deception pass Washington

World Bicycle Day

In 1539 Hernando de Soto claimed Florida for Spain. The US later bought it from Spain. Would they like it back? We could sell it for cheap:) In 1916, just a year before the US got involved in WWI the National Defense Act was signed into law, increasing the size of the US National Guard by 450,000 men. Perhaps we were anticipating?

The father of geology – James Hutton -was born in 1726. A quartet of political leaders was born on this date: Confederate President Jefferson Davis (1808) , our 24th US Vice President Garrett Hobart (1844 – served under McKinley for one term), King George V of England (1865), and our current First Lady – Jill Biden (1951).

French actress, dancer, and French Resistance fighter Josephine Baker arrived on the world stage in 1906. This was also the birthdate for actor Tony Curtis (1925), Beat poet Allen Ginsberg(1926), and CNN host Anderson Cooper (1967).

The music ceased for French pianist and composer Georges Bizet (1875) most famous for Carmen. Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn played his last role in 2001. Czech-Austrian lawyer and novelist Frank Kafka (1924) laid down his pen. And the great Muhammed Ali ceased his fighting in 2016, but don’t you all remember him lighting the torch at the Sydney Olympic Games? The memory still gives me chills.

Today is World Bicycle Day, and I saw quite a few out on the trails today as I took my Saturday stroll.

Vandals and Riots and Witch Hunts, oh my.

Interesting how popular terms come about. The Germanic tribal group the Vandals, sacked the city of Rome in 455 AD for two weeks, and thus the popular term for wanton destruction became known as vandalism. In 1780 there was a series of riots called the Gordon riots that occurred in London which were anti-Catholic in nature, a continuation of the religious conflicts that ravaged Europe and inspired the US Constitutional First Amendment to separate church and state to protect both. In a black mark on American colonial history on this date, Bridget Bishop was the first person tried for witchcraft in Massachusetts in 1692.

In signs of progress, Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his wireless telegraph in 1896. President Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law in 1924 granting citizenship to all Native Americans born in the US – people who should have had it all along, because they and their ancestors were here long before any white man set foot on what is now American soil. And in 1953 the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II occurred in Westminster Abbey and was one of the first major international events to be televised.

This date was the birthdate of the first First Lady, Martha Washington (1731), French philosopher the Marquis de Sade (1710). English composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857), and Olympic Medalist swimmer and Tarzan portrayer Johnny Weismuller (1904).

The third man to walk on the moon, Pete Conrad, began his exploration of the Earth in 1930. American composer Marvin Hamlisch also entered the world in 1944 and grew up to become one of only two individuals to earn a PEGOT – gaining awards for Pultizer, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. The rebooted Star Trek Spock- Zachary Quinto was born in 1977. And an icon from my childhood, the Beaver, Jerry Mathews was born this day in 1948 and is thus 75 years old – can you believe it?

We bid farewell to the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig in 1941. The world also lost Spanish classical guitarist Andre Segovia (1987), Ben Hur’s nemesis Masalla – Stephen Boyd (1977), My Fair Lady’s Henry Higgins – Rex Harrison (1990), and Hogan’s Heroes Peter Newkirk – Richard Dawson (2012).

International Children’s Day

Ironically a monk, John Cor, recorded the first known batch of Scotch whiskey in 1495. Louis Brandies became the first Jew to be appointed to the US Supreme Court in 1916. The first international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty were filed in 1978. And US President George Bush Sr and Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed a treaty in 1990 to end chemical weapons production.

On this date in 1801 Mormon leader Bringham Young was born. We also welcomed to the world Russian composer Mikhael Glinka (1804), US Supreme Court Justice Johna Marshall Harlan (1833), and Scottish physician Henry Faulds (18430 who developed fingerprinting.

There were numerous actors and actresses born on this date, including Mayberry’s own Andy Griffith and starlet Marilyn Monroe, both born in 1926, crooner Pat Boone (1934), stern but kind leader actor Morgan Freeman (1937), and out of this world Deep Space Nine’s Odo Rene Auberjonos (1940).

We bid farewell to our 15th President James Buchanan (1868), our 28th Vice President Thomas R Marshall (1925), who served under Wilson, American philosopher John Dewey (1952), and Helen Keller (1968).

This is both International Children’s Day and Global Day of Parents. It is World Milk Day, so drink a glass and National Tree Planting Day in Cambodia, but feel free to plant one wherever in the world you are – it is good for all of us.

