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26th September 2016

6:58am: Johnny Appleseed Day
1580: Plymouth, England - The Golden Hind sails into harbour with Francis Drake and 59 remaining crewmen, having circumnavigated the globe.
1687: Athens - Bombs set by Venetian forces attacking Turks stationed here partially destroy the Parthenon.
1789: New York, NY - Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first United States Secretary of State, John Jay is appointed the first Chief Justice of the United States, Samuel Osgood is appointed the first United States Postmaster General, and Edmund Randolph is appointed the first United States Attorney General.
1914: Washington, DC - The Federal Trade Commission Act establishes, of all things, the Federal Trade Commission.
1933: Memphis, TN - Arrest of George Francis "Machine Gun Kelly" Barnes. As the FBI and Memphis police move in, Kelly surrenders, shouting, "Don't shoot, G-Men!" - which becomes a nickname for FBI agents. He will die in prison.
1934: Clydebank, Scotland - Launch of the RMS Queen Mary.
1960: Chicago, IL - The first televised Presidential debate takes place, between candidates Senator John Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon.
1969: Worldwide? - Release of Abbey Road, the Beatles' final studio (and last-recorded) album.
1980: Munich, Germany - Right-wing extremist student Gundolf Köhler plants an IED at the entrance to the Oktoberfest. It detonates prematurely, killing him and 11 others, and wounding 211, including 50 with life-threatening injuries.

1774: John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman, gardener and environmentalist of a sort.
1791: Théodore Géricault, painter (The Raft of the Medusa).
1849: Ivan Pavlov, physiologist and dog-torturer.
1867: Winsor McCay, cartoonist (Little Nemo in Slumberland, Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend) and animator/performance artist (Gertie the Dinosaur).
1881: Hiram Williams, Imperial Wizard.
1888: T(homas) S(tearnes) Eliot, poet.
1889: Martin Heidegger, philosopher (What Is Metaphysics?, Being and Time).
1898: George Gershwin, pianist and composer.
1901: George Raft, who was Rinaldo, Steve Brodie, and Raoule De Baere.
1914: Jack LaLanne, fitness guru.
1936: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, activist and war criminal.
1945: Bryan Ferry, singer-songwriter.
1946: Andrea Dworkin, activist and writer (Right-Wing Women, Woman Hating).
1946: Louise Simonson, comix writer (Power Pack, Steel).
1956: Linda Hamilton, who was Sarah Connor and Catherine Chandler.
1981: Serena Williams, tennis player.

25th September 2016

9:20am: Gold Star Mothers Day
Or, National One-Hit Wonders Day.

1513: Chucunaque River, Panama - Balboa "discovers" the Pacific Ocean.
1689: Boston, MA - Richard Pierce and Benjamin Harris publish the first (and only) issue of Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, the first multi-page newspaper to be printed in what will become the United States.
1789: New York, NY - Congress passes and submits to the States twelve Amendments to the Constitution. Ten will, in the event, be ratified by the States, and are known as the Bill of Rights.
1790: Beijing, China - In honor of the 80th birthday of the Qianlong Emperor, the "Four Great Anhui Troupes" perform Anhui opera for him. This is regarded as the beginning of Peking Opera.
1868: Off Jutland - Wreck of the Alexander Nevsky.
1906: Bilbao, Spain - Leonardo Torres y Quevedo demonstrates to the King of Spain and a large crowd the invention he calls the Telekino, the first remote control, which he uses to guide a boat from shore.
1912: New York, NY - Founding of the Columbia School of Journalism.
1929: Mitchell Field, Hempstead Township, NY - Pilot Jimmy Doolittle makes the first blind flight from takeoff to landing, demonstrating the feasibility of instrument-based flying.
1992: Cape Canaveral, FL - Launch of Mars Observer, which fails.

1764: Fletcher Christian, mutineer.
1782: Charles Maturin, writer (Melmoth the Wanderer).
1897: William Faulkner, writer (The Sound and the Fury, The Reivers).
1906: Dmitri Shostakovich, composer (Lady Macbeth of Mtinsk, various symphonies and quartets).
1915: Ethel Rosenberg, spy, maybe.
1930: Shel Silverstein, writer (Where the Sidewalk Ends) and songwriter ("Queen of the Silver Dollar").
1951: Mark Hamill, who was Luke Skywalker and the Joker.
1952: Christopher Reeve, actor and activist.
1968: Will Smith, who was Agent J and Muhammad Ali.

24th September 2016

9:23am: N,at!ion?a;l !Pun(ct\ua}tion. D&ay.
Yes, I know some of those aren't technically punctuation marks.

622: Medina - Prophet Muhammad and his followers arrive at this city, completing the Hijra (Hejira).
1664: New Amsterdam - Is surrendered by the Dutch Republic to the English, by which transfer it will become New York.
1780: West Point to the Hudson River - Learning of the arrest of John André and the exposure of his treason, Benedict Arnold flees to the British warship HMS Vulture, narrowly evading his own arrest.
1789: New York - Congress passes the Judiciary Act, which creates the post of Attorney General and sets the size of the Supreme Court.
1852: Paris to Trappes, France - Henri Giffard, having invented the steam injector engine, has now adapted it to an airship, and makes the first powered and directed air flight.
1869: Washington, DC/New York, NY, and elsewhere - James Fisk and Jay Gould have attempted to corner the market in gold. President Ulysses Grant responds by ordering the Treasury to sell a large quantity of gold, causing the price of gold to plummet, making this day "Black Friday."
1890: Salt Lake City, UT - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) officially renounces polygamy.
1906: Washington, DC - President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devil's Tower, WY, a national monument, the first site to be so designated.
1957: Washington, DC/Little Rock, AR - President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends the 101st Airborne Division (the Screaming Eagles) to enforce school desegregation.
1968: CBS-TV: Premiere of 60 Minutes.

1717: Horace Walpole, writer (The Castle of Otranto) and politician.
1883: Franklin Clarence Mars, founder of the Mars candy company.
1896: F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer (The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise).
1900: Ham Fisher, cartoonist (Joe Palooka).
1902: Ruhollah Khomeini, ayatollah and first Supreme Leader of Iran.
1934: John Brunner, writer (Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look Up).
1936: Jim Henson, muppeteer and more.
1941: Linda McCartney, activist and photographer.
1950: John Kessel, writer (Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice).
1957: Brad Bird, animator, director, voice talent (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant).

23rd September 2016

6:48am: National Dogs in Politics Day
1641: Off Land's End, Wales - The ship Merchant Royal sinks, drowning eighteen men and sinking 100,000 pounds of gold.
1780: Tarrytown, NY - British Major John André, travelling under a passport provided by Benedict Arnold, is stopped and searched by three armed militiamen, who discover papers that expose Arnold's treason.
1806: St. Louis - Return of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
1846: Berlin - Johann Gottfried Galle, following calculations made by Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier and John Couch Adams, is the first to view Neptune, within 1° of where Le Vernier had predicted it should be.
1868: Lares, Puerto Rico - The Grito de Lares, a rebellion against Spanish rule, begins. It will be crushed the following day, and over four hundred prisoners taken; they will be tortured, found guilty of treason and sedition, and executed.
1889: Kyoto, Japan - Fusajiro Yamauchi founds Nintendo Koppai (now known as Nintendo Company, Limited), to manufacture Hanafuda cards. (Nintendo still makes playing cards in Japan, and hosts an annual contract bridge tournament.)
1909: Paris(?), France - The newspaper Le Gaulois begins the serialization of Gaston Leroux's novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (The Phantom of the Opera).
1911: Garden City, NY / Minneola, NY - Earle Ovington carries the first sack of official US Air Mail. Rather than land at Minneola, he tosses the sack over the side of the cockpit, and it burst on impact, scattering 640 letters and 1280 postcards.
1962: New York, NY - Opening of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Opening night features Leonard Bernstein, Adele Addison, Donald Bell, Abraham Kaplan, Eileen Farrell, and the Juilliard Chorus, and is hosted by Alistair Cooke.
1973: Santiago, Chile - Pablo Neruda dies of cancer. The Pinochet government refuses him a state burial, but thousands take to the streets to express their grief and pay their respects to Neruda.
1980: Pittsburgh, PA - Bob Marley plays his last concert.
2002: Mountain View, CA - First release of the Firefox browser.

