deception pass Washington

Victoria Day

The colony of Jamestown was founded on this date in 1607 with 155 English settlers. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England opens as the first university museum in 1683. And England remains a land without true religious liberty in 1689 when Parliament passed the Act of Tolerance which protects dissenting Protestants, but excludes Roman Catholics.

The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic after 14 years of construction in 1883. Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight in 1940. Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory in 1930 becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. It was a flight of 11,000 miles over 19 days, which I would think puts it far above the Lindbergh flight of three years prior.

This was the base point date for Polish-German physicist and engineer Daniel Gabriel Farenheit (1686) who developed the Farenheit temperature scale. This date saw the birth of Swiss-French physician, journalist, and French Revolutionary politician Jean-Paul Marat (17430, German rabbi and founder of Reform Judaism Abraham Geiger (1810), American Jewish Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Benjamin Cardozo (1870), and second longest British monarch Queen Victoria (1819).

The world also welcomed in Priscilla Presley (1945), Tommy Chong (1939), and the legendary Bob Dylan(1941) on this date.

The lights went out on this date for Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543. Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison ended his struggles in 1879. John Foster Dulles (52nd US Secretary of State0 ceased his meddling in other nations’ affairs in 1959. And jazz great bandleader Duke Ellington composed his last in 1974.

In Canada, this day is celebrated as Victoria Day in honor of the queen of the 1800’s Victorian era.

World Turtle Day

And so it began, the accordion music. We can blame it on Cyrill Demian of Vienna, who was granted the patent for it in 1829. In 1995 the first version of the computer programming language Java was released. And one repository of these and other historical facts, the New York Public Library, was dedicated in 1911.

Several agreements and official governmental arrangements were started or came into force on this date in history. The Good Friday Agreement, bringing peace in Northern Ireland, was accepted by referendum in 1998. The Kyoto Protocols, concerning climate change, were accepted – a sufficient number of ratifications – when ratified by Iceland. And the Finish Parliament met for the first time in 1907.

In 1960 the May 22nd earthquake created a tsunami that hit Hawaii on May 23rd, killing 61 people in Hilo. In 2006 Mt Cleveland, a stratovolcano in Alaska erupted. And in 1934 the notorious bank robbers Bonny Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed in a police ambush, ending their crime spree.

The originator of biological nomenclature, Swedish physician, botanist and zoologist, Carl Linnaeus, began exploring his world in 1707. In 1910 both comedian Scatman Carothers and bandleader Artie Shaw stepped onto the world stage. And Russian chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov(1951) and Moog synthesizer inventor Robert Moog (1934) started flexing their talented fingers on this date.

This was the day the world said goodbye to Scottish pirate William Kidd (1710), American fur trapper and explorer Kit Carson (1868), Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen (1906), Standard Oil founder John D Rockefeller (1937), and “Bond, James Bond” actor Roger Moore (2017).

And if you feel trapped or comfortable in your shell, know that it is World Turtle Day.

World Shake Ups

Today there were two patents issued, the first was the only patent ever issued to a person who served as President. In 1849 future President Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for an invention to lift boats. just over a half-century later another transportation patent was issued to the Wright brothers – for their “flying machine” (1906).

This was also a day when the earth moved violently. Lassen Peak in northern California erupted with violent force in 1915. It was the only other volcanic eruption in the contiguous US in the 20th century. Long after it settled down my sisters and I took part in a ranger hike to the top of the peak while on a camping trip growing up. We had a great view up the Cascades from the summit because it was a clear day.

Two major earthquakes happened on this date. In Xining, China there was an 8..3 magnitude in 1927 that caused 200,000 deaths in one of the most destructive earthquakes in history. And the world’s strongest earthquake ever recorded – 9.5 magnitude – happened in southern Chile in 1960.

A shakeup of another type happened when the Republic of Ireland, a majority Catholic nation, became the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.

Two inventors were born on this date: English physicist William Sturgeon (1783) who invented the electromagnet and electric motor; and Bodo von Borries (1905) who invented the electron microscope. Three creative geniuses were also born today: Titanic talent and ego German composer Richard Wagner (1813), Creative of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859), and legendary British actor Laurence Olivier (1907).

The sports world was enriched by the arrival of Dodger pitcher Tommy John (who has since gotten name recognition for a specific type of corrective surgery for pitchers) in 1943. And the Seattle area got some recognition for the exploits of Olympic medalist speed skater Apollo Ohno who arrived in 1982.

On this date we remember the passing of world-religion changing Roman emperor Constantine the Great in 337 AD. We remember the passing of the first First Lady of the US Marth Washington in 1802. And the first Union soldier killed in the Civil War died today in 1861.

