Day By Day

Friday, October 09, 2009

This Day In History

Today is Leif Eriksson Day, honoring the first European who can be documented as having set foot in the Americas. Sometime around 2002 AD he sailed westward from Greenland and found a new land which he called Vinland. Today the Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland is considered to be a settlement he founded.

Eriksson was not the first European to see America..., that honor goes to Bjarni Herjulfsson, who made the journey west from Greenland approximately fifteen years earlier, and reported seeing new lands, but he never went ashore. It was Herjulfsson's report that inspired Eriksson to take his journey.

And on this day in 1781 Continental and French troops at Yorktown under the command of George Washington begin shelling the British defenders..., for Cornwallis the end is nigh. And on the same day in 1888 the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. is opened to the public. Back in the old days, when they allowed you to do silly things there, my sister and I raced to the top. She beat me.

And on this day in 1865 the first underground pipeline for carrying oil was laid in Pennsylvania. People forget this, but the worlds first great oil boom took place in Western Pennsylvania.

And on this day in 1916 Babe Ruth set a World Series record by completing a streak of 29 2/3 scoreless innings. [People forget that Ruth was first a great, great, pitcher before he became the greatest hitter in baseball history]. The record stood until 1961 when Whitey Ford broke it, (coincidentally on the same day of the year).

And on this day in 1950 UN troops, spearheaded by the First Cavalry Division, drove north of the 38th parallel in Korea.

And on this day in 2009 the Nobel Peace Prize became what many of us have long suspected it of being..., a joke...., a bad joke.