1215: Khagan Qubilai (Kublai Khan), emperor.
1800: William Holmes McGuffey, writer (The "McGuffey Readers").
1838: Victoria Woodhull, Presidential candidate, free-love advocate, journalist.
1851: Ellen Hayes, professor and suffragist.
1865: Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála "Emmuska" Orczy de Orci, "Baronnes Orczy," writer (The Scarlet Pimpernel and sequels).
1889: Walter Lippman, journalist and writer (Public Opinion; co-founded The New Republic).
1897: Walter Pidgeon, who was Admiral Harriman Nelson and Bob Munson.
1920: Mickey Rooney, who was Andy Hardy and Gus.
1926: John Coltrane, saxophonist and composer (A Love Supreme).
1930: Ray Charles, pianist and singer-songwriter.
1931: Stan Lynde, comix writer-artist (Rick O'Shay, Latigo).
1943: Julio Iglesias, singer-songwriter.
1944: Eric Bogle, singer-songwriter ("No Man's Land", "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda").
1949: Bruuuuuuuce Springsteen, the Boss.
1956: Peter David, writer (Sir Apropos of Nothing, The Incredible Hulk).

22nd September 2016

6:47am: Solstice.
And Elephant Appreciation Day. And something else, see below...

1598: London, England - Ben Jonson kills the actor Gabriel Spenser in a duel whose cause is unknown. Jonson is indicted for manslaughter but claims "benefit of clergy." Eventually he is branded on the thumb for the killing.
1692: Salem Village, MA - The last hangings of convicted witches here takes place. Some found guilty still remain, but are eventually released.
1776: New York, NY - Where a Gap store now stands, Nathan Hale is hanged by the British for spying.
1823: Manchester, NY - On this day, according to Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni leads him to find the golden plates containing the original text of the Book of Mormon.
1862: Washington, DC - President Abraham Lincoln issues the "Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation," a warning that those states still in rebellion as of 1 January 1863 will face the freeing of their slaves. Lincoln is emboldened to issue this warning by the Union victory at Antietam.
1888: Washington, DC - Publication of the first issue of the National Geographic Magazine, now known simply as National Geographic. This early version of the magazine was a purely text-based journal of geography; the first time photographs appeared was in a photo-essay on Tibet in 1905, while the first map supplement did not appear until 1918.
1892: East of Lindal-in-Furness, England - A 30-foot sinkhole (or some other subsidence phenomenon) opens up in front of the 7 AM Barrow-Canforth goods train. The driver cuts all steam and, with the fireman, jumps for his life; they stare in disbelief as the locomotive vanishes into the hole.
1896: England - Queen Victoria becomes the longest-reigning monarch in the history of England (eventually to be passed by Elizabeth II).
1910: Brighton, England - The Duke of York's Picture House opens; it is the oldest continuously operating cinema in Britain. As recently as 2012, it was voted the best cinema in the UK.
1927: Chicago, IL - In a rematch fight between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, Dempsey knocks Tunney down; the ten-second count is not started promptly because Dempsey fails to retire to a neutral corner. Tunney ultimately wins the fight by a unanimous decision.
1955: London, England - ITV (Independent Television) goes on the air for the first time.
1957: Haiti - François "Papa Doc" Duvalier is elected President, an office he will hold (as "President for Life" from 1964 on) until his death in 1971.
1975: San Francisco, CA - Outside the St. Francis hotel, Sarah Jane Moore fires two shots, attempting to kill President Gerald Ford. Moore is sentenced to life in prison, escapes once, and is eventually released on the last day of 2007.
1979: Prince Edward Islands - A bright flash, similar to that of a nuclear weapon, is observed; its cause is never determined.
1980: Preparatory to a land invasion the next day, Iraq bombs Iranian airbases, intending (but failing) to destroy the Iranian air force's ability to make war.
1991: San Marino, CA - A complete set of photographic copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls is made available to the public at the first time, at the Huntington Library.

TA 2890/SR 1290: Bilbo Baggins.
TA 2968/SR 1368: Frodo Baggins.
1515: Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII of England.
1762: Elizabeth Simcoe, water-colorist and diarist.
1791: Michael Faraday, physicist and chemist.
1885: Erich von Stroheim, actor-director-screenwriter (Greed, Queen Kelly).
1895: Paul Muni, who was Tony Camonte, Louis Pasteur, and Émile Zola.
1903: Joseph Valachi, gangster.
1904: Ellen Church, the first female flight attendant.
1920: Will Riker, game theorist.
1921: Will Elder, cartoonist (early Mad magazine, Goodman Beaver, Little Annie Fanny).
1931: Fay Weldon, writer (The Cloning of Joanna May, The Bulgari Connection).
1971: Elizabeth Bear, writer ("Shoggoths in Bloom", Karen Memory, Blood and Iron).
1982: Billie Piper, who was Rose Tyler.
1987: Tom Felton, who was Draco Malfoy.

21st September 2016

7:15am: Autumnal Equinox
And International Day of Peace.

1776: New York, NY - A fire in the West Side destroys about a third of the (British-occupied) city. Both the British and the rebels were accused of starting it, but no conclusive evidence exists.
1780: West Haverstraw, NY - Benedict Arnold turns over to British Major John André the plans for West Point, along with an agreement to surrender the fort to British forces. In the event, André will be captured on September 23, and eventually executed for spying, while Arnold narrowly escapes and receives a brigadier general's commission in the British army.
1897: New York, NY - The New York Sun publishes Francis Pharcellus Church's editorial "Is There a Santa Claus?", better known as "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus."
1898: Beijing, China - Empress Dowager Cixi staes a coup, taking control from her nephew, the Guangxu Emperor, internally exiling him to the Ocean Terrace palace.
1937: London, England - Publication by George Allen and Unwin of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
1942: Seattle, WA - The B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight from Boeing Field.
1961: Seattle, WA - The CH-47 Chinook helicopter makes its maiden flight.
1964: Palmdale, CA - The XB-70 Valkyrie makes its maiden flight.
1981: Washington, DC - Senate unanimously votes to advise and consent to the appointment of Sandra Day O'Connor as the first female justice of SCOTUS.
1996: Washington, DC - The Defense of Marriage Act overwhelmingly passes in Congress.
2001: Space - Probe Deep Space 1 flies by Comet 19P/Borrelly.
2003: Space - Termination of the Galileo mission, as the probe is deliberately sent into the giant planet's atmosphere. It collects nearly an hour of data before being crushed by the huge atmospheric pressure.
2013: Nairobi, Kenya - al-Shabaab terrorists attack the Westgate shopping mall, killing at least 67 and effectively destroying the mall.

1452: Girolamo Savonarola, priest and bonfirer of the vanities, excommunicated and himself bonfired.
1866: H(erbert) G(eorge) Wells, writer (The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine).
1874: Gustav Holst, composer (Maya, The Planets, The Perfect Fool).
1903: Preston Tucker, businessman, designed the Tucker Sedan.
1912: Chuck Jones, animator (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, many "Road Runner" cartoons, "What's Opera, Doc?"...).
1931: Larry Hagman, who was Tony Nelson.
1934: Leonard Cohen, singer-songwriter ("Suzanne", "Dance Me to the End of Love").
1935: Henry Gibson, who was Judge Clark Brown, Head Nazi, and the poetry guy.
1944: Fannie Flagg, writer (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe).
1945: Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of blockbusters.
1947: Stephen King, writer (...you know...).
1950: Bill Murray, who was Dr. Peter Venkman, Phil Connors, Bob Harris, and Sgt. Richard Campbell.
1955: Richard Hieb, astronaut.
1971: Luke Wilson, who was Richie Tennenbaum, Emmett Richmond, and Orville Wright.

20th September 2016

7:14am: September 20
622: Medina - The Muslim prophet Muhammad and his father in law, Abu Bakr, arrive in Medina after fleeing persecution in Mecca.
1187: Jerusalem - Is besieged by Saladin. In less than two weeks, the city will surrender to him.
1378: Avignon, France - Cardinal Robert of Geneva is elected as the first Avignon anti-Pope.
1519: Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain - Ferdinand Magellan sets sail on his voyage to circumnavigate the globe. Magellan will die in the Philippines, and only one of his five ships will return, but the voyage is technically successful.
1848: Philadelphia, PA - Founding of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1906: Newcastle on Tyne, England - Launch of Cunard Line's RMS Mauretania.
1946: Cannes, France - The eponymous film festival is held for the first time.
1973: Houston, TX - Billie Jean King soundly defeats Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match.
1982: USA - The football players of the National Football League begin a strike that will last 57 days.
2001: Washington, DC - President George W. Bush declares the "War on Terror." It works out about as well as any war on an abstraction has done.

