Friday, January 31, 2014
Mr. Teeny and I will be celebrating Chinese New Year by recklessly shooting firecrackers in public locations for the next two weeks. Please also remember that people in China don't call it Chinese New Year, it's Lunar New Year; other countries celebrate Lunar New Year as well.)
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. This year is the year of the Horse. Those born in horse years are cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands. Rembrandt, Harrison Ford, Aretha Franklin, Chopin, Sandra Day O'Connor, and President Theodore Roosevelt were born in the year of the horse.
The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people's ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as 'Qianli Ma', a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li equals 500 meters).
Occupying the Seventh position in the Chinese Zodiac, The Horse symbolizes such character traits as strength, energy, and an outgoing nature. Extremely animated, Horses thrive when they’re the center of attention. Always in search of a good time, Horses keep the crowds happy with their humor and their wit.
Happy Hansen's Disease Day
Celebrate World Leprosy Day - be like St. Francis - lick a leper's sores.
Or not, You could think about the fact that Barry Manilow's song, Mandy went gold on this date in 1974.
January 31, 1921 -
John G. Agar, American's greatest B movie actor, first husband of Shirley Temple
Sometimes, it's just a red letter day.
January 31, 1957 -
Terrorama! Double Horror Sensation! Oh Roger Corman, we love you!
It's not to be believed but on a double bill, Attack of the Crab Monsters and Not of this Earth premiered on this date.
Today in History:
January 31, 1606 -
Guy Fawkes and a group of English Catholics attempted to overthrow and assassinate King James I with the intention of installing his daughter, Princess Elizabeth as queen. The failed attempt came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot.
Fawkes was sentenced to the traditional traitors' death - to be 'hanged, drawn and quartered'. In the event, he jumped from the gallows, breaking his own neck and thereby avoiding the horror of being cut down while still alive, having his testicles cut off and his stomach opened and his guts spilled before his eyes. His lifeless body was hacked into quarters and his remains sent to 'the four corners of the kingdom' as a warning to others.
While most of England celebrates the failed Gunpowder Plot as a national holiday on November 5, Guy Fawkes was also voted #30 in the BBC-sponsored list of "100 Greatest Britons" in 2002.
January 31, 1921 -
The Carroll A. Deering was a five-masted commercial schooner that was found run aground off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on this date. Its crew was mysteriously missing.
Theories abound about the the crews disappearance ranging from piracy, mutiny and victims of the dread 'Bermuda Triangle'.
The truth is out there.
January 31, 1940 -
The first monthly retirement check was issued to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, in the amount of $22.54. Miss Fuller, a Legal Secretary, retired in November 1939. She started collecting benefits in January 1940 at age 65 and lived to be 100 years old, dying in 1975.
Ida May Fuller worked for three years under the Social Security program. The accumulated taxes on her salary during those three years were a total of $24.75. Her initial monthly check was $22.54. During her lifetime she collected a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits.
January 31, 1945 -
Private Eddie Slovik was the first U.S. soldier to be shot for desertion since the Civil War on this date.
Although over 21,000 American soldiers were given varying sentences for desertion during World War II, including 49 death sentences, Slovik's was the only death sentence carried out.
January 31, 1950 -
Coming off yet another three day bender, President Truman gives the go-ahead for the development of Edward Teller's hydrogen bomb on this date.
The "hell bomb," as it was called, served to greatly heighten US-USSR tensions in the Cold War. Hopefully, Kim Jong Un is not reading my blog and taking notes.
Explorer-I, officially Satellite 1958 Alpha (and sometimes referred to as Explorer 1), was the first Earth satellite of the United States, having been launched at 10:48 pm EST on January 31, 1958, as part of the United States program for the International Geophysical Year.
The satellite was launched from LC-26 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on board a Juno I rocket.
Electrical power was provided by mercury chemical batteries that made up approximately 40 percent of the payload weight. These provided power that operated the high power transmitter for 31 days and the low-power transmitter for 105 days. (This is on the test.)
January 31, 1961 -
The United States sends its first space monkey into space, Ham the chimpanzee. His Mercury/Redstone 2 achieves an altitude of 158 miles. Ham's capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered by a rescue ship later that day.
After the flight, Ham lived for 17 years in the National Zoo in Washington D.C., then at the North Carolina Zoo before dying at the age of 27 on January 19, 1983. Ham the Chimp was not the first animal in space. That honor goes to Laika the dog, who was sent into orbit by the Soviet Union in 1957. Ham could not deal with this fact and NASA had to hide the fact that Ham had become a heroin addict.
January 31, 1966 -
The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program. Three days later, on February 3, 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to achieve a lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth.
Now the truth can be told.
And so it goes.