deception pass Washington

Welcome to April

There were several air force activities on this date in history. The Royal Air Force (RAF) was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Services in 1918. The Royal Canadian Air Force was formed in 1924. The Royal New Zealand Air Force was formed as an independent service in 1937. And the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado was authorized by Pres Eisenhower in 1954.

There was some mixed results news: General Franco declared the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, but his Fascist rule would continue for decades – and later that same year his country would be declared neutral in WWII and the fight against Hitler’s version of fascism. Canada would repeal Japanese-Canadian citizen internment in 1949, but that exposed that they had been doing the same thing the US had been doing for the past 7 years – discriminating against their own citizens based on race and family origin. And the Netherlands became the first country to make same-sex marriage legal, but that meant that the rest of the world had to play catch up in ending this discrimination.

And in tech news Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer, Inc in 1976 and Google launched Gmail in 2004.

English physician William Harvey – who was the first to describe the human circulatory system – was born in 1578. The Romantic pianist, composer, and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff began to wiggle his fingers in 1873. American psychologist Abraham Maslow – who introduced us to the hierarchy of needs – began to examine his own needs in 1908.

The creator of Doctor Who -Canadian screenwriter and producer Sydney Newman- joined this reality in 1917. The creator Pern and its dragons and dragon riders – Anne McCaffery – started to explore this world in 1927. And the liberal icon and commentator Rachel Maddow stepped onto the world stage in 1973.

The music stopped for and from American ragtime pianist Scott Joplin in 1917. American dancer and choreographer Martha Graham ceased to dance in 1991. And Eleanor of Aquitaine ceased to be Queen of England and France in 1204

This is Edible Books Day, no fooling – there really are people who make up books out of food and then eat them.

World Backup Day

I had to look twice at this in Wikipedia to determine what it was. Apparently, someone created this commemoration back in 2011 so that we would not forget to back up our systems – or be glad that we had backups for all our data. I think the better remembrance for this date is the International Transgender Day of Visibility which was created by a trans activist in 2009, especially at this time when they are under attack. It is one thing to not fully understand their situation, but be ready to learn. It is quite another thing not to want to understand and to attack their very existence. Let us remember.

In 1854 Japan was forced to open its ports to US trade by Commodore Matthew Perry through the signing of the Convention of Kanagawa with the Tokugawa Shogunate – forcing Japan to end its 200-year isolation. Not the first nor the last Western colonialist interference in Asian cultures much more ancient than our own. Meanwhile, in Vienna, there was a riot in 1913 at a concert of modernist music – including works by Arnold Schoenberg – by the Vienna Concert Society. A similar thing happened in May of the same year when Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite debuted in Paris. Maybe that was why in 1930 the US Motion Picture Association instituted strict regulations about sex, crime, religion, and violence in films – codes that would last almost four decades.

There were positive events on this date as well. The Eiffel Tower opened in 1889. The Civilian Conservation Corps, of which my Dad was a part, was established in 1933, to combat rampant unemployment during the Great Depression. Remington Rand delivered the first UNIVAC mainframe computer to the US Census Bureau in 1951. And in 1968 President LBJ realized the strength of the opposition to the Vietnam War and announced that he would not run for reelection later in the year.

A quartet of American political leaders call this date their birthday: Barney Frank ( House Mass) and Patrick Leahy (Senate NY) were both born in 1940; Independent Maine Senator Angus King was born in 1944; and Tennessee Senator, VP, and climate change advocate Al Gore was born in 1948.

We welcomed in activists in the fields of philosophy (Rene Descartes, 1596), labor (Cesar Chavez, 1927), fashion (Liz Claiborne, 1929), and film – Richard Chamberlain (Thornbirds) and Shirley Jones (Partridge Family) in 1934. And musicians were not to be left out: Austrian pianist and composer Joseph Haydn started making music in 1732; and American songwriter, trumpet player, and producer Herb Alpert started looking for his Tijuana Brass in 1935.

Those passing off the world stage on this date include former US VP John C Calhoun (1850) the first of only two VPs to resign; American financier J P Morgan (1913) one year after avoiding the Titanic; Knute Rockne (1931) famed college football coach; and Olympic great Jesse Owens who faced both his own country’s discrimination and showed up Hitler in Berlin ceased to run in 1980.