1486: Arthur, Prince of Wales, oldest son of Henry VII, who died young, making room for Henry VIII to become king.
1842: James Dewar, chemist and physicist; invented the vacuum flask.
1878: Upton Sinclair, writer (The Jungle) and EPIC candidate for the California governorship.
1884: Maxwell Perkins, editor; "discovered" Hemingway, Fitzgerald and (Thomas) Wolfe.
1886: Charles Williams, writer and poet (Taliessin Through Logres, War in Heaven).
1920: Jay Ward, animator (Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle).
1934: Sophia Loren, who was Conchita, Cleopatra, and Doña Ximena (the Chimera).
1935: Keith Roberts, writer (Pavane, The Chalk Giants).
1941: Dale Chihuly, blown-glass artist.
1947: Steve Gerber, comix writer (Howard the Duck, Foolkiller) and screenwriter.
1948: George R.R. Martin, writer (A Song of Fire and Ice, Tuf Voyaging, "Sandkings").

19th September 2016

6:10am: TLAP day, aaargh.
Or, in Japan, Respect for the Aged Day.

1356: Poitiers, France - French king Jean le Bon (John II "the Good") is captured in battle by Edward, the Black Prince, Duke of Wales. Jean is allowed to return to France to raise his ransom, leaving his son Louis as hostage; when Louis escapes, Jean voluntarily returns to England as a matter of honor; here he dies.
1676: Jamestown, VA - Is burned to the ground as part of Nathaniel Bacon's rebellion against Governor William Berkeley, who had ignored the safety of the colonists in the Western parts of Virginia (oversimplification!). The rebellion was suppressed by armed British merchants.
1692: Salem Village, MA - After refusing to plea guilty or not guilty to charges of witchcraft, Giles Corey is "pressed" in an attempt to force him to plead. He dies, the only American known to have been judicially killed in this way.
1796: United States - George Washington's farewell "address" is published across the nation as an open letter to the public.
1879: Blackpool, England - The "Blackpool Illuminations," called "the greatest free light show on Earth," are turned on for the first time. The light show, consisting of over a million bulbs, stretches six miles from one end of the town to the other and features "scenes" such as Dr. Who fighting the Daleks.
1881: Washington, DC - President James A. Garfield dies of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting. Vice President Chester A. Arthur succeeds to the White House.
1952: Washington, DC - As Charlie Chaplin sails to England for the premiere of Limelight, Attorney General James McGranery revokes his re-entry permit to the United States, pending an interview concerning his political views and moral behavior. Chaplin decides not to return to the US.
1957: Nevada Test Site, NV - Shot Ranier of Operation Plumbbob is America's first fully-contained underground nuclear test. At 1.7 kilotons, it was detected by seismographic instruments around the world.
1959: Anaheim, CA - Due to security concerns, Nikita Khrushchev, during his visit to the United States, is not permitted to visit Disneyland.
1970: United States - Premiere (on CBS) of the Mary Tyler Moore show.
1981: New York - Simon and Garfunkel perform a free concert in Central Park.
1985: Washington, DC - Tipper Gore founds the Parents' Music Resource Center (PMRC) in reaction to perceived (and some real) obscenity in popular music. Frank Zappa, speaking before a Congressional hearing, states, "The PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design"

1867: Arthur Rackham, illustrator.
1889: Sarah Louise Delany, supercentenarian, one of the "Delany Sisters."
1905: Leon Jaworski, Watergate Special Prosecutor.
1911: William Golding, writer (Lord of the Flies, The Inheritors).
1922: Damon Knight, writer ("To Serve Man", "Stranger Station", Humpty Dumpty: An Oval).
1928: Adam West, who was Bruce Wayne.
1932: Mike Royko, columnist.
1933: David McCallum, who was Illya Kuryakin.
1934: Brian Epstein, who more or less discovered the Beatles.
1940: Paul Williams, who was Swan.
1941: Mama Cass Elliot, singer.
1947: Thomas H. Cook, writer (Blood Innocents, The Chatham School Affair).
1947: Tanith Lee, writer (The Birthgrave, The Silver Metal Lover).
1948: Jeremy Irons, who was Scar and Simon Gruber.
1949: Twiggy.

18th September 2016

9:05am: National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
1066: Scarborough, England - Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, invades England. While he is successfully rebuffed by the forces of Harold Godwinson, the forced march North to face Harald, followed by the battle, followed by the forced march South to meet William at Hastings, probably has something to do with the outcome of William's invasion.
1793: Washington, DC - George Washington lays the first cornerstone of the Capitol building.
1837: New York, NY - Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young form a "stationery and fancy goods emporium," now known as Tiffany & Co.
1850: Washington, DC - Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, requiring citizens of free states to cooperate in returning escaped slaves to their "rightful owners."
1851: New York, NY - First issue of the New York Times, as the "New-York Daily Times."
1870: Yellowstone, WY - Henry D. Washburn discovers and names the geyser Old Faithful.
1919: Akron, OH - Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard of the Akron Pros is the first African-American to play football in the NFL (American Professional Football Association in those days).
1927: Newark, NJ and 15 affiliated stations - The maiden broadcast of the Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System, now known as CBS.
1928: London to Paris - Juan de la Cierva flies the first autogyro to cross the English Channel.
1947: Washington, DC and elsewhere - The U.S. Army Air Forces officially become the U.S. Air Force, a fully separate branch of the US armed services. On the same day, the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency come into official existence. This is all fallout from the National Security Act of 1947.
1948: Maine - Margaret Chase Smith is the first woman elected to the US Senate for a term of her own (as opposed to finishing the term of another Senator).
1959: Cape Canaveral, FL - Vanguard 3 is launched into Earth orbit.
1977: Space - Voyager 1 takes the first picture of Earth and Moon together.
1980: Baikonur, USSR - Soyuz 38 carries two cosmonauts (one Cuban) to the Salut 6 space station.
1981: Paris, France - Capital punishment is abolished in France.
2001: Trenton, NJ - First mailing of "anthrax letters."
2014: Scotland - Votes to remain in the UK.

53: Trajan, Roman emperor.
1709: Samuel Johnson, lexicographer, wit, poet, and essayist.
1819: Léon Foucault, physicist, pendulum guy.
1905: Eddie Anderson, who was Rochester.
1905: Greta Garbo, who wanted to be alone.
1917: June Foray, who was Rocket J. Squirrel, Cindy Lou Who, and Lucifee.
1926: Joe Kubert, comix artist and educator.
1985: John McAfee, created the first anti-virus software.
1948: Lynn Abbey, writer and editor (Various "Thieves' World" and "Heroes in Hell" books).
1951: Ben Carson, neurosurgeon and presidential candidate wannabee.
1954: Steven Pinker, psychologist, linguist, writer (The Blank Slate, The Language Instinct).
1961: James Gandolfini, who was Carol and Tony Soprano.

17th September 2016

9:45am: September 17
1630: Boston, MA - Is founded.
1683: Delft, Netherlands - Antonie van Leeuwenhoek writes a letter to the Royal Society describing his discovery of protozoa, which he calls "animalcules."
1776: San Francisco, CA - To strengthen their hold on Alta California, Spanish forces found the Presidio of San Francisco, which is at this time a fort.
1778: Fort Pitt (modern Pittsburgh), PA - Signing of the Treaty of Fort Pitt; significant for two reasons. (1) It was the first formal treaty between the new United States and a Native American people, the Lenape. (2) The Lenape were explicitly encouraged to, with other local peoples, form a fourteenth state with representation in Congress.
1787: Philadelphia, PA - the Constitution is formally signed by members of the Constitutional Convention.
1849: Dorchester County, MD - The slave Harriet Tubman escapes to Philadelphia. Almost immediately she returns to lead her family, then many others, to freedom.
1859: San Francisco, CA - Joshua Norton, a failed businessman, declares himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.
1908: Fort Myer, VA - A Wright Flyer, piloted by Orville Wright, crashes, killing passenger Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge: the first person to die in an airplane accident.
1916: Cambrai, France - Manfred von Richtofen ("the Red Baron") wins his first airplane duel.
1920: Canton, OH - Founding of the National Football League, called at this time the American Professional Football Association.
1961: Pittsburgh, PA - The opening of the Civic Arena, the world's first retractable-dome stadium.
1976: Palmdale, CA - Rollout of the Enterprise, the first space shuttle. It is designed for aerial testing and will fly no space missions.
1978: Washington, DC - At the White House, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign the Camp David Accords, concluding peace between the two nations.
1980: Gdansk, Poland - Founding of Solidarity.
1983: Atlantic City, NJ - Vanessa Williams becomes the first African-American Miss America. No later scandal cannot take away from that.
1991: Da Intartoobs - The first version of the Linux kernel is released to the Internet by Linus Torvalds.
2011: New York, NY - The "Occupy Wall Street" movement begins at Zuccotti Park.

