September 2nd is
Calendar Adjustment Day *
Grits for Breakfast Day
Bring Your Manners to Work Day *
V-J Day II *
MORE! Teddy Roosevelt, Christa McAuliffe and Barak Obama, click
WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
Belgium – Antwerpen:
Laundry Day Festival
Finland – Helsinki:
Germany – Goldenstedt:
Strandfieber Das Electro
Scotland – Braemar:
Spain – Ceuta: Día de Ceuta
(local public holiday in Ceuta)
Tibetan Community – Democracy Day *
Transdniestria – Independence Day *
United States – Washington DC:
Library of Congress National Book Festival
Vietnam – National Day
On This Day in HISTORY
31 BC – Octavian’s forces defeat Mark Antony and Cleopatra’s allied galleys at Actium, sinking or capturing over 2/3 of their fleet – considered by some beginning of the end of the Roman Republic
The Battle of Actium by Lorenzo A Castro – 1672
44 BC – Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt declares her son with Julius Caesar her co-ruler as Ptolemy XV Caesarion
44 BC – Cicero launches the first of 14 Philippicae (oratorical attacks) on Mark Antony
1192 – The Treaty of Jaffa is signed between Richard I of England and Saladin, leading to the end of the Third Crusade
1661 – George Bohm born, German Baroque composer and organist
1666 – The Great Fire of London burns for three days, destroying over 10,000 buildings, and killing 6 people
Great Fire of London, 1666 by unknown artist
1752 – Calendar Adjustment Day * commemorates the British Calendar Act of 1751: the Gregorian calendar becomes the official calendar of Britain and its American colonies in 1752, replacing the Julian calendar. However, there’s an eleven day difference between the two calendars, so on the evening of 2nd September 1752, Britain and the colonies went to sleep on 2nd September and woke the next morning on 14th September. Some citizens felt cheated and rioted, demanding their eleven days back!
1789 – The U.S. Treasury Department is established
1807 – The British Royal Navy bombards Copenhagen with fire bombs and phosphorus rockets to prevent Denmark from surrendering its fleet to Napoleon
1811 – The Royal Fredericks University founded (now University of Oslo) in Norway
1814 – Ernst Curtius born, German archaeologist; directed excavation of Olympia
1820 – Lucretia Hale born, American journalist and author; notable novels, Six of One by Half a Dozen of the Other and The Wolf at the Door
1821 – Anne Whitney born, American sculptor and poet; statue of Samuel Adams in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., and statues at the Smithsonian Institute, Harvard University and Boston Public Library; her model for a statue of Charles Sumner wins a competition but she is disqualified when it is discovered she is a woman
1833 – Oberlin College is founded in Ohio
1840 – Giovanni Verga born, Italian novelist, short story writer and playwright
1849 – Emma Curtis Hopkins born, American spiritual leader, author, theologian and feminist; part of the New Thought movement
1859 – Solar superstorm affects electrical telegraph service
1894 – Annie Winifred Ellerman born, used pseudonym Bryher, British author, poet and editor, who provided financial support to a number of authors
1897 – McCall’s magazine publishes its first issue
1901 – Vice President Teddy Roosevelt quotes “Speak softly and carry a big stick” in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair
1912 – Arthur Rose Eldred becomes the first BSA Eagle Scout
1917 – Cleveland Amory born, American critic, historian and journalist
1924 – Rudolf Friml’s operetta Rose Marie premieres on Broadway
1939 – Nazi Germany “annexes” the Free City of Danzig
1945 – VJ Day II * – the formal Japanese Instrument of Surrender is signed aboard the USS Missouri by Foreign Minister Shigemitsu
1946 – The Interim Government of India is formed, headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, to begin the transition to full independence from British rule
1948 – Christa McAuliffe born, American teacher who dies in the Challenger space shuttle explosion Jan 28, 1986; selected to be the first teacher in space through the NASA Teacher in Space Project
1958 – The National Defense Education Act (NDEA) is signed into law to fund four years of science and technology study at all levels of U.S. educational institutions
1960 – Tibet’s first parliamentary election, observed by the Tibetan community as Democracy Day *
1963 – The Angels’ song “My Boyfriend’s Back” hits #1 on the singles charts
1970 – NASA cancels two Apollo moon missions, primarily because of the Apollo 1 fire, but also hardware delays and budgetary problems