We also said goodbye on this date to French novelist Victor Hugo (1885), Harlem poet Langston Hughes (1967), the librarian of the Manhattan Project,s Los Alamos site, Charlotte Serber (1967), and Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Grove (1975).

Today is remembered as International Day for Biological Diversity, US Maritime Day, and World Goth Day.

Sunday Summary

Often history is a mix of conflicting narratives, with very different activities happening in close time proximity in far divergent parts of the world. Such is the case with today’s date – May 21st. In 1851 slavery was outlawed south of the US in Colombia. And yet in 1856 the town of Lawrence, Kansas was captured and burned by pro-slavery forces. In 1934 the town of Oskaloosa, Iowa became the first municipality to fingerprint all of its citizens, while in 1991 the former prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a female suicide bomber near Madras.

Also today Engish author Daniel Defoe, mostly known for his shipwrecked hero Robinson Crusoe, was arrested on a charge of seditious libel, caused by his prolific pamphleteering involving fierce criticism of the British government. And the American Red Cross was established in Washington DC by Clara Barton in 1881.

This is the birthdate of German painter, engraver, and mathematician Albrecht Durer (1471), English poet Alexander Pope (1688), English Quaker prison reformer and philanthropist Elizabeth Fry (1780), and Russian physicist, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Andre Sakharov (1921).

This date saw the passing of King Henry VI of England (1471), Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto (1542), American activist and author Jane Addams (1935), and English author Barbara Cartland (2000).

Today is International Tea Day, so drink it up.

Forever in Blue Jeans, Babe, on World Bee Day

In 325 AD the first Council of Nicea began, an ecumenical meeting of the existing churches called by Roman Emperor Constantine I. In 1862 US President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, opening up 84 million acres of public land to settlers. And in 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were given a patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

In 1927 Charles Lindbergh took off for Paris on his historic flight from Roosevelt Field in New York. And on an equally historic flight, Amelia Earhart took off five years later, in 1932, from Newfoundland to begin the world’s first solo nonstop transatlantic flight by a female pilot, landing in Ireland the following day. And in a note that reminds us flight can be used for good or ill, in 1956 as part of Operation Birdwing, the first airborne hydrogen bomb was dropped over the Bikini Atoll.

Simon Fraser, the Canadian- American fur trapper and explorer – started discovering his little world in 1776. The English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill had his first thoughts about life in 1806. And English rocker Joe Cocker utter his first sounds in 1944. And Jimmy Stewart discovered it was a beautiful life in 1908.

This was the birthday for Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first woman to be ordained as a mainstream Protestant minister in the US (Methodist, 1825); singer and actress Cher (1943); presidential son and activist Ron Reagan (1958); and figure skater Caroline Zhang (1993).

The voyages of discovery for Christopher Columbus ended in 1506. The music ceased for German pianist and composer Clara Schumann (1896) and flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal (2000), and Robin Gibb (2012, Bee Gees).

Today should be a busy day because it is World Bee Day

Royal Memories

Three events concerning British Royalty are marked on this date, two of them involving Henry VIII’s wives. In 1499 Catherine of Aragon was married by proxy to Arthur, Prince of Wales when she was just 14 years old and he was just 15. He died a few short years later and Catherine became Henry’s first wife and gave birth to the future Queen Mary I. In 1536 Anne Boleyn, who had become Henry’s second wife, and gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I, failed to give Henry a male heir (one son was stillborn) and thus was tried on charges of adultery, incest, and treason and was executed. Then on a more happy note in 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Frenchman Jean-Pierre Christin developed the centigrade temperature scale in 1743. Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Legion of Honor in 1802. And Parks Canada, the world’s first national parks service, was established in 1911.

In 1848 Mexico ratified the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War and ceded control to the US of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of 4 US modern-day states. In 1921 in reaction to the anti-immigrant feelings and the first Red Scare after WWI the US Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act establishing national quotas for immigration.

The Quaker abolitionist philanthropist of Baltimore Johns Hopkins (who has a university named after him) was born in 1795. The father of modern Turkey and its first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was officially born on this date in 1881. Francis Biddle, lead judge at the Nuremberg war crimes trials came onto the scene in 1886. And the father of Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh also burst forth into the world in 1890.

This was also the birthday for American flyer and Medal of Honor winner in WWI Frank Luke (1897); civil rights activist Malcolm X (1925); American journalist Jim Lehrer (1934); American director, producer, and screenwriter Nora Ephron (1941), and British rocker, lead guitarist of the Who, Pete Townsend (1945).

