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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.
9:25am: September 4
1781: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula, California - is founded. Today it is known as Los Angeles.
1882: New York - Thomas Edison turns on the world's first commercial electrical power plant.
1886: Arizona - Geronimo surrenders for the last time. He will be deported to Florida.
1888: Rochester, NY - George Eastman receives a patent for a film roll camera, and trademarks the name Kodak.
1951: San Francisco, CA - The Japanese Peace Treaty, ending Japan's imperial pretensions for good, is signed by 48 nations - notably not the USSR or the People's Republic of China. This event is the site of the first transcontinental television broadcast.
1957: Little Rock, AR - The NAACP having registered nine African-American students in all-white Central High School, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus calls out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent them from attending. President Dwight Eisenhower responds by (a) calling in the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army (minus its black members) to protect the students, and (b) federalizing the 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard. The story does not have an entirely happy ending, as those nine were abused physically and verbally by the white students for their entire time at Central.
1957: Dearborn, MI - Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel.
1972: Munich, Germany - future dentist Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals at a single Olympics, a record that will stand for 36 years.
1985: Houston, Texas - At Rice University, Harold Kroto, James R. Heath, Sean O'Brien, Robert Curl, and Richard Smalley generate the first fullerene molecule, C60 or buckminsterfullerene.
1998: Stanford, CA - Larry Page and Sergei Brin found Google.

1824: Anton Bruckner, composer (eleven symphonies and much else).
1896: Antonin Artaud, actor, director, playwright, writer (The Theater and its Double).
1905: Mary Renault, writer (The King Must Die, The Bull from the Sea).
1912: Syd Hoff, writer-illustrator (Sammy the Seal, Danny the Dinosaur).
1918: Paul Harvey, radio announcer.
1924: Joan Aiken, writer (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and sequels).
1929: Thomas Eagleton, depressed Vice Presidential candidate.

3rd September 2016

8:41am: September 3
1189: Westminster, England - Richard I Lion-Heart is crowned King.
1838: Baltimore, MD - Frederick Douglass, a slave, escapes.
1933: Tajikstan - Yevgeniy Abalakov becomes the first person to successfully climb "Communism Peak," the highest point in the USSR (now known as Ismoil Somoni Peak).
1941: Oświęcim, Poland - Karl Fritsch, deputy camp commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, begins the use of Zyklon B in gassing Soviet POWs.
1976: Space - Viking 2 lands at Utopia Planitia, Mars.

1811: John Humphrey Noyes, founder of the Oneida community.
1849: Sarah Orne Jewett, writer (Tales of New England).
1875: Ferdinand Porsche, engineer and businessman.
1907: Loren Eisley, anthropologist and writer (The Immense Journey, Darwin's Century).
1910: Kitty Carlisle, game-show panelist.
1926: Alison Lurie, writer (The War Between the Tates, Foreign Affairs).
1929: Whitey Bulger, gangster.
1930: Cherry Wilder, writer (Cruel Designs).
1931: Albert DeSalvo, confessed Boston Strangler.
1963: Malcolm Gladwell, journalist (The Tipping Point, Blink!).