879: Charles the Simple.
1730: Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben, Baron von Steuben, Inspector General of the US Revolutionary Army.
1826: Bernhard Riemann, mathematician, formalized the integral.
1857: Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, one of the founders of rocketry and astronautics.
1859: Henry McCarty, who, as William H. Bonney, would be known as Billy the Kid.
1903: Frank O'Connor, writer ("First Confession", "My Oedipus Complex").
1907: Warren Burger, Chief Justice of SCOTUS.
1908: John Creasey, politician and writer (mysteries featuring The Toff, The Baron, Gideon, and others).
1916: Mary Stewart, writer (The Crystal Cave and sequels).
1930: Daid Huddleston, who was Olson Johnson.
1930: Edgar Mitchell, astronaut.
1931: Anne Bancroft, who was Mrs Robinson
1932: Robert B. Parker, writer (mysteries featuring Spenser).
1935: Ken Kesey, writer (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and Merry Prankster.
1939: David Scouter, Associate Justice of SCOTUS.
1947: Jeff MacNelly, cartoonist (Shoe).
1950: Fee Waybill, singer for The Tubes.

16th September 2016

11:52am: Money quote
2/3 of Trump's supporters still think Obama is a Kenyan Muslim. Hillary only said half of them were racists. She was generous.


From a (genuine) conservative Christian friend of mine.
6:10am: National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Also, International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

And Stay Away From Seattle Day.

But anyway.

1400: Wales - Owain Glyndŵr (Shakespeare's "Owen Glendower") claims his ancestral title Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru), the last Welshman to hold that title, and instigates Welsh rebellion against King Henry IV of England. While the rebellion will ultimately fail, Owain is never captured.
1701: James Francis Edward Stuart, "the Old Pretender," claims the title of King of England and Scotland as James VIII/III. This claim is recognized by his cousin, Louis XIV of France, but James will never actually succeed to the throne despite military attempts in 1708 and 1715.
1810: El Grito de Dolores- In the small town of Dolores Hidalgo, in Spanish Mexico, Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla effectively declares the Mexican War of Independence, making this day Mexican Independence Day since 1825.
1920: New York, NY - A horse-drawn carriage pulls up in front of the J.P. Morgan building. At noon, the driver slips away; a few minutes later, the carriage explodes, killing 39 and wounding hundreds of others. Though no clue is ever discovered as to who did the deed, American papers are quick to blame (in the words of the Washington Post) "the alien scum from the cesspools and sewers of the Old World" which has "polluted the clear spring of American democracy."
1955: Buenos Aires, Argentina - The coup that will outs democratically-elected President Juan Perón begins at midnight.
1959: New York, NY - In a live, televised demonstration from the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, the Xerox 914 - the world's first commercially successful plain-paper copier - is introduced to the public. Because of the success of this machine, the Haloid Company, which had specialized in wet copying but had bought the patent rights to xerography in 1947, changed its name to Xerox.
1966: New York, NY - Opening of the Metropolitan Opera House ("The Met") with the world premiere of Samuel Barber's opera Antony and Cleopatra).
1970: Jordan - "Black September" begins as King Hussein, following several successful hijackings by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (al-Jabhah al-Sha`biyyah li-Taḥrīr Filasṭīn), declares martial law. The result will be a twelve-day military struggle between Hussein's Jordanian military and Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization (Munaẓẓamat at-Taḥrīr al-Filasṭīniyyah). The ultimate issue of the war was whether Jordan would be ruled by the PLO or the Hashemite monarchy; the latter won.
1990: Dostyk, Kazakhistan - The railroad from Kazakhistan to the People's Republic of China is completed.
1992: Miami, Florida - Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering, establishing the somewhat dubious principle that foreign powers must abide by American law.
2007: Baghdad - Mercenaries from Blackwater Worldwide shoot and kill 17 Iraqi civilians (wounding 20 others) in Nisour Square.
2013: Washington, DC - A lone gunman, Aaron Alexis, kills twelve and wounds three at the Washington Navy Yard.

1877: Jacob Shick, razor entrepreneur.
1880: Alfred Noyes, poet ("The Highwayman").
1887: Nadia Boulanger, composer and educator, whose students include Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Quincy Jones, John Eliot Gardiner, Elliott Carter, Dinu Lipatti, Igor Markevitch, Virgil Thomson, David Diamond, İdil Biret, Daniel Barenboim, Philip Glass and Astor Piazzolla.
1893: Alexander Korda, film director (The Thief of Baghdad, The Man Who Could Work Miracles).
1898: H.A. Rey, writer-illustrator, co-created Curious George.
1914: Allen Funt, candid cameraman.
1919: Laurence J. Peter, hierarchologist.
1920: Art Sansom, cartoonist (The Born Loser).
1925: B.B. King, guitarist-singer.
1926: John Knowles, writer (A Separate Peace).
1927: Peter Falk, who was Columbo and The Grandfather.
1930: Anne Francis, who was Alta.
1945: Pat Stevens, who was Velma Dinkley and Nurse Baker.
1956: David Copperfield, magician.
1960: Kurt Busiek, comix writer (Astro City, The Avengers).
1960: Mike Mignola, comix writer-artist (Hellboy, The Amazing Screw-On Head).

15th September 2016

6:25am: Intenational Day of Democracy
Also, Free Money Day.

921: Tetin, Bohemia - St. Ludmilla (grandmother of St. "Good King" Wenceslas) is strangled with her own veil on the orders of her daughter-in-law.
1440: (Near?) Nantes, France: Gilles de Rais, one of the earliest known serial killers in the modern sense, is arrested and accused of murder, sodomy, and heresy. He will be sentenced to death by hanging and burning.
1789: New York, NY - The US Department of Foreign Affairs changes its name to the Department of State, and is given some domestic responsibilities. Thomas Jefferson has been appointed as the first head of this department, but is abroad at the time of his appointment, and, until his return, John Jay acts as Secretary of State.
1821: Guatemala City, Guatemala - The Central American "Act of Independence" is signed by representatives of Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica.
1835: Galapagos Islands - The HMS Beagle, bearing Charles Darwin among others, arrives.
1916: Flers, France - In the phase of the Battle of the Somme known as the Battle of Flers, tanks are used in battle for the first time (by the British).
1935: Nuremberg, Germany - A special meeting of the Reichstag is held at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the NSDAP (Nazi Party), to promulgate the Nuremberg Laws. These forbade marriage or "extramarital intercourse" between Germans and Jews, and declared that only those of "German or related blood" might hold German citizenship; all others (notably Jews, Slavs, Afro-Germans, and Gypsies) were "state subjects" with no citizenship rights. At the same rally, the swastika flag is adopted.
1963: Birmingham, Alabama - Members of the Ku Klux Klan plant "at least" 15 sticks of dynamite beneath the front steps of the African-American 16th Street Baptist Church. The resulting explosion kills four young girls who are in the basement changing into their choir robes. The planned sermon is "A Love that Forgives." Though the FBI identifies four perpetrators by 1965, none are charged until 1977 (one of them, charged with first-degree murder). Two others will be charged and convicted in 2001 and 2002; one dies before being charged.
1966: Washington, DC - In response to Charles Whitman's sniper attack at the University of Texas, Austin, President Lyndon Johnson asks Congress to enact gun control legislation.
1968: Baikonur, USSR - Zond 5 is launched. Carrying two tortoises, several invertebrates, and some plants, this will be the first human-made object to circle the Moon and return to Earth. The animals are recovered safely.
1978: New Orleans, LA - Muhammad Ali, beating Leon Spinks on points, becomes the first boxer to win the world heavyweight title three times.
2008: New York, NY - Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in US history.

1254: Marco Polo, merchant.
1613: François de La Rochefoucauld, maxim-writer.
1649: Titus Oates, Anglican minister, fraud, and perjurer; fabricated the "Popish Plot."
1789: James Fenimore Cooper, literary criminal.
1857: William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States.
1876: Bruno Walter, pianist, composer, and conductor.
1881: Ettore Bugatti, founder of the Bugatti automobile company.
1889: Robert Benchley, essayist, member of the Algonquin Round Table.
1890: Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, writer.
1894: Jean Renoir, actor-director-producer-screenwriter (La Grande Illusion, On purge bébé, La Règle du Jeu).
1907: Fay Wray, who was Ann Darrow.
1908: Penny Singleton, who was Blondie Bumstead and Jane Jetson.
1914: Adolfo Bioy Casares, writer (La invención de Morel, El sueño de los héroes).
1914: Robert McCloskey, writer-illustrator (Make Way for Ducklings, Homer Price).
1915: Fawn M. Brodiw, biographer (No Man Knows My History, Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character).
1918: Julius "Nipsey" Russell, who was the Tin Man.
1922: Jackie Cooper, who was Peck's Bad Boy.
1929: Murray Gell-Mann, physicist and writer (The Quark and the Jaguar)
1934: Tomie dePaola, writer-ilustrator (Strega Nona, Shh, We're Writing the Constitution).
1940: Norman Spinrad, writer (Bug Jack Barron, The Men in the Jungle, He Walked Among Us).
1946: Oliver Stone, director-screenwriter-producer (J.F.K., Nixon, Natural Born Killers).
1946: Howard Waldrop, writer (Twelve Tough Jobs, "The Ugly Chickens", "Save a Place in the Lifeboat for Me").
1984: Prince Harry of Wales.

