Monday, October 31, 2011

Week of October 31 in History

I fell in love with history in the ninth grade in a World History class when the teacher taught Egyptian history (thank you, Miss Fischer!). I have been collecting historical bits of information for years. A year ago, I began tweeting historical facts every day. This blog entry is like the “best of” the events, births, and deaths that occurred during this week. If you want to read even more of these events on a daily basis. Follow me on Twitter at @kay_bigelow

October 31 is the 304th day of the year. There are 61 days remaining until the end of the year.

  • 1711 – Laura Bassi,Italian anatomist  and college professor, was born. She was the first woman to officially teach at a university in Europe. She died in 1778. 
  • 1860 – Juliette Low, American founder of the Girl Scouts, was born. She died in 1927.
  • 1913 – The Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across the US, was dedicated.
  • 1941 – Mount Rushmore was completed after 14 years of work. 

November 1 is the 305th day of the year. There are 60 days remaining until the end of the year.

  • 1512 – The ceiling of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel was viewed by the public for the first time.
  • 1604 - William Shakespeare’s Othello premiered, at Whitehall Palace in London. 
  • 1611 – William Shakespeare's The Tempest premiered at Whitehall Palace in London. 
  • 1765 – The British Parliament enacted the Stamp Act on the 13 colonies in order to help pay for the British military operations in America. 
  • 1800 – US President John Adams became the first President to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
  • 1848 – In Boston, Massachusetts, the first medical school for women, The Boston Female Medical School, opened.
  • 1870 – The US Weather Bureau made its first official forecast.
  • 1896 – A photo showing the unclad breasts of a woman appeared in “National Geographic” magazine for the first time.
  • 1897 – The first Library of Congress building opened its doors to the public. 
  • 1982 – Honda became the first Asian auto company to produce cars in the US.

November 2 is the 306th day of the year. There are 59 days remaining until the end of the year

  • 1895 – The first gasoline-powered car race in the US was held. First prize was $2,000.
  • 1898 – Organized cheerleading began at the University of Minnesota.
  • 1917 – The Balfour Declaration stated British support for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
  • 1920 – KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA begins broadcasting as the first commercial radio station
  • 1936 – Rose Bird, American jurist & Chief Justice of CA Supreme Court, was born. She was the first woman Justice and first woman Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. She died in 1999.
  • 1936 – The BBC Television Service was inaugurated.
  • 1960 – Penguin Books was found not guilty of obscenity in publishing Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
  • 1988 – The Morris worm, the first Internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, was launched from MIT.

November 3 is the 307th day of the year. There are 58 days remaining until the end of the year.

  • 1817 – The Bank of Montreal, Canada’s oldest chartered bank, opened in Montreal, Quebec.
  • 1838 – The Times of India, the world's largest circulated  English-language daily broadsheet newspaper was founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.
  • 1911 – Chevrolet officially entered the auto market in competition with the Ford Model T.
  • 1913 – The US introduced an income tax.
  • 1918 – Elizabeth P. Hoisington, American Brigadier General, was born. She died in 2007.
  • 1926 – Annie Oakley, American sharpshooter, died. She was born in 1860.
  • 1964 – Washington, D.C. residents were able to vote in a Presidential election for the first time
  • 1998 – Bob Kane, comic artist and Batman co-creator, died. He was born in 1915.

November 4 is the 308th day of the year. There are 57 days remaining until the end of the year.

  • 1737 – The Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest continuously used opera house in Europe, opened.
  • 1922 – British archaeologist Howard Carter and his team found the entrance to Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
  • 1924 – Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming was elected the first female governor in the US.
  • 1960 – At the Kasakela Chimpanzee Community in Tanzania, Dr. Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees creating tools, the first-ever observation in non-human animals.
  • 1980 – Elsie MacGill, Canadian aeronautical engineer and the world's first woman aircraft designer, died. She was born in 1905.
  • 2008 – Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected US President.

November 5 is the 309th day of the year. There are 56 days remaining until the end of the year.

