An assaulted peanut
Washington's birthday, Abraham Lincoln's birthday (on the same day and
year as Charles Darwin !), Black History Month, American Heart Month, National
Children's Dental Health Week, National Wildlife Week and St. Valentine's
Science Gnus is an almanacish compendium of News of Science, History, Mathematics and Items of Interest as well as Professor Sy Yentz, Dr. Matt Matician, Brain Stuff, the Activity of the Month, Factorinos, Trivia Question, Bonus Trivia Question, Extinct, Trivia Answers, Jokes, and Obscure Questions
The February sunshine steeps your boughs And tints the buds and swells the leaves within. -Willam Cullen Bryant
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1. 1327 –Saturday. Fifteen year old Edward III was crowned King of England, but the country would continue to be ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her inamorata Roger Mortimer. Edward was the grandson of King Edward I and son of the testosteronically challenged Edward II. Edward II is believed to have met his end (no pun intended) after being deposed and imprisoned by Isabella and Mortimer by having a red hot poker shoved into his rectum. This left no marks to indicate a murder and was also a comment on the King’s homosexual inclinations. In 1330 Edward III would have Mortimer executed and his mother exiled. He would rule for almost fifty years.
1788- Friday - The
steamboat – who invented it?…..not Robert Fulton….who got the patents? Who gets
the credit?.........another of the fuzzy “who did what and when” in the history
of inventions for which textbooks selected a “chosen one” and that has been it
ever since. On this day, the
1790-Monday- First session of the U.S. Supreme Court took place
in the Royal Exchange Building on New York City's
Broad Street. The Court of the
1793 –Friday- Ralph Hodgson of
The patent was issued for the screw propeller to
John Ericsson, Swedish/English/American inventor. Ericsson later designed and
built the ironclad ship Monitor for
the Union Navy where it engaged in the famous battle with the Confederate
ironclad, Merrimac (aka Virginia) at
1844-Thursday- Happy Birthday, G. Stanley Hall, American psychologist who coined the phrase Sturm und Drang ("Storm and Stress") relative to adolescence, with the three key aspects of conflict with parents, mood disruptions, and risky behavior which basically is why all adolescents are crazy.
1851 –Saturday- Either Feb. 1 or Jan. 31 (maybe late at night when he got up to make a snack?). Evaporated milk was invented by Gail Bordon. Evaporated milk is fresh, (unsweetened) homogenized milk from which 60 percent of the water has been removed. Evaporated milk is milk concentrated to one-half or less its original bulk by evaporation under high pressures and temperatures, without the addition of sugar, and usually contains a specified amount of milk fat and solids. This gives regular evaporated milk a shelf life of up to 15 months. Borden was granted a patent for sweetened condensed milk in 1856. The sugar was added to inhibit bacterial growth. Skim milk devoid of all fat was used.
1851 –Saturday- On the same day as evaporated milk was invented, the submarine, Le Plongeur-Marin ("The Marine Diver") was tested in Kiel Harbor, Germany. The sinking part was an unqualified success. That was because it had leaks in the hull and quickly sank 50 feet. Unfortunately, the coming back up to the surface part failed. Its builder, Sebastian Wilhelm Valentin Bauer, a German pioneer inventor of submarines, was on board. He survived by waiting for the inside air pressure, compressed as more water leaked in, to match the water pressure outside. Imagine his surprise when seven hours later, he and his crew opened the hatch and rose to the surface to find funeral services in progress.
1861-Friday- Over the objections of 3rd term
governor Sam Houston, Texas became the seventh state to secede
1884 –Friday- In the words of one
time New York Mets (and Yankees) manager, Casey Stengel, “You could look it
up”. On this day the first portion, or fascicle (thanks to the
dictionary, you “could look it up” – a fascile is one of the parts of a book published in separate sections.
Also called fascicule), of the
1893-Wednesday- Thomas A.
Edison completed the world’s first motion picture studio in
performance of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme. The opera premiered at the Teatro
1898-Tuesday- The first auto
insurance for an individual owner was sold to one Dr. Truman J. Martin of
1901 –Friday- Happy Birthday, William Clark Gable, better known as just Clark Gable, American actor born in Cadiz, Ohio. Gable, known as the “King” of Hollywood, starred in such classic movies as Gone With the Wind, Mogambo, It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty, and lastly, The Misfits with the ill fated Marilyn Monroe. Three days after filming ended, Gable suffered a heart attack, and died 11 days later.
1905-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Emilio Segrè, Italian-born
American physicist who was co-winner, with Owen Chamberlain of the United
States, of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1959 for the discovery of the
antiproton (Auntie Proton was married to Uncle Proton and they had little cousin
neutrons who never had to pay for anything because for them it was “no
charge”). Actually an antiproton is an antiparticle that has the same mass as a
proton but is opposite in electrical charge. Segrè, was a student and colleague
of Enrico Fermi in
King Carlos I kaput. In a “twofer” King Carlos I of
In the first use of fingerprint evidence in a
U.S court, Thomas Jennings was found guilty of murder. He was convicted at the
1911-Wednesday- On the same day as fingerprint evidence was first used in court (see above), the first old-age home for pioneers opened in Prescott, Arizona. The home was notable for having them circle the wagons before meals, shooting buffalo, gunfights, using spittoons at the saloon while watching the “dance hall girls”, accusing each other of cheating at poker, having “Indian Attack” drills, and the annual “Donner Party Day” picnic when they would eat……oh, never mind.
One of the worst inventions of the 20th
Century, Thomas Midgely’s leaded gasoline, first went on sale at Willard
Talbott's service station on S. Main Street in
1937 –Monday- Happy Birthday, Don Everly of the Everly Brothers. Don is the one on the left, Phil on the right. The Everly Brothers' career took off in 1957 with their first major hit Bye, Bye Love on Cadence records(with the maroon label). The two went on to record Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have To Do Is Dream, (the B side was the great Claudette) Bird Dog and Devoted To You.
1951-Thursday- TV station KTLA broadcast of an atomic explosion.
It was the first to be seen publicly on television. An NBC camera on Mount
Wilson, 300 miles away from the test blast at Frenchman Flats,
1952 –Friday Happy Birthday, singer Rick James who’s riff for Super Freak (1981) is on the great beats of Rock and Roll.
1964 –Saturday- The Governor of Indiana declared the record Louie Louie to be pornographic. Louie
Louie was written by an R&B singer named Richard Berry in 1956. With
his group The Pharaohs, he was also the first to record it, and it got some
airplay in a few cities in the
1972-Tuesday- The first scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) was introduced at the bargain price of $395. It was called the HP -35 because it was manufactured by Hewlett Packard and it had 35 keys. Pretty clever, n’est pas? The HP-35 was the first ever to perform logarithmic and trigonometric functions with one keystroke. As opposed to later HP calculators, it had an x^y function, not y^x, and the trigonometric functions work in degrees only, which we all know is tremendously helpful when adding up your purchases at the check-out counter.
1983- Tuesday- Tansil and Fannin Matthews obtained a patent for a digital voice mail system. When the patent office call to inform them, they heard “all of our customer service experts are currently busy, please push the first three letters of the party’s last name, if you are calling to ask about our new voice mail system, please hang up and write us a letter…….The Mathews Brothers described the patent as “An advanced electronic telecommunication system is provided for the deposit, storage and delivery of audio messages. A Voice Message System (10) interconnects multiple private branch exchanges (12) of a subscriber with a central telephone office…”
2001 –Thursday- Three Scottish judges found Muslim terrorist Abdel Basset al-Mergrahi guilty of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people when it exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland – just north of Dumfries- in December 1988. Megrahi was a member of the Libyan intelligence service and sentenced to life imprisonment.
2003-Saturday- STS-107 Flight: January 16-February 1, 2003 - the space shuttle
2004 –Sunday- The nameless and quite possibly the
“elementless element”…….Scientists in
Next scheduled discovery will be Stupidium Namsium.
2008-Friday- It was reported in the Journal of Zoology, that naturalist Francesco Rovero discovered a new species of giant elephant shrew in a Tanzanian forest. The shrew is the size of a small dog, covered in orange and gray fur. It has a long snout like an elephant. When Rovero first saw it, he said, “that’s funny, it doesn’t look shrewish”.
Back To Calendar
Groundhog Day- The first Groundhog Day
was celebrated in 1887 in
1046-Monday- The beginning of what is known as the
"Little Ice Age." The weather turned especially cold throughout
–Tuesday- Portugal and
1522-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Ludovico Ferrari, Italian mathematician, who started as a servant for, and then secretary and then successor to the mathematician Girolalmo Cardano. Ferrari was the first to find an algebraic solution to the biquadratic, or quartic, equation which, in case you didn’t know it already, is an algebraic equation that contains the fourth power of the unknown quantity but no higher power. So basically, it’s what confuses Professor Sy Yentz when he tries to figure out if he should or shouldn’t provide the extra penny when he pays for an item.
-Sunday The city of
1653 –Sunday- The Dutch colony of
New Amsterdam, now better known as
–Saturday- Alexander Selkirk was rescued from a desert island. His adventures would inspire the book Robinson Crusoe
by Daniel Defoe. Selkirk was the “Sailing Master” on the
1795- Monday- The French government, those who still had their heads after the Revolution, offered a prize of 12,000 francs for a method of preserving food and transporting it to French armies. The winner was Nicholas Appert, a French chef currently seen on the Food Channel on the show Iron Chef trying to make gourmet meals out of alfalfa …..no, no no….Professor Sy Yentz has his culinary sense of humor. He actually developed the method of heating food in airtight glass jars, very similar to the home-bottling method now used in Mason jars. Starting in 1801, he published The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances. His other claim to fame is being the inventor of the bouillon cube. Of course, (and you knew this was coming) he tried the boullion cone, the bullion, sphere, the boullion pyramid, the boullion cone, and the boullion rectangular prism. Bouillon is a clear soup stock made from poultry, meat, fish, or vegetables
1803 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Albert
Sydney Johnston, Confederate General. In 1862
1841 –Tuesday- Do you want to be a limnologist when you grow up? Do you know what limnology is? Well, Happy Birthday, François-Alphonse Forel, Swiss physician, scientist, and founder of limnology, the study of lakes. Forel studied the physical and chemical characteristics of lakes as well as diseases of fish, tides, currents and waves.
1847 –Tuesday- Uh, oh! The first woman of a group of pioneers now known as the Donner Party died during the
group’s journey through a
Treaty of Guadalupe
provisions stipulated the
1863 –Monday- On this day, while living in Carson City Nevada, Samuel Langhorne Clemens decided to use a pseudonym for the first time. Since the name of Alfred Lord Tenneyson was taken, he is better remembered by the name, Mark Twain (and his brothers Lionel Twain, Passenger Twain and Freight Twain). Mark Twain means two fathoms in “riverboat-talk”. "Twain" would write his first popular story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County in 1865.
1869-Tuesday- Scottish born inventor, James Oliver – living in
The National League of Professional Baseball
Clubs, which came to be more commonly known as the National League (NL), was
formed. The league’s first rival came with the formation of the American
Association began play in 1882. The American Association went kaput after the
1891 season. The American League (AL) was established in 1901 and in
1903, the first World Series was held. The
eight original members of the NL were: the Boston Red Stockings (then Boston
Braves then Milwaukee Braves now the Atlanta Braves), Chicago White Stockings
(now the Chicago Cubs), Cincinnati Red Stockings (now the Cincinnati Reds) ,
Hartford Dark Blues (moved to Brooklyn after1877 and played as the Brooklyn
Hartfords but no, they didn’t become the Dodgers…they disbanded after a year) ,
Louisville Grays, (disbanded after a gambling scandal in 1877), Mutual of New
York (kicked out of the league in 1878 and disappeared after refusing to pay
bills), Philadelphia Athletics (kicked out of the league at the end of 1876 for
refusing to make a late season road trip) and the St. Louis Brown Stockings
(they were kicked out during the same gambling scandal as the Brooklyn
Hartfords……. A few years later, a new team in
The first electric streetlight was installed in
–Thursday- Happy Birthday, James Joyce, Irish poet, author:
Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegan’s Wake). We
note that Ulysses was published on his birthday (Feb. 2) 1922. Professor Sy
Yentz has read Ulysses (and done the
1892-Tuesday- The bottle cap with cork seal was patented by William
1897-Tuesday- Here’s a scoop. A
patent was issued for an ice-cream scoop invented by black American inventor,
Alfred L. Cralle of
–Friday- One of many low points in science for
the 20th century, Thomas Midgely’s invention, leaded gasoline – developed to combat
“engine knock” had it first sales at Willard Talbott's
service station on South Main Street in Dayton, Ohio. By the mid-1930s a monopoly
among General Motors, DuPont and Standard Oil produced Ethyl gas. They managed
to suppress government reports about the danger of the product and tetraethyl
lead was added to 90 percent of the gasoline used in the
1931-Monday- The first documented paid-dispatch rocket mail was flown when an Austrian named Friedrich Schmiedl flew 102 letters between rural Austrian villages Schoeckel to Sankt Radegund. He began with what he called 'regular mail service' in September 1931 with launch of his G1 rocket from Hochtroetsch to Semriach. There is no record of the reaction of rural villagers to being bombarded by rockets filled with letters from an unseen location.
1935-Saturday- The first lie detector was used by detective Leonard Keeler
1947 –Sunday- Edwin H. Land gave the first demonstration his invention of
the instant camera at a meeting of the Optical Society of America. A year
later, in November 1948, his Polaroid Land Camera first went on sale, at a
1949 –Wednesday RCA Victor released the first 45 RPM records. There were
seven in all of different genres including That’s
All Right Mama (later covered by Elvis) by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup.
Evidently, RCA didn’t like the idea of
1962-Friday- The Sun, the Moon, and all the planets from
Back To Calendar
3. The Festival of Setubun, marking the end of winter is
navigator, Bartholomeu Diaz rounded the Southern end of the African
continent as far as the estuary of what was later named "The Great Fish
River". He landed at
1690-Friday- Massachusetts took what would later prove to be a crucial
step in the establishment of a stable American economy and authorized the first
official paper currency to be ever used in the
1790-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Algernon Mantell, British physician, geologist, and paleontologist, who discovered 4 of the 5 genera of dinosaurs known during his time….and then had the credit stolen by others – notably Richard Owen, an odious human being, yet coiner of the word dinosaur. Mantell’s first identification was of the fossil teeth he found while walking with his wife in 1822. She later divorced him when his passion for collecting bones became all consuming and he gave up his medical practice. When he saw the connection with teeth of the present lizard, the iguana, in 1825, he named the animal the iguanadon ("fossil teeth"). See Bill Bryson’s description of Owen’s destruction of Mantell’s career, reputation and ultimately his corpse in his wonderful book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.
1809 –Friday- Happy Birthday, Felix Mendelssohn, composer whose music was rooted in classicism, was born in Hamburg, Germany, to a wealthy and distinguished Jewish family. He was, however, raised as a Protestant but that didn’t stop rival composer Richard Wagner, a rabid anti-semite from belittling his work. Mendelssohn is most famous for his work, The Wedding March. A friend of Professor Sy Yentz has recommended that the Wedding March be replaced by the Beatles’ Why Don’t We Do It in the Road. include the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op.64, The Midsummer Night's Dream (the Wedding March came from this work)and Hebbrides overtures; the Italian (1842) symphonies; the oratorio Elijah; and a number of chamber works.
–Sunday- Happy Birthday, Horace Greeley, American journalist, editor, and
publisher born in
1821-Saturday- Happy Birthday,
Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the
1823-Monday- Sometimes being second is better for posterity. Happy Birthday, Spencer F. Baird, American naturalist, vertebrate zoologist, and in his time the leading authority on North American birds and mammals. He was named the Smithsonian Institution's second Secretary upon the kapution of the first Secretary, Joseph Henry. Where Henry had envisioned the Smithsonian primarily as a research institute, closed to the public, Baird saw this as the opportunity to develop a national museum. He was primarily responsible for the museum becoming the great public institution it is today.
1857 –Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Wilhelm L. Johannsen Danish botanist and geneticist who suggested that each portion of a chromosome that controls a phenotype be called a "gene" –from the Greek: "to give birth to". Thus he enabled chromosomes to “put on their genes”.
Fifteen year old, Thomas Edison became the
first publisher of a newspaper produced and sold on a moving train. He had set up a small press in the baggage car of the Grand
Trunk Railroad (note: Grand TRUNK Railroad, not Grand FUNK Railroad) train from
1870 –Thursday- The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution was ratified, granting voting rights to citizens regardless of
race. The amendment was initially proposed on February 26, 1869 (Friday) and
ratified on this day when
See Sixteenth Amendment, 1913 below.
1874-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Gertrude Stein , American author of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, written by Stein from Toklas's point of view.
1879-Wednesday- Speaking of Thomas
Edison, the first practically usable
incandescent filament electric light bulb was demonstrated to an audience of
700 by its inventor……… Joseph Wilson Swan…………. at the Literary and
Philosophical Society of
1889 –Sunday- Belle Starr kaput two days before her forty first birthday. The outlaw Belle Starr was killed when an unknown assailant shot her twice in the back with a shotgun. “The Bandit Queen’s” career of train robbery, bank robbery, cattle theft and horse theft, which definitely soap operaean aspects – As the Outlaws Turn, All My Bandits, The Young and the Kleptos, had begun in 1866 with an affair with Cole Younger of the Jesse James Gang. She later had a common law marriage with Sam Starr and after Sam went kaput during a gunfight, she began an affair with one Jim July. She was on her way home after escorting July to be arrested when someone shot her from behind. The murder was never solved.
1894-Saturday- Happy Birthday, Norman Rockwell, American artist and illustrator, famous for his covers for the Saturday Evening Post. Our favorite is his triple self portrait. Norman Rockwell art appeared on 322 covers for The Post over a period of 47 years.He also did illustrations for Sears mail-order catalogs, Hallmark greeting cards, and books such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
1904 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy”
Floyd, American gangster. Floyd was one of a number of bank robbers and killers
to achieve notoriety in early 1930’s during the Depression Era. Others included John Dillinger, Bonnie and
–Monday- One of the worst amendments – if you’re a tax
payer - The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
was ratified, authorizing the Federal
government to impose and collect an income tax.
1920 – Tuesday- Quick, wrap your arms around
someone from behind, hold you hands together just below the chest and ….say
Happy Birthday, Henry Heimlich, American physician born in
1947 –Monday- The lowest temperature in North America was
recorded in Snag,
1950 –Friday- Showing his gratitude to Great Britain for giving his family asylum from the Nazis, Klaus Fuchs, a scientist who helped developed the atomic bomb, was arrested for passing top-secret information about the bomb to the Communist Soviet Union. The arrest of Fuchs led authorities to several other individuals involved in a spy ring, culminating with the arrest of American traitors Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their subsequent execution at Sing Sing Prison in 1953.
1953-Tuesday- French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau published his most famous work, The Silent World. No, it was not the biography of Marcel Marceau, it was Cousteau’s story of how during World War II, Cousteau and Emile Gagnan, a Parisian engineer, invented and successfully tested the first aqualung or SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus), which became the key to the modern age of underwater exploration. The book was a huge success, Silent World sold more than 5 million copies in 22 languages.
his song American Pie, Don MacLean
called it “the day the music died”. Rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens,
and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed when their chartered
plane crashed in
But February made me shiver
With every paper Id deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldnt take one more step.
I cant remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.
The show must go on - Dion & The Belmonts (aside – Dion had one of the great Rock n Roll voices) continued until the end of the tour. Bobby Vee & The Shadows performed on the Feb. 3rd date, Jimmy Clanton, Fabian & Frankie Avalon were substituted as headliners, The Crickets finished the tour with Ronnie Smith as lead vocalist.
1966- Thursday- The
unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft landed safely on the moon in the
1966-Thursday- On the same day as the Luna 9 moon landing (see 1966 above), the U.S. launched its first operational weather satellite, ESSA-1 to provide cloud-cover photography to the U.S. National Meteorological Center for preparation of operational weather analyses and forecasts. The spacecraft was an 18-sided polygon, 42-in. diameter, 22-in. high and weight 305-lb……..and they STILL get the forecast wrong!
