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10:55 9/8/2008

Today's quotation...
"The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the things we have made of ourselves on the other."
--H.G. Wells, English author [born this day in 1866, died 1946.]

Famous Editorial Day

On this date in 1897, the editor of the New York Sun wrote one of the all-time editorials titled "Is There a Santa Claus?" in response to eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon of New York who had written asking that question.

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."

 Happy Birthday ......
    In 1756, John Loudon McAdam, created macadam road surface (asphalt).
    In 1866, H. G. (Herbert George) Wells, English author whose first work "The Time Machine" pioneered science fiction. Best remembered for "War of the Worlds," his vision of a Martian invasion of Earth.
    In 1874, Gustav Theodore Holst, English composer of Swedish descent. Best known for his orchestral suite "The Planets."
    In 1912, Cartoon animator Chuck Jones, Warner Bros.
    In 1931, Larry Hagman, actor who enjoyed phenomenal success on not one, but two series – "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Dallas." Hagman began his career in theatre, starring in a production of "South Pacific" with his mother, Mary Martin. After joining the Air Force and directing two USO shows, Hagman made the move to Hollywood, and landed roles on the big screen in Ensign Pulver (1964) and Fail Safe (1964). From 1965-70, Hagman starred opposite Barbara Eden on the classic sitcom, "I Dream of Jeannie." Still, his most memorable small screen role came eight years later, when he became the manipulative oilman, J.R. Ewing. Since "Dallas" ended in 1991, Hagman has appeared in reunion specials and the television movie, "The Third Twin" (1997).
    In 1935, Actor-comedian Henry Gibson, "Laugh-In."
    In 1944, Author-comedian Fannie Flagg, "Fried Green Tomatoes."
    In 1947, horror writer Stephen King, author of such novels as "Carrie," "The Shining," "Pet Sematary" and "Misery."
Stephen Edwin King is an American writer of contemporary horror fiction, science fiction, fantasy literature, and screenplays. An estimated 300–350 million copies of King's novels and short story collections have been sold, and many of his stories have been adapted for film, television, and other media. King has written a number of books using the pen name Richard Bachman, and one short story, "The Fifth Quarter", as John Swithen.

In 2003 the National Book Foundation awarded King the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
10:33 9/21/2009

    In 1950, Actor-comedian Bill Murray, who rose to fame as a writer and performer for the smash show "Saturday Night Live." During the third season of "SNL," Murray was brought in to replace Chevy Chase, and he soon won an Emmy for his writing talents. In the 80s, Murray began to make a name for himself in Hollywood appearing in the feature films Caddyshack (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and Scrooged in 1988. One of the most successful "SNL" alumni, Murray has continued to star in hit films including Ed Wood (1994), Kingpin (1996), Rushmore (1998), Cradle Will Rock (1999), Hamlet (2000) and Osmosis Jones in 2001.
This is an important day for birthdays!
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 On this day...
    In 19 B.C., Virgil, great epic Roman poet, died. His full name was Publius Vergilius Maro and he was best known for his unfinished epic "The Aeneid."
    In 1784, first daily newspaper in US begins publication in Pa.
    In 1792, in its first public sitting, the Convention, on a proposal by Collot D'Herbois, abolished the monarchy in France.
    In 1832, Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet notably of "Ivanhoe" and "Talisman," died aged 61.
    In 1893, the first successful American-made, gasoline-operated motorcar appeared on the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. It was designed and built by Charles and Frank Duryea.
    In 1895, first auto manufacturer opens -- Duryea Motor Wagon Company.
    In 1897, the editor of the "New York Sun" wrote one of the all-time favorite editorials titled "Is There a Santa Claus?" in response to eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon of New York who had written asking that question. The answer was "Yes!"
    In 1912, magician Harry Houdini first publicly preformed his so-called "Chinese Water torture Cell" trick at the Circus Bush in Berlin, escaping after being immersed upside-down in a vertical water tank, his ankles secured in a set f stocks which made p the tank lid, which was locked into place.
    In 1921, following the sex scandal caused by the arrest of comedian Fatty Arbuckle, Universal announced it would require its actors to sign a morality clause in their contracts.
    In 1930, Johann Ostermeyer patents his invention, the flashbulb.
    In 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit was first published.
    In 1938, a hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, killing more than 600 people.
World At War
    World War II, which had begun in Europe on September 1, 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, ended six years later to the day, September 1, 1945. The final concluding ceremony came the following day, September 2, 1945, with the signing of surrender papers by representatives of Japan, Nazi Germany's Axis partner in the Far East.

