Thursday, May 30, 2013

This Day in History: May 30th

This Day in History: The first major ceremony honoring our Veterans and fallen soldiers is held in the United States, first termed Decoration Day and later called Memorial Day, 1868; former President Taft dedicates a shrine to one of our greatest leaders as the Lincoln Memorial opens to the public, 1922; the Mariner 9 spacecraft departs for Mars in search of worlds unknown- and later sends back over 7,000 photographs of the alien planet, showing gigantic volcanoes, a 3,000-mile long canyon and what appear to be dry riverbeds, giving scientists an indication that the environment may once have contained water, possibly supporting some form of life, 1971

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This Day in History: May 29th

This Day in History: Explorer John C. Fremont begins his second of four great western expeditions which reveal the grandeur of the Great Salt Lake and mountainous terrain throughout the southern Rockies, 1843; cheeseheads celebrate as Wisconsin enters the Union, 1848; Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first people to climb to "the top of the world"- Mount Everest, a stunning accomplishment for which Hillary was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth, 1953; Igor shocks the world- not as a horror film character, but as a composer with Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" being performed for the first time in Paris, setting the stage for a dramatically different phase in modern music, 1913

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This Day in History: May 28th

This Day in History: Lt. Colonel George Washington and his brigade fire the first shots of what will be termed the French and Indian War (Seven Years War) near the future city of Pittsburgh, 1754; the 54th Massachusetts Infantry- a black soldiers troop- leaves Boston to fight in the Civil War, their bravery at the Battle of Fort Wagner portrayed more than a century later magnificently in the movie "Glory", 1863; Owen Wister publishes his novel "The Virginian", the first serious western which will set the standard for other books and later movies of the Old West, 1902; John Steinbeck's novel "Tortilla Flats" is published, giving the struggling writer his first taste of success in what would become a long and very successful career, culminating with the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1935; U.S. ground troops and the storied 101st Airborne abandon Ap Bia Mountain after a long, brutal and bloody series of battles against North Vietnamese soldiers, the location getting the moniker "Hamburger Hill" due to people calling it a "meat grinder" of human destruction, 1969

Sunday, May 26, 2013

This Day in History: May 26th

This Day in History: President Lincoln gives us "Big Sky Country" by naming the Montana Territory to the Union, 1864; the country "gets down to business" as The Wall Street Journal prints its first edition, 1896; Bram Stoker gives the world a scare as his novel "Dracula" goes on sale to the public, 1897; Henry Ford and his son Edsel take a ride out the doors of the automobile plant on the last Model-T, which had become enormously popular, but was losing sales to other models such as the Chevrolet by an upstart company named General Motors, 1927; Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings of baseball- a feat that had never been done before- but still loses to Lew Burdette of the Milwaukee Braves- who had a no-hitter at that point- in one of the most exciting pitching duels ever seen by sports fans in America, 1959

Saturday, May 25, 2013

This Day in History: May 25th

This Day in History: The Constitutional Convention convenes in Phiuladelphia, with George Washington presiding over a group which will write the document that will change the world, 1787; Father Stephen Theodore Badin is ordained the first Catholic priest in America near Baltimore, Maryland, 1793; President Lincoln infuriates Southern sympathizers as he suspends the writ of habeas corpus (literally- "produce the body" of evidence for an arrest), in an effort to stem the massive insurrection during the Civil War, 1861; Babe Ruth hits his last home run, 1935; Luke Skywalker and his buddies soar across the heavens, fighting the forces of evil throughout the galaxy as 'Star Wars' opens in theatres around America, changing popular film forever, 1977

Friday, May 24, 2013

This Day in History: May 24th

This Day in History: John Hancock becomes President of the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, where he'll later inscribe his signature- the largest of anyone who signed- on the Declaration of Independence, 1775; the first passenger train service in the U.S. begins as a locomotive leaves Baltimore for Elliott Knolls, Maryland, 1830; an artist turns his creativity into a miracle of science as Samuel F.B. Morse sees his telegraph come to life and taps out the words "What hath God wrought?", 1844; the Brooklyn Bridge is completed connecting one of America's biggest neighborhoods with downtown New York, 1883; the master of jazz- Duke Ellington dies after a long and successful career where he broke down barriers due to his genius and enormous personal appeal, 1974

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This Day in History: May 23rd

