Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19 - Today In History - Oh What A Day

April 19th has been of very special signifigance for me for many years. It is just another day but I think it is a day, as far as history is concerned, that is very special indeed. I imagine you could look at almost any other day and selectively find things of historic merit that took place but today is a bit more special as I see it. Let me tell you a bit about today by giving a brief rundown of some of the most things that have happened on it throughout history, then maybe you will understand why I see it as so special:

2005 Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, becomes the 265th pope

2000 Air Philippines flight 541 crashes into a hill near Davao, killing 131

1995 Truck bomb at Federal Building in Oklahoma City, kills 168

1994 Rodney King award $3,800,000 in compensation of police beating

1994 Supreme Court outlaws excluding people from juries because of gender

1993 Fire in psychiatric institute in South Korea, kills 40\

1993 The Branch Davidian Compound near Waco, Texas, is destroyed in a fire after 51-day stand-off; 76 people die, including 24 British nationals and 20 children

1991 Evander Holyfield beats George Foreman in 12 for heavywgt boxing title

1991 Greyhound Bus posts $195 million loss for 1990

1989 Gun turret explodes on USS Iowa, killing 47 sailors

1987 Gregory Robertson does 200-mph free fall to save unconscious skydiver (wow, all I can say is, what a man)

1987 Jacqueline Blanc, sets women's downhill ski speed record, 124.9 mph

1987 Last wild condor captured on California wildlife reserve

1987 U.S.S.R. performs underground nuclear test

1986 Michael Spinks beats Larry Holmes in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

1985 U.S.S.R. performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan U.S.S.R.

1984 Nemesis, death star of dinosaurs 1st appears in Nature magazine

1983 France performs nuclear test

1982 Guinon Bluford announced as 1st black astronaut

1982 Sally Ride announced as 1st woman astronaut

1982 U.S.S.R. Salyut 7 space station put into orbit

1975 India launches 1st satellite with help of U.S.S.R.

1973 U.S.S.R. performs nuclear test at Semipalitinsk, Eastern Kazakhstan U.S.S.R.

1972 "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope" opens at Playhouse New York City for 1,065 performances

1972 Bangladesh becomes a member of British Commonwealth

1972 U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1971 Charles Manson sentenced to life (Sharon Tate murder) [to bad he was not executed]

1971 U.S.S.R. Salyut 1 launched; 1st manned lab in orbit

1967 "Casino Royale" premieres (one of my favorite movies)

1967 Beatles sign a contract to stay together for 10 years (but they did not stay together)

1967 U.S. Surveyor III lands on Moon

1965 At a cost of $20,000, the outer Astrodome ceiling is painted because of sun's glare, this causes the grass to die (dah)

1962 NASA civilian pilot Joseph A. Walker takes X-15 to 46,900m (my favorite aircraft when was a child, I had at least one toy and one model of it, and I wanted to fly it)

1960 Comiskey Park's famed "exploding" scoreboard begins operating enough with explosions already)

1956 U.S. actress Grace Kelly marries Monaco's Prince Rainier III (what a loss for the rest of us, she was an excellent actress)

1955 59th Boston Marathon won by Hideo Hamamura of Japan in 2:18:22 (I mention this one only because that is the year I was born, there were many - many - many Boston Marathons held on April 19th)

1951 General Douglas MacArthur ends his military career

1949 Yankees dedicate a plaque for Babe Ruth (there were many baseball feats that took place on this date, I mention this because he was one of the greats)

1948 Chiang Kai-shek elected president of Nationalist

1947 French ship explodes in Texas City harbor, kills about 522

1945 U.S. aircraft carrier Franklin heavy damaged in Japanese air raid

1943 Revolt in Warsaw Ghetto under Mordechai Anielewicz (I left out quite a few other events of WWII)

1940 "Lake Shore Ltd" derails speed killing 34 near Little Falls

1939 Connecticut finally approves Bill of Rights (148 years late and always makes me wonder why)

1936 Anti-Jewish riots break out in Palestine

1934 Shirley Temple appears in her 1st movie, Stand Up and Cheer

1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt announces U.S. will leave gold standard (commie socialist destroyer of America who created Social Security the biggest lie of the 20th century)

