The World Almanac E-Newsletter


Volume 1, Number 7- July 2001

 

 

July Events
July 2 (noon) - Halfway point of 2001
July 3-August 11 - Dog Days
July 4-7 - National Tom Sawyer Days (Hannibal, Missouri)
July 7-14 - Running of the Bulls (Pamplona, Spain)
July 7-14 - National Cherry Festival (Traverse City, Michigan)
July 7-29 - Le Tour de France
July 10 - Baseball All-Star Game
July 13-29 - Newport Music Festival (Newport, Rhode Island)
July 13-August 20 - Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
July 16 - WNBA All-Star Game
July 16-22 - British Open golf tournament
July 19-23 - Hemingway Days Festival (Key West, Florida)
July 19-29 - Just For Laughs: The Montreal International Comedy Festival
July 27-August 5 - Dodge City Days (Dodge City, Kansas)
July 31-August 1 - Melville Marathon (24-hour reading of Moby Dick in Mystic, Connecticut)

 


Holidays
July 1 - Canada Day
July 4 - Independence Day (225th anniversary)
July 7 - Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day
July 14 - Bastille Day
July 15 - National Ice Cream Day
July 29 - Parents' Day

 

This Day in History - July

01    1997    After 99 years as a British territory, Hong Kong is returned to China.

02    1937    Aviator Amelia Earhart and her copilot Fred Noonan disappear during a flight while over the Pacific.

03    1976    At Entebbe airport in Uganda, an Israeli commando unit stages a raid on an Air France airliner that was hijacked enroute from Tel Aviv to Paris; 103 hostages are rescued, while 3 hostages, 7 hijackers, and 20 Ugandan soldiers are killed.

04    1826    Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die.

05    1975    Arthur Ashe upsets Jimmy Connors in 4 sets at Wimbledon, becoming the first African-American man ever to win the tournament.

06    1933    The first major league All-Star Game is played in Chicago's Comiskey Park, with the American League defeating the National League, 4-2, on a home run by Babe Ruth.

07    1981    Pres. Ronald Reagan announces the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court, the first woman ever named to the Court.

08    1969    The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam begins.

09    1850    Pres. Zachary Taylor dies and is succeeded by Vice Pres. Millard Fillmore.

10    1985    Coca-Cola announces that it will bring back its original Coke formula--replaced by New Coke in April, to a storm of protest--as Coca-Cola Classic.

11    1804    Alexander Hamilton is shot by Vice Pres. Aaron Burr in a duel in Weehawken, NJ; he dies the next day.

12    Walter Mondale, the expected Democratic presidential nominee, announces the choice of New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate--the first woman chosen as a vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket.

13    1863    Draft riots begin in New York City; by July 16, some 1,000 people are killed or wounded and some blacks are hanged by mobs.

14    1789    The French Revolution begins with the fall of the Bastille in Paris.

15    1912    Amassing 8,412 points--800 more than his nearest competitor--Jim Thorpe wins the Olympic decathlon.

16    1918    In Russia, Czar Nicholas II and his family are executed by a firing squad on the order of the Bolsheviks.

17    1948    The States' Rights Party, made up of "Dixiecrats" opposed to Pres. Harry Truman's civil rights agenda, forms and nominates Strom Thurmond of South Carolina for president.

18    1936    Spanish Army officers revolt, led by Gen. Francisco Franco, to start the Spanish Civil War.

19    1848    The Women's Rights Convention, led by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, opens in Seneca Falls, NY.

20    1969    After making the first lunar landing, astronaut Neil Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 mission, becomes the first person to set foot on the Moon; he was followed by Edwin Aldrin.

21    1976    Over a 3-day period until July 24, what comes to be known as "Legionnaire's disease" strikes people attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, eventually killing 29.

22    1934    FBI agents kill notorious bank robber John Dillinger as he leaves a Chicago movie theater, supposedly having been betrayed by the "Lady in Red."

23    1952    Army officers launch a revolution in Egypt, transforming the country from a monarchy to a republic.

24    1925    John T. Scopes is found guilty of having taught evolution in a Dayton, TN, high school, after the "Monkey Trial" pits Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan.

25    1956    The Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria collides with the Swedish liner Stockholm off Cape Cod and sinks; some 50 people die, but over 1,600 are rescued by other ships in the area.

26    1948    An executive order is signed by Pres. Harry Truman ending racial segregation in the armed forces.