1987 – Donald Trump spends almost $100,000 on a full-page ad in the NY Times to lambast the U.S. government’s foreign policy, for defending regions like the Persian Gulf and countries such as Japan “that can afford to defend themselves”
1990 – Transniestria * proclaims itself a Soviet republic, Mikhail Gorbachev says nyet
1991 – Garth Brooks releases his album Ropin’ the Wind
1995 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially opens in Cleveland OH
2013 – Diana Nyad, at age 64, makes the first confirmed swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage or swim fins
2013 – Protocol School of Washington establishes Bring Your Manners to Work Day * to remind everyone that treating your co-workers with respect and consideration makes for a happier and more productive workplace
2015 – President Barak Obama becomes the first U.S. President to visit the Arctic Circle, in Kotzebue, Alaska
I remember something a bit different from what most of my friends remember about Christa McAuliffe. In the press frenzy of interviews BEFORE her flight into [space] [death], some journalist thrust a microphone in front of her four-year-old daughter (exact age unknown). “How do you feel about mommy going up in a space ship?” she asked with the requisite TV dazzle. The little girl said, “I don’t WANT my mommy to go up there; I want my mommy to stay right HERE!” I felt 100% supportive for this little girl’s position right then and felt unaccountably (except for my personal religion, which is maternalism) horrified that the flight was going to go forth as scheduled without this child having any veto power. A short time after that TV moment, I entered a kind of new world: nobody ever (that I saw or read) made post mortem commentary on that child’s statement, which to me had been one of the most important comments ever to be broadcast on television by an American citizen. She just wanted what by all rights should never have been even THREATENED to be taken from her: Her mom.
What is seldom considered, when people talk about their children “being hostages to Fortune” because they must now consider the children in every decision they make, is that it cuts both ways – for children, their parents are the ultimate hostages to Fortune, and it’s even more elemental.
And yet – if every parent based their decisions on a toddler’s fears, would that make them safer? In Christine McAuliffe’s case, the answer is almost certainly yes, but there are no guarantees.- she could have been killed in a car accident, or by cancer, or died in any number of other ways.
I’ve known miraculous survivors, and mourned people who died from some fluke that almost anybody else would have lived through. There’s something to be said for the old Nordic fatalism – that we each have an unknown span of time to live, but when our “number is up,” death is inevitable, so live to the fullest and don’t worry about it.
Well I wasn’t considering any of the fate or future issues. I was only considering that one child and the obvious merit of her position. The Talmud says if you destroy one life, you destroy the whole world; and if you save or redeem one life, you save or redeem the whole world. I’m not suggesting, either, that McAuliffe’s daughter’s life was ruined or destroyed, and I am pretty sure it was not. But I was concentrating my awareness of the world (at the time of the event) on the entitlements of children to their secure parents, absent unforeseen and uncontrollable events (neither of which describes the space flight). It just seemed such a horrible shame, more so because the child was so clear and so lucid.
Yes it was. One of those events that so jolts you from the everyday that you always remember where you were when you heard the news. My husband and I were taking an early morning walk, and a telephone repairman working on a switching box had heard the announcement on his portable radio just before we walked up, and he told us. The three of us just automatically stopped for a moment of silence, as much in disbelief as sorrow.
Truth is, history is made by people who are willing to make it; to step outside the mold.
If you recall the story I wrote about my daughter, Mary Beth, her science teacher was one of the volunteers who did not make the final cut. Everyone thought he had a good shot, since he was a PhD scientist who had worked for NASA at one time, and had worked on John Glenn’s mission. He didn’t make the final cut due to age.
The day after the explosion, we were having breakfast. Our oldest son was there, having recently gotten out of the Coast Guard. My wife, already suspecting she knew the answer, asked me if another mission were scheduled and I got a chance to go, would I go.
My son and I answered, simultaneously, “Oh, hell yes!”