When you read this on the morning of January 13, I’ll be waiting at Midway Airport for my flight to LAX (yes, Friday the 13th). As a food holiday, it’s a double: National Gluten-Free Day and National Peach Melba Day. Fortunately, I don’t think Peach Melba (named after the singer Nellie Melba) has gluten, so you can observe both days at once. But did you know that she also gave her name to Melba toast? It’s also “Stephen Foster Day” in the US, named after the songwriter who died on this day in 1864.
On this day in 1898, Émile Zola wrote a piece for the paper L’Aurore called “J’accuse…!“ arguing that the French officer Alfred Dreyfus had been unjustly accused and convicted of treason, and that anti-Semitism was partly responsible (Dreyfus was Jewish). The famous article had some role in Dreyfus’s subsequent pardoning and then the annulment of his verdict. Here’s the article, which has become a synonym for speaking truth to power (it was addressed to the President of France):
On this day in 1910, the first public radio broadcast took place: a performance of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. And, in 1968, Johnny Cash performed his famous concert for the inmates of Folsom State Prison, which is still in operation.
Notables born on this day include Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832), Sophie Tucker (1887), Robert “Eliot Ness” Stack (1919), Paul Feyerabend (1924), and the French cartoonist Cabu (1938, died in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in 2015). Those who died on this day include Wyatt Earp (1929), James Joyce (1941 ♥), Lyonel Feininger (1956, one of my favorite painters), Ernie Kovacs (1962), and Hubert Humphrey (1978). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is having a good laugh at humans.
A: Homo sapiens sapiens.Hili: It amuses me too.
A: Homo sapiens sapiens.Hili: Też mnie to śmieszy.
And, courtesy of reader Michael, enjoy “Snow day at the Oregon Zoo”, put up two days ago. I don’t know how on Earth an Indian elephant can tolerate that stuff!