Wednesday August 21, 2013
- 233rd Day of the Year
- 132 Days remaining in 2013
- 32 Days Until the First Day of Autumn
- Sunset: 7:53
- 13 Hours 22 Minutes
- Moon Rise:8:09pm
- Moon Set:7:17am
- Moon Phase: 99%
- High Tide:12:06pm/11:50pm
- Low Tide:5:29am/5:44pm
- Poet’s Day
- Admission Day-Hawaii
- National Spumoni Day
- On This Day In …
- 1831 --- Nat Turner launched a short-lived, violent slave rebellion in Virginia.
- 1841 --- John Hampton of New Orleans, LA, received a patent for venetian blinds.
- 1858 --- Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Abraham Lincoln, a Kentucky-born lawyer and one-time U.S. representative from Illinois, begin a series of famous public encounters on the issue of slavery. The two politicians, the former a Northern Democrat and the latter a Republican, were competing for Douglas' U.S. Senate seat. In the
seven Lincoln-Douglas debates--all about three hours along--Lincoln argued against the spread of slavery while Douglas maintained that each territory should have the right to decide whether it would become free or slave. Lincoln lost the Senate race, but his campaign brought national attention to the young Republican Party.
- 1878 --- The American Bar Association was formed by a group of lawyers, judges and law professors in Saratoga, NY.
- 1888 --- William Burroughs of St. Louis, MO patented his adding machine. It was an invention that bore the name of Burrough’s office machine company for many years.
- 1897 --- Ransom Eli Olds of Lansing, Michigan, founds Olds Motors Works--which will later become Oldsmobile--on August 21, 1897. Olds went to work for his family's machine-repair and engine-building business in 1883. In 1896, Olds completed his first gasoline-
powered vehicle, and the following year he founded Olds Motor Works with financial backing from Samuel L. Smith, who had made his fortune in lumber. After the company moved from Lansing to Detroit in 1900, a fire destroyed all of its cars except its small, one-cylinder curved-dash model. Light, reliable and relatively powerful, the curved-dash Oldsmobile (as Olds had renamed his company) became a commercial sensation after appearing at the New York Auto Show in 1901. Olds returned to Lansing in 1902 and began large-scale production of the car. The curved-dash Oldsmobile was the first American car to be produced using the progressive assembly-line system, and the first to become a commercial success. Olds soon split with Smith and his board of directors over the future direction of the company, however: Olds wanted to continue the focus on smaller cars, while the others favored the production of larger, more expensive automobiles. In 1904, Olds left to found the Reo Motor Car Company (for his initials, R.E.O.). After his departure, Oldsmobile struggled, and in 1908 it was swallowed up by the new General Motors (GM) conglomerate.
- 1911 --- An amateur painter sets up his easel near Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, only to discover that the masterpiece is missing. The day before, in perhaps the most brazen
art theft of all time, Vincenzo Perugia had walked into the Louvre, removed the famed painting from the wall, hid it beneath his clothes, and escaped. While the entire nation of France was stunned, theories abounded as to what could have happened to the invaluable artwork. Most believed that professional thieves could not have been involved because they would have realized that it would be too dangerous to try to sell the world's most famous painting. A popular rumor in Paris was that the Germans had stolen it to humiliate the French. Investigators and detectives searched for the painting for more than two years without finding any decent leads. Then, in November 1913, Italian art dealer Alfredo Geri received a letter from a man calling himself Leonardo. It indicated that the Mona Lisa was in Florence and would be returned for a hefty ransom. When Perugia attempted to receive the ransom, he was captured.
- 1923 --- In Kalamazoo, Michigan, an ordinance was passed forbidding dancers from gazing into the eyes of their partner.
- 1935 --- The sound of swing, which utterly dominated the American popular-music scene in the late 1930s and early 1940s, instantly evokes images of tuxedo-clad Big Bands and dance floors crowded with exuberant jitterbugs dancing the Shag and the Lindy Hop. While the roots of swing music clearly lie in earlier forms of jazz—and particularly in African-American jazz performance styles—swing as we know it may just have been born at a specific time
and in a specific place, with an electric performance by one particular Big Band for one particularly enthusiastic audience. The time and place was August 21, 1935, at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, California, where Benny Goodman and his band emphatically opened the Swing Era with an exuberant performance witnessed by thousands of young fans in the live audience and millions more tuning in to a live radio broadcast.