1984-Friday- A Long Beach, Calif., hospital announced the birth of the world's first baby conceived by embryo transplant. The baby, a boy born about two weeks previously was the product of a procedure in which an embryo that was just beginning to develop was transferred from one woman in whom it had been conceived by artificial insemination to another woman who gave birth to the infant 38 weeks later. The sperm used in the artificial insemination came from the husband of the woman who bore the baby. The child would be forever conflicted on Mother’s Day.
1984 –Friday On the same day as they were cutting the umbilical cord for the embryo transplant baby, up in space, the STS-41-B Mission aboard the Challenger, Astronauts, Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered (no cord attaching them to the shuttle) spacewalks using the Manned Maneuvering Unit.
– 60, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off. Crew members, Commander, Charles F. Bolden, Pilot Kenneth S. Reightler and Mission Specialists N. Jan Davis, Ronald
M. Sega, Franklin R. Chang-Diaz and Sergei K. Krikalev. Krikalev marked the first flight of Russian cosmonaut on
1995 – STS- 63 – The Discovery,
with Eileen Collins as the first woman to pilot a shuttle. Crew members included; Commander James D. Wetherbee, Missions Specialists C. Michael Foale, Janice E. Voss, Bernard A. Harris, Jr. and Vladimar G. Titov.
Titov marked second flight of
Russian cosmonaut on shuttle (see Feb. 3, 1994 Discovery above) and the first approach and fly around by shuttle
with the Russian space station Mir. Discovery
flew to within 37 feet from Russian
space station before it was ticketed by Space Troopers for tailgating. "As
we are bringing our spaceships closer together, we are bringing our nations
closer together," Wetherbee said after Discovery was at point of closest
approach. "The next time we approach, we will shake your hand and together
we will lead our world into the next millennium." However former KGB agent
Vladimir Putin would become the leader of
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4. 211 –Monday- Roman
Emperor Septimius Severus went kaput after eighteen years of emperoring,
leaving the Empire in the hands of his two feuding sons, Caracalla and Geta.
Caracalla would slew Geta, last as emperor for five years until he too was
slewn, rather ignonimously as his guards claimed the emperor was ambushed while
defecating, and that the alleged assassin was one of their own, a soldier named
Martialis. Martialis was himself killed by the avenging guards, or so the story
went. Suspicion was strong that Caracalla’s Prefect, Macrinus arranged the
entire affair. Caracalla was responsible
for building his baths. The Baths of
Caracalla were public baths. You can
still se them today when you visit
960 –Monday- “With a song in my heart………” The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries. After the Tang and Five Dynasties period, a time full wars, clashes, struggle, and cheating during three legged races, the Song Dynasty was a time of consolidation for Chinese culture. The Song time is often called a "Chinese Renaissance" because - similar to the European renaissance - progress in technology and inventions, the upcoming of new philosophical interpretations of the old texts meant a rebirth of the old in “tune” with creation of new culture.
1677 –Thursday- “ Bach to the future”…..Happy Birthday, Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer. He was Johann Sebastian Bach’s second cousin (once removed on his father’s step brother’s, uncle-in-law’s side by a third marriage of his aunt). His compositions style could be described as “going for Baroque”.
1778-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Augustin de Candolle (brother of Roman Candolle). He studied and classified the plant kingdom . . He developed a system of plant classification that became the foundation for the method used today. Categories included; the one that made me throw up when I ate it; the one that gave me a rash on my nose; the one that ate my dog; the one that looks like Elvis, and the one that is smarter than the average teenager. The last 25 years of his life were spent on a monumental work, Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis, in which he attempted to classify and describe every seed plant species. He completed the first seven volumes, and the last ten volumes were completed by specialists and edited by his son, Alphonse de Candolle. He also produced monographs of 100 plant families. Some families included the Bonnano Family, the Genovese Family and the Partridge Family. He “invented” the word, taxonomy. Yes, he would sooner light a “candolle” than curse the darkness.
1783 –Tuesday- “ O.K, you win.”
–Wednesday- Ending the suspense over the results of the
very first presidential election, Presidential Election (actually, there was no
doubt) George Washington was unanimously elected the first president of the
George Washington was reelected at
President of the
1824 –Wednesday- J.W. Goodrich introduced rubber galoshes to the public. So where did galoshes come from? The Romans adapted their boots from the Gauls and only wore them in bad weather. Gaulish boots became known as galoshes. Technically, a galosh is an overshoe that slips over the wearer's indoor footwear but is made of waterproof material to protect the more delicate materials of the shoe as well as the wearer's foot from cold and damp. These first galoshes were a less than rousing success since rubber-soled shoes also failed on their first introduction in 1832 because they stuck to floors in the heat and cracked in winter…..aside from that they were fine. It wasn’t until Charles Goodyear and his vulcanization of rubber – initially for tires, but later for rain wear that galoshes would become “user friendly”.
1841-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Clement Ader, French engineer and inventor. Ader actually flew before the Wright brothers. In 1890 he constructed a steam-powered aircraft with bat-shaped wings. His craft, the Eole, could not be steered but it did make the first heavier-than-air flight. He traveled about 50 meters then had to circle the landing area for 3 hours due to heavy plane traffic, bad weather and a new air traffic controller computer glitch at O’Hare Airport.
1902-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Charles Lindbergh, American
aviator and first pilot to fly solo across the
1906-Sunday- Happy Birthday, Clyde Thombaugh, American astronomer who at age nineteen discovered the planet Pluto (at least it used to be a planet until demoted to dwarf planet by some astronomers on the last day of the International Astronomers Union in 2006) in 1930 - the only ( now former) planet discovered in the twentieth century. He continued searching the skies, discovering a comet, five open clusters, a globular cluster, a supercluster of galaxies stretching from Andromeda to Perseus, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. In 1932 he discovered a nova in Corvus that had exploded a year earlier.
–Tuesday- A patent for a "demountable
tire-carrying rim, was issued to Louis Henry Perlman of
1913 –Tuesday Happy Birthday, Rosa Parks , born Rosa McCauley in
1936-Tuesday- Dr. John Jacob Livingood at the
This could have been an entire season
of "E.R !- as surgery began to remove a huge
ovarian cyst. It became the longest operation in medical history when it
extended to four days. The patient, in
1954 – The Drifters, with Bill Pinckney providing the bass voice and Clyde McPhatter the soprano, recorded their great doo wop version of White Christmas.
1974 –Monday- Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, Calif.,
by a collection of loons calling themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army. She
remained “missing” for over a year until on
September 18, 1975, after crisscrossing the country with her
captors--or conspirators--for more than a year, Hearst, was captured in a
1976 –Wednesday- An
earthquake, 7.5 on the Richter scale, struck
1998- An earthquake, 6.1 on the Richter scale, hit
2009- On September 6, 2003,( Saturday) the NOAA N-Prime satellite was dropped – it fell to the floor, just like when you drop a plate on your tile floor- of the factory where it was being assembled, and suffered, to put it mildly, significant damage. Repairs took five years later. Luckily it wasn’t dropped anymore. The satellite was finally launched into polar orbit around the Earth to improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world. NOAA N-Prime will provide a continuity of service, as well as restoring degraded service from older weather forecasting satellites.
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Roger Williams, the founder of
Happy Birthday, Sir
Robert Peel (brother of Banana Peel), British politician who opposed
Catholic emancipation (he did not find the idea to be apeeling) but was most
famous for establishing
1799- Tuesday- Happy Birthday, John Lindley, English botanist who, along with Candolle, is known for his system of classification of plants. The initial classification system was rather crude, consisting of “that fuzzy one, “the one with the pointy things”, “the ones that die when you give them too much water”, the ones that taste yucky”, “ the one that gave me a rash”.........etc. Lindley’s attempts to formulate a natural system of plant classification greatly aided the transition from the artificial (considering the characters of single parts) to the natural system (considering all characters of a plant). i.e “tastes yucky”.
Vaughan Merrick, and William H. Keating
founded "The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the
Promotion of the Mechanic Arts" to honor Ben Franklin and advance the
usefulness of his inventions. Merrick later served as first president of the
Pennsylvania Railroad, (traded Ventnor Avenue for it) and Keating was a professor
of chemistry and mineralogy at the
1825 –Saturday- “Home-maker”
Hannah Lord Montague of 139 Third Street, Troy, N.Y. took her scissors and created
the first detachable collar on one of her husband's shirts in order to reduce
her laundry load to just the collar
only. Of course he looked a bit silly walking around with just a collar and no
shirt but he quickly got a job dancing at Chippendales…..The “invention” became
so popular that
A social note followed by a health advisory about standing in the cold. Millard
Fillmore, who later became the 13th president of the
Happy Birthday, John Dunlop, Scottish
scientist who developed the world's first pneumatic tire and put it on his
son's bicycle. Luckily, someone had already invented the wheel. He patented it in
1888 . Dunlop’s development of the pneumatic tire arrived at a crucial time in
the development of road transportation. Commercial production began in late
1848-Saturday- Happy Birthday, Myra Belle Shirley aka Belle Starr the notorious female outlaw of the 1870s and 80s. Shot in the back by an unknown assailant on February 3, 1889 (Sunday). “The Bandit Queen’s” career of train robbery, bank robbery, cattle theft and horse theft, which definitely soap operaean aspects – As the Outlaws Turn, All My Bandits, The Young and the Kleptos, had begun in 1866 with an affair with Cole Younger of the Jesse James Gang. She later had a common law marriage with Sam Starr and after Sam went kaput during a gunfight, she began an affair with one Jim July. She was on her way home after escorting July to be arrested when someone shot her from behind. The murder was never solved.
1850-Tuesday- Gail Borden of
1850-Tuesday- Same day as Gail Borden
perfected his meat biscuit. the first
A stereoscope design that may be regarded as
the first precursor to the peep show machine (this did not feature what you
think was featured - at least we hope not) was patented by Samuel D. Goodale of
1861-Tuesday- Interestingly, on the same day, a patent was issued for the kinematoscope - a photographic attempt to show motion - to Coleman Sellers of Philadelphia. He described it as an "improvement in exhibiting stereoscopic pictures of moving objects. Both of these inventions laid the foundation for development of moving pictures of the 1880’s and for modern day classics such as Saw 9 in which Jigsaw tortures his victims by tickling them to death with an ostrich feather.
1897 –Saturday- Ah government! The
Indiana State House legislature passed a bill which in effect gave 3.2 exactly
as the value of pi. It stated, in part, "the ratio of the diameter and
circumference [pi] is as five-fourths to four." That is (4 divided by 5/4)
= 16/5 = 3.2 exactly. It was introduced by Representative Taylor I. Record, a
farmer (way too much breathing of manure) and lumber merchant (would have been
better off with logarithms), on behalf of a mathematical hobbyist, one Dr.
Edwin J. Goodwin, M.D. As with most politicians, they had no idea what they
were talking about. Nor did they
understand it was mathematically incorrect. Clarence A. Waldo, a mathematics
The patent for the first
loop-the-loop centrifugal railway (a roller coaster) was awarded to the very
dizzy Edwin Prescott in
1915 –Saturday- Happy Birthday, Richard Hofstadter, American physicist who shared the Nobel Prize (with Rudolf L. Moessbauer of Germany) for Physics in 1961 for his investigations in which he measured the sizes of the neutron and proton in the nuclei of atoms. He had this really really small measuring tape. It was one of those tapes with the button on the side so it could automatically retract. Hofstadter was able to show that nucleons (protons and neutrons) were not simply point particles, but had definite size and form. Both appeared to be composed of charged mesonic clouds (or shells) with the charges adding together in the proton, but canceling each other out in the neutral neutron. Neutron walks into a bar, orders a drink, offers to pay, and is told “for you, there is no charge”. This led him to predict the existence of the rho-meson, omega-meson.
1916 –Saturday- Enrico Caruso, considered the greatest operatic tenor ever, recorded O Solo Mio - written in 1898 by Giovanni Capurro, and Eduardo di Capua. for the Victor Talking Machine Company, which eventually became Victor Records, then RCA Victor. The “Hip Hop” version of O Solo Mio by Fifty Cent with “sampling” from Verdi’s Four Seasons was released in 2006.
The next time you watch the
sprinters at the starting line at the Olympics, think of George T.
1934-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Henry Louis Aaron Jr., the
baseball slugger who broke Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers (without
the aid of performance enhancing drugs) , born in Mobile, Alabama. Aaron starred in right field for the
Milwaukee Braves (beginning in 1954, the year after they moved from
During a February
3-7 Conference called by President Franklin Roosevelt, The
National Wildlife Federation was founded. The conference was called the North
American Wildlife Conference. At this
conference an organization was created to called the General Wildlife Federation. Norwood
Darling (political cartoonist but also chief of the U.S. Biological Survey) was elected president. The first annual
meeting was held March 3, 1937 (Wednesday) in
1952 –Tuesday- The first "Don't Walk" sign was installed in
1953 –Friday- The debut of Disney’s Peter Pan at the Roxy Theater in
1958 –Thursday- Some people
lose socks, some people lose gloves. The
U.S Military seems to have a problem with losing nuclear bombs. In yet another instance, 1958 - A
hydrogen bomb which came to be known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the US Air
Force off the coast of
1971 –Saturday- Apollo 14, the third US manned Moon expedition, landed near Fra Mauro, Alan Shepard and Edward Mitchell romped on the Moon for four hours. Fra Mauro was the same area that was to have been explored by Apollo 13 which had made an abrupt U-turn when some oxygen tanks exploded. Although the primary mission objectives for Apollo 14 were the same as those of Apollo 13, the latter had an innovation that allowed an increase in the range of lunar surface exploration and the amount of material collected was the provision of a collapsible, two-wheeled cart, the modular equipment transporter (MET), for carrying tools, cameras, a portable magnetometer, and lunar samples. Included in the lunar samples were space microbes that overran humanity resulting in the failure of men to put down the toilet seat after use.
2001 –Tuesday- A social note: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman announced their separation. Cruise would return to his home on Mars. Kidman would devote the rest of her life to developing a giant forehead and box office busts.
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6. 1564 –Thursday- Happy Birthday, Christopher Marlowe English poet,
dramatist: as well as a contemporary and sometimes rival of William Shakespeare. His first notable work was
Tamburlaine the Great, Marlowe's dramatic career was only to last six years. In that time he
wrote The Jew of
Happy Birthday, Queen Anne of
1685 – Tuesday- With the kapution of
his brother Charles II, King James V of
1695 –Monday- The 16th, and 17th centuries were rampant with Bernoullis. Here’s another one. Happy Birthday – Nicolaus (II) Bernoulli was the favorite of three sons of Johann Bernoulli. He made important mathematical contributions to the problem of trajectories while working on the mathematical arguments behind the dispute between Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz.
1754-Wednesday- Benjamin Banneker,
African-American mathematician and inventor, built the first chiming clock in the
1756 –Friday- Happy
Birthday, Aaron Burr 3rd U.S. Vice President. He killed Alexander Hamilton in a
duel and was known as a traitor for his participation in the attempt to get the
western U.S to secede from the
1788 –Wednesday- Although they had already drafted their state constitution some eight years earlier, it wasn’t until this day that Massachusetts became the sixth state to enter the United States of America.
1819- Saturday- Sir Stamford
Raffles of British East India Company established trading post on
1833-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, James Ewell Brown “Jeb”
Stuart, Robert E.Lee’s cavalry commander.
Stuart was noted for such feats as completely riding around the Union
Army….twice, once after the Peninsula
Campagne and then again after
1886-Saturday- German chemist, Clement Winkler
discovered the element germanium. Germanium, at room temperature is a
solid. The atomic number is 32 and the
atomic weight is 72.64. Winkler discovered the new element in the mineral
argyrodite. While he was analyzing the argyrodite (a silver sulfide ore), he
found that all the known elements it contained amounted to only 93 per cent of
its weight. Tracking down the remaining 7 per cent, he found the new element he
called germanium (for
1891-Friday- The “Dalton Gang”s first robbery. It failed. Not deterred, Bob, Emmett and Grat Dalton conducted a series of robberies over the next year until 1892 when they cleverly tried to rob two banks at the same time in Coffeyville, Kansas, failed with both and got Bob and Grat killed in the process. Nevertheless, thanks to western movies and books, a bank robbing career lasting one year, bookended by failures has become legendary.
1895 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Babe Ruth, The greatest baseball player of all time. Yes, other players have since hit more home runs (although not as many dramatic ones) driven in more runs, but how many of them also won ninety two games as a pitcher or held the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched at 292/3 until broken by another New York Yankee, Whitey Ford. Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player of all time! Note that Ruth’s birthday is the day after Hank Aaron’s birthday. Aaron surpassed Ruths’ all time home record.
The peace treaty
ending the Spanish-American War was ratified by the U.S. Senate. It was yet another Treaty of Paris. The U.S
likes Treaties of Paris. The American
Revolution and the War of 1812 also ended with Treaties of Paris. Hostilities
were halted on August 12, 1898 (Friday), with the signing in
Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the
Happy Birthday, Mary Leakey, born Mary
Douglas Nicol, English archaeologist and
paleoanthropologist, wife of Louis Leakey (the plumbing in their home consisted
of “Leakey pipes”). Described as "the woman who found our ancestors",
Mary Leakey’s work in
1917 –Tuesday- On February 3, President Woodrow Wilson broke
diplomatic relations with
1933-Monday- The 20th Amendment to the
U.S Constitution, which set the dates for the beginning of congressional
and presidential terms went into effect. The amendment moved the start of
presidential, vice-presidential and congressional terms from March to January. It had been ratified by
1937 –Saturday- “Gee George, did you know that John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men was published on this day? The title came from a poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns – “The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men / Gang aft agley”
1943 –Sunday- Happy Birthday, “singer” Fabian (Fabiano Forte). Of all of Dick Clark’s creations, (Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell) Fabian is conspicuous for having the least talent. He couldn’t sing. Couldn’t act. He was a fairly good lip syncher. Had great hair though and teenage girls loved him. If you ever want to get even with loud neighbors just play Turn Me Loose or Like a Tiger at full volume.
1944-Sunday- American obstetrician and gynecologist Dr John Rock, the developer of the birth control pill, while working with Miriam F. Menkin, fertilized the first human egg in a test tube. The egg developed into one of actress Elizabeth Tayor’s husbands, probably the guy she met in rehab.
1945-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Reggae musician Bob Marley,
The United States
successfully test-fired for the first time a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral. It was the
1959 – Jack Kilby and
1961-Monday- Photographic evidence from satellites revealed that the Earth is a “sightly irregular ellipsoid.” And you thought it was round….. but Isaac Newton had stated it wasn’t round back in the 17th century. Scientists found it hard to believe.
1962 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, William Bailey, better known as Axl Rose, lead singer of 80’s supergroup, Guns N Roses.
–Saturday- With Apollo 14 getting ready to depart from the Moon, astronaut
Alan Shepard took two shots at some golf balls. Near the end of the second
moonwalk, and just before entering the lunar module for the last time, Shepard,
who was an avid golfer, attached a
6-iron golf club to the end of a sample collecting tool. Because to the
thickness of his gloves and space suit, he hit the golf balls with one hand.
The first landed in a nearby crater (designated a “bunker” in golf terminology).
