deception pass Washington

The Dream is Alive

In 1565 Pedro Menedez de Aviles – sighted land near St Augustine, FL and founded the oldest continuously occupied European city in the continental US1845 first issue of Scientific American magazine was published. In 1898 Caleb Bradham’s beverage “Brad’s Drink” was renamed Pepsi-Cola. In 1917 ten suffragists, members of the Silent Sentinels, were arrested while picketing the White House. And in 1963 in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Martin Luther King Jr gave his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I remember standing on that spot years ago and feeling the weight of history.

Notables who were born on this date include German novelist, poet, playwright and diplomat Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749), former Mariners manager Lou Pinella (1943), science fiction writer Vonda N McIntyre (1948) noted for several Star Trek novels and novelizations, LOTR actor Billy Boyd (Pippin 1968), and three US Olympic athletes – swimmer Janet Evans (1971) and skaters Scott Hamilton (1958) and Todd Eldridge (1971).’

Notables that passed on this date include Spanish priest Junipero Sierra (1784)who founded 8 of the 21 missions in California, American journalist and architect Frederick Law Olmstead (1903) who co-designed New York’s Central Park, Civil War historian Bruce Catton (1978), actor, director and screenwriter John Huston (1987) and actor Chadwick Bozeman (2020) known for playing Black Panther in film of the same name, and justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.

VPs and Presidential Birthdates

In 1859 petroleum was discovered in Titusville PA leading to the world’s first commer1883 four enormous explosions almost completely destroy the island of Krakatoa and cause world wide climatic change for yearscially successful oil well. In 1883 four enormous explosions almost completely destroyed the island of Krakatoa and cause world wide climatic change for years. In 1928 61 nations signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war. Oh, like that did a lot of good.:( In 1955 the first edition of the Guinness Book of Records was published in Great Britain. And in 1956 the nuclear power station at Calder Hall in the UK is connected to the national power grid becoming the world’s first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale.

Two US VPs were born on this date: Hannibal Hamlin (1809)who was Abraham Lincoln’s first VP and Charles G Dawes (1865) who served as Coolidge’s VP. There was also a president born this date – Lyndon Johnson (1908) as well as two novelists – American novelist and journalist Theodore Drieser (1871) and British novelist C. S. Forester (1899) author of the 12 volume Horatio Hornblower series.

Those who left us on this date include the Italian painter and educator Titian (1576), the 11th US Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1948), American sociologist, historian, and activist W.E.B Du Bois (1963), and Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie (1975).

Explorers and Inventors

Invention and exploration dominated this date. In 1542 Francisco de Orellana crossed South America from Guayaquil on the Pacific coast to the mouth of the Amazon River on the Atlantic coast. In 1768 Captain James Cook set sail from England on board the HMS Endeavor in his quest to circumnavigate the globe. His ship completed the task – but he unfortunately was killed in Hawaii in a clash with the natives. In 1791 John Fitch was granted a patent for his steamboat.

In other news, the historic Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was approved by the National Constituent Assembly of France in 1789. And in 1972 the Munich Winter Olympic Games opened.

Notables born on this date include the first officially recognized Prime Minister of the UK Robert Walpole (1676), the French inventor of the hot air balloon, Joseph-Michel Montgolfer (1740), French chemist and biologist Antoine Lavoisier (1741), Polish-American physician and virologist Albert Sabin (1906) who developed the polio vaccine, and Mother Teresa (1910).

Those who left us on this date include the Dutch biologist and microscopist Antoine van Leeuwenhoek (1723), American psychologist and philosopher William James (1910), actor Lon Chaney (1930) the “man of a thousand faces”, and two very active personalities in very different ways -Charles Lindbergh (1974) who thrilled the world with his non-stop solo transatlantic flight and tarnished his legacy with his America First activities and pro-Nazi leanings prior to WWII. Roger Nash Baldwin (1981) on the other hand left a rich legacy of advocacy for the less fortunate by founding the American Civil Liberties Union.

Today is Women’s Equality Day in the US, first celebrated in 1971 on the anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution recognizing the right of women to vote.


In 1609 in an act of foresight Galileo demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers. In 1814 in a backwards-looking act of rage and ignorance, the invading British troops during the War of 1812 burned the Library of Congress in Washington DC, as well as the US Treasury and Department of War. The Library was restocked due to the generosity and large library of former President Thomas Jefferson. In related foresight, the US National Park Service was created in 1916. In medical advancement, Japanese physician and bacteriologist Kitasato Shibasaburo discovered the infectious agent of bubonic plague and published his findings in The Lancet in 1894.

In 1944 Paris was liberated by the Allies. Linus Torvalds announced the first version of what would become Linux in 1991. And in 2012 the Voyager I spacecraft entered interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.

