It’s Friday, August 2, 2019, and National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. (Are these unique to the U.S. and Canada?) It’s also Dinosaurs Day. And, since it’s the first Friday in August, it’s International Beer Day.
Stuff that happened on this day in history includes:
- 1610 – During Henry Hudson’s search for the Northwest Passage, he sails into what is now known as Hudson Bay.
- 1776 – The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place.
- 1790 – The first United States Census is conducted
- 1870 – Tower Subway, the world’s first underground tube railway, opens in London, England, United Kingdom.
- 1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge becomes U.S. President upon the death of President Warren G. Harding.
- 1932 – The positron (antiparticle of the electron) is discovered by Carl D. Anderson.
This particle was, of course, first predicted by Paul Dirac in 1928. It had been observed previously, but Anderson is credited with the discovery, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1936. It was the first antimatter particle to be detected.
- 1934 – Gleichschaltung: Adolf Hitler becomes Führer of Germany following the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.
- 1937 – The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is passed in America, the effect of which is to render marijuana and all its by-products illegal.
Well, I’m not quite sure how it worked, as what the Act involved was taxing all sales of “marihuana”, and some people even paid that tax. Here, for example, is a Marihuana Tax Stamp from 1937. At any rate, the act was repealed in 1970 and in many states (including Illinois on January 1!), weed is now legal, though still illegal on the federal level. Some reader can explain the Tax Act to us.
I bet these stamps are worth a lot.
- 1939 – Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard write a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon.
Here’s the letter: Szilard wrote it and Einstein signed it. Roosevelt, of course, did not ignore it:
- 1990 – Iraq invades Kuwait, eventually leading to the Gulf War.
- 2018 – Apple Inc. became the first U.S. company to be valued at over $1 trillion.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1820 – John Tyndall, Irish-English physicist and mountaineer (d. 1893)
- 1865 – Irving Babbitt, American academic and critic (d. 1933)
- 1905 – Myrna Loy, American actress (d. 1993)
- 1924 – Carroll O’Connor, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2001)
- 1932 – Peter O’Toole, British-Irish actor and producer (d. 2013)
- 1937 – Garth Hudson, Canadian keyboard player, songwriter, and producer
Hudson, along with Robbie Robertson, are the only two surviving members of The Band, one of the great rock groups of all time. I’ve heard them play live twice, once in a very small theater (room, really) at The University of Maryland.
As for Myrna Loy, half of the hard-drinking couple (along with William Powell) in “The Thin Man” series, well, I always had a thing for her. Here’s a bibulous scene from one movie:
Others born on August 2 include:
- 1942 – Isabel Allende, Chilean-American novelist, essayist, essayist
- 1964 – Mary-Louise Parker, American actress
Those who expired on August 2 include:
- 1788 – Thomas Gainsborough, English painter (b. 1727)
- 1859 – Horace Mann, American educator and politician (b. 1796)
- 1876 – “Wild Bill” Hickok, American sheriff (b. 1837)
- 1921 – Enrico Caruso, Italian tenor and actor (b. 1873)
- 1922 – Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-Canadian engineer, invented the telephone (b. 1847)
- 1923 – Warren G. Harding, American journalist and politician, 29th President of the United States (b. 1865)
- 1934 – Paul von Hindenburg, German field marshal and politician, 2nd President of Germany (b. 1847)
- 1955 – Wallace Stevens, American poet and educator (b. 1879)
- 1986 – Roy Cohn, American lawyer and politician (b. 1927)
- 1997 – William S. Burroughs, American novelist, short story writer, and essayist (b. 1914).
Gainsborough, unlike many other artists of his era (Delacroix is an exception) really could draw cats. Here’s his “Six studies of a cat” (chalk on paper) drawn between 1763 and 1769:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is splitting hairs as he wonders whether to jump on the back of the sofa:
Bruce Thiel sent a photo of scary and funny peppers that appeared on Facebook:
A free-will (or rather, anti-free-will) cartoon sent by Julian, from Harry Bliss:
A tweet Grania sent me on December 3 of last year. She loved the “Bodega Cats” Twitter site:
— Bodega Cats (@Bodegacats_) December 2, 2018
The tweet below comes from The Friendly Atheist via reader David. Arizona State Representative Athena Saliman delivered a secular invocation to the state House in 2017, and just did it again. Here’s what Hemant says:
On Monday, Salman delivered another invocation. This one was more tailored to her personal atheistic views, but it was hardly demeaning to anyone else. Yet watch what happens after her speech in the video below. Republican State Rep. John Kavanagh asks to speak, then proceeds to mock Salman by invoking his personal God in what can only be described as a Christian attempt at humor.
This is what we, as nonbelievers, are up against. None of us would engage in this kind of mockery in a legislature, but Christians feel entitled to do so. Kavanagh is an ass. Salman’s invocation is the second tweet, and her response to the jackass Kavanagh’s snarky response is above it:
Rep. Salman was protesting Rep. Kavanagh's response to this invocation on Monday during Secular Day at the Arizona Capitol. Kavanagh's mocking response follows the invocation. #AZLEG pic.twitter.com/FwR1wImprF
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) February 12, 2019
From Nilou: I’m glad I didn’t hear Biden screw up this way, though it’s sort of funny. But he seems to be losing his train of thought a lot these days, and I wonder what’s going on. . .
“If you agree with me, go to ‘Joe 30330'," Joe Biden said. The closest URL — https://t.co/2BX9XfDErs — directed visitors to an apparent spoof campaign, “Josh for America,” which is anchored on a “no homework in college position.”https://t.co/3Dyc7laVwP
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 1, 2019
From reader J. J. I used to collect “world’s fattest cat” stories from the tabloids, and here’s another. The kittens don’t look so fat!
Just time for a quick look at the papers… pic.twitter.com/QmHPPgUvKt
— Pulp Librarian (@PulpLibrarian) July 30, 2019
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. The first one shows an extremely dumb moggie:
Heather got this one from Ann German:
Two tweets from Matthew Cobb. I would love to find a fossil like this guy did. He clearly knows what he’s doing!
Cazando fósiles pic.twitter.com/4OZjoxdseK
— Becario en Hoth (@becarioenhoth) August 1, 2019
And look at this lovely bouquet of snakes!
Baby vine snakes are the cutest!! 🐍
— Nasidoe 🌺 (@entobird) July 31, 2019