14th September 2016

6:49am: September 14
786: Baghdad, Persia - On the "Night of the Three Caliphs," Harun al-Rashid ("Aaron the Just") becomes the Abbasid Caliph, succeeding his brother al-Hadi; on the same night, Harun's son al-Ma'mun is born.
1741: London, England - George Frideric Handel completes the music for Messiah, based on a libretto provided by Charles Jennens. Partially by repurposing music he had previously written for Italian duets, Handel writes the music for this two and a half hour oratorio in just 22 days.
1791: Avignon, France - is taken from the Papal States by revolutionary France.
1901: Buffalo, NY - President William McKinley dies from sepsis caused by two gunshot wounds to the abdomen inflicted by the assassin Leon Czolgosz on September 6.
1959: Space - The Soviet probe Lunik 2 crash-lands, becoming the first man-made object to reach the Moon.
1960: Baghdad - The Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded. The initial members are Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
1969: Wikipedia is a bit confused on this, saying "The US Selective Service selects September 14 as the First Draft Lottery date." Since this was done in December of 1969, and applied in 1970, referring to it in this manner is kind of meaningless.
1975: Vatican City - Pope Paul VI canonizes Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint.
1984: Atlantic Ocean - Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to cross it in a gas balloon.
1994: United States - A strike by players against Major League Baseball forces the rest of the season to be cancelled.
2000: Redmond, WA - In a strategic move almost as brilliant as the introduction of New Coke, Microsoft releases Windows ME (Millenium Edition).

1486: Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, astrologer and alchemist.
1879: Margaret Sanger, founder of what became Planned Parenthood, though she hated the name.
1914: Clayton Moore, who was the Lone Ranger.
1927: Martin Caidin, writer (Marooned, Cyborg).
1934: Kate Millet, writer (Sexual Politics, The Politics of Cruelty).
1936: Walter Koenig, who was Pavel Chekov and Mr. Bester.
1938: Nicol Williamson, who was Lennie, Little John, Merlin, and the Nome King.
1947: Sam Neill, who was Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Captain Borodin, Merlin, and Sam Sawnoff.

13th September 2016

6:46am: Friday the 13th is on a Tuesday this month
509 BC: Rome - Dedication of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus.
1782: Gibraltar - The "Grand Assault" by French and Spanish troops begins. It will fail. This is one phase of the ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the Bourbon powers to unseat Britain from Gibraltar, which itself is the single largest battle (in terms of number of troops involved) in the entire American Revolution. At three years and seven months, it is also the longest siege ever endured by British troops.
1814: Baltimore - The British fail to capture the city. Francis Scott Key writes "The Defense of Fort McHenry," which, set to the tune of an old British drinking song, became our rather questionable National Anthem.
1848: Near Cavendish, VT - Railroad construction foreman Phineas Gage is at the wrong place when an explosion causes an iron tamping rod to rocket from a hole, piercing Gage's head and brain. Amazingly he survives, but (after a lengthy recovery) his personality is radically changed.
1922: Smyrna - Turks burn the Greek and Armenian sections of the city totally, killing over 100,000 and leaving a milion or more homeless. International ships in Smyrna's harbor look on dispassionately; when refugees try to swim to British ships, boiling water is poured on them, and America's official representative insists that journalists cable home reports favorable to the Turks. So how come you've never heard of this?
1933: Littleton, New Zealand - Elizabeth McCombs is the first woman elected to the New Zealand Parliament.
1948: Maine - Margaret Chase Smith is elected to the US Senate, becoming the first woman to serve in both Houses of Congress.
1956: (?), US - IBM introduces the 305 RAMAC, the first commercial computer to use disk storage.
2007: New York, NY - The General Assembly of the United Nations adopts the Declation on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

1475: Cesare Borgia, cardinal and, later, prince.
1601: Jan Brueghel the Younger, painter.
1766: Samuel Wilson, meat packer, who, according to one version, is the namesake of Uncle Sam.
1775: Laura Secord, Canadian war hero.
1813: "Uncle" John Sedgwick, Civil War general of famous last words.
1819: Clara Schumann, pianist and composer ("Romances" for violin and piano).
1851: Walter Reed, discoverer of mosquito transmission of yellow fever, after whom the hospital.
1857: Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Company.
1860: John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, the only Americna to hold the title of "General of the Armies" while living.
1874: Arnold Schoenberg, theorist, painter, and composer (Pierrot Lunaire, Zwei Klavierstücke).
1876: Sherwood Anderson, writer (Winesburg, Ohio, The Triumph of the Egg).
1894: J.B. Priestly, writer (Let the People Sing, The Magicians).
1916: Roald Dahl, anti-Semite and writer (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Switch Bitch).
1918: Ray Charles, singer-pianist-songwriter.
1922: Yma Sumac, singer-actress.
1925: Mel Tormé, singer-songwriter.
1931: Barbara Bain, who was Cinnamon Carter and Dr Helen Russell.
1937: Don Bluth, animator (The Secret of NIMH, Anastasia).
1938: Judith Martin, "Miss Manners".
1939: Richard Kiel, who was Jaws and Rease.
1944: Peter Cetera, bassist and singer (Chicago).
1965: Zak Starkey, drummer (The Who, Oasis).
1977: Fiona Apple, singer-songwriter (When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do).

12th September 2016

6:17am: Programmer's Day
That's right, it's the 256th day of the year.

490 BC: Marathon, Greece - An army of Athenians and Plataeans soundly defeats an overwhelmingly larger Persian army. According to legend, a runner named Phedippides was sent to bring the news of the victory to Athens; having run the whole way nonstop, he gave his message in a few words and died.
1609: New York - Henry Hudson's ship Halve Maen enters the river which now bears his name. Over ten days, he will sail as far as present-day Albany, then turn to return to Amsterdam.
1846: London - Elizabeth Barrett elopes with Robert Browning, marrying him at St Marylebone Church. They travel to Paris, then settle in Italy.
1910: Munich, Germany - Premiere of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in E-flat minor, also known as the "Symphony of a Thousand." (On this occasion, 1,023 performers (a choir of 852 and an orchestra of 171) were involved in the performance, plus Mahler as conductor and Bruno Walter as assistant conductor.)
1919: Munich, Germany - Adolf Hitler joins the German Workers' Party, later known as the Nazi Party.
1933: London, England - Leó Szilárd, on a walk through Bloomsbury, stops at a traffic light. As he waits, he conceives of the nuclear chain reaction.
1940: Near Montignac, France - 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat discovers the Lascaux Caves and the Upper Paleolithic paintings therein.
1952: Flatwoods, NJ - The main sighting of the cryptid known as the Flatwoods Monster. Three boys claimed to see a UFO crash in the hills. Seven people, including a National Guardsman, went into the woods to find out what the boys had seen, and reportedly saw a pulsating ball of fire and a pungent mist. Then they saw something beneath a tree, which fled quickly when a flashlight was shone on it. Several of the witnesses experienced symptoms similar to those of mustard gas, though none died.
1958: Texas(?), US - Jack Kilby demonstrates the first working integrated circuit chip to several managers at Texas Instruments.
1959: US - Premiere of Bonanza, the first regularly-scheduled television program to be broadcast in color.
1959: Baikonur, USSR - Launch of Lunik II, the first man-made object to reach another celestial body. Lunik is an "impactor," designed to crash and release a cloud of sodium gas which was visible using large telescopes on Earth.
1966: Cape Canaveral, FL - Launch of Gemini 11. The mission included the first-ever direct-ascent rendezvous, with an Agena target vehicle. Using the Agena's engines for extra boost, Gemini's astronauts set a record for the Earth orbit (by a manned vehicle) with the highest apogee at 739 mi (1368 km), a record that still stands: nobody but the Apollo astronauts, who had left Earth orbit, has reached that height.
1974: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Emperor Haile Selassie, a/k/a Ras Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, is deposed in a coup by the Derg, a committee of low-ranking officers and enlisted men.