We also lost Charles Herbert Best (1978) – American-Canadian physiologist and chemist who co-discovered insulin, and tragically Brandon Lee (1993), son of the late great Bruce Lee, both dying way too young.

It is also Cesar Chavez Day honoring the US labor activist, and founder of the United Farm Workers Union, who was born on this date in 1927. When you eat vegetables, think of him, and the multitudes of unappreciated migrant farm workers who sweat to harvest the crops.

National Doctors’ Day

In 1842 surgery became just a little easier for patients, when ether anesthesia was first used in a procedure by Dr. Crawford Long, something that President Ronald Reagan must have been grateful for when he was shot outside a DC hotel on this date in 1981. The Crimean War ended on this date with the Treaty of Paris in 1856. And two large states made history on this date: decades before it became a state we purchased the territory of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million – which amounted to 2 cents per acre. And the state of Texas (which we virtually had stolen from Mexico) was readmitted to the Union after the Reconstruction era was over in 1870.

The Spanish rabbi, physician, and philosopher Maimonides was born in 1135. Painters Francisco Goya (1746) and Vincent van Gogh (1853) started flexing their artistic fingers on this date. Actors John Astin (Addams Family 1930) and Warren Beatty (Reds, Bonny and Clyde 1937) started to explore their abilities. This was the musical start for Eric Clapton (1946), MC Hammer (1962), Tracy Chapman (1964), and Celine Dion (1968).

We bid farewell to the other Queen Elizabeth – the Queen Mum (2002), actor James Cagney (1988), English journalist and author Alistair Cooke (2004), and unsuccessful activist Fred Korematsu (2005) – who in 1942 had his case against incarceration/internment go to the Supreme Court, but ended up in a case as bad as Dred Scott – the justification for discriminatory detention of thousands of American citizen based on race.

This day is recognized in the US as National Doctor’s Day – so let’s give thanks for all those who work to bring physical healing to us all.

Never Forget Those Who Served

In 1867 Queen Victoria gives Royal Assent to the British North America Act which establishes Canada on July 1st In 1961 the 23rd Amendment to the US constitution is ratified, allowing residents of DC to vote in presidential elections. In 1973 the last US combat troops left South Vietnam, while in 2014 the first same-sex marriages were performed in England and Wales,

An American and a British leader were both born on this date – though decades apart. Our 10th President – John Tyler – and the first VP to assume the Presidency on the death of his predecessor was born in 1790. And John Major who succeeded Maggie Thatcher as British Prime Minister was born in 1943. Two sports icons were also born on this date -pitcher Cy Young, who had his name affixed to the trophy for the best pitcher in a season, was born in 1867. And American Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas was born in 1956.

German-American businessman John Jacob Astor, the namesake for the city of Astoria, Oregon, passed in 1848. British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott started his exploration of the afterlife in 1912. And beloved actress Patty Duke exited the world stage in 2016.

And this day is celebrated as National Vietnam War Veterans Day, remembering all the thousands who served their country in a faraway land and a controversial war, including over 50,000 who lost their lives there.

Patterns in History

Some things never change. Way back in AD 193 the Roman Praetorian Guards, who were supposed to protect the emperor, not only assassinated the current office holder, Pertinax, , but then auctioned off the throne to the highest bidder, Didius Julianius. He then ruled for only 3 months after which he was deposed.

There were two aircraft-related news items this date -one positive, one not. In 1910 Henri Fabre became the first person to fly a seaplane after taking off a water runway in France. And in 1933 the Imperial Airways biplane City of Liverpool is believed to be the first plane lost to sabotage when a passenger lit a fire onboard. On the ground, a coolant leak led to overheating and a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Harrisburg, PA in 1979.

There were also three sizable earthquakes recorded on this date in history; 1965 7.4 in Chile – dam failures buried the town of El Cobre and killed at least 500 people; in 1970 western Turkey – at almost midnight local time, killing 1,086 and injuring at least 1200 others; in 2005 northern Sumatra, magnitude 8.6, killing over 1000 people.

Thomas Clarkson was born in 1760 and went on to help support the abolishment of slavery in England. Maxim Gorky was born in 1868 and was a contemporary of Leo Tolstoy and Anton Checkov, two other well-known Russian authors. Also in far-off Australia aborigine author and activist Margaret Tucker was born in 1904 and became the first aboriginal author to publish an autobiography.

We welcomed in two talented musicians on this date – country crooner Reba McEntire in 1955 – and pop-rocker of outrageous outfits and warm voice Lady Gaga in 1986.