1932 President Herbert Hoover suggests 5 day work week (I can live with that but 4 would have been better)

1928 Japanese troops occupies Sjantung-schiereiland

1921 Funeral of last German Empress, Augusta Victoria

1919 Leslie Irvin of U.S. makes 1st parachute jump and free fall

1910 Halley's comet seen by naked eye 1st time this trip (as if one comet sighting on this day was not portent enough for me, it was also seen in the year 607)

1904 Much of Toronto destroyed by fire

1897 1st American Marathon ran, John J McDermott wins in 2:55:10 (Yep, you guessed it - in Boston)

1897 1st Boston Marathon won by John McDermott of New York in 2:55:10

1892 Charles Duryea takes 1st American-made auto out for a spin (Mass)

1874 Barracks on Alcatraz Island destroyed in fire

1864 Naval Engagement at Cherbourg, FR: USS Kearsage vs. CSS Alabama

1863 Union troops/fleet occupy For Huger, Virginia

1861 Baltimore riots-4 soldiers, 9 civilians killed

1861 Lincoln orders blockade of Confederate ports (Civil War)

1782 Netherlands recognizes U.S

1775 Minutemen and Lexington Militia Leader Captain John Parker orders his men: "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." at Lexington Common and soon after The Shot Heard Round The World was fired and the War For Independence had begun in the American Colonies. (This has always been one of, if not the most, significant historical event of this day for me, well sort of, you will see what I mean below.)

1770 Captain James Cook 1st sees Australia (the land down under or the 18th century version of Land Of The Lost)

1587 Sir Frances Drake sails into Cadiz Spain and sinks Spanish fleet

607 Comet 1P/607 H1 (Halley) approaches within 0.0898 AUs of Earth

There were lots of other events that took place on April 19th throughout the history of the world. This day is also significant, not so much for an event per se, but because, in 1889, it was the last day that the people of the earth would not know one of our worst nightmares. Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889. So, today is significant because it is the anniversary of the last day of his nonexistence.)

As you can see from all of the above, this day in history has been one of tremendous importance, probably a lot like any other day but then again, there are a lot of rather catastrophic events that happened on April 19th and they seem to overshadow the good things that happened on this day.

Still though, all of those things don’t make it as important to me as one rather small, insignificant (for the rest of the world) only slightly historical but very happy event that also took place today in 1986. I married the most beautiful woman in the world - Linda - now my wife of 25 years! It has not all been days of wine and roses, nor a bowl of cherries. We have surely had our ups and down, and just like history has shown that this or any other day can be tumultuous there are also good things that can come of any given day. I have to say - she made me a happy man when we were married and 25 years later I can say: Life, with her, is just another day in Paradise. I love you dear!

All the best,
Glenn B






Opening A Russian (or other Communist Bloc) 'Spam' Ammo Can Without The Can Opener

Have you ever bought Russian, or other Com-Bloc, military surplus ammo, such as 7.62x54R, that comes in the so called spam can, then found yourself without the specialty can opener made for the job of opening those cans? If you have, then you know those cans can be darned difficult to open and you may also have learned that there are plenty of ways not to open them. Prying them open with the wrong tool, in the wrong way, can result in damage to the ammo. Worse yet, you could get cut in the process.

I just ordered 440 rounds of this ammo sealed in a spam can. It will not be coming with the opener so, tonight, I looked around online for one for sale. I am not about to pay the $15.00 plus shipping at which I found one available. Not satisfied with doing that, continued my search and wound up on YouTube where I found a very informative video that was posted there by Oldcarjunkie. The video shows, what I think is, a pretty good looking way to open these cans with a hammer and screwdriver when you don't have the proper can opener. About the only things I might do differently would be to wear work gloves while doing it, especially when pulling the lid off of the can. I also suggest being very careful when taking out the packets of ammo because the cut edges of the can are sure to be pointy or sharp in places. Of course, I'd also be careful not to hit my foot with the hammer. Safety glasses are also a good idea.

Here is the video, enjoy and please leave a nice comment at YouTube for Oldcarjunkie cheeverracing89, whose video replaces that of oldcarjunkie who seems to have closed his YouTube account:

Simple, but apparently effective.

All the best,
Glenn B