  • 1857 – Ida Tarbell, American muckraking journalist, was born. She died in 1944.
  • 1872 – In defiance of the law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony voted for the first time, and was fined $100 for doing so.
  • 1895 – George B. Selden was granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.
  • 1942 – George M. Cohan, American musician, actor, writer, and composer, died. He was born in 1878.
  • 1986 – USS Rentz, USS Reeves, and USS Oldendorf visited Qingdao (Tsing Tao), China – the first US Naval visit to China since 1949.
November 6 is the 310th day of the year. There are 55 days remaining until the end of the year.

  • 1913 – Mohandas Gandhi was arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa. 
  • 1935 – Parker Brothers acquired the forerunner patents for Monopoly from Elizabeth Magie.
  • 1947 – Meet the Press made its TV debut.
  • 1985 – The American press revealed that President Ronald Reagan had authorized the shipment of arms to Iran.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom: Grace 5 - Hawk!


As Grace, Tux, and I walked along the park path minding our own business as well as Grace and Tux doing their business, a hawk came swooping out of a nearby tree and dipped low. Only Grace noticed it. Tux was busy ascertaining whether a grasshopper was a serious threat to the security of his family.
Grace followed the flight pattern of the hawk. It was by far the largest bird she’d ever seen. When the hawk settled gracefully on a large branch of a nearby tree, Grace watched it. When it didn’t take flight again, Grace lost interest. She moved closer to her brother and nudged him with her nose as if to say, “Did you see that?” He, of course, was oblivious, but to be supportive of his sister, he looked around with a look that clearly said, “Huh? What?” Grace rolled her eyes and turned away. She glanced at the hawk still on its branch, still watching us.
I assumed the hawk was trying to decide how to get the tasty-looking black cocker spaniel, with just enough meat on her bones to be juicy, back to its nest. I didn’t like the way the hawk was tracking Grace and so decided it was time to depart the scene before the hawk could figure out the logistics of kidnapping Grace. 
Grace, too, seemed to be aware of the hawk’s intention. As we made our way back along the path toward where we’d left the car, I noticed Gracie glancing over her shoulder. We moved up the walkway with more speed than we generally move at that hour of the morning.
When we finally rounded the corner, we were out of sight of the hawk. Grace and I visibly relaxed, and Tux wanted to know why we were slowing down. He was more interested in getting to the car and getting back home to his breakfast. 
As we sauntered along the path, the hawk came by for yet another look at the tempting tidbit ambling along the walkway. Grace had seen it too and began pulling on the leash in an effort to get us to the car faster or, at least, to the path with its leafy canopy. Since Grace is not a hurrier, I picked up the pace. 
Soon, we were racing (well, for us, it was racing, for others it might have looked more like a lively saunter) for the car. I couldn’t get Grace and Tux into the car fast enough. Or myself, for that matter. 
We’ll never know if the hawk figured out the physics of picking up and flying off with an object that weighed three times what he did. Probably not. Hopefully not. One never knows though. Better to be safely at home than fighting hawks, I say.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week of October 24 in History

