It’s Friday: another week has gone by, and so we’re a week closer to our demise. But today is a big day in history. For one thing, it’s CANADA DAY, celebrating the establishment of a confederation of provinces called “Canada” in 1867. The U.S.’s equivalent holiday is the Fourth of July, on Monday, so our countries both have three-day weekends (Gus celebrates below). Happy holiday to our Canadian friends, especially those in Quebec, who are also celebrating Moving Day, a strange July 1 holiday on which leases expire.
This is also a momentous day for the theory of evolution, for it was on July 1, 1858 that Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Russel Wallace’s papers on evolution by natural selection were read together at the Linnean Society in London. This was the solution devised when, earlier that summer, Darwin received a paper from Wallace describing natural selection. Darwin hadn’t yet published his theory, which he’d been working on for 15 years, so he’d been scooped by Wallace, and the joint presentation of papers allowed both men credit. Darwin quickly followed up by writing an “abstract” of his theory, On the Origin of Species, published in November of the next year.
On a somber note, it’s the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916, and lasted until November 18 of that year. In total there were over a million casualties (the Allies had more than Germany), with over 300,000 killed or missing. July 1 was the bloodiest day, with over 57,000 casualties for the British Army alone, including 19,000 killed: the deadliest day in history for British forces. What a horrible waste of life that war was!
Finally on this day in 1980, Canada adopted “O Canada” as its official national anthem.
Those born on this day included Diana, Princess of Wales (1961; she would have been 55 today), the jazz musician Tommy Dorsey (1899), immunologist and Nobel Laureate Gerald Edelman (1929; I used to play touch football at Rockefeller University against his lab’s fiercely competitive team, “The Edelman Boys”), Twyla Tharp (1941), Debby Harry (1945), and Dan Akroyd (1952). Those who died on this day include architect Buckminster Fuller (1983), and actors Robert Mitchum (1997), Walter Matthau (2000) and Marlon Brando (2004). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Cyrus are adorable as they share the sofa. In only a month I will be sitting in that place with a purring Hili on my chest, while a bereft Cyrus will be consigned to his bed.
Hili: I’m an Epicurean.Cyrus: You are telling me!
Hili: Jestem epikurejką.
Cyrus: Mnie to mówisz?
Out in Winnipeg, Gus is celebrating Canada Day with a free cat toy given out at the bank:
Finally, we have the last strip of the Ten Cats series in which the moggies established a hotel, the Cats’ Inn. Today the hotel is hosting a Rats’ Conference: