Thursday, May 8, 2008
June 14th is a very special day for me, in as much as I came into this world adding to the veil of tears with my own as the physician spanked my ass. June 14,1944--numerialogists have told me is a "strong symbol"; all those fours. Sun sign, Gemini, with several moons in Gemini. I do not pretend to fully understand astrology either; or for that matter astronomy--other than it is cool to look at those pictures from Hubbel that show galaxies beyond galaxies beyond galaxies, like the mirror image that never ends, folding back unto itself, like extraterrestials are supposed to be able to fold time and space so that they can travel great distances in short periods of time. Somehow June 14th, which was the day that Betsy Ross offered up the first national emblem, has never caught on as a "national holiday". More flags fly on the fourth of July, and on Memorial Day than on my birthday. As a kid, this used to piss me off. So June 14th is fast acoming, bearing down on us like a locomotive, only 37 days from now, and it has my name and my face upon it.
Flag day can mean:
A flag Day day to fly a flag of a certain area or a day set aside to honor an event specifically involving a national flag.
In the UK, "Flag Day" refers to a day when a charity raises funds by collecting in the street and door-to-door, donors being given a small flag or badge to wear, showing that they have supported the charity.
Similarly, in Hong Kong "Flag Day" refers to a day when a charity raises funds by collecting in the street, donors are given a small adhesive flag to wear, showing that they have supported the charity. Such activities are co-ordinated and approved by the government's Social Welfare Department to stamp out bogus frauds.
In India the term refers to a day when armed forces raise funds by collecting donations door-to-door nationally, as a sign of solidarity among the general public towards the welfare of the personnel, and in return distributing token flags.
Flag Day is the title of the first single by The Housemartins, featured on their London 0 Hull 4 album.
Jargon: Flag day is also a term used in discussing computer systems to denote a change which will require a complete restart or conversion of a sizable body of software or data. This usage of the term originates from an obscure such change in the Multics operating system's definition, which was scheduled for the US's Flag Day, June 14th, 1966. 
One such day is January 1st 1983, the day when the ARPANET changed from NCP to the TCP/IP protocol suite.
In Malta, Flag Day honors the national patriot Capt. Joe Greno for leading the movement to end sufferage.
Betsy Ross (January 1, 1752 - January 30, 1836) was an American woman said to have sewn the first American flag which incorporated stars representing the first thirteen colonies, though "many details [about her life] are conjecture based on research."
Born Elizabeth ("Betsy") Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1752. She was the 8th of 17 children. She "grew up in a household where the plain dress and strict discipline of the Society of Friends dominated her life." She learned to sew from her great-aunt Sarah Griscom.
After she finished her schooling at a Quaker public school, her father apprenticed her to an upholsterer named William Webster. At this job, she fell in love with fellow apprentice John Ross, son of an assistant rector at (Episcopal) Christ Church.
As inter-denominational marriages typically lead to being read out of their Quaker meeting, the couple eloped in 1773 when she was 21, marrying at Hugg's Tavern in New Jersey. The wedding caused a split from her family and meant her "expulsion from the Quaker congregation." The young couple soon started their own upholstery business and joined Christ Church.
The Revolutionary War
The Rosses were financially weakened by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The fabrics they depended on became scarce and business slowed considerably. John joined the Pennsylvania militia and was seriously injured by the explosion of an ammunition cache in mid-January 1776. He soon died and was buried in Christ Church cemetery.
Poorly documented legend recounts the widowed Ross meeting with George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris at her upholstery business in Philadelphia in May or June of 1776, a meeting said to have resulted in the sewing of the first U.S. "stars and stripes" flag. According to the legend, it was at this meeting, to "silence the men's protests that these new [five-pointed] stars would be unfamiliar and difficult for seamstresses to make, she folded a piece of paper, made a single scissor snip, and revealed a perfect five-pointed star."
It is the position of the United States government that Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was responsible for the stars in the U.S. flag. Hopkinson designed the flag while he was the Chairman of the Continental Navy Board's Middle Department, sometime between his appointment to that position in November of 1776 and the time that the Flag Resolution was adopted in June of 1777. This contradicts the idea that Betsy Ross could have sewn a Stars and Stripes flag by request of the government in the Spring of 1776.
