The week has flown by: it’s Friday, September 6, 2019, National Coffee Ice-Cream Day (why the superfluous and erroneous hyphen?). It’s also Barbie Doll Day, Fight Procrastination Day (oh, just observe it tomorrow), and Read a Book Day (this should be EVERY day).
Stuff that happened on this day includes these things, with the first six involving sea voyages:
- 1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
- 1522 – The Victoria returns to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition and the first ship to circumnavigate the world.
- 1620 – The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England on the Mayflower to settle in North America. (Old Style date; September 16 per New Style date.)
- 1628 – Puritans settle Salem which became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 1901 – Leon Czolgosz, an unemployed anarchist, shoots and fatally wounds US President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
- 1916 – The first self-service grocery store Piggly Wiggly was opened in Memphis, Tennessee by Clarence Saunders.
Before Piggy Wiggly, you went to the grocery store with a list of what you wanted and gave it to the clerk, who collected your items from shelves you couldn’t access. The public responded with tremendous enthusiasm to “pick your own groceries”, and Piggly Wiggly burgeoned. Here’s a photo of the very first store, and a historical marker now on its site. Piggly Wiggly stores still exist, but only in the South.
- 1928 – Robert M. Pirsig, American novelist and philosopher (d. 2017)
Pirsig wrote the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, a huge bestseller, especially among young people of my generation. I thought it was okay but not great, but I haven’t reread it since it came out in 1974. If anybody has, let us know what you think in the comments.
- 1966 – Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid, is stabbed to death in Cape Town, South Africa during a parliamentary meeting.
- 1972 – Munich massacre: Nine Israeli athletes die (along with a German policeman) at the hands of the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group after being taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games. Two other Israeli athletes were slain in the initial attack the previous day.
- 1991 – The Russian parliament approves the name change of Leningrad back to Saint Petersburg. The change is effective October 1, 1991.
- 1995 – Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.
Ripken still holds the record with 2,632 consecutive games (remember, the season is at most 162 games), breaking Lou Gehrig’s record of 2130 games—a record many thought was unbreakable. Here’s a video of the day he broke the record, which took him 16 years of playing in every game; note that he capped the day by hitting a home run.
- 1997 – The Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales takes place in London. Well over a million people lined the streets and 21⁄2 billion watched around the world on television.
- 2013 – Forty one elephants are poisoned with cyanide in salt pans, by poachers in Hwange National Park.
Notables born on September 6 include:
- 1860 – Jane Addams, American sociologist and author, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1935)
- 1888 – Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., American businessman and diplomat, 44th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (d. 1969)
- 1947 – Jane Curtin, American actress and comedian
Those who “fell asleep” on September 6 include:
- 1939 – Arthur Rackham, English illustrator (b. 1867)
- 1945 – John S. McCain Sr., American admiral (b. 1884)
- 1984 – Ernest Tubb, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1914)
- 1972 – Perpetrator and victims of the Munich massacre
- 2007 – Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor (b. 1935)
- 2017 – Kate Millett, American feminist author and activist (b. 1934)
- 2018 – Burt Reynolds, American actor, director and producer (b. 1936)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is once again playing philosopher:
A: What are you doing over there.Hili: I’m looking for a philosopher’s stone.A: Among the bushes?Hili: I’ve already checked all the shelves.
Ja: Co tam robisz?
Hili: Szukam kamienia filozoficznego.
Ja: W krzakach?
Hili: Na półkach już sprawdziłam.
A cat “meme”, and I hope you know the real song involved:
From Jesus of the Day. Actually, I think it’s “first-hand”. Oy!
Grania sent me this curly-feathered pigeon on April 5:
The height of pleasure for one man (tweet from gravelinspector):
I am currently observing Ganymede with the @NASA_IRTF on Maunakea while sitting in my living room. Everyone always talks about how you can observe in yours PJs, which is great, but I am observing with a cat on my lap which is awesome 🔭+🐈+🌕!!!!
— Mike Brown (@plutokiller) August 29, 2019
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. The first one has the perfection caption:
Heather noted this about the tweet below: “I used to do this with one of my cats years ago. She was into catching flies, and after I did this for her a couple of times, she demanded I do it for her whenever there was a fly she couldn’t reach.” Cats!
Four tweets from Matthew Cobb. The first one was something he tweeted, giving the proper caveats:
There are about 70 million neurons in the mouse brain. This fantastic achievement is less than 0.0015% of the total number of neurons, never mind the millions of glia. Plus we don’t know how these cells interact. Where is not how. Human = 80 *billion* neurons, billions of glia… https://t.co/TUw0Y4VclS
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) September 5, 2019
Look how well the termites have dined, and I didn’t even know termites liked tomatoes:
When @JodyBugsMeUNL runs up to you in the office and says "You wanna see a tomato full of termites" you whip out the phone and start shooting. So weird! Our best guess is that the termites were attracted to the high pre-ripening cellulose ratio. #NebExt #tomatoteoubles pic.twitter.com/2Im8Wcd2Qa
— John Porter (@UrbanAgGuru) September 5, 2019
One of Matthew’s beloved optical illusions:
Holy crap: None of these cogs is actually turning or moving at all 😲 pic.twitter.com/gVPbFgpujS
— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) September 4, 2019
I didn’t know there was a Samuel Pepys Twitter site. Presumably these are real extracts from his diary, and they’re appropriate given that the Great Fire of London ended on September 5, 1666.
I rose and slipped on my nightgown, and went to her window, and thought it to be on the backside of Marke-lane at the farthest; but, being unused to such fires as fallowed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again.
— Samuel Pepys (@samuelpepys) September 2, 2019