The second was hit right on the nose and in the one-sixth gravity (of Earth) of the moon, Shepard said it traveled
"miles and miles and miles." Not quite that far but further than any
drive ever hit on Earth. Unfortunately
there was no putting green so they left. Of note is that while Shepard and
Edgar Mitchell walked on the Moon’s surface, Stuart Roosa, a former U.S. Forest
Service smoke jumper, orbited above in the command module. Packed in small
containers in Roosa's personal kit were hundreds of tree seeds, part of a joint
NASA/USFS project. Upon return to Earth, the seeds were germinated by the
Forest Service. Known as the "Moon Trees", the resulting seedlings
were planted throughout the
2004-Friday- Islamic Chechan terrorists,set off an
explosion in a
Back To Calendar
7. 1478 –Thursday- Happy Birthday, Sir Thomas More, the ‘Man for All
Seasons’: English statesman, philosopher and author. More found guilty of treason when he wouldn't go along
with Henry VIII's plans for divorce of Catherine of Aragon so he could marry sweet
young thing, Anne Boleyn. In April, 1534, More refused to swear to the
Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy, and was committed to the
–Saturday The 11th Amendment to the
U.S constitution, which limits Supreme
Court jurisdiction was ratified as
1804-Tuesday- Dear John, Happy Birthday, John Deere, American
agricultural equipment inventor and pioneer manufacturer born in born in
Rutland, Vermont. As a blacksmith in
1812 –Friday- "What the dickens was the name of the guy who wrote Great Expectations?” Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens English novelist and autor of, among others, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist. Yes, his father was the original of Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield, and Dickens's mother was the original for the querulous Mrs. Nickleby. Dickens works usually appeared in serial form in the newspapers. His last, unfinished at his kapution, was the Mystery of Edwin Drood.
1812 –Friday- Nothing to do with the birth of Charles Dickens but on this
day a violent of a series of earthquakes near New Madrid, Missouri caused a
so-called fluvial tsunami in the Mississippi River, actually making the river
run backward for several hours. Instead of
flowing towards the Gulf of Mexico, it flowed up towards
1817-Friday- The first public gas street light in the
(?) Friday- And, on the same day as the first gas
street light (perhaps symbolically), Happy Birthday, Frederick
1867 –Thursday- Laura Ingalls Wilder, American writer: who wrote the Little House on the Prairie and the six other novels that make up what is known as the "Little House" series. Wilder was 65 when her first "Little House" book was published.
1870- Happy Birthday, Alfred Adler, Austrian doctor and psychologist who founded the school of individual psychology (each classroom had only one seat…….ha ha ha, Professor Sy Yentz has his id sense of humor). He was a prominent member of the psychoanalytical group formed by Sigmund Freud in 1900. Adler rejected Freud's emphasis on sex, and maintained that personality difficulties are rooted in a feeling of inferiority deriving from restrictions on the individual's need for self-assertion. His best-known work is The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology (1923), followed by Who’s Afreud of Freud, a critical essay.
1893 –Tuesday- The next time you write to
someone famous, oh maybe the President, to request an autograph, think of Elisha
1904-Sunday- Nothing to do with the first streetlight, see 1817- but in
Baltimore, a small fire in the business district developed into an
uncontrollable conflagration that destroyed
a large portion of the city by evening. The fire is believed to have
been started by a discarded cigarette in the basement of the
1915- The first wireless message sent from a moving train to a
station was received. The message was “help help, they won’t stop”. Of note is that a wireless transmission had
been sent from train to a newspaper almost two years earlier. The New York Times received the transmission from a
1926-Sunday- Happy Birthday, Konstantin P. Feoktistov, Russian cosmonaut and space engineer. He was part of the team that would design the Sputnik, Vostok, Voskhod, and Soyuz spacecraft under the leadership of Sergey Korolev. He trained as a cosmonaut, and was eventually part of the Voskhod 1 crew launched on Oct 12, 1964 (Monday) for 16 earth orbits. This was the world's first multi-manned (three man crew) spaceflight. Of note is that Nikita Khrushchev was the Soviet leader at launch, Khrushchev was removed and presto, the charismatic Leonid Brezhnev was Soviet leader when they landed.
1932 –Sunday- A neutron walks into a bar, orders a drink. When it offers to pay the bartender refuses the money saying "for you there is no charge". The "neutron" was described in an article in the journal Nature by its discoverer, James Chadwick, who coined the name for this neutral particle he discovered present in the nucleus of atoms. Chadwick based his work on experiments conducted by Irene Joliot-Curie, one of Marie Curie’s daughters, and her husband, Frederic Joliot-Curie. Chadwick not only bombarded the hydrogen atoms in paraffin with the beryllium emissions, but he also used helium, nitrogen, and other elements as targets. By comparing the energies of recoiling charged particles from different targets, he proved that the beryllium emissions contained a neutral component with a mass approximately equal to that of the proton. He called it the neutron.
1932 - Happy Birthday, Al Worden, American
astronaut. Worden served as command module pilot
for Apollo 15, July 26 - August 7, 1971. Apollo 15 was the fourth manned lunar
landing mission and the first to visit and explore the moon's Hadley Rille and
1935-Thursday- Monopoly was
first marketed by Charles Darrow, with the symbol of “Rich Uncle Pennybags”. He
had perfected the game on Mar 7 1933. A patent was issued for the game on Dec 31
1935 and assigned to Parker Brothers, Inc.
Darrow did not actually invent Monopoly.
Origins go back to the 1904 The Landlord's Game, patented by Quaker, Lizzie Magie.
In 1924 Magie was issued another patent for her enhanced board game. By the late 1920s it was known as just plain
"Monopoly" and was played very much as it is now. In 1929, Hoosier Ruth Hoskins and her
friends changed the game street names to street names in
1940 –Wednesday- The world premiere of the Walt Disney’s
second feature length film, Pinocchio, in
1962 – Happy Birthday,
Garth Brooks, country western singer born born Troyal Garth Brooks in
'Cause I've got friends in low places
Where the whiskey drowns
And the beer chases my blues away
And I'll be okay
I'm not big on social graces
Think I'll slip on down to the oasis
Oh, I've got friends in low places
1964 –Friday- "I Wanna
money .....er ahh ....Hand." The Beatles, via
Pan Am Flight 101, arrived in
1976-Saturday- Use of the world‘s largest reflector telescope at Zelenchukskaya, in the Caucasus Mountains of the Soviet Union. User requirements included being able to say Zelenchukskaya quickly three times without making a mistake.
1984 –Tuesday- The first untethered spacewalks (that meant they were not attached to the spacecraft by a rope) were made by STS 41 B Challenger astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart. It was a 5 hour 55 minute romp. They used the manned maneuvering unit (MMU), during this tenth flight of a Space Shuttle. McCandless used the MMU first, and later, Stewart used the MMU. This was the first MMU MMU in space. This was also the first shuttle flight to conclude with a night landing after which everyone gathered around the camp fire and told spooky stories.
Back To Calendar
8. National Inventor‘s Day. Who is the youngest person to
hold a patent? The
youngest person to be granted a patent is a four-year-old girl from
–Thursday- Happy Birthday, King Afonso IV of
1587 –Sunday- After 15 years of imprisonment, Mary Queen of Scots was
beheaded for treason by order of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Mary was not
the sharpest knife in the drawer, and this combined with her propensity for
awful choices in her selection of husbands and lovers got her involved in a
plot to overthrow
Birthday, Jacques Cassini, French astronomer who compiled the first tables of the
orbital motions of Saturn's moons. He was the son of Jean-Dominique Cassini,
head of the Paris Observatory, and Geneviève de Laistre. With his father he
measured the meridian from
1692 –Friday- Uh Oh! A doctor in
1700-Monday- Happy Birthday, Daniel Bernoulli, one of a seemingly endless number of Bernoullis all of who were Swiss mathematicians. He investigated not only mathematics but also such fields as medicine, biology, physiology, mechanics, physics, astronomy, and oceanography. His most important work considered the basic properties of fluid flow, pressure, density and velocity, and gave the Bernoulli principle – publishished in his boo, Hydrodynamica in 1738. The “principle holds that as the velocity of a fluid increases, the pressure exerted by that fluid decreases. Airplanes get a part of their lift by taking advantage of Bernoulli's principle. Race cars employ Bernoulli's principle to keep their rear wheels on the ground while traveling at high speeds.
1777-Saturday- Happy Birthday,
Bernard Courtois, French chemist who
discovered the element iodine. Courtois
was working at his fathers saltpeter factory. Saltpeter was obtained from the
seaweed washed ashore in
1795-Sunday- Happy Birthday, Friedlieb F. Runge German chemist. In studying the possibility of carrying out reactions on filter paper, he produced pictures which strongly resemble present-day, circular paper chromatograms. He is considered to be the originator of paper chromatography. Chromatography works by separating the individual parts of a mixture so that each one can be analyzed and identified.
1820-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, William Tecumseh
Sherman, born in
1828-Friday- Happy Birthday Jules Verne (brother of Heart Verne….is that a reach?), the “father of science fiction.” French author of such books as, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days. Verne predicted the use of hydrogen as an energy source (in From the Earth to the Moon) and many future modern conveniences and technological inventions such as skyscrapers, submarines, helicopters, and airplanes. The names of his inventions and characters such as Captain Nemo, Phileas Fogg, and the submarine Nautilus have entered, and remain, a part of our popular culture.
1834-Saturday- Happy Birthday Dimitri Mendeleev, the youngest
of a family of seventeen, born at Tobolsk,
1837 – Wednesday- Richard Johnson became the only Vice President to be chosen by the Senate. In the Presidential election of 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected President but neither Johnson nor his opponent for VP, Francis Granger, received a majority of Electoral votes, which, according to the 12th Amendment, required the Senate to choose the winner. Johnson was eventually declared the winner, becoming the only Vice President to be chosen by the Senate. Johnson, a protégé of Andrew Jackson received 33 votes to Granger's 14, mostly as a result of pressure from the revered Jackson as well as Van Buren.
–Thursday- The “Devil’s Footprints”
appeared. After a dense snowfall on February 7 and 8, the people of
1866-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Moses Gomberg, Russian-born American chemist who initiated the study of free radicals in chemistry (that’s funny, we thought most of the free radicals were at U Cal Berkeley or Columbia University), when in 1900 he prepared the first authentic one, triphenylmethyl. His work led to modern theories of the structure and reactivity of organic molecules-theories whose application has had tremendous impact on modern life. Organic free radicals are essential to the way in which some enzymes function in the human body. We have discovered that organic free radicals are involved in the body's aging process, in its healthy functioning, and in the development of cancer and other serious diseases. Outgrowths of Gomberg’s work with organic free radicals has helped explain DNA synthesis in the body and many other natural phenomena, from food spoilage to the effects of sunburn. Organic free radicals also play a major role in the production of plastics, synthetic rubber, and other widely used synthetic materials.
1887- In one of the severest blows yet to Native Americans, President
Grover Cleveland- signed the Dawes Severalty Act into law. The act split up
reservations held communally by Indian tribes into smaller units and
distributed these units to individuals within the tribe. The law changed the
legal status of Native Americans from tribal members to “individuals” subject
to federal laws and dissolved many tribal affiliations The Dawes
Severalty/General Allotment Act constituted a huge blow to tribal sovereignty.
– Tuesday- John A. Sherman of
1904 –Monday- Following the
Russian rejection of a Japanese plan to divide Manchuria and Korea into spheres
of influence, Japan launched a surprise naval attack against Port Arthur, a
Russian naval base in China. The Russian fleet was decimated. Gee, a Japanese
surprise attack. Thirty seven years later, they would do it again at
1906- You may wish to duplicate this entry. Happy Birthday, Chester Carlson, American physicist and patent attorney who invented xerography, an electrostatic dry-copying process that found applications ranging from office copying to reproducing out-of-print books. That’s exactly the way you think of it as you stand in line waiting to make your copies. However, you might know the company as Xerox. Carlson based his work on the little-known field of photoconductivity, specifically the findings of Hungarian physicist Paul Selenyi, who was experimenting with electrostatic images. He learned that when light strikes a photoconductive material, the electrical conductivity of that material is increased. From 1939 to 1944, he was turned down by more than twenty companies. It was not until 1959, twenty-one years after Carlson invented xerography, that the first convenient office copier using xerography was unveiled.
1922-Wednesday- President Warren G. Harding had a radio installed in the White House. Warren and the gang particularly enjoyed boogying down to the classic Disco sounds of Hot 97.
1924-Friday- The first
execution by lethal gas in American history was carried out in
1928 –Wednesday- First transatlantic TV – Scotsman John Logie
Baird's transmission of a TV image was
received across the Atlantic ocean, from
1936 –Saturday- In the first National Football League Draft of college football players, the Philadelphis Eagles selected Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger. They promptly traded his rights to the Chicago Bears. Considering pro football wasn't a very lucrative career in 1936, Berwanger never played in the NFL
1968 –Thursday- The premier of Planet of the Apes, starring Charlton Heston, and the heavily simeon made up; Roddy McDowall , Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, and Linda Harrison as Nova, the “barbarian” babe. Based on the novel by Pierre Boule, with a screenplay co-written by Rod Serling, an astronaut crew crash lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved
Zira: "Not only can this man speak, he can think, he can reason."
Zaius: "I see you've brought the female of your species, I didn't realize that man could be monogamous."
The worst thing about the movie was its spawn:
Planet of the Apes (2001 – a remake)
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998) (TV)
Planet of the Apes (1974) (TV series)
Back to the Planet of the Apes (1981) (TV)
Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975) (TV series)
Farewell to the Planet of the Apes (1981) (TV)
The Making of 'Planet of the Apes' (2001) (TV)
Planet of the Apes: Rule the Planet (2001) (TV)
1969-Saturday- Pieces of a large
meteorite were recovered in
1974-Friday- The crew of Skylab 3 concluded 84 days, 1hr. and 16
min. in orbit. This third and final astronaut crew
returned from the
1983 –Tuesday- The Melbourne Dust Storm caused by
exceptionally dry conditions in Eastern Australia – due to an El Nino- turned day into night. At its height, the
dust-storm extended across the entire width of
the state of
1993 –Monday- In another example of lazy, dishonest, biased television journalism, the investigative show Dateline NBC aired a report titled ''Waiting to Explode?''. The report questioned the safety of some General Motors trucks. To try to ensure dramatic footage, the show's producers allowed incendiary devices to be strapped to trucks for a crash-test demonstration. Kablooey! When GM discovered the setup, the carmaker sued NBC for defamation and temporarily removed its ads from the network's news programs. NBC settled the next day. Then came the ultimate embarrassment: Dim Dateline anchors Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips were ordered to read a 3.5-minute on-air apology to viewers and GM.
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9. 1773-Tuesday- Happy Birthday William Henry Harrison, born in
1814-Wednesday- See 1825 below also for stolen elections,
Happy Birthday, Samuel Tilden, lawyer and governor of
1825-Wednesday- In the presidential election of 1824(see
Dec. 1), John Quincy Adams, won fewer votes than Andrew Jackson in the popular
election(sound familiar?). 131 electoral
votes, just over half of the 261 total, were necessary to elect a candidate
president. On December 1, 1824, the results were announced. Jackson of
Tennessee won 99 electoral votes; John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts received
84 electoral votes; Secretary of State William H. Crawford, received 41
electoral votes; and Representative Henry Clay of
1854-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Aletta Jacobs, Dutch physician who pioneered family planning and started the world's first birth control clinic .She was also the first woman to attend university in the Netherlands where she studied medicine, and became the country's first woman doctor.
1864 – A social note with wedding of the Union
General George Armstrong Custer to Elizabeth Bacon in
Happy Birthday, Erich Dagobert von Drygalski, born in
Köningsberg, East Prussia,
German geographer and glaciologist who led an expedition to the Antarctic
in1901-03. When his research ship Gauss
was caught in frozen seas he discovered a volcano!!!!!! It was free of ice, on
the coldest of the continents. He called the volcano Gaussberg. Not one to waste his time while being trapped
in the ice, von Drygalski became the first person to fly in a balloon over
1870-Wednesday- Congress authorized the first public weather service.
the first forecast naturally consisted of, gushing wind and hot air, and
posturing. Cleveland Abbe (brother of Westminster
Abbe) had begun a private weather reporting and warning service at
1871-Thursday- Happy Birthday,
Howard T Ricketts, American pathologist who discovered that Rocky Mountain spotted fever is spread
by cattle ticks and caused by a blood-borne "bipolar bacillus." The microorganism is now called Rickettsia
rickettsii. In 1910 he showed that typhus is caused by a similar organism
carried by lice. He died that same year
1883 –Friday- Happy Birthday, Garnet Carter American
inventor of miniature golf. In 1926, Carter opened his
miniature golf course,Tom Thumb, at the Fairyland Club on
1893 –Tuesday- Eighty
year old Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera, Falstaff
made its debut at
1895 –Saturday- The
invention of volleyball as William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men's
Christian Association (YMCA) in
1900-Friday- The beginning of the Davis Cup Tennis competition as Dwight
F. Davis, a student on the Harvard tennis squad, wanted to match the skills of
four members of his team against a team from
1916-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Alec Zino, Portuguese
ornithologist and conservationist who gave his name to Zino's petrel,
1942-Monday- Just two months after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Normandie, regarded by many as the most beautiful passenger liner of the time, burned at its dock in New York City while being converted into a troop carrier. German or Japanese sabotage? No, a careless welder set fire to flammables on the ship and by the next morning it was a capsized wreck. The 1029 ft., 83,000 ton ship had been launched in 1932.
–Monday- Same day as the Normandie fire, Congress pushed ahead standard time for the
1942 – Monday, an eventful day as Happy Birthday, Carole King, American singer. Her landmark 1971 album, Tapestry was ranked number 1 album on the Billboard Chart for 15 weeks and remained on the charts for over six years. The album also won her four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, Record of the Year (It's Too Late); and Song of the Year (You've Got a Friend).
The battle of
1959 –Monday- Just six days after the kapution of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper during the Winter Dance Party, one of the replacements, Frankie Avalon developed pneumonia……remember this was Wisconsin in February. He was then replaced by Paul Anka (pre Vegas) and Fabian.
The Beatles made their debut in an appearance at
1964 – Seventy three million viewers watched The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. They sang All My Lovin', Til There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Also appearing on the show was a pre-Monkees Davy Jones who was appearing in the Broadway show Oliver at the time. He did a duet of I’d Do Anything with co-star Georgia Brown. Impressionist Frank Gorshin who would go onto fame as the Riddler in TV’s Batman also performed.
–Saturday- Japan's worst nuclear
accident occured at Mihama. Some radioactivity was released to the atmosphere
and the plant's emergency core cooling system was activated. The release of
radiation into the atmosphere was kept to a small amount. No deaths resulted.
But………later that week, a giant caterpillar answering to the name of Mothra,
1995 - STS-63, aboard the Discovery astronauts Bernard A. Harris, Jr. and Michael Foale become the first African American and first Briton, respectively, to perform spacewalks. It was also the first flight of a female shuttle pilot, Eileen Collins.
1996-Friday- Here today, gone in a fraction of a second…. only a little more than a year after they created element 111, a team of German scientists at Darmstadt, Germany, claimed to have created an atom of the element 112. Its nucleus has 112 protons and 166 neutrons, giving it a mass number of 277. As a new element it was named ununbium, symbol Uub. It lasted a fraction of a thousandth of a second before decaying into a smaller nucleus So, basically, it takes longer to say ununbium than it actually lasts.
2001 –Friday- Slapstick US nuclear submarine USS Greeneville collided with the Japanese fishing training boat Ehime Maru, in the Pacific Ocean south of Oahu, Hawaii sinking the vessel. Nine aboard the Ehime Maru were killed in the collision, including four high school students. There were sixteen civilian “VIPs” on board the Greeneville. Before the collision, the sonar room was left without its supervisor, who was assigned to be a "tour guide" instead of watching over a trainee manning the sonar display. The Greenville wasn’t finished with its Laurel and Hardy type adventures as it went on to be involved in two other incidents the following year: In August, it ran aground in a Saipan port, and in 2002, it collided with the USS Ogden near Oman.