I fell in love with history in the ninth grade in a World History class when the teacher taught Egyptian history (thank you, Miss Fischer!), and made it come alive. I have been collecting historical bits of information for years. A year ago, I began tweeting historical facts every day. This blog entry is like the “best of” the events, births, and deaths that occurred during this week. If you want to read even more of these events on a daily basis. Follow me on Twitter at @kay_bigelow
October 24
October 24 is the 297th day of the year. There are 68 days remaining until the end of the year.
October 24 is United Nations Day (International). 
October 24 is World Development Information Day (International).
  • 1260 – The Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France. The cathedral is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. 
  • 1851 – The moons Umbriel and Ariel were discovered orbiting Uranus by William Lassell.
  • 1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph line across the US was completed, effectively ending the 18-month-old Pony Express.
  • 1901 - Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
  • 1911 – Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in a Wright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
  • 1929 – The New York Stock Exchange crashed on what is now called Black Thursday.
  • 1945 – The United Nations was founded.
  • 1947 – Walt Disney testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), naming employees he believed to be communists.
  • 1949 – The cornerstone of the UN Headquarters was laid in New York City.
  • 1954 – President Eisenhower pledged US support to South Vietnam.
  • 1991 – Gene Roddenberry.  American creator of“Star Trek, died. He was born in 1921.
  • 2005 – Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist, died. She was born in 1913.
  • 2006 – Enolia McMillan, American civil rights activist and first woman president of the NAACP, died. She was born in 1904.
  • 2008 – Stock exchanges around the world saw the worst declines in their history, losing 10% of their values in most indices. The day is called “Black Friday.”
October 25
October 25 is the 298th day of the year. There are 67 days remaining until the end of the year. 
  • 1400 – Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet, was born. 
  • 1838 – Georges Bizet, French composer, was born. He died in 1875.
  • 1861 – The Toronto Stock Exchange opened.
  • 1941 – Anne Tyler, American author of 21 books, was born. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for Breathing Lesson.
October 26
October 26 is the 299th day of the year. There are 66 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1774 – The first Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1825 – The Erie Canal opened, providing a passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.
  • 1854– C.W. Post, American breakfast cereal (Grape Nuts) magnate, was born. He died in 1914.
  • 1861 – The Pony Express officially ceased operations.
  • 1861 – The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place at Tombstone, Arizona.
  • 1902 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American feminist and suffragette. She was born in 1815.
  • 1947 – Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State, was born.
  • 1957 - Gerty Theresa Cori died. She was an American biochemist who became the third woman—and first American woman—to win a Nobel Prize in science, and the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She was born in 1896.
  • 1959 – The world saw the far side of the Moon for the first time.
  • 1977 – The last natural case of smallpox was discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccinations.
  • 1999 – Britain’s House of Lords voted to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament.
  • 2001 – The United States passed the USA Patriot Act into law.

October 27
October 27 is the 300th day of the year. There are 65 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1682 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was founded. 
  • 1858 – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born. He died in 1919.
  • 1904 – The first underground New York City subway line opened.
  • 1994 – The US prison population topped 1 million for the first time.

October 28
October 28 is the 301st day of the year. There are 64 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1538 – The first university in the New World was established in the Dominican Republic.
  • 1636 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony established the first college in America, later known as Harvard University. 
  • 1886 – The Statue of Liberty was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland.
  • 1955 – Bill Gates, American software executive, was born.
  • 1965 - Pope Paul VI issued the “Nostra Aetate,” which absolved the Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus, reversing Pope Innocent III’s 760 year-old declaration.
October 29
October 29 is the 302nd day of the year. There are 63 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1863 – The International Red Cross is formed by 18 countries meeting in Geneva.
  • 1886 – The first ticker-tape parade took place in New York City when office workers threw ticker tapes into the streets as the Statue of Liberty was dedicated.
  • 1938 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia & first woman head of state in Africa, was born.
  • 1964 – A collection of gems, including the 565 carat Star of India, was stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City
  • 1966 – The National Organization for Women was founded.
  • 1969 – The US Supreme Court ruled that school districts had to end segregation “now and hereafter.”
  • 1969 – The first computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.
  • 2008 – Delta Air Lines merged with Northwest Airlines, creating the world's largest airline.
October 30
  • October 30 is the 303rd day of the year. There are 62 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1945 – Jackie Robinson signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first Black player in major league baseball.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom: Tux 36 - Missed Opportunity

