Day By Day

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Day In History

Today is Elephant Appreciation Day, so go out and find an elephant and hug him/her. If you can't find an elephant, a Republican will do.

Today is also 1 Vendémiaire of An I in the French Revolutionary Calendar, the first day of the first month of the first year of the First Republic of France.

On this date in 2390 [Shire Reckoning] Bilbo Baggins was born.

And on this day in 1776 Captain Nathan Hale was hanged as a spy by the British in New York City.

On this day in 1862, Abraham Lincoln announced his Emancipation Proclamation. At the time this was a hugely controversial act and it has remained so. The wikipedia article [here] does a pretty good job of sketching out the major lines of controversy. Technically, Lincoln's proclamation did not free any slaves, nor was it primarily intended to do so [it was meant to encourage secessionist states to rejoin the Union and also to influence British public opinion] , but it inspired many slaves to seek their own freedom and, in the eyes of some military commanders and politicians, made freeing the slaves a major war aim.

And on this day in 1911 Cy Young, age 44, shut out the Pirates to notch his 511th [yes, that's right..., 511] career victory.

And on this date in 1960 Joan Jett, a girl who really loves rock-'n-roll, was born in Philly, and on the very same day Scott Baio was born in New York. Wow.

And one year to the day after Joan and Scott were born President Kennedy established the Peace Corps [hey, just connecting the dots, as Glenn Beck would say].

And on this date in 1975 Sara Jane Moore tried and failed to assassinate President Ford. [Coincidence? I think not!]

And on this date in 1980 Saddam Hussein launches an attack on Iran, initiating one of the bloodiest conflicts since WWII. [I'm not saying Joan and Scott had anything to do with it, but you gotta wonder.]