cell's axon and is transferred to the neurons in the olfactory bulb. This structure, located in the very front of the brain, is the clearinghouse for the sense of smell. Axel and Buck were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2004.

1955  Saturday Wunnerful, wunnerful………ABC-TV premiered a new musical variety program called Dodge Dancing Party, which had already been airing locally in Los Angeles for four years; it would later be eponymously  retitled as The Lawrence Welk Show after its bandleader and host. Anda 1 anda 2 anda….the first music performed was, Say It With Music.  Then “Champagne Lady, Alice Lon sang Love Me Or Leave Me        

1956- Monday 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………
Elvis Presley recorded  Hound Dog and its “B” side, Don't Be Cruel for RCA Victor. It would be the only single in history to have both sides reach #1.  Don’t Be Cruel was written by Otis Blackwell, who also wrote Return to Sender,  and All Shook Up, for Elvis. He also wrote Fever, which was made famous by Peggy Lee, and Great Balls Of Fire for Jerry Lee Lewis. Hound Dog was written by the great team of  Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and was originally recorded by Big Mama Thornton in 1953. We note that in later years, Presley did not like to perform Hound Dog and would either rush through it or sing an abbreviated version.  Thank you, Thank you verra much.

1958-  Wednesday – Continuing our Elvo-centric items, we note that Elvis Presley's fourth movie, King Creole, opened in US theaters. Elvis had just been drafted at the time and so was unavailable for gala red carpet premiering to the chagrin of a then aging Joan Rivers.  Directed by Michael Curtiz, Elvis starred as Danny Fisher who, failing to graduate high school (for the second time), took a job as…..sit down now, this is a reach……….. a singer in the King Creole nightclub.  Also starring were Carolyn Jones (on to fame with the Addams Family), Dolores Hart, who would become a nun, Walter Matthau, Vic Morrow (fresh from Blackboard Jungle), and Dean Jagger. Among the songs were, Hard Headed Woman (our favorite as Elvis was leaving his Hound Dog voice behind and rolled it out for this one), King Creole, and Don’t Ask Me Why.

1962- Monday – Speaking of Elvis and the army, after breaking his ankle during a jump with the 101st Airborne, (it’s always wise to use a parachute for these things)  James (later Jimi) Hendrix received an honorary discharge from the US Army.

1962 –MondayYou know, to me Wal-Mart is a lot like George W. Bush. It’s not that I’m that big a fan in the abstract, really, it’s just that the viciousness and stupidity revealed in its enemies tends to make me view it more favorably than I otherwise would…………..Glenn Reynolds…………In a banner day for cheap Chinese goods, Samuel Walton and his brother J.L. (Bud) Walton open their first Wal-Mart store –Walmart Discount City - in Rogers, Arkansas.  By 1969 the brothers were operating 18 Wal-Mart stores in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma and they incorporated these meccas for bizarre looking customers as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 

1969 –Wednesday- We had no sleep or days off or anything like that and then, when the band became big, Hendrix became a star and looked down at us lot…….Noel Redding…………Speaking of the army and Elvis and Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell got tired to the experience and left the Jimi Hendrix Experience as Hendrix formed formed the Band of Gypsies with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox to pursue funkier directions.

1976 – Friday -Fall of the Republic of Vietnam; Communist North Vietnam declared their union to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and changed Saigon to Ho Chi Ming City.

1985 Tuesday - . The European Space Agency’s first deep-space mission with the launch of the Giotto, Comet probe. Giotto encountered comet Halley March 13, 1986, asked what its sign was and what was its major and then talked about itself for the rest of the encounter. The Giotto mission was designed to study Comet Halley, and also studied Comet Grigg-Skjellerup during its extended mission. The spacecraft was named after the Early Italian Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone. He had observed Halley's Comet in 1301 and used it as the Star of Bethlehem in his Adoration of the  Magi painting as well as on his BBQ apron rendition of  the painting.  Space dust from Comet Grigg-Skjellerup contained gluon plasma which enveloped areas of Earth resulting the escalation of the numbers of people who call their partner by baby names in public.

  2000 – Sunday – Dedicated on July, 1 the Øresund Bridge, connecting Skane, Sweden and on the island Zealand,  Denmark and the longest road and rail bridge in Europe, opened for traffic. It costs though. several Single use toll passes for cars are available for 36 Euros (roughly $51), vans and similar vehicles cost 71 (too much for us to calculate on our fingers)  Euros. The Øresund Bridge's local name "Øresundsbron" is a combination of the Danish word "Øresundsbroen" and the Swedish word "Öresundsbron", both meaning  ridiculously expensive Bridge in English.  At 7,845 m (25,738 ft), the bridge covers half the distance between Sweden and the Danish island of Amager, the border between the two countries being located 5.3 km (3.3 mi) from the Swedish end. The structure has a mass of 82,000 tons and supports two railway tracks beneath four road lanes in a horizontal girder extending along the entire length of the bridge and after you get to the island, there is a tunnel the rest of the way.

  2001- Monday Doctors at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., using medical tools implanted the first self-contained, mechanical heart replacement into 59-year-old Robert Tools. The device, called the AbioCor, was battery powered and the size of a softball. The patient died a few months later when he was hit for a double off the wall during a softball game in which he was assigned the role of softball and the outfielder dropped him.

2001- Monday Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground ….John Lennon………..After attempts to name it the Pete Best or Stu Sutcliffe Airport, Liverpool Airport was renamed John Lennon Airport in honor of its native son. It sported a new logo that features a Lennon self-portrait and the words "Above Us”.  

2002 – Tuesday It's been a long trip and I'm really glad to get across ………….Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.  Fossett, who had failed in five previous attempts, finally achieved one of manned flight's last earthly records at about 9:40 a.m. EDT. He and his muse Jean Passepartout,  crossed the finish line when he passed 117 degrees east longitude, the same line where he began his trip 13-1/2 days earlier from far western Australia.  Fossett disappeared in September 2007 while on a solo flight from a Nevada ranch.  His remains were found in November, 2007 in Northern, California.  Fossett's shoes and driver's licence were also found.

2010 – Monday The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.  ………Dudley Moore……….. The South Kivu tank truck explosion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo killed  at least 230 people.  The tanker flipped over as it was speeding while attempting to overtake a bus in Sange, in South Kivu province, on the country's eastern border.  An explosion occurred as villagers "attempted to collect the oil" that was spilling from the overturned vehicle.

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 324 –Thursday – The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his…….George Patton……. In the Battle of Adrianople Constantine I defeated Licinius, who then absconded off  to Byzantium.  Fought during another of Rome’s seemingly endless series of civil wars, it was the second at the site  to be waged between the two rival emperors Constantine I and Licinius.  Of course people seemed to have loved Battles of Adrianople.  There was the first Battle of Adrianople (313) - Roman Civil War Battle of Adrianople (324) – Then another one in 378 (this was a major defeat for the Romans and the beginning of the end of the Empire) ….followed by:…….Battle of Adrianople (718) - Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars……. Battle of Adrianople (813) - Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars………. Battle of Adrianople (972) - Part of the war of the Byzantine Empire against the Russians………….. Battle of Adrianople (1205) - Fourth Crusade …………….Battle of Adrianople (1254) - Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars ………….Battle of Adrianople (1365) - Capture by Ottoman Turks………..and lastly, the  Battle of Adrianople (1913) - First Balkan War

987 – Tuesday It's good to be king, if just for a while
To be there in velvet, yeah, to give 'em a smile
It's good to get high, and never come down
It's good to be king of your own little town
……….Tom Petty………..Hugh Capet was crowned King of France.  Hughie was the first of the Capetian dynasty that would rule France till the French Revolution in 1792.  After the the weak Carolingian king Lothair and his son went kaput, the archbishop of Reims convinced an assembly of nobles to elect Hugh Capet, the son of a Frankish duke, who had inherited vast estates in the regions of Paris and Orléans, which made him one of the most powerful vassals in France

1423 – ThursdayHe who knows not how to dissimulate, can not reign ………Speaking of rois de France, Joyeux Anniversaire,  King Louis XI  (aka theCruel or the Prudent, ) of France.  Louis started the move down the road to royal absolutism. His greatest potential opponents in France at this time was the Burgundy family. By the time of his death he had destroyed Burgundy (after arch enemy Charles the Bold went kaput) as well as Côtes du Rhône,  Beaujolais, Languedoc Roussillon and Chateauneuf-Du-Pape  and set the standards for other absolutist monarchs to build on - especially Francis I- but ending with Louis XVI and the decapitation of absolutism.  Louis, called the “spider king”, also made peace with England.

  1608 – Thursday Québec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain.  Québec Coming from the Algonquin  word, Kebec, meaning  either"where the river narrows", or “we hate you if you don’t speak French.” By 1663, the year during which Quebec became the capital city of New France, the population of Quebec and its surrounding farm lands had reached 1,950 people.  In 1759 General ThomasWolfe led the British to victory over Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham (although Wolfe went kaput during the battle) virtually ending the long-running conflict between Britain and France. In 1763 the Treaty of Paris gave Canada to Britain. In 1775 the American revolutionaries tried to capture Québec but retreated when they couldn’t get a table at Au Vieux Duluth.   

1728 – Saturday Happy Birthday, Robert Adam, Scottish architect born in Kirkcaldy. Adam was not only the leading Scottish architect of the 18th century - and exponent of the Classical Georgian style - but remains Scotland's most famous architect. Among the buildings he designed were Register House, Charlotte Square, and Old College, University of Edinburgh. He had nothing to do with the monstrosity that currently houses the Scottish Parliament at Edinburgh. EH99 1SP

1754 –Wednesday I had a mother who taught me there is no such thing as failure. It is just a temporary postponement of success……..Buddy Ebsen……….. During the French and Indian War: George Washington decided that Fort Necessity, in Western Pennsylvania, wasn’t really necessary and surrendered it to French forces.  This was the opening action of the French and Indian War.  After losing the Battle of Great Meadows the previous day, in exchange for surrendering the fort, Washington was permitted to withdraw.  After the British departed on July 4, the French burned the fort and marched to Fort Duquesne. Fort Duquesne would remain in French hands until 1758, when the site was captured by General John Forbes.

1767 – Friday It is so high that we saw it at a distance of more than fifteen leagues, and it having been discovered by a young gentleman, son to Major Pitcairn of the marines, we called it Pitcairn's Island……Captain Philip Carteret of H.M.S. Swallow.  Pitcairn Island was discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret. But it is the aftermath of the Mutiny on the Bounty that Pitcairn’s Island is famous. After the mutiny, Fletcher Christian After the mutiny, Christian and his sailors returned to Tahiti, where sixteen of the twenty-five men decided to remain for good. Christian, along with eight others, their women, and a handful of Tahitian men commenced a search the South Pacific for a safe haven from the British Navy.  Pitcairn, an isolated volcanic island 1,350 miles southeast of Tahiti seemed like just the right place so on January 23, 1790, they set up shop.

    1767 – Friday Rather a bit correctly than much incorrectly ….Norwegian proverb…..actually, it’s snarere litt riktig enn mye feil …….Norway's oldest newspaper still in print, Adresseavisen, (although at the time it had the catchy moniker of Kongelig allene privilegerede Trondheims Adresse-Contoirs Efterretninger, was founded and the first edition was published. Martinus Lind Nissen was the founder and first editor.

 1775 - Monday    Malvolio:   Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. ….Twelfth Night (II, v, 156-159) ……………..George Washington formally took command of the Continental Army at nine o'clock the next morning. Under a large elm tree yet standing at the northerly end of Cambridge Common, the Continental forces were drawn up in line, and Washington, with uncovered head, stepped a few paces forward, drew his sword, and took formal command of the Army he would lead for the next eight years.  At first many of the New England troops were suspicious of him as an outsider, but he soon let them know that The General most earnestly requires order and obedience.

1778 – Friday There's a redskin waitin' out there, just fixin to take my hair
A coward I've been called, cuz I don't wanna wind up dead or bald…Larry Verne (Please Mr. Custer)….. During the Revolutionary War,  British forces killed 360 people in the Wyoming Valley massacre. No, it wasn’t in the state of Wyoming, it was in Wyoming, Pennsylvania. British Colonel, Colonel John Butler recruited a regiment of Tories for the and British allies, Seneca chiefs Sayenqueraghta and Cornplanter recruited primarily Senecas while Joseph Brant recruited primarily Mohawks for what essentially became a guerrilla war against frontier settlers.  On this day, Butler set up an ambush and directed that Fort Wintermute be set on fire. The Americans, cleverly thinking this was a British retreat, advanced rapidly. Whoops! Butler instructed the Seneca to lie flat on the ground to avoid observation. The Americans advanced to within one hundred yards of the Brits and fired three times. Surprise! The Seneca came out of their positions, fired a volley, and attacked the Americans in close combat. The battle lasted about  forty-five minutesuntil the the inexperienced Patriot militia panicked. This ended the battle and triggered the Iroquois hunt for survivors. Only sixty of the Americans managed to escape, and only five were taken prisoner. Butler reported that 227 American scalps were taken.

 1782 – Wednesday,  Two Geologists are walking across a granite outcrop one day. The first says to the second "Hey, this terrain is unmetamorphosed". Replies the second one, "No Schist". ……………Happy Birthday, Pierre Berthier,  French geologist, mineralogist and mining engineer who discovered bauxite (aluminium ore) near the village Les Baux de Provence in southern France. Yes, he was Berthier of a nation.  Bauxite is not a mineral, but a sedimentary rock with minerals in it that  is formed in weathered volcanic rocks. 

1806- Thursday –Michael Keens, a market gardener (someone who grows vegetables or flowers for, yes, market) of Isleworth near London, exhibited the first cultivated strawberry that combined size, flavor, and color at the Royal Horticultural Society. Strawberries are very unique, because they are the only fruit with seeds on the outside. Almost all varieties in cultivation today are descended from it. The 600 strawberry varieties found today stem from five or six original wild species, and are a member of the rose family.  Strawberry history goes back over 2200 years ago. It is thought that the name "strawberry" came from the practice of growers spreading a layer of straw around the plants when the berries begin to form, or from the sellers who strung berries on pieces of straw to carry them to market.  Darryl Strawberry played for the New York Mets during the 1980’s but ruined his career through drug use.  The Strawberry Alarm Clock recorded Incense and Peppermints in 1967.

1819 – Saturday  After failing in an initial attempt in 1816, the Bank of Savings in New York City, the first savings bank in the United States, opened at the the Old Alms House.

1844 – Wednesday Life is a copiously branching bush, continually pruned by the grim reaper of extinction, not a ladder of predictable progress…..Stephen Jay Gould……….. In an aukward moment in conservation history, the last pair of Great Auks were rendered kaput. The Great Auk inhabited the rocky coasts and islands of the North Atlantic from Virginia, Scotland, Shetland and Ireland to Greenland and Iceland, almost to the Arctic Circle.  A flightless bird, it looked quite a bit like a penguin. Utterly defenseless, great auks were killed by predatory hunters for food and bait, particularly during the early 1800s. Enormous numbers were captured, the birds often being driven up a plank and slaughtered on their way into the hold of a ship. The last known specimens were killed at Eldey island, Iceland. About 80 great auks and a like number of their eggs are preserved in museums.

1852 – Saturday Gold has worked down from Alexander's time... When something holds good for two thousand years I do not believe it can be so because of prejudice or mistaken theory………Bernard Baruch………..Congress established the United States' 2nd mint in San Francisco, California.  This junior mint was covered with dark chocolate and quite chewy. The first U.S Mint was established in Philadelphia in 1792.  Why San Francisco?  Did you say Gold Rush?  In 1854, the San Francisco Mint finally opened its doors and began converting miners' gold into coins, producing $4,084,207 in gold pieces by December of that first year alone.

      1863- Friday Pickett, I am being crucified at the thought of the sacrifice of life which this attack will make. I have instructed Alexander to watch the effect of our fire upon the enemy, and when it begins to tell he must take the responsibility and give you the orders, for I can't…………….General James Longstreet……… The Battle of Gettysburg, 3rd day - Pickett's Charge (General Pickett charged breakfast, lunch, t-shirts, Gettysburg mugs, imitation army hats, refrigerator magnets and Little Round top dish towels at various Gettysburg souvenir shops to his American Express Card……A 15,000-man unit under the command of General George Pickett was organized in a last, desperate attempt attacking the middle of the Union line of defense on Cemetery Ridge.  Robert E. Lee ordered a massive bombardment of the Union positions.  At 3 p.m., Pickett led his force into no-man's-land and found that Lee's bombardment - just like those at Malverne Hill and the Somme- had failed. Only a few hundred Virginians reached the Union line….called the high water mark of the confederacy…… and within minutes they all were dead, dying, or captured. In less than an hour, more than 7,000 Confederate troops had been killed or wounded.  Lee retreated the next day.

1874 - Friday Happy Birthday, Johan Gunnar Andersson, Swedish geologist and archaeologist whose work laid the foundation for the study of prehistoric China and ultimately, Walmart tschotske sales

1878 – WednesdayOver there, over there!
Send the word, send the word, over there!
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming ev'rywhere!
So prepare, say a prayer, send the word, send the word to beware!
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back 'til it's over
Over There!
…………Happy Birthday, George M. Cohan, whom many of us thought was James Cagney thanks to the 1942 movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy…….American actor, director, singer and dancer, who was born on this day, not the 4th of July as his song Yankee Doodle Dandy intoned. Among Cohan's productions were Forty-five Minutes from Broadway, The Talk of New York, Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford, Broadway Jones, Seven Keys to Baldpate, The Tavern, The Song and Dance Man, and American Born.  He composed numerous songs, including You're a Grand Old Flag, Mary's a Grand Old Name, Give My Regards to Broadway, I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy, and of course, Over There of World War I, for which Congress authorized him a special medal in 1940.

     1886- Saturday George W. Bush is seen crossing the Potomac river on foot.
The Washington Post : "President Bush crosses the Potomac River".
The Washington Times : "Bush's conservative approach saves taxpayers a boat".
New York Times : "Bush can't swim"………….
The Daily Tribune in New York City became the first newspaper to be set in linotype.  Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the type setting machine in 1886. Mergenthaler’s breakthrough soon became known as the Linotype. The invention is regarded by many as the greatest advance in printing since the development of moveable type 400 years earlier. Linotype enabled one operator to be machinist, type-setter, justifier, type-founder, and type-distributor. Quickly adopted by major newspapers around the world, the Linotype initiated a new freedom in the creation of everything from newspapers to books, from advertisements to a wide range of literature.  Modern technology has replaced the Linotype process through a method called phototypesetting.

     1890 – Thursday And here we have Idaho
Winning her way to fame.
Silver and gold in the sunlight blaze,
and romance lies in her name.
Singing, we're singing of you,
Ah, proudly too,
All our lives thru, we'll go
Singing, singing of you
……………..There will be no mention of  spuds, taters, French Fries, Steak Fries, crisps, hash browns,  or latkes as we note that Idaho was admitted to the union as the  43rd state.  Idaho was first presented to Congress, by mining lobbyist George M. Willing, as a name for a new territory around Pike's Peak. He told Congress that Idaho was a Shoshone Indian word that meant "Gem of the Mountains." Whoops, Just as Congress was about to bestow this name, it came to their attention that Idaho was not an Indian name, but a name made up by Mr. Willing. In reaction, Congress designated the territory Colorado instead of Idaho. So, whither goest Idaho?  Well in the meantime, the word Idaho had come into common usage in fact one of the mining towns in Colorado Territory had been named Idaho Springs. Gold was found in Nez Perce country, and these discoveries became known as the "Idaho Mines," So even though Idaho had been cast off as a name for the new territory, the name became well known from Washington D.C. to the Pacific northwest. So in 1863, Congress, being Congress created a new territory for the Idaho Mines and named it, Idaho.  Some Idahoian symbols: American Folk Dance -Square Dance, Bird-Mountain Bluebird , Fish- Cutthroat Trout . Flower -Syringa . Fossil-Hagerman Horse Fossil.  Fruit-Huckleberry . Horse – Appaloosa.  Insect- Monarch Butterfly. Raptor- Peregrine Falcon. Song -  "Here We Have Idaho," sometimes referred to as Our Idaho, music by Sallie Hume Douglas, verses by Albert J.Tompkins. Stone or Gem- Star Garnet.  Tree -White Pine and you’d never guess the state vegetable……………….Potato….yes, we know we promised not to mention it but……………..

1897 –Saturday-  Teacher: "What is seven Q plus three Q?" Student: " Ten Q"Teacher: "You're Welcome."…………Happy Birthday, Jesse Douglas, American mathematician who was awarded one of the first two Fields Medals……..Note (there will be a quiz – Since there is no Nobel Prized for Mathematics,  the Fields Medals are commonly regarded as mathematics' closest analog to the Nobel Prize (and are awarded every four years by the International Mathematical Union to one or more outstanding researchers……..  in 1936 for solving the Plateau problem……also known as the table, upland, highland, hill, mesa, table land, level, stage, period, phase problem……… The Plateau problem is one of finding the surface with minimal area determined by a fixed boundary. Experiments (1849) by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau demonstrated that the minimal surface can be obtained by immersing a wire frame, representing the boundaries, into soapy water. Soap films and soap bubbles are examples of "minimal surfaces," so-called because nature selects the shape that requires the least amount of total energy to maintain, and thus enclose a given area/volume with as little perimeter/surface area as possible.

1905 - Monday A hart to hart discussion deteriorated into a boxing match as Marvin Hart knocked out  Jack Hart in twelve rounds for the Heavyweight boxing title

1912 – Wednesday – I'm a loser
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be………
.The Beatles………Lefthanded pitcher Rube Marquard of the New York Giants set a baseball pitching record when earned his 19th consecutive win. which stretched from Opening Day to July 3rd.  The Giants lost 7-2 to the Chicago Cubs. Marquard went 7 -11 for the rest of the year to finish at 26-11

1922 -Monday Fruit Garden and Home magazine was introduced by Edwin Meredith, who had previously been the United States Secretary of Agriculture under Woodrow Wilson.  In 1924 he changed name to Better Homes and Gardens magazine. A three-person staff produced the first Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The first issue cost a dime on the newsstand, and a one-year subscription cost 35 cents.

1924 - Thursday Clarence Birdseye and partners founded the General Seafood Corporation. Birdseye, had been experimenting with the Eskimo method of quick-freezing foods. He stored fresh cabbages in a barrel with sea water which froze quickly in the subzero Arctic climate. Birdseye also experimented with quick-freezing fish and caribou meat. When thawed, these foods remained tender and fresh-flavored, unlike previous methods involving slow cold storage. In 1923 he invested everything he had in Birdseye Seafoods, marketing frozen fish. In 1924 General Seafoods of Gloucester, Massachusetts, became the first company to use the technique of rapid dry freezing of foods in compact, packageable blocks. Several recording artists have honored Birdseye and his frozen foods…..Steam, with Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na  Hey Hey, Pot Pie, Lynyrd Skynrd with the long guitar solo on Freezebird, and the John Lennon advising, Give Peas a Chance.

1929- Wednesday Foam here to eternity………Foam rubber was developed at the Dunlop Latex Development Laboratories in Birmingham. British scientist E.A. Murphy was frothing at the mouth as he conjured up the first lot in 1929, using an ordinary kitchen mixer to froth natural latex rubber. The Madehow.com website informs that foams are made by forming gas bubbles in a plastic mixture, with the use of a blowing agent. Foam manufacture is either a continuous process for making laminate or slabstock or a batch process for making various shapes by cutting or molding. There are two basic types of foam. Flexible foams have an open cell structure and can be produced in both high and low densities…..I’m looking through  And it would be so crystal clear   
If it wasn’t for foam  But the foam keeps getting thicker . And it just keeps getting harder   An I’m falling…………

1935 – Wednesday – Happy Birthday,  Harrison Schmitt, American astronaut and politician. A geologist,  and the only scientist to fly on an Apollo mission, Schmitt was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 17 -- the last manned Apollo mission for  the United States –began December 6, 1972, and concluded on December 19, 1972-  He was accompanied on the voyage of the command module "America" and the lunar module "Challenger" by Eugene Cernan (spacecraft commander) and Ronald Evans (command module pilot). He was elected senator from New Mexico on November 2, 1976, and served a six-year term as one of New Mexico's Senators in Washington, D.C.

1940 – Wednesday The French fleet of the Atlantic based at Mers el Kébir, was bombarded by the British fleet, coming from Gibraltar, causing the loss of three battleships: Dunkerque, Provence and Bretagne. One thousand two hundred sailors perish…..Wait, wait, weren’t the British and French, you know, allies? After the French, as usual, had surrendered to the Nazis, and signed an  armistice Britain became concerned about the possibility that the Germans would acquire control of the French fleet, a first round draft choice, and two players to be named later.  The combined French and German naval forces would mean that the balance of power at sea might tip in Germany's favor thus threatening Britain's ability to receive raw materials from across the Atlantic and its communications with the rest of its Empire.

1951 - Tuesday – The premiere of Alfred Hitchock’s Strangers On A Train.  Tennis star Farley Granger meets a stranger on the Washington-to-New York train who offers to exchange murders. The stranger, Robert Walker, would Farley’s estranged wife kaput so he could run off with Ruth Roman if Farley would eradicate Walker’s hated, Jonathan Hale.  Farley didn’t take it seriously but whoops! his wife, played by Kasey Rogers, was  found kaput in an amusement park.  And then the fun really begins…. And when it becomes evident to Walker that Farley  wouldn’t kill his father, well! That’s Hitchcockian…..

1952 – Thursday  We, the people of Puerto Rico, in order to organize ourselves politically on a fully democratic basis, to promote the general welfare, and to secure for ourselves and our posterity the complete enjoyment of human rights, placing our trust in Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the commonwealth which, in the exercise of our natural rights, we now create within our union with the United States of America. ……..The Constitution of Puerto Rico (national motto: Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno) was approved by the Congress of the United States.  Puerto Ricans could now name their children Jesus and everyone would have thirty cousins.  Every time they were offered an opportunity to vote for independence from the United States, they would vote it down because who would give up a free lunch?

     1956- Tuesday The Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Mass. placed the first ship outfitted for hurricane research into service.  It was the Crawford, a former US Coast Guard cutter, and the ship underwent considerable renovation at Munro Shipyard in Boston, including an increase in her fuel capacity giving her a range of 30 days and 6,000 miles. She worked in the North and South Atlantic, including the Caribbean Sea amd carried specialized gear for studying hurricanes. All of the crew had to practice saying “Yar” and “Be ye friend or be ye foe”.

1957 - WednesdayI do not believe in Communism any more than you do but there is nothing wrong with the Communists in this country; several of the best friends I have got are Communists …..Franklin D. Roosevelt……Fooled by the Communists again.  Usually, Kremlinologists could tell who was who in the Communist high command by who stood where to view the May Day military parade but cuddly, Nikita S. Khrushchev (If you live among wolves you have to act like a wolf) took control in the Soviet Union in July, when no one was watching, by orchestrating the ouster of his most serious opponents from positions of authority in the Soviet government. Khrushchev and the gang had been jockeying for ultimate control in the Soviet Union since the overdue demise of the odious Russian dictator Joseph Stalin in March 1953.  Since 1953, he had worked to gain allies in the Soviet military and to gain control of the all-important Communist Party apparatus. On this day, it paid off as he used his important political connections and alliances to remove the three main challengers to his authority. Vyacheslav Molotov – appointed Ambassador to Mongolia, Georgi M. Malenkov - sent to Kazakhstan as head of the Ust-Kamenogorsk hydroelectric station and Lazar Kaganovich -assigned to managing a potash works in Perm oblast…which was much more than they could have expected under mass murderer, Stalin.  Khrushchev then reigned supreme, and ruled the Soviet Union until his own ouster in 1964.  

1959 - Friday …….. Each night before you go to bed my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love
This is dedicated to the one I love
……………The Shirelles released,  Dedicated To The One I Love.  Songfacts reminds us that it originally recorded by The 5 Royales and R & B group from North Carolina, in 1958. The song was written by written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass. Pauling was the guitarist of The 5 Royales . The Shirelles' version first peaked at #83 in 1959, but when it was re-released in 1961 it went to #3 and Shirley Owens, lead singer and eponymous inspiration for the group, did not sing lead on this one.  It was Doris Coley.  The song was later covered in milquetoast  fashion by the Mamas and Papas in 1957.

1961- Monday  - Three men were killed in the first fatal nuclear accident in the U.S. when an experimental reactor exploded. The Stationary Low-Power Plant No.1 (SL-1), was part of the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS), near Idaho Falls, Idaho. ‘Oh, we’ll just pick this up and put it over here……aaargh!” An 80-pound  control rod was lifted by hand beyond its safe position, causing a core meltdown and explosion of the reactor. Plant manager, Charles Montgomery Burns then ordered……… Do my worst, eh? Smithers, release the robotic Richard Simmons. …….Four days were spent to devise a safe method to recover one of the corpses which unfortunately, came back to animation as a zombie and attacked the rescue squad which was in mortal danger until they called Judith O’Dea and Duane Jones of Night of the Living Dead and they hacked it up into tiny pieces.  

1962 - Tuesday I've been riding on cloud nine since the election (HOF), and I don't think I'll ever come down. Today, everything is complete. ………..Jackie Robinson  of the Brooklyn Dodgers (he retired rather than be traded to the New York Giants for Dick Littlefield) became the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Also inducted were the great Cleveland Indians pitcher , Bob Feller, Manager (Cincinnati Reds, Boston Braves, St. Louis Cardinals) Bill McKechnie, and Edd Roush, outfielder mostly Cincinnati but ended with New York Giants.

1965-Saturday-  Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.
…..written by Dale Evans…….Say it ain’t so Roy. Gasp! Marking the end of an era, King of the Cow boys, Roy Rogers bid adieu farewell to his trusty horse, Trigger, (the Smartest Horse In The Movies )who went kaput at the ripe old age of either 33 or 31, depending on a disputed birth date.  The equine was stuffed, mounted (by a very  lonely and horny cowboy evidently), actually it his hide was mounted over a plaster cast of a rearing horse.  according to Roy Rogersworld.com and put in the Roy Rogers' museum.  In 2010, A Nebraska cable TV network with too much time on its hands, paid $266,500 for  Trigger, at an auction.The movie cowboy's golden palomino was bought by the cable company RFD-TV in Omaha, at a Christie's auction of items from the now-closed Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri.

1969 –Thursday – Kablooey!!! The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when a Soviet N-1 rocket exploded  and subsequently destroyed  its launchpad. The Soviet N1 rocket was the Communist answer to the Saturn V (just as soon as spies had stolen as many American technological secrets as possible). Surprise!  The five-stage moon rocket was nearly as big as the Saturn V rocket (345 feet tall vs 363 feet for the Saturn V). Just 0.25 seconds into the flight, the pump of engine number 8 ingested debris and exploded setting off a large fire. The N1 majestically rose just above the top of the launch tower when the remaining engines were cleverly shut down prematurely. The rocket plummeted back onto the pad in a spectacular explosion that destroyed the launch facility known as 110 East. Not only did it take 18 months to repair the pad, but the failure ended any last remaining hope of impressing the world prior to the American lunar landing which would occur on July 20, 1969.

1969- Monday – Another member of the “27 Club” of deceased rock stars as Brian Jones recently fired by the band he created, the Rolling Stones, probably for excessive drug use and being a miserable human being (see Life, by Keith Richards), was found doing a very realistic dead man’s float in his swimming pool.  The coroner's report stated "death by misadventure", and noted his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse.  Other members of the “27” club are the great bluesman, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Kobain, and most recently, Amy Winehouse.

 1970 – Friday – You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea; you cannot put an idea up against the barrack-square wall and riddle it with bullets; you cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell your slaves could ever build……….Sean O’Casey……. During the “Troubles”,  the "Falls Curfew" began in Belfast, Northern Ireland. During a 36-hour period between Friday July 3 and Sunday July 5 three men were killed, a fourth injured who later died and  hundreds of families evacuated from their homes and some of the worst street violence of the period.  This was a British Army operation in the Catholic  area along the Falls Road in Belfast. The operation started with a weapons search but quickly deteriorated into rioting and gun battles between British soldiers and the Official Irish Republican Army. With a centuries old background, riots broke out in Catholic areas of  Derry (Londonderry) in 1968 and again in Derry and Belfast in 1969. British troops were brought in to restore order, but the conflict intensified as the IRA and Protestant paramilitary groups carried out bombings and other acts of terrorism. This continuing conflict, which lingered into the 1990s, became known as "the Troubles."

    1971 - Saturday I wouldn't mind dying in a plane crash.  It'd be a good way to go.  I don't want to die in my sleep, or of old age, or OD.  I want to feel what it's like.  I want to taste it, hear it, smell it.  Death is only going to happen once.  I don't want to miss it. …..Another member of the “27 club” and, and continuing the death in water them, two years after Brian Jones went kaput, lead singer Jim Morrison of the Doors was found dead in a bathtub in Paris. Morrison apparently died of heart failure, likely caused by a drug overdose. Girlfriend, Pamela Courson claimed she awoke the previous evening to find Morrison choking and gurgling.  Applying time a tried first aide technique, she slapped Morrison awake, after which he promptly vomited blood in the bathroom.  She said she offered to call a doctor, but Morrison declined, saying he was feeling better and wanted to take a bath.  Well if a loved one had just vomited blood and said they wanted to take a bath late at night, what would you do?  Of course, you’d go back to sleep because why would you be worried about blood vomiting. The girlfriend then claimed she awoke the next morning at approximately 8:00 a.m. to discover Morrison unconscious, and probably very wrinkly, in the bathtub.  So she called the police right? No.  The hospital for an ambulance right? No, she called a friend at 8:30, and THEN she later the fire department.  But it was too late. 

1987 Friday I wanna buy a gun... Keep talkin' white trash, but I'm more interested in something that'll take the head off a honky at 20 paces! ………The premiere of  Surf Nazis Must Die, directed by Peter George.  How could we pass up this item? IMbd informs that heart warming plot involved  the grandson of a gun wielding woman being murdered by neo-nazi surf punks in ta post-apocalyptic future.  The pistol packing grandma, played by Gail Neeley,  (who portrayed “Maureen" in the Philips Milk of Magnesia commercials) then hunts them down, slewing them all.

1988 –Saturday- One thing is clear, and that is that the USS Vincennes acted in self-defense….. Vice President, George H.W. Bush …… The USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard. The jetliner was misidentified as an Iranian F-14 fighter. The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2-203 was 54.08 meters (177.4 ft) long with a wingspan 44.85 meters (147.1 ft).  The F-14 Tomcat was 62 ft 9 in (19.1 meters) in length with a wingspan of  64 ft (19.55 meters).  Well, gosh, who wouldn’t mix them up if you were using million dollar sophisticated equipment, let alone your eyes?  The U.S had cleverly sold F-14s to the Iranians when times were good before the Islamic fanatic takeover of the country. I n February 1996 the United States agreed to pay Iran $131.8 million in settlement to discontinue a case brought by Iran in 1989 against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice relating to this incident, together with other earlier claims before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. $61.8 million of the claim was in compensation for the 248 Iranians killed in the shootdown

1994 – SundayDead Man's Curve, it's no place to play
Dead Man's Curve, you best keep away
Dead Man's Curve, I can hear 'em say
Won't come back from Dead Man's Curve…………
Jan & Dean………Must have been something in the air as Texans set about killing each other in the  the deadliest day in Texas traffic history, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Forty-six people were killed in crashes.

1996 – Wednesday – Apud Monasterium de Scone positus est lapis pergrandis in ecclesia Dei, juxta manum altare, concavus quidam ad modum rotundae cathedreaie confectus, in quo future reges loco quasi coronatis. …”In the monastery of Scone, in the church of God, near to the high altar, is kept a large stone, hollowed out as a round chair, on which their kings were placed for their ordination, according to custom”….Walter Hemingford…….It was announced that the Stone of Scone would be returned to Scotland. Not to be confused with the stale scones of stone that we had at a roadside diner last week, the Stone of Scone, used to sit in Scone, now a suburb of Perth, on the Moot Hill, next to Scone Palace in Scotland. Legend says the Hill was created by sand taken there in the boots of lords who had sworn allegiance to the Scottish king. Here, Scottish kings were crowned, coinciding with regal processions.  In In 1296, Edward I of England annexed Scotland  and took the Stone of Scone, back to England and later placed under the Coronation Chair..  It had a brief period of freedom in 1950 when it was retrieved by Scottish Nationalists, but was re-stolen and would remain in England until November 15,  and n St Andrews Day, November 30th 1996, Scotland's coronation stone, was installed in Edinburgh Castle. The stone, weighing 336 pounds (152 kg), is a rectangular block of pale yellow sandstone (could have been one of the scones of stone after all)  measuring 26 inches (66 cm) by 16 inches (41 cm) by 11 inches (28 cm). A Latin cross is its only decoration.

1997 –Thursday- Jones: I appreciate Mr. Clinton's admission that he met with me alone in his hotel suite, a meeting I had every reason to believe was related to the Governor's interest in advancing the career of a total stranger. I stand by my earlier claim to have been shocked that this was not the case.

Clinton: I have no recollection of exposing myself to Ms. Jones, although it may be a possibility inasmuch as I regularly adjust, lower or remove my pants in the course of normal grooming or hygienic routine, and she may have been inadvertently included on one such occasion. I do, however, deny that I then directed Ms. Jones to perform anything that would fall outside her normal duties as a conference hostess……..Presidential stud muffin, Bill Clinton made his first formal response to the charges of sexual harassment from Paula Jones. Surprise! The ever truthful and completely honest Clinton denied all the charges and asked that the judge dismiss the case. Paula Corbin Jones filed suit in 1994, alleging that Bill Clinton propositioned her and exposed himself to her in a Little Rock hotel room three years earlier, when he was governor of Arkansas and she was a low-level state employee. 

2002- Wednesday -NASA launched Contour (Comet Nucleus Tour but it also played Do You Love Me by the Contours on a continuous loop), a U.S. unmanned satellite on a mission to get within 60 miles of a comet nucleus to study frozen samples of the solar system from its infancy and perhaps up to the “terrible twos”.  It was launched aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral. After orbiting Earth the satellite's onboard rockets sent it toward an encounter with Comet Enke in 2003, then Comet Schwassman- Wachman 3 in 2006. Whoops!  Contact with the spacecraft was lost on August 15, 2002 for unknown reasons. Ground control to Major Tom…….They kept attempting to contact the probe but finally gave up on  December 20, 2002. The probe thus accomplished none of its primary scientific objectives.  However, gamma rays encountered en route, passengered on radio waves, entered Earth’s atmosphere, infiltrated the thinking processes of the susceptible and caused men to wear baseball caps in restaurants.

