Good morning on October 20, 2016: a day that promises to be overcast but not too cold (highs of 14°C, 58°F in Chicago). It’s National Brandied Fruit Day, but we can ignore that. For on this day in 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson’s Big Buy from France. At a cool 828,000 square miles, the purchase nearly doubling the size of the U.S., and at a bargain price of only 4¢ per acre! It also included bits of what are now two provinces of Canada:
In 1973, this date saw an event I remember well, Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” in which he fired U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus as punishment for their own refusal to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Cox was finally fired by Robert Bork, who was later rejected by the Senate after Ronald Reagan proposed Bork as a nominee for the Supreme Court. Things didn’t look good for Nixon, then, and of course he eventually resigned.
Those born on this day include Patrick Mathew (1790), who came up with a rudimentary but largely ignored version of natural selection in the appendix of his book Naval Timber and Arboriculture; Arthur Rimbaud (1854); John Dewey (1859); Jelly Roll Morton (1885); Joyce Brothers (1927); Bobby Seale (1936); and Ken “Ark Park” Ham (1951). Those who died on this day include Eugene V. Debs (1926), Herbert Hoover (1964), Paul Dirac (1984, you can see one of his lectures on quantum mechanics here), and Paul Kurtz (2012). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Crooked Hili is once again lying about her motivations:
A: Hili, you are on my desk chair again.Hili: I’m guarding it so Cyrus will not lie down here.
Ja: Hili, znowu jesteś na moim fotelu!
Hili: Pilnuję, żeby Cyrus się tu nie położył.
Reader Ed Suominen sent a photo titled “Who says cats are worthless?” This one, Ed’s own, is serving as an iPad stand:
“I have the most beautifully trained staff of any cat I know.”Either that or Gus smells Autumn in the air…