Nine Notable Veterans of World War II

    In 1939, Headline: FDR urges repeal of Neutrality Act embargo provisions
    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appears before Congress and asks that the Neutrality Acts, a series of laws passed earlier in the decade, be amended. Roosevelt hoped to lift an embargo against sending military aid to countries in Europe facing the onslaught of Nazi aggression during World War II.
    In 1936 and 1937, the Neutrality Acts had been expanded to restrict the sale of arms and war materials during a period of isolationist sentiment. However, in 1939, the rising threat to democracy in Western Europe–and pro-democratic forces in China–spurred Roosevelt to ease these restrictions. FDR warned Congress that Europe was on the verge of descending into a second global conflict. During the address, Roosevelt described how countries such as Germany built up “vast armies and navies and storehouses of war…with growing speed and intensity,” while the U.S. had tried to remain neutral doing “all in its power to encourage peaceful settlements.” However, by 1939, Roosevelt had begun to weigh the benefits of American neutrality against the nation’s obligation to help democratic nations defend themselves against fascist, expansionist Germany and Italy. In his speech before Congress, Roosevelt said that American neutrality laws as they stood in 1939 may actually give passive “aid to an aggressor” while denying help to victimized nations.
    Although the language of the proposed amendment technically stated that any country would be allowed to purchase arms and goods from a still neutral U.S., Roosevelt’s primary goal was to make it easier for the U.S. to supply arms to democratic Britain and France. The new provision prohibited American ships from transporting arms or war material, gave the president power to identify combat zones (primarily Atlantic sea lanes) from which American citizens would be restricted and made it illegal for U.S. citizens to travel on vessels from belligerent nations.
    Congress finally agreed to the proposed changes on November 4, 1939. A year later, with Britain standing as the last bastion against Nazi aggression in Europe and with German U-boats threatening American shipping, the Neutrality Act was again amended to allow the arming of merchant vessels. In December 1941, the act was rendered moot by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s subsequent entry into World War II.
    In 1941, Nazis cut off Crimean Penisula from U.S.S.R.
    In 1942, Headline: The Superfortress takes flight
    The U.S. B-29 Superfortress makes its debut flight in Seattle, Washington. It was the largest bomber used in the war by any nation.
    The B-29 was conceived in 1939 by Gen. Hap Arnold, who was afraid a German victory in Europe would mean the United States would be devoid of bases on the eastern side of the Atlantic from which to counterattack. A plane was needed that would travel faster, farther, and higher than any then available, so Boeing set to creating the four-engine heavy bomber. The plane was extraordinary, able to carry loads almost equal to its own weight at altitudes of 30,000 to 40,000 feet. It contained a pilot console in the rear of the plane, in the event the front pilot was knocked out of commission. It also sported the first radar bombing system of any U.S. bomber.
    The Superfortress made its test run over the continental United States on September 21, but would not make its bombing-run debut until June 5, 1944, against Bangkok, in preparation for the Allied liberation of Burma from Japanese hands. A little more than a week later, the B-29 made its first run against the Japanese mainland. On June 14, 60 B-29s based in Chengtu, China, bombed an iron and steel works factory on Honshu Island. While the raid was less than successful, it proved to be a morale booster to Americans, who were now on the offensive.
    Meanwhile, the Marianas Islands in the South Pacific were being recaptured by the United States, primarily to provide air bases for their new B-29s—a perfect position from which to strike the Japanese mainland on a consistent basis. Once the bases were ready, the B-29s were employed in a long series of bombing raids against Tokyo. Although capable of precision bombing at high altitudes, the Superfortresses began dropping incendiary devices from a mere 5,000 feet, firebombing the Japanese capital in an attempt to break the will of the Axis power. One raid, in March 1945, killed more than 80,000 people. But the most famous, or perhaps infamous, use of the B-29 would come in August, as it was the only plane capable of delivering a 10,000-pound bomb—the atomic bomb. The Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car took off from the Marianas, on August 6 and 9, respectively, and flew into history.
Check Out the Korner's Page on this Bomber!

