Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Lion of the Senate is dead.

U.S. Senator Edward Moore Kennedy, the second most senior member of the Senate, the third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history, brother of one assassinated President and another assassinated Senator, author of more than 300 bills and tabloid fodder for the better part of his life has died.

"I am a part of all that I have met
To [Tho] much is taken, much abides
That which we are, we are --
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

August 26, 1953 -
Considered to be one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s, George Pal's The War of the Worlds was released in 1953.

Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, at one time considered then turned down the chance to direct a version of this H. G Welles classic.

Here's your Today in History:
Today is the Feast of The Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila (again, find an old lady saying her rosary in church to explain it to you.)

If you find yourself in Rome, run, do not walk, to see the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church. It houses one of the most amazing statues - The Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Bernini.

The statues depict a moment described by Saint Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, where she had the vivid vision of an angel piercing her heart with a golden shaft, over and over again, causing her both immense joy and pain. The flowing robes and contorted posture abandon classical restraint and repose to depict a more passionate, almost voluptuous trance.

Give me that old time religion!!!

(More of the Elvis Costello birthday celebration)

Here's your Today in History:
August 26, 1743 -
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier was born. Dr. Lavoisier discovered oxygen.

The discovery was a great boon to science, as it enabled Breathing, without which many subsequent scientific advances wouldhave been impossible.

August 26, 1883-

Krakatoa erupted, between Java and Sumatra. The two-day eruption and related tidal waves killed 36,000 people and destroyed two thirds of the island. (Yeah, yeah, I know, Krakatoa is West of Java.)

On a lighter note, "Krakatoa" sounds like "cracked a toe, huh?" and can be used in many humorous puns.

August 26, 1920 -
Happy Susan B. Anthony Day

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women suffrage. Most women opposed the amendment, on the grounds that they had suffered enough already, but it passed anyway since only men could vote.

August 26, 1982 -
The Argentine government ended its ban on political parties. This resulted in more festive politicians, and the great National Hangover of 1983.

And so it goes.

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