2nd September 2016

7:09am: V-J Day
31 BC: Ionian Sea near Actium - The forces of Octavian (grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, who would become Augustus) defeat the combined forces of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra; this is as good a place as any to draw the line between the Roman Republic and Empire.
1192: Jaffa, Palestine - Richard I Lion-Heart and Saladin sign the Treaty of Jaffa, which promises peace between the two for three years, ending the Third Crusade.
1666: London, England - In the bakery of Thomas Farriner, in Pudding Lane, the Great Fire of London begins. It will burn for three days and gut the medieval city, destroying at least 13000 buildings. Only six verified deaths were recorded.
1752: Great Britain - Adopts the Gregorian Calendar, two centuries after the rest of Western Europe, requiring that several days (September 3-13) be "skipped." This alleedly results in protests by people who want "our eleven days back"; however, there appears to be no real evidence of this.
1789: New York, NY - Creation of the US Department of the Treasury. Nine days later, Alexander Hamilton will be sworn in as the first Secretary of the Treasury.
1792: Paris, France - the September Massacres begin. Jean-Paul Marat, concerned that royalist and religious prisoners will be freed by attacking armies, calls for their immediate execution. Over 1200 prisoners are killed by the National Guardsmen and fédérés, including over two hundred nonjuring priests and two bishops.
1885: Rock Springs, WY - In this mine town, Chinese miners are paid less than white miners, and thus are hired preferentially. On this day 150 white miners, seeking to unionize for better wages, decide to drive the Chinese out, beginning the Rock Springs Riot in which at least 28 Chinese miners are killed and 75 homes destroyed.
1901: Ramsey County, MN - At the Minnesota State Fair, Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt utters the famous phrase, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," describing his vision of American foreign policy.
1912: Oceanside, NY - Arthur Rose Eldred of Troop 1 becomes the first American Boy Scout to receive the Eagle Scout Badge.
1963: New York, NY - First broadcast of the half-hour edition of The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite; previously, it had been a fifteen-minute broadcast called Walter Cronkite with the News. This is the first US half-hour network news program.

1810: Lysander Button, engineer and inventor; numerous improvements to hand and steam fire engines.
1820: Lucretia Peabody Hale, writer (The Peterkin Papers, Six of One by Half a Dozen of the Other).
1838: Queen Lili'uokalani of Hawai'i.
1849: Albert Spalding, baseball player and founder of A.G. Spalding Sporting Goods and the famous "Spalding Ball."
1850: Eugene Field, poet ("Wynken, Blynken, and Nod", "The Duel (The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat)").
1911: William Fisk Harrah, casino magnate.
1917: Cleveland Amory, TV critic, animal rights activist, and writer (The Cat Who Came for Christmas).
1918: Alan Drury, writer (Advise and Consent and sequels).
1923: René Thom, mathematician, developed catastrophe theory.
1934: Chuck McCann, comedian and actor.
1946: Billy Preston, one of the people called "the Fifth Beatle," the only musician besides the Fabs ever credited on a Beatles record.
1946: Walt Simonson, comix writer-artist (The Mighty Thor, Metal Men).
1946: Dan White, assassin.
1948: Christa McAuliffe, astronaut.
1953: John Zorn, composer.
1959: Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil</b>.
1964: Keanu Reeves, who was Neo and Ted "Theodore" Logan.
1966: Salma Hayek, who was Santanico Pandemonium, Serendipity, and Frida Kahlo.

1st September 2016

6:19am: random acts of kindness day
1532: England - King Henry VIII makes his fiancée Anne Boleyn Marquess of Pembroke.
1715: Versailles, France - King Louis XIV dies, marking the end of the longest reign by any major European monarch at 72 years. (For those who are keeping score, Elizabeth II has 12 years to go to reach that mark.)
1804: Lilienthal, Germany - Karl Ludwig Harding discovers the large asteroid Juno.
1878: Boston, MA - The Boston Telegraph Dispatch Company recruits Emma Nutt as the world's first female telephone operator. Previously, the work had been done by boys, often on roller-skates; they tended to play pranks, so Bell began hiring women instead.
1897: Boston, MA - Opening of the Tremont Street Subway, the first underground rapid transit system in North America. Its descendant is still operating and called "the T" by residents.
1914: Cincinnati, OH - The last known passenger pigeon dies in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo.
1939: Germany and Slovakia invade Poland, marking the beginning of WWII in Europe.
1939: Berlin, Germany - Hitler signs the order implementing "Aktion T4," the mandatory euthanasia of disabled (physically or mentally) people.
1952: New York, NY - Publication of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, which will win the Pulitzer Prize and may be the final nudge that pushed the Nobel Prize committee to recognize Hemingway in 1954.
1967: Cambodia - Prince Sihanouk bans all "national friendship" associations, notably the Khmer-Chines Friendship Association, several of whose key members are arrested.
1969: Tripoli - A coup by the "Free Officers Movement," known as the al-Fateh Revolution, brings Muammar Gaddafi, or Moammar Khadafy, or however it's being spelled this week, to power.
1972: Reykjavik, Iceland - Bobby Fischer defeats Boris Spassky, 12½ games to 8½, to become the World Chess Champion.
1974: New York to London - The speed record (still held) for this route is set by the SR-71 Blackbird at slightly under two hours.
1979: Space - Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Saturn, passing through the ring plane and coming within 4000 km of the moon Epimetheus.
1983: Soviet airspace - Korean Air Lines Flight 007, on the way from Seoul to Anchorage, is shot down by a Soviet SU-15 interceptor, killing 269 people, including a US Congresscritter.