    London: RAF flies 1,200 miles to raid Munich.
    Headline: Germans executed 207,373 until now
    Nearly a quarter million people have been executed by the Nazis in occupied Europe, according to the Inter-Allied Information Committee, an organization set up by the Allied governments. The figure, 207,373, includes formal executions which have followed trials of court-martial and shootings of hostages and other persons held prisoner by the Germans.
    Suffering the highest number is Poland, where 200,000 have been killed since the Nazi invasion three years ago. Some 100,000 were shot after German trials, 70,000 killed as hostages and 30,000 executed in concentration camps.
    The committee pointed out that many more Europeans have probably been put to death by Hitler; the figures released today are officially confirmed. The latest victims on the increasing list were 116 Frenchmen shot last week.
    In 1943, Fulbright Resolution adopted in the House of Representatives, calling for U.S. participation in international peace organization.
    In 1944, Belgium: Prince Charles, King Leopold's brother, appointed regent of the chamber.
    Pacific: U.S. carrier force strikes Manila area.
    In 1945, Washington: Truman approves recommendation by Simpson to designate war as World War II.
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    In 1948, Milton Berle made his debut as permanent host of "The Texaco Star Theater" on NBC-TV.
    In 1949, Communist leaders proclaimed The People's Republic of China.
    In 1954, the nuclear submarine "Nautilus" is commissioned.
    In 1957, "Perry Mason," the television series, made its debut on CBS-TV. The show was on for 9 years.
    In 1960, Tactical Air Command formally accepts the first Republic F-105D Thunderchief all-weather fighter in ceremonies at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
    In 1961, No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Take Good Care of My Baby," Bobby Vee. The song was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
    In 1962, "The Jack Paar Program," a weekly, prime-time show that followed Paar's stint on "The Tonight Show," began a three-year run.
    In 1964, the North American XB-70A Valkyrie makes its first flight, with company pilot Alvin White and U.S.A.F. pilot Col. Joseph Cotton at the controls.
    In 1970, "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV as the Cleveland Browns defeated the visiting New York Jets, 31-21.
    In 1972, No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me," Mac Davis.
    In 1973, the U.S. Senate confirmed Henry Kissinger to be Secretary of State.
    In 1974, film actor Walt Brennan died. He was the first actor to win three Academy Awards and was best known for his roles in Westerns such as "My Darling Clementine" and "The Westerner."
    In 1976, in Washington, D.C., exiled Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier was killed by a car bomb.
    In 1977, after weeks of controversy over past business and banking practices, President Carter's embattled budget director, Bert Lance, resigned.
    In 1981, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sandra Day O'Connor to be the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    In 1983, in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Interior Secretary James G. Watt jokingly described a special advisory panel as consisting of "a black ... a woman, two Jews and a cripple." Although Watt apologized, he later resigned.
    In 1985, Western intelligence estimates said the Iran-Iraq war in five years had cost nearly 1 million lives.
    In 1989, Hurricane Hugo, packing winds of up to 135 mph, crashed into Charleston, S.C. In Alton, Texas, 21 students died when their school bus collided with a truck and careered into a water-filled pit.
    In 1991, Armenia became the 12th Soviet republic to declare independence.
    In 1992, Paul Kaufmann, Hanover, Pa., joined the Colonel's BBS.
    In 1993, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin, announced that he was ousting the Communist-dominated Congress.
    In 1994, prosecutors from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties announced that Michael Jackson would not face child molestation charges; however, the case would remain open until 1999.
    In 1996, John F. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island, Georgia.