1812: Richard March Hoe, inventor of the rotary printing press; later he improved this with the "web" printing press, which could print both sides of a page simultaneously.
1818: Richard Jordan Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun.
1880: H(enry) L(ouis) Mencken, satirist and journalist.
1888: Maurice Chevalier, singer and actor.
1891: Arthur Hays Sulzberger, editor (The New York Times).
1892: Alfred A. Knopf, publisher.
1897: Walter B. Gibson, magician and writer (The Shadow).
1913: Jesse Owens, sprinter and long jumper, Olympic gold medalist.
1921: Stanisław Lem, philosopher and writer (The Cyberiad, Summa Technologiae).
1944: Leonard Peltier, railroaded activist.
1952: Neil Peart, drummer (Rush).
1956: Sam Brownback, throwback.
1967: Louis "C.K." Székely, comedian.

11th September 2016

9:51am: 9/11; "Patriot Day"
...or, if you prefer, National Hot Cross Bun Day

1297: River Forth near Stirling, Scotland - The combined Scottish forces of William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeat the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey, and Hugh de Cressingham in the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
1776 - Staten Island, New York - At Billop Manor, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Edward Rutledge meet in a "peace conference" with Admiral Lord Richard Howe. As the Americans insist on recognition of their independence, and Howe has not the authority to do so, the peace conference lasts only three hours and produces no results.
1786: Annapolis, MD - At Mann's Tavern, the Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government meets to discuss the protectionist trade barriers between the States. The Meeting produced a recommendation for what became the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
1789: New York, NY - President George Washington appoints Alexander Hamilton as the first Secretary of the Treasury.
1941: Des Moines, IA - Charles Lindbergh delivers a speech which accuses the British, the Jews, and the Roosevelt administration of pressing for war with Germany.
1972: San Francisco and environs, CA - The BART system begins passenger service.
1973: Chile - General Augusto Pinochet leads a successful coup against democratically-elected President Salvador Allende. The coup is backed by the CIA, because Allende is the first democratically-elected Marxist head of state in South America.
1978: Catherine-de-Barnes Isolation Hospital, near Solihull, England - Janet Parker dies of smallpox, the last person to do so.
1997: Space - Mars Global Surveyor reaches Mars.
1997: Scotland - A referendum determines that Scotland shall have a devolved Parliament of its own.
2001: You know what.
2012: Benghazi!
2015: Mecca, Saudi Arabia - As the city prepares to receive the Hajj, a crane collapses onto the Masjid al-Haram Mosque, the "Great Mosque of Mecca," killing 111 and injuring 394.

1470: Martin Waldseemüller, mapmaker, who had the dubious distinction of being the first to use the term "America."
1700: James Thomson, poet ("Rule, Britannia!", The Seasons).
1816: Carl Zeiss, lensmaker.
1862: Hawley Harvey Crippen, murderer, first to be caught by wireless telegraphy.
1862: William Sidney Porter, "O. Henry", writer, embezzler, and pharmacist.
1885: D.H. Lawrence, writer (Lady Chatterly's Lover, Women in Love).
1917: Ferdinand Marcos, President and dictator of the Philippines.
1917: Jessica Mitford, writer (The American Way of Death, Poison Penmanship).
1930: Jean-Claude Forest, comix writer-illustrator (Barbarella).
1932: Bob Packwood, assaulter of women.
1935: Arvo Pärt, composer (Tabula Rasa, The Beatitudes).
1940: Brian de Palma, actor-director-producer-screenwriter (Carrie, Blow Out).
1946: Anthony Browne, children's writer-illustrator (Bear Hunt, My Mum Is a Gorilla).
1971: Markos Moulitsas, founder, Daily Kos.

10th September 2016

9:33am: World Suicide Prevention Day
506: Agde, France - The Council of Agde meets, promulgating a series of canons on ecclesiastical discipline including priestly celibacy and the beginning of the system of "benefices."
1846: Cambridge, MA - Elias Howe patents the lock-stitch sewing machine (and the needle with the eye at the point). He has trouble securing funding for the machine, and later successfully sues Isaac Singer for the unauthorized use of his patented methods.
1897: Lattimer, PA - 300 immigrant coal miners march to a mine to support a newly formed union. A sheriff's posse orders them to disperse; when they do not, the "lawmen" open fire, killing 19 and wounding at least 17, and perhaps as many as 49, others.
1939: Near Norway - The Royal Navy suffers its first loss of a ship in WW2 as the submarine HMS Triton erroneously sinks the submarine HMS Oxley.
1967: Gibraltar - In a plebescite, the people of Gibraltar choose to remain a British dependency rather than become part of Spain.
1977: Marseilles, France - Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian agricultural murder, is executed by guillotine for the torture and murder of a young woman. He is the last person executed in France, and the last to be executed by beheading in the "Western" world.
2008: Geneva, Switzerland - CERN powers up the Large Hadron Collider, resulting in the immediate destruction of the Universe as we knew it.

1659: Henry Purcell, composer (King Arthur, The Fairy-Queen).
1801: Marie Laveau, voodoo priestess.
1839: Isaac K. Funk, co-founder of Funk & Wagnall's.
1839: Charles Sanders Pierce, philosopher, "founder of Pragmatism."
1886: H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), poet.
1890: Franz Viktor Werfel, writer (The Song of Bernadette, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh).
1914: Robert Wise, director (The Haunting, The Sound of Music, The Andromeda Strain, Star Trek: The Motion Picture...Just stop me now...).
1933: Yevgeny Khrunov, astronaut.
1937: Jared Diamond, writer (The Third Chimpanzee, Guns, Germs, and Steel).
1941: Stephen Jay Gould, writer (Bully for Brontosaurus!, Wonderful Life).
1949: Bill O'Reilly, spinner.

9th September 2016

7:34am: Here in California, it's Admissions Day...
...while in North Korea, they celebrated Republic Day with a really big firecracker.

1543: Stirling, Scotland - Nine-month-old Mary Stuart is crowned "Queen of Scots."
1739: Near Charleston, SC - Jemmy or "Cato," a literate slave, recruits other slaves for the slave rebellion (the Stono Rebellion or "Cato's Conspiracy") he will lead starting tomorrow. Ultimately 80 slaves will attempt to escape to Spanish Florida; they will burn several plantations and kill several whites, but will be almost completely destroyed by a South Carolinian militia. Those who survive will be sold to West Indes slave markets.
1776: Philadelphia, PA - The Continental Congress officially names the union of sovereign colony/states that declared independence earlier in the year as "The United States."
1850: Washington, DC - In the "Compromise of 1850," a significant chunk of the territory belonging to Texas is transferred to the Federal government in return for the Federal government's assuming $10M of Texas's debt.
1892: near San Jose, CA - At Lick Observatory, Edward Emerson Barnard (who also discovered the eponymous Star) observes Jupiter's fifth-discovered moon, Amalthea.
1924: Hanapepe, Kauai, HI - Filipino workers stirking for a $2, 8-hour workday seize some scab workers (in response to the arrests of several strike leaders). Armed police break up the strike. The ensuing "Hanapepe Massacre" kills 20 and wounds an unknown but large number. 101 strikers are arrested, 76 brought to trial, and 60 sentenced to four-year sentences.
1926: New York - the Radio Corporation of America founds the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
1940: Hanover, NH/New York, NY - George Stibitz demonstrates sending commands to his "Complex National Calculator" from Dartmouth College to New York. This is the first case of a computer being used remotely.
1947: Cambridge, MA - In the Harvard Computation Laboratory, a moth is found dead in a relay, causing errors in the machine's behavior. While this is "the first computer bug," it is NOT the origin of the term "bug" for a glitch or small error; the term was used by Thomas Edison as early as 1878, and the term "debug" was used in reference to aircraft engines by 1945.
1956: New York, NY - Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing his upcoming single "Love Me Tender." Cameras are carefully used to capture him from the waist up only while he dances his hip-thrusting gestures.
1969: Ottawa, Ontario and Canada generally - the Official Languages Act comes into force, giving French the same "rights" as English in the Federal government.
1971: Attica, NY - Responding to intolerable living conditions and overtly racist guards, 2200 prisoners of Attic Prison revolt, taking 42 prison staff hostage. The resulting "riots" last four days, and the extreme response by Governor Nelson Rockefeller will kill 33 inmates and 10 of the hostages. The retaliation is extreme, as the rioters are forced to disrobe, lie down in the mud, and crawl back to their cells. On 17 September, the Weather Underground will explode a retaliatory bomb near the office of Correctional Services Commissioner Russell G. Oswald; the accompanying communiqué blames Rockefeller for the riots.
1993: Palestine - The Palestinian Liberation Organization recognizes Israel as a legitimate state.
2001: Worldwide - The "Unix Billenium" is reached as the timecode for the Unix operating system reaches a value of 1,000,000,000, or one billion seconds since the first second of 1 January, 1970 (UTC).
2015: United Kingdom - Elizabeth II becomes the UK's longest-reigning monarch.