There were three notable Russians who passed away on this date: Ivan IV, nicknamed “the Terrible”(1584) the first tsar of all Russian; pianist, composer, and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff (1943) and painter Marc Chagall (1985). former US President Dwight D Eisenhower finished his service to his country and passed into history in 1969. Jeremy Denton also passed on in 2014, having been one of the men in uniform who endured captivity as a Vietnam War POW.

We said farewell to noted clown Emmit Kelly in 1979 and to the composer of “America the Beautiful” Katherine Lee Bates (1929) which some contend is much better suited to be our national anthem.

To All Who Walk the World Stage

On this date, there were some contrasts. In 1794 the US establishes a permanent Navy and authorizes the building of six frigates. In 1977 on the Canary Island of Tenerife, two 747 jetliners collided on a foggy runway and 583 passengers were killed. Somehow 61 on one airliner survived.

In 1866 President Andrew Johnson vetoes the Civil Rights Act of 1866, but Congress overrode his veto and the bill became law on April 6th. In contrast, a mob in Cincinnati, Ohio, decided the jury verdict should have been murder instead of manslaughter and felt so strongly about it that they attacked and burned down the courthouse.

In 1976 the first section of the Washington (DC) Metro opened to the public, culminating in a reliable people mover that I rode over 30 years later. And in contrast on this date (though it was a Friday that year) the Good Friday Earthquake hit Anchorage Alaska in 1964 – the 9.2 magnitude was the biggest on the US West Coast ever.

German physicist and Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Rontgen was born in 1845 and later discovered x-rays and his name was given to the measurement of their strength. There were also a director and two actors born on this date: director Quentin Tarantino (1963), actor David Janssen (1931), who I watched on TV as The Fugitive, and Nathan Fillion (1971) who I enjoyed on the crime drama Castle and in sci-fi Firefly.

Those we said goodbye to on this date include King James I of England (1625); Toyota Motors founder Kiichiro Toyoda (1952); Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1968) the first man in orbit; American comedian Milton Berle (2002); and American actor Dudley Moore(2002).

This day is also noted as World Theater Day.

Remember the Road Less Taken

In 1812 a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term gerrymandering, meaning redistricting manipulation for political gain, taking its name from founding father Elbridge Gerry. In 1830 the Book of Mormon was published in Palymrya New York. And in 1975 nearly seventy years after they were used massively in WWI the Biological Weapons Convention came into effect.’s

In 1979 a stunning peace treaty, the Camp David Accords, was signed by Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, Isreal’s Menachem Begin, and US President Jimmy Carter. And in 1982 the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the sobering name-etched Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial was held in Washington DC.

This was the birthday of American poet laureate Robert Frost (1874), American mythologist and author Joseph Campbell (1904), American playwright Tennessee Williams (1911), and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Nixon gadfly Bob Woodward (1943).

It was the birthdate for actors Leonard Nimoy (Spock, 1931) and James Caan (Rollerball and the Godfather, 1940). Glass-ceiling breakers Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (1930) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (1940) began their rise to history on this date.

This date marked the departure of the one and only Beethoven (1827) who kept composing even when he was so deaf that he had the lay his head of the piano and write by vibrations. The leaves of grass finally wilted for American poet Walt Whitman in 1892. And the controversial English-South African colonialist and politician Cecil Rhodes passed away in 1902, leaving a legacy of academic scholarships for deserving students.

We also said goodbye to one of the leaders of WWI – David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of England in 1945, and the first female US VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro.

It is Independence Day for Bangladesh and Purple Day in the US and Canada, recognizing the struggle against epilepsy

Real News for March 24th

I made a mistake today and loaded in the notes for tomorrow instead – nothing like forgetting what day it was. Below you can find the right information for the history of March 24th. I will also go back and make notations for the previous post.

Leading off is news from Great Britain. In 1199 King Richard I (Lionheart)was wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting in France which lead to his death on April 6th. In 1603 James VI of Scotland was proclaimed James I of England upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1765 Parliament riled up the American colonists by passing the Quartering Act, and in 1829 they pleased their Catholic citizens by passing the Roman Catholic Relief Act to allow Catholics to serve in Parliament.

South of the border President Jose Gregorio Monagas abolished slavery in Venezuela in 1854, a decade before the US, while further south in Argentina Isabel Peron was ousted in a military coup, something that unfortunately has been an all-too-frequent occurrence in South America.

