It’s the long Labor Day weekend in the U.S., starting today: August 31, 2019. And although summer doesn’t end for three weeks, it sure feels like it. It’s National Trail Mix Day, National Diatomaceous Earth Day, International Bacon Day, which is not inclusive of Jews or Muslims.
Stuff that happened on this day includes:
- 1864 – During the American Civil War, Union forces led by General William T. Sherman launch an assault on Atlanta.
Sherman captured the city on December 21, offering it to President Lincoln as a “Christmas present.” Some present!:
- 1897 – Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.
Well, it didn’t project anything, except to a single viewer who looked down the device (below). However, it used the principle of later “real” motion pictures: moving a sprocketed batch of still pictures on film past a light:
- 1939 – Nazi Germany mounts a false flag attack on the Gleiwitz radio station, creating an excuse to attack Poland the following day, thus starting World War II in Europe.
Bad mistake in the long run! Gleiwitz is not Gliwice in Poland, and still has the famous wooden radio tower: the tallest wooden structure in Europe (below). Using the pretext of this false attack, the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, and, since both the UK and France had treaties with Poland, they declared war on Germany on September 3. Then the Soviets invaded Poland on September 17. Replacing the credulous Chamberlain, Churchill became Prime Minister on May 10 of the next year.
- 1962 – Trinidad and Tobago becomes independent.
- 1997 – Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris.
- 2006 – Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream, stolen on August 22, 2004, is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1870 – Maria Montessori, Italian physician and educator (d. 1952)
- 1903 – Arthur Godfrey, American radio and television host (d. 1983)
- 1907 – William Shawn, American journalist (d. 1992)
- 1918 – Alan Jay Lerner, American songwriter and composer (d. 1986)
- 1935 – Eldridge Cleaver, American activist and author (d. 1998)
- 1940 – Robbie Basho, American guitarist, pianist, and composer (d. 1986)
- 1945 – Van Morrison, Northern Irish singer-songwriter
- 1945 – Itzhak Perlman, Israeli-American violinist and conductor
In honor of Van Morrison’s birthday, here’s one of my favorite songs—a song he wrote and then released in 1989. Yes, it conflates earthy love with religion, but it’s still a lovely ballad.
Those who expired on August 31 include:
- 1528 – Matthias Grünewald, German artist (b. 1470)
- 1867 – Charles Baudelaire, French poet and critic (b. 1821)
- 1969 – Rocky Marciano, American boxer (b. 1923)
- 1986 – Henry Moore, English sculptor and illustrator (b. 1898)
- 1997 – Dodi Fayed, Egyptian film producer (b. 1955)
- 1997 – Diana, Princess of Wales (b. 1961)
I must mention that Grünewald painted what I consider the finest—or at least the most moving—work of art in history: the Isenheim Altarpiece (1512-1516, and I’ve never seen it in person ). Here it is. The “Christ rising” panel is stunning.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili mourns the summer’s drought. “The barren soil” is the name of Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” in Polish.
Hili: The barren soil.A: The rain will come and everything will be green again.
Hili: Ziemia jałowa.Ja: Spadnie deszcz i znowu wszystko się zazieleni.
Two cat memes from Merilee:
A tweet Grania sent me on March 22 of this year. It has to be seen to be believed. Trigger warning: spit!
THIS JUST HAPPENED LIVE!!! pic.twitter.com/vEYfjtTo7S
— Valerie Breiman (@ValerieBreiman) March 22, 2019
It’s the risk-taking behavior!
From reader Barry. Looks like we’re going to have at least three tweets with people provoking animals and coming to a bad end:
Happy Hump Day!💪😊😉 pic.twitter.com/SGBXOf6TtZ
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 28, 2019
Two tweets from Heather Hastie:
Two lovely cats with heterochromia. I think they’re Turkish Van cats, which tend to be odd-eyed.
Three tweets from Matthew Cobb, the first showing another animal-provoker coming to grief. I know plenty of people who deserve to GET THE HORN:
if you mess with the thicc unicorn you get the horn.
that’s the law. https://t.co/BjKZqS0jBy
— matthew t. warax 🦛💨 (@iAmTheWarax) August 30, 2019
A nice man who rescues raccoons (sound up):
Look who this raccoon was hiding in someone's attic 💗 pic.twitter.com/894M0F2YKb
— The Dodo (@dodo) August 21, 2019
Who knew that orcas could mimic human voices?
Hello twitter? You need to listen to this. I'm in tears from laughing so hard.
— Shannon Stirone 💀 (@shannonmstirone) August 30, 2019