Order and Chaos

This was a day of chaos and order in history. The first US copyright statute was enacted as the Copyright Act of 1790 and the clock tower at the British House of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, began keeping time in 1859. But then in 1899 the Johnstown Flood destroyed Johnstown Pennsylvania and caused over 2,200 deaths. The Mexican Revolution cause long-time President /dictator Porfirio Diaz to fell the country in 1911. And the Tulsa race massacre killed at least 55 to 300 people and destroyed the black-owned business section of the city in 1921 – an incident that has been largely forgotten by history but should not be forgotten.

Today was the birthdate of American poet Walt Whitman (1819) as well as the first woman to practice Western medicine in Japan, Kusumoto Ine (1827), and the first African-American scientist to work on the Manhattan Project, Lloyd Quartermann (1918) a chemist who specialized in fluorine. It was also the birthday of famed quarterback Joe Namath (1943), actor Clint Eastwood (1930), and singer-songwriter Peter Yarrow (1938), who I got to hear in concert several years ago and whose music with Peter Paul & Mary will live forever (who can forget Puff the Magic Dragon?).

On this day the music ended for Austrian pianist and composer Joseph Haydn and the writing and experimenting stopped for psychologist, author and LSD-dropping Timothy Leary (1993, “tune in, turn on, drop out”). We also said farewell to Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the US (1910), boxer Jack Dempsey (1983), and the long-suffering ‘Edith Bunker” Jean Stapelton (2013). And we remember the murder of physician George Tiller, gunned down while serving as a church usher, for the “crime” of helping support women’s health rights.:(

For those who wish to quit smoking, cold turkey, or otherwise, today is World No Tobacco Day.

Decoration Day

In 1868 Decoration Day, a predecessor to Memorial Day was observed for the first time after a proclamation by the head of the veterans group Grand Army of the Republic, John A Logan, to take time to decorate the graves of the fallen. In 1922 the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC was dedicated. If you have the chance please visit it. It is a solemn sacred space where you can sense history -both seeing Lincoln’s speeches and stand on the spot (as I did) where Martin Luther King Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.

In 1431 at the age of 19 Joan of Arc gave her life for her country of France. And in 1631, two hundred years later France’s first newspaper Gazette de France, began to be published. And in 1975 the European Space Agency was established to help Europe launch its own space adventures.

Peter Carl Faberge, the Russian jeweler famous for the creation of Faberge eggs, was born in 1846. Irving Thalberg the American filmmaker (Night at the Opera, Mutiny on the Bounty) and namesake of a memorial Academy award was born in 1899. The multi-talented voice actor Mel Blanc who was born in 1908, must not have totally left his childhood behind, because he entertained us with the voicing of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester, and a multitude of other characters.

This date also brought us the clarinet-playing band leader Benny Goodman (1909), the rapid-firing Lukas McCabe -the Rifleman, Clint Walker (1927), and the Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers (1943).

Along with Joan of Arc, this day saw the departure of English poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe (1593), English poet and essayist Alexander Pope (1744), and French philosopher and author Voltaire (1779). This date spelled the end for flight pioneer brother Wilbur Wright (1912 – Orville lived decades longer), Sound of Music captain Georg von Trapp (1947), the University of Oregon standout runner Steve Prefontaine (1975), and Russian poet and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Boris Pasternak (1960 Doctor Zhivago).

Take Pause to Remember

There were rising and fallings on this date. Two states joined the Union. One, Rhode Island joined the other 12 of the original 13 in ratifying the Constitution in 1790. The other, Wisconsin, was admitted as the 30th state in 1848. In 1660 Charles II became King of England, restoring the monarchy after the Cromwllian Lord Protector years. And in 2004 the National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington DC – a great place to visit and recollect if you get the chance.

On the other hand, the Byzantine Empire (or what was left of the eastern half of the Roman Empire) ended with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turk Empire in 1453 after a 53-day siege. And in 1913 the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s modernist ballet – The Rite of Spring- caused a riot in Paris.

The highest high? Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first two people to summit Mt Everest in 1953.

Two of the individuals mentioned above had their significant events happen on their birthdays – Charles II, who was born in 1630, and Tenzing Norgay who was born in 1914. This is also the birthdate for American patriot and first Virginia governor Patrick Henry (1736), entertainer Bob Hope (1903), British author T.H.White (1906) author of the series The Once and Future King (King Arthur), and Indy racer Al Unser (1939).