27    1974    The House Judiciary Committee votes the first article of impeachment against Pres. Richard Nixon, 17-11, charging conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Watergate cover-up.

28    1914    World War I officially begins when Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.

29    1981    In a splendid ceremony watched by an estimated 750 million TV viewers, Britain's Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer are married in London's St. Paul Cathedral.

30    1619    The House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in the New World, is elected at Jamestown, VA.

31    1877    Thomas Edison receives a patent for his phonograph.

 

 

July Birthdays

01    1916    Olivia De Havilland, actress (Tokyo, Japan)

02    1932    Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's (Atlantic City, NJ)

03    1962    Tom Cruise, actor (Syracuse, NY)

04    1918    Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, advice columnists (Sioux City, IA)

05    1951    Huey Lewis, singer (New York, NY)

06    1946    George W. Bush, President (New Haven, CT)

07    1980    Michelle Kwan, champion figure skater (Torrance, CA)

08    1970    Beck (Hansen), musician (Los Angeles, CA)

09    1956    Tom Hanks, actor (Oakland, CA)

10    1956    Anita Hill, legal scholar and sexual harassment complainant against Clarence Thomas (Morris, OK)

11    1936    Giorgio Armani, fashion designer (Romagna, Italy)

12    1908    Milton Berle, comedian (New York, NY)

13    1942    Harrison Ford, actor (Chicago, IL)

14    1913    Gerald Ford, 38th president of the United States (Omaha, NE)

15    1960    Kim Alexis, model (Lockport, NY)

16    1948    Pinchas Zukerman, violinist (Tel Aviv, Israel)

17    1912    Art Linkletter, TV personality (Saskatchewan, Canada)

18    1918    Nelson Mandela, former anti-apartheid activist and South African president (Gunu, Transkei, South Africa)

19    1941    Vikki Carr, singer (El Paso, TX)

20    1947    Carlos Santana, musician (Autlan, Mexico)

21    1938    Janet Reno, former attorney general (Miami, FL)

22    1965    David Spade, actor (Birmingham, MI)

23    1940    Don Imus, radio personality (Riverside, CA)

24    1970    Jennifer Lopez, actress/singer (Bronx, NY)

25    1978    Louise Brown, first test-tube baby (Oldham, England)

26    1959    Kevin Spacey, actor (South Orange, NJ)

27    1942    Peggy Fleming, Olympic champion figure skater/sportscaster (San Jose, CA)

28    1943    Bill Bradley, former basketball player, NJ senator and presidential aspirant (Crystal City, MO)

29    1953    Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker (New York, NY)

30    1947    Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor/bodybuilder (Graz, Austria)

31    1944    Sherry Lansing, producer (Chicago, IL)

 

 

Featured Location of the Month:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Location:    Largest city in Pennsylvania, coextensive with Philadelphia County, located in the SE corner of the state, at the junction of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.

Population (2000 Census):    1,517,550 (5th-largest city in the U.S.)

Mayor:    John F. Street (Democrat)

July Temperatures:    Normal high of 86.1 degrees; Normal low of 67.2 degrees

Colleges & Universities:    Chestnut Hill College; Community College of Philadelphia; Curtis Institute of Music; Drexel University; Holy Family College; La Salle University; MCP Hahnemann University; Moore College of Art and Design; Pierce College; Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; Philadelphia University; St. Joseph's University; Temple University; Thomas Jefferson University; The University of the Arts; University of Pennsylvania; University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Museums:    Academy of Natural Sciences; African American Museum in Philadelphia; American Swedish Historical Museum; Atwater Kent Museum; Franklin Institute Science Museum; Independence Seaport Museum; Institute of Contemporary Art; Mummers Museum; National Liberty Museum; National Museum of American Jewish History; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Please Touch Museum; Rodin Museum; Rosenbach Museum & Library; University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Zoos:    Philadelphia Zoo

Events:    Sunoco Welcome America! (ends July 4); Independence Day Ceremony/Liberty Medal Presentation (July 4); Hispanic Fiesta Weekend (July 7-8); Greek Picnic, Fairmount Park (July 14); Sidewalk Sizzle & Ice Cream Freeze, Reading Terminal Market (July 14); Dragon Boat Races (July 31-August 4)

Sports teams:    Philadelphia Phillies (baseball), Philadelphia 76ers (basketball), Philadelphia Eagles (football), Philadelphia Flyers (hockey)