1585: Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duke of Richelieu and of Fronsac, "The Red Eminence."
1737: Luigi Galvani, biologist and physicist, discoverer of bioelctromagnetics or "animal electricity."
1754: William Bligh, captain and politician, mutinied against twice (the mutinay on HMS Bounty and the "Rum Rebellion" at Botany Bay Colony).
1828: Leo Tolstoy, writer (War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Resurrection).
1839: William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, patriarch of the Hatfield family during the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
1868: Mary Hunter Austin, writer (The Land Of Little Rain, Taos Pueblo).
1887: Alf Landon, failed Presidential candidate.
1890: Kentucky Colonel Harland David Sanders, businessman, founded you-know-what.
1894: Arthur Freed, producer and songwriter ("The Broadway Melody," "Make 'em Laugh").
1900: James Hilton, writer (Lost Horizon, Goodbye, Mr. Chips).
1903: Phyllis A. Whitney, writer (The Mystery of the Haunted Pool, The Mystery of the Hidden Hand).
1905: Joseph E. Levine, producer (The Producers, Carnal Knowledge, The Graduate, many others).
1914: John Passmore, philosopher (Man's Responsibility for Nature).
1922: Hoyte Curtin, composer (many Hanna-Barbara theme songs, background music for Plan 9 from Outer Space).
1923: Cliff Robertson, who was Charly Gordon, Buzz Aldrin, and Uncle Ben Parker.
1935: Chaim Topol, who was Tevye.
1941: Dennis Ritchie, who created the C programming language.
1952: Angela Cartwright, who was Brigitta Von Trapp and Penny Robinson.

8th September 2016

6:54am: Nativity of Mary
1504: Florence, Italy - In the Piazza della Signoria, Michelangelo's statue of David is unveiled.
1565: St Augustine, FL - Is founded by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida's first Spanish governor.
1888: Cartagena(?), Spain - Isaac Peral launches the first practical military submarine. In 1890, it will be the first to successfully launch underwater torpedoes.
1888: London, England - The body of Annie Chapman, Jack the Ripper's second victim, is found.
1892: Boston, MA - The Youth's Companion publishes the text of Francis Bellamy's version of the "Pledge of Allegiance," which in this form refers to "my Flag" rather than "the Flag of the United States of America;" and, of course, it did not contain the words "under God," which would not be added until the 1950s.
1930: Maplewood, MN and elsewhere - 3M Corporation begins the marketing of Scotch brand transparent tape.
1935: Baton Rouge, LA - Senator Huey P. Long is fatally shot by Dr. Carl Weiss in the State Capitol Building, and also the torso.
1941: Leningrad, USSR - German troops blockade the city, beginning the two-year-plus Siege of Leningrad.
1960: Huntsville, AL - President Dwight Eisenhower dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center. (This is only a formal dedication, as the center has been active since July.)
1966: United States - The NBC Television Network broadcasts "The Man Trap," the first episode (though the sixth filmed) of Star Trek.
1971: Washington, D.C. - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is inaugurated with the premiere performance of Leonard Berstein's Mass.
1974: Washington, D.C. - President Gerald Ford pardons ex-President Richard Nixon for "any crimes he may have committed in office."
2012: Plains, GA - ex-President Jimmy Carter's becomes the longest retirement by a United States President after leaving office, surpassing Herbert Hoover's record of 11,553 days (31 years and change).

1157: King Richard I Coeur de Lion of England.
1271: Charles Martel.
1380: Bernardino of Siena, priest and saint.
1413: Catherine of Bolognia, nun and saint.
1474: Ludovico Ariosto, playwright and poet (Orlando Furioso); coined the term "humanism."
1774: Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich.
1841: Antonín Dvořák, composer (Symphony No. 9 "From the New World", Rusalka).
1841: Charles J. Guiteau, assassin of President James Garfield.
1863: Mary of the Divine Heart, nun and saint.
1873: Alfred Jarry, pataphysicist, and playwright (Ubu Roi).
1889: Robert A. Taft, Senator and "Mr. Conservative."
1900: Claude Pepper, Senator.
1921: Harry Secombe, who was Neddie Seagoon.
1922: Sid Caesar, who hosted Your Show of Shows.
1922: Lyndon LaRouche, a douche.
1924: Grace Metalious, writer (Peyton Place).
1925: Peter Sellers, who was Chief Inspector Clouseau.
1937: Archie Goodwin, comix writer-artist-editor.
1938: Sam Nunn, Senator.
1940: Jack Prelutzky, writer (Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! [w/ Dr. Seuss], Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face and Other Poems).
1941: Bernie Sanders, Senator.
1945: Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, piano player for the Grateful Dead.
1947: Marianne Wiggens, writer (John Dollar).
1954: Jon Scieszka, writer (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs).

7th September 2016

6:33am: September 7
It's my father's birthday, but you don't care about that.

1695: En route from Yemen to India - The heavily-armed Mughal ship Ganj-i-Sawai (in English "Exceeding Treasure", and often Anglicized as Gunsway) is captured by pirate Henry Avery. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb responds by threatening to cut off all English trade in India.
1776: New York Harbor - Inventor Ezra Lee uses his submersible vehicle Turtle to attempt the placement of a time bomb on the British ship Eagle. The attempt fails so completely that the British never even noticed, and in fact Lee never succeeded in any of his attempts to attack British ships.
1864: Atlanta, GA - Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, having captured the city, commands the evacuation of its civilian population.
1876: Northfield, MN - Jesse James and the James-Younger gang are driven off, by armed citizens, from an attempt to rob the town's bank.
1896: Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany - Ludwig Rehn repairs a heart damaged by a stab wound. This is the first known successful open heart surgery.
1909: Juvisy, France - Eugène Lefebvre, test-flying a Wright biplane, becomes the first aviator to die in a powered heavier-than-air craft.
1921: Atlantic City, NJ - The first Miss America pageant is held. This two-day event features women not from the various states, but from individual cities - Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Ocean City, Camden, Newark, New York, and Philadelphia. The title "Miss America" is created by newspapers, and will not be the official name of the pageant until the following year; this year's winner is given the title of "The Golden Mermaid."
1923: Vienna, Austria - Founding of the International Criminal Police Organization, direct predecessor to INTERPOL.
1927: San Francisco, CA - Philo T. Farnsworth transmits the first electronic television image. This is only a straight line, but it confirms the feasibility of all-electronic television.
1936: Hobart Zoo, Tasmania - Benjamin, the last living thylacine ("marsupial tiger") dies in captivity.
1940: London, England - The Blitz begins. The Luftwaffe begins a systematic, nightly bombing of London (and other British cities) that will last 57 nights.
1953: Moscow, Russia - Nikita Khrushchev is elected First Secretary of the CP-USSR.
1979: Auburn Hills, MI - The Chrysler Corporation asks the US Government for a $1.5 billion loan to avoid bankruptcy.
2008: Washington, DC - The U.S. Government takes over control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

1533: Elizabeth I of England.
1795: John Polidori, physician and writer ("The Vampyre").
1860: Grandma Moses, painter.
1867: J.P. Morgan, Jr., financier.
1875: Edward Francis Hutton, cofounder of E.F. Hutton.
1885: Elinor Wylie, writer (Jennifer Lorn, The Venetian Glass Nephew).
1887: Edith Sitwell, poet.
1900: Taylor Caldwell, writer (Dear and Glorious Physician, The Listener).
1903: Margaret Langson, writer (Anna and the King of Siam).
1907: Ahmed Adnan Saygun, musicologist and composer (Gılgameş).
1912: David Packard, businessman and engineer, co-founded Hewlett-Packard.
1914: James Van Allen, physicist, for whom the Belts.
1924: Daniel Inouye, Senator and Medal of Honor recipient.
1932: Malcolm Bradbury, writer (The History Man, Cuts).
1936: Buddy Holly, head Cricket.
1940: Dario Argento, giallo director.
1949: Gloria Gaynor, who has, thus far, survived.
1950: Peggy Noonan, Reagan's speechwriter, columnist.
1951: Chrissie Hynde, head Pretender.