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Tuesday- We all know of the friction
between “town and gown’ but today’s
1763-Thursday- The French and Indian War, aka the Seven Years War outside
Happy Birthday, Claude-Louis Navier b French engineer and physicist. He born in
(Tritton 1988, Faber 1995), where is the dynamic viscosity, is the second viscosity coefficient, is the Kronecker delta, is the divergence, is the bulk viscosity, and Einstein summation has been used to sum over j = 1, 2, and 3. (Tritton 1988, Faber 1995), where is the dynamic viscosity, is the second viscosity coefficient, is the Kronecker delta, is the divergence, is the bulk viscosity, and Einstein summation has been used to sum over j = 1, 2, and 3. Clear? http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/Navier-StokesEquations.html
1835-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Victor Hanson, physiologist and oceanographer who first used the name plankton in 1887 to describe the tiny organisms that live suspended in the sea. So, that means in pirate lingo, he walked the plankton.
1840-Monday Happy Birthdayium to Per Teodor Cleve, Swedish chemist and geologist who discovered the elements holmium (Symbol: Ho Atomic weight: 164.9304 Atomic number 67) and thulium Atomic Number: 69,Atomic Weight: 168.93421. Symbol –TM) In 1874, Cleve concluded that what was known as didymium was in fact two elements. This was proved in 1885ium and the two elements were named neodymium and praseodymium. In 1879ium, he showed that scandium was in fact the boron predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev in his periodic table. This scandium was scandalous. Also in 1879ium, working with a sample of erbia that had all traces of scandia and ytterbia removed, he found two new elements, which he named holmium, after Stockholm, and thulium, after the old name for Scandinavia.. In 1886, Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovered that holmium was a mixture and contained the new element dysprosium. Holmiun Cowmium!! There is no data to indicate anything about holmium sexual.
The very dowdy Queen
1846-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Ira
Remsen, American chemist born in
privately considering William Yancey, Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs, Alexander
Stephens, Robert Barnwell Rhett, Homer
Simpson, Sylvester Stallone, Dick Cheney, and Judge Judy for President of the
Confederate States of America, the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America settled on Jefferson Davis. They selected
Alexander Stephens, both pro-Union and a friend of Abraham Lincoln, as
The fire extinguisher was patented by
Alanson Crane of Fortress Monroe, Virginia. “Yes
1863-Tuesday- And on the same day that the fire extinguisher was patented, Dubois D. Parmelee was issued a patent for an "Improvement in Artificial Legs" using a custom-molded suction cup to attach the artificial limb to the stump. This was the artificial leg. Before this invention, he “didn’t have a leg to stand on”. The artificial leg and the fire extinguisher on the same day……the Gnus marches on. Parmelee also invented the first key-operated adding machine
Happy Birthday, Boris Pasternak, the Russian Nobel Prize (1958)-winning
novelist and poet, author of Doctor
Zhivago…his only novel. A baseball
team had been named in the book’s honor.
You all know the Zhivago Cubs. In the
1890-Monday. Sharing a birthday with
Pasternak is Fannie Kaplan (born Faina Yefimovna Kaplan) who would have been
more famous (and perhaps spared the world decades of grief and mass murder) had
she been successful in her attempt to assassinate Vladimir Lenin. In 1918 she approached Lenin near a
1906 –Saturday- The first true battleship, Dreadnought, an 18,110-ton battleship
was launched. Dreadnought represented one of the most notable design
transformations of the armored warship era. Her "all-big-gun" main
battery of ten twelve-inch guns, steam turbine powerplant and 21-knot maximum
speed so thoroughly eclipsed earlier types that subsequent battleships were
commonly known as "dreadnoughts". The new battleship served as
Flagship of the Home Fleet in 1907-1912 and remained part of that fleet
thereafter. Dreadnought served in the
1920-Tuesday- Kathleen Mavourneen, Annie Crawford's poem and Dion Boucicault's stage play starring Theda Bara, provoked a riot when it opened in San Francisco. Rioters wrecked the Sun Theater protesting of the film's portrayal of the Irish poor and the opening feature movie which starred Adam Sandler in the title role of Othello and Rosie O’Donnell as Iago. Note: IMDb informs us that the film Kathleen Mavourneen is presumed lost and we should please check our attics.
1920- Tuesday- Baseball outlawed the spitball except for existing spitballers who were grandfathered in and allowed to keep throwing the pitch legally until they retired. Burleigh Grimes lasted the longest, retiring in 1934. A spitball is an illegal baseball pitch in which the ball has been altered by the application of saliva, petroleum jelly, or some other foreign substance. The spitball rose to prominence in the early 1900s and was widely used into the 1910s. Since Grimes's retirement the spitball has been completely illegal in the majors, but some pitchers have been suspected of throwing it. Notable pitchers who admitted throwing the spitter include Preacher Roe, Don Drysdale, and Gaylord Perry. A number of other pitchers, most notoriously Joe Niekro, were caught throwing the gooey mess – can you imagine being the catcher? Eew!, or other defaced ball pitches.
1931 –Tuesday- British ruled
1933-Friday- The first singing telegram was introduced by
the Postal Telegram Co. in
1846 –Tuesday- “
1950 –Friday- Happy Birthday, Mark Spitz, American swimmer. During the 1972 Olympics, he became the first athlete to win seven gold medals in an Olympiad. His performances were even more remarkable considering world records were set in all seven events. In meeting all the pre-Olympic hype, he won four individual events -- in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle and 100- and 200-meter butterfly -- and three relay races. Requests for new events such as the 100 meter Dog Paddle and the Longest Dead Man Float were denied or he might have won more medals, especially if the Dog Paddle was a relay too.
The Styrofoam cooler was invented. Since all the references found by Professor
Sy Yentz are just that simple sentence, we will presume that since Styrofoam
was invented by Dow Chemical Co., they were also responsible for the invention
of the Styrofoam cooler. What we commonly call styrofoam, is actually the most
recognizable form of foam polystyrene packaging. Styrofoam ® is a Dow Chemical Co. trademarked form of polystyrene foam insulation, introduced in
1957 –Sunday – The premiere of cinematic excellence, The Attack of the Crab Monsters. No, it had nothing to do with an STD. Directed by Roger Corman and starring Richard Garland,
Pamela Duncan and Russell Johnson. People were trapped on a shrinking island by intelligent, brain-eating giant crabs
Soviet Union exchanged captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for
Rudolph Ivanovich Abel, a Soviet spy (perhaps the major communist spy) held by
1967 –Friday- The Twenty Fifth Amendment to the U.S
Constitution was ratified by
1992 –Monday- Pugilistic train wreck, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, was found guilty of raping 18-year-old beauty-pageant contestant Desiree Washington, by an Indiana jury. The following month, Tyson was given a 10-year prison sentence, with four years suspended.
2009 – Tuesday- The need for traffic signals in space was highlighted as a commercial Iridium communications satellite collided with a Russian satellite or satellite fragment, creating a cloud of wreckage in low-Earth orbit.. U.S. Space Command tracked about 280 pieces of debris, most of it from a non-operational Russian satellite. That Russian made junk just falls apart at the slightest impact. Iridium operated a constellation of approximately 66 satellites, along with orbital spares, to support satellite telephone operations around the world. Needless to say, even with “No-fault”, their insurance premiums will go up.
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11. 660 B.C – Saturday- The
traditional founding date of
1794 –Tuesday- First session of United States Senate was open
to the public. Causing people to run from the room with nausea and others to
just hold their heads in their hands moaning “how can politicians be so pompously posing, one dimensional, ersatz, shallow…no, wait that’s the
contemporary Senate. In 1794 the Senate
featured luminaries ranging from the morally challenged Aaron Burr of
1800- Tuesday- Happy Birthday, William Henry Fox Talbot, English inventor
and politician. He had tried taking
pictures with a camera lucida, an optical device that allows you to see what you want to paint or draw as if reflected
on your piece of paper and wasn’t
pleased with the results. He began to experiment with light-sensitive
chemistry, corresponding with the preeminent astronomer and scientist Sir John
Herschel about their mutual photographic discoveries. Unfortunately, Talbot then
placed his photographic investigations on hold to pursue other interests. Big
Mistake. Talbot finally announced his
invention of the photogenic drawing in January 1839, two weeks after Louis
Daguerre's daguerreotype process was introduced in
Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian
interpreter and guide to the Lewis and
Judge Jesse Fell of
1809-Saturday (after 1848 all patents would be issued on Tuesdays)
Robert Fulton patented his
steamboat for the first time, although he had already made his first successful
steamboat trip on the Clermont between
1812 –Tuesday- Massachusetts Gov.
Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting law that favored his political party.
Gerry’s law originated the term ''gerrymandering.'' Gerry had redistricted his
state to overwhelmingly benefit his party, the Democrat/Republican Party. The
opposition party, the Federalists, were, to put it mildly, quite upset. Governor Gerry went on to become vice
president under James Madison from 1813 until his kapution a year later. Gerry
was the second vice president to go kaput while in office. One of the
Birthday, Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor who, singly or jointly,
held a world record 1,093 patents. In addition, he created the world's first
industrial research laboratory. In 1868, his first invention was an electric
vote-recording machine (probably still used in
1858 –Thursday- In France,
Marie Soubirous, a 14-year-old French peasant girl, claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary, the
mother of Jesus Christ in a vision. The
sight of her visions was
Happy Birthday, Leo
Sziliard, Hungarian-born American physicist who, working with Enrico Fermi, designed the first nuclear
reactor that sustained nuclear chain reaction on Dec. 2 1942 (Wednesday) . Szilard
was one of the first to realize that nuclear chain reactions could be used in
bombs and was instrumental in urging the
1922-Saturday- The use of insulin to treat diabetes in a dog was announced in the first paper published on the subject by the Canadian surgeon Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best. On July 10, 1921,(Sunday) they injected an extract from pancreatic tissue into a diabetic dog. After an hour, the blood glucose had dropped from 0.2 to 0.1%. They continued their research, and improved the purity of what they named insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. The discovery was one of the watershed moments in medicine. Diabetics now had hopes of living full and productive lives. Banting received a share of the Nobel Prize in 1923 for the work
Happy Birthday, Leslie Nielson, actor born in
1928 –Saturday- Celebrating the invention of television and anticipating the invention of the remote control……Attention "couch potatoes", the La-Z-Boy reclining chair was invented by Ed Shoemaker. The first chair didn’t exactly look like the one you fall asleep on while watching C-SPAN. This one was a wood slat outdoor folding chair from orange crates. Oh yes, the remote control was invented by the Zenith Corporation and interestingly enough the remote control was initially called the “Lazy Bone”.
1935 –Monday- Happy Birthday, Gene Vincent, one of the greats of early Rock n Roll. The echo effect on the recording of Be Bop a Lula is just as fresh today as when he recorded it in 1956. Vincent was injured in the same 1960 car crash that killed fellow rocker Eddie Cochran.
1937-Thursday- For the first time,
all three major radio networks simultaneously broadcast a program. At the time,
the three networks were CBS, NBC, and Mutual. All three broadcast a benefit
1938-Friday- A thirty-five minute adaptation of Karel Capek’s play a RUR, Rossum's Universal Robots (1921), from which the word 'robot' is derived was broadcast on the BBC television. It is believed to be the first piece of television science-fiction ever to be produced. The play describes the elimination of humanity by robots.
– “Pardon me, boy, Is that the
1945-Sunday- The controversial Yalta Conference between Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and the odious Joseph Stalin. An ill and failing Roosevelt, desperate to end the war in the Pacific and not sure if the atomic bomb would work basically gave away Eastern Europe and North Korea in exchange for Stalin’s promise to attack Japan within 2-3 months of the end of the war in Europe. Stalin attacked Japanese territories for his own purposes just after the first atomic bomb in August.
1954 –Thursday- It must have had a really big lampshade -a 75,000-watt light bulb was lit at Rockefeller Center in New York, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Edison’s first light bulb.
1960 – Thursday- Tonight Show host Jack Paar walked off while live on the air on the with four minutes left in the show. He was protesting censors cutting out a joke (in which W.C was confused between water closet and wayside chapel, from the show the night before. A few weeks later he returned to the show with the quip, "As I was saying before I was interrupted..."
1970-Wednesday- The first Japanese
satellite, Osumi 5, was launched,
1978 –Saturday- The enlightened Bourgois, perhaps bowing to the proletariat, of the People's Republic of China lifted a ban on works by Aristotle, Shakespeare and Dickens
–Wednesday- Oops! Operator error as a worker triggered an
emergency alert, sending 100,000 gallons of 'slightly' radioactive water
raining down on the heads of 14 workers at T.V.A.'s Sequoyah nuclear plant in
1990-Sunday- After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was released from
1990- Sunday- Opening the trapdoor that destroyed the career and life of seemingly unbeatable Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson, journeyman James “Buster” Douglas shocked himself and the world with a KO of the champ in the 10th round. Perhaps Tyson was so happy about Nelson Mandela’s release that he could hardly wait to get home to watch the news.
1994- Contented cows? Or Big Squirts? The rBGH genetically engineered growth hormone for cows was first sold to dairy farmers under the name Posilac. It was made by Monsanto Company. This was the first time altered genes had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for injection into live animals. The purpose was to improve a cow's production of milk as much as 5 to 15 pounds per day per cow. The approval process took nine years. Nevertheless, the rBGH worries people concerned about food purity, not to mention people who watch the increasingly strange people who appear on reality television shows who may have been created by rBGH.
1997 –Tuesday- Launch of the shuttle Discovery, STS-82 with the objective of making significant upgrades to the scientific capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope….basically they were going of fix that blurry stuff. Starting on the third day of the mission, the seven-member crew would conduct at least four spacewalks (also called Extravehicular Activities or EVAs for the cognescenti) to remove two older instruments and install two new astronomy instruments, as well as other servicing tasks……like breathing on the lens and polishing it with their sleeves.
2000-Friday- STS-99, the shuttle Endeavour was finally launched. There had been a number of postponements going back to September 1999. The mission objective was to obtain the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of the Earth. i.e map the world. Also aboard Endeavour was a student experiment called EarthKAM, which took 2,715 digital photos during the mission through an overhead flight-deck window. The NASA-sponsored program let middle school students select photo targets and receive the images via the Internet. The pictures were used in classroom projects on earth science, geography, mathematics and space science. More than 75 middle schools around the world participated in the experiment.
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12. 881 –Wednesday- We put this item in because it’s one of our favorite historical nicknames. Pope John VIII crowned Charles the Fat, the King of Italy. The chubby one, was the Frankish king and Holy Roman Emperor, whose fall in 887 marked the final disintegration of the empire of Charlemagne. He descended from a line of portly monarchs, notably Charles the plump, Charlie the chubby, Chuck the stout, and Chip the obese.
1541 –Wednesday- What is now
the city of
Lady Jane Grey, who had claimed the throne of
1637 –Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Jan Swarmmerdam Dutch biologist born in Amsterdam Swammerdam made major discoveries in anatomy when he demonstrated the presence of valves in the lymph vessels, and in nerve-muscle function his work on the frog muscle put paid to pre-scientific ideas of nervous action being due to "vital spirits". He put a frog on a lab table and said “jump”. The frog jumped 10 ft. He cut off one leg and said “jump”. The frog jumped 6 ft. He cut off a second leg, said “jump” and the frog jumped 3 ft. He cut off a third leg, said “jump” and the frog jumped 1 ft. He cut off the last leg, said “jump” and when the frog didn’t move he announced that if you cut off all four of a frog’s legs he becomes deaf. Anticipating Viagra and all the other annoying dysfunctional commercials he also discovered the mechanism of penile erection and was one of the first to discover the human ovarian follicles.
Just about fifty years after the founding of the twelfth colony of
1791-Happy Birthday, Peter Cooper, American
inventor, manufacturer, and philanthropist who built the "Tom Thumb"
locomotive and founded The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art,
New York City. Peter Cooper has had a profound effect on the lives of millions
of people. He obtained the first American patent for the manufacture of gelatin
in1845 and in 1895, Pearl B. Wait, a cough syrup manufacturer, bought the
patent from Cooper’s estate and adapted
Cooper's gelatin dessert into an entirely prepackaged form, which his wife, May
David Wait, named "Jell-O.".
Also of note; Professor Sy Yentz grew up in the apartment development of
1809- One of our favorite
items, Abraham Lincoln and Charles
Darwin were both born on this day. No
they weren‘t fraternal twins,
1850-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, William M. Davis, American geographer, geologist, and meteorologist who founded the science of geomorphology, which is, of course, the study of landforms.
1873-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Barnum Brown, American
paleontologist who discovered the first Tyrannosaurus
rex fossil in 1902 in Montana. Only about 30 Tyrannosaurus fossils have been
found, mostly in the western part of the
1878 –Tuesday- Probably lots of broken noses before Frederick W. Thayer, the captain of the Harvard University Baseball Club, patented the now familiar, baseball catcher's mask.
-The first artificial ice rink in North America was built at the original
1912-Monday- Hsian-T'ung, the last
Manchu emperor of
1924-Tuesday- Note: Other sources give the date as December
4, 1923 (Tuesday) . The first network
radio program to be sponsored by advertising made its debut. The show, The Eveready Hour, was sponsored by the
National Carbon Company – maker of Eveready batteries- and broadcast in
1924 – Tuesday, on the same day as the first commercial network radio broadcast, came the premiere of George Gershwin’s brilliant Rhapsody in Blue. The concert, billed by orchestra leader Paul Whiteman as an eclectic concert to take place at New York City's Aeolian Hall, with the purpose of displaying modern American music in all its varieties has been described as long and tedious. Rhapsody in Blue, with Gershwin at the piano came near the end.
Happy Birthday, Fang Lizhi, Chinese astrophysicist and dissident who was held
by the Chinese leadership to be partially responsible for the 1989 student
rebellion in Tiananmen Square. He had
been expelled from the Communist Party for his human rights stands and in 1972, he published a paper on the big bang
theory. This was previously a forbidden topic in
1941-Wednesday The first injection of penicillin into a human test subject was conducted by British doctors, Ernst Chain and Howard Walter Florey, who had developed the antibiotic. The patient, Albert Alexander, had cleverly scratched his face on a rose bush. When the scratches turned septic, he developed blood poisoning and abscesses. Because he was in great pain, and abscess makes the heart grow fonder, he agreed to be treated with the new drug. Good news: "within four days, there was a striking improvement... he was vastly better... with obvious resolution of the abscesses," according to the doctors. Bad news: They ran out of penicillin. The treatment stopped. The infection returned. He died four weeks later.
1956 –Tuesday- Screamin Jay Hawkins recorded the gentle, poetic ballad, I Put a Spell on You. It would be released in 1957 after his new version was even more gentle and poetic. This version with various grunts and groans was banned by most radio stations
1961 – Sunday- The
1961 – Sunday- Released in late 1960, the Miracles (with lead singer Smokey Robinson) Shop Around became Motown’s first million selling and top ten single.
1973 –Monday- Gee, the metric system sure caught
on fast. Four metric distance road signs, the
first in the
1991 –Tuesday- North and
1999-Friday- The five week impeachment trial of Presidential stud muffin Bill Clinton ended with the Senate voting to acquit the old horn dog on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice. With sixty votes needed to convict, fifty five of the solons 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted "not guilty" the first charge of perjury, and on the charge of obstruction of justice the national exemplars of morality split 50-50.
2001 –Monday- The NEAR Shoemaker (named after Eugene Shoemaker, the great planetary scientist, who influenced decades of research on the role of asteroids and comets in shaping the planets.) spacecraft touched down on Eros, after transmitting 69 close-up images of the surface during its final descent and completing the first landing on an asteroid. The probe had been launched in February 1996. Scientists were shocked to discover that the asteroid Eros was the original home of Nancy Pelosi.
2004 –Thursday- On a social note, Mattel Toy Company announced that the "Barbie" and "Ken" dolls were breaking up. Both were still virgins. The dolls had been an item since 1961. The most important outcome of the break up was the incredibly expensive “Divorce Barbie”. Divorce Barbie came with Ken’s car, his bank account, his house, his boat and his residuals.
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13. 1259 – The Mongols captured
1542-Friday If you’ve been keeping track of Henry VIII’s six wives (you’ll need two hands) , the fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was executed for adultery. Unlike Anne Boleyn, (Catherine was her cousin) also convicted and beheaded for adultery, Catherine was probably guilty.She was flirtatious, emotional, and not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. She rarely understood the consequences of her actions. She made the mistake of continuing her indiscretions as queen and, after just seventeen months of marriage she was kaput at either age nineteen or twenty. Remember, for keeping track of the six: Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived. While there was only Jane, there were two Annes and three Catherines (different spellings).