    Dorothy Lamour, U.S. film actress, died. She was best known for her role in the "Road" movies starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. She was 81.
    The board of all-male Virginia Military Institute voted to admit women.
    The audience at the Grand Ole Opry witness a historic moment when 23-year-old Hank Williams III, son of Hank Williams Jr. and grandson of country music legend Hank Williams makes his Opry debut. Hank III wears a black western shirt trimmed with green fringe that belonged to his grandfather. His set includes "Moanin' the Blues," a 1950 chart-topper for Hank Sr., and "Lovesick Blues," the same song his granddad performed for his Opry debut in June 1949.
    President Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to disregard same sex marriages that might be official in other places.
    In 1998, President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony was publicly broadcast; in it, Clinton tussled with prosecutors over "the truth of my relationship" with Monica Lewinsky.
    Olympic gold medal track star Florence Griffith Joyner was found dead at her home in Mission Viejo, Calif.; she was 38.
    Hurricane Georges began its deadly rampage through the Caribbean, killing more than 600 people.
    In 1999, at least 2,300 people were killed when an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale struck Taiwan.
    In 2001, a telecast by top movie stars and musicians raised more than $500 million for survivors of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
    Congress again opened the federal coffers to those harmed by terrorism, providing $15 billion to the airline industry, which was suffering mounting economic losses since the Sept. 11 attacks.
    In 2002, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reportedly told the Bush administration Israel would strike back if attacked by Iraq.
    A defiant Iraq sad it would not abide by a U.N. resolution imposing new conditions in the weapons inspections issue or threatening war.
    Israel planted its flag in Yasser Arafat's West Bank compound and threatened to blow up his offices in an effort to make the Palestinian leader surrender militants or leave into exile.
    Angelo Buono, Jr., whose gruesome killing of young Los Angeles women in the 1970s earned him the nickname "Hillside Strangler," died in a California prison; he was 67.
    Miss Illinois Erika Harold was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.
    In 2004, two U.S. hostages were reported executed by suspected Iraqi insurgents within a day of each other. Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong, contractors working for a United Arab Emirates-based firm, were kidnapped from their Baghdad home.
    In 2005, Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast as a Category 5, 165-mph hour monster as more than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were evacuated.
    In 2006, the shuttle Atlantis and its six-member crew wrapped up a successful mission with a perfect predawn landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During its 11-day, 19-hour trip, the crew added a new segment to the station's "backbone," which included an array of solar panels 240 feet long. The panels will generate additional electricity critical to adding lab modules from Europe and Japan. The first of these is slated to arrive at the station in October 2007.
    In 2007, one student was mortally wounded, another injured, at Delaware State University. [A suspected gunman was indicted for second=degree murder, but the case was dismissed by a judge because prosecutors withheld evidence.]
    The Rev. Rex Humbard, whose televangelism ministry once spanned the globe, died in Atlantis, Fla., at age 88.
    Tony Award-winning actress Alice Ghostley died in Los Angeles at age 83.
    In 2011, Josh Fattel and Shane Bauer, two Americans jailed in Iran as spies, left Tehran for the Gulf state of Oman, closing a high-profile drama that brought more than two years of hope and heartbreak for their families.
    The state of Texas executed Lawrence Russell Brewer for his role in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr.
    The state of Georgia executed Troy Davis, who used his last words to declare his innocence in the killing of police officer Mark MacPhall.
    Alternative rock group R.E.M. announced on its website that it had "decided to call it a day as a band."

 Thought for the day...

[This is the 09/21/2018 bulletin.]