2005 –Sunday- Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Gee, I really love you and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel of love
………………¿Es usted el Bob, George tomar a su legítima esposa, se equivocan, el marido, se equivocan ha decidido quién será el que? Same-sex marriage in Spain was legalized

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1054- Tuesday - Wow! You're brighter than Las Vegas at Christmastime!......Daffy Duck…………The brightest known supernova started shining for 23 days.It was observed by Chinese, Arab, and Korean astromomers, members of the Elks Club, two teenagers in a lover’s lane, and our uncle Rufus who likes to howl at the moon. It is located in the constellation of Taurus  The remnants form the Crab Nebula.  The energetic cloud of electrons is driven by a rapidly rotating neutron star, or pulsar, at its core. The nebula is about 6,500 light-years away from the Earth, and is 5 light-years across.  The supernova was so  brilliant that it was visible even during the day for nearly three weeks and only faded from view nearly two years later. A supernova occurs These at the end of a star's lifetime, when its nuclear fuel is exhausted and it is no longer supported by the release of nuclear energy. If the star is particularly massive, then its core will collapse and in so doing will release a huge amount of energy. This will cause a blast wave that ejects the star's envelope into interstellar space. The result of the collapse may be, in some cases, a rapidly rotating neutron star that can be observed many years later as a radio pulsar.

            1253 – Friday At the Battle of West-Capelle, John I of Avesnes defeated Guy of Dampierre. Any time we have an item involving royalty named John it is voted in unanimously by the editorial board. So Guy was taken prisoner. [Guy, John’s half-brother was married to Isabelle de Luxembourg, his son’s wife’s sister in our medieval soap opera. 

1477- Wednesday  Happy Birthday, to the historian, Aventinus, born Johannes Turmair, Aventius authored the page turner, Annals of Bavaria which is really seven books dealing  with the history of Bavaria in the context of general history from the Roman period through 1460.

1534 – Wednesday - Marcellus: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Horatio:
Heaven will direct it.  Marcellus: Nay, let's follow him. [Exeunt.]…..Hamlet Act 1, scene 4, 87–91…………… Christian III was elected King of Denmark and Norway in the town of Rye. He immediately went to Rye Playland where he and his retinue enjoyed rides such as Super Flight which treats its riders to a constant change in positive and negative G-force and accelerations, with swooping turns, breathtaking drops and two zero gravity rolls - creating the incredible sensation of weightlessness! And, Catch a Wave with hundreds of flashing strobe lights, and speeds up to an amazing 20 revolutions per minute, will torque up the fun and excitement! Influenced  by the reformist ideas of Dr. Martin Luther, he became the "Reformation-king", and pushed  the Catholic Church out of Denmark and Norway.

1753 – Wednesday – Three Wednesday items in a row….. A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?" The man below says: "yes you're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field." "You must work in Information Technology," says the balloonist. "I do," replies the man. "How did you know?" "Well" says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but it's no use to anyone." The man below says, "You must work in Management". "I do" replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?" "Well", says the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position you were before we met, but now it's my fault."  ……Happy Birthday, Jean-Pierre Blanchard French balloonist.  On January 7, 1785, Blanchard and Dr. John Jeffries, an American physician, made the first flight over the English Channel, traveling from Dover, England, to Calais, France. crossing….some people would do anything to avoid the lines for the ferry at Dover., Blanchard also made the first balloon flight  in North America on January 9, 1793 as he ascended from the Washington Prison Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and landed in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Carrying the first airmail letter, this flight was observed by President George Washington.

1776Thursday- The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia. It was drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776.  While the political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers., what Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths". When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It wasn't until July 8 that representatives of all "states" had signed and the Liberty Bell was rung for the first time. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia had gotten the ball rolling on June 7 in the Continental Congress with  his resolution beginning: Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved because King George  is a poopy head.

1790 – SundayTrigonometry is a sin of the times…………unknown……..Happy Birthday, Sir George Everest, British military engineer and geodesist who worked on the trigonometrical survey of India from 1818-43, providing the accurate mapping of the subcontinent.  And what is a trigonometrical survey?  It’s a survey of a portion of country by measuring a single base, and connecting it with various points in the tract surveyed by a series of triangles, the angles of which are carefully measured, the relative positions and distances of all parts being computed from these data. Guess which mountain is named after him? Yes, Mount Everest was surveyed in 1852 under his successor Andrew Waugh, who calculated its summit height, establishing it as the world's highest mountain. It was renamed in honor of George Everest in 1865.

1802 – Sunday Hail, Alma Mater dear,
To us be ever near,
Help us thy motto bear
Through all the years.
Let duty be well performed,
Honor be e'er untarned,
Country be ever armed,
West Point, by thee.  At West Point, New York the United States Military Academy officially opened.  Plebes immediately began: Military Training Branch: Cadet Basic Training, Cadet Field Training and Military Individual Advanced Development Programs,Military Science Branch: Commandant's Hour Courses, Military Intersession Courses, Military Arts and Sciences Elective Courses,Military Clubs,Competitive Events ,Combat Team, Combined Arms Club, Drill Team, Marksmanship Teams, Orienteering, and how to lose football games to Navy. On March 16, 1802, Congress approved legislation establishing the United States Military Academy.  George Washington considered West Point to be the most important strategic position in America and personally selected Thaddeus Kosciuszko, one of the heroes of Saratoga, to design the fortifications for West Point in l778. Washington transferred his headquarters to West Point in l779. West Point was never captured by the British, despite the best efforts of Benedict Arnold.  

            1803 – Monday “Guess what we bought!”…..The Louisiana Purchase was publicly announced to the American people. On April 30, 1803, Napoleon, needing money to finance his wars, sold 828,000 square miles (2,144,510 square km) of land west of the Mississippi River to the young United States of America in a treaty commonly known as the Louisiana Purchase, via Ebay. President Thomas Jefferson more than doubled the size of the United States at a time when the nation's population growth was growing rapidly. The Louisiana Purchase was an incredible deal for the United States with the final cost totaling less than five cents per acre at $15 million (about $283 million in today's dollars).

1804 – Wednesday Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ……..Happy Birthday, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in Salem, Mass. and author of  The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables among others. Hawthorne was also Boston’s most famous Custom House measurer, first appointed in 1839. After three years Hawthorne was dismissed from his job with the Salem Custom House. In 1845, he was appointed surveyor of the Boston Custom House by President James Polk, but he was dismissed from this post when Zachary Taylor became president. The Custom House’s loss was literature’s gain as Hawthorne then devoted himself to his most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter  which was an immediate success  when published in 1850. Oh, and a gable is the triangle formed by a sloping roof. A building may be front-gabled or side-gabled.

            1807 – Saturday I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me ……….Happy Birthday, Giuseppe Garibaldi Italian patriot and soldier, a leading figure in the Risorgimento (the movement for Italian unification). He remains perhaps the most popular of all Italian heroes and also a great revolutionary hero in South America. He lived in exile in South America from 1836 to 1848 and learned guerrilla, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhesus monkey warfare tactics while fighting in the War of the Farrapos War and the Uruguayan Civil War. He returned to Italy with his small band of "Red Shirts" and fought in Milan in the war of independence against Austria. After Pope Pius IX fled Rome in 1848, Garibaldi for a while defended the city from the French when they attempted to reinstate papal rule. He is most famous for his role in overthrowing the monarchy of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In May 1860, he set out to liberate southern Italy from the repressive regime of King Francis II. On May, 11, he landed with his ‘Thousand Redshirts’ at Marsala, Sicily, and destroyed the Neapolitan army in several battles. Garibaldi crossed the Straits of Messina and on  September 7, his forces occupied Naples. In March 1861, Garibaldi surrendered his conquests to King Vittorio Emanuele of Piedmont in order to realize his lifelong dream, a united and independent kingdom of Italy. We note that from 1850-51 he lived in New York,  where while raising funds for his revolutionary causes, he worked for inventor Antonio Meucci (who may have invented the telephone) in Meucci’s candle factory on Staten Island. The cottage on Staten Island where he stayed is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is preserved as the Garibaldi Memorial.

                1826 – Tuesday John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents of the United States, respectively, both went kaput on this day, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  Adams, probably from heart failure caused by arteriosclerosis and Jefferson probably amoebic dysentery.  Adams was 90 and Jefferson, 83.  John Adams was the 2nd President and Thomas Jefferson became Vice-President. The two men had disagreed politically throughout the Washington Administration, and were only both elected because in those days, whomever came in second in the Presidential vote became Vice-President. During the Adams Administration, the two argued over almost every issue including which side of the plate a fork goes to.  Then Jefferson defeated Adams and became President number three in  1800. Adams and Jefferson became truly bitter enemies when political parties began to form around each of them. But, just like the end of a chick flick, Adams and Jefferson reconciled in their retirement and they became bosom buddies as they lived out their final years. Both men were highly conscious of living to see the fiftieth Fourth of July. Adams last words have been reported as "Thomas Jefferson survives" (Jefferson had passed on a few hours earlier). John Adams died while his son John Quincy Adams was president. There are three different versions of Jefferson’s final words (see the Monticello.org website) but they boil down to “Is this the fourth?”  

1827 – Thursday- Slavery was abolished in New York State.  There had been various attempts at abolition since 1799 but slavery was still not entirely repealed in the state, because the new law offered an exception, allowing nonresidents to enter New York with slaves for up to nine months, and allowing part-time residents to bring their slaves into the state temporarily. The "nine-months law" remained on the books until its repeal in 1841, when slavery had become the focus of sectional rivalry and the North was re-defining itself as the "free" region.

1828-  Friday  She came in through the bathroom window
Protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
By the banks of her own lagoon
…..The Beatles ……….Flushed with success, the cornerstone was laid for the first U.S. hotel to install bathrooms was the Tremont House, at the SW corner of Tremont Street and Beacon Street  in Boston, Mass.  It was also the first hotel to provide free soap – probably not the little bars offered nowadays – one for the sink and one for the tub. The hotel's water was raised by steam-powered pump to a storage tank on its roof, where it fed by gravity to the taps. Eight loos  were provided on the ground floor. Restrooms for bathing were located in the basement, and served by cold running water. Bathtubs were copper or tin, with local gas heating for the tub's water. Running water was also provided to the kitchen and laundry. A simple system removed the waste water to the sewage system.

 1832: Wednesday The song America, aka, My Country Tis Of Thee (currently out of favor and rarely sung anymore in the U.S) was performed for the first time in Boston at the Park Street Church. Dr. Samuel Francis Smith, after adapting the tune from a German song, would later realize that he'd “inadvertently” plagiarized the British national anthem, God Save The Queen.  Inspired by Francis Smith,   George Harrison plagiarized the Chiffons' He's So Fine, The Beatles were sued for plagiarizing Chuck Berry's You can't catch me in  Come together,   everyone plagiarizes Bo Diddley, the Beach Boys’s Surfin’ USA copies Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen, Led Zeppelin's song Whole Lotta Love contained lyrics that were derivative of Willie Dixon's 1962 song You Need Love., Ray Parker, Jr.’s Ghostbusters sounds suspiciously like, Huey Lewis’ I Want a New Drug….they settled.  And lastly, John Fogerty  plagiarized himself. Fantasy Records owned the rights to the Creedence Clearwater Revival library.  Fogarty left Creedence and became a solo act. The owner of Fantasy, claimed Fogerty's song Old Man Down the Road was a musical copy of the Creedence song Run Through the Jungle. The court made a landmark decision when it ruled that an artist cannot plagiarize himself.   

1838 – Wednesday Q: What do you call a bunch of tractors parked in front of a McDonald’s on Friday night in Iowa?A: Prom……….The Iowa Territory was organized. The U.S. obtained control of the area in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, (see 1804 above). Burlinton was the first capital but a  new territorial capitol was established in Iowa City in 1839.

1839 – Thursday- The first iron cast bridge in the U.S. was dedicated. Dunlap's Creek Bridge in Brownsville, Pennsylvania was 80-foot long, 25-ft wide, and spanned the raging waters of Dunlap's Creek Bridge in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. The bridge was so well built – by Captain Richard Delafield of the US Army Corps of Engineers -  that it has withstood time and carries a modern road ….cars and all!

1855- Wednesday  I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass……Song of Myself……..
A “budding” classic, American poet Walt Whitman’ first edition of his self published Leaves of Grass was published.  It contained twelve poems.  He continued to release revised editions up to 1892.  Leaves of Grass is essentially a poem in process, with each succeeding edition representing a unique period in the poet's life as well as the nation's. This is perhaps best illustrated by Whitman's Civil War poetry. Originally published in 1865 as a separate volume entitled Drum Taps, these poems were later integrated into Leaves of Grass.

1862 – Wednesday The beginning of Alice was told to me one summer afternoon when the sun was so hot we landed in the meadows down the river, deserting the boat to take refuge in the only bit of shade to be found, which was under a newly made hayrick. Here from all three of us, my sisters and myself, came the old petition, 'Tell us a story' and Mr. Dodgson began it……Alice Liddell….. …During a rowboat ride, Mathematician Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) told ten year old Alice Liddell a story that would grow into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.

1863 – Saturday Bravely Robin ran away, (No!)
Bravely ran away, away. (I didn't!)
When danger reared its ugly head,
he bravely turned his tail and fled. (No!)
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about (I didn't)
And gallantly, he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet, (I never did!)
He beat a very brave retreat, (Oh, lie!)
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin. (I never!)……..Monty Python,
The Army of Northern Virginia withdrew from the battlefield after the colossal tactical errors of Robert E. Lee and James Longstree at the Battle of Gettysburg, signaled an end to the Southern invasion of the North.

1863 – Saturday Won't you please surrender to me
Your lips, your arms, your heart, dear
Be mine forever
Be mine tonight……Elvis……………
The surrender of Vicksburg (Mississippi).  In May and June of 1863, Ulysses S. Grant’s armies converged on Vicksburg, surrounding the city and trapping a Confederate army of 29,000 men under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton. After a successful siege Vicksburg food was running desperately low…….you can only eat so much hamburger helper…… On  June 28  Pemberton had received an anonymous note from amongst his men asking him to surrender before the army deserted. On  July 1 Pemberton consulted with his senior officers about the possibility of fighting there way through the Federal lines, and was told that his men were no longer physically capable of making the attempt so on  July 4, Vicksburg surrendered. This was the culmination of one of the most brilliant military campaigns of the war. With the loss of Pemberton’s army and this vital stronghold on the Mississippi, the Confederacy was effectively split in half.

1865 – Tuesday Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, `and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice `without pictures or conversation? …..Three years to the day (see 1862) after Lewis Carroll ( Charles Dodgeson) told his story to Alice Liddell, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was  published.  Dodgson's tale was published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by "Lewis Carroll" with illustrations by John Tenniel. The first print run of 2,000 was held back because Tenniel had objections over the print quality. A new edition, released in December of the same year, but carrying an 1866 date, was quickly printed. As it turned out, the original edition was sold with Dodgson's permission to the New York publishing house of Appleton.

1872 – Thursday There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time……………Happy Birthday, (John) Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States.  Coolidge became president  (Charles Dawes would become Vice-President when Coolidge won the 1924 election) when  the hopelessly inept and corrupt Warren G. Harding (I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.)went kaput in 1923.  He restored integrity to the executive branch of the federal government while continuing the pro-business policies of his predecessor.  Coolidge’s administration saw the Immigration Act of 1924 which limited the amount of immigrants allowed into the U.S. so that only 150,000 total individuals were allowed in each year. The law favored immigrants from Northern Europe over Southern Europeans and Jews. Japanese immigrants were not allowed in at all. In 1924 and 1926, taxes were cut that had been imposed during World War I. The money that individuals were able to keep and spend helped contribute to the speculation that eventually would lead to the fall of the stock market and contribute to the Great Depression.

1879 – Friday  During the Anglo-Zulu War,  the Zululand capital of Ulundi was captured by British troops and burnt to the ground, thus, ending the war and forcing King Cetshwayo to flee. The Zulu kingdom, created by Shaka  kaSenzangakhona, whose conquests reduced many neighboring people to vassalage and caused others to flee. lasted just over six decades but within six months the kingdom was kaput. The British casualties at Ulundi were 3 officers and 79 men. Zulu casualties were said to be 1,500.  Following the battle the British burnt the military kraals in the area around Ulundi. The Zulu chiefs began to surrender across Zululand to the British forces. Cetshwayo, the Zulu king, was captured on 28th August 1879 and taken into exile in Cape Colony. The British established a regime in Zululand considered to be sympathetic to Britain and withdrew.

1883 – Wednesday- No matter how thin you slice it it's still baloney……….. Happy Birthday, Rube Goldberg, born in San Francisco. Rueben Lucius Goldberg was an  engineer and Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist.  A Rube Goldberg contraption – an elaborate set of arms, wheels, gears, handles, cups and rods, put in motion by balls, canary cages, pails, boots, bathtubs, paddles and live animals – took a simple task and made it extraordinarily complicated……sort of like when Congress passes a law.  Goldberh had solutions for How To Get The Cotton Out Of An Aspirin Bottle, imagined a Self-Operating Napkin, and created a Simple Alarm Clock –

            1883 – Wednesday Same day as Rube Goldberg was born -  We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires……Dave Barry…… The first three-wire (An electric circuit that consists of three separate currents delivered at one-third cycle intervals by means of a three-wire circuit) central-station incandescent-lighting plant in the U.S. started operations in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, located at the corner of North Fourth and Vine streets. It was built by the Edison Electric Illuminating Company.  The City Hotel was built by E.T. Drumheller in 1871. On July 4, 1883, it became the first building in the world to be illuminated using incandescent electric lights wand would be renamed the, yes, Edison Hotel. Why Sundbury?  Jason Close at www.pabook.libraries.psu.informs us that Edison chose Sunbury as the site of his electric lighting plant due to several advantages. A - the town was using gas for illumination and the rate of cost of the gas was relatively high. B - The system had to be near the source of fuel as well as be on a competitive basis. C - the town was close to anthracite fields in the Shamokin area, and the abundance of coal there provided a comparatively cheap fuel source needed to operate the generator for Edison’s experiment and D - Another advantage was the readiness of the many wealthy citizens of nearby Williamsport to supply the necessary capital for the enterprise.

            1892 – Monday But will you love me tomorrow………The Shirelles………Western Samoa changed the International Date Line, so that year there were 367 days in this country, with two occurrences of  Monday, July 4.

1895 - Thursday – …… Picture you upon my knee, just tea for two and two for tea,
Just me for you and you for me, alone!
Nobody near us, to see us or hear us,
No friends or relations on weekend vacations,
We won't have it known, dear, that we have a telephone, dear.
Day will break and you'll awake and start to bake
A sugar cake for me to take for all the boys to see.
We will raise a family, a boy for you, a girl for me,
Oh, can't you see how happy life would be?....................
Happy Birthday, Irving Caesar, (Isodor Caesar) song writer – Swanee, (co-written with George Gershwin, made famous by Al Jolson),  Tea for Two, Crazy Rhythm, and Just a Gigolo.

1903-  Saturday I don't like to be disturbed at home; I tell the cable office not to call me before 6:30 AM, unless there's a war….U Thant…………President Theodore Roosevelt sent the first official message over the new cable across the Pacific Ocean between Honolulu, Midway, Guam and Manila. He booked rooms using Hotel.com.  Inspired by Roosevelt’s cable,  the imperialist Japanese decided go one better and just conquer the places in 1941/42

1906 – Wednesday A seedy business....Happy Birthday, Vincent J. Schaefer who invented the process of cloud seeding to cause rain and, yes, snow.   Professor Sy Yentz can cause rain by just washing his car. Schaefer became famous with his 1946 experiments for General Electric making the first snowstorm in a laboratory and inducing precipitation outdoors.  Well that certainly helped…..” can’t go into the dining room, there’s a thunder shower going on in there”….. He was hailed as the first person to actually do something about the weather and not just talk about it. Naysayers voiced concerns about disrupting weather patterns and "stealing" rain, spoiling picnics, soggying up outdoor graduations, and ruining barbeques and golf games.  There were also practical difficulties in controlling the weather. The Saturday Evening Post noted that after seeding, it was still "difficult to aim a cloud." In 2003, scientists at the National Academy of Sciences concluded there is no scientific evidence that it works.  The American Meteorological Society's (you know, those people who get the weather wrong every time you depend on it to be good weather) official position is that there has been some statistical evidence showing a 10 percent increase in precipitation after cloud-seeding, but no conclusive cause and effect.  In cloud seeding, silver iodide is used to assist the natural process of rain formation. It provides nuclei in which ice crystals can form.  If they become large enough, they fall, melt as they fall, and turn into rain.

            1911 – Tuesday It's like a heatwave
Burnin' like a heatwave
Deep in my heart
I can't keep from cryin'
It's tearin' me apart
……Martha and the Vandellas……….A heat wave that would not end until July 19  set record temperatures in the northeastern United States. 380 people would die.  In Nashua, New Hampshire, the mercury peaked at 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Other high-temperature records were set all over New England during the 11-day period. The area from Pennsylvania northeast to Maine was most affected by the roasting heat. New York City was particularly hard hit. In fact, the New York City Health Department put out one of its very first heat advisories.  Mayor William Gaynor tried to make sure that the city’s ice dealers could keep up their deliveries; in the time before refrigeration, ice was critical in keeping the food supply from spoiling.  When the heat wave ended, five people were killed during the violent thunderstorms that finally dropped the temperature.  Professor Sy Yentz has demonstrated his power over the weather by ending a mini-heat wave with the purchase of an air-conditioner.  Within 45 minutes of installation, a storm dropped the temperature to 66.  It’s an awesome power yet he remains humble.

1912- Thursday A straight line can readily be drawn among each of the two series of points corresponding to maxima and minima, thus showing that there is a simple relation between the brightness of the variables and their periods ………Happy Birthday, Henrietta Swan Leavitt American astronomer famous for her discovery of the period-luminosity relation of Cepheid variables. Leavitt worked as a computer at Harvard – they were called computers because they spent their lives studying photographs. It was drudge work but it was as close as women could get to real astronomy at Harvard.  Leavitt noticed that a type of star known as a Cepheid variable (after the constellation Cepheus….look through a telescope and “cepheus self”) pulsated with a regular rhythm. This was vital in determining the size and age of the universe as Cepheids are quite rare but most of us know at least one – Polaris, the North Star This major discovery became the starting point for the ability of astronomers to determine the distance of stars from the earth.  Cephied variable stars that have used up their main supply of hydrogen fuel are unstable and pulsate, sort of like when their latest film release bombs, starting a series of failures that ends up with them as supporting actors or on television……….possibly even Dancing With the Stars. 

1925-  Saturday – Happy Birthday, Eric Fleming, American actor. Fleming starring as trail boss Gil Favor  was supposed to be the leading luminary on the show, Rawhide………….whoops, along came Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates and……… Fleming did co-star with noted Shakespearean actress Zsa Zsa Gabor in the astronomy documentary, Queen of Outer Space………. “I'm going to allow myself the exquisite pleasure of watching you while I obliterate the Earth.”.  

1927 – Monday  - If no one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor…….Happy Birthday, Neil Simon, one of the world’s most successful playwrights with dozens of plays and nearly as many major motion pictures produced. Born in the Bronx, he was one of the writers for Sid Caesar’s Show of Shows (others included Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner). Simon incorporated his personal life into his writing.  His first play in 1961, Come Blow Your Horn, was based on his relationship with his brother and parents. There were many more to come, including  Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Prisoner of Second Avenue and thirty one other Broadway shows, while finding time to write 35 movie screen plays including Murder by Death, and The Cheap Detective.            

1929 – Thursday – Happy Birthday, Our way is to put fear in the opponent, baby, and outscore him Al Davis, madcap football owner, born in Brooklyn.  Davis managed to maneuver from general manager of the Oakland Raiders to owner of the team. Davis lived off his successes of the 1960s, and 80s.  Other than a Super Bowl loss in 2002, the Raiders his team would win only one conference championship in 22 years. Davis was one of the pioneers of Thug Football, in which the object is not so much to tackle the opponent as to maim them.        

1931- Saturday  - American actor Stephen Boyd, best remembered for his role as Charlton Heston’s arch enemy, Messala and being trampled in the Ben-Hur chariot race.

1934 – Wednesday- In London, where Southampton Row passes Russell Square, across from the British Museum in Bloomsbury, Leo Szilard waited irritably one gray Depression morning for the stoplight to change. A trace of rain had fallen during the night; Tuesday, September 12, 1933, dawned cool, humid and dull. Drizzling rain would begin again in early afternoon. When Szilard told the story later he never mentioned his destination that morning. He may have had none; he often walked to think. In any case another destination intervened. The stoplight changed to green. Szilard stepped off the curb. As he crossed the street time cracked open before him and he saw a way to the future, death into the world and all our woes, the shape of things to come…..Richard Rhodes……….Having just attended a lecture by Ernest Rutherford that pooh poohed the idea of the re lease of energy from atoms, most notably by science-fiction pioneer H G Wells in his book The World Set Free as “moonshine”. What Szilard realised as he stepped off that curb, was that if he found an element that when bombarded by one neutron would release two neutrons, it could lead to a chain reaction that could possibly release vast amounts of energy.Leo Szilard filed a patent for  the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb. The British patent included a description of a "neutron induced chain reactions to create explosions", and the concept of critical mass. He also came up with the idea of nuclear.   The patent was given to the British War Office as part of the war effort.

1939- Tuesday   Thirty six-year old, New York Yankee first base man,  Lou Gehrig, afflicted with the eponymous fatal illness that would eventually bear his name, (aka amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) retired and bid a tearful farewell at Yankee Stadium,  telling 60,000 fans, Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.    

1944- Tuesday The National Science Teachers Association was established in Pittsburgh, PA.  It was created by a merger of the American Council of Science Teachers and the American Science Teachers Association, both of which disappeared like toilet paper in a store just before a snow storm, after merger. At the time, the organizations had approximately 2,000 members combined. Years later, NSTA became an affiliate organization of the National Education Association (NEA) but eventually became an independent organization, NSTA purchased and moved into its own headquarters on Connecticut Avenue in 1974. In 1994 NSTA moved its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia.

 1945 – Wednesday Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security……….Happy Birthday, John Allen Paulos,  American mathematician and author of books encouraging people to make sense of the statistics and figures that inform their lives. Among his books are, Innumeracy: : Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences,  A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, Once Upon a Number, and A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market.

1950 – Tuesday The first broadcast by Radio Free Europe when it began broadcasting 11 hours a day from Czechoslovakia. Secretly, it was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), although even the U.S. public did not learn of this until the late 1960s.  Shockingly, Communist governments While Communist regimes strictly controlled information about events inside and outside the proletarian workers’ paradises. The broadcasts gave a voice to those opposing Communism 

1960 – Monday  You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag. …………….
.George M. Cohan………………The number of stars on the American flag was increased to 50 to honor the new state of Hawaii, admitted on August 21, 1959 (Alaska, when they could find someone living up there to tell the news to, was admitted on January 3, 1959)   The stars are placed in a staggered pattern . . . 5 rows have 6 stars, and 4 rows have 5 stars ( 5X6 + 4X5 = 50).

            1968 – Thursday  The Explorer 38, (the first successful U.S satellite was Explorer 1) an unmanned U.S. spacecraft was launched to measure galactic radio sources – but not talk radio in the Magellanic Cloud -  and study low frequencies in space. It was one of a series of 55 scientific satellites launched between 1958-75.  Unfortunately some electronic spectrum waves infiltrated beyond the receivers and into the radio world at large where the brains of the intellectually challenged were affected resulting in the evolvement of cretins who is blast loud music at the beach.

            1970- Wednesday – In London there is a man who screams when the church bells ring. ……H.P Lovecraft, The Descendant …….A banner day for dead dogs, dead grandparents, dead relatives, and dead people everywhere as Casey Kasem began his weekly Billboard countdown on the nationally syndicated radio show American Top 40. Initially broadcast in seven markets: Boston, St. Louis, San Antonio, Lubbock, San Bernardino, San Diego and Hollywood.

1971 – Sunday  - Happy Birthday, Koko, the sign-language gorilla.  Koko a domesticated lowland gorilla was taught to use human sign language. Beginning when Koko was one year old, psychologist Penny Patterson taught the gorilla signs from American sign language. Patterson eventually credited Koko with learning a vocabulary of over 1000 signs and understand approximately 2,000 words of spoken English.  A BBC story reported that three former female employees claimed that they were pressured into showing their breasts to Koko. They alleged that Dr. Patterson encouraged the behavior, often interpreted Koko's signs as requests for nipple display, and let them know that their job would be in danger if they "did not indulge Koko's nipple fetish." All claims of harassment have been permanently dropped as of November 21, 2005, after the foundation and the parties involved reached a settlement involving bananas and money. Koko was quoted as saying, I can’t help it - she brings out the beast in me

1976 – Sunday   It resonated far and wide.  It showed that you could counter terrorism, and that it was worth cooperating to do so….. General Dan Shomron …..the Good guys win, the good guys win!……….Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.  The entire operation took only 58 minutes. On June 27, 1976, four terrorists forced an Air France Airbus to land in Uganda.  They quickly demanded that Israel release 53 convicted terrorists. The hijackers freed the French crew and non­Jewish passengers, while retaining 105 Jewish and Israeli hostages. A 48­hour deadline was set before executions would begin.

1977 – Monday – Happy Birthday, Pharmacist, Elizabeth Cafarella. A graduate of THE Ohio State University, Dr. Cafarella wields pharmaceuticals and prescriptions for the fortunate residents of Kettering, Ohio.

1980: Friday - We’re trying to have an impact for wholesomeness. July 4th will be a [traditional ceremony] for the family and for solid, clean American lives. We’re not going to encourage drug abuse and alcoholism as was done in past years…..James Watt……The Beach Boys (all in their late 30s by now) and The Grass Roots (Let’s Live for Today, Midnight Confession, Where Were You When I Needed You)  performed their first free concert on the Mall in Washington DC to a crowd of half a million. Three years later to the day, 1983 if you’re counting…… they were replaced for the big Independence Day concert by “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast”, Wayne Newton after James Watt, sourpuss Secretary of the Interior for the Reagan Administration, notoriously claimed that the  group would attract a "bad element." Whoops, it turned out the Beach Boys were one of First Lady Nancy Reagan’s favorite groups. In 1984, the Beach Boys would be back on the National Mall. Here’s a clip from that show of the band doing Surfer Girl with the help of LaToya Jackson and Julio Iglesias

1987 – Saturday Former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the "Butcher of Lyon") was convicted of crimes against humanity by a French court and sentenced to life imprisonment. It was estimated that under his command 7,500 people were deported to concentration camps, and 4,342 were murdered.  After the war, from 1945 to 1955, he was protected and employed by British and then American intelligence agents. In 1952 and 1954, military tribunals in Lyon found Barbie guilty of torture, executions, deportations, and looting. Barbie was sentenced to death in absentia. With American help Barbie moved to Bolivia in 1955.  In 1983, a Bolivian government was in power that was willing to deport Barbie to France. On May 11, 1987,  Barbie went on trial in Lyon. He went kaput in prison in 1991.

1997 – Friday After traveling 120 million miles in seven months, NASA's Mars Pathfinder became the first U.S. spacecraft to land on Mars since the U.S's  Viking landings of 1976.  On first impact it  bounced about 15 meters (50 feet) into the air, bouncing another 15 times and rolling before coming to rest approximately 2.5 minutes after impact (sort of like when Professor Sy Yentz muffs a golf shot) and about 1 km from the initial impact site. The landing site in the Ares Vallis and the lander was named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station. Among other findings Pathfinder confirmed that many of the performers on television reality shows are, in fact, Martians as are several congressmen/women, as well as Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, Evo Morales, Sergio Berlusconi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mouammar Kadhafi, and Kim Jong Il

1998- Saturday-  Sic we'll adaugeo iustus aliquantulus magis fuel quod. quis! (So, we'll add just a little more fuel and......what the!............ )For a while it appeared as it would become a  bit crowded up on Mars as Japan launched Nozomi ("Hope") from Kagoshima Launch Centre, to become the third nation (after Russia and the U.S.) to reach for Mars. The spacecraft made two fly-bys of the Moon in Sep and Dec in order to reshape its trajectory for an intended arrival in a highly elliptical Mars Orbit in Oct 1999.  But whoops, the attempt failed  due to malfunctioning valve and the plans were changed to alter the spacecraft's trajectory to reach Mars in 2003. In a Keystone Kops maneuver,  they used too much fuel for the course correction.  Then as they swung it by Earth again for a momentum gain, solar flares damaged it. The mission was designed to measure the interaction between the solar wind and Martian upper atmosphere but ended up with Japan being attacked by Godzilla, Ghidra the Three-Headed Monster, Mothra, Rhodan, Megalon, and MechaGodzilla.

2002 –   Thursday Another breakthrough in medical history came with elephant capped tusks.  In the immortal words of the great philosopher Groucho Marx, Why do elephants lose their teeth in Alabama?  Because of Tuscaloosa. On this day at the Calgary, Canada Zoo, Spike the elephant showed off his new dental caps after dental  surgery. The elephant was fitted with 14 kilogram stainless steel caps over his tusks in a three-hour operation.  After about one-third of its left tusk broke off, a crack in the remaining tusk needed protection against further damage to avoid a future medical problem of infection and pain that could require a complicated root canal treatment.  The most difficult task was getting Spike in the chair with the little bib and the cotton and all those other things they stick in your mouth and the mirror.  Plus, when they told him to rinse, he would expectorate through his trunk and then they and to clean everything….and oh, it was a mess…….because the little paper cups weren’t big enough.  

2005 - Monday - Who has not experienced the unutterable despair that follows the crash of a treasured bottle …..W.C Fields………..Launched on 12th January 2005,  The Deep Impact collider screaming “Banzai”, crashed into  the comet Tempel 1.  Comets are, in effect,  time capsules that hold clues about the formation and evolution of the solar system. They are composed of ice, gas, dust, detergent, including 1.2% sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione dehydrate, and  primitive debris from the solar system's distant and coldest regions that formed 4.5 billion years ago. Comet Tempel 1 was discovered on 3 April 1867 by Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel in Marseilles, France. Comet Tempel 1 currently circles the Sun every 5.5 years. It's orbit lies between Mars and Jupiter. Deep Impact, a NASA Discovery Mission, is the first space mission to probe beneath the surface of a comet and reveal the secrets of its interior. On February 14, 2011, NASA’s Stardust space probe discovered the human made crater created on Comet Tempel 1. Stardust succeeded in briefly photographing the crater as it approached within 178 km (111 mi).. The man made crater is about 150 meters wide and was formed by a 375 kilogram (800 pound) projectile propelled into the speeding path of Comet Tempel 1 by Deep Impact on this day in 2005

Back to Calendar

5.        1795- Happy Birthday Sylvester Graham of West Suffield, Connecticut inventor of, yes, the graham cracker – in 1829.  Graham was an Presbyterian minister who mainly preached nutrition and wanted to reform the eating habits of America and the world. He believed an unhealthy diet led to sexual excess.  He advocated vegetarianism and the use of only coarse, whole grain flour.  The flour was nicknamed "graham flour" after Minister Graham, and became the  main ingredient in Graham Crackers.  Ironically, today’s graham crackers are made with bleached white flour…..an ingredient that would have Sylvester apoplectic.

            1801- Happy Birthday, David Farragut American Civil War admiral. Famous for saying "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" as his fleet attacked Mobile (Alabama) Bay in 1864.  He would later become the first admiral of the U.S Navy.

                1805 – Happy Birthday, Robert Fitzroy, British naval officer, hydrographer, and meteorologist who commanded the voyage of HMS Beagle, aboard which Charles Darwin sailed around the world as the ship's naturalist. That voyage provided Darwin with much of the material on which he based his theory of evolution. Fitzroy retired from active duty in 1850. He was elected to Parliament and served as governor general of New Zealand. Afterwards, he devoted himself to meteorology. He devised a storm warning system – particularly for gales -that was the prototype of the daily weather forecast, invented a barometer, and published The Weather Book in 1863.

            1810 – Happy Birthday,  P. T. Barnum, the great American showman.  A shameless huckster, Barnum bought the American Museum in New York City in 1841 and turned it into an exhibition hall for the presentation of "freaks" such as "The Feejee Mermaid" and the midget General Tom Thumb (real name: Charles Stratton). His string of successful acts included European opera singer Jenny Lind, Jumbo the elephant and “Siamese” twins Chang and Eng Bunker. In 1871 Barnum opened a circus, billed as "The Greatest Show On Earth." In 1881 he merged with competitor James Bailey, forming Barnum & Bailey's Circus (eventually it became today's Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus).

            1853- Happy Birthday Cecil Rhodes (large family; brother of Lonesome Rhodes, Dusty Rhodes, Back Rhodes, Cor Rhodes, and E. Rhodes) of England who became wealthy via diamond mining - in 1880, he formed the De Beers Mining Company -in South Africa and founded the colony, later country of Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe. Rhodes left nearly all his fortune of £6 million to public service. One of his chief benefactions was the Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford.  More than 90 scholarships are now awarded each year to students from the (now former) British colonies, the United States, and Germany.

            1867- Happy Birthday, Andrew E. Douglass, American astronomer and archaeologist who developed the term,  dendrochronology for tree-ring dating, a field he originated while working at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona from 1894 to 1901. He showed how tree rings could be used to date and interpret past events.  Yes, it was a “tree ring circus”.  . Douglass observed that the width of tree rings is a record of the rainfall, with implications on the local food supply in dry years. Each year a tree adds a layer of wood to its trunk and branches thus creating the annual rings we see when viewing a cross section.

           1879- A near-complete skeleton of a mastodon was discovered near Newburgh, N.Y., by a farmer's son while digging a ditch. The area had been a bog until drained and cultivated 50 years earlier. From a 5-foot deep trench over the next three days, neighbors dug up about 200 bones of ribs, spine, legs, feet and a skull complete with teeth and lower jaw.  And in answer to the burning question…..Although mastodons resembled mammoths (also extinct) and elephants, they were not closely related mammal species.  The ancestors of the mastodons diverged from the evolutionary tree, about 15 million years ago, long before those of the mammoths and elephants did. 

            1917 – Happy Birthday, Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez, “Manolete”, perhaps the greatest bullfighter and certainly the most famous to be killed in the ring – August 1947.

            1921 - The "Black Sox" were accused of throwing the1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The trial began with jury selection. The eight Chicago White Sox players, including stars Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, and Eddie Cicotte, subsequently became known as the "Black Sox" after the scandal was revealed.  There is some doubt to this day that Shoeless Joe, the best of the players, was involved, however they were all acquitted after a jury trial but immediately suspended from baseball for life by commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis

            1929- The New York Giants baseball team became the first team to have a public address system in the major leagues.

