Welcome to Thursday, April 20, 2017! And it’s an extra good day because it’s National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day, a cake I dearly love (even when made with canned pineapple), but which I haven’t had in ages! It’s also “4/20” Day (in American date style), and 420 is widely celebrated as a number connected with marijuana (see the link for the tortuous reason why).
On this day in 1535 a “sun dog” appeared over Stockholm, and was celebrated in the famous painting “Vädersolstavlan“ (“sun dog painting” in Swedish), whose artist isn’t known for sure. Here’s a freaky 17th-century copy by Jacob Elbfas; as Wikipedia notes, “While chiefly noted for being the oldest depiction of Stockholm in colour, it is arguably also the oldest Swedish landscape painting and the oldest depiction of sun dogs.” [The sun dogs aren’t really accurate.]
On this day in 1861, Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. Army to begin serving for the Confederacy in the Army of Virginia. On April 20, 1862, Pasteur and Bernard completed their experiment falsifying the idea of spontaneous generation. On this day in 1902, Marie and Pierre Curie isolated radium chloride, the first compound of radium obtained in a pure state. Exactly 14 years later, the ill-fated Chicago Cubs played their first game in what is now Wrigley Field. On April 20, 1961, the U.S.-sponsored Bay of Pigs Invasion failed miserably, and in 1999 the Columbine school massacre took place, killing 13 and injuring 24.
Notables born on this day include Odilon Redon (1840), Adolf Hitler (1889), Joan Miró (1893), Willi Hennig (1913), and Jessica Lange (1949; my year!), To wash out the bad taste of Hitler, here’s a lovely painting by Redon:
Those who died on April 20 include Archibald MacLeish (1982), Benny Hill (1992), and Cantinflas (1993). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, little Hania, who used to live upstairs, has returned for a visit with her parents—and Hili finds she isn’t so little any more!
Hania: Did you grow up?Hili: No, you grew up, I’ve just increased a bit.
Hania: Czy ty urosłaś?
Hili: Nie, ty urosłaś, ja się troszkę powiększyłam.