Saturday, April 19, 2008

Today In History - A Personal Experience

Things of Historical Signifigance that Took place on April 19:

1012 - Martyrdom of St. Alphege in Greenwich, London. (killed by Vikings after he refused to be ransomed)
1529 - At the Second Diet of Speyer, a group of rulers (German: Fürst) and independent cities (German: Reichsstadt) protests the reinstatement of the Edict of Worms, beginning the Protestant movement.
1539 Emperor Charles V reaches a truce with German Protestants at Frankfurt, Germany.
1587 - Sir Francis Drake sinks the Spanish fleet in Cádiz harbor.
1689 Residents of Boston oust their governor, Edmond Andros.
1764 The English Parliament bans the American colonies from printing paper money.
1775 The American Revolution begins as fighting breaks out at Lexington, then at Concord, MA.
1782 The Netherlands recognizes the United States.
1794 Tadeusz Kosciuszko forces the Russians out of Warsaw.
1809 - The army of Austria attacks and is defeated by the forces of the Duchy of Warsaw in the Battle of Raszyn, part of the struggles of the Fifth Coalition.
1802 The Spanish reopen New Orleans port to American merchants.
1824 English poet Lord Byron dies of malaria at age 36 while aiding Greek independence.
1861 The Baltimore riots result in four Union soldiers and nine civilians killed.
1861 President Lincoln orders a blockade of Confederate ports.
1880 The Times war correspondent telephones a report of the Battle of Ahmed Khel, the first time news is sent from a field of battle in this manner. (A terrible development as far as I am concerned, reporters do not belong in the middle of combat as far as I am concerned.)
1897 First Bostom Marathon held.

1927 In China, Hankow communists declare war on Chiang Kai-shek.
1938 General Francisco Franco declares victory in the Spanish Civil War.
1939 Connecticut approves the Bill of Rights.
1943 The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi occupation commences.
1943 - Bicycle Day – Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann deliberately takes LSD for the first time. (Turbulence of a type not experienced before, at least not to this degree; and that would have an effect on a generation in years to come in the 60s and 70s.)
1951 - General Douglas MacArthur retires from the military.
1961 - The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ends in success for the defenders.
1971 Russia launches its first Salyut space station (And the cold war gets hotter.).
1989 The battleship USS Iowa’s number 2 turret explodes, killing 47 sailors. (First blamed on a gay sailor whom it was thought had committed suicide, then blamed on a technical glitch.)
1993 The FBI ends a 51-day siege by storming the Branch Davidian religious cult headquarters in Waco, Texas.
1995 A truck bomb explodes in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Terrorism of a domestic nature.)
1999 - The German Bundestag returns to Berlin. (One day before April 20, could this be significant? See below commentary.)
2005 - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal conclave. (One day before April 20, could this be significant? See below commentary.)
2008 – The Pope visits NYC. Yes Pope Benedict XVI, will be in NYC on my anniversary and will be screwing up traffic when I try to take Linda to see Macbeth on Broadway; and it will be Passover weekend. I can only hope all the wackos stay away.) (One day before April 20, could this be significant? See below commentary.)

Absolutely Useless Things, in my opinion, that Happened on April 19:

1927 - Mae West is sentenced to 10 days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex.
1934 - Shirley Temple debuts in Stand Up and Cheer.
1960 Baseball uniforms begin displaying player’s names on their backs.
1977 Alex Haley receives a special Pulitzer Prize for his book Roots.
1982 NASA names Sally Ride to be the first woman astronaut.

Most Important Thing In My Life On April 19:

Here is where today gets down to the personal experience level, at least for me (just in case you were wondering about the title of this blog). Linda and I said “I Do” to one another. She and Celina came into my life, Brendan coming along at a later date; but all only possible because of those two words.

Commentary on April 19:

You have got to admit that we wound up choosing one heck of a turbulent day in history on which to be married. All the turbulence in the world though did not amount to what later took place because what happened on April 20, the day we consummated our marriage vows. It was that day, a relatively peaceful one in history, on which Adolf Hitler was born. Although many years would first pass, the beginning of evil and turbulence like the world had not yet seen was born on that day. Maybe all of the historical turbulence associated with of April 19th and April 20th has had a bit to do with it sometimes having been a rocky road for us, but we and our marriage have endured over two decades; and I love her dearly. Damn history, we will make it regardless.

This April 19, we will be going to see Patrick Stewart in Macbeth on Broadway, the Pope is in NYC, Passover begins at sunset, and it is the anniversary not only of our marriage but of all those other things above. Kind of makes me second guess myself - not for getting married on April 19th (ignorance is bliss and I knew little of the above when we got married) - but rather for having bought tickets to see Macbeth when at the very least traffic will be a nightmare due to the Pope's visit, and New York City will have been turned into a armed encampment for his protection. Hopefully all the wackos will stay away, and the day will remain peaceful. As for me though, thanks to those who revolted on this day in 1775 (and people still wonder why I picked this day to do something as revolting revolutionary, for a once confirmed bachelor, as getting married) and to the Constitution and Bill of Rights they later gave to us, you can bet if my wife gives me a hug around the hips she will feel something hard it will be a fully loaded 9mm pistol. That is at least while we are in Manhattan - who knows what it will be once we get back home!

Oh well, for now am going to stop writing, and go an enjoy breakfast with the Frau on our special day. Then I have some varnishing to do before we live for the city (yes that front door frame only got as far as being stained yesterday). Oh, before I go, to give credit where credit is due, the above historical facts come from Wikipedia,,, and of course from memory of history lessons learned, reading the news, and personal expereince.

All the best,
Glenn B