This Day in History: King Henry VIII stirs up a controversy in the Church as he dissolves his marriage, 1533; Captain Kidd is led to an undesirable place- the "Executioner's Dock" in London- and hanged for his roles in piracy and murder, 1701; Sergeant William Harvey Carney, one of the black soldiers who fought bravely with the 54th Massachusetts regiment during the Civil War and who waged a courageous attack on Confederate Fort Wagner (depicted so well in the movie "Glory") is belatedly awarded the Medal of Honor- the nation's highest military decoration- for his efforts, 1900; one of the world's greatest places to relax with a good book is opened as the New York Public Library is dedicated, 1911; two wild and murdering outlaws are brought down as Bonnie and Clyde are shot with 160 bullets by police in Louisiana, 1934

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This Day in History: May 21st

This Day in History: Clara Barton founds the American Red Cross, the helpers who give aid to people in desperate, tragedy-struck situations, 1881; Charles Lindbergh becomes the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic, 1927; Amelia Earhardt takes Charles' cue and does the same things five years later, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Pond, 1932; a construction worker picks up his guitar and goes in to the doorway of Chess Records, recording a song that will become a major hit and inspire hundreds of others to create songs in this new thing- this thing called "rock and roll" as D.J. Alan Freed descrived it, Chuck Berry's tune being the first of many in a great musical career, 1955

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This Day in History May 15th

This Day in History: The Seven Years War (also called the French and Indian War) begins between Britain and France (aided by the local Indian tribes) in North America, 1756; John Adams orders the Federal government to pick up and move- from Philadelphia to the new capital, Washington, D.C., 1800; air mail service begins in the U.S., but only between New York, Philadelphia and Washington, 1918; the "wonders of science" just keep on coming, with Du Pont's new nylon stockings going on sale, causing a sensation among women, 1940; Nolan Ryan- who'd been traded by the Mets to the Angels just a few years earlier- gets the first no-hitter of his very long career which would see him earn a total of six and launch him to the Baseball Hall of Fame, 1973; the Soviets realize that invading a mountainous, parched Middle Eastern country with tanks and rocket launchers, killing thousands of villagers and installing a puppet regime was not a good way to make friends- and start their withdrawal from Afghanistan, 1988

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This Day in History: May 14th

This Day in History: Delegates begin to assemble in a spot which would gain recognition as the "cradle of liberty"- Philadelphia- preparing to attend a meeting which will change the world- the Constitutional Convention- the first time a society shook off the rule of an opposing nation and wrote its own laws to guide a country, many of them dining at another place that had become famous- the Old Ci...ty Tavern- where Thomas Jefferson had spent time while writing the Declaration of Independence, 1787; English physician Edawrd Jenner successfully tests his smallpox vaccine and later gets a town named after him, Jennersville in southern chester County, PA., 1796; Lewis and Clark start on an exciting road trip, 1804; a machine goes up in the heavens to bring back information on how the universe works, Skylab being launched to increase scientific knowledge, 1973; 'Ol Blue Eyes- Frank Sinatra- passes away at the age of 82, but his tunes live on forever, 1998

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day: "James Dean, James Dean...I know just what you mean

James Dean, you said it all so clean... And I know my life would look all right

If I could see it on the silver screen...

You were the low-down rebel if there ever was...Even if you had no cause

James Dean, you said it all so clean...And I know my life would look all right

If I could see it on the silver screen...

Little James Dean up on the screen

Wonderin' who he might be...Along came a Spyder and picked up a rider

Took him down the road to eternity..." --The Eagles, "James Dean"

This Day in History- May 11th

This Day in History: Roman Emperor Constantin names a city after himself, making Constantinople a major crossroads of Europe and Asia, 330 A.D.; the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" takes its place as the 32nd state as Minnesota enters the Union, 1858; horrendous dust storms sweep across the Great Plains all the way to the Eastern Seaboard carrying as much as 350 million tons of silt in one day, scattering it all over the countryside, forcing thousands to flee from devastated areas such as Oklahoma and neighboring states at a particularly bad time- the Great Depression, during which the entire nation felt the double effects of an economic downturn and natural disasters, 1934; Israel is admitted to the United Nations, 1949; machine beats man as "Deep Blue"- IBM's master mind of a computer tops World chess Champion Gary Kasparov at a game of chess, 1997