            1944 - The first American rocket airplane, MX-324 was flown in Hawthorn, Ca. (sometimes the date is given as 7/4) The pilot, Harry Crosby, had to lie flat on his back to withstand the effects of gravity. After a tow to 8,000 feet from a P-38, the Aerojet motor was ignited and it began to produce 200 lb. of thrust. The flight lasted over four
minutes and ended with a safe landing.

            1946- Inspired by the U.S atomic testing at the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific earlier in the week,  French designer Louis Reard debuted a (at the time) daring two-piece swimsuit which he named the “bikini” at  a popular swimming pool in Paris.

            1954 - Elvis Presley's first commercial recording session took place at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn. He recorded That’s All Right Mama.

            1996-  Hello Dolly.  Dolly, a cloned sheep, was born at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland. Scientists had replaced the nucleus of an egg cell with the nucleus from a parent cell - in Dolly's case, an udder cell. We found this to be udderly fascinating. Dolly was mated to a male sheep named David and eventually gave birth to four lambs. Later, she was found to have arthritis in her hind legs, a diagnosis that
raised questions about genetic abnormalities that may have been caused
in the cloning process. Still later as she mutated into a creature with long fangs that wore a hockey mask and chopped up nubile teenagers…no, no, no Professor Sy Yentz has his abnormal sense of humor……After suffering from a progressive lung disease, Dolly was put down on February 14 (Valentine’s Day – how appropriate), 2003, at the age of six. Her early death raised more questions about the safety of cloning. It was felt that people should stop “cloning” around. As for Dolly, she was stuffed and is now on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Back to Calendar


 Tonight Tonight, may it never reach an end…………..The Mello Kings….. On this evening, according to U.S. clocks, our planet Earth reaches its most distant point from the sun for this year. This point is called aphelion, and, at aphelion we’re about three million miles farther from the sun than we will be six months from now at perihelion.  We’re always farthest from the sun in July – and closest in January – and that’s a good reminder that it is the tilt (23 degrees relative to the Sun) of the Earth’s axis NOT distance from the Sun that causes our seasons.

  371 B.C – Thursday- Only the dead have seen the end of war……Plato….. The Battle of Leuctra, where Epaminondas defeated Cleombrotus I.  The big surprise was that Epaminondas was from Thebes and Cleombrotus from Sparta.  Didn’t the Spartans beat everyone?  Sometimes they even beat Michigan. This Spartan defeat in the Boeotian–Athenian war against Sparta of 379–371 destroyed the reputation of the Spartan hoplite (which consisted of jumping up and down) phalanx, developed by Alexander the Great,  and established Theban hegemony in Greece.  The hoplite phalanx was a formation in which the hoplites would line up in ranks in close order. The hoplites would lock their shields together, and the first few ranks of soldiers would project their spears out over the first rank of shields. The phalanx therefore presented a shield wall and a mass of spear points to the enemy, making frontal assaults much more difficult. A hoplite was a Greek citizen/soldier armed with a spear and a large vocabulary of epithets. Epaminondas used cavalry to push back the phalanx and then his left wing outflanked the Spartan right wing. Cleombrotus was rendered kaput.

1044 – Saturday Long distance information give me Ménfő Tennessee….apologies to Johnny Rivers………The Battle of Ménfő between troops led by Emperor Henry III and Magyar forces led by King Samuel dooked it out over Hungary. it was a victory for the Germans and thus for Westernizing influences in Hungary.

1189 – Thursday Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we”………Mark Twain……. Richard I "the Lionheart"  (aka Richard the Lionhearted, Richard the Lion-Heart, Richard the Lion-hearted; and Coeur de Lion) , became King of England with the demise of his father, Henry II. Richard was one of four sons of Henry and his wife Eleanor of Aquitain, all fairly useless, including the youngest, John who would become King on the kapution of Richard in 1199. He would be crowned on September 3. Spending only six months of his reign in the country he reigned over (England), Mr. The Lionheart was far more interested in his holdings in France and in his Crusading endeavors than he was in governing England. In 1199 while stupidly running around in France to claim to treasure-trove, he began a conflict the viscount of Limoges (he really wanted that china setting for 400). He harried the Limousin and laid siege to the castle of Châlus.  Then,while cleverly directing an assault he was wounded in the shoulder by a crossbow bolt, and, the wound became infected and Richard went kaput on April 6. 1415 – Thursday Jan Hus is burned at the stake.

1483 – Friday Now is the winter of our discontent. Act I, Scene I Richard III………Richard, Duke of Gloucester and brother of the late King Edward IV was crowned Richard III – thanks to the Tudors and William Shakespeare he has become one of history’s great villains.  He was the last English king to die on the battlefield – at Bosworth- and his death at age 33 (you thought he was older, didn’t you?) in 1485 is generally accepted between the medieval and modern ages in England. Richard (probably wasn’t a hunchback)  is credited with the responsibility for several murders: Henry VI , Henry's son Edward, his brother Clarence, and his nephews Edward and Richard (the “princes in the tower”…….although there is a considerable body of thought that places the blame for those murders on Richard’s successor, Henry Tudor (Henry VII) –read Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time.

1535- Saturday Headless Body in Topless Bar……….New York Post……..Henry Tudor’s (Henry VII – see Richard III above)  son, King Henry VIII  had Sir Thomas More beheaded for treason. More, a “sir and a saint”, had refused to endorse King Henry VIII's plan to divorce Katherine of Aragón in1527. Yet  in 1529, More became Lord Chancellor, the first layman yet to hold the post. He resigned in 1532, citing ill health, but the reason was probably his disapproval of Henry's stance toward the Catholic Church. More refused to attend the coronation of the manipulative Anne Boleyn in June 1533.  Further endearing himself to Henry, in April, 1534, More refused to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. He was then given accommodations in the  Tower of London on April 17.  More was found guilty of treason and was beheaded. His head sat on display on London Bridge for a month after his death. More is also known as the author of the book Utopia, 1516, which describes a fictional country in which crime and poverty don't exist, possessions are shared, and humanistic ideals prevail.

1560 –Wednesday  Best laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft agley…….Robert Burns…….The Treaty of Edinburgh was signed by Scotland and England. When Elizabeth I became Queen of England in 1558, her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots ( nine years younger than the 26 year old Elizabeth)  was busy being married the French Dauphin, Francis. Meanwhile, Mary’s French mom, Mary of Guise was running Scotland with a French military presence.  When Madame of Guise went kaput in 1560, and Mary in absentia, the Scottish Lords of the Congregation, and French representatives in Scotland formally concluded the Siege of Leith  (where French troops were stationed) and replaced the Auld Alliance with France with a new Anglo-Scottish accord.  French troops would be withdrawn from Scotland and the English promised to eat haggis at least three times a week.

1747 – Thursday Come on, get up and fight, ya shivering junkyard! Put your hands up, ya lopsided bag o' hay! ……….Cowardly Lion, Wizard of Oz…….Happy Birthday,  John Paul Jones, American naval commander and drummer for Led Zeppelin. He was born John Paul the name Jones was assumed circa1778, in Kirkbean, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland. After emigrating to America, volunteered early in the War of Independence to serve in his adopted country's sea forces. When congress decided in 1775 to equip a navy "for the defence of American liberty," Jones was named as the senior 1st Lieutenant. He sailed from Delaware river in the Alfred in February, 1776, to attack New Providence. The expedition returned in April, and Jones was placed in command of the sloop Providence. He took the war to the enemy's homeland with daring raids along the British coast and the famous victory of the Bonhomme Richard over HMS Serapis. After the Bonhomme Richard began taking on water and fires broke out on board, the British commander asked Jones if he had struck his flag. Jones replied, I have not yet begun to fight! In the end, it was the British commander who surrendered.  The Naval History website reports When Captain Richard Pearson of the Serapis asked Jones, "Have you struck? Do you call for Quarter?" or, in other words, was Jones prepared to give up the fight and surrender his ship, Jones, according to most accounts, replied, "I have not yet begun to fight." There is, however, some question whether those were Jones' actual words. Richard Dale, Jones' first lieutenant during the battle, first credited him with that immortal phrase. Dale would normally be considered an excellent source but his recollection of Jones' words came forty-six years after the battle when the then retired sixty-five-year-old commodore recounted them to John H. Sherburne, an early biographer of Jones'. Most accounts written immediately after the battle record Jones' words as, "I may sink, but I'm damned if I'll strike" or a very similar phrase. Such words according to one student of the battle are a "simple direct answer, to a simple direct question."

1748; Saturday – Happy Birthday, George Claghorn- That's a joke, son…….Senator Claghorn…and….Foghorn Leghorn………American revolutionary soldier and ship-builder whose most important vessel was the USS Constitution, (Old Ironsides) one of several 44-gun frigates (as was the Bon Homme Richard see John Paul Jones above) . It was first launched in 1797. Constitution was one of six ships – the others were:   the United States, Constellation, Chesapeake, Congress, and President- ordered for construction by George Washington to protect America's growing maritime interests.

 1766- Sunday I dare say you will smile at my presumption when I tell you that I have seriously begun to make a collection of drawings of the birds to be found in Pennsylvania, or that occasionally pass through it: twenty-eight, as a beginning, I send for your opinion……Alexander Wilson, in a letter to William Bartram, naturalist, July, 1805 ………Happy Birthday Alexander Wilson, Scottish/American ornithologist born in Paisley (near Glasgow), Scotland.   Wilson was the first to study and paint the birds of North America in their natural habitats. His seminal work was  American Ornithology; or, the Natural History of the Birds of the United States. 1808-1814. 9 volumes. The book covered the eastern United States north of Florida, based almost entirely on his own observations. He went kaput in 1813 from falling into a  river and subsequently contracting dysentery, while pursuing a bird.

1785 –Wednesday  And I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar, spend it as fast as I can.
For a wailin' song and a good guitar, the only things that I understand, poor boy, the only things that I understand.
…..Kingston Trio……….After rejecting the Lek, the Euro, the Franc, the Dinar, the Peso, the Pula, the Kroon, the Kroner, the Ouguiya, the Rupee, Continental Currency, and the Vatu, the dollar was unanimously chosen as the monetary unit for the United States. The Coinage Act of 1792 helped put together an organized monetary system that introduced coinage in gold, silver, and copper. Paper notes or greenbacks were introduced into the system in 1861 to help finance the Civil War.  The Spanish milled dollar which had its roots in 17th century Bohemia was the standard coin used in trade and business transaction in the colonies. Where did the word dollar come from?  Glad you asked.  In 1516 a local pooh bah opened a silver mine and later a mint at a locale in Bohemia called Joachimsthal.  The mint began churning out coins known as Joachimsthalers. Obviously it was too time consuming to say 75  Joachimsthalers  so it was soon shortened to thalers and called dalers by the Dutch who had trouble with th. The English corrupted this to dollar and apparently began applying the word to any large silver foreign coin. In North America, for instance, English settlers referred to the Spanish piece of eight, then in wide circulation, as the Spanish dollar.

1785 –Wednesday  - 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….The Devil’s Dictionary………….. Happy Birthday, William Jackson Hooker, English botanist and father of Joseph Dalton Hooker.  The elder Hooker was Professor of Botany at Glasgow, Director of Glasgow Botanic Gardens from 1820 to 1841, Director of Kew Gardens from 1841 to 1865. He opened the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to the public. It was mainly by Hooker's influence that botanists were appointed to the government expeditions. His son, Joseph Dalton Hooker also a Director of Kew Gardens,  traveled extensively and yes, did much to stimulate interest in planting rhododendrons in British gardens.

1796 – Wednesday С Днем Рождения,  Tsar Czar  (Take me for a ride in you’re tsar czar….Peter Paul & Mary) Nicholas I of Russia. Just an all around great guy, he suppressed the Decembrist revolt and his reign came to represent autocracy, militarism, and bureaucracy……all the good things people expect from their government.  To enforce his policies, he created such agencies as the Third Section (political police). In foreign policy, Nicholas quelled an uprising in Poland, aided Austria against a Hungarian uprising and started the  Crimean War.

1854 – Thursday  Republicans sleep in twin beds—some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats. ……Will Stanton………..In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the United States Republican Party was held.  The stimulus for its founding was The stimulus for its founding was provided by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. That law repealed earlier compromises that had excluded slavery from the territories. The passage of this act served as the unifying agent for abolitionists and split the Democrats and the Whig party.  Two “anti Nebraska” meetings were held in Ripon, Wis., on Feb. 28 and Mar. 20, 1854, and were attended by a group of abolitionist Free Soilers, Democrats, Whigs, Toupees, Comb-overs and Falls.  They decided to call themselves Republicans-because they decided they were the  political descendants of Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican party. The name was formally adopted by a state convention held in Jackson, Mich., on this day.

      1858- Tuesday There's no business like shoe business..........Let's go on with the shoe                      Let's go on with the shoe ! The shoe! The shoe! "……..apologies to Irving Berlin………. A shoemaker named Lyman Blake in Abington MA. patented the first shoe-sole machine. It was a sewing machine for shoes.  Coincidently, Blake worked for the Isaac Singer's sewing machine company. His invention revolutionized the shoe industry and helped establish Plymouth County as the nation's shoe manufacturing capital. The patent rights were later sold to Georges McKay.

     1885- Monday The death of this child appearing to be inevitable, I decided, not without lively and sore anxiety, as may well be believed, to try upon Joseph Meister, the method which I had found constantly successful with dogs. Consequently, sixty hours after the bites, and in the presence of Drs Vulpian and Grancher, young Meister was inoculated under a fold of skin with half a syringeful of the spinal cord of a rabbit, which had died of rabies. It had been preserved (for) fifteen days in a flask of dry air. In the following days, fresh inoculations were made. I thus made thirteen inoculations. On the last days, I inoculated Joseph Meister with the most virulent virus of rabies…… Louis Pasteur administered the first anti-rabies inoculation of a human being.  The 9 year-old boy, Joseph Meister, had been bitten by a rabid dog. Meister up to became director of the Pasteur Institute and enjoyed a daily “milk bone” break in addition to a bizarre attraction to fire hydrants.

1886-Tuesday  Horlick's of Wisconsin offered the first malted milk to the public. Invented by brothers James and William Horlick as a nutritional supplement for infants and people with bad digestion, malted milk was made at a large plant in Racine for decades until it closed in 1975.  The product originally had the attractive name of  "Diastoid".  This was not the beloved malted milk shake  (chocolate) of Professor Sy Yentz’ youth.  Malted milk is a powdered food product made from a mixture of malted barley, wheat flour, and whole milk, which is evaporated until it forms a powder.

  1887 – Wednesday  I want to go back to my little grass shack in Kealakekua HawaiiWhere the humuhumunukunukuapua'a goes swimming byWhere the humuhumunukunukuapua'a goes swimming by…….Bill Cogswell, Tommy Harrison and Johnny Noble………………David Kalakaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was forced at gunpoint, as well as the threat of forcibly watching endless loops of the new version of Hawaii Five-0, along with listening to Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles, at the hands of the Americans, to sign the Bayonet Constitution giving Americans more power in Hawaii while stripping Hawaiian citizens of their rights.  Soon afterward, Kalakaua had to sign a reciprocity agreement with the U.S. government, allowing the U.S. to establish a permanent naval base at Pearl Harbor.

1893 – Thursday It’s a twister, it’s a twister………..Johnny…….Airplane……….The small town of Pomeroy, Iowa became an even smaller town as it was nearly destroyed by a tornado that killed 71 people and injures 200.  According to the Pomeroy Centennial, “this awful storm was formed by the junction of two clouds and two currents of air, which met in Rock Township, Cherokee county, about 5 p.m.”….probably for a few drinks and nachos during Happy Hour.

1903 – Monday Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. ….Mike Adams…………..Happy Birthday, Hugo Theorell, biochemist born in Linkoping, Sweden and, Nobel laureate in 1955 for his discoveries concerning the nature and mode of action of oxidation enzymes. He focused on how enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenases catalyze the oxidation, or breaking down, of alcohol in an organism. In case you were going where we were going with the mention of alcohol (we prefer Glenmorangie single malt), Theorell’s  research provided a new method for testing blood alcohol content, which is used to test sobriety.

1919 – Sunday -The British dirigible R34 landed in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.  At 9:00 AM on July 6, 1919,  the airship arrived at Mineola, New York after crossing the Atlantic from Scotland, and Major E.M. Pritchard parachuted from the airship to the ground (presumably after assuring those he left behind that there was no reason to panic, to supervise landing operations.  R34 had departed East Fortune, Scotland on July 2, and completed the 3,130 nautical mile journey to America in 108 hours and 12 minutes or just about how long it takes one to get from Newark to Oakland with two plane changes. Just before midnight on July 10, 1919, R34 after purchasing refrigerator magnets, I heart New York tee shirts, Statue of Liberty dish towels, fake copper Empire State Building models, and taking pictures of Times Square, R 34 departed New York for its return to Britain, arriving in Pulham, England after a flight of 75 hours and 3 minutes only to discover that the luggage was lost.  It was the first round-trip crossing of the Atlantic by air.  In case you were wondering, A dirigible is any lighter-than-air craft that is both powered and steerable (as opposed to free floating, like a balloon).  Blimps like the Goodyear blimp, rigid airships like the Hindenburg, and semi-rigid airships like the Zeppelin NT were all dirigibles. An airship has a framework surrounding one or more individual gas cells, and maintains its shape by virtue of its rigid framework and not the pressure of its lifting gas. Got it?

1920- Tuesday I need you, by me,
beside me, to guide me,
to hold me, to scold me,
'cause when I'm bad
I'm so, so bad
…….Donna Summer…………A radio compass was used for first time for aircraft navigation as a a naval seaplane flew 95 miles from Norfolk, Virginia, to the battleship Ohio, at sea, and returned, guided entirely by radio signals. The radio compass replaced the “two fingers to the left of the Sun” system of aeronautical navigation. It was finally perfected by William Lear in the 1940s.  Lear also invented the car radio – he called it “Motorola” and formed the Learjet company.

1928- Friday Take. . .him. . .for. . .a. . .ride!........The first all talking motion picture, Lights of New York, was previewed. Now we all know that The Jazz Singer, also released by Warner Brothers, but premiering  in 1927 is regarded as the first “talking film” but it was only a partially talking film…there were silent sequences with subtitles….and they stopped using diphthongs after a while. The perfectly awful Lights of New York was produced for a paltry $23,000 and released as a “B” movie.  But to everyone's surprise, the film went on to gross over a million dollars in its first run, proving once and for all that talkies had come to stay. The movie, directed by Bryan Foy –his first directorial attempt, and starring: Helene Costello, Cullen Landis and Mary Carr. The gangster movie about speakeasy’s was the first with the take him for a ride quote later used/and or parodied ad infinitum.

1933 – Thursday We wanted to see the Babe. Sure, he was old and had a big waistline, but that didn't make any difference. We were on the same field as Babe Ruth……Wild Bill Hallahan …………….Baseball's first All-Star game, the brainchild of writer Arch Ward, a sports editor for the Chicago Tribune, to coincide with the celebration of Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition,  was held at Chicago's Comiskey Park. The American League beat the National League 4-2.  Yes, Babe Ruth (the greatest player ever) hit the first home run.  The managers were the New York Giants’ John McGraw for the National League and the Philadelphia Athletics’ Connie Mack for the American League. Lefty Grove was the winning pitcher.  Wild Bill, quoted above, was the losing pitcher.  The starting line ups were:   

1. Pepper Martin                3B

2. Frankie Frisch               2B

3. Chuck Klein                  RF

4. Chick Hafey                  LF

5. Bill Terry                   1B

9. Bill Hallahan                 P

7. Dick Bartell                 SS

8. Jimmie Wilson                 C

6. Wally Berger                 CF for the National League and

      1. Ben Chapman                  LF 

2. Charlie Gehringer            2B

3. Babe Ruth                    RF 

4. Lou Gehrig                   1B 

 5. Al Simmons                   CF 

6. Jimmy Dykes                  3B 

 7. Joe Cronin                   SS

8. Rick Ferrell                  C 

 9. Lefty Gomez                   P for the American League.

1934 Friday – Mind like parachute - only function when openCharlie Chan………………The premiere of Charlie Chan's Courage. Directed by Eugene Forde,  and George Hadden, the writers Earl Derr Biggers (creator of Charlie Can) and Seton I. Miller. The movie starred Warner Oland, Drue Leyton, Donald Woods, and James Wang as Wong.  There was no #1 son. In 1931, the Fox Film Corporation cast Swedish actor Warner Oland as Chan in Charlie Chan Carries On and there were 15 more Chan films with Oland in the title role. After Oland went kaput, American actor Sidney Toler (Margaret Sy Yentz favorite) was cast as Chan. Toler made 22 Chan films, first for Fox and then for Monogram Studios. After Toler went kaput, six more films were made, starring Roland Winters. Keye Luke debuted as #1 son in 1935 with Charlie Chan in Paris. Four of the earliest films from the series are currently classified as "lost" with no known prints being available for viewing. The films are , Charlie Chan Carries On (1931), Charlie Chan's Chance (1932), Charlie Chan's Greatest Case (1933), and the one that premiered on this day, Charlie Chan's Courage (1934).  They are only available in script form.

1937 – Tuesday And when I hold you,
You will be the Duchess
Duchess of Earl
When I walk through my Dukedom
The paradise we will share…
……Happy Birthday, American singer, Gene Chandler. A medley of his hit is Duke of Earl (B side is Kissin’ in the Kitchen) which he has probably sung 300 times a year since it was released in 1962.

1942 – Monday So wise so young, they say do never live long…..Richard III (act 1)………..13 year-old Anne Frank's family in Nazi-occupied Holland, took refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The day before, Anne's older sister, Margot, had received a call-up notice to be deported to a Nazi "work camp."  They would remain hidden until August 4, 1944, just two months after the successful Allied landing at Normandy, when an informer helped the Gestapo discover the Frank's "Secret Annex." Anne and most of the others ended up at  Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.  In 1945 with Poland being liberated, Anne and Margot were moved to the  Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. The two sisters caught typhus and died in early March. a few weeks before the British came to free the Jews. Germany surrendered in April.  Anne's diary had been behind, undiscovered by the Nazis.

1944 – Thursday One day after the 134th birthday of P.T Barnum, In Hartford, Connecticut, a fire of unknown origin broke out under the big top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, killing 167 people and injuring 682. Two-thirds of those who perished were children. The tent, as was a common practice with many tented circuses at the time, the 520'x220' big top had been coated with a mixture of 18,000 pounds of parrafin and 6,000 gallons of white gasoline (some sources say kerosene) as a waterproofing measure.  Not so good for anti flammable though..  The fire began as a small flame about twenty minutes into the show, on the southwest sidewall of the tent, while the Great Wallendas were performing. Ringmaster Fred Bradna urged the audience not to panic and to leave in an orderly fashion, but the power failed and he could not be heard. Bradna and the ushers unsuccessfully tried to maintain some order as the panicked crowd of around 8,000 tried to flee the big top. 

1946 –Saturday Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. ………..Happy Birthday George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, born in Midland, Texas and born on the exact same day, Suddenly I`ve got an overwhelming desire to surround myself with the aura of classical and Romantic art…………Sylvester Stallone, American actor

1946 – Saturday, Only Capone kills guys like that……………While George W. Bush and Sylvester Stallone (see above) were busy being born, George "Bugs" Moran was having some problems as he was arrested in Ohio for robbing a bank messenger of $10,000,  an amount that would have been loose change for him in his prohibition days. He was convicted and sentenced to ten years. After his release, he was again arrested for an earlier bank raid and sent away for another ten stretch at Leavenworth, no word on whether they saved his cell for him. Moran was known as “the man who got away”.  As a gangster and partner of Dion O’Bannion on the North Side of Chicago during the 1920s, (think Prohibition), Moran was the main target in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929 which was carried out by Al Capone’s gunman disguised as policemen.  Moran spotted the squad car outside the warehouse and, believing a raid was in progress, doubled back to a coffee shop with his bodyguard.

1957 – Saturday 15-year-old Paul McCartney attended a church picnic in the village of Woolton, near Liverpool, where he met 16-year-old John Lennon. Lennon had formed a band called the Quarrymen, which was playing at the picnic (songs included Gene Vincent’s Be Bop a Lula) . Between sets, McCartney played a few songs on guitar for the band, and a few days later Lennon invited him to join.  They became a bit more famous when George Harrison joined and they changed their name to the Beatles.  Of course Beatles came after “Johnny and the Moondogs”, and then the “Silver Beetles” but they finally got it right.

1964 –Monday  Malawi declared its independence from the United Kingdom. Topic of discussion amongst the British Cabinet that night was Malawi? Malawi?  We owned Malawi?  Where is it?.................. Malawi is a landlocked country about the size of Pennsylvania. Located in southeast Africa, it is surrounded by Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania. But wait, there's more!....Ron Popiel……..

1966 – Wednesday O God bless our land of Malawi,
Keep it a land of peace.
Put down each and every enemy,
Hunger, disease, envy.
Join together all our hearts as one,
That we be free from fear.
Bless our leader, each and every one,
And Mother Malawi.
…………….Malawi National Anthem……Malawi became a republic, with Hastings Banda as its first President.  In his first month as ruler, he declared, “one party, one leader, one government, and no nonsense about it.” In 1971, he became president for life, further consolidating his authoritarian rule.  Bakili Muluzi of the United Democratic Front (UDF) won the country's first free election in May 1994, ending Banda's 30-year rule…Now that you’re gone, all that’s left  is a Banda gold…..apologies to Freda Payne….

1967 – Thursday Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria's call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and
Nigerian National Anthem………….. Nigerian forces invaded Biafra, beginning the civil war. Based on artificial colonial boundary lines which forces tribes and people that hated each other, Nigeria, life many former colonial states was in trouble from the start.  The immediate cause of the conflict was the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra. During the war, there were 100,000 military casualties and between 500,000 and 2 million civilians' deaths from starvation.  Biafra surrendered on January 13, 1970.

1975 – Sunday  The flag is flying,
Announcing complete independence;
The nation rises up
Because of the faith we have
In this our Comoria.
Let us always have devotion
To love our Great Islands…
……………..National Anthem……….The Comoros declared independence from France. In the French Parliament the discussion focused on Comores? Comores? Nous possédions des Comores? Où sont-ils? The Comoros Islands—Grande Comoro (Ngazidja), Anjouan, Mohéli, and Mayotte (which is not part of the country and retains ties to France)—constitute an archipelago of volcanic origin in the Indian Ocean, 190 mi off the coast of Mozambique. Independence has worked out really well for the Comoros with thirteen Presidents (including two co-presidents), assassinations, coups, coup attemts, and French invasions to fight mercenaries.

1978 – Thursday The Taunton sleeping car fire occurred in Taunton, Somerset, England killing twelve people. It was the Penzance to Paddington train (carrying Pirates) that stopped when an emergency  cord was pulled; this was about half mile short of Taunton station. Smoke could be seen coming from the leading sleeping car. The fire originated in sacks of soiled and clean bed linen placed against the electric vestibule heater in the leading sleeping-car. The interior of the first sleeper-car was completely gutted and the second sleeper-car suffered smoke damage. There was no fire detection and no means of sounding the alarm or instructions for rousing sleeping passengers and evacuating them. http://www.cookeonfire.com/pdfs/Taunton%20train.pdf

1978- Thursday She’s been married so many times, she has rice marks on her face………Henny Youngman……..Our D.I.V.O.R.C.E becomes final today
Me and little J.O.E will be goin' away
I love you both and it will be pure H.E double L for me
Oh, I wish that we could stop this D.I.V.O.R.C.E
.  Virginia Wynette Pugh, aka, Tammy Wynette married her fifth and final husband, George Richey. Numbers 1-4 were Euple Byrd (married 1959–divorced 1966); Don Chapel,  (married 1967–annulled 1968); George Jones (married 1969–divorced 1975) and Michael Tomlin (married 1976–annulled 1976). So for two of them it was Our A.N.N.U.L.L.M.E.N.T becomes final today……………..

1988 – Wednesday 167 North Sea oil workers were killed by explosions and fires that destroyed the Piper Alpha drilling platform.  Piper Alpha, located around 120 miles north east of Aberdeen , and east of the Piper Laurie, started oil production in 1976. By 1988 the platform was producing both crude oil and natural gas.  The pressure safety valve on condensate pump A (A condensate pump is a specific type of pump used to pump the condensate (water) produced in an HVAC (heating or cooling), refrigeration, condensing boiler furnace or steam system. ... )was removed for maintenance. Paperwork was completed by the engineer prohibiting the pump from being used in the meantime, but this was either cleverly lost or misplaced. This event lit the fuse for the worst oil rig accident in history. When condensate pump B broke down on the evening of July 6th, pump A was switched on instead as the control room was unaware that the safety valve had been removed…….Boom!

2003 – Sunday The  Eupatoria Planetary Radar sent a METI message ( called Cosmic Call 2) to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri (HD 75732), HD 10307, 47 Ursae Majoris (HD 95128), and the planet where teenagers come from. .They contained text, (what are you wearing to tomorrow? Don’t you think Billy Biffledink is gross?  Ew! ……….images (sexting, pictures of giant boogers,..), video, music (Lady Gaga, David Bowie & Mick Jagger – Dancin’ In The Streets, Survivor- Eye of the Tiger, anything by Journey, Bobby McFerrin-  Don’t Worry Be Happy, Styx- Mr. Roboto, Vanilla Ice- Ice Ice Baby, anything with George Michael (including Wham), Olivia Newton John- Physical, anything from Glee, U 2- Numb, David Hasselhoff – Hooked on a Feeling, and Heidi Montag- Higher  ……), the Dutil/Dumas message, is a copy of the 1974 Arecibo message (in case they didn’t get it the first time….. a 1679 pixel image with 73 rows and 23 columns. It shows the numbers one through ten, the atomic numbers of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus, the formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA, the number of nucleotides in DNA, the double helix structure of DNA, a figure of a human being and its height, the population of Earth, a diagram of our solar system, and an image of the Arecibo telescope with its diameter.), BIG = Bilingual Image Glossary, the AI program Ella, and the Braastad message The messages will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2049 respectively.  We can expect the Earth to be destroyed shortly afterwards.

Back to Calendar


1456 – Monday Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there you will find it. …….Mark Twain…………In a  posthumous retrial of Joan of Arc authorized by Pope Callixtus III Surprise! Joan of Arc was acquitted of heresy 25 years after her death. There was no comment from Ms. D’Arc. However, defense attorney, Perry Mason was quoted as describing Joan as a martyr and implicating the late Pierre Cauchon, the judge at the original trial,  with heresy for having convicted an innocent woman in pursuit of a secular vendetta. The former Monsieur Cauchon had no comment.  Prosecutor, Hamilton Burger, said that just because the former M. Cauchon had threatened Joan with immediate execution if she did not confess, he had his fingers crossed behind his back and didn’t really mean it. Lt. Tragg, who had arrested Joan and turned her over to the English said “she looked guilty of something”.   The court declared that Joan had been tried as a result of ‘false articles of accusation’. Those articles and Cauchon’s sentence were to be torn out of a copy of the proceedings and burnt by the public executioner at Rouen.  This was big help to Joan who had been burned at the stake in 1431 but it did help weasely monarch Charles VII, for who Joan had fought and who did nothing for Joan during her trial.

1534 – SaturdayDo you know the way to San Jose
I’ve been away so long
I may go wrong and lose my way
Do you know the way to San Jose
I’m goin’ back to find
Some peace of mind in San Jose
……Dionne Warwick…….. The first known exchange between Europeans and natives of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in New Brunswick as Jacques Cartier explored St. Lawrence River, claimed shores of Gulf of St. Lawrence for France

1543 – Wednesday  Spending warm Summer days indoors, writing frightening verse to a buck-toothed girl in Luxembourg. …..The Smiths……….French troops invaded Luxembourg which was controlled by the Hapsburgs.  The invasion had begun in 1539 but it took a while to find the tiny country - 84 km (51.7 miles) long and 52 km (32.5 miles) wide - and they kept going through it and coming out the other side.  Luxembourg was founded in 963 by Siegfried, a German count, as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire. From the 15th to the 18th century, Spain, France, and Austria held the duchy in turn. In 1543 it was Charles V of Spain sitting, well it was so small that they couldn’t have a throne so Charles sat on the stool.

1575 –Monday  The seventh of July, the suith to say,
At the Reidswire the tryst was set ;
Our Wardens they affixed the day,
And, as they promised, so they met.
Alas ! that day I'll ne'er forget !
…The Raid of the Redeswire, although most sources agree it wasn't really a raid and did not take place in the Redeswire.  Other than that, it was fine. The website http://www.oldandsold.com/articles32n/english-border-towns-5.shtml  English Border Towns contains our introductory quote and a 1914 description of the minor skirmish. Which took place at took place at the Cheviot pass which enters Redesdale, between the English Warden of the Middle Marches; Sir John Forster, Sir George Heron, Keeper of Redesdale and the Keeper of Liddesdale as well as the Scottish Warden; Sir John Carmichael with George Douglas of Bonjedworth over the disposition the case of a horse thief.

1585 – Sunday I'm Henry the eighth I am
Henry the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She's been married seven times before
And every one was an Henry (Henry)
She wouldn't have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I'm her eighth old man, I'm Henry
Henry the eighth I am
…..Herman’s Hermits……….But we didn’t say “no backsies” Henry III might have said as…The Treaty of Nemours abolished  tolerance to Protestants in France. Occurring during the War of the Three Henrys, Henry of Navarre, Henry III , and Henry of Guise, the Treaty, issued by Henry III, revoked all the previous edicts of pacification: banning the practice of the reformed religion throughout the kingdom, declaring Protestants unable to hold royal office, ordering all garrisoned towns to be evacuated, and requiring all Protestants to abjure their faith within six months or be exiled. For some strange reason, this lead to war with the Protestant Henry of Navarre. Navarre won significant victories at Ivry and Arques and laid siege to Paris (despite being greatly outnumbered), but a Spanish army under Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma lifted the siege.Deciding that further fighting was not worth the cost, Henry converted to Catholicism, saying: "Paris vaut bien une messe" ("Paris is worth a Mass") and became Henry IV.

1746 – Thursday  Happy Birthday, Giuseppe Piazzi, Italian astronomer, professor of Mathematics at the University of Palermo, and cleric who after obtaining a grant from Prince Caramanico, Viceroy of Sicily,  built an observatory on top of one of the towers at the royal palace. It was here that Piazzi discovered what he believed was a star, whoops, then after studying it for four days he reasoned it was a planet located between Mars and Jupiter. Whoops again, he had become the first to discover, on Jan. 1, 1801 an asteroid which he named Ceres. In 1803 he published a catalog of the fixed stars, and in 1814 he enlarged it to include 7,646 stars.

1752 – Friday The iron was sold for old iron, the wood for kindling, while I was delivered over to universal ignominy. Happy Birthday, Joseph Marie Jacquard, French inventor and certifiable ‘loomatic’.  Jacquard is best known for his creation of the programmable loom, an invention which changed the weaving industry in the world as well as inspiring the technology of punch cards, the first practical use of the binary system which in turn led to the development of the computer et voila! The IMac. The introductory quote refers to the warm and welcoming reaction to Jacquard’s invention by the Luddite weavers of Lyons, who thinking their vocation was endangered by the new machine, mobbed the inventor and broke up his invention

1816 -  Sunday  Happy Birthday, Rudolf Wolf Swiss astronomer and astronomical historian. Wolf's main contribution to astronomy was the discovery of the 11 year sunspot cycle. He was the co-discoverer of its connection with geomagnetic activity on Earth. Sunspots are any of the relatively cool dark spots appearing periodically in groups on the surface of the sun that are associated with strong magnetic fields. Wolf's interest in sunspots was fired by his spotting of a particularly large and spectacular sunspot group in December 1847.  In 1858, Wolf published his formula for determining the daily sunspot number, R = k(10g + f), where g is the number of spot groups, and f is the number of spots seen on the surface (including those in groups). The quantity k is a calibration factor that is different for each observer. From using this formula, observations from a large number of different observers could be compiled, thereby making sure that measurements of the sunspot number would be unbroken, regardless of inclement weather at some of the observatories on any particular day. This method of determining the sunspot number is still used today. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five……….Groucho Marx

1834 –Monday  In New York City, four nights of rioting against abolitionists began.  Lloyd Garrison  returned from England, in 1833, and began to preach against slavery. From the  Journal of Commerce, July 10, 1834 – July 15, 1834 http://people.hofstra.edu/alan_j_singer/Gateway%20Slavery%20Guide%20PDF%20Files/5.%20Abolition_Complicity%201827-65/3.%20Activity%20Sheets/3.%20Abolition%20Riot.pdf  In May and June, 1834, Arthur and Lewis Tappan and other leading New York City abolitionists intensified their campaign against slavery and the idea of recolonizing African Americans in Africa.  On July 7, the group tried to meet again, but they were physically attacked by members of the New York Sacred Music Society who claimed that they had prior use of the Chapel. The musicians were outnumbered and driven from the building, but police arrived and arrested six of the African Americans. A large White mob then forced the rest of the group to flee. Riots broke out on Wednesday night July 9, 1834 and continued for two more days. Pro-abolitionist churches and businesses and African American institutions, including the African school house on Orange Street, were damaged and some were destroyed.  The riots had their origins in the combination of anti-Catholic nativism and Abolitionism among the genteel evangelical Protestants who had controlled the city since the Revolution and the fear and resentment of blacks among the growing underclass of Irish and other immigrants  who were crowded together in the Five Points district, and other ghettos

1843-Wednesday-  I am delighted that I have found a new reaction to demonstrate even to the blind the structure of the interstitial stroma of the cerebral cortex. I let the silver nitrate react with pieces of brain hardened in potassium dichromate. I have already obtained magnificent results and hope to do even better in the future. Camilo Golgi……or……… Oh, well, I'm, UH!, sittin' here,la la
Waitin' for my ya ya, ah-um, ah-um
A sittin' here la la, waitin' for my ya ya, ah-um, ah-um ………..
Lee Dorsey……..
Happy Birthday, Camillo Golgi,  Italian physician and cytologist who, in 1873, published his most important discovery, the use of silver salts to stain samples for microscope slides. With silver salt staining (say it fast three times) details of cellular structure components were revealed. They are still known as Golgi bodies, which are flattened cavities parallel to the cell's nuclear membrane whose function appears to be packaging and exporting various materials from the cell, and Golgi complex....and, not to mention Golgi locks and the Three Bears. In 1906 Golgi shared with Ramón y Cajal the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for his work on the structure of the human nervous system.