Our walk was, for all practical purposes, well, uneventful. The weather was cool as the sun had barely risen over the rooftops of the neighborhood’s homes. It was a welcome relief from the days of sweltering temperatures during the day and humid nights. The breeze that occasionally kicked up as we strolled along the path was both welcome  and raising the hope that this day wouldn’t turn ugly on us.
As we turned the corner to head back to the car, I noticed a small creature standing in front of us. It was only barely on the sidewalk and would have been unnoticeable had it been in the nearby grass. 
I waited for Tux to snap into hunter mode, but he seemed not to see the creature. Even Grace seemed not to notice the lurking creature. A dog bark from somewhere across the street caught Tux’s attention. He stared hard into the neighborhood hoping to catch sight of loud-mouthed dog. 
We moved slowly up the sidewalk, but the creature declined to remove itself from our path. Did it not realize the danger it was in? We did, after all, have an intrepid hunter with us who, if he ever sighted the creature, would hunt it down. Instead of fleeing, it continued to hold its ground.
I began to think that maybe it was injured and unable to leave the eminent danger a mere 18 inches away. It was then that I realized that this was no creature. It was bird. A baby bird. A baby Cardinal. No wonder it was sitting placidly on the sidewalk. It had no experience with someone like Tux. The closer we got, the clearer it became that it was, indeed, a baby Cardinal.
Just as I was deciding to take Tux and Grace on a detour, the baby flew away, although it had a tough time gaining altitude. At the same time, Tux finally noticed it. He was totally stunned as he watched it fly away.
Lesson Learned
Tux had once again missed an opportunity to be a real hunter. Do we humans do the same thing? Do we miss opportunities because we are distracted by the equivalent of a barking dog?

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Week of October 17 in History

I fell in love with history in the ninth grade in a World History class when the teacher taught Egyptian history (thank you, Miss Fischer!). I have been collecting historical bits of information for years. A year ago, I began tweeting historical facts every day. This blog entry is like the “best of” the events, births, and deaths that occurred during this week. If you want to read even more of these events on a daily basis. Follow me on Twitter at @kay_bigelow
October 17
October 17 is the 290th day of the year. There are 75 days remaining until the end of the year. 
October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. 
  • 1711 – Jupiter Hammon, American poet & 1st published Black published, was born. He died in 1806.
  • 1910 – Julia Ward Howe, American composer and abolitionist, died. She most well known as the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic. She was born in 1819. 
  • 1933 – Albert Einstein, fleeing Nazi Germany, moved to the U.S.
  • 1956 – The first commercial nuclear power station was officially opened in England.
  • 1979 – Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 
  • 1979 – The US Department of Education was created.
  • 1979 – The US Department of Health and Human Services was created. 
October 18
October 18 is the 291st day of the year. There are 74 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1648 – Boston Shoemakers form first American labor organization.
  • 1775 – African-American poet Phillis Wheatley was freed from slavery.
  • 1851 – Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” was first published as “The Whale.” 
  • 1867 – The US took possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2m.
  • 1898 – Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the US
  • 1922 – The British Broadcasting Company was founded to provide a national broadcasting service.
  • 1929 – The Canadian Judicial Committee overruled the Supreme Court and declared women to be "Persons" under Canadian law. 
  • 1954 – Texas Instruments announced the first transistor radio.
  • 1950 – Wendy Wasserstein, American Tony Award & Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, was born. She died in 2006.
  • 1973 – Walt Kelly, American cartoonist of “Pogo,” died. He was born in 1913. 
  • 1985 – The Nintendo Entertainment System was released.
  • 1985 – Super Mario Bros. game was released.
  • 2000 – Gwen Verdon, American dancer, died. She was born in 1925.
October 19
October 19 is the 292nd day of the year. There are 73 days remaining until the end of the year
  • 1803The United States Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase. 
  • 1868 – Bertha Landes, first woman mayor of a major US city (Seattle), was born. She died in 1943.
  • 1893 – Lucy Stone, American suffragist and women's rights activist, died. She was born in 1818.
  • 1931 –John le Carre, English author of 22 novels, was born.
  • 1945 – Patricia Ireland, American attorney, feminist, and president of NOW, was born.
  • 1950 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet, died. She was born in 1892. 
  • 1959 – The first discotheque opened. 
October 20
October 20 is the 293rd day of the year. There are 72 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1803 – The United State Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase, comprising 828,800 square miles of territory.
  • 1926 – Eugene Debs, American labor leader and presidential candidate, died. He was born in 1855.
  • 1936 – Anne Sullivan, American teacher of Helen Keller, died. She was born in 1866.
  • 1947– The House Un-American Activities Committee began its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years.
  • 1973 – The Sydney (Australia) Opera House opened.
October 21
October 21 is the 294th day of the year. There are 71 days remaining until the end of the year. 
October 21 is International Day of the Nacho in Mexico and the US.
  • 1774 – First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag in Colonial America, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts in defiance of British rule. 
  • 1797 – The 44-gun US Navy frigate the “USS Constitution” was launched in Boston Harbor.
  • 1816 – The Penang Free School, the oldest English-language school in Asia, was founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia by the Rev Hutchings.
  • 1824 – Joseph Aspdin patented Portland cement.
  • 1833 – Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prize, was born. He died in 1896.
  • 1854 – Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses were sent to the Crimean War.
  • 1867 – Near Medicine Lodge, KS, a landmark treaty was signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty required the Plains tribes to relocate a reservation in western Oklahoma,
  • 1879 – Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13½ hours before burning out).
  • 1959 – The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public in New York City.
October 22
  • October 22 is the 295th day of the year. There are 70 days remaining until the end of the year. 
  • October 22 is International Stuttering Awareness Day.
  • 1883 – The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opened. 
  • 1906 – Paul Cezanne, French painter, died. He was born in 1839.
  • 1919 – Doris Lessing, British author & Nobel Prize laureate, was born.
  • 1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but refused the award.
  • 1981 – The US Federal Labor Relations Authority voted to decertify the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization for striking.
October 23
  • October 23 is the 296th day of the year. There are 69 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1707 – The first Parliament of Great Britain met.
  • 1861 – US President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Washington, D.C. for all military-related cases.
  • 1915 – In NYC, 33,000 suffragists marched up Fifth Avenue.
  • 1929 – The first North American transcontinental air service began between NYC and Los Angeles, CA.
  • 1946 – The UN General Assembly convened for the first time, in an auditorium in Flushing (NYC).
  • 2001 – Apple released the iPod.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Older Wisdom: Tux 35 - Squirrelly Behavior