Places to visit:    Independence National Historical Park, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Old City Hall, Carpenters' Hall, Christ Church, and Mikveh Israel Cemetery; Betsy Ross House; South Street; Reading Terminal Market; Chinatown; Fairmount Park; Manayunk (shopping and dining district); Chestnut Hill; City Hall; Penn's Landing; Eastern State Penitentiary

Tallest Building:    One Liberty Place, 1650 Market Street (61 stories)

History:    Philadelphia was first settled by Swedes in 1638; the Swedes surrendered to the Dutch in 1654. It was settled by English and Scottish Quakers in 1678. In 1681 the land was granted by Charles II of England to William Penn, a prominent Quaker. In 1682, Penn named the city Philadelphia (Greek for "brotherly love"). Philadelphia was incorporated as a city in 1701.

As the most populous community in the British colonies, Philadelphia figured prominently in the events leading to the American Revolution. Continental Congresses convened here in 1774 and 1775. The Declaration of independence was signed here in 1776, and the U.S. Constitution was drafted ere in 1787. Philadelphia was the national capital from 1776 to 1800 except for a brief period in 1789 and 1790) and the state capital from 683 to 1799.

Commerce and industry grew rapidly, and in 1854 the city limits were extended to the county boundaries and a number of surrounding settlements were annexed. Following the Civil War, the city's economy continued to expand at an accelerated pace, attracting emigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, and other European countries. During and after World War II the city's population was increased by large numbers of black migrants from the southeastern states. Philadelphia's population reached a peak of 2.1 million in 1950. During the 1950s substantial out-migration of people and industry took place and thousands of manufacturing jobs were lost. Today Philadelphia forms the hub of a large metropolitan area that extends across southeastern Pennsylvania into New Jersey and Delaware. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 45 percent of Philadelphians were white
and 43 percent were black or African American. Of the total population, 9 percent were Hispanic.

Birthplace of:    Frankie Avalon (1939); Kevin Bacon (1958); Peter Boyle (1933); Ed Bradley (1941); David Brenner (1945); Chubby Checker (1941); Noam Chomsky (1928); Imogene Coca (1908); Bill Cosby (1937); Blythe Danner (1944); Kim Delaney (1964); Chris Dundee (1907); Fabian (1943); Lola Falana (1946); James Fallows (1949); Norman Fell (1924); Linda Fiorentino (1960); Eddie Fisher (1928); Richard Gere (1949); Seth Green (1974); Sherman Hemsley (1938); Joan Jett (1960); Jack Klugman (1922); Maxine Kumin (1925); Patti LaBelle (1944); Sidney Lumet (1924); Elaine May (1932); Andrea McArdle (1963); Fayard Nicholas (1914); Teddy Pendergrass (1950); Arthur Penn (1922); Robert Prosky (1930); Anna Quindlen (1953); Bobby Rydell (1942); Bob Saget (1956); Susan Seidelman (1952); Penny Singleton (1908); Will Smith (1968); Parker Stevenson (1952)

Websites: http://www.phila.gov; http://www.gpcc.com; http://www.pcvb.org


 

Obituaries in June 2001

 

Adler, Mortimer, 98, influential American scholar and philosopher who devised the Great Books program of learning spelled out in his "How to Read a Book"; San Mateo, CA, June 28, 2001.

 

Birenda, King Bikram, 55, king of Nepal shot, along with five other members of the royal family, by his son, guided Nepal to democracy; Kathmandu, Nepal, June 1, 2001.

 

Coca, Imogene, 92, Sid Caesar’s partner in the classic TV comedy duo, NBC’s "Your Show of Shows" in the 1950’s; Westport, CN, June 2, 2001.

 

Dionne, Yvonne, 67, one of the young quintuplets whose birth was hailed as a medical miracle in 1934 and attracted millions of tourists; Montreal, Canada June 23, 2001.

 

Francis, Arlene, 93, actress known for her bubbly wit featured on the long-running TV game show, "What’s My Line?"; San Francisco, CA, May 31, 2001.

Hooker, John Lee, 83, legendary bluesman whose roots were in the Mississippi Delta but whose influence became worldwide; Los Altos, CA, June 21, 2001.

Ketcham, Hank, 81, creator of the freckle-faced trouble-maker, Dennis the Menace, in a classic cartoon strip that lasted 50 years; Carmel, CA, June 1, 2001.

Maxim, Joey, 79, the only boxer to ever beat Sugar Ray Robinson in his 201-fight career, Maxim faced ten world champions; West Palm Beach, FL, June 2, 2001.