1846 – Tuesday During the Mexican War, Navy Commodore John D. Sloat  took Monterey, to support the efforts of Captain John C. Frémont and the “Bear Flag Revolt”. Starting at Monterey, Sloat’s naval forces systematically captured the towns around San Francisco Bay after  stopping to visit Alcatraz, (and got their pictures taken in cells) take a boat tour of the bay, have some clam chowder and crab at Fisherman’s Wharf . By the war's end, Mexico lost nearly half of its territory, the present American Southwest from Texas to California, and the United States became a continental power.

1861-Friday-  Biology is the only science in which multiplication is the same thing as division. …..unknown…………..Happy Birthday, Nettie M. Stevens, American biologist best known for her role in genetics - her research contributed greatly to the understanding of chromosomes and heredity. She theorized that the sex of an organism was determined by the inheritance of a specific chromosome - X or Y.

1862 – Tuesday Fully concurring in the wisdom of the views expressed to me in so patriotic a manner by you in the communication of the 28th day of June, I have decided to call into the service an additional force of 300,000 men. I suggest and recommend that the troops should be chiefly of infantry. The quota of your State would be ..............Abraham Lincoln………The formal call for fresh troops was made July 2.The quotas were sent out July 7 and the  United States began its first military draft. Following the Enrollment Act of March 1863, on July 11, 1863 the first names for induction into the army were called. The next day, New York erupted into some the most violent riots in American history. Exemptions cost $300.

1865 –Friday Mrs. Surratt is innocent. She doesn't deserve to die with the rest of us …..Lewis Powell ……….Four conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln were hanged. All four were kaputed within twenty minutes in a rather efficient procedure. The death warrant wording is at http://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/lincoln-conspirators-order-of-execution-death-warrant/.  The executions of Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt were supervised by General Winfield Scott Hancock, a hero of Gettysburg. Atzerodt had been assigned to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson.  Instead, after spending some time at a hotel saloon, Atzerodt got drunk and wandered away down the streets of Washington. He tossed his knife away in the street. He made his way to the Pennsylvania House Hotel by 2 a.m., where he checked into a room and went to sleep. Conspiracy leader, John Wilkes Booth had given the job of assassinating Secretary of State William Seward to Lewis Powell (later a Justice of the Supreme Court). Powell attacked Seward in his bed, slashing Seward’s face and inflicting a serious wound. David Herold aided Booth in his escape, traveling with him until they were cornered in a barn. Herold surrendered.  Booth was rendered kaput. The conspiracy was planned in the boarding house owned by Mary Suratt who became the first woman executed by the United States federal government.

1891- Tuesday  - There’s one thing every person does in a distinctive way. That is writing his signature. Therefore the foolproof device for taking money to strange places must carry the signature of the bearer. It must declare that it will be cashed only when a second, and matching, signature is added before witnesses …. Marcellus F. Berry of the American Express Company…………A patent was granted for the travelers cheque.  Actually there were four patents.  The first traveler’s check went to American Express president, James C. Fargo who had started the whole kerfuffle when feeling insulted when he couldn't get checks cashed during a trip to Europe in 1890. Ideas Finder informs that Fargo had no difficulty when he wanted fifty dollars a few weeks later in Leipzig, Germany.

1898 –Thursday We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is Manifest Destiny U.S. President William McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution annexing Hawaii, its giant insects, Don Ho, Tiny Bubbles,  Book ‘em Dano,  Kam Fong as Chin Ho, Tom Selleck in silly shorts, weke, Hapu'upu'u, Cellana exarata, Hawaiian Punch, Nicole Kidman, and nasty Hawaiians, as a territory of the United States. It was a joint resolution written by and named after United States Congressman Francis G. Newlands for an Act of Congress to annex the Republic of Hawaii and create the Territory of Hawaii.

1901 – Sunday  Happy Birthday, Vittorio De Sica, Italian director.  During a prolific career that spanned 55 years, De Sica directed 35 films and acted in more than 150. He was the recipient of four Academy Awards: two Special Awards, preceding the creation of the Best Foreign Film category, for Shoeshine in 1947, and The Bicycle Thief in 1949, and Best Foreign Film Awards for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in 1964, and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis in 1971. De Sica was a founder of the film school of neo-realism which featured a commitment to working with nonprofessional actors, shooting on location using available lighting, and encouraging intense character exploration and improvisation although with Sophia Loren in Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow he had travelled quite a road from The Bicycle Thief.

1906 – Saturday – Happy Birthday, William Feller, Croatian-American mathematician.  He is best known for the Feller process, and his classic textbook An Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications.  And what, you may ask is the Feller Process?  Well Planet Math clears it right up for us, a probability transition function associated with a Feller semigroup is called a Feller transition function. A Markov process having a Feller transition function is called a Feller process. We refer you again to Groucho Marx, A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.

1906 –Saturday How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? ………Born on the same day as mathematician William Feller, Happy Birthday, Leroy, ‘Satchel’ Paige, American baseball pitcher whose skills became legendary during his many years in the Negro leagues, mostly with the Kansas City Monarchs.  He finally was allowed to enter the major leagues in 1948 with the Cleveland Indians where he registered a 6-1 record with a 2.48 ERA to help pitch the Indians to the pennant and World Series victory over the Boston Braves. While always  keeping us the shtick about his true age, at the age of 59, Satchel pitched three innings for the Kansas City Athletics to become the oldest man to pitch in a major league game.

1907-Sunday  Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea ………Happy Birthday, novelist Robert A. Heinlein who helped develop the science fiction genre.  Stranger in a Strange Land is a must read.

1914Tuesday Baltimore Orioles' (of the International League) owner Jack Dunn offered  Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore & Ben Egan for $10,000 to Connie Mack, of the Philadelphia Atheletics.  Mack  said no, pleading poverty.  Two days later, on July 9, Dunn sold the trio to Joe Lannin and the Boston Red Sox for $25,000. When Ruth, still a pitcher, was ejected from a June 23, 1917 game for protesting a walk to the first batter he faced, Shore relieved, and, after the runner was caught stealing, pitched a perfect game. The two later were roommates with the Yankees.  Egan, a catcher would be out of baseball the following year.

1914-  Tuesday  - We will never be an advanced civilization as long as rain showers can delay the launching of a space rocket….George Carlin……… Robert Goddard patented multi-stage rocket, receiving patent 1,102,653, covering the concept of using multiple rocket stages - two or three stage rocket using solid fuel - to achieve high velocities. His first successful rocket flight would be on March 16, 1926

1917 –Saturday  Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever …..Vladimir Lenin…………Aleksander Kerensky became leader of a provisional government (formed in March) in Russia. Several months of blundering followed including the failure of  military offensive against the Germans and failure to recognize the growing Bolshevik threat.  On  November 7, Kerensky was informed that the Bolsheviks were about to seize power. He decided to leave Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburgh) and try to get the support of the Russian Army on the Eastern Front. Later that day the Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace and members of the Kerensky's cabinet were arrested. Kerensky assembled loyal troops from the Northern Front but his army was defeated by Bolshevik forces at Pulkova.

1924 –Monday  Somewhere there's music
How faint the tune
Somewhere there's heaven
How high the moon
…………. Happy Birthday, Mary Ford, born Iris Colleen Summers,  American singer of Les Paul and…..fame.

1928 – Saturday What was the best thing before sliced bread?....George Carlin……….. Sliced bread was  sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri. Slice bread had been invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder, from Davenport, Iowa, with his Rohwedder Bread Slicer. He still had the problem of keeping if fresh and tried using hat pins to keep the slices together.  This became problematic in peanut butter sandwiches. In 1928, Rohwedder traveled to Chillicothe, Missouri where baker Frank Bench used Rohwedder's invention. The very first loaf of pre-sliced bread went on shelves on July 7, 1928 as "Sliced Kleen Maid Bread."

1936- Tuesday Several U.S. patents were issued for the Phillips-head screw and screwdriver to its inventor, Henry F. Phillips. Remarks about being "screwed" are too easy and Professor Sy Yentz chooses to ignore them.  Since Automobile manufacturers now used car assembly lines, they needed screws that could take greater torque and could provide tighter fastenings. The Phillips head screw worked perfectly with the automated screwdrivers used in assembly line. Cadillac was the first to use the new drive, but by 1940 most automakers had switched.  Sadly, the Phillips Screw Company did not pursue the plethora of patent violators, and in 1949, Henry Phillips was stripped of his patent. He died in 1958 in relative obscurity.

1940 – Sunday  They're gonna put me in the movies
They're gonna make a big star out of me
We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely
And all I gotta do is act naturally
…..Lennon/McCartney………Happy Birthday, Richard Starkey, aka Ringo Starr, Beatle. Starr played drums with Rory Storm and The Hurricanes from 1959 until August 1962 when joined the Beatles in 1962 replacing drummer Pete Best.  Pete Best forever! Ringo never ….angry Pete Best fans at the Cavern Club………..

1944- Friday- The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same …. Stendhal……………. Ian Wilmut English embryologist who in 1996 supervised the team of scientists that produced a lamb named Dolly, the first mammal cloned from a cell from an adult. He took the DNA of a six-year-old Finn Dorset ewe's mammary gland, yes it was a trip down mammary lane, and then  switched off its active genes.  They fused it with an egg cell from a Scottish Blackface ewe named Al Jolson, from which he had removed the genetic material. He used electricity to fuse that mammary cell with its own DNA to the empty egg while it was in a dormant state and yelled Its alive! Its alive!  He repeated the process with 277 udder cells  because it was udderly fascinating and eggs from sheep. Only 29 of the eggs actually began to grow and divide into embryos. Wilmut transferred the 29 embryos into surrogate mother sheep. Thirteen became pregnant. Only one ewe delivered a healthy lamb.  After cloning Dolly, Wilmut went on to produce Molly and Polly, who had real commercial value. They were each cloned with a human gene that allowed their milk to contain a blood clotting protein factor IX, which could be extracted to treat human hemophilia. Eventually, herds of sheep with genetic proteins in their milk could be produced, turning them into living drug factories for other diseases as well

1944 –Friday Suddenly there is what sounded like a thousand people screaming all at once, as a hoard of 'mad men' broke out of the darkness before us. Screams of 'Banzai' fill the air, Japanese officers leading the 'devils from hell,' their swords drawn and swishing in circles over their heads. Jap soldiers were following their leaders, firing their weapons at us and screaming 'Banzai' as they charged toward us….. First Lieutenant John C. Chapin ………….The largest Banzai charge of the Pacific War occurred at the Battle of Saipan. The charge, conducted with American Express, Visa, Discovery and Master Cards, That charge lasted more than 15 hours and brought the total combined Japanese and American casualties for the bloody campaign to more than 30,000.  Saipan, one of the 15 chain islands of the Mariana, was only approximately 1,300 mi (1,100 nmi; 2,100 km) away from home islands of Japan. It was a very important strategic point for the U.S. during the second world war in the pacific theater. It was the key position for the Americans to bring the war to the Japanese home land.  The Banzai charge was in the words of Otter in Animal House……….. a really futile and stupid gesture ……..After the battle, Saipan became an important base for further operations in the Marianas, and then for the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944

1952 – Monday The ocean liner SS United States passed Bishop's Rock Light House on her maiden voyage, breaking the transatlantic speed record to become the fastest passenger ship in the world.  Having left New York on July 3, it made the crossing in an unprecedented 3 days, 10 hours, and 40 minutes, averaging 35.59 knots.  This was 3.9 knots and over 10 hours faster than the Queen Mary's best run in 1938. Bishop’s Rock It lies at the most south-westerly part of the United Kingdom. It is one of 1040 islands around Britain and only has a lighthouse on it.

1960 – Thursday Kevin A. Ford, American astronaut.  In 2009 Ford was the pilot on STS-128  (Discovery) to the International Space Station.

1960 -Thursday – The premiere of Brides Of Dracula, directed by Terrence Fisher and starring Peter Cushing. The documentary was based on the lives of  Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, any Kardashian, Kristin Hillenbrand, Paris Hilton, Nancy Pelosi, Tori Spelling, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and Barney Frank.

1958 –Monday  Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
Way up north, (North To Alaska.)
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
North to Alaska,
They're goin' North, the rush is on.
………Johnny Horton…………. With the country short of ice, mountain people with beards, stink heads, baked malamute, loony politicians (actually there is never a dearth of loony politicos), snow, dog sleds, igloos,  and seal blubber, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into law.  The Alaska Statehood Act was passed by Congress and ratified by the people of Alaska in 1958. Alaska officially became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. You know you’re in alaska when…. . . you have to put your sun visor down at 3:00 a.m

1959 – Tuesday Venus occulted the star Regulus. This rare event was used to determine the diameter of Venus and the structure of the Venusian atmosphere as well as determine the location of the castle of the  Queen of Outer Space, first visited by American astronauts in 1958 during  which they encountered Zsa Zsa Gabor. Planet occultations occur when a moving object, such as a planet or the moon, blocks the light coming from a more distant object, such as a star. The diameter of Venus is 12,100 km. That is 95% of the diameter of Earth.  The atmospheric pressure at surface level is 92 times greater than it is here, while the atmosphere itself contains 96% carbon dioxide. If a human other than Eric Fleming managed to survive the pressure and could find a supply of oxygen, there is the sulfuric acid droplets and clouds along with heavy amounts of volcanic ash that are floating in the ”air”.

1968- Sunday  Don't take your love away from me
Don't you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I'll be blue
'Cause breaking up his hard to do
………Neil Sedaka………..The Yardbirds disbanded immediately after a show in Luton, England.  Professor Sy Yentz never really liked any of their music but the amoeba-like divisions of the band put lots of pseudopods into other bands including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page (recommended by Clapton as his replacement lead guitarist) who briefly formed The New Yardbirds after the breakup but the New Yardbirds quickly morphed into Led Zeppelin.  

1969 –Monday The thing that's wrong with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur…….George W. Bush……….Canada's House of Commons gave final approval to a measure that made the French language equal to English throughout the national government. Maison des communes du Canada a donné son approbation finale à une mesure qui fait de la langue française égal à l'anglais au sein du gouvernement national.

1970 Tuesday-Happy Birthday, Robert Louis Behnken American engineer mission specialist astronaut who flew on the STS-123 (Endeavour) launched on  March 11,  2008. and STS-130 (Endeavour again) launched February 8, 201, flights. It was the STS-130 flight that mistakenly picked up mutant quark soup from the International Space Station, and brought them back to Earth where they excogitated before congealing into people with more than 10 items that clog up the express line. 

     1981 – Tuesday Come on, Sandy baby, loosen up. You're too tight……John Riggins……….President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor, an Arizona court of appeals judge, to be the first woman Supreme Court justice and the 102nd person to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. She was confirmed by the Senate 99-0.  Previously, O’Connor served the state as an assistant attorney general, state senator, and finally as a superior court judge. Governor Bruce Babbitt raised her to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1979.

1981-Thursday  How's it going, Sunshine? --…..Barack Obama campaigning in Sunrise, Florida………….Seeking to avoid long lines at the ferry and passport control, the  first solar-powered aircraft, Solar Challenger, crossed the English Channel.  Solar Challenger flew 163 miles from Corneille-en-Verin Airport north of Paris across the English Channel to Manston Royal Air Force Base south of London, staying aloft 5 hours and 23 minutes.  Solar Challenger had a 46.5-foot wingspan, but it had a huge horizontal stabilizer and a large enough wing area to accommodate 16,128 solar cells. The first flight of a solar-powered aircraft had taken place on November 4, 1974, when the remotely controlled Sunrise II, designed by Robert J. Boucher flew following a launch from a catapult.  Solar planes can stay aloft as long as their batteries are charged to get them through the night. By staying aloft for more than three days, solar planes have already surpassed jets, and many solar-plane makers share the goal of months to years.

2003 - Monday Well I’m a-gonna raise fuss
I’m agonna raise a holler.
About a working all summer just to
Try to earn a dollar…..Eddie Cochran…………..Continuing a beach movie tradition begun in 1963 with Beach Party, came the premiere of Zombie Beach Party. Also on the honor roll are; Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini,  Surf Party,  Ride the Wild Surf, For Those Who Think Young,  all three of the Gidget movies, The Horror of Party Beach,  Girl Happy,  A Swingin' Summer, Beach Ball, Girls on the Beach,  Wild on the Beach , Daytona Beach Weekend, and 2000’s Psycho Beach Party

    2005 –Tuesday- We can't accommodate terrorism. When someone uses the slaughter of innocent people to advance a so-called political cause, at that point the political cause becomes immoral and unjust and they should be eliminated from any serious discussion, any serious debate. …..Rudolf Giuliani………….Islamic Terrorists attacked the London transit system during the morning rush hour. The bombs were detonated in three crowded London subways and one bus. The synchronized suicide bombings,  killed 56 people including the bombers (happily) and injured another 700.

Back to Calendar


1283 – Thursday Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe.………This is also the War of the Conflicting Dates as Wikopedia gives us July 8 and the primary expert on the period, Lawrence Mott gives us June 8 so we put it in both months.  During the War of the Sicilian Vespers (what a great name for a war…..much better than the later War of Jenkin’s Ear) the naval Battle of Malta ( not to be confused with the 1565 Battle of Malta, notable because human heads were used as cannon balls) between Chocolate Malta, Vanilla Malta, the Aragonese and the Neapolitan fleets was navaled. Lawrence Mott in his Prelude To A Disaster gives the date as June 8. Basically, the Aragonese fleet commanded by Roger of Lauria (Ruggiero di Lauria) defeated a fleet of Angevin (Kingdom of Naples) galleys commanded by William Cornut and Bartholomew Bonvin in Malta Harbor. Cornut was rendered kaput di Lauria in single combat when he boarded di Lauria's flagship. The War of the Sicilian Vespers involved most of the Mediterranean and European countries in a brouhaha that lasted twenty years. The conflict and its outcome fundamentally changed the course of history in the Mediterranean.  The war was fought primarily between the Crown of Aragon and Angevin France, which was supported by the papacy, for the control of the Kingdom of Sicily. The war was also unusual in the fact that every major battle was either fought at sea or involved an amphibious force.

1497 –Thursday  Explorers have to be ready to die lost……..Russell Hoban…….Vasco da Gama and his brothers Paulo, and Nicolao Coelho, set sail on the first direct European voyage to India. He went around the Cape of Good Hope and four months later, and reached Calicut (Calcutta) in May of 1498. The Muslims in Calicut instigated the Zamorin of Calicut against him, (and you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the Zamorin of Calicut)  and he was compelled to return with the just his discovery and the few spices he had bought there at inflated prices although he still he made a 300% profit.

1579 –Sunday  Good news! Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church,was discovered underground in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan.  Bad news, It was considered a palladium (an image on which the safety of a city was said to depend) of Russia for centuries, until its theft and probable  destruction in 1904.  The original ikon was carried by Prince Pozharsky into battle against the Poles and it began to take on a militantly nationalistic reputation. The Poles referred to it as the Carl Icon. Wikopedia tells us it disappeared in 1904. Pallasweb tells us the Bolsheviks stole it in 1918 and it is now in New York City in the possession of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and Marian T. Horvat in the 2004 Catholic Family News says it was found and purchased around 1970 by the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima with the intent of safeguarding it in Fatima until after Russia’s conversion, when it would be returned. The Kazan Icon thus took on a special symbolic value for the West also, linked to the Fatima prophecies. In 1993 the Blue Army gave it to John Paul II, and it remained in his private apartments for a decade until its return to the Kremlin in 2004. Wikopedia says it was a copy circa 1730. Your move.

1663 –Sunday  And whereas, in theire humble addresse, they have ffreely declared, that it is much on their hearts (if they may be permitted), to hold forth a livlie experiment, that a most flourishing civill state may stand and best bee maintained, and that among our English subjects. with a full libertie in religious concernements; and that true pietye rightly grounded upon gospell principles, will give the best and greatest security to sovereignetye, and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to true loyaltye: Now know bee, that wee beinge willinge to encourage the hopefull undertakeinge of oure sayd lovall and loveinge subjects, and .... Charles II of England granted (although it was dated July 15)  John Clarke a Royal Charter to Rhode Island if he could find it. Remember, Providence, was founded in 1636 as a settlement by English clergyman Roger Williams, after he was kicked out of Massachusetts in 1635 for wearing a Yankee baseball cap. The land upon which Roger Williams planted his town of Providence was purchased by him from the Narragansett Indians. Clarke, also a minister, worked with Williams worked for fourteen years to secure a charter for the Colony of Rhode Island that would guarantee religious liberty for all the colony's inhabitants.  It was the first charter in the history of the world to secure "a free, full, and absolute liberty of conscience " and wear a Yankee cap whenever you wanted to.

1709 – Monday ………….. In the Great Northern War, (1700 to 1721) at the Battle of Poltava,  Peter I (aka The Great) of Russia defeated Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava. The defeat basically ended Sweden's role as a major power in Europe.  In 1708, King Charles XII invaded Russia with the goal of bringing the Great Northern War to an end. Charles cleverly decided to attack the city of Poltava  alson ghe banks of the Vorskla River with 24,000 men, but only 4 guns (!!!!).  The Great Northern War, as opposed to the Mediocre Northern War, the Miniature Northern War, The Enormous Northern War, The Just O.K but Not Really Great Northern War and the Southwestern Northeast Northern War, was the result of an anti-Swedish coalition that was created from 1697 to 1699 and included Russia, Denmark and Saxony-Poland. All three states believed that a fifteen years old king - Charles XII - would be a soft target. They also had a shared belief that Sweden by the 1690's was a spent force and that her territory was waiting to be cut up by a superior force.  The Battle of Poltava was a disaster for Sweden and a turning point in the Great Northern War. Swedish casualties numbered 6,900 dead and wounded, as well as 2,800 taken prisoner. Among those captured was Field Marshal Rehnskiöld. Russian losses were 1,350 killed and 3,300 wounded.

1716 – Wednesday Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try…………..Homer Simpson …………….Seven years later to the day, in  the Great Northern War, yes it was still going on, the naval Battle of Dynekilen took  place of the west coast of Sweden.  This time it was Denmark/Norway’s turn to beat up the Swedes.

1760 – Tuesday  During the French and Indian War and continuing our Naval battle theme, came the  Battle of Restigouche as British forces defeated French forces in last naval battle in New France. After the fall of Québec in 1759, an urgent appeal was sent to France with  400 troops and food supplies. Whoops! The frigate and 2 of the merchant ships reached the St Lawrence on May 15 only to find that a strong British fleet was already upriver. The commander, François Chenard Giraudais, sought refuge up the Restigouche; he set up gun batteries on the riverbanks and a boom across it, and there they were caught by Capt John Byron with a 70-gun ship and two  frigates. Eventually, when two of the French ships could no longer fight or float, they were set afire and their crews and the troops slipped away.

1760 – Tuesday It is easier to square a circle than to get round a mathematician. - Augustus De Morgan ………Happy Birthday to the unfortunately named Christian Kramp, French mathematician who worked on the generalized factorial function which applied to non-integers. Kramp’s work on factorials was independent of that of Stirling and Vandermonde but he did achieve one "first" in that he was the first to use the notation n! (In mathematics, the factorial of a natural number n is the product of the positive integers less than or equal to n. This is written as n! and pronounced 'n factorial'.) A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…… Groucho Marx………..Strangely, he seems not to be remembered today for this widely used mathematical notation which even has it’s own website http://factorielle.free.fr/index_en.html

1766 – Tuesday  Like a surgeon
Touched for the very first time
Like a surgeon…
……..Apologies to Madonna…..Happy Birthday Dominique Jean Larrey, French surgeon. Larrey was the surgeon for Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. He suggested the introduction of the flying ambulance. The flying ambulances were horse drawn wagons for collecting and carrying the wounded from the battlefield to base hospitals.  Quite the cut up, At Borodino, on the march to Moscow, Larrey performed 200 amputations in 24 hours. Larrey was present at all Napoleon's great battles.

1800 - Tuesday  I was struck with the unspeakable advantages that might accrue to this country, and indeed to the human race at large, from the discovery of a mild distemper that would ever after secure the constitution from that terrible scourge, the smallpox….. ………The first successful vaccination performed in the U.S. using cowpox serum to prevent smallpox – note, if you have fever and the aching back and bones and then  rashes and the pustules, sounds like smallpox-  was administered by Harvard's Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse upon his five year-old son, Daniel, in Massachusetts. The vaccine had been developed in England by physician Edward Jenner, who noticed that cowpox, a disease that struck cattle, provided immunity against smallpox for the milkmaids who contracted cowpox while milking infected cows.  Other than chewing his cud and a propensity to moo, there were no side effects suffered by the child.

1808 –Friday  Joseph Bonaparte, brother of guess who, approved the Bayonne Statute, a royal charter intended as the basis for either his rule as king of Spain or a zoning ordinance for Bayonne, New Jersey limiting the number of pizza delivery businesses. 

1776- Monday In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell rang  from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall), summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, by Colonel John Nixon. Colonel Nixon famously used a Daffy Duck accent beginning with Don't shush me!! I'll make all the noise I wanna!... It was also read again that evening before the militia on the Commons. Throughout the city, bells were rung all day. On that day as well the Declaration was publicly read in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Trenton, New Jersey. The Declaration of Independence was printed during the late afternoon on Thursday, July 4, by John Dunlap, a local Philadelphia printer.  On Saturday, July 6, the first newspaper print edition of the full text of the Declaration appeared in the Philadelphia Evening Post.

1810 Sunday- I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being skin deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas? ……..Jean Kerr………… Happy Birthday,Gabriel Gustav Valentin German-Swiss physiologist who was the first person to note the digestive activity of pancreatic juice  and subsequently, pancreatic Protestants, pancreatic Hindus, pancreatic Zoroastrians and pancreatic Catholics. Valentin noted that pancreatic juices break down food in digestion.

1831 Friday - The only way that I could figure they could improve upon Coca-Cola, one of life’s most delightful elixirs, which studies prove will heal the sick and occasionally raise the dead, is to put rum or bourbon in it…..Lewis Grizzard………. Happy Birthday, John Styth Pemberton was a pharmacist, who invented Coca-Cola in 1886.  He later sold the rights to his invention for $1200. It took Pemberton a while to figure it out as in 1863 he develops Pemberton's French Wine Coca.  For some reason it wasn’t a big seller so he went back to mixing and pouring and shaking and wishing and hoping (Dusty Springfield) until May 8, 1886 when he finally got it right and produced the syrup for Coca-Cola  in a brass kettle in his backyard, (the valuable tonic and nerve stimulant properties of the coca plant and cola nuts  but sweetened with sugar instead of wine) and carried a jug of the new product down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sampled, pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for five cents a glass as a soda fountain drink.

      1838- Sunday Getting on a plane, I told the ticket lady, "Send one of my bags to New York, send one to Los Angeles, and send one to Miami." She said, "We can't do that!" I told her, "You did it last week ……….Henny Youngman…………..Happy Birthday, Ferdinand Adolf August Heinrich Graf von Zeppelin, German inventor who invented the dirigible. Zeppelin visited  the United States in 1863 to work as a military observer for the Union army during the Civil War and later explored the headwaters of the Mississippi River. He made  his first balloon flight while he was in Minnesota. He served in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, and retired in 1891 with the rank of brigadier general and then turned his attention to building an airship. On July 2, 1900 the first rigid dirigible (zeppelin) made its maiden flight. It carried five people who dropped water balloons on the unsuspecting.  It attained an altitude of 1300 ft and flew a distance of 3.75 miles in 17 minutes. The Tao of airships -A zeppelin is a dirigible is a blimp

1839 – Monday If I were Rockefeller," sighed the Hebrew teacher from Chelm, "I'd be richer than Rockefeller."His friend asked, "What do you mean? How could you be richer?""I'd do a little teaching on the side………….Happy Birthday, John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist, robber baron,  and philanthropist born in Richford, New York. On August 27, 1859, Edwin Drake struck oil near Titusville, Pennsylvania, setting off a frenzied oil boom in what soon became known as the "oil regions" of northwestern Pennsylvania. Guess who capitalized on the stuff? Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company dominated the oil industry until the Supreme Court broke it up in 1911. Itty bitty pieces  of the Standard Oil Company can be still being seen today in the 'smaller' companies like Exxon and Mobil.  At the height of his wealth, John D. was worth approximately $1 billion. At the beginning of the 20th century he was probably the richest man in America. If his wealth then were compared as a ratio to the GDP of the US, in today's terms he would be worth more than $200 billion…..that’s a trillion in  Obama dollars.

1857.-Wednesday  Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.   Sir Robin: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I'm not afraid. Bridgekeeper: What... is your name?Sir Robin: Sir Robin of Camelot.Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest? Sir Robin: To seek the Holy Grail. Bridgekeeper: What... is the capital of Assyria?[pause]Sir Robin: I don't know that.[he is thrown over the edge into the volcano] .Bridgekeeper: Stop. What... is your name? Galahad: Sir Galahad of Camelot. Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest? Galahad: I seek the Grail. Bridgekeeper: What... is your favorite color? Galahad: Blue. No, yel...[he is also thrown over the edge] Bridgekeeper: Hee hee heh. Stop. What... is your name? King Arthur: It is 'Arthur', King of the Britons. Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest? King Arthur: To seek the Holy Grail. Bridgekeeper: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? King Arthur: What do you mean? An African or European swallow? Bridgekeeper: Huh? I... I don't know that. [he is thrown over] …..Happy Birthday,  Alfred Binet, born in Nice, French psychologist who was a pioneer in the field of intelligence testing of the normal mind. Binetook a different approach than most psychologists of his day in he was interested in the workings of the normal mind rather than the pathology of loons. He wanted to find a way to measure the ability to think and reason, apart from education in any particular field.  Binet was asked by the French government to develop a test to identify students with learning disabilities or who required special help in school. Binet and colleague Theodore Simon developed a series of tests designed to assess mental abilities. Rather than focus on learned information such as math and reading, Binet instead concentrated on other mental abilities such as attention and memory. The scale they developed became known as the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale. From that  work, came "IQ" (intelligence quotient).  The IQ is the ratio of "mental age" to chronological age, with 100 being average. This leaves Professor Sy Yentz a bit puzzled as his ratio came out in Base 10.

1862- Tuesday  Theodore R. Timby who patented invented  the revolving gun turret. There is some dispute here because John Ericsson who invented the ironclad Monitor used in March of that year to battle the Confederate Merrimac, claimed he did not used Timby’s design.  The History of the Patent Office site tells us that Timby invented a revolving gun turret, made a working model, and filed a caveat in the Patent Office in 1843 to perfect his rights to file against subsequent inventors. In June of that year, he exhibited his model to President Tyler and his cabinet and in 1848 to a committee appointed to examine his plans, including Jefferson Davis. The committee then reported favorably, but nothing further was done at the time. Timby filed patent applications to perfect his caveats, and he was granted two patents on the revolving turrets on July 8, 1862.Although John Ericsson claimed that revolving gun turrets had existed before the nineteenth century, his associates bought Timby's patents almost immediately for an amount which Mr. Timby considered reasonable.

 1879 –Tuesday  …………………….The poor cook he caught the fits
And threw away all my grits
And then he took and he ate up all of my corn
Let me go home
Why don't they let me go home
This is the worst trip I've ever been on
So hoist up the John B's sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, let me go home
Why don't you let me go home ……………
Beach Boys…………The sailing ship USS Jeannette  departed San Francisco carrying an ill-fated and ill advised expedition to the North Pole.  On  September 6 she entered the Arctic ice, where she was soon frozen in. During the next twenty-two months the drifting ice carried the ship several hundred miles to the northwest  until on June 12 1881 her hull was broken open when ice flows rapidly converged after opening a few days previously. Jeannette sank the following morning, after her crew had removed boats, equipment and provisions in preparation for a months-long journey on foot across the desolate ice to reach open water north of Siberia. In the end, of the thirty-three who set off after the ship went down, only thirteen of Jeannette's men survived their adventures and returned to civilization.

      1881-Friday- Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. ……….Jim Fiebig…………..As the story goes, a customer, George Hallauer,  came into Edward Berner's drug store in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and sat down at the soda-fountain counter. Since it was Sunday, the customer couldn't have soda water. Yes, some Midwestern states had laws that prohibited the sale of soda water on Sunday.  Makes sense to us.  Berner compromised by putting ice cream in a dish and poured over it the chocolate syrup that was previously only served as flavoring in ice-cream sodas. That was the first  ice cream Sunday.  The name became "sundae", after the day on which Berner served the concoction.  There are two other versions. In one the same Sunday soda water verboten law  caused them to make a sundae in Evanston, Illinois in 1890 and in the other, the ice cream sundae was invented by Chester Platt who owned the Platt & Colt's drugstore in 1893. Platt prepared a treat of vanilla ice cream for the Reverend John Scott on a Sunday. Chester Platt spiced up the ice cream with cherry syrup and a candied cherry. Reverend Scott named the dish after the day. You pays your money you takes your choice.

1889 – Monday  A market analyst is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today……Unknown……….Featuring full page pictures of zaftig women in skimpy bathing suits, scandalous sports headlines, and a gossip column with the latest on Grover Cleveland,  The first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published.  Dow Jones & Company, publisher of the Journal, was founded in 1874 by reporters Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. We’re not sure why it’s not Dow Jones Bergstresser but  Jones converted the small Customers' Afternoon Letter into the Wall Street Journal,  and published it on this day 1889.  They began delivery of the Dow Jones News Service via telegraph. The Journal featured the Jones 'Average', the first of several indexes of stock and bond prices on the New York Stock Exchange plus screaming analyists.

1892 – Friday House of fire
House of fire, yeah
Let’s build a house of fire, baby
Not one of wood or stone
Walk through my door of desire, baby
…..Alice Cooper……….St. John's, Newfoundland was devastated in the Great Fire of 1892 which was probably started in a  stable after some genius either lit pipe or dropped a match into a bundle of hay. The flames quickly spread due to dry weather conditions, a disorganized fire department, and poor planning on the part of city officials. Other than that, everything was fine. Within hours, the fire had destroyed almost all of St. John’s, leaving 11,000 people homeless and causing $13 million in property damage.

1894- Sunday A big day for Russian physicist Nobellers…………First we have, Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, Russian physicist, born in Kronstadt near St. Petersburg . Kapistsa  was a co- recipient of the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for  his basic strong magnetic field inventions and discoveries in the area of low-temperature physics. In 1937 hediscovered the superfluidity of liquid helium. However, Kapitsa was under house arrest in Zvenigorod, a suburb of Moscow per orders of mass murderer, Joseph Stalin, from 1946 until the death of Stalin in 1953, for refusing to cooperate with Soviet leaders of the Proletariat Workers Paradise on projects to improve atomic military capability.

1895 – Monday, I hear the cottonwoods whisperin’ above. Tamm, Tamm, Tamm’s in love......apologies to Debbie Reynolds………. Physicist # 2 was Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm Soviet physicist who shared the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physics with Pavel A. Cherenkov and Ilya M. Frank for his efforts in explaining Cherenkov radiation which was was observed as a faint blue glow by the eponymous Dr. Cherenkov in 1934 when he was asked to look at the effects of radioactivity in liquids.  The explanation for the light was provided by Ilya Franc and Igor Tamm who explained that when the light was applied to a stamp on the back of the hand, you could get back into the dance.  Cherenkov radiation forms circles on a surface and can be used to measure the speed and direction the particle was travelling in.  It is therefore a very useful means of studying the products of particle collisions and cosmic rays.

1896 – Wednesday William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speech at the  Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  
The issue was whether to endorse the free coinage of silver at a ratio of silver to gold of 16 to 1. This inflationary measure would have
 increased the amount of money in circulation and aided cash-poor and debt-burdened farmers.  The response, wrote one reporter,
“came like one great burst of artillery.” Men and women screamed and waved their hats and canes. “Some,” wrote another reporter, “like
demented things, divested themselves of their coats and flung them high in the air.” The next day the convention nominated Bryan for President on the
 fifth ballot. ….. If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost,
having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and
all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of
labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold
…… He would lose the election to William McKinley.
In 1970, Freda Payne recorded Band of Gold, dedicated to William Jennings Bryan…. Now that you're gone,

All that's left is a band of gold
All that's left of the dreams I hold
Is a band of gold
And the memories of what love could be
you were still here with me

1902 – Tuesday  Hamlet: Now whether it be
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on th' event—
A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward—I do not know
Why yet I live to say this thing's to do,
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't………….Hamlet
Act 4, scene 4, 39–46……………. Twenty nine year old, John McGraw, accused by arch enemy Ban Johnson, President of the American League,  of trying to wreck the Baltimore Oriole franchise,  negotiated his release from the Orioles and signed with the New York Giants for $11,000 a year.   One of his first acts New York was to release nine players, despite the protests of Giants owner Andrew Freedman. McGraw also brought six key players with him, including pitcher Joe McGinnity, catcher Roger Bresnahan.  Both the Orioles of the AL‚ and the Giants of the NL would  finish in last place‚ the only time a manager has led both last-place teams in the same year.

1904 –Friday …….. Don’t know much about algebra.  Don’t know what a slide rule is for……Sam Cooke………… Happy Birthday Henri Cartan, French mathematician famous for his research in areas of pure mathematics, (as opposed to impure, degraded, bastardized, debased, contaminated, polluted dirty, dingy, or muddied mathematics), including algebra, topology and analytic functions of complex variables

 1907 – Monday When I came back from Viet Nam, I had just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get when you go over to Viet Nam…….Happy Birthday, George W. Romney, American businessman, governor of Michigan and leading contender for the Republican nomination for President in 1968 until……..the campaign went kaput when he claimed to have been brainwashed into supporting the Vietnam war effort while touring Southeast Asia in 1965. Galileo’s cannon ball could not have fallen any faster than Romney’s candidacy.

 1907 –Monday  Curtain! Fast music! Light! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good, the show looks good! …………..Producer Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first Follies at the The Jardin De Paris on the roof of the New York Theater in, yes,  New York City.  It was meant to be a limited run and although Ziegfeld conceived and mounted the show, the actual producers were Klaw and Erlanger, who paid Ziegfeld $200 a week for his "managerial" services. The script involved Capt. John Smith and Pocohontas traveling through time to visit the sights and celebrities of modern New York City. http://www.musicals101.com/ziegfollies.htm - which gives the date as June 8. The Ziegfeld Follies, as the show became known, ran every day and was updated every year till it finally folded during the depression.