1588-Saturday- Tycho Brahe (he of the silver nose), and possibly anticipating Galileo’s troubles –see below- and not wishing to get into the same difficulties with the Church, first outlined his "Tychonic system" idea of the structure of the solar system. The Tychonic system was a hybrid, sharing both the basic idea of the Earth-centered system of Ptolemy, and the Sun-centered idea of Nicholas Copernicus. Brahe kept the t Sun and Moon revolving about Earth in the center of the universe and, at a great distance, the shell of the fixed stars was centered on the Earth. But like Copernicus, he agreed that all the other planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn revolved about the Sun.
1633-Sunday Galileo Galilei arrived in
1668 – In the Treaty of Lisbon, Spain
1689-Sunday- Following Britain's bloodless “Glorious
Revolution” in 1688, Mary, the daughter of the deposed king, James II and
William of Orange, her husband, were proclaimed joint sovereigns (King and
Queen) of Great Britain under Britain's new Bill of Rights. William, a Dutch
prince had married Mary, the daughter of the King James II, in 1677. James was
a Catholic. When a son was born, the
Protestant opposition in Parliament offered the throne to the Protestant Mary
and her husband. William and Mary
1692 –Wednesday- The
1743-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Joseph
Banks, British explorer and one of the
greatest naturalists of all time. He was
also long-time president of the Royal Society, and known for his promotion of
science. Banks participated in a voyage to
1805-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet German mathematician who made valuable contributions to number theory, (inspired by the work of Carl Gauss) analysis, and mechanics. In 1829 he was able to solve the outstanding problem of stating the conditions sufficient for a Fourier series to converge. Note; if you have a pencil and paper handy, the other problem of giving necessary conditions is still unsolved. Dirichlet is best known for his papers on conditions for the convergence of trigonometric series and the use of the series to represent arbitrary functions. Of course there are 3 sides to that story but that’s another matter. In 1837 he proposed the modern definition of a function. In 1966 Shorty Long recorded Function at the Junction.
1822-Wednesday- A patent was issued
for the first practical grass mowing machine to Jeremiah Bailey of
1866-Tuesday- Frank James, Cole Younger and their gang
commit the first armed bank robbery in
1875-Saturday- The first
recorded birth of quintuplets in the
1891 –Friday- Happy
Birthday, Grant Wood, American artist born in
1895-Wednesday- French inventors Louis and August Lumiere patented the Cinematographe, a combination portable motion-picture camera, film processing unit and projector. Three functions in one invention. Thomas Edison had patented his movie camera, the Kinetograph, and a separate viewing machine, the Kinetoscope, in 1893. The first French movie on the Cinematographe was “Rocky Eats Escargot”.
1910-Sunday- Happy Birthday, William Shockley, English-American engineer and teacher, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956 for the development of the transistor, a device that largely replaced the bulkier and less-efficient vacuum tube and basically (take note all you MP3, Ipoders, and now Iphoners) began the age of micro-miniature electronics.
1923-Tuesay- Happy Birthday, Chuck Yeager, the most famous test pilot of all time. He was also a great fighter pilot. He flew 64 combat missions in World War II. On one occasion he shot down a German jet from a prop plane. By the end of the war he had shot down 13 enemy aircraft, including five in a single day. He was the test pilot who was the first to break the sound barrier in October 1947 in the fixed wing X-1 fighter plane. Of course when he landed he was “ground Chuck.”
1935-Wednesday- Bruno Richard Hauptmann was found guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-death of the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed
–Tuesday- 773 Avro
Lancasters fire bombed the German city of
–Tuesday- The Beatles released Penny Lane, with the B side of Strawberry Fields Forever in the
1971 –Saturday- Felonious Vice President Spiro T. Agnew hit two golf shots into a crowd injuring two people, conking one of them in the head
1975 –Thursday- Rock has always had some treacle. On this day, Starship (an abysmal mutant offspring of the great Jefferson Airplane) recorded Miracles.
1990-Tthe U.S. space probe Voyager I , while heading out to the edge of the Solar System, photographed a look backward which captured the Sun and six planets in one image, the first record of most of the Solar System from space. The Sun appeared as a distant star would to us and the planets were mere dots. Camera shy for the photo were Uranus, Neptune and Pluto which at the time was a planet but currently is not.
1991-Wednesday- Sometimes it really happens. A 62-year-old
2000-Sunday- Charles M. Schulz's last original Sunday "Peanuts" comic strip appeared posthumously in newspapers. Schulz had died the day before. Schulz had begun the comic strip in 1950. He announced his retirement in 1999. http://comics.com/peanuts?DateAfter=2000-02-13&DateBefore=2000-02-13&Order=d.DateStrip+DESC&PerPage=1&Search=&x=40&y=8
–Tuesday- Having already suffered an earthquake on
January 13, at 7:22 AM local time
2004 –Friday- The discovery of the white dwarf star, BPM 37093 by the
Back To Calendar
14. Support the economy, buy Valentine’s Day
cards, flowers and undies (well maybe not undies -see what not to buy below) After the
late 3rd century, see 278 below, it was not until the 14th century
that this Christian feast day became definitively associated with love. According
medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine, it was Geoffrey Chaucer of
In 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the between
The association of Valentine’s Day with romance and
courtship continued through the Middle Ages. Over the centuries, the holiday
evolved, and by the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on
Valentine's Day had become common in
And – Things not to buy your sweetie on Valentine’s Day-
Undies: Too dangerous unless it's requested and you have all the specifics
Stuffed Animals or, worse, balloons
Fat Free Anything – Way too dangerous Along these lines, pass on fitness equipment, workout videos, a bathroom scale or anything to do with weight loss.
Vacuum Cleaner -
Razor or anything that has anything to do with hair removal.
A gift card – You’re supposed to care about him/her, right?
No re-gifting or repeat gifting. If you gave it before, don’t do it again.
Don’t just sign the card - Put some thought into it. At least write a sentence or two.
No pets - Don't ever give a pet without permission. Pets don't make the perfect surprise, especially noisy, smelly or messy (well, that’s just about all of them) They need good homes with someone who can care for them properly.
thereabouts) – Valentine was beheaded to kapution. The Emperor Claudius II
(Claudius the Cruel to his friends) had decided that the soldiers in the Roman
Army were getting too soft. Claudius, in his infinite wisdom decided that this
was because they were allowed to marry.
He announced there would be no more marriages. Valentine, a priest,
continued to conduct marriages. He was arrested and condemned to death. Legend also has it that while in jail, St.
Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his
friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine." At least three different
Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies
under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at
1766-Friday- Happy Birthday, Robert Malthus, English economist and demographer, best known for his Malthusian Economics theory that population growth will always tend to outrun the food supply and that betterment of the lot of mankind is impossible without stern limits on reproduction. This did not take into account the “Big Mac”, Taco Bell, and the pizza places that give three pizzas for the price of two.
1779-Sunday- Captain James Cook, the great English explorer
and navigator, was killed by natives of
Moses Coats (brother of Mink Coats) a mechanic from Downingtown, Pennsylvania
was awarded a patent for an apple parer which probably could also be used as a
pear parer even if you had a pair of pears to pare which is, of course, beyond
compare. Colonists launched the apple as
a key agricultural product when they introduced apple trees and, also,
1838-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Margaret Knight, American inventor of machines designed for a variety of industrial and everyday purposes. In 1870 she invented a machine to make paper bags with flat bottoms instead of the usual V-shaped ones. She founded the Eastern Paper Bag Company in 1870. Her flat bottom bag design is still in use today. Other inventions included shoe-cutting machines and a new valve sleeve for an auto engine. In all she had twenty six patents.
1849-Wednesday- "Say cheese". The first photograph
of a U.S. President was taken by future Civil War photographer, Matthew Brady in a
1859-Monday- Happy Birthday George Ferris, inventor of
guess which kind of wheel. The Ferris wheel was "the hit" of the 1892
Chicago World's Fair. We highly recommend the book The Devil in the
White City by Erik Larson, study of the amazing engineering and
architectural innovations of this World's Fair juxtaposed with the
discovery and hunt for H.H Holmes, serial murderer of tourists. Ferris'
wheel was modeled on a bicycle wheel: as spokes to maintain the wheel's shape
and balance, it had heavy steel beams; the "forks" in which the axle
was set were two steel girder pyramids. The wheel was 264 feet high, the
supporting towers were 140 feet high, and the axle - the largest piece of steel
ever forged in the
1859 –Monday- And, on
the same day that George Ferris entered the world,
1869- Sunday- Happy Birthday, Charles Wilson, Scottish physicist Who worked for some time at the observatory on Ben Nevis, the highest “mountain” in Scotland, summit, at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft). He found that clouds seemed to need dust particles to start the formation of water droplets and that x-rays, which charged the dust, greatly speeded up the process. Inspired by this, he showed that charged subatomic particles traveling through supersaturated air also formed water droplets. His observations of cloud formation led to his invention of the cloud chamber, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1927.
1872-Wednesday- The first state bird refuge center was
1876-Monday- They both must have been
very anxious on Sunday night. Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha
Gray applied separately for patents related to the telephone.
U.S. Patent Office issued patent #174,465 to
1878-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Julius A. Nieuwland, Belgian-born American organic chemist who studies of acetylene culminated in the discovery of lewisite, a chemical-warfare agent, and neoprene, the first commercially successful synthetic rubber. Working with chemists from DuPont, he found that if monovinylacetylene were treated with hydrogen chloride and the resulting chloroprene polymerized, neoprene would result. Eventually, neoprene was put on the market in 1932 by DuPont under the brand name Duprene. Remember that when you put on your wet suit to go diving.
1879-Friday- The War of the Pacific began as a result of a dispute
between Chile and Bolivia over control of a part of the Atacama Desert that
lies between the 23rd and 26th parallels on the Pacific coast of South America.
The territory contained valuable mineral resources, particularly sodium
nitrate. Chilean armed forces occupied
the port city of
1884-Thursday- And you think you had a
bad day. Future President Theodore Roosevelt’s wife and mother died, only hours
apart. His mother, age 50, succumbed
to typhus, and his wife
–Tuesday- Voting machines for use in federal elections
were approved by the U.S. Congress on this day. "So in a 101 years we'll
send them to
1894 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Jack Benny, born Benny Kubelsky in Chicago, Illinois, American actor and comedian. He was famous for his inept violin playing, his theme song: Love in Bloom, his image as penny-pincher and never admitting to being older than 39 . Benny’s career spanned Vaudeville, the hey days of radio, some movies (To Be or Not to Be) and television.
1895 –Thursday- Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, (A Trivial Comedy for Serious People)starring
George Alexander and Allen Aynesworth
premiered at the St. James’s Theatre in
1898-Monday- Happy Birthday, Fritz Zwicky Swiss-American astrophysicist. A noted eccentric, and generally unpleasant human being, he discovered more than 120 supernovas and with Rudolf Minkowski and Walter Baade he developed several models to explain their occurrence. Decades before the observational discovery of neutron stars , Zwicky suggested that the Crab Nebula in Taurus originated in a supernova. He is also known for his study of jet propulsion, cosmic rays, crystals, and slow electrons and ions in gases.
1911-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Willem Kolff, Dutch-American physician, and biomedical engineer who pioneered the construction of artificial organs. He invented the artificial kidney machine. One of his students was Robert K. Jarvik, who designed and implanted the artificial heart (Willem supervised the operation) which kept the patient, Barney Clark, alive for 112 days, in 1982..
1912 –Wednesday- Arizona
(in Indian, Arizonac means ‘little or young spring’) entered the
the Civil War President Lincoln approved Congress in organizing the
by gangster film and TV movie makers, the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”
1929-Thursday- And on the same day that gangsters were being mowed down in Chicago, Sir Alexander Fleming, a young Scottish bacteriologist working at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, announced his discovery of penicillin. In yet another serendipitous moment in science had discovered it by accident having left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered. Fleming noticed that a mold that had fallen on the culture had killed many of the bacteria. He identified the mold as penicillium notatum, similar to the kind found on bread. On February 14, 1929, Fleming introduced his mold by-product called penicillin to cure bacterial infections.
1931 –Saturday The premiere of Dracula directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, and Dwight Frye as Renfield. Nosferatu, the original vampire movie had been released in 1922. It was directed by the German director F.W. Murnau and was produced while Irish author Bram Stoker's widow was alive. The filmmakers were forced to change the setting and the characters' names for copyright reasons. The vampire in Nosferatu is called Count Orlok rather than Count Dracula.
Since then, oy vey, there have been a few more. The story of Dracula has been the basis for countless films and plays. Of all the movies, the most popular seem to be The Horror of Dracula (1958), and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). Dracula has rather remained popular over the years, and many films have used the character as a villain, while others have named him in their titles, such as Dracula's Daughter, Brides of Dracula, and the immortal, Zoltan, Hound of Dracula. An estimated 160 films feature Dracula in a major role. Believe it or not, only to Sherlock Holmes has more. The number of films that include a reference to Dracula may be as high as 649, according to the Internet Movie Database.
1940-Wednesday- The first porpoise born in captivity was born at Marineland Fla. Prior to this event, much unauthorized breeding took place. During the process of feeding them the culprits were arrested and charged with raising fish for illegal porpoises. Ooooh.
1961-Tuesday- Element 103, lawrencium, (LR), Atomic Weight: 262,
was first produced in
–Wednesday- First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy took Charles
Collingwood and CBS or NBC television viewers on a tour of the White House. “
And here is the
–Saturday- The Who recorded
their Live At Leeds album in
1978-Tuesday- The first "micro on a chip" – microchip- was patented by Texas Instruments. This was a quantum leap forward from the previously used “potato chip” which crumpled easily and left the fingers, not to mention the chip, oily and greasy. Sort of like with the telephone (see 1876 above) two separate inventors, unaware of each other's activities, invented almost identical integrated circuits at nearly the same time.
Jack Kilby, worked for Texas Instruments. Research engineer Robert Noyce had co-founded the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation. Both electrical engineers were working on an answer to the same dilemma: how to make more of less. There was quite a bit of independent work and standards until Caltech’s Carver Mead laid down a standard set of design rules, creating a systematic science of chip design and ensuring that new ideas could be easily implemented. Disseminating that standard fell to the government.
In the late
1970’s, DARPA created a program called MOSIS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor
Implementation System) that would allow individual researchers and students to
test new chip ideas based on Mead’s design rules. Of course that does not
explain the catastrophe known as
1980-Thursday- An unmanned Delta rocket, a Solar Maximum Mission Observatory was launched to study solar flares. A malfunction in the satellite in January 1981 cut short the original mission. SMM was recovered by the space shuttle Challenger in April 1984 and serviced in orbit. It then served out its productive life until burning up in the Earth's atmosphere on December 2, 1989.
1984 –Tuesday On a social note Elton John and Renata Blauel (she is a woman) were married. The marriage lasted for four years.
1989 –Tuesday- The first of what would be the 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System were placed into orbit. On June 26, 1993, the U.S. Air Force launched the 24th Navstar satellite into orbit, completing the network of 24 satellites. With a GPS receiver that costs less than a few hundred dollars you can instantly learn your location on the planet--your latitude, longitude, and even altitude--to within a few hundred feet. The satellites in each of three orbital planes are spaced 120º apart. Now people had the technology to get really really lost, just like Professor Sy Yentz’ sister-in-law who has visited the Yentz homestead in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania dozens of time. The last time she decided to use her new GPS. The 90 minute trip took three hours as she circled endlessly through rural roads.
1996 –Wednesday- Oops! Communist China launched a Long March 3 rocket, carrying the Intelsat 708 satellite. The long march of the Long March 3 ended quickly as the rocket flew off course 3 seconds after liftoff and crashed into a rural village killing four people and injuring fifty two.
2003-Friday- “Goodbye Dolly”.
Dolly, the world's most famous cloned sheep, was put down. She had been suffering
from a progressive lung disease (probably due to her long years working in a
coal mine…..no, no no, Professor Sy Yentz has his anthracitic sense of humor).
Dolly had been born at the Roslin Institute,
Back To Calendar
Happy Birthday Galileo Galilei, Italian
scientist born in
–Thursday- Happy Birthday- Jeremy
Bentham, "English utilitarian philosopher and social reformer. Bentham is
mainly notable because you can see him to his day. He has been stuffed an on
display. The dear boy willed his body to
be preserved and displayed. Displayed it is. His organs were removed, and the
original head replaced with a wax one. The body, dressed in Bentham's own
clothes, still remains stuffed with hay, straw, wool, cotton, and lavender to
keep moths away. Since he was a founder of
This was before the hot dog? Mustard was first
advertised for sale in
1764-Wednesday- Before this day you couldn’t say “meet me in
1776 - Governor Francis Legge reported to British
1797-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Henry E. Steinway, German-born American inventor of the overstrung iron-frame grand piano in 1859. While many pianists may occasionally, become overwrought, or high strung, this was the first piano to be overstrung. In 1856 he had produced his first grand piano, and in 1862 the first upright upright piano. So basically by 1862 we have a grand, upright, overstrung piano. No wonder the company is famous.
1809-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Cyrus McCormick, born in Virginia, inventor of the reaper. Those without a sense of humor are of course called grim reapers, although on a farm, one needs a good sense of humus. The reaper was a horse drawn farm implement invented by McCormick in 1831 to cut small grain crops. The mechanical reaper replaced the manual cutting of the crop with scythes and sickles (motor sickles?). Developed to cut down wheat more quickly and more efficiently. McCormick received his patent for the invention in 1834.
1812 –Saturday- Happy Birthday, Charles Lewis Tiffany, American jeweler (he always liked to have people visit for breakfast), born in Killingly Connecticut. Opened a fancy goods store, turned it into a jewelry store, sold some jewelry.......
1820-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Susan B. Anthony, American suffragette, and women’s rights campaigner, born in Adams, Massachusetts. Anthony founded the National Woman's Suffrage Association in 1869 with her life-long friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Together they worked for women's suffrage for over 50 years. She published The Revolution from 1868-1870, a weekly paper about the woman suffrage movement whose motto was, "Men their rights and nothing more, women their rights and nothing less. She was the first person arrested, put on trial and fined for voting on November 5, 1872 (Tuesday). She wrote the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in 1878 which later became the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote
1826-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Irish physicist George S. Stoney (brother of Gall Stoney and Kidney Stoney). Stoney's most important scientific work was the conception and calculation of the magnitude of the atom or particle of electricity, for which he coined the term "electron". He also estimated the number of molecules in a cubic millimeter of gas, at room temperature and pressure, as well as how many angels can fit on the head of pin at room temperature under windless conditions.
1845-Saturday- Happy Birthday, Robert Wood Johnson, American manufacturer who, with his two brothers, James and Edward founded the Johnson & Johnson (shouldn’t it have been Johnson & Johnson & Johnson?) Corporation, to make surgical dressings. Surgical dressings does not refer to what the doctor wears when he/she is operating on you., although some may think a tiara and pink taffeta or a tuxedo may do. It is a dressing for wounds or incisions made by surgery made of loosely woven material such as cotton. Johnson was an early proponent of the teachings of Joseph Lister, who advocated antiseptic surgery and care of the wound to prevent infection.
1858-Monday- Happy Birthday, William H. Pickering, American astronomer who discovered Phoebe, the ninth moon of Saturn in 1899. Why is Phoebe and the discovery important? This was the first planetary satellite with retrograde motion to be detected. That means its orbital motion directed in an opposite sense to that of the planets. Phoebe is going the wrong way around the planet.
1883-Thursday- Happy Birthday, English mystery writer, Sax Rohmer (Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward), best known for his master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.