The world gained some creative souls on this date. Pianist, composer, and conductor Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918. American illustrator and animator Walt Kelly (1913) creator of Pogo (“We have met the enemy and they are us”) and Tim Burton (1958) , who brought us Batman and other gothic-themed visual creations were creative in their own way. We also welcomed in the musical talents of KISS lead man Gene Simmons (1949), English rocker Elvis Costello (1954), and country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus (1961).

Way back when there was a Roman commander who was also a naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder, who passed on in 79 AD, a couple of other philosophers Scottish David Hume (1776) and German Friedrich Nietzsche (1900) finished leaving their mark on the world. In the scientific fields, we lost Scottish engineer and instrument maker James Watt (1819), German-English astronomer William Herschel (1822), and English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (1867). Losties please note the origin of a couple of characters.

We also said farewell to the very real Moonlight Graham (1965, featured in Field of Dreams), former US Associate Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell (1998), starman Neil Armstrong (2012), and two rational lawmakers and statesmen John McCain (2018) and the ‘Lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy (2009).

We Still Need to Keep Church and State Separate

In an early demonstration of the need for the wall of separation of church and state in 1218 Pope Innocent III (ironic name) issued a papal bull ruling the King-and-barons negotiated Magna Carta as invalid. And in 1662 the Book of Common Prayer was legally enforced as the liturgy of the Church of England, forcing many dissidents out. Most likely the 1349 massacre of six thousand Jews in Mainz over ridiculous accusations of being responsible for the bubonic plague had its origins in clerical minds.

This day saw the beginnings of British influence in India, with the first “official representative” of the Crown arriving in Surat in 1608. It saw the end of Spanish influence in Mexico with the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba officially ending the Mexican War of Independence in 1821. And the official arrangement of trans-Atlantic alliances came with the 1949 signing of the NATO treaty. Meanwhile during the War of 1812 British troops invaded Washington DC and burned the White House in 1814 and Ukraine declared their independence (which they are still fighting for) from the Soviet Union in 1991. Oh, and on this date in 2006 Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet by the International Astronomers Union, due to the revision of the definition of “planet”.

Notable figures born on this date include English philosopher, politician, and reformer William Wilberforce (1758)- responsible for the outlawing of slavery in the British Empire, American historian and activist Howard Zinn (1922), R2D2 – that is, Kenny Baker (1934), Classical Gas composer Mason Williams (1938), and triple amputee veteran and former Georgia Senator Max Cleland (1942), It’s also birthdate for movie stars Marlee Maitland (1965 Children of a Lesser God), and Rupert Grint (1988 Harry Potter friend Ron Weasley).

We bid farewell to actor E G Marshall (1998), psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (2004) who taught us all the stages of grief, and long-time British actor, director, producer, and politician Richard Attenborough (2014).

It is Independence Day in Ukraine and Nostalgia Night in Uruguay

A Day of War and Peace

In 1839 the UK captured Hong Kong as a base as it prepared for the First Opium War against Qing China. It will remain under British control for 160 years till ceded back to China. In 1939 the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was il signed as a non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union It would not last long and in 1942 on this same date, the game-changing Battle of Stalingrad would begin between the forces of these same two nations. Later on, in 1942, the World Council of Churches was founded by 147 churches from 44 countries. And farther on the World Wide Web would be open to the public in 1919.

Notables who were born on this date include French King Louis XVI, (1754).Dancer Gene Kelly (1912). English economist and historian Arnold Toynbee (1852),American poet Edgar Lee Masters (1868. A Spoon River Anthology), cofounder of Newday, American businessman Harry Frank Guggenheim (1890), and everybody’s genie – Barbara Eden (1931).

Those who left us include American naval hero, Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry, who was born (1786) and died (1819) on the same date. Colonial preacher Increase Mather died in 1723. As well as American director and stage music composer Oscar Hammerstein II (1960) and Australian Aborigine author and activist Margaret Tucker (1996)

Shakespeare Inspiration

” A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse” supposedly were the last words of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field on this date in 1485, according to the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare. It was the end of the House of Plantagenet and the rise of the House of Tudor. Across the English Channel in 1962 the OAS tried to assassinate the French President Charles DeGaulle. So the saying goes “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” or the title of head of state, per another Shakespearean quote.

In between those two momentous events, we had the first Jewish immigrant to the US in 1654, the Haitian slave revolt in 1791, the first air raid – by Austrian unmanned balloons against Venice in 1849, and the signing of the first Geneva Convention on the rules of war by 12 nations way back in 1861. War, however, as General Sherman famously said, continued to be hell.

This was the birthdate of French pianist and composer Claude Debussy (1862), acid-tongued American poet, critic, and satirist Dorothy Parker (1893), science fiction legend Ray Bradbury (1920) who took us to Mars and told us about book-burning (Fahrenheit 451), and “Stormin Norman” Norman Schwartkopf Jr (1934), who commanded US troops in the Gulf War.