1908 –Wednesday  There was a girl knocking on my hotel room door all night! Finally, I let her out. …….Henny Youngman…………..Speaking of failed presidential candidates – see George Romney above – Happy Birthday, Nelson A. Rockefeller, 41st Vice President of the United States, and born on the same date as his grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, see 1839 above. “Rocky”, as he was known in the pre Sylvester Stallone days lost the Republican Presidential nomination to Richard Nixon in 1960, Barry Goldwater in 1964 and, yes, Richard Nixon in 1968.  He finally snuck in the back door, being appointed Vice President by Gerald Ford, who, as Speaker of the House of Representative had become President following the resignations of, yes, Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. Unfortunately for Rockefeller, Ford, who was prone to falling down stairs during his slapstick presidency, managed to survive long enough to lose the 1976 presidential election to the lamentable Jimmy Carter. Rockefeller did manage to be Governor of New York from 1959-1973. Rockefeller is also infamous for possibly going kaput while in action in the “presence” young woman, ahem, aide who happened to be wearing a long black evening dress at the time.

1924 – Tuesday  Happy Birthday, Johnnie Johnson, American blues pianist. Listen to some Chuck Berry records.  Listen for the piano.  That’s Johnnie Johnson. He was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame by Keith Richard.

1932 –Friday  Mining equipment hit rock bottom. Diapers remain unchanged …….The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level of the Great Depression, bottoming out at 41.22.  Yes that’s 41.22. but cheer up, the following day it went up to 41.63. 

1934 –Sunday  Igor: Dr. Frankenstein...
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: "Fronkensteen."
Igor: You're putting me on.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No, it's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
Igor: Do you also say "Froaderick"?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No... "Frederick."
Igor: Well, why isn't it "Froaderick Fronkensteen"?
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: It isn't; it's "Frederick Fronkensteen."
Igor: I see.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: You must be Igor.
[He pronounces it ee-gor]
Igor: No, it's pronounced "eye-gor."
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: But they told me it was "ee-gor."
Igor: Well, they were wrong then, weren't they?
..Happy Birthday, Marty Feldman, English comedian and actor. The pop-eyed, wall-eyed comedian appeared in a number of movies, his most-remembered role being that of Igor (pronounced: Eye-gor) in Young Frankenstein , 1974 and Silent Movie, 1976.

1935 –Monday  Steve Lawrence, born Sidney Liebowitz , American entertainer and singer and one half of Stevenedie. Lawrence recorded the hit singles, Pretty Blue Eyes, Footsteps, and Portrait of My Love.  He  married chanteuse Eydie Gorme (Blame it on the Bossanova).

1937 – Thursday Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan signed  the Treaty of Saadabad. It was a non-aggression pact was a non-aggression pact that lasted for five years. The treaty was signed in Tehran's Saadabad Palace In 1943the Treaty was automatically extended for a further five years because either none of the signatories had denounced it or they forgot they signed it.

 1947 – Tuesday Reports were broadcast that a UFO crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico. This was the initial landing in what would become an invasion of  human-like mutants who would eventually take over first cable and then broadcast television.

1948 – Wednesday The United States Air Force accept3e its first female recruits into a program called Women in the Air Force (WAF) who dust, wash dishes, sew sweaters, complain about toilet seats being left up, having Tupperware parties, and watching the Lifetime channel.  The Air Force limited the corps to 300 officers and 4,000 enlisted women. In June 1976, women were accepted into the service on much the same conditions as were men, and the separate status of the WAF was abolished.

1954 – Thursday Oh yessuh, good people, this is ol' Daddy-O-Dewey comin' atcha for the next three hours with the hottest cotton-pickin' records in town.. ………WHBQ Memphis played Elvis Presley’s  first recording for Sun Records, That's All Right. Mama, marking the “Pelvis” radio debut.  Dewey Phillips (no relation to Sam Phillips of Sun Records) of Memphis' WHBQ radio played the record and its B side, Blue Moon of Kentucky, on his Red Hot & Blue R&B show. Elvis was an instant hit, even though listeners couldn’t figure out if he was Black or White and the song was immediately played 14 more times

1955  Friday – Children were knocked and thrown all over the slopes as the first supersonic rocket sled tests were held at the Supersonic Military Air Research Track (SMART), a 12,000-foot track for rocket-propelled sleds at Hurricane, Utah. The first rocket sleds had been built in 1947.  The Abandoned and Little Known Airfields site informs us that testing at the site typically involved hurling a rocket sled, carrying a seat with a dummy known as "Hurricane Sam" strapped to it,along the track at a speed of 1,050 mph (Mach 1.3)."Sam", in actuality, was a highly instrumented anthropoid simulatorwith electronic equipment & a radio connected to it.Just before reaching the edge of the cliff the ejection mechanism fired, flinging the dummy over the precipice where its parachute opened & it floated to the valley floor. In one series of tests "Hurricane Sam" was replaced by apes to determine the effects of ejection on live beings

1959 – Wednesday In Bien Hoa, northeast of Saigon, Major Dale R. Buis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand were killed by Communist guerillas.  They are the first and second names listed on Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Although, On September 26, 1945, Lt. Col. A. Peter Dewey became the first American soldier to die in Vietnam. Claiming they thought he was a Frenchman, Communist Vietminh troops killed Dewey when he was driving a jeep to the airport.

1960 –Friday- The mind still boggles (over) what we asked this man to do: Fly in a plane …over downtown Moscow, alone, unarmed and unafraid, then to suffer in prison during what indeed was a war, the Cold War …… Brig. Gen. Kevin Chilton ……..Francis Gary Powers was charged with espionage resulting from his U-2 flight (sponsored by Bono and the Edge) over the Soviet Union. Powers had been shot down while on a high altitude spy mission of the Proletarian Workers Paradise. Soviet spies (spy?) had given mission details to the Russians.  On May 1, 1960, MiGs shadowed Powers' flight at a lower altitude from the time it crossed into Soviet airspace to where a SAM-2 missile shot it down over Sverdlosk. Powers was later exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and ten quarts of borsht.

1962 –Sunday  Upset that he couldn’t get a 9:00 class as well as betel Leaves and betel boxes, so General Ne Win besieged and dynamited the Rangoon University Student Union building to squelch the Student Movement.  After the coup d’etat, of March 2, 1962, this crushed student resistance and for the next 12 years until 1974, the country was ruled under martial law, notably Marshall Dillon, Marshall Crenshaw, Thurgood Marshall, John Marshall, Marshall Faulk, and Marshall McLuhan.  The ruling military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar in 1989. Myanmar means cracking down on peaceful demonstrators, and coolly ignoring any international criticism that might follow, becoming a “least developed country” and one of the  poorest in the world in Burmese.

1963- Monday  I'm telling you now
I'm telling you right away
I'll be staying for many a day
I'm in love with you now
…………… A dark day in cultural history as Freddie and the Dreamers, I'm Telling You Now was released in England.  Two years later, in revenge for the American Revolution, it was exported to the U.S where American teenagers, intoxicated with the “ British Invasion” made it a hit.  We quote rock critic Lester Bangs, “Freddie and the Dreamers, who had no masterpiece but a plentitude of talentless idiocy and enough persistence to get four albums and one film soundtrack (accompanying their now-forgotten version of A Hard Day's Night, Seaside Swingers) released in the US, plus various other LPs for which they may or may not have been given full credit and which they shared with other certifiable nonentity bands which may or may not have been even less talented than they were."

1966 –Friday  Lear: How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!
.........King Lear Act 1, scene 4, 281–289
………..King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi was deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi. Bonnie Prince Charlie became Ntare V Ndizeye but was booted on  November 1966 in a military coup led by Michel Micombero in 1966; the King went into exile in West Germany of all places.

1967- Saturday  Hey, hey, we're the Monkees
And people say we monkey around.
But we're too busy singing
To put anybody down…
…… In Forest Hills, New York, a post Monterey Pops guitar burning Jimi Hendrix was invited to open for the Monkees on their latest tour. The audience, oblivious as Hendrix flailed away, kept screaming for the acutely saccharine, Daydream Believer,  Davy Jones. A frustrated Hendrix left the tour a week or so later. According to Oops,a chronicle of modern fiascoes by Martin J. Smith and Patrick J. Kiger,  when Hendrix's temper boiled over at Forest Hills, the problem wasn't the performers, who got along pretty well. It was the Monkees' fans, who had little interest in the scary psychedelic dude who preceded their idols. Hendrix's riffs were drowned out by screams of "We want Davy!" (Davy Jones was a Monkee.) Finally, Hendrix gestured obscenely, with words to match, and stomped offstage. A publicist had a master stroke, putting out the fictional story that opposition from the Daughters of the American Revolution had forced Hendrix off the tour. It worked. His next tour, before appreciative audiences, was a success, and within a year, voila! He was a superstar.

1969 – Tuesday Check it!
Right foot blue!  (Right foot blue!)\
Left hand red!  (Left hand red!)
Left!  Right!  Yellow!  Blue!  Green!
Yeah, Twister!
Now, everybody's chillin'
With the Twister.  (Twister!)
Wherever things are illin',
You'll find Twister!  (Twister!  Twister!)
That's Twister.
Yeah, Twister!.........................
The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent for the game "Twister." The filing had been in April 1966 by inventors, Chuck Foley
and Neil Rabens. The History of Twister website (
http://www.mathematik.uni-bielefeld.de/~sillke/Twister/history/)notes that Twister
 was the first game in history to use the human body as a full-fledged playing piece, and, admittedly, the Milton Bradley Company released the game with a
fair amount of hesitation.
The company's fear of public criticism and its own skepticism about its potential for success were obliterated when Johnny Carson
demonstrated the game on the "Tonight Show". And it didn't hurt matters that buxom actress, Eva Gabor, wearing a low-cut gown, was one of Johnny's guests
that night.  As luck would have it, With Eva splayed out on all fours on the polka dot vinyl mat, Johnny twirled the spinner and took his turn.
When he climbed on top of Eva, …….well,  more than three million copies of Twisters were sold during its first year of release.

1970 – Wednesday Richard Nixon delivered a special congressional message enunciating Native American Self-Determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination Act with both Michael Ansara and Jeff Chandler playing Cochise, J. Carrol Naish as Sitting Bull, and Victor Mature as Crazy Horse

1970- Wednesday  O.K admit it now, you didn’t know that the Everly Brothers had a TV show.  Don and Phil Everly debut their rather brief summer variety series, cleverly named The Everly Brothers Show, on ABC-TV. First show guests included Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, Melanie and comedian, Albert Brooks. Sadly, the show expired on September 9 after just 10 episodes.

1988 – Friday He was going down grade, doing ninety miles an hour,
When his whistle began to scream;
They found him in the wreck, with his hand on the throttle.
He was scalded to death by the steam.

A message arrived at Washington Station,
And this is what it read:
Those two brave men who pulled Old 97
Are lying in Danville, dead."……
.The Wreck of Old 97………….The Island Express train travelling from Bangalore to Kanyakumari derailed on the Peruman bridge and fell into Ashtamudi Lake, in India killing 105 passengers and injuring over 200 more. Officials said the derailment  was caused by a tornado.  Most people suspect human error and anyone who has spoken with “Steve” from Calcutta when calling technical support would support the  latter theory.

1992  Wednesday Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (named after jockey Willie Shoemaker and actor Eugene Levy) got just a wee bit too close to Jupiter and since it passed within Jupiter's Roche limit. While many urban apartments have exceeded the cockroche limit, the Roche limit is the minimal distance, with respect to the center of a planet, at which a satellite is able to orbit without being destroyed by tidal forces and quicker than you can say “tidal forces”, Jupiter's tidal forces had acted to pull the comet apart. The comet was later observed as a series of fragments ranging up to 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter. These fragments collided with Jupiter's southern hemisphere between July 16 and July 22, 1994, at a speed of approximately 60 km/s (37 mi/s), an event that was observed by the Galileo Jupiter Orbiter. Residual dust from the comet break up migrated to Earth’s atmosphere where after being inhaled by susceptible  humans, it caused them to talked ceaselessly in movie theaters.

1994 – They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa
To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be
happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're
coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
…..Napoleon XIV………….Kim Jong-il aka, Center of the Party Superior Person Dear Leader Respected Leader Wise Leader, Brilliant Leader Unique Leader Dear Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have, Commander-in-Chief, Great Leader, Father of the People, Sun of the Communist Future, Shining Star of Paektu Mountain, Guiding Ray of Sun, Leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Guarantee of the Fatherland's Unification, Symbol of the Fatherland's Unification, Fate of the Nation, Beloved Father, Leader of the Party, of the country, and of the Army, Leader, General, Great Leader of our Party and of our Nation, Great General, Beloved and Respected General, Great Leader, Beloved and Respected Leader, Invincible and Iron-Willed Commander, Sun of Socialism, Sun of the Nation, The Great Sun of Life, Great Sun of The Nation, Father of the Nation, World's Leader of The 21st Century, Peerless Leader, Bright Sun of the 21st Century, Great Sun of the 21st Century, Leader of the 21st Century, Amazing politician, Great Man, Who Descended From Heaven, Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven, Supreme Leader of the Nation, Bright Sun of Juche, Leader of the Party and the People, Great Marshal, Invincible and All-triumphant General, Beloved and Respected Father, Guiding Star of the 21st Century, Great Man, Who Is a Man of Deeds, Great Defender, Savior, Mastermind of the Revolution, Highest, Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradely Love, His Excellency,  assumed supreme leadership of North Korea upon the death of his father, Kim Il-sung.

2003- Tuesday When one of Lisa's baby teeth fell out here, the tooth fairy left her 50 cents.  Another tooth fell out when she was with her father in Las Vegas, and that tooth fairy left her $5.  When I told Elvis that 50 cents would be more in line, he laughed.  He knew I was not criticizing him; how would Elvis Presley know the going rate for a tooth?  ……..Priscilla Presley ……………A tooth from the mouth of Elvis Presley went up for auction on eBay. Along with a lock of his hair and a gold record, requested bids started at  $100,000. It was billed as “a crown without a king”.  Jesse Briggs, a millionaire who made his fortune founding the Yellow Strawberry Global Salons, purchased The King's tooth in 1996 from something called Startifacts. Startifacts in turn obtained the tooth from Scott Velvet, who originally got the tooth from his father, Jimmy Velvet. Jimmy Velvet was a close friend of Elvis' and founder of the Elvis Presley Museum, Inc. Apparently, Velvet acquired the tooth from an old girlfriend of Elvis' named Linda Thompson. We’ve tried to ascertain as to whether it was inscisor, canine, pre-molar, molars, or a wisdom tooth without getting any answer that we can sink out teeth into. According to CBS News, after 10 days on the eBay auction block, no one posted the minimum $100,000 bid for a purported Elvis tooth, lock of hair and gold record. So the South Florida owners say they plan to sell the collection in pieces, with the items likely to be offered again on eBay sometime this weekend. That came as a relief to die-hard fan Joni Mabe. She already owns an Elvis wart, and "maybe an Elvis toenail." "I'd love to have the tooth," said the Georgia artist, who calls herself "Joni Mabe the Elvis Babe." "Then the wart would have a friend and we could put the King back together in pieces," she said.

2011 – Friday  Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. Fred Hoyle………Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program, STS-135.  NASA's space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981 of Columbia.  Atlantis was named after the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966. Space shuttle Atlantis’ spaceflight career began on Oct. 3, 1985, with launch on its maiden voyage to begin STS-51J – a dedicated Department of Defense mission. It was the fourth orbital vehicle manufactured following Columbia, Challenger and Discovery.  Endeavour would be built to replace Challenger. Basically, the final flight of the shuttle program was a delivery; including a  Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), Lightweight Multi-Purpose Equipment Support Structure Carrier (LMC), one Station Power Distribution Unit (SPDU), ISS equipment, supplies, Utilization middeck payloads, ISS logistics in the Orbiter crew compartment, a pepperoni pizza (large), two portions of General Tso chicken, eight beef tacos (hard shell), six chicken tacos (soft shell), sneakers from Zappos, five Netflix (all the Rocky movies), and Bubbly the Clown for entertainment at a birthday party.

Back to Calendar


 455 –  Friday I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
…The Who……..As the empire collapsed and Rome engaged in a game of musical emperors,  Roman military commander Avitus was  proclaimed Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. The Emperor Petronius Maximus had recalled Avitus, the hero of the victory over Attila the Hun, out of retirement to hold the rank of 'Master of Soldiers'. But Maximus was violently kaputed. Avitus didn’t last long either as he was replaced in 457 by Majorian.

869 – Tuesday The 869  8.6 M Jogan earthquake, off Miyagi, produced unusually large tsunamis, according to a historical document and tsunami deposits. One of the oldest official documents in Japan reported that about 1,000 people were drowned from the tsunami in Sendai plain

1357 – Saturday A little to the left. No, no, a little to the right.  O.K, just a bit to the left again. No, no, not that far. Now, bring it forward just a squidge. Now, a  skoche to the right.  Then backwards a smidge.  A hair to the left.  Wait, wait. Now a dash forward, the a pinch to the left and a skidge back until you need a  teensy weensey tilt and an itty; bitty lean…whoops.  I wanted it over there. Holy roman Emperor Charles IV assisted in laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.  Charles Bridge is one of the many monuments that were built during Charles' reign.  In charge of the construction was architect Petr Parléř whose other works include the  St.  Vitus Cathedral  at  the Prague Castle.

1386 – Sunday - Then lost was banner, spear and shield
  At Sempach in the flight;
The cloister vaults at Konigsfeldt
  Hold many an Austrian knight
…………The Battle of Sempach…….Charlotte M. Yonge…………At Meiersholz, near Sempach, Swiss confederate forces from Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, and Lucern met an Austrian army led by the Habsburg duke Leopold III of Tirol and his commander in chief, Johann von Ochsenstein. They literally met on a road so that neither side had the opportunity to choose a site for the battle. Leopold was kaputed, the Austrians defeated and The Old Swiss Confederacy madevgreat strides in establishing control over its territory

1540 – Tuesday He's been married so many times he has rice marks on his face…..apologies to Henny Youngman ………..After marrying on January 6, 1640, King Henry VIII of England annulled his marriage to his fourth wife, the conspicuously ugly, Anne of Cleves.  Henry did not find his new bride the least bit attractive and is said to have called her a 'Flanders Mare'. There were still two more to go, Kathryn Howard and Catherine Parr. Numbers 1-3 were Catherine of Aragon, Ann Boleyn, and  Jane Seymour. Anne knew it was a lost cause and cooperated in the annulment.  She testified that the match had not been consummated and that her previous engagement to the son of the Duke of Lorraine had not been properly broken. After the marriage had been dissolved, Anne accepted the honorary title as the 'King's Sister'. She was given property, including Hever Castle, formerly the home of Anne Boleyn.

1701 – Saturday- First of two succeeding items about successions. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Austrians defeated  France in the Battle of Carpi in present day Italy, the Veneto to be exact.  Yes, Spanish Succession, France  vs. Austria in Italy. Go figure. After the death of the Spanish Habsburg King Charles II in November, 1700, his will designated Louis XIV's second grandson Philip Duc d'Anjou as his successor in Spain. This did not go over well with the other European powers and before you could say “Spanish Succession” -sucesión española,  spanischer Erbfolgekrieg, Spaanse Successie-a  grand alliance of the Hague was formed between the United Provinces, England and Emperor Leopold I of Austria, who had declared war in spring and thus started the War of the Spanish Succession

1745 – Friday  Another war of succession popped up but his one was the War of the Austrian Succession.  This time the French won a battle at the Battle of Melle which allowed them, led by Grandmaster Melle Mel,  to capture Ghent in Belgium.  O.K, follow closely now; the war broke out when, on the strength of the pragmatic sanction (Pragmatic Sanctions were also issue din 1269, 1438, 1439, and 1759) which basically said that all the Austrian hereditary lands should always remain united, and that on the failure of male descendants they should pass to the daughters that might be born to the emperor; and not until their descendants died out should the right of succession revert to the daughters of his brother, the Emperor Joseph . So naturally in 1745 when the Austrian archduchess Maria Theresa succeeded her father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, as ruler of the Hapsburg lands. The elector of Bavaria, Charles Albert, advanced counterclaims to the succession while Philip V of Spain and Augustus III of Poland and Saxony advanced weak claims of their own. Frederick II of Prussia, on even less tenable grounds claimed part of the province of Silesia and poof, War of the Austrian Succession which lasted until 1748.  Maria Theresa kept the throne.

1755 – Wednesday – As the French and Indian War raged, British General Edward Braddock, having arrived from Ireland in January,  was rendered kaput when French and Indian troops ambushed his force of British regulars and colonial militia.  Upset by the behavior of the Pittsburgh Steelers during games, Braddock intended to attack Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). He cleverly marched his troops through the wilderness, ripe for an ambush, in a column.  They crossed the Monongahela river on the 9th of July and almost immediately afterwards fell into, yes an ambush of French and Indians. The troops were completely surprised and routed, and Braddock, rallying his men time after time, was mortally wounded. He was carried off the field and went to that big battlefield in the sky on the 13th.

1776 – Tuesday Everyone had to gather on the “reading rug” as George Washington ordered the Declaration of Independence to be read out loud by aide sitting in a rocking chair,  to members of the Continental Army in New York City for the first time.  During shared reading in the kindergarten classroom, or to a Continental Army,  teachers guide the entire class through stories with a high level of support.  It is considered guided reading at this level.  In order to continue meeting the needs of beginning or emergent readers, many kindergarten teachers are also incorporating modified aspects of the guided reading used in most first grade classrooms.

1800 Wednesday – Happy Birthday, Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle, German physician fixated on ologies as he helped prepare the way for cytology  (Cy Tology was a scientist who studied the skin) through his studies of epithelia. Henle created the first histology and would have like to have created a herstology too. Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. Herstology would be the study of cells and handkerchiefs of plants and animals.  Based on his extensive investigations, Henle was among the originatorss of modern microbiology.

1802 – Friday I invented the cordless extension cord …..Stephen Wright……….Happy Birthday, Thomas Davenport, American inventor of what was probably the first commercially successful electric motor. In 1834 he attachedtwo electromagnets to a pivot, mounting that between the other two magnets which were fixed in place as poles. He attached a battery to the magnets via a"commutator" (an early type of switching device), threw the switch, and the pivot rotated. Voila! Davenport had just invented the electric motor. Of course  Joseph Henry had done much the same thing a few years earlier, but his had an inefficient oscillatory movement that was not very practical. Davenport's motor, however, had a rotary movement, and it became the prototype for every electric motor in use today. So why isn’t he famous?  Glad you asked.

Davenport waited until 1836 before deciding to patent his invention, and ran a Sisyphusian succession of problems. He decided to personally make a trip to the Patent Office in Washington D.C., and set off on foot. By the time he got  to Washington, he had spent all the money for the patent application. Back to Vermont he went for more money . He came up with more money but this time decided to mail the application. Whoops! The Patent Office was destroyed by a fire. He finally was the first to secure a U.S. patent  February 25,  1837 for his direct current motor which was, unfortunately heavy, fragile, and expensive.

1808 - Black leather, I wear it on stage
Black leather, I'm gonna wear it to my grave
Black leather, I will wear it anywhere
Because my name is Joan Jett and I don't care
……Joan Jett………..The leather-splitting machine was patented by Samuel Parker of Billerica, Massachusetts. Splitting is the process of dividing hides of leather into two or more layers to get it into a workable thickness.

1811 – Tuesday ………….. Yeah, I've been searchin'
A-a searchin'
Oh, yeah, searchin' every which a-way
Yeah, yeah
Oh, yeah, searchin'
I'm searchin'
Searchin' every which a-way
Yeah, yeah
……….The Coasters………Searchin’……….Explorer David Thompson posted  a sign at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers (in modern Washington state, US), claiming the land for the United Kingdom - Know hereby that this country is claimed by Great Britain as part of its territories and that the N.W. Company of Merchants from Canada do hereby intend to erect a factory………… From 1792 to 1812, Thompson mapped the country west of Hudson Bay and Lake Superior, across the Rocky Mountains to the source of the Columbia River, and followed the length of the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean.

1815 –Sunday A diplomat who says “yes” means “maybe", a diplomat who says “maybe" means “no”, and a diplomat who says “no” is no diplomat……….Talley Ho!  Charles Talleyrand became, in effect, the first Prime Minister of France. After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in June.  Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord was appointed president of the Council of Ministers and minister for foreign affairs in the Provisional Government

1816 –Monday  Oid, mortales el grito sagrado
libertad, libertad, libertad
Oid el ruido de rotas cadenas,
que responde a la noble igualdad.
Ya su trono dignisimo abrieron,
Ya su trono dignisimo abrieron,
las Provincias Unidas del sur,
las Provincias Unidas del sur,
y los libres del mundo responden
al gran Pueblo Argentino, Salud
al gran Pueblo Argentino, Salud ! ...
Argentinian National Anthem........Argentina declared independence from Spain as a congress in Tucumán proclaimed the independence of the United Provinces of the Río de La Plata.  Explorer Sebastian Cabot, who later starred on Family Affair from 1966 -1971,  =sailed up the Paraná and Paraguay rivers. His appreciation for  native ornaments may be responsible for the names Río de la Plata [silver river] and Argentina [of silver]. Pedro de Mendoza in 1536 founded the first settlement of the present Buenos Aires and bought a nice condo in Ricoleta,  but native attacks forced abandonment of the settlement.  He didn’t event get his down payment back.  Asunción then became the unquestioned leading city of the Río de la Plata region. Buenos Aires was re-founded, which is like re-gifted or re purposed in 1580 by Juan de Garay.  The fight for Argentine Independence was led by José de San Martín, an Argentine native who had been trained as a military officer in Spain. In 1817, he crossed the Andes into Chile, where Bernardo O'Higgins and his rebel army had been fighting the Spanish since 1810. Joining forces, the Chileans and Argentines defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Maipú (near Santiago, Chile) on April 5, 1818, effectively ending Spanish control over the southern part of South America.

1819- Friday Tae the weaver's gin ye go fair maid,
Tae the weaver's gin ye go,
I rede ye richt, gang ne'er at nicht,
Tae the weaver's gin ye go.
………..Robert Burns…………Happy Birthday, Elias Howe of Spencer, MA., inventor of the sewing machine. Actually, it was Walter Hunt, in 1834, who built America's first sewing machine, but then he thought about the negative impact on home stitchers' jobs, (it would destroy them) and didn't pursue marketing his invention Howe did. Howe was granted a patent on his own machine on Sept.10 1846. Talk about the troubles of Job, the University of Rochester Scientific Americans website informs us that,  Howe’s workshop burned down, and his machines turned out to cost some $300 each, about the average yearly income of many Americans. In an 1845 demonstration, his invention out-sewed five seamstresses, but he was unable to sell a single machine as the reaction was “sew what!” He then tried to promote sales of the device in England but was swindled out of his British royalties. Wait, it gets worse.  Unemployed and desperate, Howe accepted a meager three pounds a week offered by the swindler to improve the pirated design. Once that had been achieved, however, Howe was fired. He managed to ship his family home, and then pawned his patent model and papers to buy his own passage back to America. Soon after his return to Boston, his loyal wife died. Finally, funded by a mortgage on his father's farm, Howe went to court and began to sue the infringers, notably Isaac Singer.  After years of legal battles, his patent was upheld in 1854, and Singer was ordered to pay fifteen thousand dollars in back royalties. When the various manufacturers pooled their patents in 1856, Howe managed to negotiate a five-dollar royalty for each machine sold in the United States and one dollar for each sold abroad. The deal brought him two million dollars, the wealth he had dreamed of years before. But the struggle had taken its toll, and the forty-eightyear-old Howe died in 1867, the year his patent expired.

1846 –Thursday I left my heart in Yerba Buena………..apologies to Tony Bennett………An American naval captain, John Montgomery and 70 sailors occupied the small settlement of Yerba Buena, a site that would later be renamed San Francisco.  Capt. Montgomery took formal possession of Yerba Buena and appointed Lt. Washington Allen Bartlett.  Bartlett became  the first American Alcalde because he spoke fluent Spanish. No surprise as his appointment was later ratified by a vote of the people. July 9, 1846 Montgomery and the gang marched to the Plaza, hauled down the Mexican flag and raised the Stars and Stripes.

      1850- Tuesday Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it…….Woody Allen………. And so we got Millard Fillore. Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, suddenly went kaput from an attack of cholera or possibly diarrhea. Either way it was described as bilious. He was succeeded by Vice-President Millard Fillmore of  New York.  Taylor cleverly dressed himself in a black high-collar suit for the July 4, 1850 dedication of the Washington Monument, got overheated, then shocked his system by consuming copious quantities of iced milk and cold cherries, and his internal organs began to shut down.  He might have recovered, according to historian, Samuel Eliot Morison, but his doctors “drugged him with ipecac, calomel, opium and quinine (at 40 grains a whack), and bled and blistered him too. Rumors of assassination led to old Rough and Ready being dug up in 1991.  An autopsy was performed and concluded that Taylor's death was caused by any of "a myriad of natural diseases which could have produced the symptoms of gastroenteritis," said George R. Nichols 2d, the State Chief Medical Examiner who threw in for good measure that because of severe decomposition of the body, a precise cause of death could not be determined. The question of whether he was poisoned or not will no longer hang over us," said Coroner Richard F. Greathouse of Jefferson County. "We've put that to rest once and for all."

      1856- Wednesday  Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ….Nikola Tesla……….On the birthday of Thomas Davenport who created the first electric motor, Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla,  Serbian-American inventor and researcher  who discovered the rotating magnetic field, the basis of most alternating-current machinery  and designed and built the first alternating current induction motor in 1883. He emigrated to the United States in 1884.  In 1891 he invented the Tesla coil, an induction coil widely used in radio technology. In 1900 Tesla made what he regarded as his most important discovery-- terrestrial stationary waves. By this discovery he proved that the Earth could be used as a conductor and would be as responsive as a tuning fork to electrical vibrations of a certain frequency. He also lighted 200 lamps without wires from a distance of 25 miles (40 kilometers) and created man-made lightning, producing flashes measuring 135 feet (41 meters). Later, he formed the rock group Tesla and recorded Signs in 1991, a cover of the original by 1971 hit by Five man Electrical Band.

1868 – Thursday The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests…………Patrick Henry………After 757 days, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by South Carolina, the 28th of 38 states to ratify.  Along with the 13th and 15th amendments are collectively known as the Reconstruction amendments. However, of those three, the 14th is the most complicated and the one that has had the more unforeseen effects. Its broad goal was to ensure that the Civil Rights Act passed in 1866 would remain valid ensuring that "all persons born in the United States...excluding Indians not taxed...." were citizens and were to be given "full and equal benefit of all laws."  In the Law of Unintended Consequences it also created Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, 50 Cent, assorted members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Louis Farrakhan, Spike Lee, Presidential Stud Muffin Bill Clinton (honorary membership), Don King, and Arsenio Hall. The amendment was specifically rejected by Texas on Oct 27, 1866; by Georgia on Nov 6, 1866; by North Carolina on Dec 14, 1866; by South Carolina on Dec 20, 1866; by Kentucky on Jan 8, 1867; by Virginia on Jan 9, 1867; by Louisiana on Feb 6, 1867; by Delaware on Feb 8, 1867; and by Maryland on Mar 23, 1867. New Jersey's ratification was rescinded on Mar 24, 1868; Ohio rescinded its ratification on Jan 15, 1868 but changed its mind and ratified again on Mar 13, 2003.

1872 – TuesdayBetween the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole! ……Oscar Wilde………While Gregory Crockett gets credit for developing the doughnut hole, the doughnut cutter was patented by John F. Blondel. Blondell's version was made of wood, but an 'improved' tin version with a fluted edge was patented in 1889.  In Holland and in Germany, cooks dropped the leftover scraps of dough into boiling oil, and made fry-cakes, or olie-koecken. The Dutch fancied up their leftovers a bit more by shaping them into decorative knots (dough knots), and rolling in sugar afterwards. The Puritans, having left England,  loved  these little cakes during their stay in Holland, and took the method with them to the New World where it clashed with Native American fried bread. Anthony Bourdain was called in to referee. 

1877 – Monday We're the phone company. We don't care. We don't have to ……..Lily Tomlin……….Alexander Graham Bell, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, Thomas Sanders and Thomas Watson formed the Bell Telephone Company. Hubbard and Sanders provided the funding (Sanders later played for the Boston Celtics of the NBA as Thomas  “Satch” Sanders during the 1960s). One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy……..Lily Tomlin………The first telephone exchange, operating under license from Bell Telephone, opened in New Haven, Connecticut in 1878. Within three years, telephone exchanges existed in most major cities and towns in the United States, operating under licenses from what was now the American Bell Telephone Company. In 1882, American Bell acquired a controlling interest in the Western Electric Company, which became its manufacturing unit. Gradually, American Bell came to own most of its licensees et voila! Collectively the enterprise became known as the Bell System.

1877 –Monday  Tennis is a young man's game. Until you're 25, you can play singles. From 25 to 35, you should play doubles. I won't tell you exactly how old I am, but when I played, there were 28 men on the court - just on my side of the net. ……….George Burns…………. The first Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament.  Tennis has a better ring to it than sphairistike yet around 1873, (according to Smithsonian Magazine) an Englishman adapted indoor tennis to be played on grass, naming the game "sphairistike," after an ancient Greek game meaning have another sip of hemlock Socrates. Sphairistike quickly became popular among the idle upper classes, who were looking for a new source of idleness and a new sport to play: "The game has much more healthy and manly excitement than croquet," the Dundee Advertiser proclaimed (though the Sporting Gazette wondered "why a less jaw-breaking name could not be found"). The first championships were won by a man named Spencer Gore, (there were 22 participants in men’s singles) who employed the novel idea of approaching the net and swiftly volleying the ball left and right.  In 1884 women participated in the Wimbledon Championships for the very first time. There were 13 participants in the Wimbledon Championship for Ladies. Maud Watson was the first champion

1878 – Sunday  Well, it keeps my hands busy, and my mouth shut …..Unknown…………The corncob pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe.  Off we went to Pipes Magazine for a little more history than the Xeroxian multiple repetitions of the internet for the first sentence of this item.  Tibbe was a Dutch immigrant woodworker. Legend has it that a local farmer whittled a pipe out of corn cob and liked it so much that he asked the Tibbester  to try turning some on his lathe. The farmer was very pleased with his pipes, so Henry made a few more and put them for sale in his shop. They proved to be such a fast-selling item that soon he was spending more time making pipes for his customers than on his woodworking. Soon Tibbe went into full time production of corn cob pipes. In 1907, the H. Tibbe & Son Co. became the Missouri Meerschaum Company. Meerschaum is a Turkish clay used in high grade pipes. In German, the word means “sea foam”. Tibbe and a chemist friend devised a system of applying plaster to the outside of the corn cob, then sanding the bowl smooth after it dried. In 1878, Tibbe patented this process.

1894 –Monday  Happy Birthday Percy Le Baron Spencer inventor of the microwave oven.  Shortly after the end of World War II, Percy Spencer, already known as an electronics genius and war hero, was touring one of his laboratories at the Raytheon Company. He stopped momentarily in front of a magnetron, the power tube that drives a radar set. Feeling a sudden and strange unpleasant sensation in his trouser pocket (sorry, I already thought of all those comments already) Spencer noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket had begun to melt. Applying his process skills, he did what any good scientist would do-- he went for some popcorn. Spencer didn't feel like a snack, he asked for unpopped popcorn. Holding the bag of corn next to the magnetron, Spencer watched as the kernels exploded into puffy white morsels. Fortunately, he had not put them in his pocketFrom this simple experiment, Spencer and Raytheon developed the microwave oven. The first microwave oven weighed a hefty 750 pounds and stood five feet, six inches.

1900 –Monday –Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Robinson, Gene Fullmer, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Emile Griffith, Gaspar Ortega, Henry Armstrong, Ernie Terrell, Cleveland Williams, Carmine Basilio,  Benny Leonard, Jake LaMotta, Tony Zale, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Archie Moore, Boom Boom Mancini, Bobby Chacon, (thank you Warren Zevon),  and Oscar Bonavena led the  Boxer Rebellion. On June 18, the Empress Dowager ordered all foreigners to be killed. On this day the Governor of Shanxi province in North China ordered the execution of 45 foreign Christian missionaries and local church members, including children. Dogs, however, would be used as entrees.

1911 – TuesdayI like to say, when asked why I pursue science, that it is to satisfy my curiosity, that I am by nature a searcher trying to understand. If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day. ………Happy Birthday, John A. Wheeler, American physicist who worked with physicist Niels Bohr. They were the first to explain nuclear fission in terms of quantum physics. Wheeler gave black holes their name rather than calling them cold, dead stars.

1918 –Tuesday  What is known as the great train wreck of 1918 occurred in Nashville, Tennessee, as an inbound local train, traveling at 50 mph,  collided with an outbound express, also traveling at 50 mph,  killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in United States history. An investigation by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) attributed the cause of the accident to several factors, notably human error by the No. 4 crew and tower operators, all of whom cleverly failed to the  No. 1 train on the same line.

  1922 –Sunday If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too?  ………..Steven Wright…………. Johnny Weissmuller, being pursued by Anderson Cooper  in a speedo,  with a microphone,  swam the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the 'minute barrier'.  We’ve also seen this as July 19 but, no matter, the latest record for the 100 is 48 seconds and it may well have been broken by the time we finish this sentence.

1926 –Friday  Happy Birthday, Ben R. Mottelson American-Danish physicist, born in Chicago, Ill.Mottelson shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Physics with Aage N. Bohr (son of Niels Bohr),  and James Rainwater for "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection." Which means they determined the asymmetrical shapes of certain atomic nuclei and the reasons behind such asymmetries….. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five……….Groucho Marx…………..And the child of 5 might indicate that it means, as subatomic particles move, their motions can alter the shape of the nucleus

1928 – Monday  Man... woman... birth... death... infinityHappy Birthday,  Vince Edwards, American actor who got to say “subdural hematoma” every week as Dr. Ben Casey in the television series, Ben Casey during the 1960s.

1941 – Wednesday  - Germany's armed forces believed their Enigma-encrypted communications were impenetrable to the Allies. Wrong.  Thousands of codebreakers - based in wooden huts at Britain's Bletchley Park did the job. The discovery was serendipitous as the code arrived in a code key package sent in a Orphan Annie Secret Society decoder pin.  The first message decoded was Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

1942 –Thursday-   Who's the black private dick
that's a sex machine to all the chicks?
You're damn right
Who is the man
that would risk his neck for his brother man?
Can ya dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out
when there's danger all about
Right on …..Isaac Hayes………..
Happy Birthday, Richard Roundtree, American actor best known for his role as John Shaft in Shaft (1971), and starred in its two sequels, Shaft’s Big Score and Shaft in Africa, as well.