We were in the park the other day and saw something I’d never seen before. First, though, I heard a new sound. It wasn’t yet another bird’s song I didn’t recognize. The sound sounded familiar yet wasn’t. So what was it?
Tux spotted a movement on a tree and stopped dead in his tracks staring at a tree about 20 feet in front of us. Grace was unperturbed and continued her quest for new smells in the three-inch-high grass. 
I looked around trying to see what had caught Tux’s attention. There was nothing that I could see that was out of the ordinary. In the distance, I saw the Mallards amiably strolling toward their neck of the woods and the pond in the ravine. Across the street from the park, the Westies were sunning themselves in the early morning sun. Nope, nothing extraordinary going on in the park. But Tux was like a statue - standing rigidly still, one front paw pulled up in his classic hunter’s stance. 
As I looked up in the direction that Tux was staring in so intently, I finally saw what he had seen. It was a squirrel. Nothing unusual about seeing a squirrel in the park. This squirrel though, was quite different. He had a plastic cup in his mouth. And he wasn’t about to drop it just because some Cocker Spaniel hunter came into view. He was angry at being disturbed. He was chittering at us, but the sound came out muffled as he chittered behind his cup.
The squirrel had stopped in his tracks and was starring at Tux. Tux stared back at the squirrel. I stared at the squirrel. The squirrel ignored me. It was Tux he was interested in. Grace finally figured out that Tux and I were mesmerized by something so she looked in the direction we were looking. She saw the squirrel and then she looked at me as if to ask what was so interesting about a silly old squirrel?
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’d never seen a squirrel carrying even a branch let alone a plastic cup. I couldn’t imagine what had struck this squirrel about the cup. One thing was for sure, though, he was not going to drop his cup. Before I could dig my iPhone out of my pocket to take a photo of the squirrel, he was on the move.
The squirrel surprised me. Instead of heading up the tree and to safety, he came down the tree toward the ground. What was he thinking? Down he came. About six inches from the ground, he jumped down. Sprinting toward another tree, he jumped onto it and scurried upward.
In the meantime, we all stood stock still watching the squirrel. He never dropped his precious cup. I surmised he had headed to his home tree. I suspected, too, he had a nest in the tree he risked life, limb, and cup to reach. I looked upward, but saw no discernible nest in the boughs of the large tree. 
Tux was reluctant to leave the scene. He undoubtedly thought that either the squirrel with his cup still firmly gripped between his teeth would return or this was a trend and another squirrel with a cup would come down the tree. Neither event occurred and I dragged him back onto the path and on to our morning walk.
Lesson Learn:
Keep an eye out for the unexpected.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Week of October 10 in History

