For some dates, the birthdays stand out for what you remember more than an event that happened on that day. I want to highlight 3 birthdays and the memories I have of the people born on this day in history.
Bob Denver as Gilligan was a fixture of my childhood. Along with Jerry Mathers as the Beaver and of course Captain Kangaroo he was a regular inhabitant of my visual world. Looking back the episodes were pretty corny, but they were the simple fare for a simple kid who just wanted to be entertained. I remember the last time I saw him was in one of the Back to the Beach movies with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. He was in a bar and the Skipper – Alan Hale – comes in all excited about them doing another cruise. He says “it’s only a 3-hour cruise”, to which Gilligan replies “it’s always just a 3-hour tour”. If you remember the show you’ll get the joke:)
The second memory is of Chyistal Gayle. A friend of mine, Larry, and I saw a show with her and Loretta Lynn, and their other sister at the Arizona State Fair one year. The concert was great, as expected, but I was a little nervous because I was afraid Chrystal would trip – she could literally step on her own hair, it was that long! Another notable singer, Joan Baez, was also born on this date – though I never had the privilege of hearing her sing in person:(
And then there are the times when you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when a historic event happened. The date was August 8, 1974. I was painting the outside of my sister and brother-in-law’s house in Corvallis Oregon The event – President Richard Nixon announced he was resigning. The culmination of the Watergate affair and the only time in history that a US President has ever resigned (there have been two vice presidents who have resigned, but never a President). I had listened to a lot of the Senate Watergate hearings, and the House Impeachment hearings, read the White House transcripts and followed the news avidly. I am a history and political science buff after all.
There were those who at the time or later downplayed the whole thing. I had a friend in college who took that line with me a few years later and let’s just say it took all my willpower to remain civil with him. Nixon v Humphrey was the first presidential election I recall – you might say I cut my political teeth on it. I came of age in the 60s and for various reasons felt very betrayed by the man. I read a blurb on a birthdays site and it was like they forgot about the tapes, the expansion of the war into Cambodia, with the resulting Kent State shootings.
It was funny to read the description of the zodiac sign Capricorn for people born on this date “Blessed with a great sense of humor”, “known for their idealism”, “confident and generous”, and “very adaptable and tolerant”. Does that sound like Nixon to you? Perhaps they were thinking of other Jan 9th babies like Kate Middleton, Bart Starr (Green Bay Packers great QB), or Jimmy Page (founder of Led Zepplin)?
In historical events Connecticut becomes the fifth state to ratify the US Constitution in 1788; in 1861 Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union; and in 2007 Steve Jobs introduces the first I-phone. And this date is designated as National Clear Out Your Desk day, giving you the reason you need to get organized – at least at work.