Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's in a day

The other night while Charlie was off in Orono finishing up his summer class I was watching Law and Order Criminal Intent. It was an episode that I hadn't seen before with an evil genius antiquities dealer who turned out to be a forger and a murderer. I'm not very good at spotting actors but I thought that maybe the evil genius was being played by Steven Colbert of The Colbert Report.

With the internet at our fingertips, there is no reason to wonder about anything for more than a few moments any more. I googled Steven Colbert and Law and Order and discovered that I was correct but it led me to other discoveries as well.

Apparently Steven Colbert's father and two older brothers died in an Eastern Airlines airplane crash on September 11, 1974 when Steven was ten years old. The comic talks about this early tragedy in a 60 Minutes Interview

In addition to being sad for those that lost so much that day, I was struck by the date--September 11. I remembered from our trip to Chile that the coup that brought Pinochet to power and in which Salvadore Allende died was on September 11, 1973.

How could so many sad things happen on one date? Next I googled September 11 and found that indeed a lot of well-known events occurred on that date
  • 1609, Henry Hudson came across Manhattan Island and the natives living there
  • 1792, the Hope Diamond was stolen
  • 1857, the Mountain Meadow Massacre in Utah where my relative William Aden was killed.
  • 1941, ground broken for the construction of the Pentagon--ironically damaged during the attacks of September 11, 2001.
  • 1978, President Carter, President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin entered the Camp David Peace Accords
  • 1987, Dan Rather walked off the set of the CBS Evening news leaving six minutes of dead air
My birthday is just a few days after September 11, so I googled that date to see if anything interesting had happened or if September 11 held all the historical significance for the month and I found a few interesting things
  • 1835, Charles Dawin reached the Galapagos Islands
  • 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered the mold growing in his laboratory which would lead him to discovering penicillin.
  • 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing occurred, killing four children
  • 1981, The U.S. Senate judiciary committee approved Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female Supreme Court Justice
  • 1997, Google was founded!!!
I also discovered that I share a birth date with Agatha Christie (1890), Roy Acuff (1903), Dan Marino (1961), and Lindsay Lohan's mother, Dina (1961).

Try googling your birthday without the year and see what wikepedia shows you!

10 comments:

Jayne said...

That was fascinating Beth! Who knew so much happened the day we were born. :c)

Ruth said...

Great idea. I like that you share a birthday with Agatha Christie...a brilliant criminal mind indeed!

beckie said...

Beth, I too use the computer for 'little known facts'. Wish I'd had this help when I was in school. I suppose we could google any date and find out very interesting things, but Sept. 11 does seem to hold a lot of milestones.

I knew we had a lot in common! My birthday is Sept. 17th. And I am a fairly true Virgo.

KGMom said...

Beth--actually, this is an exercise I give to my students in Eng Comp 101--write about something of WORLD significance that happened on your birthday.
I start out by telling them of the bombing of Dresden--Feb. 13, 1945. Then I ask--why do you think I am telling you this. BLANK looks.
Then I say--that's the day I was born.
Only caveat--I also make them find it for the YEAR they were born. And I say, it MUST be significant--none of this "such and such a rock singer did. . ."

Sharon said...

Here are just a couple things I found:

Vermont becomes the first American territory to abolish slavery

The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas :)

...and just this year: Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other FARC hostages are rescued by the Colombian armed forces.

Thanks for the idea!

Beth said...

Jayne, it is fun--I guess things happen every day--we just don't always recognize their significance right away.

Ruth, I am thrilled to share a birthday with Agatha Christie--I can't believe I made it 49 years without realizing it.

Beckie, I think it would have made school more interesting to be able to satisfy curiosity immediately instead of through that cumbersome card catalog--who understood the Dewey Decimal system anyway? I'm so glad we almost share a birthday, kindred souls indeed.

KGMom, it is a good writing prompt--I was thinking that this morning and thought I should tell my english teacher husband about it--but I'll show him your comment instead.

Sharon, happy just happened birthday to you! I didn't know that about Vermont, how interesting--I wonder why they were a slave state or were they taking a stand against slavery even though they were a free state--oooh, something else to research tonight.

kathiesbirds said...

Beth, what an interesting post. I like trivia like this. Why are dates so significant to us? I just thought you might like to know I am posting a "book" of poems and drawings from the short time we lived in a little yellow house in Westfield, Maine on my Poet Tree Blog. Take a look if you like. And, I am still trying to get to post about my trip but stuff keeps happening here with flash floods and poison toads. Hopefully I will start sometime this week but tomorrow is another bird survey!

Rondi said...

Very interesting!

How cool is it that you know "my" bookstore, too! It would be fun to meet up with you there sometime.

June said...

Great post! I will Wiki my birthday, but not tonight, not tonight. . .
My great great grandmother, Teressa Morse Chamberlain Lee was one of the late plural wives of the only man punished/scapegoated for the Mountain Meadows Massacre,
John D. Lee. Others also shared much responsibility, but he was the one punished and was executed. I used to know the date of the MMM but had never noticed the connection.

LL said...

Lindsay Lohan's mother? Now there's a forgettable fact!

I am going to try to wiki my birthdate and see what comes up....