1943 – Friday  Happy Birthday, John Casper, American astronaut. Casper flew on four space shuttle missions: STS-36(Atlantis), February 28, 1990 - mission carried classified (all the astronauts had to wear fake glasses and moustachees) Department of Defense payloads, STS-54 ( Endeavour)  January 13, 1993, STS-62 (Columbia) , March 4-18, 1994. and STS-77 ( Endeavour again) May 19-29, 1996.

1945 –Saturday  Writing a novel is like making love, but it's also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it's like making love while having a tooth pulled………..Happy Birthday, Dean R. Koontz,  occasionally Stephen Kingish, American novelist and writer of suspense and horror novels such as the Odd Thomas series, Watchers, Intensity, and Life Expectancy. He might wish to forget the Dean Koontz’ Frankenstein series.

1948-  Friday  I use my single windup, my double windup, my triple windup, my hesitation windup, my no windup. I also use my step-n-pitch-it, my submariner, my sidearmer, and my bat dodger. Man's got to do what he's got to do…………….Pitcher Satchel Paige made his debut with Cleveland Indians.  42-year-old Leroy "Satchel" Paige pitched two scoreless  innings for the Cleveland Indians in his debut with the  recently integrated American League. The game came 21 years after the great pitcher’s first Negro League appearance.  He had been preceded by Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers, Larry Doby,  Cleveland Indians, Hank Thompson, St. Louis Browns, and Willard Brown, St. Louis Browns to the major leagues.  Paige relieved starter Bob Lemon in the 5th inning of a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Browns. He struck out one batter and allowed two hits.

1955- Saturday – Always works, take a record with modest sales, stick it in a hit movie and……voila!  Stayin’ Alive, Purple Rain, Super Fly, Sounds of Silence, Born to Be Wild…and ……….Bill Haley and the Comets' Rock Around The Clock, a minor hit the previous year, landed  in the top spot after inclusion in the juvenile delinquent drama The Blackboard Jungle – Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Vic Morrow, Sidney Poitier -officially kicked off the main stream rock and roll era. That same day, almost killing rock and roll, crooner Pat Boone released his sadly tepid version of Fats Domino's #1 R&B hit, Ain't It A Shame now calling it Ain't That A Shame. Boone was later to launch an attack on Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti.

1955 – Saturday In the tragic situation which confronts humanity, we feel that scientists should assemble in conference to appraise the perils that have arisen as a result of the development of weapons of mass destruction, and to discuss a resolution in the spirit of the appended draft.
We are speaking on this occasion, not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings, members of the species Man, whose continued existence is in doubt. The world is full of conflicts; and, overshadowing all minor conflicts, the titanic struggle between Communism and anti-Communism.
………………….Possibly in response to the Pat Boone version of Ain’t That a Shame, released on the same day, or the threat of nuclear weapons,  came the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, released by Bertrand Russell in London. Ten of the eleven signatories of the Russell–Einstein Manifesto were Nobel Laureates. 

1956 – Monday Happy Birthday, Tom Hanks, American actor, star of Bosom Buddies, born on the same day that Dick Clark debuted on American Bandstand.  See below.

1956- Monday We're goin' hoppin' (Hop!)
We're goin' hopin' today
Where things are poppin'(Pop!)
The Philadelphia way We're goin' drop in (Drop!)
On all the music they play On the Bandstand.!
….Music- Charles Alberine, lyrics - Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman……………….Dick Clark debuted as the host of Philadelphia's TV dance show on WFIL, channel 6. It was then called just Bob Horn’s Bandstand.  When former host Bob Horn was arrested for DUI, “America’s Oldest Teenager”, (he was 26 at the time) stepped in and it became Bandstand.  The show, which would go national on ABC the following year, which made it American, would run for 37 years. Well, it's got a good beat, and it's easy to dance to……

1957- Tuesday - Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try…………..Homer Simpson…………..Premature Annunciation as  an announcement was made  for  the discovery  of element 102, with the name of nobelium proposed. The isotope (an isotope is any of two or more forms of a chemical element, having the same number of protons in the nucleus, or the same atomic number, but having different numbers of neutrons in the nucleus, or different atomic weights) was believed to have a half-life of 10 minutes at 8.5 MeV or about the same as a reality show participant.  Later tests showed that no isotopes of nobelium had this half-life.  Nobelium hadn’t been discovered after all.  It would wait until truly discovered by A. Ghiorso, T. Sikkeland, J.R. Walton, and G.T. Seaborg in Apr 1958. However, IUPAC accepted the name Nobelium given to the prematurely discovered element. Ten isotopes of nobelium are known to exist, with No-255 having the longest half-life of 3 minutes

1958Wednesday  Lituya Bay, Alaska, was hit by a mega-tsunami. The wave was recorded at 524 meters high, the largest in recorded history.  Geology.com notes that an earthquake along the Fairweather Fault in the Alaska Panhandle loosened about 40 million cubic yards (30.6 million cubic meters) of rock high above the northeastern shore of Lituya Bay. This mass of rock plunged from an altitude of approximately 3000 feet (914 meters) down into the waters of Gilbert Inlet with history’s largest plop. The impact generated a local tsunami that crashed against the southwest shoreline of Gilbert Inlet. The wave hit with such power that it swept completely over the spur of land that separates Gilbert Inlet from the main body of Lituya Bay. The wave then contiuned down the entire length of Lituya Bay, over La Chaussee Spit and into the Gulf of Alaska. The force of the wave removed all trees and vegetation from elevations as high as 1720 feet (524 meters) above sea level. Millions of trees were uprooted and swept away by the wave. This is the highest wave that has ever been known. As a result of the tsunami,All males, and many females,  have Dan Haggerty like facial hair and wear Carhartts, many people live in igloos, the creation of Sara Palin, the creation of Sarah Palin’s family, and Alaskans only travel via dogsleds, cross-country skis, and snow machines.

1961 –Sunday Turkish voters approvd the Turkish Constitution of 1961 in a referendum. Everyone had to drink very stong coffee, they had to eat kebab at least three times a day, and they all had to learn to sing Istanbul Not Constantinope.  This Constitution was introduced following a 1960 coup d'état, which replaced the earlier Constitution of 1924. It remained in force until, yes another coup d'état,  this one in 1980, following which it was replaced by a new document, the Constitution of 1982, which remains in force today or until the next coup d’ état.

1962 – Monday – I am a deeply superficial person ……..Andy Warhol………Proving again that there is no accounting for taste nor shortage of  poseurs, Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. The piece features 32 individual Campbell’s soup can screen prints – one of each variety available at the time. Each canvas is 20 x 16" (50.8 x 40.6 cm).  It was his first one-man exhibition  and was organized by Irving Blum, the l director of the Ferus Gallery.

1962-   Monday  Die Antwort weiss ganz allein der Wind …..Marlene Dietrich………And on the same day that Andy Warhol was unleashing tomato soup on the world, (see above)  Bob Dylan recorded Blowin' In The Wind.  It would be released on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963 The Dylan version of this song was never a hit - it was a cover by Peter, Paul & Mary (thank God it wasn’t covered by Pat Boone)  that made #2 in on the Billboard Chart  in February, 1963. Other covers have been by The Hollies, , Chet Atkins, Odetta, Dolly Parton, Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Marianne Faithfull, Jackie DeShannon, The Seekers, Sam Cooke, Etta James, Duke Ellington, Neil Young, the Doodletown Pipers, Marlene Dietrich, Bobby Darin, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Sielun Veljet,  Stevie Wonder, John Fogerty,  and The Hooters

1960- Saturday  The USS Thresher was launched.  It was  the first of a class of U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarines. Displacement was 3,700 (surfaced) and 4,300 (submerged). The ship was 278'6" long and the  beam was 31'8. Speed was 20+ knots; with a crew of crew of 100. Thresher was armed with  4 torpedo tubes. During sea trials after commissioning it sank in April 1963.  ACourt of Inquiry was convened and, after studying pictures and other data, opined that the loss of Thresher was in all probability due to a casting, piping, or welding failure that flooded the engine room with water. This water probably caused electrical failures that automatically shutdown the nuclear reactor, causing an initial power loss and the eventual loss of the boat. With 129 men on board, it was the worst loss in submarine history

1968-Monday   Ain't too proud to beg, sweet darlin
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go
Ain't to proud to plead, baby, baby
Please don't leave me, girl, don't you go
Now I heard a cryin' man,
Is half a man with no sense of pride
But if I have to cry to keep you,
I don't mind weepin' if it'll keep you by my side…………..
Co-lead Temptations singer David Ruffin (with Eddie Kendricks)  left the group due to cocaine abuse, missed shows, financial wrangling with Motown head Berry Gordy, his inability to draw things when they played Pictionary, and the group's refusal to change their name to "David Ruffin and the Temptations." Ruffin would soon begin appearing unwanted at Temptations concerts and taking the stage to sing the hits he made famous. As a result the group, with Dennis Edwards (formerly of the Contours – Do You Love Me) replacing Ruffin, had to  tighten security. See the movie the Five Heartbeats for a dramatization of the events.

1972 –Sunday There has been a heavy exchange of fire between the IRA and troops. Some of the dead and wounded were undoubtedly caught in the crossfire…………British Army Statement……….During The Troubles in Northern Ireland, , British Army snipers shot five civilians dead in the Springhill Massacre in Belfast at the Spring Hill Estate. The army claimed that they were fired on by IRA Provisionals.  A 13-year-old girl, Margaret Gargan,  was fatally shot by the snipers. The parish priest. Father Noel Patrick,  and a passer-by (the priest was waving a white cloth) rushed to assist  her but a sniper killed both with a single bullet that passed through both their heads. All the victims were unarmed

1979- Monday  I should have bought him some magazines to read on the trip…..Daffy Duck……………Voyager 2, passed by Jupiter. It was one of a pair of unmanned U.S. interplanetary probes launched in 1977. Although it was launched first on August 20, followed by the launch of  Voyager 1 on September 5, Voyager 2 was designed to travel more slowly, and pass all the giant planets in a grand tour. Voyager 1 visited Jupiter March 1979  and Saturn in November 1980 and then left the Solar System to visit the home planet of the Kardashians in the Andromeda Galaxy. Voyager 2 passed Saturn on August 25 1981 and then continued on to Uranus on January 24, 1986 and then Neptune on August 24, 1989.  When passing Neptune, mutant intergalactic bacteria attached themselves to radio waves sent to Earth where they quickly assimilated into the atmosphere having a profound effect on susceptible minds resulting in a men and boys who wear their pants down below their gluteous maximus.

1988 – Saturday -  The San Diego Padres traded pitcher Tim Stoddard to Yankees for pitcher Ed Whitson, thus rescuing Whitson from New York where he had signed as a free agent in 1985 (coming from….yes…..the San Diego Padres).  Whitson was the inspiration for what the ce editorial board of the Gnus refers to as Ed Whitson Syndrome.  The syndrome affects  baseball players who come to, usually, the Yankees.  They have been successful elsewhere but go into Defcon 6 Meltdown in New York and fail miserably.  Frequently, after leaving New York, they return to a modicum of success in a less pressurized environment.  Poor Eddie Lee Whitson’s Yankee experience included a famous fight with manager Billy Martin, failure to perform well in important games,  and death threats from fans. Other notables suffering from Ed Whitson Syndrome were Doyle Alexander, Danny Tartabull, Kenny Rogers (and the First Edition), Carl Pavano, Steve Kemp, Dave Collins, A.J Barnett, and Kei Igawa.

1993 – Wednesday  Hamlet:  How now? A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!.......Hamlet (III, iv, 23…………….In the early hours of July 17 1918 a Bolshevik firing squad killed Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, together with his wife, four young daughters and son. The daughters were bayoneted to death.  The bodies then went missing. On this day, the czar Nicholas Romanov and family remains were identified as  British forensic scientists announced that they had positively identified the remains of Russia's last czar, Nicholas II; his wife, Czarina Alexandra; and three of their daughters. Missing were the Czar's son, Alexei and Princess Anastasia. Archive evidence suggested the pair had been buried away from the others. The scientists used mitochondria DNA fingerprinting to identify the bones, which had been excavated from a mass grave near Yekaterinburg in 1991.In August 2007, the remains of the two other children were found in a field just outside the city where the czar and his family were held prisoner and later killed

1999- Friday-  Deep Space 1 launched  October 24,  1998 flew by the Mars-crossing near-Earth asteroid 9969 Braille. Deep Space 1 had to close its eyes and feel the asteroid. The Deep Space 1 was the first of a series of technology demonstration probes developed by NASA's New Millennium Program. NASA tells us the on July 28, the probe flew only about 26 kilometers above the surface, which is about twice as high above the asteroid as a jet plane flies above the Earth. During the close flyby, the spacecraft took images, measured such basic physical properties of the asteroid as its mineral composition, size, shape, and brightness; and it searched for changes in the solar wind as it interacted with the asteroid to investigate whether it had a magnetic field. It flew by comet Borrelly in September 2001. During either of these close encounters, quark–gluon plasma followed radio waves back to Earth.  Long term effects include human behaviors such as passing wind on a crowded airplane.

1999 – Friday Q. What's the difference between ET and Muslims?
A. ET got the point and went home……………. Days of student protests began after Iranian police and lunatic Islamic hardliners attacked a student dormitory at the University of Tehran disrupting a game of Broom Ball and a chili cook-off. 

2005 – Saturday I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown. ………Woody Allen……….Danny Way, a looney skateboarder, rolled down a large ramp and jumped across the Great Wall of China. He was the first person to clear the wall without motorized aid. Ware was immediately shot by 274 Chinese soldiers for entering without a visa. Many people have tried to jump the Great Wall of China before including Mongols, Japanese and even the Chinese when they went after Tibet, but Danny Way was  the first to jump the Great Wall without motorized help. In 2002 a clever mountain biker tried the jump, and was killed.

 2011 –Saturday Oh God!
We praise and glorify you
For your grace on South Sudan
Land of great abundance
Uphold us united in peace and harmony
Oh motherland!
We rise raising flag with the guiding star
And sing songs of freedom with joy
For justice, liberty and prosperity
Shall forevermore reign…
……South Sudan National Anthem………….
I've told you peons a thousand times not to starve on my property! It lowers the value! ….Daffy Duck…………South Sudan gained its independence and seceded from Sudan.  In their effort to suppress the revolt by the people of South Sudan, who mainly follow traditional beliefs or subscribe to Christianity, forces from the mainly Islamic North waged a war which resulted in the displacement of up to 4 million Southerners and the death of about two million mainly due to hunger and disease.  South Sudan a landlocked country in East Africa. Its current capital and largest city is Juba but the capital city is planned in the future to be the more centrally-located Ramciel (current population, six)  South Sudan is bordered by Ethiopia to the east; Kenya to the southeast; Uganda to the south; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest; the Central African Republic to the west; and Sudan to the north. Stay tuned, this one ain’t over yet.

Back to Calendar


   48 BC –Friday Pompey lives after his battles, but his fortune has perished…….Lucan……….. In  the Battle of Dyrrhachium, Julius Caesar tested his legendary luck in combat by barely avoiding a  catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia.  As a result, Pompey was able to break out of a blockade south of Dyrrhachium on the eastern coast of the Adriatic.  In the aftermath of this defeat Caesar retreated to Apollonia, and then advance across the Balkans towards a second army that was approaching from the east. On his way he captured the city of Gomphi, before a second deadlock developed around Pharsalus, which would be decisive battle that would change Rome’s future. Hadrian is considered to be one of the "five good emperors" - Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

138 – Thursday- Little soul, wandering , gentle guest and companion of my body, into what places will you now go, pale, stiff, and naked, no longer sporting as you did……….. Emperor Hadrian went kaput after a heart failure at Baiae, he was buried at Rome in the Tomb of Hadrian beside his late wife, Vibia Sabina but not his “partner”,the Greek youth Antinous. Hadrian built the eponymously named city, Hadrianopolis and his famous wall across the north of England to keep out the wild Picts and Scots. As Emperor, Hadrian spent most of his time travelling and inspecting his empire. He also gave orders for the rebuilding of Carthage.

988 – Thursday When I die Dublin will be written in my heart. …..James Joyce……….The Norse King Glun Iarainn recognized, but could not pronounce, Máel Sechnaill II,as  High King of Ireland, and agreed to pay taxes and accept Brehon Law  which  is the usual term for Irish native law, as administered in Ireland until almost the middle of the seventeenth century. It derives its name from the Irish word Breitheamh (genitive Breitheamhan, pronounced Brehoon or Brehon) which means a judge. Glun Iarainn’s recognition is considered to be the founding of the city of Dublin, a town founded on the south bank of the river Liffey in 841. It was called Dubh Linn, which means black pool.

1452 – Saturday Happy Birthday, King James III of Scotland. None of the Jameses 1-5 were particularly successful monarchs. James I ran afoul of the Scottish nobles and was slewn.  James III was 8 years old when he became king on the death of his father who had managed to blow himself up with a cannon. The bisexual, to be kind, James was kaputed June 11, 1488, at Milltown near Bannockburn, at athe age of 36 when he faced an army raised by the disaffected nobles, and many former councillors all fed up with his  lack of testosterone, and favoritism to fayagala friends, at the Battle of Sauchieburn, and was defeated and killed. James IV was killed at  age 25 at Flodden after hopelessly mismanaging the battle and James V, father of Mary Queen of Scots, died at age 29 shortly after the devastating defeat at Solway Moss.

1460 – Tuesday  The Earl of Warwick shall not come to the King's presence and if he comes he shall die. ……The Duke of Buckingham……..Another thorny moment in the Wars of the Roses as Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, aka “the Kingmaker”,  defeated the king's Lancastrian forces and took the addled King Henry VI prisoner in the Battle of Northampton.  It was Kind of a Drag that Buckingham was slewn while defending the King as Warwick attacked.

1499 – Monday- Getting on a plane, I told the ticket lady, "Send one of my bags to New York, send one to Los Angeles, and send one to Miami." She said, "We can't do that!" I told her, "You did it last week!" …….Henny Youngman………..Portuguese explorer Nicolau Coelho returned to Lisbon with lots of t-shirts, mugs, refrigerator magnets, little Taj Mahal models, and pictures of Bollywood actresses in lingerie, after discovering the sea route to India as a companion of Vasco da Gama. As the first of da Gama’s fleet to return, King Manuel I of Portugal bestowed on Coelho a pension of 50,000 reis per year, 30,000 in interest for his lands and his descendants, new Coat of Arms, and a condo overlooking the se.

1509 –Saturday  Q. Why did John Calvin teach predestination? A. He had to. ………..Happy Birthday, John Calvin, fun loving French religious reformer who had a very long beard.  Calvin is  generally regarded as second in importance only to Martin Luther as a key figure in the Protestant Reformation.  We’ll rank Ulrich Zwingi number three. Calvin is famous for his uncompromising theological and moral positions and for instituting a harsh, repressive theocratic government in Geneva. Trained in law and never a priest, he nevertheless compiled one of the most systematic Protestant theological systems.

1553 –  Monday When your mother sends back all your invitations
And your father to your sister he explains
That you're tired of yourself and all of your creations
Won't you come see me, Queen Jane ?
Won't you come see me, Queen Jane ?...............
Bob Dylan………….Lady Jane Grey assumed the throne of England. Lasting nine days, her reign fell just short of Queen Victoria’s reign of 67 years……….To be fair, She most likely never really wanted to be Queen, but it was not something that was under her control. Her ambitious parents (Frances Brandon and Henry Grey), along with John Dudley, father of her husband, Guilford Dudley, sought to keep a Protestant monarch on the throne if Edward VI, the tuberculer son of Henry VIII,  was to go kaput without an heir of his body and to have that monarch under their thumbs. The best way to do that was to make their own children King and Queen so when Edward yielded to the inevitable and went kaput, Jane was proclaimed Queen of England. However, Mary, who was the rightful heir to the throne according to Henry VIII's will, was gathering support and she and her followers rode into London nine days later and imprisoned Jane and her supporters. Mary was the next Queen of England and Jane was beheaded in February 1554.

1584 – Tuesday William I of Orange, aka William the Silent,  was deftly assassinated in his home in Delft, Holland by Balthasar Gérard. William of Orange had became an iconic figure and Protestant champion against Phillip II of  Catholic Spain.  After Philip II declared William an outlaw and promised a reward of 25,000 crowns for his assassination, Gérard decided to travel to the Netherlands to silence William. Gérard made an appointment with William of Orange in his home in Delft and just after William was finished having dinner with his guest Rombertus van Uylenburgh, Gérard shot William in the chest at close range. He was captured and according to John Motley in The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Gérard was tortured before his trial on 13 July, where he was sentenced to be brutally — even by the standards of that time — killed. The magistrates decreed that the right hand of Gérard should be burned off with a red-hot iron, that his flesh should be torn from his bones with pincers in six different places, that he should be quartered and disemboweled alive, that his heart should be torn from his bosom and flung in his face, and that, finally, his head should be cut off. Other than that, he was fine.

1682 – Friday  Happy Birthday, Roger Cotes, English mathematician. Cotes edited the second edition of Newton's Principia and also made advances in the theory of logarithms, the integral calculus and in numerical methods, particularly interpolation but he couldn’t balance his checkbook. According to the Fermat’s Last Theorem blog, in one famous episode, he corrected Newton's approximation of the fourth root of 2. Newton had used 13/11 (= 1.181818...). Cotes suggested 44/37 (= 1.189189189) which closer to the actual value (= 1.189207...). This correction, it turned out, came out of an important advance Cotes had made in approximation of irrationals, or as Johann von Neumann said, in mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

1778 – FridayIn Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language. ……Mark Twain………….A major milestone in the American Revolution as Louis XVI of France declared war on Great Britain.  Benjamin Franklin was the chief negotiator. He was popular in Paris and  the American victory at Saratoga in 1777 didn’t hurt either.  Franklin convinced France that an alliance could be a military success and humiliate France's arch-enemy by stripping away most of its empire. This was the first military treaty of the new nation, the U.S. would provide for a defensive alliance to aid France should England attack, and neither France nor the United States would make peace with England until the independence of the United States was recognized.

1789 – Friday Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by
And did I hear you say he was a-meeting you here today
To take you to his mansion in the sky
…..Tanya Tucker……….Explorer Alexander Mackenzie reached the eponymously named, Mackenzie River delta.  Mackenzie was looking for a waterway to the Pacific.  Unknown to him, of course, the Mackenzie is one of the great rivers of the continent and led to the Arctic Ocean. He happily embarked on this river to which he would give his name, as its original course was westward. But gloom set in however, as the direction of the river swung to the north. The only reason he knew he had reached the sea was the tides.

1792 – Tuesday  Happy Birthday, George Mifflin Dallas, American politician, a Senator from Pennsylvania and a vice president of the United States under the great James K. Polk.

1806 – Thursday The reason why the sun never sets on The British Empire is because God doesn't trust the British in the dark. …..Anonymous…………..The Vellore Mutiny became the  first instance of a mutiny by Indian sepoys - Indian soldiers serving under British command in India- against the British East India Company. A more famous one would follow in 1857.  That, like this one, ended badly for the Indians. The sepoys mutineers broke into the Vellore fort and killed or injured 200 British troops, before they were subdued by reinforcements from nearby Arcot.  In all nearly 350 of the rebels were killed, and another 350 injured before the fighting came to an end. The mutiny started because of the clever British commander Sir John Craddock who managed to offend both Hindus and Muslims at the same time with his sepoy dress code in November 1805. Hindus were prohibited from wearing religious marks on their foreheads and Muslims were required to shave their beard and trim their moustache.

1821 –Tuesday  The United States took possession of its recently bought territory of Florida from Spain as seen on State Hunters on HGTV.  It was purchased under the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819.   The closing was delayed by Title lawyer who had to do a title search and then the lawyer for the bank wasn’t sure about the mortgage. At least three times during the process a lawyer would announce “well, we’ll have no closing”.  The U.S was unaware that it would have to pay; title insurance, title search, attorney fees, escrow fees, notary fees, wire fees, courier fees, territorial inspection, recording fees (local fees), credit check, document preparation, appraisal fees, endorsements, and transfer fees (county/city)

1830 Saturday, Work at the same time on sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis... Don't be afraid of putting on color... Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression. ……..Happy Birthday, Camille Pissarro, French painter born in Saint-Thomas, Virgin Islands. Pissarro was a  key figure in the history of Impressionism and one of the most innovative of the Impressionists. He was among the first to divide colors, as seen in his painting Le jardin des Mathurins à Pontoise.  He was also a gifted teacher.  Among his students were Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne, his son Lucien Pissarro, and the American impressionist Mary Cassatt.

1832 –Tuesday, Happy Birthday,  Alvan Graham Clark, born in Fall River, Massachusetts.  American telescope maker and astronomer and son of American telescope maker and astronomer Alvan Clark. Among the telescope lenses made at his direction were mong lenses made under his direction were the 36-in. lens at Lick Observatory, California; and the 40-in. lens at Yerkes Observatory, Wisconsin, which is the largest refracting telescope in the world. He also discovered a number of double stars as well as the companion star of Sirius, aka Sirius B, or "the Pup".

1832 Tuesday The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it. ………..U.S.President Andrew Jackson vetoed a bill that would re-charter the Second Bank of the United States.  In his veto message, he stated that the Bank was "subversive of the rights of the states”. The Second Bank of the United States was created in 1816, and chartered for 20 years. It went into operation in January 1817, and was headquartered in Philadelphia.  Although the Second Bank of the United States was a private concern, it acted to control the currency of the United States. This function brought it into frequent conflict with state and local banks, particularly in the South and West. Andrew Jackson was from Tennessee. He argued on the one hand that no constitutional authority existed for the creation of a federal bank (the old Jeffersonian Republican argument) and on the other that the bank’s issuance of paper money was detrimental to the health of the economy. The bank went kaput in 1836.

1839 – Wednesday You can never buy beer, you just rent it. ……Archie Bunker……….Happy Birthday, Adolphus Busch, brewer born in Mainz-Kastel, Germany.  After emigrating to the United States, he married the daughter of Eberhard Anheuser, who owned a brewery in St. Louis. Surpise! Son in law Adolphus \was soon hired and became the brains of the operation, almost immediately expanding their product's distribution beyond the state of Missouri. Within a few years he was virtually running Anheuser & Company, and in 1879 he became President of the newly rechristened Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association. His brightest idea, after marrying the boss's daughter that is, was the early adoption of pasteurization technology, which allowed huge quantities of beer to be shipped long distances without need for refrigeration. He also changed the name of the company's flagship product from Bohemian Beer to Budweiser in 1891.

1850 – Wednesday Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office-seeking. Men of good character and impulses are betrayed by it into all sorts of meanness …………………….Vice President Millard Fillmore, of New York,  was inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States upon the kapution of  “Old Rough and Ready”, President Zachary Taylor,  just16 months into his term.  The swearing-in was administered by William Cranch, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court in the House Chamber of the United States Capitol. Fillmore ran for president in 1856 but lost to James Buchanan.

  1856- Wednesday  Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ….Nikola Tesla……….On the birthday of Thomas Davenport who created the first electric motor, Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla,  Serbian-American inventor and researcher  who discovered the rotating magnetic field, the basis of most alternating-current machinery  and designed and built the first alternating current induction motor in 1883. He emigrated to the United States in 1884.  In 1891 he invented the Tesla coil, an induction coil widely used in radio technology. In 1900 Tesla made what he regarded as his most important discovery-- terrestrial stationary waves. By this discovery he proved that the Earth could be used as a conductor and would be as responsive as a tuning fork to electrical vibrations of a certain frequency. He also lighted 200 lamps without wires from a distance of 25 miles (40 kilometers) and created man-made lightning, producing flashes measuring 135 feet (41 meters). Later, he formed the rock group Tesla and recorded Signs in 1991, a cover of the original by 1971 hit by Five man Electrical Band.

1866- Tuesday  A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead ….Stan Laurel……….No one has ever been able to erase the first U.S. patent for an indelible pencil as an alternative to the cumbersome and sometimes expensive pens of the era.   The patent  was issued to Edson P Clark of Northampton, Mass. as an "Producing Indelible Writing on Linen and other Fabrics".  Wisegeek informs us that An indelible pencil is a pencil with a type of lead which cannot be erased. Classically, indelible pencils are made with silver nitrate, although other materials may be used as well, and sometimes graphite is mixed into the lead for a familiar look and feel. A closely related pencil, the copying pencil, is a form of indelible pencil with an aniline dye embedded in the lead.

1871 – Monday I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, Shakespeare, Sonnet XXX…………….A la Recherché du Temps Perdu........ Joyeux Anniversaire Marcel Proust, French writer born in Auteuil. Proust was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. His books focused on  the narrator's descriptions of his experiences in the world rather than plot and dramatic action. In 1912 Proust produced the first volume of his seven part major work, Remembrance of Things Past (or also translated as In Search of Lost Time.) The second book, which was delayed by the WW I, appeared in 1919, and the next parts made him internationally famous. The massive work occupied the last decade of his life and is described as a vast social panorama of France in the years just before and during World War I, and an immense meditation on love and jealousy and on art and its relation to reality.

1875- Saturday Happy Birthday, educator, Mary McLeod Bethune, born in Mayesville, South Carolina.  She was the  first African-American woman to be awarded an honorary degree by a southern white college.  Bethune believed that education provided the key to racial advancement and she founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute, Florida in 1904, which became Bethune-Cookman College in1929, home of the Wildcats .  Bethune also served as president of the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools and on the Interracial Council of America. She was a founder and the first president of the National Council of Negro Women in the 1930s and served as an unofficial advisor on African-American issues to presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.

1882- Monday Happy Birthday, Ima Hogg Scientist, Philanthropist, art collector; founded the Houston Symphony but mostly here because it  gives the Gnus an opportunity to mention his large family; Yora Hogg, Heesa Hogg, Sheesa Hogg, Hedge Hogg, Wart hog,............Contributions welcome: syyentz@ptd.net

1890 –Thursday  In the far and mighty West,
Where the crimson sun seeks rest,
There's a growing splendid State that lies above,
On the breast of this great land;
Where the massive Rockies stand,
There's Wyoming young and strong, the State I love!
Wyoming, Wyoming! Land of the sunlight clear!
Wyoming, Wyoming! Land that we hold so dear!
Wyoming, Wyoming! Precious art thou and thine!
Wyoming, Wyoming! Beloved State of mine …..
Written by C.E. Winter
Composed by G.E. Knapp …………….Wyoming was admitted as the 44th U.S. state.  The U.S. acquired the land comprising Wyoming from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  Western Wyoming was obtained by the U.S. in the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Great Britain and as a result of the treaty ending the Mexican War in 1848. When the Wyoming Territory was organized in 1869, Wyoming women (both of them) became the first in the nation to obtain the right to vote. Wyoming’s state symbols include; flower -Indian paintbrush, tree-cottonwood, bird- western meadowlark dinosaur- Triceratops, fish-cutthroat trout, fossil- Knightia, gemstone-jade, insignia-bucking horse mammal- bison, reptile- horned toad, soil- Forkwood series and the unofficial song is Wyoming.

1897 –Saturday  - Ain't there nobody that can shoot this guy so he don't bounce back?.........Dutch Schultz……….. Happy Birthday, Jack "Legs" Diamond", born Jack Nolan in Philadelphia,  American gangster,bootlegger and close associate of gambler Arnold Rothstein, who probably fixed the 1919 World Series. On December 18, 1931, Diamond, after numerous escapes, was finally kaputed as someone shot him three times in the back of the head after he had passed out at a hideout on Dove Street in Albany, New York after a night party. Diamond went on to fame as one of the favorite gangerster of the gangster movie genre, - The Outfit (1993), Hit the Dutchman (1992),  Mad Dog Coll (1992), Gangster Wars (1982) "The Lawless Years"  - The Jack 'Legs' Diamond Story (1961) TV episode,  - Lucky Silva (1959) TV episode, Portrait of a Mobster (1961) Played by Ray Danton (as 'Legs' Diamond),  "The Untouchables" - Jack 'Legs' Diamond (1960) TV episode, Murder, Inc. (1960) and the seminal, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960) Played by Ray Danton…again.

1902 –Thursday  Happy Birthday, Kurt Alder, Nobel Prize laureate chemist born in Königshütte, Prussia, which is now Chorzów, Poland. Adler shared the prize with his teacher, Otto Diels for their development of diene synthesis, otherwise known as the Diels-Alder reaction. A diene is a hydrocarbon with two double bonds……James Bond and Gary U.S Bonds.  The Diels-Alder reaction converts dienes and alkenes into ring molecules so Adler was also a Lord of the Rings.  The process led to the discovery of cyclohexene, (C6H10 A compound that occurs in coal tar )and it was a major breakthrough in 20th century science, allowing the manufacture of affordable synthetic steroids including cortisone, morphine, and reserpine, insecticides including aldrin and dieldrin, and numerous alkaloids and polymers. 1913 –Thursday Death Valley, California hits 134 °F (~56.7 °C), the highest temperature recorded in the United States.

1917 – Tuesday  Alan: Mr. Wizard
Mr. Wizard: Hi, Alan. Come on in.
Alan: Hi, Mr. Wizard.
Mr. Wizard: Come over here and meet my friend.
Alan: Hi, friend... a cockroach!
Mr. Wizard: Yep.
Alan: What kind of friends do you have?...........
Happy Birthday, Don Herbert, American television host aka, “Mr. Wizard” born in Waconia, Minnesota. Watch Mr. Wizard, one of commercial television's early educational efforts was highly successful in making science exciting and understandable for children and adults.  Herbet  presented replicable scientific laboratory demonstrations and information in an interesting, uncomplicated and entertaining format.  He sold his idea for Mr. Wizard to WNBQ-TV, the Chicago outlet for NBC and the series premiered on  March 3, 1951, with Herbert as the Wizard and Bruce Lindgren as the first of his young assistants. The 30-minute show was targeted at pre-teenagers and initially broadcast on Saturdays from 4:00-4:30 P.M. It would expand nation-wide and run until 1965.  Of course, like Jason in Friday the 13th, it would never go away, reappearing in 1971 and then from1983 – 1990 as Mr. Wizard’s World.

1920-Saturday If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it? ……Stephen Wright…………Happy Birthday, Edmund H. Lowe, American inventor and the inventor of of Kitty Litter. From the ancient Egyptians and probably from the origin of the domestication of cats,  most people used ashes, sand or dirt in their cat boxes or just threw the cats away.  Edward Lowe, whose family owned a chemical absorbents company, came up with an idea based on the use of a family product called Fuller’s Earth, which was an absorbent clay. He suggested that a neighbor try the absorbent clay instead of ashes or sand in her cat box and before you could say “poop”, his neighbor would use nothing but the absorbent clay. In 1964, Lowe created Tidy Cat, which was then sold in grocery stores.

1920 – Saturday  A proton walks into a bar and asks for a glass of water. The bartender asks, "are you sure you don't want beer?" The proton replies, "I'm positive!"…………….. Happy Birthday, Owen Chamberlain, American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate born in San Francisco.  In 1955, his proton scattering experiments with Professor Emilio Segrè Segrè, Dr. Clyde Wiegand, and Dr. Thomas Ypsilantis led to the discovery of the antiproton. According to theory, an antiproton was a mirror image of the proton, a particle found in the nucleus of atoms. The antiproton is a particle exactly like a proton except that it is negatively charged.  The search goes on for the Uncle Proton which is believed to be found at family holiday dinners or weddings.

1921 – Sunday Never in the history of mankind or art has any single piece of art gotten such widespread favor, pleasure, enjoyment, and nothing has ever been so simply done and so easily understood in art. Happy Birthday, Harvey Ball, American inventor of the ubiquitous smiley face born in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1921 – Sunday- I fought Sugar so many times that I'm lucky I didn't get diabetes……………Speaking of smiley faces, Happy Birthday, Jake LaMotta, boxer born Giacobe LaMotta in the Bronx.  A middleweight, LaMotta, known as the Bronx Bull, was the first boxer to defeat the great Sugar Ray Robinson. Unfortunately, he also lost to Robinson five times including the knockout in the 13th round in 1951.  LaMotta had suffered a ferocious beating but hung onto the ropes while being counted out so he could say he wasn’t knocked down. La Motta had won the world middleweight championship in 1949 when champion Marcel Cerdan of France couldn't answer the bell for the 10th round. A rematch was scheduled for later that year, but Cerdan was killed in a plane crash en route to begin training in the United States. After his retirement, LaMotta co-authored an autobiography, Raging Bull, which was adapted as a very successful 1981 movie starring Robert DeNiro,

1921 –Sunday  I can't believe the news today
Oh, I can't close my eyes and make it go away
How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long? How long?
'Cause tonight we can be as one, tonight
Broken bottles under children's feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end streets
But I won't heed the battle call
It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
……….U2………….On Belfast's Bloody Sunday 16 people were killed and 161 houses destroyed during rioting and gun battles in Northern Ireland.  There were actually four Bloody Sundays during the 20th century – 1913 - Dublin, 1920- Dublin, 1921- Dublin, and 1972- Derry.  This Bloody Sunday took place just a day before a truce between the IRA and the British was put into effect. Loyalists,(Protestants) angry about a prior ambush and  fearful of “sellout” in the truce, attacked the Catholic enclaves. According to The Irish Story website, Rival Catholic and Protestant mobs exchanged stones and petrol bombs. Eleven Catholics were killed and one hundred fifty Catholic houses destroyed.

1925- Friday I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. …………….Will Rogers…………….The "Scopes monkey trial" began in Dayton, Tennessee and ran for 12 days. A local school teacher, John Scopes, was prosecuted under the state's Butler Act. This law, passed a few months earlier (Mar. 21 1925) prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools. The trial became a platform to challenge the legality of the statute. Local town leaders, eager to participate in the set-up and wishing for the town to benefit from the publicity of the trial had actually recruited Scopes, a general science teacher and part time football coach, to stand trial. In  Douglas O. Linder’s account, A carnival atmosphere pervaded Dayton, Tennessee. Banners decorated the streets. Lemonade stands were set up. Chimpanzees, said to have been brought to town to testify for the prosecution, performed in a side show on Main Street. Anti- Evolution League members sold copies of T. T. Martin's book Hell and the High School. Holy rollers rolled in the surrounding hills and riverbanks.    Nearly a thousand people, 300 of whom were standing, jammed the Rhea County Courthouse on July 10, 1925 for the first day of trial. Judge John T. Raulston, the presiding judge in the Scopes Trial, had proposed moving the trial under a tent that would have seated 20,000 people. It was William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense. Scopes was convicted on July 25  and fined $100. On appeal, the state Supreme Court, after a lunch of bananas and the communal picking of ticks from each other,  upheld the constitutionality of the law but acquitted Scopes on the technicality that he had been fined excessively.