Evidence that Ross did in fact make flags for government includes a receipt for her making "ship's colours" for the Pennsylvania Navy in May 1777, as well a folded star pattern with her name found in a Philadelphia Quaker Society safe.
After her first husband's death, Ross joined the "Fighting Quakers" which, unlike traditional Quakers, supported the war effort. In June 1777, she married sea captain Joseph Ashburn at Old Swedes' Church in Philadelphia. British soldiers forcibly occupied their house when they controlled the city in 1777. Following the Battle of Germantown, she nursed both American and British soldiers.
In May 1783, Ross married John Claypoole, an old friend who had told her of Ashburn's death. The couple had five daughters together. He died in 1817 after 20 years of ill health. She continued working in her upholstery business, including making flags for the United States of America, until 1827. After her retirement, she moved in with her married daughter, Susannah Satterthwaite, who continued to operate the business. Ross died in Philadelphia at age 84. Although it is one of the most visited tourist sites in Philadelphia, the claim that Ross once lived at the Betsy Ross House is a matter of dispute.
Interment, re-interment and re-re-interment
Ross's body was first buried at the Free Quaker burial ground on South 5th Street. Twenty years later, her remains were exhumed and reburied in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery in the Cobbs Creek Park section of Philadelphia. In preparation for the United States Bicentennial, the city ordered the remains moved to the courtyard of the Betsy Ross House in 1975; however, workers found no remains under her tombstone. Bones found elsewhere in the family plot were deemed to be hers and were reinterred in the current grave visited by tourists at the Betsy Ross House.
So dear Betsy, who helped me to celebrate my day of birth, you go, girl, wherever you are!
June 14 is the 165th day of the year (166th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 200 days remaining until the end of the year.
In common years it is always in ISO week 24.
1276 - While taking exile in Fuzhou in southern China, away from the advancing Mongol invaders, the remnants of the Song Dynasty court hold the coronation ceremony for the young prince Zhao Shi, making him Emperor Duanzong of Song.
1381 - King Richard II of England meets the leaders of Peasants' Revolt.
1645 - English Civil War: Battle of Naseby – 12,000 Royalist forces are beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.
1648 - Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts colony.
1775 - American Revolutionary War: The Continental Army is established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the United States Army.
1777 - Stars and Stripes adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.
1789 - Mutiny on the Bounty: Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reach Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat.
1789 - Whisky distilled from maize is first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It is named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
1800 - French Army of First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in Northern Italy and re-conquers Italy.
1807 - Emperor Napoleon I's French Grande Armee defeats the Russian Army at the Battle of Friedland in Poland, modern Russian Kaliningrad Oblast, ending the War of the Fourth Coalition.
1821 - Badi VII, king of Sennar, surrenders his throne and realm to Ismail Pasha, general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom.
1822 - Charles Babbage proposes a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled "Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables."
1839 - Henley Royal Regatta: The village of Henley, on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, stages its first Regatta.
1846 - Bear Flag Revolt begins - Anglo settlers in Sonoma, California, start a rebellion against Mexico and proclaim the California Republic.
1863 - American Civil War: Battle of Second Winchester – A Union garrison is defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley town of Winchester, Virginia.
1872 - Trade unions are legalised in Canada.
1900 - Hawaii becomes a United States territory.
1900 - The Reichstag approves a second law that allows the expansion of the German navy.
1907 - Norway adopts female suffrage.
1908 - Fourth German Navy Bill is passed authorising the financing the building of another four major warships.
1919 - John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown depart St. John's, Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight.
1934 - James J. Braddock scored one of the most upsetting victories in of his boxing career by beating John "Corn" Griffin - roughly marking the advent of his comeback to success and eventually winning World Heavyweight championship
1937 - Pennsylvania becomes the first (and only) state of the United States to celebrate Flag Day officially as a state holiday.
1937 - U. S. House of Representatives passes the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.
1938 - Action Comics issue one was released, introducing Superman.
