1. National Maritime Day —commemorating and honoring the contributions of U.S. Maritime Service; the day was selected to honor the first voyage of the U.S. Savannah, the world’s first cargo steamship vessel. Sadly, given the high cost of labor both on board and in the building of ships, the U.S. Merchant Marine is a shadow of its former self.
2. International Biodiversity Day—another U.N. sponsored observance to promote sustainable biodiversity.
3. 2004 Number One Song—celebrating the number one song in 2004 on a six week run Burn by Usher, an American R&B singer who debuted in the late 90’s and is still performing today. Here is a link (apologies for the Nissan ad) to a music video of Usher performing Burn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5XNWFw5HVw
4. National Vanilla Pudding Day—a great break from the chocolate pudding that seems to rule the pudding desert market.
5. Who Needs 80 Days?—celebrating the birthday on this day in 1878 of Henry Mears who scoffed Jules Verne and set a record for sailing around the world not in 80 days but in a record of 35 days, a speed record that he held for 13 years.
2. On this day in:a. 1856 South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks attacked Massachusetts Senator Charles Summer with his cane, severely injuring him for his attack on pro slavery proponents in Kansas.
b. 1872 President Grant signed the Amnesty Act, granting amnesty to all but 500 veterans of the Confederacy who fought against the Union.
c. 1915 a “dormant” volcano, Mt. Lassen, erupted later joined by Mt. St. Helens as being the only volcanoes in the contiguous United States in the 20th Century.
d. 1964 President Lyndon Johnson announced the goals of the Great Society to defeat poverty and racial injustice.
e. 2002 in a you can run but you cannot hide moment, a jury in Birmingham, Alabama convicted Klu Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murder of four black children by bombing the 15th Street Baptist Church.
Reflections on the need to support our Merchant Marine:”All the great commercial nations pay heavy subsidies to their merchant marine, so that it is obvious that without some wise aid from Congress the United States must lag behind in the matter of a merchant marine.” President Taft in his 1911 Inaugural Address. 104 years later, we still have not come to grips with the problem of a diminished U.S. Merchant Marine.
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© May 22, 2015 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet
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