- 1938 --- A classic recording was made this day. Fats Waller waxed Ain’t Misbehavin.
- 1940 --- Exiled Russian Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin.
- 1959 --- Hawaii finally became the 50th state of the United States of America on this day. Although the Aloha State is made up of a chain of 122 volcanic islands spread out over 1,600 miles, only seven, at the southeastern end of the chain, are inhabited: Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui (the Valley Isle), Lanai (the Pineapple Isle), Molokai (the Friendly Isle), Kauai (the Garden Isle), Niihau (the Forbidden Island), and Oahu (the Gathering Place). Oahu is the home of the state capital, Honolulu, and about 75% of the state’s population ... a population that is truly a melting pot of all races and religions.
- 1961 --- Country singer Patsy Cline recorded the Willie Nelson song "Crazy" in Nashville for Decca Records.
- 1963 --- In South Vietnam, martial law was declared. Army troops and police began to crackdown on the Buddhist anti-government protesters.
- 1983 --- Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport.
- 1984 --- Victoria Roche was the first girl to compete in a Little League World Series game. The reserve outfielder from Belgium
played in the annual event held in Williamsport, PA with her brother, starting outfielder Jeremy Roche.
- 1986 --- The Boston Red Sox made history against the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox whipped the Indians 24-5 in the worst loss in the Tribe’s 85-year history. Greg Swindell made his major-league debut on the mound for the Indians. Dennis ‘Oil Can’ Boyd got a 17-run lead for Boston and, luckily, held on for the win.
- 1988 --- Pubs are now allowed to stay open 12 hours each day (except Sunday) in the U.K.
- 1991 --- Just three days after it began, the coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev collapses. Despite his success in avoiding removal from office, Gorbachev's days in power were numbered. The Soviet Union would soon cease to exist as a nation and as a Cold War threat to the United States. The coup against Gorbachev began on August 18, led by hard-line communist elements of the Soviet government and military. The attempt was poorly planned and disorganized, however. The leaders of the coup seemed to spend as much time bickering among themselves--and, according to some reports, drinking heavily--as they did on trying to win popular support for their action. Nevertheless, they did manage to put Gorbachev under house arrest and demand that he resign from leadership of the Soviet Union. Many commentators in the West believed that the administration of President George Bush would come to the rescue, but were somewhat surprised at the restrained response of the U.S. government. These commentators did not know that at the time a serious debate was going on among Bush officials as to whether Gorbachev's days were numbered and whether the United States should shift its support to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin's
stock rose sharply as he publicly denounced the coup and organized strikes and street protests by the Russian people. The leaders of the coup, seeing that most of the Soviet military did not support their action, called off the attempt and it collapsed on August 21.
- 1992 --- An 11-day siege began at the cabin of white separatist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, as government agents tried to arrest him for failing to appear in court on charges of selling two illegal sawed-off shotguns.
- 1996 --- Former Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne sued to prevent the rest of the group from touring as "The Heads." The suit was settled out of court.
- 1997 --- Hudson Foods Inc. closed a plant in Nebraska after it had recalled 25 million pounds of ground beef that was potentially contaminated with E. coli 01557:H7. It was the largest food recall in U.S. history.
- 1999 --- Hua Mei, the giant panda cub, was born at the San Diego Zoo weighing a not-so-giant 4-5 ounces. Her parents are Bai Yun and Shi Shi (they arrived at the zoo on Sep 10, 1996 on a 12-year conservation study). Hua Mei was the first panda born in the U.S. in ten years.
- 2002 --- In Pakistan, President General Pervez Musharraf unilaterally amended the Pakistani constitution. He extended his term in office and granted himself powers that included the right to dissolve parliament.
- Count Basie
- Joe Strummer
- Melvin Van Peebles
- Carrie Anne Moss
- Clarence Williams III
- Kenny Rogers
- Friz Freleng
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Jackie DeShannon
- Peter Weir
- Kim Sledge