It is also the birthdate of President John F Kennedy (1917) who tragically only got the celebrate forty-seven of them.

The stage was darkened by the loss of four creatives – W.S.Gilbert (1911) who collaborated with Arthur Sullivan to bring us comic operas such as HMS Pinafore and the Pirates of Penzance, John Barrymore(1942), Dennis Hopper (2010, Easy Rider), and Mary Pickford (1979) who founded United Artists.

We lost three political figures – Sam Dash (2004) who was chief legal council for the Senate Watergate committee, Archibald Cox (2004) who was the special counsel in the investigation who ultimately got fired in the notorious Saturday Night Massacre, and Senator Barry Goldwater, who did the country a favor by urging President Nixon to resign.

This is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers and the day this year that we remember those who have given their lives in the military service of their country. On this day I remember my Uncle Phil, who died in a plane crash in 1942 while training pilots to fly.

Last Sunday in May

In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which denied Native Americans their land rights and led to forced relocations. In 1961 Peter Benenson’s article The Forgotten Prisoners in multiple newspapers is considered the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International. And in 2008 the Constituent Assembly of Nepal declared it a republic, ending 240 years of the Shah dynastic monarchy.

In other news, the Sierra Club was formed by John Muir in 1892. The Dionne quintuplets were born in Ottawa Canada in 1934 – the first quintuplets to survive infancy. And in 1937 the German auto firm Volkswagen was founded.

All-American great athlete Jim Thorpe, of Sac and Fox tribal blood, burst on the scene in 1888. The inventor of the blowtorch, Carl Richard Nyberg, was born in 1858. As was the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, started creating in 1908. 1944 was a busy year with the births of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, singer Gladys Knight, and actress Sandra Locke. We also celebrate the birth of Russian figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva (1971) and lead singer of the “swamp rock” group CCR, John Fogerty (1945).

The people who bid the world farewell on this date included American lexicographer Noah Webster (1843), Austrian-Scottish ophthalmologist and psychologist Alfred Adler (1937), WWI Medal of Honor veteran Audie Murphy (1971), disgraced abdicated King Edward VIII (1972) and American poet Maya Angelou (2014).

Short Saturday news

In 1703 Russian Tsar Peter the Great founded the city of Saint Petersburg and made it his capital. in 1883 Alexander III became the next to last tsar of Imperial Russia. In 1937 the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic, connecting San Francisco with Marin County California. In 1941 the great German battleship Bismark was hunted down and sunk by the British navy with the loss of almost 2,100 men. And in 2016 Barack Obama became the first, and only, US President to visit Hiroshima Memorial Park and visit with survivors.

On this date, we were joined on the planet by American poet, songwriter, suffragette, and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe (1819) who wrote the Civil War anthem Battle Hymn of the Republic, Wild West sheriff Wild Bill Hickok (1837), Vice President Hubert Humphrey (1911), and Secretary of State and secret visitor to Bejing, Henry Kissinger (1923). It was also the birthdate for two legends of cinema – Vincent Price (1911) and Christopher Lee (1922) as well as a writer who gave us one of the most memorable original Star Trek episodes – City on the Edge of Forever – Harlan Ellison (1934).

We also lost an actor who starred in another iconic Star Trek episode – “The Cage” – Jeffrey Hunter (1969, Captain Christopher Pike) as well as Protestant Reformer John Calvin (1564), American cartoonist Robert Ripley (1949) famous for Ripley’s Believe it or Not, the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru (1964), and rocker and Cher ex Gregg Allman (2017).

National Sorry Day

There were an expulsion, an almost expulsion, and threats of future expulsions on this date. Protestant Reformer John Calvin and his followers were expelled from Geneva. There were a lot of those -and worse – during the Protestant Reformation and the resulting religious wars. President Andrew Johnson narrowly escaped expulsion from the White House when the Senate failed by one vote to convict him at his impeachment trial in 1868. And the House Unamerican Activities Committee began the first of each many sessions in 1938 seeking to root out and expel those who were activists against their country. They should have been looking in the mirror, in my humble opinion.