1933- Monday  Thelma: Louise, shoot the radio
Louise: [she fires at the radio]
Thelma: The POLICE radio, Louise! ………………………
The first police radio system began operating in Eastchester Township, NY. The Eastchester Police website informs that, Sergeant Fred Romano operated the first two-way radio system ever installed in a Police Department (although they give the date as May).  Eastchester was the first to install two-way radios in patrol cars operating with a 20-Watt system in place in Headquarters and corresponding 4.5 Volt radios in the cars themselves. Romano was also the first Italian-American to serve the Eastchester Police Department.     

1935- Wednesday In my opinion there is no reason why the aeroplane should not open up a fruitful occupation for women……Harriet Quimby………….. Laura Ingalls (not the Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls)  left Brooklyn, NY on the first nonstop east-west flight by a woman.  She arrived at Burbank, California in 18 hours and 19.5 minutes later and was able to take the Universal Studio Tour and attend a taping of The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno. Ingalls was later convicted of serving as a publicity agent for the Nazi government -- specifically, accepting unknown payments from one Baron Ulrich von Gienanth of the German Embassy and sentenced on February 20, 1942, to between eight months and two years in prison.

1936 –Friday – The premiere of The Devil-Doll a cultural cinematic high water mark in which an escaped Devil's Island convict uses miniaturized humans to take revenge on those that framed him.  The film starred Lionel Barrymore in a dual role as Paul Lavond / Madame Mandilip and Maureen O’Sullivan (from the Tarzan movies).

1938 – Sunday We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor? ….Peter Graves……….Airplane…………Howard Hughes, in pre loon days, set a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world in search of his wallet, which he left at home. On this day, Hughes and crew departed Floyd Bennett Field, Long Island New York and flew round-the-world in a Lockheed 14 Lodestar Monoplane with the primary sponsoring of the New York World's Fair for which Hughes was an aeronautical advisor.  On July 14, the Hughester and his four-man crew returned to New York after circling the globe covering 14,672 miles in three days, nineteen hours, fourteen minutes and ten seconds during which the baggage was lost and sent to Montivideo and the only movie they could watch on board was Ishtar.  They were treated to a special Mayorial reception and ticker-tape parade in New York City.

1940 – Wednesday-  After a dinner of vichyssoise (thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock )The Vichy government was established in France. It was a puppet government set up by the Nazis.in unoccupied France after the country just rolled over in a defeat by the Germans in June 1940.  The government was  named after the spa town of Vichy, France, where the national assembly was based under Prime Minister (former Marshal) Philippe Pétain until the liberation in 1944. Vichy France was that part of France not occupied by German troops until November 1942. The Vichy regime cooperated with the Germans and imprisoned some 135,000 people, interned another 70,000, deported some 76,000 Jews, and sent 650,000 French workers to Germany.

1941 – Thursday  In the Jedwabne Pogrom, Polish citizens, not the German SS, massacred 1600 Polish Jews living in and near the village of Jedwabne in Poland.

1946 –Wednesday  The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation…………Vladimir Lenin………. Hungarian hyperinflation (Inflation is a sustained increase in the aggregate price level. Hyperinflation is, yes,  very high inflation.) set a record with inflation of 348.46 percent per day, or prices doubling every eleven hours. Before 1920, the highest denomination was 10,000 Korona. By 1923, it was 1,000,000 Korona. In the 1925 currency reform, 1 Pengo was exchanged for 12,500 Korona.  Follow the bouncing Korona now…….. as  according to Tom Chao’s Paper Money Gallery, before 1945, the highest denomination was 1,000 Pengo. By mid-1946, the highest denomination in circulation was 100 Million B-Pengo (100,000,000,000,000,000,000 Pengo).  Adopengo (tax pengo) was introduced between January and July 1946. Initially, it was used for tax and postal payments, but later was also used concurrent with Pengo for general circulation. The value of the adopengo was adjusted each day, by radio announcement. On January 1, 1946 one adopengo equaled one pengo. By late July, one adopengo equaled 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Pengo. The highest denomination issued was 100,000,000 Adopengo.  In the mid-1946 currency reform, 1 Forint was exchanged for 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Pengo.

1947 – Thursday You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
Walk right in it's around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant Happy Birthday, folk singer Arlo Guthrie in Brooklyn, New York; the son of legendary folk artist 
Woody Guthrie.  His masterpiece was the 1967,  album Alice's Restaurant, which included an 18-minute-long title track that served as a vocal protest
against the Vietnam War. A lot of people think 'Alice's Restaurant' was an anti-war song. It's not. It's an anti-idiot song….Arlo Guthrie.
The editorial board of the Gnus always enjoyed his……..
I don't want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I don't want a tickle
'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don't want to die
Just want to ride on my motorcy...cle

1950- Monday Be happy, go Lucky,
Be happy, go Lucky Strike
Be happy, go Lucky,
Go Lucky Strike today!...................
Sponsored by American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes, the popular radio popular music countdown, Your Hit Parade, made its debut on NBC TV. The format involved the seven top-rated songs of the week presented in elaborate production numbers requiring constant set and costume changes. Unfortunately, because the top songs sometimes stayed on the charts for many weeks, it was necessary to continually find ways of devising a new and different production number of the same song week after week. Everyone got really tired of Shrimp Boats Is a Comin’.  The original singers were; Gisele MacKenzie, Eileen Wilson, Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, and Russell Arms……………….So long for a while.
    That's all the songs for a while.
    So long to Your Hit Parade,
    And the songs that you picked to be played.
    So long!

1959-  Friday One of the most popular Fifties "rock and roll movies," Alan Freed's Go, Johnny, Go! Opened nationwide, featuring Chuck Berry, who performed Johnny Be Good,  Memphis, Tennessee, and Little Queenie,  Jackie Wilson, Eddie Cochran, Sandy Stewart, the Cadillacs, Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows, Jimmy Clanton, (as Johnny Melody),  and Ritchie Valens, in an appearance obviously filmed before he went kaput “the day  the music died” on February 3, 1959. Oddly, other than the Chuckster, none of the artists performed any of their signature songs as The Cadillacs did Jay Walker, and Please, Mr. Johnson.,  Harvey Fuqua (who had left the Moonglows) did Don't Be Afraid To Love Me.  Jackie Wilson lip synched You Better Know It, Eddie Cochran did the unfortunately precient, Teenage Heaven and  Ritchie Valens weighed in with Ooh My Head.

1962- Tuesday We should develop anti-satellite weapons because we could not have prevailed without them in `Red Storm Rising'……………Dan Quayle………………Telstar 1, the world's first geosynchronous - A geosynchronous orbit is one with an orbital period (the time needed to orbit once around the Earth) that matches the rotation rate of the Earth -  communications satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to relay TV and telephone signals between the United States and Europe.  The spacecraft operated normally from launch until November 1962, when the command channel began to behave erratically probably because it was briefly tuned into The Real Housewives of Dubuque. The satellite was turned on continuously to circumvent this problem so it now received re-runs of Oprah. On November 23, 1962, the command channel ceased to respond. On December 20, the satellite was successfully reactivated, and intermittent data were obtained until February 21, 1963, when the transmitter failed and Telstar went kaput. Telstar 2, a heavier but basically similar satellite, was launched on May 7, 1963, into a higher orbit (apogee 10,720 km [6,700 miles]). Successors to Telstar were placed in higher circular orbits, permitting them to keep fixed positions in respect to Earth. Three such satellites can provide continuous transmission to practically all points on the globe with only minium

1962-Tuesday  ………………I couldn't stop, so I swerved to the right
I'll never forget the sound that night
The screamin' tires, the bustin' glass
The painful scream that I heard last……………
.J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers…….Last Kiss………..A. patent was issued to Swedish engineer, Nils Bohlen, for the three-point seat-belt. The lap and and shoulder design is what they refer to now with clever billboard phrases like click it or ticket.  Volvo had the first safety belts in 1949 but the first U.S. patent for automobile seat beats was issued to Edward J. Claghorn of New York, New York on February 10, 1885. Bohlen had done an earlier  lap-and-shoulder belt for  Volvo in 1959.

1964- Friday Four days after the world première of A Hard Day's Night in London, the Beatles A Hard Day's Night film has its premiere in their home town of Liverpool. The Beatles were each presented with the keys to the city. Afterwards they drank tea in the Lord Mayor's parlor, while on the council chamber on the ground floor the City Council passed a resolution that confirmed the honor of Freemen of the City on the fab four.

1967 MondayJust dropped in to see what condition my condition was in……Singer Kenny Rogers left the folk group The New Christy Minstrels and, the next day, formed the First Edition, later to become Kenny Rogers and the First Edtion.  The Byrds' Gene Clark, The Association's Larry Ramos and Barry McGuire of  Eve Of Destruction fame were also old New Christy Minstrels.

1976 –Saturday  The Seveso disaster poisoned a large area in  northern  Italy as around midday an explosion occurred in a TCP (2,4,5-trichlorophenol) reactor of the ICMESA chemical plant on the outskirts of Meda, a small town about 20 kilometers north of Milan. A toxic cloud containing TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin)  was accidentally released into the atmosphere. The dioxin cloud contaminated a densely populated area about six kilometers long and one kilometer wide, lying downwind from the site. About 37,000 people are believed to have been exposed to the chemicals and approximately 4 percent of local farm animals died, and those that didn't -- roughly 80,000 animals -- were killed to prevent contamination from filtering up the food chain.  Others mutated into human-like creatures frequently seen on shows like Dancing With the Stars.

1978 –Monday Be a helper for God, and censure what is forbidden,
And turn with the law which, which He wants you to follow,
Hold no one to be useful or harmful, except for Him,
And walk the path of the chosen one, and die while you are on it!
For what was sufficient for the first of us, is sufficient for the last one, too.
And leave those people who do evil things with respect to God.
They misrepresented him by making him similar, and made all kinds of excuses.
They made bold claims, and blackened notebooks…
..Mauritania National Anthem……President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania was ousted in a bloodless coup d'état. If you’re keeping score it’s; Mustafa Ould Salek, March 20, 1979 to  April 6, 1979, Mustafa Ould Salek, (again) Head of State and Chairman of the Military Committee for National Recovery  April 6, 1979 to  June 3, 1979,  Mustafa Ould Salek, again, Head of State and Chairman of the Military Committee for National Salvation  June 3, 1979 to  January 4,1980 , Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly, Head of State and Chairman of the Military Committee for National Salvation  January 4, 1980 to December 12 , 1984, Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla, Head of State and Chairman of the Military Committee for National Salvation, December  12,  1984 to  April 18, 1992, Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, Head of State and Chairman of the Military Committee for National Salvation, April 18,1992 to  August 3, 2005, Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, again, President  August 3, 2005 to April 19, 2007, then (breaking the streak of guys who’s names start with “M”), Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, Chairman of the Military Council for Justice and Democracy , April 19, 2007 to  August 6, 2008, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, President, August 6, 2008 to April 15 , 2009,            Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the High Council of State , April 15, 2009 to August  5, 2009, Ba Mamadou Mbaré, Acting President, August 5 2009 to ? And, with more to come as they returned to “m” guys, with Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President.

1980 – Thursday- Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I can't see no reason to put up a fight
I'm living for givin' the devil his due
And I'm burnin', I'm burnin', I'm burnin' for you
I'm burnin', I'm burnin', I'm burnin' for you
………….Blue Oyster Cult……..Alexandra Palace in London burned down for a second time as during Capital Radio's Jazz Festival, a  fire started under the organ, obviously a hot jazz number,  and quickly spread. It destroyed half the building.  The first fire occurred in 1944 when a German B-1 exploded near, yes, the organ.  The website tells us that The People’s Palace is yours to enjoy, the 7 acre Palace is surrounded by 196 acres of beautiful parkland, and grounds that boast a pub & restaurant, ice rink, boating lake, pitch & putt course, 1,500 free parking spaces and much, much more. Use our interactive map to find everything you are looking for and ensure you always enjoy your Ally Pally (yes, they said ally pally) experience. The highly flammable palace originally opened in 1873 as North London’s answer to the Crystal Palace in South London.

1985 – Wednesday- In no way is France involved. The French Government doesn't deal with its opponents in such ways. ……French Embassy……….. On the basis of the information available to me at this time, I do not believe there was any French responsibility ………….French Board of Inquiry……….The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk in Auckland, New Zealand harbor by French DGSE agents, killing photographer, Fernando Pereira. The Rainbow Warrior had been docked in the harbor for three days while preparing for a protest voyage to the French nuclear test site at Moruroa Atoll. Two French agents were arrested by the New Zealand Police on passport fraud and immigration charges. They were charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, willful damage, and murder. As part of a plea bargain, they pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to ten years, of which they served just over two.The scandal resulted in the resignation of the French Defence Minister Charles Hernu.

1997-  Thursday  I bet when neanderthal kids would make a snowman, someone would always end up saying, 'Don't forget the thick, heavy brows.' Then they would get all embarrassed because they remembered they had the big husky brows too, and they'd get mad and eat the snowman……………Jack Handy…………… Scientists in London said  that DNA from a Neanderthal skeleton discovered 2 years previously, supported a theory that all humanity descended from an "African Eve" 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.  But also, DNA extracted from the bones of the Neanderthal man indicated that Neanderthal man did not contribute to the DNA make-up of modern man. While Neanderthal man is classified by paleo-anthropologists as human, DNA analysis indicated that Neanderthal men never directly contributed to the DNA profile of modern man, and this same DNA evidence also strongly suggests that Neanderthal man never even interbred with modern man, not even a date, not even texting.  In other words, Neanderthal man contributed nothing to the "gene pool" of modern man. Curiously, according to Bill Bryson in The Mother Tongue, Neanderthals could not choke to death.  They did not have a larynx, hence they could not speak other than uttering guttural sounds.  Cro-Magnon man, appearing several thousand years later DID have a larynx and was probably the first in the evolutionary chain to be able to speak......not to mention being able to choke to death.

2000 – Monday He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters………..Daniel Dafoe………. A leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline explodeed, killing about 250 villagers who were scavenging escaping gasoline from the pipeline. Just six days later, at least 100 villagers died when a ruptured pipeline exploded in Warri. As of 2008 there had been nine pipeline explosions in Nigeria.

2000 – Monday EADS, the world's second-largest aerospace group was formed by the merger of Aérospatiale-Matra, DASA (DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) , and CASA (Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA- of Spain).  EADSM the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) is a global pan-European aerospace and defense corporation that includes Airbus, Airbus Military, Eurocopter, Astrium, Cassidian, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Intimo Underwear, and the Barry Manilow International Fan Club. Boeing was the number one aerospace group but was passed by EADS in 2008.

2002 –Wednesday  Someday, everything is gonna be diff’rent
When I paint my masterpiece
……….Bob Dylan………..At a Sotheby's auction, Flemish artist, Peter Paul Rubens' painting The Massacre of the Innocents was sold for £49.5million (US$76.2 million) to Canadian newspaper mogul, Kenneth Thomson who was going for Baroque.  Rubens' paintings often depicted religious and mythical heroes in realistic and exuberant poses, but he is equally valued for his landscapes and portraits. The work shows the massacre ordered by King Herod. He had been told by the Three Wise Men that a King of the Jews had been born, and decided to prevent him from becoming a rival. Ironically, this painting by Rubens was erroneously attributed to one of his assistants in 1787. It wasn't until 2001 that an expert judged it to be a true Rubens.  One reason for the enormous popularity of the painting is the use of Chiaroscuro, a great contrast between light and dark color.

2005 – Sunday ………….. Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining
I can't avoid the lightning
Oh, where did the blue skies go?
And why is it raining so?
………….Travis…………Hurricane Dennis smashed into the Florida Panhandle, causing billions of dollars in damage. 2005 was a bad year for hurricanes and a worse year for FEMA ( Heckuva job Brownie…..G.W Bush  ).  Several records were set including a record 28 tropical and subtropical storms of which  fifteen became hurricanes. Of  the fifteen, seven strengthened into major hurricanes, including a  record-tying five which became Category 4 hurricanes – winds
131-155 mph, and a record four reached Category 5 strength - 155 mph+. Among these Category 5 storms was Hurricane Wilma, the most intense hurricane (882 millibars ) ever recorded in the Atlantic. The most notable storms of the season were the five Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes were the above named Dennis, Emily, the notorious Katrina during which the city of New Orleans distinguished itself for stupidity and bad behavior, the “jeez, we’ve had enough already”, Rita, and “thank goodness it’s going to Mexico and not here” , Wilma.

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      472 – Monday  Rome continued its descent into a empirectile dysfunction and emperorectomies became more and more frequent, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius was captured in the Old St. Peter's Basilica, after trying to escape disguised as a begger and rendered kaput via decapitation after being besieged in Rome by one of his own generals, Ricimer. Ricimer was  the son of a Visigothic princess and a Germanic chieftain, and was was barred from the imperial throne as a barbarian so, instead,  became a kingmaker in the empire.

911 – Monday Signing of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between Charles the Simple and Rollo of Normandy. Speaking of Charles the Simple, the French liked nicknames for their Charleses as we see with: Charlemagne - the Blessed, the Butcher of the Saxons, the Sleeper, the Sleeping King
Charles I, Duke of Burgundy - the Terrible
Charles I, Duke of Burgundy - the Occidental Turk
Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orléans the Unfortunate Prince
Charles I, Duke of Burgundy the Bold
Charles II of Alençon the Generous
Charles II of Navarre the Bad
Charles III of France the Drunkard, the Simple
Charles III of Navarre the Noble
Charles III, Duke of Bourbon the Constable, le Connétable de Bourbon
Charles IV of France the Fair
Charles V of France the Solomon of France
Charles VI of France the Mad Prince
Charles VII of France le Trésvictorieux, the Dauphin, the King of Bourges, the Mark        Tapley of Kings, the Victorious, the Well-Served
Charles VIII the Affable
Charles X of France the First Gentleman of Europe
Charles of Valois the Landless
Charles, duc d'Orléans the Poet
Charles the Bald
Charles the Child
Charles the Fat
Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine Cardinal de Guise
Charles Lucien Bonaparte the Father of American Descriptive Ornithology –we threw him in to see if you were paying attention.
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord the Father of the Constitutional Church, the Prince of Diplomats
Charles Martel the Hammer
And Charles Martel of Anjou the Hammer
Charles the Simple, realized that the Vikings, who had invaded in 800, would not go away quietly, plus he was sick of them singing “spam spam spam” in chorus everytimehe ordered spam in a restaurant, so he ceded Rouen and the east of the region, making their leader Rollo the first duke of Normandy.

1274 – Wednesday We fight not for glory, nor for wealth, nor honour but only and alone we fight for freedom which no good man surrenders but with his life……….       Co` latha breith sona dhuibh, Robert the Bruce, brother of Lenny the Bruce, King of Scotland . Scotland’s greatest king, had a few setbacks before becoming Scotland’s greatest king. Bruce supported William Wallace's uprising against the English. But, after Wallace was defeated, Bruce's lands were not confiscated and in 1298, Bruce became a guardian of Scotland, with John Comyn, Bruce's greatest rival for the Scottish throne In 1306, Bruce argufied with Comyn and stabbed him in a church in Dumfries rendering him kaput He was outlawed by Edward I, excommunicated by the pope, sent to bed without his dinner, had to write “I will not stab my chief rival” 500 times and forced to watch The View for 72 consecutive hours.  Bruce now proclaimed his right to the throne and on March 27 was crowned king at Scone. But, not so fast.  The following year, Bruce was deposed by Edward's army and forced to flee. His wife and daughters were imprisoned and three of his brothers executed. Robert spent the winter on the island off the coast of Antrim at Raithlin Island (you can see it from the Giant’s Causeway).  While on the island, he spun his spider story;  he saw a spider trying to spin a web between two beams of his hut. The arachnid tried to throw a thread from one beam to another, but failed. Not discouraged, it tried four times more without success. "Five times has the spider failed," said Bruce. "That is just the number of times the English have defeated me. If the spider has courage to try again, I also will try to free Scotland!" and before you could s say “Charlotte’s Web”, Bruce returned to Scotland and waged a highly successful guerrilla war against the English. At the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314, he defeated a much larger English army under the testeronically challenged, Edward II, confirming the re-establishment of an independent Scottish monarchy.

1302 –Tuesday Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion………….. Norman Schwartzkopf……………In the  Battle of the Golden Spurs but not silver threads and golden needles, which are required to mend this heart of mine, (Guldensporenslag in Dutch) – a coalition around the Flemish cities (Belgium) defeated  King Philip IV  of France's royal army. The victory of infantryman over a mounted forces of knights was a shock to the current military tactics of that period. The spurs taken from the fallen French knights formed so huge a trophy that they gave the battle its name.

1533 – Tuesday Marriage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Let me tell you, honestly. Marriage is probably the chief cause of divorce……. Larry Gelbart……………..Henry VIII, who divorced wife number 1, Catherine of Aragon and became head of the Church of England, was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Clement VII. Following the kapution of Thomas More, who would not approve the divorce, Henry’s chosen successor for More as Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, shockingly pronounced Henry's former marriage invalid. On  May 28, he declared the marriage with Anne valid. On  June , Anne was crowned, and on September 7, she gave birth to a daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth. Clement, who had previously sent to Henry more than one warning upon his desertion of Catherine, issued the Bull of excommunication on  this day declaring, also, his divorce and remarriage null.

1576 –Sunday   knowing that the Sea at length must néedes have an endyng, and that some lande shoulde have a beginning that way…….. Martin Frobisher sighted Greenland. The world's largest island, Greenland is about 81% ice-capped. Vikings reached the island in the 10th century from Iceland.  The Norse colony never numbered more than 5,000 people.   Eric the Red of Iceland settled there (983). Eric gave the island its name possibly to make it seem attractive to future settlers. Frobisher was an English privateer (a pirate licensed by the British government thus making him legal), navigator, explorer, and naval officer.   Surprise! Frobisher sailed to northeastern North America to search for a Northwest Passage.  He explored Greenland but ice and fog along the coast prevented a landing.

1628 – Tuesday Otanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu,  Tokugawa Mitsukuni, aka Mito Komon,  Japanese, feudal warlord who began the compilation of the Dai Nihon shi (“History of Great Japan”),which was a  comprehensive rewriting of Japanese history modelled after the great Chinese dynastic histories

1657 – Wednesday Alles Gute zum Geburtstag,  King Frederick I of Prussia – not to be confused with Frederick I Barbarossa. Fred was the  first king of Prussia, 1701–13 and also served as elector of Brandenburg from1688–1713 but in Brandenburg he was known as as Frederick III.  And how was he promoted from Elector to King?  It was through a renewed alliance with Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I prior to the War of the Spanish Succession, Frederick obtained the emperor's approval for the elevation of Prussia, and its mall in Pennsylvania, to a kingdom and on Jan. 18, 1701, Frederick crowned himself at Königsberg and also in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The largest shopping mall in the United States in terms of leasable retail space, the King of Prussia Mall, is located here. There have been quite a few Fredericks in German and Prussian history:  Frederick I Barbarossa
Frederick II
Frederick II
Frederick the Fair
Frederick III
and in Prussia:
Frederick William I
Frederick II
Frederick William II
Frederick William III
Frederick William IV
Frederick III

And Frederick’s of Hollywood

1709 – Thursday Grattis pŒ fšdelsedagen, Johan Gottschalk Wallerius, Swedish chemist  who introduced the distinction between "pure" and "applied" chemistry. This distinction asserted the dignity of pure chemistry while transforming the chronological priority of chemical arts into a logical dependence upon "pure" knowledge. Applied chemistry is when you use known knowledge to perform some task for someone. Pure chemistry is when you do something to advance the knowledge base. Chemistry could thus be perceived as a legitimate academic discipline in university curricula and highly valued for its usefulness in various applications. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…………….Groucho Marx

1735 – Monday Mathematical calculations suggest that it is on this day that now demoted to dwarf planet, former planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979. The dwarfly former planet moves closer to the sun than Neptune for tweny years due to its elliptical orbit. The 1979 dosey doe also lasted for, yes,  twenty years. It will remain in that ninth planet position for 228 years before crossing inside Neptune's orbit again. A year for Pluto — one revolution around the Sun — is equivalent to 248 Earth years.

1754 – Thursday I acknowledge Shakespeare to be the world's greatest dramatic poet, but regret that no parent could place the uncorrected book in the hands of his daughter, and therefore I have prepared the Family Shakespeare………………. Happy Birthday, Thomas Bowdler, English physician, censor and editor of The Family Shakespeare. Bowdler took it upon himself to clean up Shakespeare for sensitive 19th century minds. He joined the English language as a transitive verb, "bowderlize"  which was invented in 1836 carrying a pejorative sense, meaning to edit out offensive content prudishly.

1767 – SaturdayNEPOTISM, n. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party. ………….Ambrose Bierce………….Happy Birthday, John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States and until the Bushes, the only son of a President to be elected President. Quincy Adams barely defeated Andrew Jackson in 1824 in an election decided in the House of Representatives, and would lose the election to Jackson in 1828. Adams became the only President elected to the US House in 1830 after serving as president. He served there 17 years. We note that he was an ambassador to Prussia (see 1657 above), and then Secretary of State under James Monroe when he negotiated the Adams-Onis Treaty (acquisition of Florida)  and brought his talents to South Beach.

1776 – Thursday  ……….The poor Cook he caught the fits
And threw away all my grits
And then he took and he ate up all of my corn
Let me go home
Why don't they let me go home
This is the worst trip I've ever been on
So hoist up the John B's sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home, let me go home
Why don't you let me go home…………..
The Beach Boys……… Captain James Cook began his third voyage, as he sailed in a repaired Resolution (along with the smaller, Discovery) looking for  the North West Passage (see Martin Frobisher above 1576) and to return Omai to his home on Huahine in the Society Islands.  The ships left England separately, regrouped at Cape Town, and continued on to Tasmania, New Zealand, and Tahiti. The expedition then sailed north to Christmas Island and the Hawaiian Islands. Cook continued northward and charted the west coast of North America from Northern California as far as the Bering Strait. He returned to Hawaii for the winter, big mistake……he  was rendered kaput in a skirmish with natives on February 14, 1779.

1796 – Monday It was the seediest dive on the wharf. Every reject and cutthroat from Bombay to Calcutta was there. It was worse than Detroit……Ted Striker………Airplane…………….The United States took possession  (list closing issues see july 10 florida) of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty of 1794.  The closing was delayed by Title lawyer who had to do a title search and then the lawyer for the bank wasn’t sure about the mortgage. At least three times during the process a lawyer would announce “well, we’ll have no closing”.  The U.S was unaware that it would have to pay; title insurance, title search, attorney fees, escrow fees, notary fees, wire fees, courier fees, territorial inspection, recording fees (local fees), credit check, document preparation, appraisal fees, endorsements, and transfer fees (county/city).  After seeing the state of the city in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the U.S wanted to give it back but Britain wouldn’t take it….who would? 

1801 – Saturday    Calpurnia:    When beggars die there are no comets seen;    The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.    Julius Caesar (II, ii, 30-31) ……French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons, aka Her Majesty’s Astronomer Royal, Director of the Astroscopic Department Of the Observatory and Emeritus Professor of the Royal Lyceum, (Her Majesty was Maria Louisa of Bourbon),  made the  first of his 37 comet discoveries. In the next 27 years he discovered another 36 comets, making him the all time champion comet spotter, like Barry Bonds sans steroids,  with Charles Messier, in 2nd place with 11.

1804 – Wednesday …………….You come on with your come-ons, you don't fight fair
That's O.K., see if I care!
Knock me down, it's all in vain
I'll get right back on my feet again!
Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Why Don't You Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
Fire Away!
…….Pat Benatar……………… Vice President Aaron Burr fatally shot Alexander Hamilton during a due in Weehawken, NJHamilton, acting with honor, fired into the ground, Burr, one of the sleaziest characters in American history, fired into Hamilton. Hamilton, a leading Federalist and the chief architect of America's political economy, died the following day. Burr was running for New York Governor and Hamilton campaigned against him thereby helping Morgan Lewis to win. This only created further animosity between the two men who despised each other like Martin and Lewis after the break up. The situation worsened when Hamilton criticized Burr at a dinner party saying, Your mom's so fat she can't even jump to a conclusion, Your mother's so fat, when she goes to a restaurant she looks at the menu and says, "OK" and Yo Mama so stupid, that she tried to put M&M's in alphabetical order. Angry letters were exchanged between the two men with Burr writing, Yo Mama so stupid, she watches "The Three Stooges" and takes notes , Yo momma's so stupid she sold her car for gas money  and Yo Mama so stupid, she spent twenty minutes looking at an orange juice box because it said `concentrate  and then he asked for Hamilton to apologize. When Hamilton would not do so, Burr challenged him to a duel.

1838 – Wednesday, ………… Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half……………Happy Birthday, John WanamakerAmerican department store founder who adopted new technology in his buildings for increased sales.  In 1875, Wanamaker bought the site of the old Pennsylvania RR freight station (without the trains) in Philadelphia he called the Grand Depot. The idea failed to attract other merchants, however, so he opened a series of specialty shops under the same roof, ushering in the idea of the “department store.” Wanamaker was Postmaster General from1889-93  in Benjamin Harrison's cabinet where he instituted a number of changes, including the establishment of rural free delivery and sea post offices, the transformation of stamps into collectors’ items, the creation of a postal telegraph system, and the use of pneumatic tubes to conduct business in department headquarters. After Harrison lost to Grover Cleveland, Wanamaker returned to making money and extended his business into New York City in 1896

1864 – Monday - We didn't take Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like Hell. …Jubal Early. In the Battle of Fort Stevens, Early’s Confederate forces attempted  to invade Washington, D.C. Old Jube, thought he might actually take the city which was defended by Home Guards, clerks, Senator Charles Schumer of New York, Nancy Pelosi, Scranton’s own Joe Biden, Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis in a  tank helmet, and convalescent troops. However during the night, veteran units from the Union VI Corps disembarked from troop transports and marched north through the streets of Washington to bolster the defenses and repulsed Early’s half hearted attempt on the 12th.  Lincoln watched the battle from Ft. Stevens and came under fire from Confederate sharp shooters and comedian Bill Maher.

1882 – Tuesday The British Mediterranean fleet began its Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt as part of the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War.  In response to a massacre of Christians in Alexandria, the British fleet  bashed  Alexandria, followed up by the landing of 25,000 troops at Ismailia. In the Battle of Tel al-Kebir, the British defeated Muslim fanatic Ahmed Urabi’s army. From this point on, Britain retained an army in the country and effectively controlled Egypt, even though it was still technically part of the  Ottoman Empire

1882 – Tuesday Happy Birthday, Jim White, promoter of Carlsbad Cavern.  Water, from oceans to tiny droplets, created and shaped Carlsbad Cavern. The rocks in which the cavern formed are the product of an ancient reef that flourished 250 million years ago during the Permian period.  White, a cowboy, was one of many settlers who mined the cavern for bat guano and discovered the drawings, probably 1,000 years old,  left by Native Americans.  White, who was to continue his cave explorations for most of his lifetime, became its first chief ranger. 

1892- Monday  I had the mortification one fine morning of finding you on my track and in several particulars ahead of me -- but now I think I have shot ahead of you and yet I feel there is almost an infinity of detail to be wrought out in the large application now awaiting development and that your inventive genius as well as my own will find very ample room for exercise in carrying out this gigantic work that awaits execution………….Joseph Swan in a letter to Thomas Edison…………….. Edison schmedison….The U.S. Patent Office decided that Joseph Wilson Swan in England, not Thomas Edison, was the inventor of the electric light carbon for the incandescent lamp. Swan and Edison later set up a joint company to produce the first practical filament lamp. Edison had patented his invention in 1879, a year after Swan had patented the first carbon incandescent lamp in 1878. Unfortunately, it burned out quickly.  Edison’s would burn for up to 40 hours.  The first electric light was made in 1800 by English scientist, Humphry Davy who experimented with electricity and invented an electric battery. When he connected wires to his battery and a piece of carbon, the carbon glowed, producing light

1893 – Tuesday The first cultured pearl was obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto. The pearl preferred Bach to Eminem and tea to mocha latte, decaf, Americain.  Cultured pearls share the same properties as natural pearls. Oysters form cultured pearls in an almost identical fashion. The only difference is a person carefully implants the irritant in the oyster, rather than leaving it to chance. Kokichi Mikimoto  was the first to successfully market cultured pearls. He used a technique developed by William Sawville-Kent  which was brought to Japan by Tatushei Mise and Tokishi Nishikawa and then successfully cultured whole akoya pearls and before you could say, don't cast your pearls before swine  he founded the modern cultured pearl industry.  Good Golly Miss Mollusk! You should know that akoya pearls are cultured in the Pinctada fucata martensii, also known as the akoya oyster

1897 Sunday- Well did he ever return, no he never returned and his fate is still unlearned……Kingston Trio….MTA……………… Salomon August Andrée left  Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North pole by balloon. He later crashed and was rendered kaput. Of course no one knew that had occurred for thirty three years.  In 1930, on White Island, the canvas boat, a sledge, some food, a rusty rifle, clothing, a cookstove, and a camera, still loaded with film and two skeletons were found, still dressed in furs.

1889 – Thursday We started off in san Diego
Tequila drinking with amigos
Then went down to Tijuana
Smoking lots of marijuana
And it’s all good
Stay away from spicy food
Tell Maria when she calls
Tonight we’ll drink some alcohol
……………..33 West………The Tijuana Song…….Tijuana, Mexico,was founded.  The first tourist buses arrived in the early afternoon and the first tequila tastings were about a half hour later. There are different views on the origin of the name for the town. One belief is that it came from an ancient Indian word, "Tiguan", meaning "close to the water." Another view holds that the name came from a ranch, Tia Juana’s (Aunt Jane’s) Ranch, owned by the Allegro Family. In 1848, United States won all of Alta California. The majority of the 1,000 Hispanic families living in Alta California stayed there, though some moved south to remain inside Mexico. But it left the Tijuana area as the international border. Even then is was being overrun with touristas. Urban settlement began in 1889, when descendants of Santiago Argüello and Augustín Olvera entered an agreement to begin developing a city of Tijuana. The date of the agreement was, surprise,  July 11, 1889. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass supplied the music.

 1899 – Tuesday Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it…………. Happy Birthday,  E. B. White, American writer born in Mount Vernon, New York.  White was the author of Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and Trumpet of the Swawn among his seventeen books and numerous New Yorker articles.

1903 –Saturday  Happy Birthday, Rudolf Ivonovich Abel, Russian spy or possibly, Vilyam (Willie) Genrikhovich (August) Fisher in England. He gave the name Rudolf Abel to the FBI as a way of signal to his communist masters that he had been captured. He supervised the gathering of top secret intelligence information from the United Nations and U.S. military installations and managed the transfer of this information to Soviet agents or directly to Moscow. He also oversaw the operations of agents Morris and Leona Cohen. Sentenced to 45 years in prison after he was finally arrested, he was later traded to the Soviet Union for American U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers, two future number one draft choices and a spy to be named later.

1914 – Saturday Nineteen year old lefthanded pitcher George Herman “Babe” Ruth made his major league baseball debut for the Boston Red Sox.  Young Ruth won the game as the Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians but struck out in his first major league at-bat while going 0 for two. Also making his premiere appearance on this day was Chick Davies of the Philadelphia Atheletics but his career was not quite as memorable as Ruth’s.

1916 – Tuesday S dniom razhdjenia Alexander Mikhaylovich Prokhorov, Russian physicist.  Prokhorov worked in microwave spectroscopy, which as everyone knows is the study of the interaction of matter and electromagnetic radiation in the microwave region of the spectrum. This led to the development of the maser in 1955, and later the laser. Basov and Prokhorov, together with the American physicist Charles Townes, received the 1964 Nobel Prize for physics for their development of the maser principle.  MASER stands for Microwave Amplification by Stimulation Emission of Radiation. A LASER is a MASER that works with higher frequency photons in the ultraviolet or visible light spectrum. Photons are bundles of electromagnetic energy commonly thought of as "rays of light" which travel in oscillating waves of various wavelengths. A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five……Groucho Marx

1918 – Thursday Happy Birthday Venetia Burney, namer of the former planet currently demoted to  dwarf planet and Kuiper Belt Object, Pluto. Just after the discover of the planet cum dwarf planet, eleven year old Venetia suggested the name Pluto to her grandfather, in honor of the Roman god of the underworld. Her grandfather forwarded the name to the Lowell Observatory where discoverer Clyde Tombaugh worked  and  before you could say “planetary demotion”, Tombaugh eventually chose it. The name also honors Percival Lowell, in that the first two letters represent his initials.

1920 – Sunday S dniom razhdjenia Yul Brynner, Russian-born actor, old Taras Bulba himself, born on Sakhalin Island. The editorial board of the Gnus favors Brynner’s Magnificent Seven starring turn, although it’s fun to watch Steve McQueen stealing scenes, and Westworld where he reprised his Magnificent Seven role of Chris but this time as a psychopathic robot.  When movie roles dried up, Brynner made a career of playing the King in the King and I.

1921 –Monday Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever U.S. …………….William Howard Taft…………Former President William Howard Taft was sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person to ever be both President and Chief Justice. Taft had been appointed by Warren G. Harding. While not very effective as the president who followed Teddy Roosevelt, he was notably successful in effecting administrative reforms. He was very opinionated and wrote more opinions than any other member of his Court. Taft expedited the hearing of cases, and won congressional authorization to create a conference of senior circuit judges. In addition, Taft was a moving force in the decision to construct the Supreme Court Building

1922 – Tuesday I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic…….Andy Warhol………….. The Hollywood Bowl opened and the public poured in to see "Symphonies Under the Stars" with Alfred Hertz conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic along with Brittney Spears, Cher, Snoop Dog, Barry Manilow, Wayne Newton and Steve & Eydie. Kayte Deioma on about.com informs that although people often think the name Hollywood Bowl refers to the dome-shaped band shell on the stage, it is actually a reference to the natural bowl-shaped area surrounded by the Hollywood Hills formerly known as the Daisy Dell. According to Hollywood Bowl archives, in 1920, Soprano Anna Ruzena Sprotte and composer/pianist Gertrude Ross lugged in a piano to test the acoustics from a platform at the bottom of the hill to figure out how best to situate the stage.