1884-Friday- Happy Birthday, A.C Gilbert , inventor the Erector Set – beloved by children of the 1950’s and 60’s. Gilbert, along with Lionel was an early developer of toy electric trains. Gilbert's American Flyer had 2 rails. Lionel's Lionel Trains had 3 rails. Naturally Professor Sy Yentz as a youth wanted the 2 rails. Naturally, Lionel Trains are now worth a fortune. American Flyer has increased in value of, oh, about $1.98 in the last 40 years but he still has his trains.
1898 –Tuesday- The USS Maine exploded at 9:40 p.m in el
1903-Sunday- The first
teddy bear was introduced in
Or, as Elvis would say, “Baby let me be,
Your lovin teddy bear
Put a chain around my neck,
And lead me anywhere
Oh let me be
Your teddy bear.”
be presidential assassin, Giuseppe Zangara tried to kill President Franklin D.
1942-Sunday= Continuing its tradition of sneak
1951-Thursday- The first atomic reactor to be used in medical therapy
treated its first patient at the Brookhaven National Laboratory,
1958 - The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show premiered. Most folks called it the Dick Clark Show. After years
of daytime American Bandstand,
1961 – Wednesday- The Marcels recorded the great Rogers and Hart song Blue Moon. It wasn’t quite what Lorenz and Richard had in mind as it opened with the classic bass of (you can sing along if you wish) “ Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang Ba ba ding a dong ding Blue moon moon blue moon dip di dip di dip Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip Moo Moo Moo Blue moon dip di dip di dip Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang Ba ba ding a dong ding …Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone”
1965 –Monday- Canada adopted the Maple Leaf flag. It had taken forty years to decide on the
leaf. Rejected designs included one
featuring the national motto, “eh”, a picture of Wayne Gretzky, all white
symbolizing the snow that seems to cover the country for 300 days a year, and
1990- A lockout begand as major league baseball owners refused to open spring training camp without reaching a new Basic Agreement with the players. The players rang the bell, no one would answer the door, they knocked and heard a faint falsetto “we can’t hear you”, they pretended to be pizza delivery guys…nothing worked. A settlement was reached on March 18, as Owners raised their annual pension fund contribution to $55 million, salary arbitration eligibility agreed to for 17 percent of the players with between two and three years of experience, and the minimum salary increases to $100,000, and free steroids for all.
2000 –Tuesday- The Indian Point II nuclear power plant
just north of
2005 –Tuesday- YouTube a free service that lets users upload, share, and view video clips and entirely too much information about people we care nothing about, was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. It would officially be launched in November 2005.
1514-Monday- Continuing with a February theme (see Galileo) of a Sun-centered solar system, Happy Birthday, Georg Joachim Rheticus, Austrian-born astronomer and mathematician who was among the first to adopt and spread the heliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus. Called the “first Copenican”, in 1540, Rheticus published the first popular account of the Helio-centered theory. Rheticus was also the first mathematician to see the trigonometric functions in terms of angles rather than arcs of a circle. He thought there were three sides to every story.
–Friday- The brief monarchy of James II began
as he ascended the throne of
1786 – On a social note, twenty six year old future
President James Monroe married 17-year-old
–Friday- Thus far no
1822-Saturday- Happy Birthday, Francis Galton, Charles Darwin’s cousin and English scientist. He founded the science of and coined the term eugenics. Eugenics is the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics). Eugenics was embraced by Friedrich Nietzsche and Margaret Sanger among others. He also coined the phrase "nature versus nurture." A very busy man, Galton also experimentally verified the uniqueness of fingerprints, and suggested the first classification based on grouping the patterns into arches, loops, and whorls. Not content with Earth’s surface, in meteorology, he was first to recognize and name the anticyclone and on April 1, 1875 (Thursday) he published the first newspaper weather map
1826 –Thursday- Happy Birthday, Julia Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant and partial answer to the question “Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?” Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Grant.
1843-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Henry M. Leyland,
American inventor and industrialist who founded Cadillac Motors on Aug 22,
1902. Cadillac was the first automobile
with high-precision, fully-interchangeable parts. After WW I, he converted an
aircraft manufacturing company into
1852 –Monday- Same day as the founder of Cadillac was
born, Henry and Clement Studebaker
founded H. & C. Studebaker, a blacksmith and wagon building business, in
1862-Sunday- 14,000 Confederate
soldiers surrendered at
1923-Friday- Mummy Dearest. Archaeologist Howard Carter opened
the sealed doorway to the sepulchral chamber of the boy king, Tutankhamen's
(who reigned about 1350 B.C) tomb in
1932-Tuesday- James Markham of Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards
1937- Tuesday- Wallace H.
Carothers issued patent for nylon. (#2,071,250). Work on what would become
nylon was based on the research of German chemist, Herman Staudinger who demonstrated that polymers are
long-chain molecules. While working for
DuPont, Carothers' and his team had invented nylon on May 24, 1934. The group
had been trying to produce a synthetic fabric that could be produced in the
1948-Monday- Miranda, a famous moon of Uranus, was photographed for first time. Remember our rules of pronunciation. It is NOT “your anus”, the emphasis is on the first syllable as in “Ure an us”. Although when you think about it, “moon” and “your anus” seems to work better in this case. Miranda is a small satellite with a diameter of 470 kilometers (290 miles). Its surface is unlike anything in the solar system with features that are jumbled together in a haphazard fashion. Miranda consists of huge fault canyons as deep as 20 kilometers (12 miles), terraced layers and a mixture of old and young surfaces. It was discovered by Gerard Kuiper and is the home world of singer Pat Boone.
1948 –Monday Same day as the picture of Miranda, Fox movie-tone newsreels (those newsreels that used to be shown in theaters before the beginning of the movie before they were replaced by incredibly loud and intrusive commercials) that were shown on TV for the first time. The sponsor was Camel cigarettes.
1960-Tuesday- The U.S.S
Triton left New London, Connecticut for the first submerged
circumnavigation of the Earth. The Triton was a submarine of course. She
arrived in the middle
1961 – Explorer
9 was launched. Explorer 9 was the first in a
series of 3.66 m inflatable spheres to be successfully placed into orbit solely
for the determination of atmospheric densities. And there are a lot of
densities in our atmosphere, just watch some of your fellow passengers on your
next plane trip. Explorer 9 was the
first spacecraft placed in orbit by an all-solid rocket and the first
spacecraft successfully launched from
1964 – Knowing a good thing when he found it, Ed Sullivan brought back the Beatles for the 2nd week in a row. They sang, She Loves You, This Boy, All My Lovin', I Saw Her Standing There, From Me to You and I Want to Hold Your Hand. Also on the show was the comedy team of Allen and Rossi, comedian Myron Cohen, and singer Mitzi Gaynor.
1968-Friday- The first telephone system in the
1994 –Wednesday- “Fetal Attraction.” The
first successful operation on a fetus without surgically opening the woman's
body was announced by Dr. Ruben Quintero,
2005 –Wednesday- The National Hockey League canceled what was left of its schedule after a round of last-gasp negotiations failed to resolve differences over a salary cap - the issue that led to a lockout. So, no hockey. Now no one could watch those scintillating Nashville Predator – Columbus Blue Jacket games.Back To Calendar
17. 1665- Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Rudolph Jacob Camerarius, German botanist who demonstrated the existence of sexes in plants. He demonstrated experimentally the sexuality of plants in his Epistolae de Sexu Plantarum (Letter on the Sexuality of Plants), written in 1694 in which he identified the stamen and pistil as the male and female organs, and the pollen as the fertilizing agent. Later in Plants Gone Wild he studied raucous parties and orgies that plants held when they thought no one was looking. His later books featured centerfolds of “Pistil of the Month” or “ Studley Stamens of the Ivy League”.
–Saturday - Calendrical confusion in
1723 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Tobias Mayer, German mathematician and astronomer. Astronomer. In 1758, Mayer gave a famous lecture featuring PowerPoint and video to the Göttingen Academy of Science entitled "De affinitate colorum commentatio" in which he tried to identify the exact number of colors which the eye is capable of perceiving. He chose red, yellow and blue as his basic colors, and vermillion, massicot and azurite as their representatives amongst the pigments. To this day, we cannot understand why crayola does not include massicot (yellowish with a reddish tint) as a crayon color. Black and white were considered to be the agents of light and darkness, which either lighten of darken the colors.
Happy Birthday, René Laënnec, French physician who
invented the stethoscope and is generally considered the father of chest
medicine. While it did not do much good for his current patients, for three years he studied their chest
sounds and correlated them with the diseases found in autopsy. While working at
And you thought the 2000 Presidential election was confusing…..After one tie vote in the Electoral College and 35
indecisive ballot votes in the House of Representatives, Vice President Thomas
Jefferson was elected the third president of the United States over his running
mate, Aaron Burr. The bewildering election, which ended just 15 days before a
new president was to be inaugurated, exposed major problems in the presidential
electoral process set forth by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. A deadlock
was broken when a small group of Federalists reasoned that the peaceful
transfer of power required that the majority party have its choice as president
and voted in
Tuesday- Baron Karl von
Drais de Sauerbrun,
1820-Thursday- As the slippery
sliding slope towards Civil War continued, Henry Clay’s Missouri Compromise was passed in congress. In exchange for admitting
1821 –Saturday- Happy Birthday, Lola Montez, An Irish-born "Spanish" dancer
and adventuress, born Elisa Rosanna Gilbert in Grange, County Sligo. Leading a
fascinating life, Lola was one of the more colorful characters of the 19th
century. She claimed to be Spanish and
was best known for her "Spider Dance", a sort of tarantella which
involved shaking rubber tarantulas out of her clothing in such a way as to
provide generous views of her “personal effects”. Among other exploits, she
became the mistress of King Ludwig I of
1846-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Vasily V. Dokuchayev, Russian geomorphologist who began the recognition of biomes as he pioneered the study of soil creation processes and their classification. Dokuchayev regarded the composition of soil as the product of the combined interaction of climate, bedrock, and organisms. He was one of the very first to “dish the dirt”.
1864 –Wednesday- The Confederate submarine H.L Hunley became the first submarine to
sink a surface vessel as the Federal steam sloop-of-war USS Housatonic went kaput near the entrance to Charleston Harbor. The Hunley,
launched in 1863 at
Even though it would not be
officially completed until 1869, (Giuseppe Verdi
wrote the famous opera Aida for this
ceremony) on this day the first ship passed through the
1869-Wednesday- Now-a-days we just watch TV talk-shows on a sick day, but on this day, Russian Scientist Dmitri Mendeleev literally stayed home from work and worked on the problem of how to arrange the chemical elements in a systematic way. He must have been bored at one point since he based his periodic table of the set up for Solitaire. These historic documents still exist, and mark the beginning of the form of the Periodic Table as commonly used today.
1874-Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the American industrialist who built I.B.M. After leaving the National Cash Register Company, yes he cashed in, Watson became president of Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. The firm was a small holding company which controlled four other small firms that produced a punch-card tabulator, time clocks, and other machines. In 1924 the firm merged with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and took its name. Watson built IBM through its patents and renting its equipment rather than selling it.
1876 –Thursday- Someone had to think of it or else
the language would be missing a great cliché. Sardine import broker James Wolff
is believed to be the first to can sardines. The
– Happy Birthday, Wally Pipp, first baseman for the New
York Yankees. Pipp contracted one of the
most famous headaches in baseball history.
On June 2, 1925, Pipp told Yankee manager Miller Huggins he needed to
sit that day out... ...Rookie Lou Gehrig took his place. Gehrig would play
every day for the next fourteen years.
Pipp would be traded to
1904- Wednesday- The première of Giacomo
Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at La
One can only imagine the crowd and critical reaction had Puccini stuck with his original ideas of Madame Larva, Madame Caterpillar, Madame Chrysalis, or Madame Pupa.
1911-Friday -Using the crank in early cars made people cranky so, the first self-starter, based on patented inventions created by General Motors engineers Clyde Coleman and Charles Kettering, was installed in a Cadillac
–Friday- “Happy days are here
again….” The Blaine Act, approved by the United States Senate, ended the
prohibition of alcohol in the
1934- Saturday- Drivers Education started up
as the first driving course was offered at State
College High School in State College, Pennsylvania. The course, taught by Amos
Neyhart, resembled today's courses. It provided both classroom and
behind-the-wheel instruction. Of course parallel parking wasn’t such a problem
and nor was applying make up, shaving, eating, reading newspapers, or talking
on the telephone. Students who completed the course received State of
The first public experimental demonstration of Scotsman John Logie Baird color
television was transmitted from
1946 –Sunday- Happy Birthday, Dodie Stevens, singer whose 1959 hit Tan Shoes and Pink Shoelaces remains one of the high water marks in musical history.
1959-Tuesday- The first weather satellite, Vanguard II, was launched. It was the first satellite designed to observe and record the cloud cover of the earth. It was a forerunner of the television infrared observation satellites (TIROS). Vanguard II was also the first full-scale Vanguard (20-inch diameter sphere, 21 pounds) to be launched, and it is also still in orbit. Fallout from Vanguard has resulted in large numbers of obese people wearing way too small bathing suits.
1963 –Sunday- Happy Birthday, Michael Jordan, born in
1983-Thursday- Eureka California‘s warmest winter day- 86 degrees F. See 2/18/59
–Wednesday- The ferry Neptune sank near Porto Prince, off the
1996-Saturday- World chess champion Gary Kasparov defeated Deep Blue, IBM's chess-playing computer, by winning a six-game match 4-2, in a regulation-style match held in Philadelphia, as part of the ACM Computer Science Conference. Kasparov had lost the first two games but then employed time tested tactics such as saying “look at that girl in the thong” when that didn’t work he said, “ look, a naked Mac Notebook” and when the computer was distracted he switched rooks, or pretending to yawn and moving the bishop when his hand came down, or pulling the plug on the machine and switching knights in the dark.
2006 –Friday- A mudslide triggered by
two weeks of heavy rains and a minor
earthquake of magnitude 2.6 on the Richter scale buried an entire village in
Back To Calendar
18. 1268 -Saturday
mention this because it sounds
like it should be a movie, maybe starring Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van
Damme, Sylvester Stallone, the Rock, and Jessica Simpson. The
Livonian Brothers of the Sword, a German
military and religious order, founded in 1202 by Bishop Albert of
the purpose of conquest and Christianization in the Baltic lands, were defeated by Dovmont of Pskov, Duke of
Lithuania. Dovmont, commanding a federation of Russian princes defeated the
Livonian Brothers (sounds like a wrestling match) in the Battle of Rakovor. The Knights were
beaten so thoroughly that they would not undertake a new campaign against
1478 –Monday- “I’ll have a barrel of
that Madeira Wine”. Oh that malmsey wine !!!! During the Wars of the Roses, George, Duke of Clarence,
convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of
1516-Friday- Happy Birthday, Mary Tudor, eldest child of King Henry VIII, and the Queen of England with the cuddly nick name of ''Bloody Mary.'' Mary, a Catholic implemented a violent suppression of Protestants after she ascended to the throne following the kapution of half brother Edward (son of Jane Seymour) probably from tuberculosis in 1553. Following a brief, nine day attempt of install Lady Jane Gray on the throne, Mary (daughter of Catherine of Aragon) would be queen until her own kapution in 1558. She was followed to queenship by half sister Elizabeth (daughter of Ann Boleyn).
1745-Thursday- A day charged with electricity. Happy Birthday, Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist whose invention of the electric battery in1800 provided the first source of continuous, reliable current produced by the contact of two dissimilar metals. The volt, a unit of electrical measurement, is named after him. His first “battery” was the voltaic pile, which consisted of an alternating column of zinc and silver disks separated by porous cardboard soaked in brine.…..so obviously, he was in a pickle over this one. Also named after his is the famous Supreme Court decision of “one man, one Volta”.
1838-Sunday- Happy Birthday, Ernest Mach, Austrian physicist and philosopher who established important principles of optics, mechanics, and wave dynamics. He studied the Doppler Effect by optical and acoustic experiments and introduced the "Mach number" for the ratio of speed of object to speed of sound, such as when an aircraft achieves “mach 1”, is named for him.
1848-Friday- “Hey! Let’s have breakfast at Lou’s”. “You mean breakfast at Tiffany’s?” Happy Birthday, Louis Comfort Tiffany, a craftsman and designer who made significant advancements in the art of glassmaking. His chief innovation was his glasstechnology. He was also a pioneer of the Art Nouveau style. His father, Charles Lewis Tiffany, had previously founded the famous Tiffany & Co. jewelery stor.
1861-Monday- Jefferson Davis
was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of
1871-Saturday- Happy Birthday, Harry Brearly, English metallurgist who invented stainless steel, which is an alloy of steel with chromium and nickel. Brearly accidentally discovered that adding chromium to low carbon steel gives it stain resistance. It is the addition of a minimum of 12% chromium to the steel that makes it resist rust, or stain 'less' than other types of steel. And, of course we- know that in WWII, the “alloys” defeated the Germans and Japanese.
1885-Wednesday- Mark Twain (Samuel
Clemens) published The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn. Clemens had introduced the character of Huckleberry Finn
in his Adventures of Tom Sawyer in
1876. Also note that ½ of the original
manuscript of this book went missing until February 13 (see Feb. 13) 1991 when
it was discovered in a trunk. What some
call the greatest American novel was
published first in
Birthday, Enzo Ferrari, Italian automobile manufacturer, designer, and
racing-car driver born in
1901-Monday- This invention really sucked. A dust removing suction cleaner was patented by Hubert Cecil Booth, an English bridge engineer. On August 30th, Booth’s improved work received a British patent for a vacuum cleaner. It couldn’t quite do the corners in your living room. It took the form of a large, horse-drawn, gas-driven unit which was parked outside the building to be cleaned with long hoses being fed through the windows.
1901-Tuesday- Long after the birth of Alessandro Volta, Thomas A.
Edison was issued a patent for an improvement to "Alkaline Storage
Battery", a storage battery in which the electrolyte consists of an
alkaline solution, usually potassium hydroxide. This was actually one of three
patents issued to
galvanic battery is a battery consisting of a number of voltaic cells arranged
in series or parallel Benjamin Franklin first coined the term
"battery" to describe an array of charged glass plates in 1748. Luigi
Galvani demonstrated what we now understand to be the electrical basis of nerve
impulses and provided the cornerstone of research for later inventors like
–Saturday- The first official
flight with air mail took place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivered
6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 km away. Pequet’s biplane flew to Naini at 40 mph at an altitude
of 130 feet. He landed at Naini, to be greeted by the lone postmaster who
promptly grabbed an automatic rifle and shot everyone in site. Pequet flew
back. The whole journey lasted 27 minutes. Meanwhile, a day earlier, Fred Wiseman of
1913 –Tuesday- "Soddy, wrong number". Chemist Frederick Soddy introduced the term "isotope". An isotope occurs when different elements produced in different radioactive transformations are capable of occupying the same place on the Periodic Table. Isotope comes from the Greek meaning same place. In his lecture at his Nobel Award winning ceremony, he said of isotopes, "Put colloquially, their atoms have identical outsides but different insides."
1929 – Beginning years of professional
log rolling, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced
the winners of the first Academy Awards.
Sparing no expense, the winners names were published on the back page of
the academy's newsletter. A few days later Variety
also published the names although now they had moved up to page 7. The awards
were handed out at a banquet in May, entertainment was provided by Britney
Spears singing Al Jolson’s Mammy. In the bizarre world of
1930-Tuesday- Nineteen year old Clyde Thombaugh discovered what
was then a planet but now according some members of the IAU, is a Dwarf Planet,
Kuiper Belt Object Pluto. He named the (now
dwarf) planet in honor of astronomer Percival Lowell (P L) whose
calculations led him to the discovery. Note,
–Wednesday- The movie Bwana Devil
Barbara Britton, as the derageur ripped blouse heroine, and Nigel Bruce (who had played Dr. Watson to
Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes), this was the first 3D movie. It required two projectors to show the film,
was probably a major reason that 3-D did not last very long as a mainstream
film format. Theaters then as well as now, were slow to adopt technology that
cost them a lot of money. http://www.lionlamb.us/tsavo/bwanadev.html
It did have a great tagline though, “A lion in your lap! A lover in your arms!”