Two Brits passed away on this date – long-time Prime Minister William E Gladstone(1898) and Colonel and archeologist T.E. Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia (1935). Two American writers and a poet also passed – novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne(1864), Poet Ogden Nash (1971) , and chronicler of the Titanic sinking (A Night to Remember) author Walter Lord(2002). And thirty-one years after her husband was brutally gunned down in Dallas, Jackie Kennedy Onassis was laid to rest in 1994.

Today is Hepatitis Testing Day in the US

The Day the Mountain Blew Its Top

For all those living in Washington State, or who were born here, or were here about 40 years ago, and have a sense of history, you know what this day is. The anniversary of the eruption of Mount St Helens. In May 1980 I was out in Ohio going to college when I heard the news. My sister Barb was living in Yakima, in the shadow of the mountain, and got ash all over her car. I had grown up in Oregon and was shocked at the news. We all knew the mountain was technically dormant, not extinct, but like all the other peaks in the Cascades, we figured it was dead. That morning proved us wrong.

In less momentous news slavery was abolished in Rhode Island in 1652. Yet, in 1896 the Plessy v Ferguson decision of the US Supreme Court decided that racial segregation (separate but equal) in education was okay.And the beat of war goes on – in 1917 the Selective Service Act was passed, paving the way for men to be conscripted to fight for the Allies in WWI. In an ironic choice of titles the Indian project Smiling Buddha lead to the first nuclear weapons test in 1974.

But real progress also happened on this date: In 1912 the first Indian film was released in Mumbai. In 1933 as part of the New Deal, President FDR signed into law the Tennesse Valley Authority, providing flood control, electricity, and other economic development to a US region hard hit by the poverty of the Great Depression.

We welcomed a few creative souls onto the world stage on this date in history: Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet Omar Khayyam (1048); American Civil War photographer and journalist Matthew Brady(1822); American minister and author Francis Bellamy(1855) who com0posed the original Pledge of Allegiance in 1892 (inconvenient truth – he was a socialist, but wanted to see his country united); Italian- American filmmaker Frank Capra (1897) who brought us the classic “It’s A Wonderful Life”; and American playwright and composer Meredith Wilson(1902) who brought us The Music Man.

Those who left us on this date include – ironically Elijah Craig (1808) who though a minister and educator was also an inventor who invented bourbon whiskey. Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler (1911) and Russian ballet dancer and actor Alexander Gudunov (1995) passed off the stage. Elizabeth Montgomery (1995, Bewitched) and Ken Osmond (2020, Eddie Haskell of Leave It To Beaver), also walked away from the camera. And life-long pacifist – only US Representative to vote against declarations of war for WWI and WWII, Jeannette Rankin who was the first woman to be elected to Congress, and still the only woman ever elected to the House from Montana, ceased her activism in 1973.

This is International Museum Day and National Speech Pathology Day in the US.

Segregation Never

In 1954 one of the best US Supreme Court decisions was handed down. In Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas, the Court unanimously ruled that the “separate but equal” standard for education was unconstitutional and that segregation in public education was also unconstitutional. Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall argued the case before the court. This overturned the 1896 Plessy v Ferguson decision, which is considered to be one of the worst Supreme Court rulings. The fight against segregation however was just beginning.

In 1939 the first televised sports event occurred – a college baseball game between the Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers in New York City.In 1973 another television event occurred -the opening of the Senate Watergate hearings – which I vividly recall listening to in high school. And in 2004 the first legal same-sex marriage in the US was performed – in Massachusetts.

The press is powerful and necessary. The Appalachian Observer filed a Freedom of Information request and thus the US Department of Energy was forced to declassify information about the world’s largest mercury pollution event 4.2 million pounds – that occurred in Oak Ridge Tennessee. And lest the huge publicity that the British gave to the terrorist activities of the Catholic-oriented IRA- Irish Republican Army, it should be noted that the Protestants of Northern Ireland also were often pretty brutal. In 1974 during the Troubles, 33 civilians were killed and 300 injured when the Ulster Volunteer Force detonated 4 car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. Blood has been on many hands on both sides of the conflict.

On this date we welcomed in English physician and microbiologist Edward Jenner (1749) pioneer in vaccines and developer of the smallpox vaccine, American lawyer and 31st US Solicitor General Archibald Cox (1912) whose firing was the subject of the Watergate Saturday Night Massacre, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard(1956), and the sultry tones of Irish singer-songwriter and producer Enya (1961).