1940 - World War II: Paris falls under German occupation,German troops march into Paris, meeting practically no resistance as French and allied forces retreat.
1940 - World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Naval Expansion Act into law which aims to increase the United States Navy's tonnage by 11%.
1940 - A group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów become the first residents of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
1941 - Soviet mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians, the June deportation, began.
1942 - Anne Frank begins to keep a diary.
1944 - Glenn Arnold Bryden (Buttkus later) was born in Seattle, WA, to Betty Bryden, and husband Arnold. He was in the Army, fighting the Japanese in Alaska. Betty passed away in 1966, at 39 years old. It wasn't until 1968, that Butch, the young man, learned that Arnold was in fact, not his biological father, but only his first stepfather; but that is another story, enit?
1951 - UNIVAC I is dedicated by U.S. Census Bureau.
1952 - The keel is laid for the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus.
1954 - U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill into law that places the words "under God" to the United States' Pledge of Allegiance.
1955 - Chile becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
1959 - A group of Dominican exiles with leftist tendencies which departed from Cuba landed in the Dominican Republic with the intent of deposing Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina's dicatorial regime. Save for four of them, all were killed and/or executed by Trujillo's army. This feat would be the inspiration for a clandestine group that would seek to continue undermining Trujillo's power and would be called "Movimiento Catorce de Junio" (14th of June Movement).
1962 - Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler, killed Anna Slesers, his first victim.
1962 - The European Space Research Organisation is established in Paris – later becoming the European Space Agency.
1962 - New Mexico Supreme Court in the case of Montoya v. Bolack, 70 N.M. 196, prohibited state and local governments from denying Indians the right to vote because they lived on a reservation.
1966 - The Vatican announces the abolition of the index librorum prohibitum (index of prohibited books), which was originally instituted in 1557.
1967 - Mariner program: Mariner 5 is launched toward Venus.
1976 - The trial begins at Oxford Crown Court of Donald Neilson, the killer known as the Black Panther.
1982 - Falklands War ends: Argentine forces in the capital Stanley unconditionally surrender to British forces.
1985 - TWA Flight 847 is hijacked by Hezbollah shortly after take-off from Athens, Greece.
2001 - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan form the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
2004 - The Workers Party of Bangladesh is split, as Khandaker Ali Abbas leaves to form a new party.
1444 (O.S.) - Nilakantha Somayaji, Indian mathematician (d. 1544)
1479 (O.S.) - Giglio Gregorio Giraldi, Italian poet (d. 1552)
1529 (O.S.) - Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria (d. 1595)
1726 - James Hutton, Scottish geologist (d. 1797)
1736 - Charles Augustin de Coulomb, French physicist (d. 1806)
1796 - Nikolai Brashman, Russian mathematician (d. 1866)
1801 - Heber C. Kimball, American religious leader (d. 1868)
1811 - Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author (d. 1896)
1812 - Fernando Wood, New York City mayor (d. 1881)
1819 - Henry J. Gardner, 23rd Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1892)
1820 - John Bartlett, publisher of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (d. 1905)
1832 - Nikolaus Otto, German engineer (d. 1891)
1855 - Robert La Follette, U.S. Senator (d. 1925)
1856 - Andrey Markov, Russian mathematician (d. 1922)
1864 - Alois Alzheimer, German physician (d. 1915)
1868 - Karl Landsteiner, Austrian biologist and physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1943)