1964 –Tuesday- Obviously punch drunk or worse after appearing on Ed Sullivan’s show for two weeks in a row, the Beatles, in some publicist’s deranged brainstorm went to a Miami Florida Drive In movie theater to see Elvis in Fun in Alcapulco. Unforeseen long term effects would include Yoko Ono, Ringo starring in the movie Caveman, the Maharishi, marrying groupies, Yoko Ono, Ringo thinking he could sing, sitar music, The Long and Winding Road, Yoko Ono, plagiarizing He’s So Fine, much of Lennon’s solo career, and one legged gold diggers,
1977-Friday- The first space
shuttle orbiter, the Enterprise - one
designed for ground and gliding tests only-
was flight tested in "captive mode," attached to the top of a 747
jumbo jet. It resembled two aircraft mating in mid-air (the 747 did, in
fact, give birth to a Piper Cub several months later). The flight was the first
of five captive flights before the orbiter was released to land on its own,
sort of like taking the training wheels away while you’re riding the bicycle.
The orbiter prototype was originally to be named Constitution (in honor of the U.S. Constitution's Bicentennial).
However, viewers of Star Trek started a write-in campaign urging the White House to
rename the vehicle to
Sunday- Dale Earnhardt Sr., one of the greatest
drivers in NASCAR history, died in a last-lap crash at the 43rd Daytona 500 race in
Back To Calendar
19. 197 –Sunday- The
shelf life of quite a few
Roman Emperors was sometines as short as that of a banana stored in a
bowl of tomatoes. And so when Pertinax was slewn in 193, there
four generals ready to replace him. Two of them Clodius Albinus and
Severus, initially formed a political alliance. They cut the odds in
defeating the other two. Severus then consolidated
his power in
Wednesday- As you may have
noted, February is a busy month for the Sun-centered Solar System – We’ve had
Galileo’s heresy trial and the birthday of Georg Joachim Rheticus. And now……Happy Birthday, Nicholas Copernicus,
Koppernigk but he adopted the Latin
spelling and pronunciation), Polish astronomer who theorized that
the sun is the center of the solar system. This was later confirmed by Galileo
using his telescope. Up to the time of Copernicus the general belief was in the Ptolemiac theory that the universe
was a closed space bounded by a spherical envelope beyond which there was nothing……..sort
of like President Gerald Ford’s brain. Ptolemy, an Egyptian living in
1526-Friday- Happy Birthday, Charles
de L'Écluse (a.k.a. Carolus
Clusius) French botanist who introduced the tulip to
The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina
exploded in has been called the most violent eruption in the recorded history
1626-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Francesco Redi, Italian physician and poet who demonstrated that the presence of maggots in putrefying meat does not result from spontaneous generation but from eggs laid on the meat by flies. Now, don’t you feel better? From the time of the ancient Romans, through the Middle Ages, and until the late nineteenth century, it was generally accepted that some life forms arose spontaneously from non-living matter……sort of like celebutards…. Such "spontaneous generation" appeared to occur primarily in decaying matter. For example, a seventeenth century recipe for the spontaneous production of mice required placing sweaty underwear and husks of wheat in an open-mouthed jar, then waiting for about 21 days, during which time it was alleged that the sweat from the underwear would penetrate the husks of wheat, changing them into mice. Redi became interested after reading William Harvey's book which raised the idea that insects, worms and frogs came from seeds or eggs too small to be seen. For his experiment, Redi prepared eight flasks of various meats, with half left open to the air and half sealed (just like they do at MacDonalds). Maggots were found only in the unsealed flasks where flies had been able to enter and lay their eggs. This was one of the earliest examples of a biological experiment planned with proper controls. However Redi didn’t get it completely right. He still believed that spontaneous generation occurred in such animals as intestinal worms and gall flies, and it was not until the time of Louis Pasteur that the spontaneous-generation theory was finally discredited.
1674 –Monday- “ It’s up to you,
1777 –Wednesday- Oops! 1777, Benedict
Arnold was passed over for promotion to Major General. In fact five junior officers were promoted
ahead of him. He continued to be passed
over by the Continental Congress. In
fact the Congress began a corruption investigation into his affairs. This did
made Benedict a very unhappy camper indeed. In July 1780, he sought and obtained command
of West Point (he had, after all, been a vital part of
1804-Sunday- Happy Birthday, Baron Karl Rokitansky, Austrian pathologist He is one of the greatest descriptive pathologists, and his claim to fame is that he himself performed more than 30,000 autopsies, averaging two a day, seven days a week, for 45 years. “Another day, another thoracic split”.
of the 1801 presidential election (see Feb. 18.) and killer of Alexander
Hamilton, the ever sleazy Aaron Burr, a former
U.S. vice president, was arrested in Alabama on charges of plotting to annex
Spanish territory in Louisiana and Mexico to be used toward the establishment
of an independent republic. "The
gods invite us to glory and fortune," Burr wrote to his coconspirator,
Gen. James Wilkinson; "it remains to be seen whether we deserve the
boon." While Burr and a handful of followers were on their way to
1834-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Herman Snellen, Dutch ophthalmologist who developed the Snellen Chart. Anyone who has taken an eye test has seen the Snellen Chart. It’s the one with one big black letter on the top and smaller letters on each row below. Snellen also came up with the Snellen fraction. The “fraction” is a ratio.You know it as 20/20 or 20/100 (metric equivalent 6/6, 6/30), measuring the acuity of a person's eyesight compared to a standard observer with good normal acuity. 20/20 means he can resolve 2 target features at 20 feet.
1847-Friday- The first rescuers from Sutter's Fort reached the surviving
remnants of the Donner emigrant party at their snowbound camp in the high
1856 –Tuesday- The tintype photographic process was invented by Professor
Hamilton L.Smith of Ohio (not to be confused with Nobel Laureate Hamilton O.
1861 –Tuesday- “Serfs Up!” In the year that American Civil War would begin,
with slavery a major issue, serfdom was abolished in
Thomas Edison received
a patent for his invention, the phonograph. First record was Shania Twain's Country Western
Gregorian Chants. The phonograph was developed as a result
of Thomas Edison's work on two other inventions, the telegraph and the
telephone. He had experimented with a
diaphragm which had an embossing point and was held against rapidly-moving
paraffin paper. The speaking vibrations made indentations in the paper.
Kansas became the first state to
prohibit all alcoholic beverages. Up until then, beer was the fourth largest industry in the territory.
Over 90 brewery plants were forced to close their doors. By 1916, over half of
1940 –Monday- Happy Birthday, Bill “Smokey” Robinson, American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He founded a singing group called the Matadors in the late 1950’s and then changed the name to the Miracles. The Miracles had their, and Motown’s first big hit with Shop Around in1960. The group had numerous hits, including You Really Got a Hold on Me, 1962 and I Second That Emotion 1967, not to mention the immortal Mickey’s Monkey in 1963. Robinson left The Miracles to go solo in 1972, and met with even more success, turning out hits through the 1970s and 1980s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Robinson is noted for being one of the primary figures associated with Motown, second only to the company's founder, Berry Gordy. Think 60’s Motown and you have to think Smokey Robinson.
Nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attacked the northern Australian city of
1945 –Monday- American marines landed on
1952 –Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Rodolfo Neri Vela, NASA astronaut
and the first Mexican to fly in space. Neri
Vela went into space as
1958 –Wednesday- The Miracles (see Smokey Robinson, 1940 above) released their first single (on Smokey Robinson’s 18th birthday), Got a Job – an answer song to the Silhouettes hit of Get a Job. Note, “answer songs were big in those days….for example Carol King released Oh Neil as and answer to Neil Sedaka’s Oh Carol.
1974 –Tuesday- Dick Clark’s ersatz Grammy Awards, dubbed the American Music Awards made its debut. Remarkably, winners always seem to be on hand to receive their awards. They couldn’t know about it before hand, could they? Anyway, among the first winners were pure musical mucilage - Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist• Jim Croce, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, gasp! Helen Reddy,Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group, double gasp!! The Carpenters, Favorite Pop/Rock Album Lady Sings The Blues (pop/rock?)- Diana Ross and, so help us, Favorite Pop/Rock Single - Tie A Yellow Ribbon - Tony Orlando & Dawn. For some bizarre reason, Bill Cosby received an “Award of Merit”.
1977-Saturday- Deep-ocean researchers found an oasis
of extremophile. Extremophile is not an X-Games fan. It is
an organism adapted to living in conditions of extreme temperature,
pressure, or chemical concentration-
life. John B. Corliss and John M. Elmond used the research submersible
1982 –Friday- George Harrison (possibly still
suffering the effects of seeing Elvis in Fun
in Acapulco at a Miami Drive in movie theater in 1964 (see Feb. 18, 1964)
was found guilty of “subconsciously” (oh, yeah, sure, right, subconscious….just
listen to them) plagiarizing the
Chiffon’s He’s So Fine for his own My Sweet Lord. He had to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000.
He’s So Fine was a 1963 hit was
composed by Ronald Mack, recorded by the Chiffons. George Harrison recorded a
version of My Sweet Lord for his
album, All Things Must Pass, and released MSL as the first single from that
album. It was released on November 28, 1970 in the
2002 –Tuesday- America’s Mars Odyssey space probe began to map the surface of Mars using its
thermal emission imaging system. Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001
on a Delta II rocket from
2005 –Saturday- The USS Jimmy Carter, the last of the Seawolf class of attack subs, was commissioned
20. 1472 –Tuesday- King James III of
–Thursday- Edward VI of
–Monday- The first recorded wine auction was held in
1792-Monday- President George Washington gave his stamp of approval and signed legislation establishing the United States Post Office as a cabinet department led by the postmaster general. The legislation also guaranteed inexpensive (ha ha ha ) delivery of all newspapers, stipulating the right to privacy and granting Congress the ability to expand postal service to new areas of the nation. The Post Office was “Plutoed” in 1970 when President Richard M. Nixon reorganized the federal Post Office Department as the United States Postal Service. It was no longer a cabinet department. Just as Pluto had become a Dwarf Planet, the Post Office had become a “Dwarf Cabinet Department”.
first patent was granted for an elevator.
Of course this industry has had its ups and downs. It was not granted to
Elisha Otis, who had invented the freight elevator (the first elevator) in
1853. This was for the first vertical geared hydraulic electric
elevator and the patent went to Cyrus W. Baldwin. The elevator was installed in
1872- Saturday- We’re
having a tough time with this one since post 1848 patents were issued on
Tuesdays. And.....in another of "it happened on the
same day" – the same day as the vertical geared hydraulic elevator - ,
Luther Childs Crowell, of
1872—Saturday- Gadzooks! Three earth changing
events on the same day! Be still my
heart! First the elevator, then the paper bag and now…… Getting picky with this one, a
toothpick-making machine was patented by Silas Noble and James P. Cooley of
1872 –Saturday- Four! Four major events on the same day! Was there ever such a day as this? In
1894 Tuesday- -You might not have heard of him but you've heard of his work. Happy Birthday, Curt P.Richter, American psychobiologist who discovered the body’s biorhythms and identified the part of the brain that controls daily cycles of sleeping, waking and other activities. He first wrote about this “biological clock” in a 1927 paper in which he described how biorhythms control an animal's drinking, eating, running, TV watching,and, yes, sexual behavior
1901 –Wednesday- Happy Birthdya, René Jules Dubos, American
bacteriologist, born in
1902-Thursday- Happy Birthday,
Ansel Adams, American photographer and environmentalist whose famous pictures
of the American landscape (Half Dome in Yosemite is perhaps the most famous)
are staples of thousands of calendars today.
–Sunday- Happy Birthday- Carl E. Stotz, American sports organizer, the founder and
commissioner of Little League baseball-
1931 –Friday- Happy Birthday, John W. Milnor, American mathematician and winner of the Fields Medal (the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize) who developed the proof that a 7-dimensional sphere can have 28 different differential structures (we knew that). This work opened up the new field of differential topology. Topology, for all you non topologists out there is the study of qualitative questions about geometrical structures. They do not ask: how big is it? But do ask, does it have any holes in it? (something the rest of us ask when buying a house). Is it all connected together, or can it be separated into parts? Milnor's theorem shows that the total curvature of a knot is at least 4. So basically, it is “to be or knot to be” but it is also a “ (pie) in the sky notion”.
1932 –Saturday- The premiere of Freaks. Directed by Tod Browning, who had directed Dracula in 1931, this genuinely unpleasant movie featuring circus side-show performers enjoyed a renaissance during the 1970’s era of “midnight movies”.
Ernest Lawrence at the
1935 –Wednesday- Caroline Mikkelsen,
wife of a Norwegian whaling captain, became the first woman to set foot in/on
1937 –Saturday Happy Birthday, German biochemist who, along with Johann Deisenhofer and Hartmut Michel, received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1988 for their determination of the structure of a protein complex that is essential to photosynthesis in bacteria. That means that once a protein has been reduced to a pure crystalline form, its atomic structure can be deduced by analyzing the manner in which the crystal's atoms scatter a beam of X rays. Huber and his colleagues used this technique to determine the structure of a protein complex (called a photosynthetic reaction centre) that is essential to photosynthesis in certain bacteria. While much work focused on the bacteria, they never really did get around to the fronteria.
1952 –Wednesday- Bogie
and Hepburn. The African Queen premiered in
1963-Wednesday- John Glenn became the first American to orbit
the Earth. A the 3rd American in space, following Alan Shepherd and Virgil
Grissom, He made 3 orbits in his Mercury capsule, Friendship 7, staying in space 4 hrs.55
min. and 23 sec. That‘s almost the
length of the Super Bowl half-time show.
1965-Saturday- Ranger 8 space probe crashed into the moon after taking 7,000 pictures of possible landing sites. There were no soft landings in those days so the first image was taken at 9:34:32 UT at an altitude of 2510 km. Transmission of 7,137 photographs of good quality occurred over the final 23 minutes of flight. The final image taken before impact was from 1.5 meters. It showed a terrified alien holding up six appendages trying to protect itself from the missile that appeared from nowhere.
–Thursday- “The Mir,
the merrier”. The
1996- Tuesday-- V4334 SGR, better known as Sakurai's Object was discovered as a variable on by – you guessed
it - Yukio Sakurai. Sakurai, an amateur astronomer from
2003 –Thursday- Indoor fireworks? What were they thinking? In
2005 –Sunday Hunter S. Thompson kaput. The American “gonzo” journalist and author –Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, died from self inflicted gun shot wound.
Back To Calendar
21. 1613 –Thursday- The beginning of the Romanov dynasty (it would end with the “slewing” of Czar Nicholas II in July of 1917) as sixteen year old Mikhail I was elected unanimously as Czar by a national assembly. Mikhail would rule until 1645. Mikhail Romanov was a weak ruler, his father Metropolitan Filaret was the real power until his death in 1633. After Mikhail's kapution, his son Alexis ruled from 1645-1676. The Romanovs would really solidify their dynastic legacy with the accession of Peter the Great in 1682
–Friday- Happy Birthday, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Mexican
general. In 1833 Santa Anna was overwhelmingly elected President of Mexico.
That didn’t work out too well. From 1833 to 1855
1804 –Tuesday- The first self-propelling steam locomotive
designed to ride on rails made its first appearance at the Pen-y-Darren
1811 –Thursday- The next time you jump into a chlorine treated swimming pool, think of Humphry Davy one of the greatest chemists in history. Davy, introduced the name "chlorine" (Atomic Number: 17,Atomic Weight: 35.453)
from the Greek word for "green," for the bright yellow green gas chemists then called as oxymuriatic gas. Davy's work would show that the chlorine gas was in fact an element, unable to be decomposed into any simpler substances. Chlorine was first isolated by the rather unlucky,Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele (Scheel got almost no credit for any of his discoveries) in 1774. Scheele did not regard this pungent green gas as an element. He referred to it as "dephlogisticated marine acid".
1842 –Monday- Sew
what! John J Greenough of
1848-Monday- The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, was published in London by a group of German-born revolutionary socialists known as the Communist League. The political pamphlet (not a book) proclaimed that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles". It is still beloved by Lenin’s “useful idiots”, idealistic college students, aging sixties academics, and several dictators to this day.
1849-Wednesday- Happy Birthday, Édouard Gaston (Daniel) Deville was a French-born Canadian surveyor of Canadian lands who perfected the first practical method of photogrammetry, or the making of maps based on photography in which geometric properties about objects are determined from photographic images. Its most important feature is the fact, that the objects are measured without being touched. Yes, photorammetry was a “coupe Deville”.
The first electrical burglar alarm
installation in the
Lucy Hobbs Taylor, born in Constable,
1866-Wednesday- And speaking of
unpleasant medical intrusions (see Lucy Hobbs – dentist above), Happy Birthday,
von Wassermann, German
bacteriologist whose discovered a universal blood-serum test in1906, called the
Wasserman Test, for syphilis. The bacterium that causes syphilis, Treponema pallidum, can lay dormant in a
person's body for many years, even a lifetime, without ever manifesting overt
symptoms……sort of like appreciating the music of
1878- Thursday- The first
an office at
1885-Saturday- On the day before George Washington’s birthday
(February 22), after 37 years of interrupted construction, the Washington
Monument was dedicated. Some things you
need to know: Total cost: $1,187,710. Height
of monument above the ground: 555 feet 5 1/8 inches. Width at base of shaft: 55
feet 1 1/2 inches. Width at top of shaft: 34 feet 5 1/2 inches. Thickness of walls at base of shaft: 15 feet. Thickness of walls at top of shaft: 18 inches. Depth of foundation: 36 feet 10 inches. Weight of monument: 90,854 tons. Sway of
monument in 30-mile-per-hour wind: 0.125 of an inch. Try spewing out those
facts as you go to the top and see how many friends you can make. The
construction of a monument to honor George Washington was first considered by
the Continental Congress in 1783. At the time of his death, and during the next
three decades, Congress----- we use the word 'politics' to describe the process
so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking
creatures'.---- neglected to take definite action on many additional proposals
for the erection of a suitable memorial.
Finally, on July 4, 1848, the cornerstone was laid. The trowel used by
1893 –Tuesday- Happy Birthday, Andres Segovia, the great Spanish guitarist despite
the opposition of his parents. First,
they opposed his learning the guitar and got him cello and piano teachers
instead. When he persisted in teaching himself guitar, they opposed his
becoming a musician. He became the founding father of the modern classical
guitar movement. He is noted for his
riffs in Purple Haze, Satisfaction, and Layla, but Bach's Chaconne is
1895-Thursday- Happy Birthday, Carl Peter Henrik Dam, Danish biochemist who, with Edward A. Doisy, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1943 for the discovery of the previously unknown, vitamin K in 1939. Dam found that the blood of chicks fed on a vitamin K-free diet was very deficient in prothrombin, which is normally present and essential to clotting. He established a method of estimation, defined the vitamin K unit, and found the best sources to be green leaves and tomatoes. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting. The body can store fat-soluble vitamins in fatty tissue and vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot. Some studies indicate that it helps in maintaining strong bones in the elderly. Vitamin K is found in cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybeans, and other vegetables. Vitamin K is also made by the bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract.
1902-Friday- The first brain surgery in the U.S was
performed, appropriately enough, by the first brain surgeon in the U.S, Dr.
Harvey Cushing. Cushing’s assistant, Elizabeth Eisenhart became the first woman
trained in neurosurgery. This was some day, with the first brain surgery, first
woman dentist (Lucy Hobbs), birth of developer of syphilis test (Wassemann). Interestingly,
brain surgery is perhaps the oldest of all practiced medical arts. The remains
of successful brain operations were found in
1916 –Monday- Another of those WW I battles with
colossal casualty figures, the Battle of
Verdun began in France as German forces attacked the French ring of forts
surrounding the town of Verdun. The German siege of
1918 –Thursday- The last captive
1925 – Saturday- Happy Birthday. Sam Peckinpah, American director who turned violence into ballet. We note that ballet has turned violent over stolen tutus or dropped ballerinas. His Wild Bunch (1969) is one of the great movies of all time. Amidst the shooting on the “porch” near the climax, note the look exchanged between William Holden and Ernest Borgnine.