I fell in love with history in the ninth grade in a World History class when the teacher taught Egyptian history (thank you, Miss Fischer!). I have been collecting historical bits of information for years. A year ago, I began tweeting historical facts every day. This blog entry is like the “best of” the events, births, and deaths that occurred during this week. If you want to read even more of these events on a daily basis. Follow me on Twitter at @kay_bigelow



October 10
  • October 10 is the 283rd day of the year. There are 82 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1837 – Robert Gould Shaw, American Army officer who commanded the 54th Regiment, an all-Black infantry regiment. He was killed at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. 
  • 1944 – 800 Gypsy children were murdered at Auschwitz concentration camp. 
  • 1945 – The Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang signed a principle agreement in Chongqing about the future of post-war China. Later, the pact was commonly referred to as the Double-Ten Agreement
  • 1957 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologizes to Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, Ghana Finance Minister, after he was refused service in a Dover, DE restaurant.
  • 1964 – The opening ceremony at the 1965 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan was broadcast live in the first Olympic telecast relayed by geostationary communication satellite.
  • 2010 – Joan Sutherland, Australian operatic soprano, died. She was born in 1926.
October 11
  • October 11 is the 284th day of the year. There are 81 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1811 – Inventor John Stevens’ boat, the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry service between NYC and Hoboken, NJ.
  • 1872 – Emily Davison, English suffragette, was born. She died carrying a suffragette flag in 1913 after stepping in front of King George’s horse running in the Epsom Derby, sustaining injuries that resulted in her death four days later.
  • 1910 – Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes in a plane built by the Wright Brothers at Kinloch Field in St. Louis, Missouri
  • 1912 - Betty Noyes, singer who dubbed Debbie Reynolds' singing voice in “Singin in the Rain,” was born.
  • 1968 - NASA launched Apollo 7, the 1st successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter Cunningham on board.
  • 1975 – The NBC show Saturday Night Live debuted with George Carlin as host and Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian, and Billy Preston as guests.
  • 1984 – Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to perform a space walk.
October 12
  • October 12 is the 285th day of the year.There are 80 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • October 12 is National Coming Out Day in the UK. 
  • October 12 is Freethought Day in the US.
  • 1692 – The Salem witch trials were ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips.
  • 1773 – America's first insane asylum opened for “Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds” in Virginia.
  • 1792 – The first celebration of Columbus Day in the US was held in NYC.
  • 1901 – The Executive Mansion is renamed the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt. 
  • 1908 – Ann Petry, American author of 4 novels, was born. She was the first African-American woman author to reach a million books sold. She died in 1997.
  • 1915 – Edith Cavell, English nurse, died in front of a firing squad for helping approx. 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during WWI. She was arrested and found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. She was born in 1867. 
  • 1928 – An “iron lung” respirator was used for the first time at Children's Hospital in Boston. 
  • 1964 – The Soviet Union launched the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew & the first flight without space suits.
  • 1979 – The “Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams was published. 
  • 1999 – The 6 billionth living human in the world was born. 
  • 2000 – The USS Cole was badly damaged off Aden, Yemen by two suicide bombers. Seventeen crew members were killed.
October 13