O’Connor, Carroll, 76, classically trained actor who played Archie Bunker, a white conservative, working-class father in the groundbreaking TV series "All in the Family"; Culver City, CA, June 21, 2001.

O'Farrill, Chico, 79, Cuban-born big band arranger, composer and one of the creators of Afro-Cuban jazz in the 1950's; New York, NY, June 28, 2001.

Paz Estenssoro, Victor, 93, four-time Bolivian president who, in the 1980’s undid the features of a revolution he crafted in the 1950’s; Tarija, Bolivia, June 7, 2001.

Quinn, Anthony, 86, Oscar-winning actor who played the title role in "Zorba the Greek" as well as many other tough guys in a six-decade-long career; Boston, MA, June 3, 2001.

 

Science in the News

 

Early in June 2001, utility company Detroit Edison replaced nine old copper cables with the first three superconducting cables ever installed in an active American power grid. The new cables are the result of fifteen years of research into how to turn chemically complex high-temperature superconductors, by nature brittle and stiff, into flexible wires. Superconductors conduct electricity without electrical resistance. High-temperature superconductors, despite their title, still require very cold temperatures to superconduct, but as coolant they can use liquid nitrogen, a much less expensive and slightly less frigid alternative to the liquid helium used by cold-temperature superconductors.  The American Superconductor wires in the Detroit Edison project can conduct 17 times the amount of current that the old copper wires can, but because the alternating current produced for the grid disturbs the magnetic fields in the new cables they will only be able to deliver the same amount of power as the old copper cables. The main benefit of the superconducting cables, especially in an urban setting, is that they open up once-occupied underground conduit space, meaning city planners may be able to avoid tearing up streets and sidewalks to add power and communications bandwidth.

 

 

Both IBM and Intel had something special up their sleeves for devotees of computer progress at June's 2001 Silicon Nanoelectronics Workshop in Kyoto, Japan. Intel announced that it had created its smallest, fastest silicon transistor yet--just 70 to 80 atoms across and 3 atoms thick. Electrons move through so quickly that it can switch on and off (or, in other words, process bits of digital information) 1.5 trillion times per second--all while using about half the power of the transistors in Intel's current top-of-the line Pentium 4 microprocessor. Intel anticipates producing microchips based on this newest transistor running at 20 GHz (20 billion hertz) by 2007.

 

IBM, for its part, released a breakthrough that justifies its recent strategy of innovation other than miniaturization. They perfected an alternative form of semiconductor microchip material called "strained silicon." They took advantage of the natural tendency for one crystal, in this case silicon, to stretch to conform to another more expansive crystal lattice layered underneath, in this case silicon germanium, a semiconductor IBM has worked with a lot over the last decade. Electrons can travel 70% faster through the "strained" crystal lattice, meaning chips should gain an overall performance boost of about 35%.

 

 

In the May 25, 2001 issue of the journal Science, Chinese paleontologists published a report on a tiny "mammaliaform" species dating back to the Jurassic period. Paleontologist Zhe-Xi Luo, who was the principal author of the Science report, determined that the 12-millimeter (half-inch) long fossil was the skull from an adult animal  weighing no more than 2 grams
and no bigger than a paperclip. The researchers named the little rodent-like creature Hadrocodium wui. Hadrocodium is Greek for "full head," and wui honors the Chinese paleontologist who first uncovered the specimen in 1985 in the fossil-rich beds of the Lower Lufeng Formation in China. The skull had been mistaken for a bone fragment until Luo and team recently > investigated it more closely. Found in 195-million-year-old sediments, the skull is the oldest to show features of mammalian anatomy, such as more sensitive ears and a larger brain case relative to the rest of the skull. Luo reported, "Hadrocodium could be our distant cousin, an early mammal that existed alongside the ancestor of living mammals. Or it could be the great-great grand uncle, closely related to living mammals but not in our direct lineage. Or Hadrocodium could be the direct ancestor of living mammals. The fossil evidence can't distinguish between these three possibilities."

 

 Astronomical Events

Most of July 2001 - Midnorthern observers using binoculars and small telescopes should have little trouble finding Comet LINEAR C/2001 near the Great Square of Pegasus, which climbs high in the sky during the predawn hours.