Seltzer was introduced in the
1937- Sunday- The
first a successful automobile-airplane combination flight took place. Built by
the Westerman Arrowplane Corporation of
1948 –Saturday- NASCAR was incorporated. Jeff Gordon was
booed. The first meeting of the National Association for Stock Car Automobile
Racing had been held on December 12,
1947 at the Streamline Inn Motel in
1950 – The first International Pancake Race was
held in Liberal Kansas. The battering
competition is between competitors from the towns of Liberal,
1953 –Saturday- Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered
the molecular structure of the DNA. Waiting a week, Watson and Crick made their first announcement on
Feb 28, and their paper A Structure for
Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid was published in the April 25, 1953 issue of journal Nature. Rosalind Franklin had obtained sharp X-ray
diffraction photographs of DNA as far back as 1951.
Rosalind Franklin died of cancer in 1958By 1962, when Watson, Crick, and Wilkins won the Nobel Prize for physiology/medicine. The Nobel Prize only goes to living recipients, and can only be shared among three winners. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).
1964 –Friday- Happy Birthday - Mark E. Kelly and Scott J. Kelly, American astronauts – Yep! twin astronauts. Mark went into space as the pilot for STS-108 Endeavour (December 5–17, 2001), and returned to space as the pilot of STS-121, Discovery in 2006. Brother Scott is awaiting his first space flight. Do you suppose they could have, like, switched places for flights and maybe Scott went into space after all?
1965-Sunday- Black Muslim minister, Malcolm Little, aka, Malcolm X, aka Detroit Red, was assassinated by three Black Muslim gunmen in the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights section of New York City. Talmadge Hayer, Norman Butler, and Thomas Johnson -- were convicted of murdering the 39-year-old black leader. Though prosecutors suggested at trial that the slaying was plotted as "an object lesson for Malcolm's followers," no direct evidence linked the Nation of Islam -- from which Malcolm had publicly broken – to the murder.
1970 –Saturday-- The
1972 –Monday- The Soviet
unmanned spaceship Luna 20 landed on
the Moon. Lunar samples
were obtained by means of an extendable drilling apparatus. After a stay of
just one day (the room rates and buffet breakfast costs were ridiculously high),
the ascent stage of Luna 20 was
launched from the lunar surface on
February 22 carrying 30 grams of collected lunar samples in a sealed
capsule. It landed in the
1994-Monday- The Whirlpool Corporation began
production of an energy efficient refrigerator that did not use Freon……you
know, that stuff that destroys the ozone. It had an efficiency 25% better than
Back To Calendar
22. 1295 BC - The coronation of the Pharaoh,
Ramses II. The son of Seti I, he was the third
ruler of the Nineteenth Dynasty of . He spent most of his reign at war with the
Hittites, but he was also the builder of some of
1403-Monday- Happy Birthday, Charles VII, King of
1630-Thursday- A Native American, Quadequina, brother of the
Wampanoag chief Massasoit, introduced
1632 –Saturday- Galileo Galilei’s book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World
Systems was published. This was the book that got him into lots of trouble with
the Church and resulted in his trial and conviction for “grave suspicion” of
heresy. The book was Galileo's
comparison of the Copernican system, in which the Earth and other planets orbit
the Sun, with the traditional Ptolemaic system, in which everything in the universe
circles around the Earth. We note that many people believe in the Ptolomaic
system except that they believe the universe circles around them. The book was published in
1732-Thursday- Happy Birthday, George Washington, one of the
greatest leaders in American History.
Commander of the Continental Army, he kept it together through a series
of military setbacks during the first years of the American Revolution and then
led it to victory. He became a prime
mover in the steps leading to the Constitutional Convention at
1777- Friday- Archibald Bulloch kaput. Never
heard of him? You would have if he
hadn’t gone kaput under mysterious circumstances.
1788-Sunday- Happy Birthday, Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher. Even before African countries became “failed states” and the any State Legislature, and My Mother the Car, Pink Lady and Jeff appeared on television, and the Hannah Montana movie, among 19th century philosophers, Arthur Schopenhauer was among the first to contend that at its core, the universe is not a rational place. He was inspired by Plato and Kant, both of whom regarded the world as being more amenable to reason. Schopenhauer developed their philosophies into an instinct-recognizing and ultimately ascetic outlook, emphasizing that in the face of a world filled with endless strife, we ought to minimize our natural desires to achieve a more tranquil frame of mind and a disposition towards universal beneficence.
–Wednesday- Happy Birthday, we think, to Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin.
Chopin always gave his date of birth as March 1 but according to his baptismal
certificate, which was written several weeks after his birth, the date was
February 22. In 1831 he
1819 –Sunday- The U.S purchased
the rest of Florida as Spanish minister Don Luis de Onis and
U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams signed the Adams-Onis Treaty.
1824 –Saturday- Happy Birthday, Pierre Jules César
Janssen, French astronomer who, along with the English scientist Joseph Norman
Lockyer, is credited with discovering the gas helium. Helium was discovered
spectroscopically in the sun by Lockyer of England in 1868 and, around the same
time independently (again spectroscopic)
by Janssen of France in the same year. Spectroscopically
means that bright emission lines from solar prominences were recorded and then tests
carried out at to reproduce the lines. It was impossible to find the source for
the strong yellow line and thus in 1870 Lockyer suggested that is was due to a
hypothetical element that he named `Helium', after the greek Sun god `Helios'. Helium was isolated on earth by Sir William
1857-Saturday- Happy Birthday, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz ( brother of It Hertz), discoverer of radio-waves. Hertz, a German physicist, was the first to broadcast and receive radio waves. Hertz was also the first to discover the photoelectric effect - which is generally defined as the emission of electrons from a surface exposed to electromagnetic radiation above a certain threshold frequency -. In 1887, Hertz was (again) the first to detect and generate electromagnetic waves in order to prove James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism, which had been published in 1865. The unit of frequency - one cycle per second - is named after him. He died at the age of 37 of blood poisoning.
1879-Friday- Frank Winfield (F.W)Woolworth
started a retail revolution by opening the Great
5 Cents Store in
1892 –Sunday- Happy Birthday, Edna St. Vincent Millay,
American born in
1889 –Thursday- President Grover Cleveland signed a bill
admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states. This
was the Enabling Act, an act to provide for the division of
Dakota Territory into two states and to enable the people of
1902-Friday- Happy Birthday – Fritz Strassman, German physical chemist who, with Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, discovered neutron-induced nuclear fission in uranium (uranium nuclei split when bombarded with neutrons) in 1938 and thereby opened the field of atomic energy used both in the atomic bomb for war and in nuclear reactors to produce electricity. Strassman enjoyed “fission” and caught bass, trout and pickerel.
1918-Thursday- Happy Birthday to the world record tallest
human, (there is irrefutable evidence for his height not so for some
“pretenders”) Robert Pershing Wadlow, was born in
–Saturday- The first
transcontinental flying mail service arrived in
1924- Calvin Coolidge delivered the first
presidential radio broadcast from the White House. The broadcast consisted of
the “Top Ten Hits Countdown”, an interview with Larry King, and a commercial
Dr Selman Abraham Waksman announced his discovery of the
antibiotic streptomycin, the first specific antibiotic effective against
had been working on a treatment for TB since 1914. In 1940, he and his team were able to isolate
an effective anti-TB antibiotic, actinomycin.
However, this proved to be too toxic for use in humans or animals.
Although being dead was a sure cure for the disease, the patient feedback
tended to be negative. Waksman’s team first
isolated streptomycin on October 19, 1943
in some soil from the Andes in
1959 –Saturday- They called it the 500 Mile NASCAR International Sweepstakes, and the green flag went down at noon. Nowadays we call it the Daytona 500. Admission was $ 8 and there were 59 cars entered including Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, Joe Weatherly and Fireball Roberts. Jeff Gordon was booed and Tony Stewart got into a fight. Johnny Beauchamp appeared to edge Lee Petty in a photo finish, after 3 hour, 41 minutes of left turns. Officials reviewed still photos and newsreel footage, and declared Lee Petty the official winner more than two days later.
–Thursday- Lunatic Samuel Byck tried and failed to assassinate U.S. President Richard Nixon but shot three other people in the
attempt. His idea was to hijack an
airplane and crash it into the White House. He drove to the
In a stunning upset, the amateur United
States Olympic hockey team defeated the (“amateur” – wink, wink, nod, nod)
Soviets at Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, N.Y., 4-to-3. Called the “Miracle on
Ice”, this stunning upset was only a semi-final game. The
1983 –Monday The Broadway play, Moose Murders opened.
1983 –Monday- The Broadway play, Moose Murders closed. Written
by Arthur Bicknell and directed by John Roach it is considered the standard of
awfulness against which all Broadway flops are judged. The critics were not
kind. Critics described Moose Murders as “titanically bad” and
“indescribably bad,” a play that “would insult the intelligence of an audience
consisting entirely of amoebas” (Brendan Gill, The New Yorker), that looked as
it were staged by “a blind director repeatedly kicked in the groin” (John
Vetter who had spent most his life in a plastic bubble because he had no
immunity to disease, died 15 days after being removed from the bubble for a
bone-marrow transplant – provided by his sister. It had been hoped that transplanted marrow
stem cells - precursors to blood cells - would evolve and become the patient's
own T-cells. David lacked T-cells. He had lived since birth in this protective,
germ-free environment since birth at Texas Children's Hospital,
1986 –Friday- Suicides numbers spiked, divorces hit an all time high, nine months later there was a notable increase in birth defects, people started to think that chain store pizza was real, That's What Friends Are For was recorded by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, and Gladys Knight , and the Olsen twins were born as MTV aired 22 hours of the Monkees TV episodes in celebration of their 20th anniversary as a group.
1987 –Saturday- Andy Warhol kaput. “Pop” Artist,
the very strange Andy Warhol died of complications following the removal of a gangrenous gallbladder. In
the early 1960s his huge and colorful silk-screen renderings of banal objects
like Coke bottles and a
1990 – Here’s your Grammy Award Milli Vanilli…whoops, not so fast. In November artificial Pop duo Milli Vanilli would be stripped of its 1990 Grammy Award won on February 22. It would be the first time that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences had taken back one of its trophies. Following revelations that Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan didn't sing a note on Girl You Know It's True, the album that won them the award on this day, the academy, contacted one at a time by phone, voted to rescind the award Milli Vanilli won in ...
1994 –Monday- One of the most damaging traitors in American
history, CIA operative Aldrich Ames was
arrested for selling secrets to the Soviet Union.
Back To Calendar
23. 1455 –Friday- Generally accepted, traditional date, but open to quibbling, for the publication of the Johann Gutenberg’s Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed from movable type. Before Gutenberg, every book had to be copied by hand. The earliest books were written on scrolls. From the Second Century A.D. to the present time, however, most books have been produced in the familiar codex format—in other words, bound at one edge. During the Middle Ages, manuscript books were produced by monks who worked with pen and ink in a copying room known as a scriptorium. Even a small book could take months to complete, and a book the size of the Bible could take several years. It was now possible to speed up the process without sacrificing quality and get more bibles into circulation. We know for certain about this first printed Bible from a letter written on March12 1455 by Enea Silvio Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, who reported that in Frankfurt, the year before, a man had been promoting the Bible. Piccolomini had seen parts of it and it had such neat lettering that, he said, one could read it without glasses….presuming of course that one could read. In less than fifty years after the printing of this page, more than ten million printed books had been produced. It is thought that Gutenberg printed 165 copies on paper, thirty-five copies on parchment, and one as a tattoo on his biceps and chest. Of this total, only forty-eight Gutenberg Bibles are known to have survived.
1583 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, to the consistently wrong, Jean-Baptiste Morin, French mathematician, astrologer, and astronomer. Morin believe the Earth was fixed in space and did not move and thus opposed Galileo. Not content with opposing one of the great scientists in history, as the last of the notable French astrologers, he also opposed Rene Descartes, one of history’s great philosophers.
Samuel Pepys (pēps, pĕp'ĭs), English diarist, Pepys began his diary, which provided the best eye-witness report of
life in late 17th century
Happy Birthday, George Frideric Handel German composer
who is currently decomposing. Handel (yes, the music on his sheets could be
described as “Handel bars”.) was of the greatest composers of the
late baroque period (1700-1750) and, during his lifetime, perhaps the most
internationally famous of all musicians.
Hallelujah, his most famous work, Messiah, was written in
1778 –Monday- Baron Friedrich
Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben arrived at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army. Von Steuben was introduced to George
Washington by means of a letter from Benjamin Franklin (in
Happy Birthday, Emma Hart
Willard pioneer in higher education for
women. She founded the Willard
Association for the Mutual Improvement of Female Teachers in 1837. Earlier, she had started a school for women in
1820 –Wednesday- The Cato Street
Conspiracy was an attempt to murder all the British cabinet ministers and Prime
Minister Lord Liverpool. The participants were followers of Thomas Spence, a
teacher who advocated the radical transformation of society. When Spence went kaput in 1814, the even more
radical Arthur Thistlewood took over the organization. When they discovered – from the newspapers-
that the entire British Cabinet would be having dinner at Emeril’s Restaurant…no,
no, no Professor Sy Yentz has his culinary sense of humor….at a home on Harrow
Street, the “Spencerians” decided this was the time to foment a revolution by
kaputing the cabinet. They met at a
Caroline Earle White who organized the first antivivisection society, in
The siege of the Alamo in
1847-Tuesday- During the Mexican War, the Battle
of Buena Vista occurred as 5,000 U.S troops under the command of General
Zachary Taylor (“Old Rough and Ready”) defeated General Santa Anna’s (yes,
following his defeat at San Jacinto in 1836 he was still around and still
losing battles) 15,000 troops.
1851-Sunday- The first bathtub was installed in the White House. Who was the president in 1851? Well it wasn’t Zachary Taylor who had had gone kaput in 1850. Did you say Millard Fillmore? He enjoyed a leisurely bubble bath surrounded by flowery flagrances that left his skin soft and tingly and sandlewood/jasmine scented candles while sipping a glass of merlot. Whoops! Not so fast. There is some debate surrounding the Fillmore tub. It is based on a story by prominent journalist H.L Mencken which appeared in the Dec. 28, 1917, edition of The New York Evening Mail. Mencken recanted the Fillmore tub tale as fiction 10 years later when it was being hyped and embellished in newspapers, journals and reference books. Mencken later explained that he concocted the tale as a diversion for a country that was suffering the horrors of World War 1. That admission led to the story being subsequently referred to as "The Mencken Hoax." However, the article continued to be printed as fact long after the author's confession. So, when was the first tub put in? Andrew Jackson had two free standing portable tubs and running water was added to the White House during his administration. The first tubs with running water were installed during Martin Van Buren's tenure. http://www.theplumber.com/white.html
1861-Saturday- Following discovery of an assassination plot
in Baltimore, Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in
1883 –Friday- Alabama became the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law. Now it was officially against the law to trust anyone.
Happy Birthday, W.E.B. DuBois, (William Edward Burghardt DuBois) American
sociologist and author who co-founded the N.A.A.C.P. His teachings were an important influence on
the Civil Rights Movement of the'50s and'60s. Ironically, DuBois went kaput on
the eve of the historic march on
1884-Saturday- Happy Birthday, Casimir Funk, Polish-American biochemist who first used the term "vitamine.". Funk's work (continuing an idea developed by Sir Frederick Hopkins - English biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929), with what are now called vitamins began when he recognized that certain food factors were needed to prevent nutritional-deficiency diseases, such as beriberi (vitamin B1 deficiency), scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), pellagra (niacin deficiency), and rickets (vitamin D deficiency).He found nothing to combat insipient stupidity however, which is why it continues in epidemic proportions to this day. He suggested that these unidentified substances were all in a class of organic compounds called amines, which are vital to life, so he named them vitamines (vital amines). He later confirmed the existence of vitamins B1, B2, C, and D, and he stated that they were necessary for normal health and the prevention of deficiency diseases. When later it was discovered that not all the factors were amines, they dropped the “e” at the end and we have "vitamin." So, Casimir Funk……..Or, as Parliament/Funkadelic put it,
“Ow, we want the funk
Give up the funk
Ow, we need the funk
We gotta have that funk”
1885 – Monday- If at first you don’t
succeed……convicted murderer, John Lee was taken to the gallows in
1893-Saturday- Rudolf Diesel received a German patent for the diesel engine. The diesel engine burns fuel oil rather than gasoline and differs from the gasoline engine in that it uses compressed air in the cylinder rather than a spark to ignite the fuel. Diesel was almost killed by his engine when it exploded during one of his experiments. However, his engine was the first that proved that fuel could be ignited without a spark
1896-Sunday- The Tootsie Roll was introduced
by Leo Hirshfield an Austrian immigrant. Working in a small store in
1903 –Monday- Shortly after the end
of the Spanish-American
1904 –Tuesday- Continuing the
Caribbean real estate theme (see acquisition of Guantanamo Bay a year earlier) for $10
million the United States gained control of the Panama Canal Zone. The
1934 –Friday- Casey Stengel was hired as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers – see Ebbet’s Field demolition, 1960). He managed the Dodgers from 1934 to 1936 – finishing in the bottom half of the league each year, and then the Boston Braves from 1938 to 1943. Fame came when he was hired as manager by the New York Yankees in 1949 to replace the retiring Joe McCarthy. Stengel went on to be one the great managers of baseball history. His record of 1149 wins versus 696 losses with the Yankees over the next 12 seasons included 10 American League pennants and seven World Series victories. At the end of his career he was the first manager of the New York Mets, serving more as a promoter and crowd attraction than anything else.
1940-Friday- Folk singer Woody Guthrie wrote the beloved song, This Land is Your Land. Among his discarded titles were: This Property is Your Property, This Acre is Your Acre, This Hectare is Your Hectare, This Arpent is Your Arpent, This Furlong is Your Furlong, This Meander line is Your Meander line , This Plat is Your Plat, This Rancho is Your Rancho, and This Subdivision is Your Subdivision,
–Sunday- Plutonium (Atomic Number: 94 , Atomic Weight: 244) was first produced and isolated by Dr.
Glenn T. Seaborg. He bombarded an isotope of uranium, uranium-238, with
deuterons (The nucleus of the deuterium atom) that had been accelerated in a cyclotron. This created neptunium-238 and
two free neutrons (obtainable with coupons). Neptunium-238 which has a
half-life of 2.1 days decays into plutonium-238 through beta decay. Although
they conducted their work at the
first shelling of the
1944 –Wednesday- Happy Birthday, John Sandford, American novelist ,famous for the “Prey” books: Rules of Prey, Mortal Prey, Broken Prey, Invisible Prey among others.
And also, Happy
Birthday, Bernard Cornwell, British historical novelist –including the Sharpe books: Sharpe’s Rifles, Sharpe’s
1945-Friday- The U.S Marines raised the
American flag over
1951 –Friday- Happy Birthday, Shigefumi Mori, Japanese mathematician, and Fields Medal winner who has made important contributions to the field of algebraic geometry. His major work, proved the existence of minimal models for all three-dimensional algebraic varieties. We have no idea what that means. He found that the concept of minimal models can be applied to three-folds as well if some singularities are allowed on them. We have no idea what that means either. We got a 48 on the Geometry Regents…..after studying for three weeks. The extension of Mori’s results to dimensions higher than three published in January 1988, is cleverly called Mori's Program. Within ten years since his first published paper, Mori had completed what many said could never be done……he had balanced his checkbook.
First mass inoculations of children using Salk
anti-polio vaccine. Now, due to the separation of church and state, there can
be only Non-denominational inoculations instead of mass
inoculations. A group of children from
Demolition began on Ebbet’s Field, (seating
capacity 32,000) home to the Brooklyn
Dodgers from 1913 – 1957 when (the evil)Walter O’Malley took the heart of
Brooklyn, moved the team to