1870 - Sophia of Prussia, consort of Constantine I of Greece (d. 1932)
1871 - Jacob Ellehammer, Danish inventor (d. 1946)
1877 - Jane Bathori, French mezzo-soprano (d. 1970)
1890 - May Allison, American actress (d. 1989)
1893 - Siggie Nordstrom, Swedish singer (The Nordstrom Sisters) (d. 1980)
1894 - Marie-Adélaïde, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (d. 1924)
1895 - Jack Adams, Canadian ice hockey player, coach and general manager (d. 1968)
1899 - Yasunari Kawabata, Japanese writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1972)
1903 - Alonzo Church, American mathematican and logician (d. 1995)
1905 - Steve Broidy, American motion picture executive (d. 1991)
1906 - Margaret Bourke-White, American photojournalist (d. 1971)
1907 - Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator (d. 1978)
1909 - Burl Ives, American musician (d. 1995)
1910 - Rudolf Kempe, German conductor (d. 1976)
1913 - Joe Morris, C.C., LL.D., Canadian trade unionist (d.1996)
1916 - Dorothy McGuire, American actress (d. 2001)
1917 - Atle Selberg, Norwegian mathematician
1919 - Sam Wanamaker, American actor (d. 1993)
1921 - Gene Barry, American actor
1922 - Kevin Roche, Irish architect
1925 - Pierre Salinger, John F. Kennedy's Press Secretary (d. 2004)
1926 - Hermann Kant, German author
1926 - Don Newcombe, baseball player
1928 - Che Guevara, Argentine-born revolutionary (d. 1967)
1929 - Cy Coleman, American composer (d. 2004)
1931 - Junior Walker, Saxophonist and singer (Jr. Walker & the All Stars)
1931 - Marla Gibbs, American actress
1932 - Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona
1933 - Jerzy Kosinski, Polish author (d. 1999)
1933 - Vladislav Rastorotsky, Soviet gymnastics coach
1936 - Renaldo "Obie" Benson, singer (The Four Tops) (d. 2005)
1936 - Irmelin Sandman Lilius, Finnish actor
1937 - Jørgen Leth, Danish film director
1939 - John F. MacArthur, American evangelist
1939 - Steny Hoyer, U.S. Congressman
1943 - Harold Wheeler, American composer
1944 - Laurie Colwin, American author (d. 1992)
1944 - Glenn Arnold Bryden Buttkus, American poet, author, film reviewer, actor, and teacher.
1945 - Rod Argent, English musician (The Zombies)
1946 - Donald Trump, American businessman and entrepreneur
1947 - Barry Melton, American guitarist (Country Joe and the Fish)
1949 - Jimmy Lea, British musician (Slade)
1949 - Harry Turtledove, American author
1949 - Alan White, British drummer (Yes)
1950 - Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury
1951 - Paul Boateng, British politician
1952 - Pat Summitt, American basketball coach
1953 - Janet Mackey, New Zealand politician
1954 - Will Patton, American actor
1955 - Michael D. Duvall, California State Assemblyman
1955 - Paul O'Grady, British comedian and television presenter
1956 - King Diamond, Danish singer (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate)
1958 - Eric Heiden, American speed skater
1960 - Mike Laga, American baseball player
1961 - Boy George, British singer (Culture Club)
1961 - Sam Perkins, American basketball player
1964 - Peter Gilliver, English lexicographer
1966 - Traylor Howard, American actress
1967 - Kelly Nash, American radio personality
1968 - Yasmine Bleeth, American actress
1968 - Faizon Love, American actor
1969 - Steffi Graf, German tennis player
1969 - Éric Desjardins, French-Canadian hockey player
1969 - Kyle Hebert, American voice actor
1969 - MC Ren, American rapper
1969 - Michael Gerber, American parody author
1971 - Bruce Bowen, American basketball player
1971 - Ramon Vega, former Swiss footballer
1972 - Matthias Ettrich, German computer scientist (KDE)
1972 - Shaun Keaveny, British radio DJ
1973 - Ceca Raznatovic, Serbian singer
1974 - Jang Jin-young, South Korean actress
1975 - Ryuji Miki, Japanese racing driver
1975 - Chris Onstad, American cartoonist
1976 - Alan Carr, British Stand-up comedian, Television presenter
1976 - Massimo Oddo, Italian football player