1653: Johann Pachelbel, organist and composer (THAT canon).
1795: James Gordon Bennett, Sr., founder of the New York Herald.
1854: Engelbert Humperdinck - the composer, not the singer (Hansel and Gretel).
1875: Edgar Rice Burroughs, writer (aw, come on, you know).
1876: Harriet Shaw Weaver, journalist, activist, patron of James Joyce's works.
1896: A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), the "Hare Krishna" movement.
1906: Eleanor Hibbert, who was Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy, Philippa Carr, and several other pen names.
1913: Christian Nyby, film editor and director (The Thing (from Another World)).
1922: Yvonne de Carlo, who was Lily Munster.
1926: Gene Colan, comix artist (Howard the Duck, Blade).
1933: Ann Richards, Governor of Texas.
1935: Seiji Ozawa, conductor.
1938: Alan Dershowitz, attorney (defended O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, and Jim Bakker).
1939: Lily Tomlin, who was Ernestine and Edith-Anne.
1942: C.J. Cherryh, writer (Downbelow Station, Wave without a Shore).
1946: Barry Gibb, last surviving Bee Gee.
1950: Phil McGraw, a/k/a "Dr. Phil," twit.
1961: Christopher Ferguson, astronaut.
1964: Holly Golightly (Fauve; Holly G!), comix writer-artist (Sabrina, Nightmare Theatre).

31st August 2016

6:43am: August 31
Is 2016 over yet?

1803: Pittsburgh, PA - At 11 AM, Lewis & Clark set out on their famed Expedition.
1888: London, England - 3.40 AM - A cabdriver named Charles Allen Lechmere discovers a mutilated corpse. This turns out to be a prostitute named Mary Ann Nichols, the first confirmed victim of Jack the Ripper.
1895: ?, Germany - After 20 years of development, Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his "(Lenkbarer Luftfahrzug mit mehreren hintereinanderen angeordneten Tragkörpern [Steerable airship-train with several carrier structures arranged one behind another]," which will come to be known simply as the Zeppelin.
1897: Menlo Park, NJ/Washington, DC - Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope (which however had been demonstrated as early as 1891).
1920: Detroit, MI - Station 8MK, now known as WWJ AM, broadcasts the first radio news program.
1928: Berlin, Germany - Premiere of Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera), by Bertholt Brecht, with music by Kurt Weill.
1980: Gdansk, Poland - After two weeks of national strikes, the government is forced to permit the creation of the trade union Solidarność (Solidarity).
1997: Paris, France - A car crash (said to be at least partially caused by paperazzi) kills Diana, Princess of Wales; her companion Dodi Fayed; and their driver Henri Paul.

