It’s Tuesday, the Cruelest Day: June 4, 2019. And it’s National Cheese Day. To celebrate, I will have some sharp cheddar with my salad. It’s also International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression and Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 Memorial Day (see below).
Google notes with an animated Doodle (click on screenshot) that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a huge event in the history of the LBTGQ rights movement. The riots, however, took place on June 28, 1969.
On this day in 1561, the steeple of “Old” St Paul’s cathedral in London was destroyed by a fire caused by lightning. Then the entire cathedral was destroyed in London’s Great Fire of 1666. It was one of the greatest cathedrals in Europe, with the tallest spire and, they say, wonderful stained glass. Here’s a reconstruction and an engraving of what it looked like:
On June 4, 1783, the Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrated their hot air ballon (the montgolfière). Here’s that first flight in Annonay, pilotless but attaining a height of about 2000 m:
On June 4, 1912, Massachusetts became the first state of the United States to set a minimum wage. However, what Wikipedia doesn’t tell you is that it applied only to women and children under 18, and didn’t really set a wage, but mandated that a wage should be greater than the cost of living. Very magnanimous of them!
On this day in 1913, at “The Derby” horse race in Epsom, England, the suffragette Emily Davison ran out in front of King George V’s horse and was trampled, dying four days later. The jockey recovered in a few days, and the fate of the horse I cannot determine. Davison, who had been jailed and force-fed several times for her suffragette activities, may have been trying to place a suffrage banner on the horse and miscalculated. She was a martyr to women’s rights.
Here’s a video of the event (warning: you see her get hit) and then a photo of her below that:
On June 4, 1917, according to Wikipedia, “the first Pulitzer Prizes [were] awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall receive the first Pulitzer for biography (for Julia Ward Howe). Jean Jules Jusserand receives the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days. Herbert B. Swope receives the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.”
On this day in 1919, the U.S. Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing suffrage to women. It was sent to the states for ratification and, in 1920, Tennessee became the last of the 75% of states required to make the amendment law.
On June 4, 1939 there was a sad event in the history of the Holocaust. According to Wikipedia, the ship St. Louis, carrying 963 Jewish refugees, “[was] denied permission to land in Florida, in the United States, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.”
On this day in 1942, the Battle of Midway began with a strike on Midway Island by much of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The battle was over by June 7, with irreparable damage inflicted on the Japanese fleet. Exactly two years later, a U.S. Navy ship captured the German U-boat U-505; according to Wikipedia, it was “the first time a U.S. Navy vessel had captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century.” The sub (below) is now a few blocks from where I sit, at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, where you can see inside (it’s remarkably cramped!):
Today is the 30th anniversary of the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing by the People’s Liberation Army. At least 241 people were killed, and historical images and documentation of the demonstrations, like the famous photo of “Tank Man“, are suppressed in China, so that many young Chinese don’t even know of these protests.
Finally, it was on this day in 2010 that Falcon 9 Flight 1 took place—the maiden flight of the Space Falcon 9 rocket.
It was not a bumper day for either births or deaths. Notables born on this day include George III of the UK (1738), Rosalind Russell (1907), Robert Earl Hughes (1926), Ruth Westenheimer (1928, still with us), and Michelle Phillips (1944).
Hughes (1926-1958) was, during his lifetime, the heaviest human then recorded (1069 pounds or 485 kg). But the list of the world’s heaviest people shows that Wadlow was surpassed by John Brower Minnoch, (1941-1983), the heaviest human being ever recorded, weighing in at about 1400 pounds (!) or 635 kg. His wife weighed only 110 pounds. Much of his weight was not fat, but accumulated body fluid (about 900 pounds) from chronic edema. Before he died in hospital he lost over 900 pounds, but it was too late.
Those who died on June 4 include Reinhard Heydrich (1942), Dorothy Gish (1968), and Don Zimmer (2014).
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili isn’t having much luck hunting:
Hili: The more I look…A: The more what?Hili: The more no mouse is there.
Hili: Im bardziej się przyglądam…
Ja: Tym bardziej co?
Hili: Tym bardziej nie ma tam żadnej myszy.
In Hawaii, my BFF Pi is in his box, which has been newly decorated with his own image made of paint and brushed-out Pi fur! Installation by Persis and Nilou:
Speaking of boxes and cats, Merilee sends “The Last Box On Earth”
From Facebook, of course:
A tweet sent by reader David: a beautiful balloon isopod!
— Masayoshi Matsumoto (@isopresso) May 12, 2019
Reader Barry sent this, and I agree with his take: “Can there be such a thing as a “pet-friendly” dye? I don’t believe it. Any foreign substance that a cat or a dog is going to lick seems inherently suspect to me. At the very least, doing this, even if the dye is perfectly fine, seems wrong to me. It’s an insult to the natural beauty of these animals.”
— Warriors4Wildlife_Int™ 🌐Ⓥ🐾 (@W4W_Int) June 2, 2019
Tweets from Heather Hastie, the first an interesting but a bit discomfiting sight:
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) June 2, 2019
I don’t think this cat is enjoying its belly rub, but at least it doesn’t bite. . .
Tweets from Grania: Popehat (Ken White, a First-Amendment lawyer) mocks The Federalist:
Tomorrow in The Federalist: “God Is Making His Views On Ladies’ ‘Sports’ Very Clear. Will We Listen?”https://t.co/Wsxf4Ulkvl
— TotallyExoneratedNoWrongdoingHat (@Popehat) June 1, 2019
George Clooney stands up for rationality (I may have posted this before):
— Doc Bastard (@DocBastard) May 28, 2019
Ah, the awesome corvids:
— Popular Science (@PopSci) May 31, 2019
Tweets from Matthew. One generation between the first flight and a man on the Moon:
Yes. And Buzz’s father was a friend of Orville Wright. A generation from the first flight to the moon…https://t.co/u6WQdapyG7
— Gideon Bradshaw (@eonshore) June 3, 2019
OMG these things are gorgeous! Mattew reminded that we posted about them six years ago.
There’s a spoonwinged lacewing specimen on display in the natural history section of @NtlMuseumsScot. After staring at it through glass for years I finally saw them in Northern Greece. Stunning! Also known as thread winged antlions, order Nemopteridae. @Greenwings @NatSciNMS pic.twitter.com/78tg4XpZq4
— Apithanny (@Apithanny) June 3, 2019