1977 - Chris McAlister, American football player
1977 - Massimiliano Neri, Italian Supermodel
1978 - Steve Bégin, French-Canadian hockey player
1978 - Diablo Cody, American screenwriter
1978 - Annia Hatch, Cuban-American gymnast
1981 - Chauncey Leopardi, American actor
1981 - Lonneke Engel, Dutch model
1982 - Lang Lang, Chinese pianist
1982 - Jamie Green, British racing driver
1983 - John Stocco, American football player
1983 - Louis Garrel, French actor
1984 - Siobhán Donaghy, British singer (ex-Sugababes)
1984 - Lorenzo Booker, American football player
1985 - Andrew Bonner, Scotish football player
1989 - Courtney Halverson, American actress
1992 - Daryl Sabara, American actor
1161 - Emperor Qinzong of China (b. 1100)
1381 - Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury
1497 - Giovanni Borgia, Duke of Borgia (assassinated)
1544 - Antoine, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1489)
1548 - Carpentras, French composer
1594 - Orlande de Lassus, Flemish composer
1662 - Henry Vane the Younger, British Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1613)
1674 - Marin le Roy de Gomberville, French writer (b. 1600)
1703 - Jean Herauld Gourville, French adventurer (b. 1625)
1794 - Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, Viceroy of Ireland (b. 1718)
1800 - Louis Charles Antoine Desaix, French military leader (killed in battle) (b. August 17, 1768)
1800 - Jean-Baptiste Kleber, French general (assassinated) (b. 1753)
1801 - Benedict Arnold, American general (b. 1741)
1825 - Pierre Charles L'Enfant, French architect (b. 1754)
1837 - Giacomo Leopardi, Italian writer (b. 1798)
1883 - Edward FitzGerald, English poet (b. 1809)
1886 - Alexandr Ostrovsky, Russian dramatist (b. 1823)
1908 - Frederick Arthur Stanley, Governor general of Canada (b. 1841)
1916 - João Simões Lopes Neto, Brazilian writer (b. 1865)
1920 - Max Weber, German sociologist (b. 1864)
1926 - Mary Cassatt, American artist (b. 1843)
1927 - Ottavio Bottecchia, Italian cyclist (b. 1894)
1927 - Jerome K. Jerome, British author (b. 1859)
1928 - Emmeline Pankhurst, British feminist (b. 1857)
1932 - Dorimène Roy Desjardins, Canadian business pioneer
1936 - G. K. Chesterton, English author (b. 1874)
1936 - Hans Poelzig, German architect (b. 1869)
1946 - John Logie Baird, Scottish television pioneer (b. 1888)
1967 - Eddie Eagan, American sportsman (b. 1897)
1968 - Salvatore Quasimodo, Italian writer, Nobel Laureate (b. 1901)
1975 - Pablo Antonio, Filipino modernist architect (b. 1902)
1977 - Robert Middleton, American actor (b. 1911)
1986 - Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer (b. 1899)
1986 - Alan Jay Lerner, American composer (b. 1918)
1990 - Erna Berger, German soprano (b. 1900)
1991 - Dame Peggy Ashcroft, British actress (b. 1907)
1994 - Henry Mancini, American composer (b. 1924)
1995 - Rory Gallagher, Irish guitarist (b. 1949)
1995 - Roger Zelazny, American author (b. 1937)
1997 - Tesslynn O'Cull, child abuse victim (b. 1995)
1997 - Richard Jaeckel, American actor (b. 1926)
1999 - Bernie Faloney, professional football player (b. 1932)
2000 - Attilio Bertolucci, Italian poet and writer (b. 1911)
2002 - June Jordan, American writer and teacher (b. 1936)
2004 - Ulrich Inderbinen, Swiss mountain guide (b. 1900)
2004 - Eamonn McGirr, Irish-born singer and entertainer
2005 - Carlo Maria Giulini, Italian conductor (b. 1914)
2005 - Mimi Parent, Canadian painter (b. 1924)
2006 - Jean Roba, Belgian comics author (b. 1930)
2007 - Ruth Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham (b. 1920)
2007 - Robin Olds, American World War II and Vietnam War ace fighter pilot (b. 1922)
2007 - Kurt Waldheim, Austrian United Nations Secretary-General and Federal President of Austria (b. 1918)
Holidays and observances
Liberation Day (Falkland Islands)
Flag Day (United States)
Roman Empire – eighth day of the Vestalia in honor of Vesta
St. Eliseus, Prophet
So when the day arrives, seize it, whip it, whip it good, wave your flag for me, Argentina.