In other events, Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis in 1882, which eventually led to its eradication. In 1921 the first Women’s Olympiad began in Monte Carlo, the first international women’s sports event. And in 2018 students all across the US staged the March for Our Lives to call for greater gun control in the wake of the Stoneman High School shootings in Parkland, Florida.

Figures who joined us on this date included: John Wesley Powell (1834) American soldier, geologist, and explorer who led the first expedition of the Grand Canyon; Hungarian-American magician Harry Houdini (1874); New York governor and twice unsuccessful Republican Presidential candidate Thomas E Dewey(1902); and “Great Escape” actor Steve McQueen (1930).

Those leaving us this date in history include Queen Elizabeth I of England (1603); American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow(1882); French science fiction writer Jules Verne (1905) one of my favorite authors; and English W76WII Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery (1976).

Among other designations for the date are World Tuberculosis Day and National Tree Planting Day in Uganda

Tolkien Reading Day

In 1655 Titan, Saturn’s largest moon was discovered by Christiaan Huygens, while in 1979 the first fully functional Space Shuttle, Columbia was delivered to the JFK Space Center to be prepared to launch. This was also the date of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (1911)in New York City, which because of improper and unsafe working conditions (like locked outside doors) killed 146 garment workers. And the occasion of a coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois in 1947 claimed 111 lives.

In 1811 poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing his pamphlet – The Necessity of Atheism. In 1821 the Greek War for Independence from the Ottoman Empire began. And in a sign that book banning wasn’t something new in 1957 the US Customs seized copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” on charges of obscenity.

Four musicians entered the world stage on this date: Italian-American cellist and conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867), Hungarian pianist and composer (1881), R&B star Aretha Franklin (1942), and British rocker Elton John (1947).

English director, producer, and screenwriter David Lean (1908) began to dream of epics like Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. American broadcaster of Monday Night Football and boxing matches Howard Cosell (1918) began to vocalize on this date. Jim Lovell, who successfully captained Apollo 13 back to Earth but missed walking on the moon, began his attempts to walk on Earth in 1928. And African American figure skater Debi Thomas started her rise to fame in 1967.

The music stopped for French composer Claude Debussy in 1918. This date also marked the passing of the co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet – Robert Joffrey(1988), one of the founders of the NAACP -Ida B Wells (1931), country singer and guitarist Buck Owens (2006), and one-half of the Seals and Crofts musical duo – Dan Seals (2009)

And for all you LOTR fans this is Tolkien Reading Day, so break out your copy of the Silmarillion, or the Trilogy and cozy up in the corner for a while.

Signature Moments in History

Today in 1775 was one of those signature moments in American history that everybody knows. Patrick Henry gave his “give me liberty or give me death!” speech rallying the colonies to strive for independence. Less people know that he gave that speech in a church -St Joh’s Episcopal Church in Richmond Virginia. And even less remember that he was not a fan of the more centralized government under the Constitution after the failure of the Articles of Confederation, famously saying “I smell a rat”. This was also the date that another Russian Tsar, Paul I, was assassinated by nobles angered by his reform moves in 1801.

On one coast the University of California was established in Oakland in 1868 and on the other coast Elisha Otis’s first elevator was installed in New York City in 1857. In 1919 Benito Mussolini took Italy down the fascist path and in 1959 Pakistan became the first Islamic republic in the world. In 1956 NASA launched Gemini 3, with the US’s first two-man crew of Gus Grissom and John Young, setting the stage for multiple crew flights including moon landings. And in 2010 the Affordable Care Act became law, paving the way for many more people to get health insurance in the US.

Into the world on this date came:17th US VP Schuyler Colfax (1823), German-American physicist and engineer Werner von Braun (1912) who contributed greatly to the development of the US space program, Roger Bannister (1929) the first to break the 4-minute mile mark, and Stanley Armour Dunham (1918) an American sergeant who also was the maternal grandfather of President Barack Obama.

This date marked the passing of actors Peter Lorre (1964), Elizabeth Taylor (2011), George Segal(2021), and Czech-born American diplomat Madelaine Albright, the first female Secretary of State (2022).

Look to the skies and observe the weather for this is World Meteorological Day. And in Bolivia, they remember their loss of a coastal connection in a past war by celebrating the Day of the Sea.

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