We also welcomed in some stars of the screen; Maureen O’Sullivan (1911), Jane to Johnny Weismuller’s Tarzan; Easy Rider Dennis Hopper (1936); and the tornado chasing Twister star Bill Paxton.

Italian painter Sandro Botticelli laid down his brush in 1520. American founding father, president of the Continental Congress, co-writer of the Federalist Papers, and 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Jay breathed his last in 1829. John C Breckinridge who was our 14th VP, presidential candidate in 1960, but who ended up fighting as a general for the Confederacy fought his last battle in 1875.

The world lost four musical creators on this date: French composer Paul Dukas (1935, Sorcerers Apprentice); bandleader (and my grandma’s favorite) Lawrence Welk (1992); dancing queen Donna Summer (2012), and iconic image-spurring Greek composer Vangelis (2022 – can’t you still see the runners on the beach from Chariots of Fire?).

Today is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, as well as World Hypertension Day, and World Information Society Day.

Passing of the Muppet Master

In a note that demonstrates the validity of the historical fiction series Outlander, in 1771 there really was a battle of Alamance between the civilian British colonial militia and a rebel group called the Regulators in present-day Alamance County North Carolina. And in an event that had repercussions far beyond the feel-good incomplete historical record, the first wagon train of “pioneers” headed west on the Oregon Trail from Elm Grove, Missouri in 1842 with 100 settlers.

The US Congress passed a couple of laws on this date, one a historical footnote and the other a tragic redo. In 1866 the nickel was authorized as currency. And in 1918 the mistake of a hundred years prior was repeated. The Sedition Act of 1918, in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution, was passed to make criticizing the government of the US an imprisonable offense. Fortunately this expression of the first Red Scare, and obviously unconstitutional sct, was repealed less than two years later.

In the air travel arena, two events occurred. Albert Cushing Read completed the first transatlantic flight, from Newfoundland to Lisbon, via the Azores Islands, in 1919. And in 1951 El Al Israel Airlines established the first transatlantic passenger flights between New York and London. Also, the Venera 5 Soviet space probe descended to the surface of Venus in 1969 – lasting less than a minute for transmitting data.

We had a US VP Levi Morton (under Benjamin Harrison) who was born (1824) and died (1820) on the same date. We also welcomed in the man who in his official capacity as US Secretary of State purchased Alaska, William Seward (1801) , though for years it was known as “Seward’s folly”. The American educator who brought the concept of kindergarten over from Germany and made it part of every child’s experience – Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, was born on this date in 1804. And the inventor of the microphone – where would we be without it?- David Edward Hughes made his first sound in 1831.

A couple of discoverers – non-geographical – passed away on this date. Joseph Fourier (1830) was a French mathematician and physicist who is credited with discovering the greenhouse effect. And the English biochemist and academic Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1947) who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his part in the discovery of vitamins.

We also lost the creative genius of Andy Kaufman (1984) Taxi, Margaret Hamilton (1985 ) Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West), Sammy Davis Jr (1990)Rat- Packer extraordinaire, and Muppet master Jim Henson (1990).

Mid May Morning News

What a contrast. In 1252 Pope Innocent IV issued a papal bull that authorized (with some limits) the torture of heretics under the Medieval Inquisition. Then in 1891, Pope Leo XIII defended workers’ rights and property rights in the Encyclical Rerum Novarum – the beginning of modern social teaching – nice of the Church to come out of the Dark Ages though belated.

In 1817 the first private mental health hospital in the US was opened in Philadelphia, while in 1851 the Australian gold rush began, and in 1905 the city where a lot of gold is played with – Las Vegas – was founded. And the place with the Golden Arches – the first McDonald’s – was opened in 1940.

There were some gains for women on this date: a bill establishing the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was signed into law in 1940. President Nixon appointed Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P Hoisington as the first female US Army generals in 1970. And Edith Cresson became France’s first female Prime Minister in 1991.

On this date, we welcomed into the world L Frank Baum (1856) the creator of the Wizard of Oz and its many sequels; Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (1902) who had a big hand in the chaos surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention; American sailor and photographer Richard Avedon (1923); and Madeliene Albright (1937) the first female Secretary of State.

We said goodbye to a trio of religious and theological leaders: Edward Flanagan (1948) the American priest who founded Boys Town; noted evangelical theologian Francis Shaeffer (1984); and Liberty University and religious right bullhorn Jerry Falwell (2007). We also bid farewell to the standout but very private New England poet Emily Dickinson (1886), country music star June Carter Cash (2003, wife of Johnny), and American historian, journalist, and author Theodore H White (1986) who wrote a series of books called The Making of the President.

This is International Conscientious Objector Day and the International Day of Families.

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