12: Caligula, Roman emperor, and not the worst.
1821: Hermann von Helmholtz, physicist and physician.
1834: Amilcare Ponchielli, composer of operas (La Gioconda, Il figliuol prodigo).
1870: Maria Montessori, educator.
1879: Alma Maria Schindler Mahler Gropius Werfel, socialite and composer.
1897: Fredric March, who was Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde.
1908: William Saroyan, writer (The Human Comedy, My Heart's in the Highlands).
1914: Richard Basehart, who was Admiral Harriman Nelson.
1918: Alan Jay Lerner, songwriter/composer.
1935: Eldridge Cleaver, activist and Mormon convert.
1944: Roger Dean, illustrator.
1945: Van Morrison, singer-songwriter.
1945: Itzhak Perlman, violinist.
1953: Pavel Vinogradov, astronaut.

30th August 2016

10:23am: International Day of the Disappeared
1909: Fossil Ridge, Canada - Charles Doolittle Walcott discovers the Burgess Shale and some of its associated fossils.
1963: Washington, DC/Moscow, Russia - The Moscow-Washington hotline goes into operation. Popularly conceived as "the red telephone," it is in fact a teletype with a use-once cipher key.
1967: Washington, DC - Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African-American Justice of SCOTUS.
1984: Cape Canaveral, FL - In mission STS-41-D, space shuttle Discovery is launched for the first (successful, after three launch aborts) time.
1992: Ruby Ridge, ID - Randy Weaver surrenders to Federal authorities, ending the Ruby Ridge standoff. Weaver's wife, son, and dog were killed during the standoff, as was a Deputy Marshal.

1400: Vlad II Dracul of Wallachia. No, he was not Dracula; that was his son, Vlad III Tepes.
1748: Jacques-Louis David, painter.
1797: Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley, writer (Frankenstein, The Last Man).
1871: Ernest Rutherford, "father of nuclear physics."
1901: John Gunther, writer (The Golden Fleece, Death Be Not Proud).
1925: Laurent de Brunhoff, writer (many "Babar" books, continuing the series started by his father Jean).
1930: Warren Buffett, billionaire and philanthropist.
1931: Jack Swigert, astronaut.
1943: Jean-Claude Killy, skier.
1944: Molly Ivins, journalist.
1972: Cameron Diaz, who was Princess Fiona.

29th August 2016

6:34am: August 29
or the Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, if you will.

1758: Indian Mills, NJ - The first "Indian" reservation is established here "for" the Lenape of southern New Jersey, who had been pushed off their traditional lands. The Brotherton Indian Reservation came to be known as Indian Mills because of, well, mills run by Christian-converted Lenape called Brothertons.
1786: Northampton, NJ - A force of tax protestors shut down the courts in this town, marking the nominal beginning of Shays' Rebellion. The inability of the government to deal quickly and effectively with this rebellion was a galvanizing moment for leaders calling for a Constitutional Convention to form a stronger government. (Contrast President Washington's relatively rapid and effective response to the Whiskey Rebellion.)
1842: HMS Cornwallis, off Nanking - Signing of the "Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Commerce between Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and the Emperor of China," better known as the Nanking Treaty, or, in China, the first of the "unequal treaties," because it laid obligations only on China, not the British Empire. It ends the first Opium War.
1885: Cannstadt (Stuttgard), Germany - Gottleib Daimler patents the world's first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.
1910: Japan and Korea - In the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1910, also known as the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty, "His Majesty the Emperor of Korea makes the complete and permanent cession to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan of all rights of sovereignty over the whole of Korea."
1911: Foothills of Lassen Peak, CA - The last of the Yahi people of Northern California, previously uncontacted by Europeans, appears. He will not give his name because "I have no one to name me," and is called Ishi, which means "man" in his language. He lives the rest of his life (about five years) in a university building in San Francisco, being studied by anthropologists and especially Alfred Kroeber.
1922: New York, NY - Radio station WEAF broadcasts the first radio advertisement ... unless it was in Seattle, by KFC, in March ...
1958: Colorado Springs, CO - Opening of the US Air Force Academy.
1965: Atlantic Ocean - Gemini 5 lands 80 miles from its planned drop site, due to a programmer who input the Earth's rotation as 360 degrees per 24 hours when in fact it is 360.98.
1966: Nominally San Francisco, CA - The Beatles perform their last paid concert at Candlestick Park. Their final song is "Long Tall Sally."
1991: Moscow, Russia: The Supreme Soviet suspends all activities of the Soviet Communist Party.
2005: Florida to Louisiana - Hurricane Katrina strikes land, doing vast damage and killing nearly 2,000 people.