1924 – Friday 'Daddy, is it a wave or a particle?' 'Yes.'
'Daddy, is the electron here or is it there?'
'Daddy, do scientists really know what they are talking about?'
'Yes!' ………
……Banesh Hoffmann……………….Parabens pelo seu aniversario, César Lattes, Brazilian physicist and co-discoverer, with Cecil F. Powell,  of the pion or pi meson in 1947. A pi meson is a meson having a positive or negative charge and a rest mass 273.13 times that of the electron, or no charge and a rest mass 264.14 times that of the electron. And what….is a meson? Yes, you’re right….it’s a subatomic particle that is intermediate in mass between an electron and a proton. The discovery of the pi meson opened a whole new world to investigation. It  became clear that there were particles called muons(…note:.reality show participants have brains the size of a muon) that had not been predicted and  their role in nature was unknown

1927  Monday  It worked the first time, I was exhilarated.... I thought, `Wow, it's working!' But to tell you the truth, I was a little numbed. ... I did not appreciate the gravity of what I had done……………… Happy Birthday, Theodore H. Maiman,  American physicist who built the first working laser - Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation - and has been called the called “the father of the electro-optics industry – see Science Gnus, Who’s Your Dadday…. http://sciencegnus.com/Who%27s%20Your%20Daddy.html...... The media reacted to Maiman’s invention with its usual understated, cogent, informative analysis, "L.A. Man Invents Death Ray," screamed the papers. Lasers use an energy source such as a powerful light beam to stimulate the atoms in a medium – in the case of Maiman's laser, a synthetic ruby. Maiman put reflective silver on each end of the ruby tube, so that the light beam bounced back and forth, gaining intensity, until a single pulse of highly concentrated light was emitted. Strangely, he never won the Nobel Prize, (he was nominated twice) however Maiman was honored with many other awards, including the Japan Prize in 1987, the Wolf Prize in Physics from Israel's Wolf Foundation, and the Buckley Solid State Physics Prize from the American Physical Society.

1931 – Saturday Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Mmm, mm, mm, mm, mm-mm, mm-mm.
Little, bitty, pretty one,
Come on and talk-a to me.
Lovey, dovey, lovey one,
Come sit down on-a my knee.
Ohh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.
Ohh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.
Ohh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh, oh-oh.
Ohh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
…..Little Bitty Pretty One………Happy Birthday, Thurston Harris, American singer who covered Bobby Day (Rockin’ Robin) and the Satellites song and made it a hit. The editorial board of the Gnus believed the Marlowian lyrics of the song warrent Thurston's inclusion in the Gnus

1936 – Saturday Cross over the bridge, cross over the bridge
Change your reckless way of livin', cross over the bridge
Leave your fickle past behind you,
And true romance will find you,
Brother, cross over the bridge……………
Patti Page………… The Triborough Bridge in New York City what opened to traffic. Quick, which three boroughs does the Triborough Bridge  connect?  Good, you were correct….The Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan. Now called the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge by politicians, tourists and recently arrived pseudo sophisticated yokels, the Triborough Bridge is not simply a single span, but rather a complex comprised of three long-span bridges, a number of smaller bridges and viaducts, fourteen miles of approach highways and parkway. Work had originally begun on October 25, 1929, the day after the Stock Market Collapse. Funding disappeared quicker than you could say Stimulus.  Work on the bride was, typically for New York,  at a standstill through 1932, when New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses persuaded Governor Al Smith to resume its construction.  In 1933, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia appointed Moses as the chairman of the Triborough Bridge Authority. President Franklin D. Roosevelt granted the new authority a $37 million loan, making the bridge the first project in New York City to earn approval from the new Federal-level Public Works Administration (PWA).

1943– Sunday I woke up this morning and couldn't find my socks, so I called information. She said they were behind the couch. She was right………..Steven Wright…… Happy Birthday, Howard Gardner, American Psychologist born in Scranton, Pa.  Author of Frames of Mind (1983), Gardner is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that there exists but a single human intelligence that can be assessed by standard psychometric instruments such as violins, bassoons, and kazoos.  It suggested that the original notion of intelligence based on an I.Q. test was far too limited. Gardner came up with 8 different intelligences, actually he came up with 7 but then resurfaced after a few years to come up with and 8th which helped book sales, to account for the broader range of intelligence in people. The intelligences are: Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence,  Logical-Mathematical Intelligence,   Visual-Spatial Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, Musical Intelligence,  Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, and lastly,   Naturalist Intelligence which was added in 1997.  To be completely inclusive, the editorial board of the Gnus suggests adding the following intelligences: Texting in Class Intelligence, Failure to Complete Work Intelligence,  Sleeping In Class Intelligence, Disrupting Education of Fellow Students Intelligence, Plagiarism Intelligence, Defending Your Child’s Plagiarism, Disruptive Behavior, Failure to Complete Work Intelligence, Blaming the Teacher Intelligence, and Lack of Parental Responsiblility and Control Intelligence, and Blaming Everyone But Yourself for Your Failures Intelligence. 

1960 – Monday When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow...,Harper Lee…………..To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published. The book received highly favorable reviews and quickly climbed the bestseller lists, where it remained for eighty-eight weeks. In 1961, the novel won the Pulitzer Prize. Sequels included To Kill a Cockatoo, To Kill an Emu, To Kill a Black-throated Gray Warbler, To Kill a New Zealand Brown Creeper, and Harper Lee’s The Boo Radley Chronicles by Eric Van Lustbader. To Kill a Mockingbird remains her sole published novel.

1960 Monday You're mine and we
belong together
Yes, we belong together for all eternity
You're mine,
your minerals belong to me-ee
Yes, they belong to only me for all eternity …..
apologies to Robert and Johnny………….Tshombe, Lumumba uhh, Kasavubu….Opening the first of  an encyclopedic number of Congo Crisises, the  State of Katanga,
the county’s richest and mineral laden province seceded from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, nee Belgian Congo. The country had remained together for two whole weeks. 
Dramatis personae included Moise Tshombe, president of secessionist Katanga province, Joseph Kasavubu, president of newly independent central government of Congo, communist puppet, Patrice Lumumba, premier of the above
(and enemy of Kasavubu), the Belgian government and Belgian mercenaries, the United Nations (pushed by the US)…..lots of greedy fingers in the rich pie.

1960  Monday  - (Oop-oop, oop, oop-oop)
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
There's a man in the funny papers we all know
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
He lives 'way back a long time ago
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
He don't eat nothin' but a bear cat stew
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
Well, this cat's name is-a Alley-Oop
(Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)………..
So, as Harper Lee was publishing one of the great novels of the 20th century, the Congo was establishing a template for the model of the unstable African country, The Hollwood Argyles' unleashed Alley Oop on the public enhancing the genre of  novelty songs begun with David Seville’s Witch Doctor and Shep Wooley’s Purple People Eater.  Soon to come were:  They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa - Napoleon XIV,Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah - Allen Sherman, Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer - Elmo & Patsy, Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor - Lonnie Donegan, Mr. Custer - Larry Verneand The Flying Saucer (Pts 1 & 2) - Buchanan & Goodman Actually, the editorial board of the Gnus prefers the Dante and the Evergreens version released around the same time although the ‘Argyles’ version was the bigger hit.

1962 – Wednesday Their outlines were human, semi-human, fractionally human, and not human at all -- the horde was grotesquely heterogeneous……..H.P. Lovecraft…………….. Reanimator………. The first First transatlantic satellite television transmission. The receiver blew up, emitting smoke and making expectorating sounds when Snooki appeared on screen. Actually, it was an image of ATT chairman Frederick R.Kappel sent from Andover, Maine to Pleumeur Bodou, France, via Telstar 1 which could only be used for 18 minutes during each 2.5 hour orbit. Why Andover Maine?  AT&T chose the town to build a ground station because it is surrounded by mountains and is far enough from microwave repeaters to avoid interference. The antenna that beamed the signal was enclosed in a huge bubble, 160 feet (48 meters) high. After the successful transmission on July 11, 1962, President John F. Kennedy released a statement calling it ''an outstanding example of the way in which government and business can cooperate in a most important field of human endeavor.'' Horndog JFK also wondered if he could get a date with Bridget Bardot.

1975-Friday King Richard: A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!
Withdraw, my lord; I'll help you to a horse.
King Richard:

Slave! I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die
…..Richard The Third Act 5, scene 4, 7–10
 Believing at first that they had discovered a field of wooden actors including, Steven Seagal, Ryan O’Neal, Cher, Nicholas Gage, Rory Calhoun, Dale Robertson, Bo Derek, Madonna,  David Caruso, Chuck Norris,all the women stars of Sex in the City,  Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Farrah Fawcett, Keanu Reeves, Sondra Locke, Christopher Atkins, Barbra Streisand, Tom Green, Sharon Stone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paris Hilton, and  Vin Diesel Chinese archeologists announced that it was really the  uncovering of a 3-acre burial mound concealing over 7000 clay statues of warriors and their regalia dating from 221 to 206 BC. The "Terracotta Army" was uncovered near the ancient capital of Xian.
The life-size clay soldiers and horses were buried in pits in battle formation facing east to guard the tomb of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The figures were modeled after the emperor’s real army, and each face is different. The statues of the infantry soldiers range between 5 foot 8 inches and 6 foot 2 inches; the commanders are 6 and half feet tall. The lower half of the kiln-fired ceramic bodies were made of solid terracotta clay, the upper half hollow. The buried wonder was originally found in 1974 in the course of digging a well. 

1976-Sunday  I don’t want no whore in this family…………Frank’s mother, Dolly Sinatra….Frank Sinatra married for the fourth time, this time to Missouri born, Barbara Marx who established the standard for a “Jefferson’s” wife….she kept movin’ on up….Ms Marx,  former wife of the Marx Brothers' Zeppo Marx. Hubby # 1 was an executive with the Miss Universe Pageant, Robert Harrison and paved the way for her to become a Las Vegas showgirls.  That paved the way for marriage to a minor Marx brother, Zeppo now an agent and entrée into the world of bigger stars. 

1978 –Tuesday  In the Los Alfaques Disaster, a truck carrying liquid gas crashed and exploded at a coastal campsite in Tarragona, Spain killing 216 tourists.  Travelling over 40 mph, the truck overturned and ran into the Los Alfaques camping ground south of Tarragona on the east coast of Spain and exploded (what is called ‘a boiling-liquid, expanding-vapour explosion’ –BLEVE to the cognescenti-  resulted.

1979 – Wednesday Catch a falling star an’ put it in your pocket,
Never let it fade away!
Catch a falling star an’ put it in your pocket,
Save it for a rainy day!
……………Perry Como…………..America's first space station, Skylab, went kaput as it  re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and saw the state of contemporary entertainment. The, now unmanned,  space station reentered Earth's atmosphere and shattered into pieces over the Indian Ocean and Australia.  No one was injured although several orange ruffy suffered concussion-like symptoms for two weeks afterward.  NASA had planned to use Skylab with the space shuttle. Plans for an additional Apollo mission to boost Skylab into a higher orbit for later use by the shuttle were postponed since, the always prepared NASA was confident that Skylab would stay in orbit until shuttle flights began in 1978 - 1979. Whoops!  The shuttle was delayed, a shocking occurance rarely seen a a government sponsored program and faster atmospheric decay (not government sponsored) than expected resulted in Skylab crashing to earth and sending the media  into a feeding frenzy over the event, as debris rained over a large swath of Australia. The negative publicity made NASA hyper-sensitive in ensuring that future heavy spacecraft were deorbited in a controlled manner.

1985-Thursday The stitch is lost unless the thread be knotted…..Italian Proverb….Zippers for stitches were announced by Dr. H. Harlan Stone as  the surgeon had used zippers on 28 patients, on whom he thought he might have to re-operate, ( he was unable to locate seven scalpels, three forceps, five retractors and a Cusco's vaginal speculum, after a particularly busy week)  because of internal bleeding following initial operations.  Patients would normally have the incision opened repeatedly so that gauze could be replaced. Stone came up with the idea at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and used it successfully. The zippers usually lasted between five and 14 days, were then replaced with permanent stitches.

1987 – Saturday According to the United Nations, the world population crossed the 5,000,000,000 (5 billion) mark, most of whom are usually on line in front of us.

1991-Thursday One of the longest recoreded total eclipses of the sun, lasting over 7 minutes in some areas, was visible over parts of Hawaii, Mexico, and Central America. Depending on the culture, it was believed that during the eclipse the sun is swallowed by demons, dragons or devilish dogs. …….Pregnant women were coaxed to stay indoors and not to cut vegetables if they wanted healthy babies without congenital anomalies…….Pregnant women (eclipses of the sun are really tough on pregnant women) are also prevented from sewing so that they would not have deformed children (obviously many stage mothers have done a lot of sewing during eclipses)…….People lock themselves indoors to avoid the bad rays of the eclipsed sun….. Some people cleanse themselves in holy rivers during an eclipse…not a bad thing if you’d ever ridden on the D train on a hot summer day.  In comparison, Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart in 1983 lasted 4 minutes and 29 seconds.

2006 Tuesday- Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war…The Koran……..Did you hear about the blonde terrorist who was ordered to blow up a bus? She burned her mouth on the exhaust pipe……..Those fanatical fun loving Islamic terrorists were at it again as  209 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in Mumbai, India.  Seven co-ordinated blasts within 15 minutes ripped through trains on Mumbai's busy commuter system. The bombs were set off in pressure cookers on trains serving the Western line of the Suburban Railway network.

2010 Sunday   ) Breakin' rocks in the ... hot sun
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I needed money, 'cause I ... had none
I Fought the Law and the ... law won
I Fought the Law and the ... law won ……Bobby Fuller Four…………
Colton Harris-Moore, the 19-year-old "Barefoot Bandit," on the run from law enforcement since fleeing a Renton, Washington, halfway house in 2008, was arrested about 2 a.m. on Harbour Island in the Bahamas after a brief, high-speed boat chase.  Shockingly, shortly afterwards a lawyer appeared from under a rock and before you could say “movie deal”, young Harris signed a movie deal with 20th Century Fox worth up to $1.3 million. With a straight face he announced that he would put the money toward the $1.4 million he owed as restitution to victims of his two-year crime spree.

2011 – Monday Find a wheel, and it goes round, round, round,
As it skims along with a happy sound,
As it goes, along the ground, ground, ground,
‘Till it leads you to the one you love!
 ……..Perry Como…..Neptune completed its first orbit since its discovery on September 23, 1846.  English and French astronomers John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier independently calculated where Sir William Herschel’s (discoverer of Uranus)  mystery planet should be in the night sky by purely measuring little 'wobbles' in Uranus' path. Fifty five years after Herschel noticed Uranus' perturbations, the distant planet (too big to be demoted to dwarf planet)  was officially discovered by German astronomer Johann Galle in the location predicted by Couch Adams and Le Verrier. It was named Neptune. Speaking of dwarf planets, Pluto discovered in 1930  will complete its first orbit since discover in 2178.  So, if you were born on Neptune you’d be celebrating your first birthday.  Since we know, you’d like to know……Since July 1846, you’d be 658.8 years old on Mercury, 268.5 on Venus, 164 on Earth, 87.8 on Mars, 13. 9 on Jupiter, 5.6 on Saturn, 1.86 on Uranus, 1 on Neptune, and 0.664 on the former planet, currently dwarf planet, Pluto.

2011 Monday- NASA released new movies of an "inky-dark" solar explosion that continues to puzzle experts more than a month after it happened.  NASA indicated that the blast was triggered by an unstable magnetic filament near the sun's surface. That filament was loaded down with cool plasma, which exploded in a spray of dark blobs and streamers. Plasma is an ionized gas, a gas into which sufficient energy is provided to free electrons from atoms or molecules and to allow both  ions and electrons, to coexist. In effect a plasma is a cloud of protons, neutrons and electrons where all the electrons have come loose from their respective molecules and atoms, giving the plasma the ability to act as a whole rather than as a bunch of atoms. Plasmas are the most common state of matter in the universe comprising more than 99% of our visible universe and most of that not visible---A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five…..    Groucho Marx…………. These solar plasma blobs were as big as planets, many larger than Earth. They rose and fell ballistically, moving under the influence of the sun's gravity like balls tossed in the air, exploding "like bombs" when they hit the stellar surface. Some blobs, however, were more like guided missiles. Also included in the blasts were Roman Candles, cherry bombs, ashcans, aerial repeaters, snakes and strobes and three sparklers.

Back to Calendar


927 - Saturday Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."……Mark Twain……….Æthelstan, King of England, obtained a promise from Constantine II of Scotland that he would not ally with Viking kings  no matter how many salted herring he may be forced to eat.  This is recognized as  beginning the process of unifying Great Britain and even though Æthelstan could not separate the A and E in his name, there is a good case to be made for him as the first King of England.

1191 – FridayAs one brave knight was leaving for a crusade, he  called one of his squires. "I'm leaving for the crusade. Here is the key to my wife's chastity belt. If, in 10 years, I haven't returned, you may use the key." The knight set out on his mighty steed armored from head to toe, and took one last look at his castle. He saw the squire rushing across the drawbridge, yelling, "Stop! Thank goodness I was able to catch you. This is the wrong key."…………..During the Third Crusade Saladin's garrison surrendered to Conrad of Montferrat, ending the two-year siege of Acre. Saladin would then change his name to Paladin and move to San Francisco and give out business cards that said “Have Gun Will Travel”. There were a total of nine crusades in all but  the first four crusades were seen as the most import and the others barely qualified as crusades - with the exception of the Children's crusade which effectively led to the decline of the crusades and the one led by Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger…..possibly Dudley Nightshade was a Saracen.

1389 -Sunday   Women desire six things: They want their husbands to be brave, wise, rich, generous, obedient to wife, and lively in bed …….. Geoffrey Chaucer was named Chief Clerk of the King's Works in Westminster by royal poofter, Richard II. We note that this job was different from that of Chief Clerk of Parliament and Chief Clerk of the Algonguins. As Chief Clerk, Chaucer was responsible for the oversight ofr all royal building projects. In this capacity, he oversaw construction jobs at the Tower of London, Westminster Palace, Windsor Castle, and St. George's Chapel.  Due to his role as Clerk of the King's Works, Chaucer was entitled to burial in Westminster Abbey and at  the time of his death in 1400,  Chaucer's he was better known as Chief Clerk rather than the author of The Canterbury Tales.

1543 –Monday  I want a Sunday kind of love,
A love to last, past Saturday night,
I'd like to know it's more than love at first sight,
I want a Sunday kind of love.
I want a love that's on the square,
Can't seem to find somebody to care,
I'm on a lonely road that leads me nowhere,
I need a Sunday kind of love
. Barbara Belle, Anita Leonard, Stan Rhodes, and Louis Prima
………….Fickle King Henry VIII of England married his sixth and last wife, Katherine Parr, in the Queen’s closet (yes, you’re thinking big closet but it is a large room ajoining the Chapel Royal) at Hampton Court Palace. Henry was her third husband, she outlived them all. The bride was resplendent inVera Wang, her hair done by Lance of Balmoral, with the groom, in a Tommy Hilfiger tuxedo and a crown by Harry Winston.  The reception was held at Anthony’s on the Thames Catering with music by D J Tudor Limit.  We’ve seen Katherince with both a “C” and a “K” in our extensive research.  Since three of Henry’s Joy of Six were named Catherine, Aragon with a C and Howard with a K, Ms. Paar would tip the spelling balance in either direction.

1562 –Thursday   We found a great number of books, and since they contained nothing but falsehood and superstitions of the devil, we burned them all, which they took most grievously, and which gave them great pain………………In another “proud  to be a Christian – Fahrenheit 451-  moment”, Franciscan friar, Fray Diego de Landa, acting Bishop of Yucatan, burned the sacred books of the May during the auto-da-fé held in the town of Maní   Whoops….he later realized that it would have been easier to convert the Mayas had he understood their history and beliefs. As a result, he diligently attempted the recover the lost information.

1596 – Friday S dniom razhdjenia,Tsar Czar (Take me for a ride in czar czar. Take me for a ride in your czar czar. …..Peter, Paul & Mary) Michael I of Russia, founder of the Romanov dynasty.  There had been quite a few pretenders running around during the 16th century including the Platters’ Great Pretender but Michael was the grandnephew of Anastasia, first wife of Ivan the Terrible and his election as czar, ended the so-called Time of Troubles, a period of social and political chaos in Russia that anticipated Vladimir Putin.

1730-  Wednesday Happy Birthday, Josiah Wedgewood, English inventor, artist, potter. He was the 13th and youngest son of the potter Thomas Wedgewood and his undoubtedly exhausted wife, Mary. Wedgwood began a new branch of the pottery industry in the early 1760's.  Wedgwood's company is still a famous name in pottery today, and "Wedgwood China" is the commonly used term for his jasper ware, the blue (or sometmes green) china with overlaid white decoration, still common throughout the world.

1789 – Sunday I am thirty-three -- the age of the good Sans-culotte Jesus; an age fatal to revolutionists………………After hearing the news that France’s financial minister, Jacques Necker had been fire, French revolutionary and  radical journalist Camille Desmoulins gave a an impassioned speech, leaping upon a table outside one of the cafés in the garden of the Palais Royal, he announced to the crowd the dismissal of their favorite. He inflamed the passions of the mob by his call "To arms!" "This dismissal", he said, "is the tocsin of the St. Bartholomew of the patriots." Pulling out  two pistols from under his coat, he declared that he would not fall alive into the hands of the police who were watching his movements. His cry "To arms!" resounded on all sides and was the beginning of the actual events of the French Revolution. Following Desmoulins the crowd surged through Paris, procuring arms by force; and on the 13th it was partly organized as the Parisian militia which was afterwards to be the National Guard. On the 14th the Bastille was taken. The editorial board of the Gnus highly recommends Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety which focuses on Desmoulins and his role throughout (prior to his kapution) in the Revolution.

1804 –Thursday  Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down
. ……Cher or Nancy Sinatra…take your choice…Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton went a day after being shot in a duel by the odious Aaron Burr. Hamilton met Burr, Vice President at the time, at dawn on July 11, 1804, in Weehauken, New Jersey.  The two men exchanged gunshots, and Hamilton fell, mortally wounded. Many believe that he missed Burr on purpose, leaving himself an open target for Burr's bullet which lodged next to his spine.  After damaging his liver and diaphragm. In agony, Hamilton was carried back to New York City.  

1807 –Sunday – Happy Birthday, Thomas Hawksley, English civil engineer and he was the first civil engineer to apply his talents almost exclusively to the difficulties of urban living in an increasingly industrial society. We know of course that civil engineers are exceedingly polite but the University of Nottingham web site informs that while  Hawksley did not invent the principle of permanent supply under pressure, but he was the first engineer to apply it to the very real problem of supplying a large industrial town. According to the historian J.D. Chambers, in the Nottingham Journal of 30 June 1949, 'His contribution lay in the ingenuity which he applied to overcoming the problems of plumbing . . . and above all, in the patience he brought to bear on the still more intractable problem of persuading plumbers to carry out his instructions'. And we all know how difficult it can be to reason with a plumber. 

1813 – Monday - The living body, though it has need of the surrounding environment, is nevertheless relatively independent of it. This independence which the organism has of its external environment, derives from the fact that in the living being, the tissues are in fact withdrawn from direct external influences and are protected by a veritable internal environment which is constituted, in particular, by the fluids circulating in the body…. Bon anniversaire  Claude Bernard, French physiologist and considered the "father" of modern experimental physiology - a branch of the study of physiology in which the functions of various body systems are evaluated in a clinical laboratory setting by using animals or, in some cases, human subjects.  See  the Gnus Who’s Your Daddy for a list of fathers and mothers of……sciencegnus.com/Who's%20Your%20Daddy.html Bernard was responsible for a major breakthrough in understanding the fundamental principles of organic life, one that is valid still today. It is his concept of "homeostasis", or controlled stability of the internal milieu, or internal environment, of cells and tissues. The Claude Bernard is also a very nice hotel at 43 Rue des Écoles in Paris where the editorial staff of the Gnus and Mrs. Editorial staff of the Gnus have stayed over the years.

1817 –Saturday – I now have a library of nearly nine hundred volumes,” he later noted in his journal, “over seven hundred of which I wrote myself.” ………….Happy Birthday,  Henry David Thoreau, American writer transendalist and philosopher.  In July 1846, when Thoreau went into town to have a pair of shoes repaired, he was arrested for refusing to pay a poll tax meant to support America's war in Mexico. He spent a night in jail while singing There’s No Business Like Shoe Business.  Perhaps his most famous essay, Civil Disobedience (published 1849), which in its call for passive resistance to unjust laws was to inspire Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., was a result of his time in the clink. Walden Or Life in the Woods was published in 1854, seven years after Thoreau ended his stay in a small cabin near Walden Pond. In it,  he set forth his ideas on how an individual should best live to be attuned to his own nature as well as to nature itself.  Honoring the spirit and beliefs of Thoreau, today, Walden Pond has a beach, a gift shop, bookstore and the Tsongas gallery.  Visitors are welcome to swim, hike, fish, use canoes and boats (electric motors only), cross-country ski, snowshoe.

 1844 Friday, Captain J.N. Taylor of the Royal Navy first demonstrated the fog horn. At the time, it was called a telephone - to mean far-signalling, thus an instrument like a fog-horn, used on ships, railway trains, etc., for signalling by loud sounds or notes. The 19 July 1844 London Times reported, "Yesterday week was a levee (they drove their Chevys) day at the Admiralty, and amongst the numerous models..was Captain J. N. Tayler's telephone instrument... The chief object of this powerful wind instrument is to convey signals during foggy weather. Robert Foulis invented the steam fog-horn. Foulis' horn was the first to hoot automatically in foggy weather in 1825. Foghorn Leghorn made his first appearance in Walky Talky Hawky in 1945.

1854 –Wednesday  Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's
a sunny day
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away
….Paul Simon……….Happy Birthday, George Eastman, American inventor born in Waterville NY who devised the first roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. In 1888 he perfected the Kodak camera, the first camera designed specifically for roll film and not content of rest on his laurels 1892 he developed the Eastman Kodak Company, at Rochester, New York.  We note that at the age of 77, he shot himself in the head on  March 14, 1932, leaving a note that read simply, To my friends: My work is done. Why wait?

1861 -   Friday  There will be one less son-of-a-bitch when you try that……Wild Bill, (James Butler),  Hickok's first, but not last,  gunfight,.  The Kansas Heritage website notes that in the course of his duties at the Rock Creek Station, in yes, Kansas, Hickok met a man named McCanles, or sometimes spelled McKandles. McCanles, a bully kept calling Hickok "Duck Bill”.  This failed to make Bill quack up. One incident led to another, and one day McCanles and at least two other men came to the Station. Words were exchanged between Hickok and McCanles, which led to the gunfight.  At the end of the incident three men were kaput, McCanles and his two friends. The local court, that looked into the matter, since no charges were brought against Hickok.

1861- Friday- Peanuts  Oh oh oh oh oh Peanuts

Peanuts, oh oh oh oh oh Peanuts………Little Joe and the Thrillers….. Happy Birthday, George Washinton Carver, African-American educator, scientist, chemist, inventor, botanist. We note years of birth from various sources as 1860, 1861 and 1864 and months as January or July. The son of slaves, George Washington Carver did not know the exact date of his birth, but he thought it was in January 1864 (some evidence indicates July 1861, but not conclusively). He knew it was sometime before slavery was abolished in Missouri, which occurred in January 1864. Carver’s scientific discoveries included more than three hundred different products derived from the peanut, some one hundred from sweet potatoes, about seventy-five from pecans, and many more including crop rotation.  In 1897, Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for Negroes, convinced Carver to come south and serve as the school's Director of Agriculture. Carver remained on the faculty until his kapution  in 1943.

1863 –Sunday Ois Guade zu Deim Geburdstog,  Paul Drude, German physicist. He was the editor of the journal Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics). In 1905 Albert Einstein contributed papers, Photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, Special relativity, and  Matter and energy equivalence to Drude’s journal.  Each of them became the basis of a new branch of physics.

1870, Tuesday  There's so much plastic in this culture that vinyl leopard skin is becoming an endangered synthetic.....Lily Tomlin…………A patent for an improved process by which celluloid is produced was awarded to John Wesley Hyatt, Jr.and his brother Isaiah S. Hyatt of the Albany, NY Hyatts.  Hyatt is  considered to be the "father of the U.S. Plastics industry,"---see the Gnus, Who’s Your Daddy http://sciencegnus.com/Who%27s%20Your%20Daddy.html--- Celluloid is derived from cellulose and alcoholized camphor. John Wesley Hyatt invented celluloid as a substitute for the ivory in billiard balls in 1868. Of course there was a bit of a problem at first as celluloid billiard balls reportedly struck each other and caught fire. Today acetic acid is used in place of nitric acid to produce the more stable cellulose acetate, which has replaced celluloid in most uses. Wyatt also patented a knife sharpener and went on to develop a new method for making dominoe sand checkers, starting a company to produce them.

1895 –Friday Happy Birthday Mr. Geodisic Dome, Buckminster Fuller, American architect, inventor and futurist. More than 250,000 of his geodisci domes have been built around the world.  And what, pray tell, is a geodesic dome?  Have no sphere, it’s a sphere-like structure composed of a complex network of triangles. The triangles create a self-bracing framework that gives structural strength while using a minimum of material.  

1895 – Friday  The number of people who will not go to a show they do not want to see is unlimited……….Happy Birthday Oscar Hammerstein II, American lyricist of “Rogers and” fame. The lyricist also worked with Jerome Kern (Ol Man River) before he teamed with writer Richard Rogers for Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Carousel, and The King and I.

1901 –Friday  He's (Cy Young) too green to do your club much good, but I believe if I taught him what I know, I might make a pitcher out of him in a couple of years. He's not worth it now, but I'm willing to give you a $1,000 for him." - Cap Anson "Cap, you can keep your thousand and we'll keep the rube………….Gus Schmelz…..Denton True, “Cy” Young won his 300th game as his Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Athletics 5-3. That same year, Young won the pitching triple crown - leading the American League in wins (33), ERA (1.62), and K's (158). He also led the league in shutouts, with five, sold hot dogs between innings, dusted off home plate, sold tickets, and did some valet parking. Young, the Cy was for Cyclone, would win 511 games during his 23 year career.

 1908 –Sunday  Any time a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies………………… Happy Birthday, Milton Berle, American comedian.  “Uncle Milty” was as responsible as anyone for creating  the popularity of television during the late 1940s-early 50’s. He was even called “Mr. Television”. Born in Brooklyn, Berle was the first great superstar of the TV age, and the undisputed king of the medium in the early 1950s. His variety show Texaco Star Theater (later The Milton Berle Show) ran from 1948-56 Berle got his start in vaudeville, touring as a stand-up comic and eventually appearing with the Ziegfeld Follies. A major part of Berle’s shtick was his reputation for stealing jokes from other comedians. After his own show ended Berle made hundreds of guest appearances on TV, usually waving his ever-present cigar, and starred in movie comedies like It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1963. We  remember his “fight” with Terry Thomas in which they would up to deliver blows and punched each other in the fist.

1909 – Monday Okay, buddy boy …………With nyuk, nyuk Curley Howard and later Shemp Howard deceased and replacement Joe Besser retired and Larry and Moe trying to keep the Three Stooges going…..Happy Birthday, Curly Joe DeRita, American  burlesque comedian, chosen to replace Besser. Moe Howard, Larry Fine and DeRita went on to make a series of pretty bad films from 1959 to 1965, most notably Have Rocket, Will Travel, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules and The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze.

1913 –Saturday  Willis Lamb, American physicist, Nobel laureate born in Los Angeles. Lamb’s Nobel winning work was based on previous research by Paul Dirac who’s quantum mechanical theory predicted that the hydrogen atom had two possible energy states with equal energies. But nooooooo……Lamb's accurate work using radiofrequency resonance techniques revealed that, gasp, there was a minute difference in these energy levels. Small as it was, this Lamb shift  or Lamb Chop as we call it, necessitated a revision of the theory of the interaction of the electron with electromagnetic radiation and made possible for many physicists to sleep better at night.

1920 – Monday  You cheated.  You lied. You said that you loved me….The Shields…The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty was signed. Soviet Russia recognized independent Lithuania. Well that certainly worked out well.

1920 Monday  Six years after the first ships passed through,  Panama Canal was formally dedicated by Woodrow Wilson who declared “Isthmus be the place”.  On November 6, 1903, Panama and the U.S. signed the Hay-Banau-Varilla Treaty, allowing the U.S. to build the Canal, and to operate it forever….or until the forever muddled Jimmy Carter decided to give it back.

1922 –Wednesday John: I speak every language except Greek.  Margaret- O.K – say something in French. John: I can’t. It’s all Greek to me……. Happy Birthday, Michael Ventris. English architect and cryptographer who in 1952 deciphered the Minoan Linear B script. Linear B is Europe's oldest readable writing, dating from the middle of the second millennium BC. First discovered in 1900 by Sir Arthur Evans, on clay tablets among the ruins of the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Crete, it remained a mystery for over fifty years .  Ventris discovered that its signs did not represent an unknown language as previously believed, but an archaic dialect of Greek, more than 500 years older than the Greek of Homer. Minoan civilization is an ancient Cretan culture representing a stage in the development of the Aegean civilization. It is named for the legendary King Minos of Crete.

1928 – Thursday Happy Birthday,  If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate …………….Elias James Corey  American organic chemist, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1990 "for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis." Organic synthesis is a special branch of chemical synthesis dealing with the synthesis of organic compounds.….which allowed for the perfection of the chocolate milkshake……. He developed a method of organic synthesis that broke larger chemical compounds into smaller parts by reversible steps where the synthesis is known. His process is called retrosynthetic analysis and could be used to predict the synthesis steps of other compounds with similar chemistry.

1931 – Sunday  See double: See two images of one object, either as an illusion or owing to some visual aberration, especially one caused by intoxication. For example, Those twins look so much alike they make me think I'm seeing double , or One more drink and I'll be seeing double . This idiom was first recorded in 1628. …………A major league baseball record for doubles was set as the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs combined for a total of 23 two baggers in th 17-13 pitcher’s duel won by the Cardinals. For the Cubs, Gabby Hartnett 3 and  English had 3, Blair 2  and Bell and manager Rogers Hornsby each had one. The Cardinals got  3 from Gus Mancuso and Rip Collins, 2 from Frankie Frisch and C. Hafey and one each from High, Orsatti, and Watkins.

1933- Wednesday  -Another thing Buckminster Fuller – see 1895 above for his birthday, was  work with dymaxion. An adjective, dymaxion was a Fuller word noting or his concept of the use of technology and resources to maximum advantage, with minimal expenditure of energy and material….none of which worked very well.  On this day he unveiled his Dymaxion Car, described by Time Magazine as one of the worst cars of all the Dymaxion was a three-wheel, ground-bound zeppelin, with a huge levered A-arm carrying the rear wheel, which swiveled like the tail wheel of an airplane. The first prototype had a wicked death wobble in the rear wheel. The next two Dymaxions were bigger, heavier, and only marginally more drivable. The third car had a stabilizer fin on top, which did nothing to cure the Dymaxion's acute instability in crosswinds. A fatal accident involving the car — cause unknown — doomed its public acceptance. Fuller also contributed the  the  Dymaxion House, an inexpensive, mass-produced home that could be airlifted to its location,  a compact, prefabricated, easily installed Dymaxion Bathroom,and Dymaxion Deployment Units (DDUs), mass-produced houses based on circular grain bins, and Dymaxion humans, notably Rep. Barney Frank, Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putting, and Paris Hilton

1933 –Wednesday  When Stark isn't off sulking somewhere, or whatever he's doing when he won't return my calls, I alternate between the two. That usually works well, though occasionally an idea for the wrong guy drifts through my mind.,,,,,Happy Birthday, Donald E. Westlake, American novelist and one of the Gnus editorial board’s favorite writers of crime novels including his  Dormunder series – our favorites include What’s the Worst that Could Happen, Nobody’s Perfect, and Drowned Hopes as well as  the darker Parker series written as Richard Stark. Including Comeback (Parker returns after a long hiatus), Nobody Runs Forever, and Ask the Parrot.

1937 –Monday  Old is always fifteen years from now………….Happy Birthday,Bill Cosby, American comedian and actor. Star of movies such as Leonard, Part VI, Meteor Man, and Ghost Dad, Cosby did a much better job on television – The Cosby Show (until it jumped the shark and brought in strange children to replace the ones that aged out) and records – I Started Out as a Child, Wonderfulness, and Revenge (the snowball in the icebox).

1948 – Monday  Happy Birthday Richard Simmons, immigrant from Neptune and American fitness trainer

1952 – Saturday Great Do it Yourself Inventions: A black highlighter pen, Inflatable Dartboard, Hand powered Chainsaw, See-through toilet tissue and Powdered water ……. Srecan Rodjendan!, Voja Antonić, (Wikipedia helpfully tells us it is pronounced ʋɔja ˈantɔnitɕ) Serbian inventor and writer who developed a build it yourself home computer called the Galaksija. As we all know Galaksija means Galaxy  and is pronounced "Galaxiya". Old Computers.com informs us that the  RAM was a static RAM based on 6116 (2 KB) chips. The motherboard had three slots on-board to provide from 2 to 6 KB. Since first 8 KB were reserved for ROMs, RAM was expandable to max. 54 KB. Static RAM was chosen to simplify development although it was more expensive.

1957 – Friday Winston tastes good.  Like a cigarette should…………The U.S. surgeon general, a coughing, wheezing Leroy E. Burney, declared it the official position of the U.S. Public Health Service that the evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer as he spit up bloody mucus. Nothing happened for four years, other than millions of Parliaments, Marlboros, Lucky Strikes, Camels, and Players got smoked.  In June 1961, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the National Tuberculosis Association, and the American Public Health Association addressed a letter to President John F. Kennedy, in which they called for a national commission on smoking, dedicated to "seeking a solution to this health problem that would interfere least with the freedom of industry or the happiness of individuals." With typical government speed, The Kennedy administration responded the following year and on June 7, 1962, Surgeon General Luther L. Terry announced that he would convene a committee of experts to conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on the smoking question. Terry issued the commission's report on January 11, 1964, choosing a Saturday to minimize the effect on the stock market and to maximize coverage in the Sunday papers. The report highlighted the deleterious health consequences of tobacco use. Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General held cigarette smoking responsible for a 70 percent increase in the mortality rate of smokers over non-smokers.

1957 – Friday  Meanwhile, as his surgeon general was warning against the evils of smoking, Dwight Eisenhower took the first presidential ride in a helicopter. Screaming  “yi ha”, Ike rode a Bell H-13J helicopter to Camp David (which was at that time referred to as “mountaintop secret relocation center"  for part of the "Operation Alert" civil defense exercise.  The helicopter reduced the two-hour trave