August is drawing nigh: it’s Tuesday, July 30, 2019, and once again it’s National Cheesecake Day. It’s also International Day of Friendship (mostly a South American fête), as well as National Father-in-Law Day.
Stuff that happened on July 30 includes:
- 1419 – First Defenestration of Prague: A crowd of radical Hussites kill seven members of the Prague city council.
Yes, the councilmen were thrown out of the window of the Town Hall. A second defenestration (nice word, eh?) took place in 1618, not killing the defenestrated but precipitating the Thirty Years’ War.
- 1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time.
- 1930 – In Montevideo, Uruguay wins the first FIFA World Cup.
- 1932 – Premiere of Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.
Here’s that cartoon, which is very clever (I love the caterpillar engagement ring at the end). Watch it!
The next item is something we discussed two days ago. It’s an unconstitutional law, but the Supreme Court doesn’t want to think about it.
- 1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto.
- 1965 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.
- 1974 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.
- 1975 – Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again.
You can find a clip from the movie “Hoffa’ (1992), starring Jack Nicholson, here; it shows how the movie writer (David Mamet) imagined his death.
- 2003 – In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.
Here it is: the very last Beetle:
Notables born on this day include:
- 1818 – Emily Brontë, English novelist and poet (d. 1848)
- 1857 – Thorstein Veblen, American economist and sociologist (d. 1929)
Veblen, whose writings were unbearably turgid, got his comedown in an essay by H. L. Mencken, “Professor Veblen”, a review of his book The Theory of the Leisure Class. It’s one of the funniest and nastiest book reviews ever written. The whole thing isn’t online, but you can read a long excerpt here.
More who were born on July 30:
- 1898 – Henry Moore, English sculptor and illustrator (d. 1986)
- 1936 – Buddy Guy, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1939 – Peter Bogdanovich, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
- 1940 – Patricia Schroeder, American lawyer and politician
- 1941 – Paul Anka, Canadian singer-songwriter and actor
- 1947 – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, 38th Governor of California
- 1956 – Anita Hill, American lawyer and academic
- 1963 – Lisa Kudrow, American actress and producer
- 1974 – Hilary Swank, American actress and producer
Those who croaked on July 30 include:
- 1718 – William Penn, English businessman and philosopher, founded the Province of Pennsylvania (b. 1644)
- 1875 – George Pickett, American general (b. 1825)
- 1918 – Joyce Kilmer, American soldier, journalist, and poet (b. 1886)
- 1998 – Buffalo Bob Smith, American television host (b. 1917)
Two great directors died on the same day:
- 2007 – Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian director and screenwriter (b. 1912)
- 2007 – Ingmar Bergman, Swedish director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1918)
And then Lynn Anderson:
Remember her huge hit from 1970? I do! It was, like “Stand by Your Man,” a country crossover, reaching #1 on the Billboard country chart and #3 on the Hot 100 chart.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej wax philosophical:
Hili: You can’t predict the future.A: And you can’t change the past.Hili: So everything depends on what I do now?A: We are creating the past.
A tweet from Grania sent November 29 of last year. Be sure to enlarge the photos to see the most sinister Santas around:
A tweet from Nilou: beautiful octopuses that I didn’t know existed:
Rare 'rainbow' blanket octopuses caught on camera.
(Video: USA Today) pic.twitter.com/eAK6DmOnyp
— Nature Is Weird (@NaturelsWeird) July 29, 2019
Three tweets from Heather Hastie, who notes of the first one, “Oh dear. This cat’s day bed isn’t up to the job. Lucky for Pi and Reilley [Heather’s cat], they don’t get overfed.”
— I luv being Teamster (@JimKilbane) July 21, 2019
It is what it is. And it is a cat.
A kitty gotta do what a kitty gotta do pic.twitter.com/Fgb9PVz4uE
— HUMOROUS ANIMALS (@CUTEFUNNYANIMAL) July 19, 2019
And BFFs who should be enemies:
This parrot jumps on her favorite cat's back whenever she wants to go for a walk with him 💚 pic.twitter.com/MBuowQthJO
— The Dodo (@dodo) July 20, 2019
Tweets from Matthew, who says this first one looks like it’s from the Weekly World News (a paper I don’t know):
Just time for a quick look at the papers… pic.twitter.com/ShZUwotXQN
— Pulp Librarian (@PulpLibrarian) July 29, 2019
A funny thread of what departed physicists would post if they could use Twitter. I’ll give just the first two:
Niels Bohr's feed is entirely full of 35-part tweet storms with the threading all screwed up. #FamousPhysicistsOnTwitter
— Chad Orzel (@orzelc) July 29, 2019
What a lovely fossil. Look at the toes!
This fossil gives a whole new meaning to “sleeping with the fishes.” Protorohippus was an early species of horse that lived in Wyoming 52 million years ago. This particular individual floated out into a lake after dying, where it sank and was preserved in sediments. #DeepTime pic.twitter.com/RgCtRreoO7
— Smithsonian's NMNH (@NMNH) July 26, 2019