Today is my little girl’s birthday. She is 25 years old. She shares this special day with poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, country-music star Merle Haggard, athlete Shaquille O’Neal comedian Tom Arnold, and Olympian Dick Fosbury, inventor of the Fosbury Flop.
On the other end of the life spectrum, baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died of a stroke at the sad age of 45. John Philip Sousa, composer of Stars & Stripes Forever, died at 77. US author Louisa May Alcott wrote her last words at 55.
Davy Crockett was killed at The Alamo, where in 1836 the Mexicans kicked our asses in San Antonio, Texas after a 13-day siege. It might have been an unfair fight – it was 3,000 of them against 182 of us.
In the shit happens category, on this day in 1987 a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador killed 100, and Belgian ferry boat “Herald of Free Enterprise” capsized and drowned 192. Surely neither would be a good way to go.
In the disgruntled person category, accountant Matt Beck killed four of his coworkers at the Connecticut state lottery. A Palestinian man killed eight students in Jerusalem, and three members of the Irish Republican Army were shot by SAS officers. Why do we do these things to one another?
In 1944, Americans staged the first bombing runs against those pesky Nazis in Berlin. Hopefully, they learned their lesson.
In 1857, the braniacs in the Supreme Court made the Dred Scott Decision, that slaves cannot be US citizens, ultimately leading to the deaths of over 500,000 men in the Civil War.
In 1986, the USSR spacecraft Vega1 flew past Halley’s Comet. I wonder what it saw?
Anyway, Happy Birthday Jamie.