There were Russian events on this date. Russia and the United Kingdom signed the treaty of Gandamak in 1879, establishing the Afghan state. Ironically this was 100 years before the Russians, then organized as the Soviet Union, invaded that same Afghan state. The last tsar of Imperial Russia, Nicholas II, was crowned in 1896. And the US and the Soviet Union signed the Anti-Ballistic Missle Treaty in 1972.

The Beatle’s album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in 1967. And for some reason by law in Iceland drivers changed from driving on the left to driving on the right overnight. What a confusing mess that must have been 🙁

Musician births were numerous on this date: American jazz singer and actor Al Jolson (1886), African American dancer and choreographer Frankie Manning (1914), trumpet player and bandleader Miles Davis (1926), rocker Stevie Nicks (1948), and country star Hank Williams Jr (1949).

And there were a slew of actors and actresses: John Wayne (1907), Jay Silverheels (Tonto, 1912), legendary Peter Cushing (1913), and James Arnes (Gunsmoke, 1923). And there was a crossover talent multi-instrumentalist, singer, and actor Lenny Kravitz (1964, seen in Hunger Games), and Helen Bonham Carter (1966) seen in such diverse roles as the queen of England (King’s Speech), the bride of a mad scientist (Keith Brannan’s Frankenstein), the alien primate scientist (Planet of the Apes), and the crazed witch with a twisted sense of humor (Bellatrix Lestrange, Harry Potter).

The founder of the ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, Victor Herbert ceased his music on this date in 1924. He was an Irish-American cellist, composer, and conductor. The founder of the Mayo Clinic, Charles Horace Mayo, which helps so many with their health issues, fell victim to his own health issues in 1939. We also lost actor Eddie Albert (2005) seen on Green Acres, Syndey Pollack (2008) who directed and screenwriter many films that we have seen, Art Linkletter (2010) who found out that” kids can say the darndest things”, and Ray Liotta (2022) who will always be remembered as the first “he will come” Shoeless Joe Jackson of Field of Dreams.

Today is remembered in Australia as National Sorry Day. A day of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people, for the great harm that was done to the Aboriginal Peoples, whose very culture and children were stolen over the decades of colonization. And in a notice that reminded me of the only time I got sent to the principal’s office – it is National Paper Airplane Day.

Memorial Day

Yes, I know it is a little early, but today is my memorial day. Thirteen years ago my youngest, older, sister Betty passed away suddenly. She was only 60, way too young. She might think me weird for this historical-themed blog (at least for this year) but she already knew I was weird and loved me anyway, just like my other three sisters. So let’s see what we can find that also happened on this date in history.

Did you know there was once a war between Pennsylvania and Maryland? It was a boundary dispute and got settled on this date in 1738. Gibert and Sullivan’s comic opera HMS Pinafore opened at the Opera Comique in London in 1878. Considering the restrictions that teachers are working under these days, especially in Florida makes it not quite as unbelievable that a teacher was once put on trial for teaching evolution – Scopes trial in Tennessee in 1925.

There was progress too on this date. The first public television broadcast (KHUT, Houston) happened in 1953. and the Gateway Arch, which my sister loved, was dedicated in 1968 in St Louis. Star Wars was first released in theaters in the US in 1977.

And to show that space flight wasn’t just fantasy – in 1961 President John F Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress his plan to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. We did it eight years later, though he wasn’t around to see it. And in 2012 the SpaceX Dragon I became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station.

The world welcomed American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1803, Russian-American aircraft designer of the helicopter Igor Sikorsky in 1889, American thriller novelist Robert Ludlum in 1927, and the inspiration for the movie Field of Dreams W.P. ‘Ray” Kinsella in 1935.

We also celebrate the birth of four creative talents on this date. Gandalf – aka Ian McKellan (1939), Kermit -aka Frank Oz (1944), Wayne of Wayne’s World – aka Mike Meyers (1963), and memorable actress Octavia Spencer (1970) whose roles in The Help and Hidden Figures were pivotal in my memory.

In 986 AD the world lost what they still don’t realize they had – Abd al-Rahman al Sufi – a Muslim Iranian (at that time Persian) astronomer when Europe was in the Dark Ages. In 2021 we said farewell to Senator John Warner of Virginia. In 2020 we witnessed the murder of George Floyd. And as I mentioned earlier, My family and I said goodbye to my sister Betty in 2010.

Today is National and International Missing Children’s Day, Geek Pride Day, and National Tap Dance Day.

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