Those who left us on this date include the Family Affiair British actor Sebastian Cabot (1977), Kenyan journalist and first president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta (1976), and Black Panther Party cofounder Huey Newton (1989).


The American Bar Association was founded in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1878 and is going strong. Ten years later in 1888 the first successful adding machine was patented – and I don’t think anyone has used one in over 30 years. In 1983 Philippines opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated at Manila International Airport most likely by supporters of strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who the US supported. His widow, Corazon Aquino got revenge by becoming President herself after Marcos was ousted from power by the Peoples Power Revolution in 1986. And in 2017 a solar eclipse transversed the US – an amazing event that my wife and I were able to witness along with several family members.

Scottish engineer William Murdoch, the inventor of gas lighting, was born in 1754. American composer and bandleader Count Basie was born in 1904. Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain was born in 1936. ‘Gambler” Kenny Rogers was born in 1936. And Clarence Williams III of the Mod Squad was born in 1939.

Exiled Soviet theorist, revolutionary leader, and creator of the Red Army, Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico City in 1940.

This is World Senior Citizens Day

The End of the Prague Spring

It is interesting how an examination of history can bring insights. On this date in 1968 the Prague Spring reforms in Czechoslovakia were crushed an invasion of the nation by Warsaw Pact armies. It was one of the notable reform movements in Eastern Europe which was a preview of the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989/1991, along with the 1956 Hungarian uprising and the success of Poland’s Solidarity movement. But I find it interesting that the Czechs were a significant part of the Russian Civil War and the earlier resistance to Bolshevik rule. The Czech Legion was formed to continue assistance to the Allies after the withdrawal of Russian forces from the war after the Russian Revolution. They continued to fight, partly to get out of the Russian Empire and partly because they found a common cause with the White Russian forces fighting the Bolsheviks. Their efforts ultimately failed but many made it home, only the be absorbed by the Soviets following WWII. I wonder how many in the Prague Spring remembered those revolutionary days.

In other news of the day, Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s often-performed 1812 Overture, commemorating the Russian victory over the invading forces of Napoleon Bonaparte, was performed for the first time in 1882 in Moscow. And exiled Bolshevik revolutionary Leon Trotsky was fatally wounded in an assassination in Mexico City in 1940, to die the following day. And in 1866 President Andrew Johnson formally declared the American Civil War ended.

In 1778 the Chilean liberator Bernardo O’Higgins was born. Our 23rd US President and former Union general Benjamin Harrison was born in 1833. Others who shared this date as their birthday include German-American philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich (1886), American horror story author H.P.Lovecrarft (1890), singer-songwriter, pianist, composer, and actor Isaac Hayes (1942), English painter and illustrator (known for his Lord of the Rings work) Alan Lee (1947), and Robert Plant (1948) English singer-songwriter, lead singer and lyricist for the band Led Zepplin.

Those who left us on this date include the co-founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth (1912), Oakland Raider Hall of Fame guard Gene Upshaw (2008), comedienne Phyllis Diller (2012), and slapstick comedian and Muscular Dystrophy Association fundraiser Jerry Lewis (2017).


People are amazed at the anger that Iran has towards the US, but this is because of their ignorance of history. The Middle East has been the crossroads of many conflicts, opposing armies, and conquering empires. The latest to be there was the British Empire and the contours of the countries were drawn up largely post WWI. The US followed in with Cold War alliances and played mind games and strategic standoffs with the Soviets for influence. One of the places involved was Iran. The Shah was seen as a loyal ally and when Iran developed a constitutional framework and elected Mohammed Mossadegh as Prime Minister the allies were not happy. He acted to nationalize the oil industry so that the profits of Iranian oil benefitted the Iranian people.

The US and Britain did not like his socialism, likening it to Soviet communism, so in 1953 the CIA and MI6 (British intelligence) worked with the Shah to overthrow Mossadegh and reinstate the Shah. Then in 1979 the Shah went abroad for medical treatment and was himself overthrown by the Islamic Revolution and the “hate” was on. It was on this date – August 19th, 1953 – when the CIA/MI6 coup happened, and you cannot understand Iran/US relations without it

The liberation of Paris during WWII also began on this date in 1944 and the world was never the same.

This was the birthdate of English poet Jon Dryden (1631), Orville Wright (1871), American poet Ogden Nash (1902), visionary Gene Roddenberry(1921) Star Trek creator, as well as former President Bill Clinton (1946), and former First Lady Tipper Gore (1948), and Jonathan Frakes (1952) – Will Riker of STNG.

Those who left us on this date include Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar (AD 14), French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1662), comedian Groucho Marx (1977) – no more “Horsefeathers”, and Nobel Prize-winning chemist and biologist Linus Pauling (1994).

It is National Aviation Day (US) and World Humanitarian Day

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