6th September 2016

6:05am: September 6
1492: La Gomera, Canary Islands - Christopher Columbus leaves this, his last "known" port, before crossing the Atalantic Ocean into "unknown" territory.
1522: Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain - Victoria, the last surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's five-ship expedition, returns to this port under the command of Juan Sebastián Elcano, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe. Only 18 of the 260 men who started the voyage with Magellan return; the others were killed or deserted.
1628: Salem, MA - Puritans settle here.
1847: Concord, MA - Henry David Thoreau leaves his shack on Walden Pond and moves in with the family of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
1870: Laramie, WY - Louisa Ann Swain, 69 years old, casts the first legal ballot by any US woman in a general election.
1901: Buffalo, NY - At the Pan-American Exposition, Leon Czolgosz, anarchist, shoots William McKinley, President, causing fatal wounds; as a result, Theodore Roosevelt becomes President.
1916: Memphis, TN - Clarence Saunders opens the first true self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, a brand that survives in 600 grocery stores to this day.
1991: Leningrad, Russia - Becomes Saint Petersburg again after 67 years.

1620: Isabella Leonarda, composer.
1729: Moses Mendelssohn, philosopher and theologian.
1757: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.
1766: John Dalton, chemist and physicist.
1838: Samuel Arnold, conspired with John Wilkes Booth to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln.
1860: Jane Addams, educator, writer (Twenty Years at Hull-House, Democracy and Social Ethics).
1879: Max Schreck, who was Count Orlok.
1888: Joseph P. Kennedy, booze importer and politician.
1912: Wayne Barlow, composer (The Winter's Passed, We All Believe in One True God).
1928: Robert Maynard Pirsig, writer (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance).
1937: Sergio Aragonés, cartoonist (Groo the Wanderer, "Drawn-Out Dramas").
1943: Roger Waters, bass player and songwriter (Pink Floyd).
1944: Donna Haraway, writer ("A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century").
1954: Carly Fiorina, failed businesswoman and presidential candidate.
1962: Chris Christie, failed governor and presidential candidate.
1963: Alice Sebold, writer (Lucky, The Lovely Bones).

5th September 2016

2:50pm: Labor Day
1661: Nicolas Fouquet, marquis de Belle-Île, vicomte de Melun et Vau, Superintendent of Finances to Louis XIV, is arrested by Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d'Artagnan, captain of the King's musketeers, on vague charges. His trial will last three years, and is still considered a massive miscarriage of justice. He will be sentenced to banishment, which Louis will "commute" to life imprisonment.
1698: Czar Pyotr I of all the Russias, as part of Russia's ongoing attempt to "Westernize," a symptom of an ongoing Russian inferiority complex, imposes a tax on all beards except for peasants and the clergy.
1774: Philadelphia, PA - The First Continental Congress meets for the first time.
1781: Chesapeake Bay, off Virginia - A French naval force holds off a British naval force in a battle that is tactically indecisive but strategically decisive, for the failure of the British forces to reinforce or evacuate British troops in Virginia contributes significantly to Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown.
1921: San Francisco, CA - At a party held by comic actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, actress Virginia Rappe falls ill and, several days later, dies. Arbuckle is accused of raping and accidentally killing Rappe and, after two hung juries, is found not guilty, but his career will be in ruins.
1927: United States - The first "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" cartoon, created by Walt Disney's studio, is distributed by Universal Pictures. Universal will, in time, steal the character (legally) from Disney, leading to the creation of Mickey Mouse.
1957: New York, NY - Viking Press releases Jack Kerouac's On the Road.
1960: Rome - Cassius Clay (who will become Muhammad Ali) wins the gold medal in the light-heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympics.
1972: Munich, Germany - At the Olympic Village, eight members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September (Munaẓẓamat Aylūl al-aswad) take eleven Israeli athletes hostage, killing two of them in the attack. The next day a rescue attempt goes wrong, and the remaining hostages, plus all but three of the terrorists, are killed.
1987: Amsterdam, Netherlands - Opening of the Homomonument, a memorial to all gay and lesbian persons who have been subject to persecution.

1568: Tomasso Campanella, priest and philosopher, defender of Galileo.
1667: Giovanni Girolamo Saccheri, priest and mathematician, invented both spherical and hyperbolic geometry (and rejected them).
1735: Johann Christian Bach, composer.
1750: Robert Fergusson, poet ("Auld Reekie").
1781: Anton Diabelli, composer but best known as the originator/editor of the "Diabelli variations."
1791: Giacomo Meyerbeer, composer of operas, attacked by Wagner.
1847: Jesse James, outlaw.
1850: Jack Daniel, distiller.
1867: Amy Beach, pianist and composer (Gaelic Symphony, a setting of St. Francis's "Canticle of the Sun").
1897: Arthur Nielsen, analyist.
1899: Humphry Cobb, writer (Paths of Glory).
1905: Arthur Koestler, writer (Darkness at Noon).
1912: John Cage, composer and theorist.
1916: Frank Yerby, writer (The Golden Hawk, Judas, My Brother).
1921: Jack Valenti, schmo, created the MPAA rating system.
1927: Paul Volcker, economist.
1929: Bob Newhart, who was Bernard and Major Major Major Major.
1935: Werner Erhard, asshole.
1940: Raquel Welch, who was Loana, Lilian Lust, Constance Bonacieux, and Cora Petersen.
1942: Werner Herzog, director (Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Nosferatu the Vampire).
1945: Al Stewart singer-songwriter ("Year of the Cat", "Nostradamus").
1946: Freddie Mercury, singer-songwriter for Queen.
1947: Chip Davis, who essentially is Mannheim Steamroller.
1950: Cathy Guisewite, cartoonist (Cathy).
1951: Michael Keaton, who was Bruce Wayne and Beetlejuice.
1969: Dweezil Zappa, his father's son.

4th September 2016

5:55pm: Read: Summa Risus, by R.A. Lafferty, but mostly The Fall of Rome (2016-51)
I won't say where I acquired this ebook, as I suspect it of being a bootleg, but it (and a companion volume of collected short fiction) can be found for those who want it.

It purports to contain the collected non-fiction of R.A. Lafferty, and I have no particular reason to doubt it. There are a number of letters, essays, and reviews, most of them fairly trivial, and repeating certain themes, of which the two most important are: (1) Most science fiction blows goats, and (2) "The world" comes to an end now and then, and did so in the mid- to late-20th Century.

The former is self-explanatory, and is basically a harsh application of Sturgeon's Law.

To explain what he meant by the latter, best to examine the one book-length work contained in this collection, The Fall of Rome.

The Fall of Rome is simultaneously a mosaic history of the events leading up to the sacking of Rome on 24 August 410, and a biography of Alaric, the Goth who led the army that sacked Rome.

What both the moasic and the biography make clear is that Rome was not just a city, not just an Empire, but a kosmos. This word, from Classical times and through the Middle Ages, did not mean, as "cosmos" now means, "the physical Universe," but a structure, physical and mental, by which the world was ordered. (A word with a similar meaning was Aeon.) Kosmos is the word translated as "world" in the phrase, "As it was in the beginning it is now and ever shall be, world without end." While this kosmos did not encompass the whole physical Earth, it was indeed a self-enclosed ordering of the physical, mental, and spiritual worlds.

What is perhaps most surprising, in reading this book, is that the sack of Rome was not the fall of the civilized world to barbarians. The Goths who sacked Rome were (a) very Romanized and civilized themselves, and not at all barbarians, and (b) Christians - though largely Arians and not Catholics.

Alaric in particular was a magister militium - translated by Lafferty as "Master General" - in the service of Rome, and for many years led an army of Goths in Rome's defence. Except, on occasion, when he did things like wander around sacking Greek cities -- because he was also the King of the Visigoths. Indeed, Alaric was trained by, and was a pet pupil of, Flavius Stilicho, arguably the greatest, and certainly the last truly great, general of the Roman Empire (who was himself half Vandal).

Alaric, then, was completely caught up in and supportive of the Roman kosmos - indeed, it seems that he was rather reluctant to sack Rome, and did so only when put to extremes by the incompetent emperor Honorius at Ravenna. Lafferty does not dwell at all on the destruction of Rome, which is covered in one short chapter, and followed by a "what happened to them all" epilogue.

Lafferty does dwell, indeed it is the main theme of the book, that the Roman kosmos ended at that sacking. Though Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Empire - the aforementioned Ravenna held that honor - it was still "the eternal city," and its fall sent shockwaves not only through the Eastern and Western Empires, but throughout Eurasia and much of Africa. Both Sts. Jerome and Augustine, neither of them living anywhere near Rome, felt the shockwaves. Jerome, in Bethlehem, wrote simply that "the City that took the world has itself been taken." Augustine, more extremely, wrote the entire City of God in reaction to the fall of Rome.

This book is the clear product of massive research, and reinterprets event in a manner that, if not consistent with the popular picture of the fall of Rome, is completely consistent with itself and with the evidence Lafferty cites.

Highly, highly recommended.
5:52pm: Read: The Big Book of Science Fiction, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (2016-50)
Just a note to say I have finished this exhausting book. My "real" review is promised elsewhere.
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