It’s Saturday, October 12, 2019, and both National Pumpkin Pie Day and National Gumbo Day. It’s also Freethought Day (yay!), International African Penguin Awareness Day, Pulled Pork Day (double yay!), and UN Spanish Language Day.
Stuff that happened on October 12 includes:
- 1692 – The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Province.
- 1773 – America’s first insane asylum opens.
This was Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, and was still operating when I was in college. Now it’s been turned into a museum about mental illness and another hospital has opened in the area. .
- 1810 – The citizens of Munich hold the first Oktoberfest.
- 1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools.
- 1901 – President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the “Executive Mansion” to the White House.
- 1915 – World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
- 1917 – World War I: The First Battle of Passchendaele takes place resulting in the largest single day loss of life in New Zealand history.
That loss of life for the Kiwis comprised 950 dead or mortally wounded.
Here’s that first iron lung. Those of us who remember polio scares as children were terrified that we’d wind up in one. Now they are obsolete due to the polio vaccine and to better kinds of aids for respiration:
- 1945 – World War II: Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor.
As I was a c.o., I greatly admire this man, who wouldn’t fight but would go to battle as a medic to save lives. (His c.o. was based on religious grounds: he was a Seventh-Day Adventist.) And Doss saved 75 Americans during the battle of Okinawa, climbing an escarpment and, under enemy fire (and wounded four times), tending wounded men and dragging or carrying them to safety. His exploits are recounted in the 2016 movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” which is pretty good. Here is Doss is atop the Maeda escarpment:
- 1960 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at the United Nations to protest a Philippine assertion.
And here’s the volatile Premier pounding his shoe on the UN desk:
- 1979 – The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the western Pacific Ocean during Typhoon Tip.
- 1998 – Matthew Shepard, a gay student at University of Wyoming, dies five days after he was beaten outside of Laramie.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1872 – Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer and educator (d. 1958)
- 1875 – Aleister Crowley, English magician and author (d. 1947)
- 1932 – Dick Gregory, American comedian, actor, and author (d. 2017)
- 1935 – Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor and actor (d. 2007)
- 1949 – Carlos the Jackal, Venezuelan terrorist and murderer
Carlos is serving a life sentence in a French prison. Here he is at two ages:
- 1950 – Susan Anton, American actress and model
- 1968 – Hugh Jackman, Australian actor, singer, and producer
Those who croaked on October 12 include:
- 1858 – Hiroshige, Japanese painter (b. 1797)
Here is a cat print by the esteemed painter, “A cat in a window”:
- 1915 – Edith Cavell, English nurse (b. 1865)
- 1924 – Anatole France, French journalist, novelist, and poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1844)
- 1940 – Tom Mix, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1880)
- 1946 – Joseph Stilwell, American general (b. 1883)
- 1969 – Sonja Henie, Norwegian figure skater and actress (b. 1912)
- 1978 – Nancy Spungen, American figure of the 1970s punk rock scene (b. 1958)
- 1997 – John Denver, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1943)
- 2012 – James Coyne, Canadian lawyer and banker, 2nd Governor of the Bank of Canada (b. 1910)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is rebuking the staff:
Hili: What do you have in this cupboard?A: A horrible mess.Hili: This you have everywhere
Hili: Co masz w tej szafce?
Ja: Okropny bałagan.
Hili: To masz wszędzie.
Reader Su found this cartoon, “Existential Kitty” from WhiteOuts:From Liubo: cat commands
A cartoon from Mark Parisi:
I think this woman had it coming:
A tweet from Canadian science writer Ziya Tong. (Yes, the animal is what you think it is.)
Canadians, we should all be proud. pic.twitter.com/dNKHYjhgTT
— Earthling (@ziyatong) October 10, 2019
From reader Dom. Is this thing a d*g? Why is it running that way?
From Barry, who adds, “If I were there I wouldn’t be smiling or laughing!” I would, and I’d be stupid enough to pet it! Sound up. Note that one guy turns his back on the cat to get a selfie!
Two tweets from Heather Hastie. In the first one, a red panda appears to freak out when the staff appears:
"for fuck's SAKE, DAVE"
📹: Imgur user Gooman777 pic.twitter.com/BYRcg82xUZ
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) September 29, 2019
Look at the pouch on that hamster!
Diet starts Monday.
— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) September 29, 2019
Two tweets from Matthew Cobb. Read the article: the guy gives us too much information:
Passenger 'sorry' after breaking wind on Derby bus https://t.co/fXbihwhXZK
— 🌐Tropicalsocks🌐 (@tropicalsocks) October 11, 2019
Just when you think you’ve seen every weird insect, something like this comes along:
— John Horstman (@sinobug) October 11, 2019