  • October 13 is the 286th day of the year. There are 79 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 1307 – Hundreds of Knights Templar were simultaneously arrested by agents of King Phillip of France and tortured into a confessing to heresy. 
  • 1792 – The cornerstone of the Executive Mansion (the name was changed to White House by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1901) was laid.
  • 1881 – The start of the revival of the Hebrew language as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and friends agree to only speak Hebrew.
  • 1945 – Milton S. Hershey, American candy maker, died. He was born in 1857.
  • 1967 – The first game of the American Basketball Association was played as the Anaheim Amigos lose to the Oakland Oaks134-129 in Oakland, CA.
  • 1976 – The first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle was obtained by Dr. F.A. Murphy.
  • 1983 – Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, IL. 
  • 2005 – Vivian Malone Jones, American civil rights activist, died. She was born in 1942. She was one of the first two African Americans to try to enroll at the U of Alabama in 1963, but was blocked by Governor George Wallace from enrolling at the then all-white university.
  • 2010 – The 2010 Copiapo mining accident in Chile came to an end as all 33 miners arrive at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground awaiting rescue.
October 14
  • October 14 is the 287th day of the year. There are 78 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • October 14 is the International World Standards Day.
  • 1066 – In England, the Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeated the English army and killed English King Harold II. 
  • 1322 – Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeated King Edward II of England, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence.
  • 1773 – The first recorded Ministry of Education was formed in Poland.
  • 1894  – e.e. cummings, American poet, was born. He died in 1962.
  • 1926 – The “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne was first published.
  • 1979 – The first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights occurred. The demands were "an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of lesbian and gay people,” and drew 200,000 people.
  • 1990 – Leonard Bernstein, American composer and conductor, died. He was born in 1918. #music #composers #conductors
October 15
  • October 15 is the 288th day of the year. There are 77 days remaining until the end of the year.
  • 70 BCE – Virgil, Roman poet, was born. He died in 19 BCE.
  • 1878 – The Edison Electric Light Company began operation.
  • 1910 – Airship America launched from NJ in the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by a powered aircraft.
  • 1939  – The New York Municipal Airport (renamed LaGuardia Airport) was dedicated.
  • 1956 – Fortran, the first modern computer language, was shared with the coding community for the first time.
  • 1964 – Cole Porter, American composer, died. He was born in 1891.
  • 1989 – Wayne Gretzky became the all-time leading points scorer in the National Hockey League.
  • 2008 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 733.08 points, the second worst day in the Dow’s history based on a percentage drop.
October 16
  • October 16 is the 289th day of the year. There are 76 days remaining until the end of the year. 
  • October 16 is World Food Day (International). 
  • 1758 - Noah Webster, American lexicographer, was born. He died in 1843.
  • 1846 – William Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital using the ether dome.
  • 1940 – Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. was named the first African American general in the US Army.
  • 1968 - United States’ athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos were kicked off the USA's team for participating in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute.
  • 1998 – Jon Postel, American Internet pioneer, died. He was born in 1943.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom: Tux 34 - Alarm Clock Needs

For more years than I care to say and with few exceptions, I’ve not set an alarm clock. Who needs one when I have Tux? His internal alarm clock is more persistently accurate than my own so we use his.
Of course, his alarm clock can be more erratic than mine. Take this morning, Tux began his pacing, which can be as annoying as any inanimate alarm clock, at 5:30 am. He paces from the back door to my side of the bed over and over until I wake up. If that doesn’t work, he’ll put his front paws on the bed near my head and stares. That always works. I don’t know what it is about a staring dog, but it works every time. I got up and let him and his sister, Grace, outside. I prefer to get up around six, he gets up whenever nature calls.
Ignore him, you say? Not possible. Nor is it particularly smart considering that he needs to go outside. Ignoring him has dire consequences that I prefer not to face at any hour, but particularly not at 5:30 in the morning.
Occasionally, I’ll wake up and glance at the clock and find that it’s after seven. I don’t know why that happens. Tux is fast asleep and has to be awakened. I’ve often wondered if he gets up in the middle of the night and watches TV or something. I can imagine him sitting in my chair with his paw on the remote surfing the channels until he comes across something interesting like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show or old reruns of Lassie.
Lesson Learned
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. It is much more pleasant being awakened by a pacing Tux than the blare of an electronic alarm clock. Plus, since he’s not terribly consistent, it’s always interesting not knowing when I’ll be awakened. Adds a bit of spice to my life and I’ve learned not to make many very early appointments, a bonus in and of itself.