1632: John Locke, philosopher, "Father of Liberalism."
1780: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, painter.
1809: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., writer (The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table).
1811: Henry Bergh, activist, founder of the ASPCA.
1862: Maurice Maeterlink, dramatist (Pelléas and Mélisande), poet, and plagiarist.
1898: Preston Sturges, director and producer (The Great McGinty, The Miracle of Morgan Creek).
1915: Ingrid Bergman, who was Ilsa Lund and Golda Meir.
1920: Charlie Parker, who was The Bird. Word.
1928: Charles Gray, who was Ernest Stavro Blofeld and The Criminologist.
1929: Thom Gunn, poet.
1935: William Friedkin, director-producer-screenwriter (The Exorcist, The French Connection).
1936: John McCain, naval aviator, prisoner of war, and politician.
1937: Carol Doda, "The Perfect 44," topless dancer.
1940: James Brady, White House Press Secretary and gun violence victim.
1941: Robin Leach. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams!
1947: Temple Grandin, ethologist and autism activist.
1958: Michael Jackson, singer-songwriter-dancer ("Thriller," Captain EO).

28th August 2016

9:19am: August 28
1565: St Augustine, FL - Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sights land here. He will found the city of St. Augustine, which is the longest continually-occupied Euro-style city in the US.
1609: Eastern Atlantic coast - Henry Hudson "discovers" the Delaware Bay. Actually, it had been known quite well by the Lenape people for some time...
1789: Bath, England - William Herschel discovers Enceladus, moon of Saturn, though he will not actually name it.
1830: Baltimore, MD - The "Tom Thumb" locomotive races a horse-drawn carriage. The locomotive takes an early lead but, due to a slipped belt, loses the race.
1845: New York, NY (but also Philadelphia and Boston...) - Publication of the first issue of Scientific American, which began life as a four-page weekly newspaper covering activity at the US Patent Office.
1859: Space (but also Earth...) - A series of massive sunspots and solar flares culminates in the "Carrington Event," a coronal mass ejection (CME) which creates a geomagnetic storm disrupting electrical telegraphy across the Earth. If such a thing were to happen today, the disruption to society would be incalculable.
1898: New Bern, NC - Caleb Bradham invents "Brad's Drink," which is today known as Pepsi-Cola.
1955: Money, MS - Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till is lynched, allegedly for flirting with a white woman.
1957: Washington, DC - Senator Strom Thurmond begins the longest single-Senator filibuster in the history of the US Senate. Its purpose is to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He fails.
1963: Washington, DC - The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.

1749: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, playwright (Faust), novelist (The Sorrows of Young Werther), and diplomat.
1774: Elizabeth Ann Seton, nun and saint.
1814: Sheridan Le Fanu, writer (Camilla, Uncle Silas).
1903: Bruno Bettelheim, psychologist.
1906: John Betjeman, poet.
1913: Robertson Davies, writer (The Deptford Trilogy, The Cornish Trilogy).
1915: Tasha Tudor, writer and illustrator (A is for Annabelle, The Great Corgiville Kidnapping).
1916: Jack Vance, writer (the Star Kings series, The Dying Earth).
1917: Jack Kirby, comix writer-artist (The Fantastic Four, The New Gods).
1948: Vonda McIntyre, writer (Dreamsnake, The Moon and the Sun).
1903: Quvenzhané Wallis, who was Hushpuppy and Annie.
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