 

Special Feature: Bullheaded Bravery

By David Faris

From July 7-14, thousands of tourists from around the world will descend on Pamplona, Spain, for the weeklong Fiesta of San Fermin, and they won’t be there just for the sangria. The primary draw for revelers is the daily “running of the bulls,” in which an enormous crowd watches some brave souls run in front of charging bulls through the city center before jumping over a fence to avoid certain injury and possible death. The runners, who are often inebriated, inexperienced tourists, take their lives into their hands simply by setting foot on the same path as the bulls.  The length of the run is about half a mile, and the whole thing lasts only a few minutes – if all goes well.

The mortal danger inherent in the Bull Run is the same exhilarating peril that makes bullfighting so popular. The sport is enjoys support not only in Mexico and Spain, but also in Venezuela, Colombia, Portugal (with different rules), and southern France.

Bullfighting has been practiced, in one form or another, since around 1500 BC, in Crete, where researchers uncovered a wall painting depicting “bull leaping,” or the art of acrobats grabbing bulls by the horns and flipping themselves over the animals. However, it wasn’t until the Moors overran the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century that the spectacle became stylized and popular. The Moors fought the bulls while on horseback, but as time went on, the men on foot who aided the mounted riders—today’s matadors—began to attract the crowds’ attention, and by the 18th century, the sport had begun to take on its present form.

The matadors are the principal attraction, and can make up to $25,000 per corrida, or afternoon of fighting. They dress for the fights in elaborate, expensive suits called a traje de luces (“suit of lights”). Like professional athletes in the U.S., they have been known to go on strike. Matadors are judged for their grace, their nerve in the face of danger, and how close they get to the bull’s horns with their intricate movements. The bulls themselves attack the matador’s cape not because of its color (bulls are color blind) but because it is a large, moving target, which hundreds of years of breeding and natural instinct tell them to charge. After a three-act fight, the “moment of truth” occurs when the matador faces down the bull and executes a perilous final maneuver for the kill. The final showdown is so dangerous for the matador that it makes running from a bull seem almost cowardly—unless, of course, you happen to be the unfortunate tourist in the beast’s path.

 

Chronology - Events of June 2001

NATIONAL

    The Democrats regained control of the U.S. Senate June 5, when Sen. Jim Jeffords (VT) officially withdrew from the Republican party to become an independent. The Senate had been split 50-50, and with the shift in control, Sen. Tom Daschle (D, SD) became the majority leader.

    A Los Angeles jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages to a longtime smoker and lung cancer patient in a verdict against the Philip Morris companies June 6.

    Timothy McVeigh, who built and delivered the bomb that killed 168 people in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was executed June 11 by lethal injection at the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, IN.

    The White House, responding to escalating protests, announced June 14 that the U.S. Navy would cease bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques in 2003. Supporters of the military protested that the island was a vital training ground, while opponents of the bombing exercises insisted that they stop immediately.

    A Houston mother, Andrea Yates, reportedly suffering from post-partum depression, drowned all five of her young children in the bathtub June 20, before calling her husband and police.

INTERNATIONAL

    The crown prince of Nepal, Dipendra, shot 10 members of the royal family to death in their palace June 1, wounded several others, then shot and gravely wounded himself (he died June 4). The motive for the shootings, reportedly, was a dispute with his parents over his choice of a bride.

    A Palestinian suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded more than 100 June 1, when he set off an explosion at the entrance to a Tel Aviv nightclub packed with young Israelis. The next day, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat called for an immediate cease fire.

    The British Labor Party won an overwhelming victory in the June 7 national elections, winning a 167-seat majority in the 659-seat House of Commons, down only slightly from its previous 179-seat majority. Prime Min. Tony Blair was assured of another term, and his Conservative opponent, William Hague, announced June 8 that he would step down as party leader. 

    Pres. George W. Bush met with Spanish Prime Min. Jose Maria Aznar June 12, beginning Bush’s first trip to Europe. He met with NATO leaders in Brussels June 13, with European Union leaders in Goteborg, Sweden, June 14, and with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin for the first time in Slovenia, June 16. Throughout the trip sought to promote his controversial plan for a missile defense and reiterated his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol.

GENERAL

    The Producers, a musical which pokes fun at the Nazis, received a record 12 Tony awards June 3, including Best Musical, at the ceremonies in New York City. The show, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, was based on the 1968 movie of the same name. David Auburn’s play Proof received the award for best dramatic production.

    Tropical Storm Allison wreaked havoc on the Texas Gulf Coast June 5-10, killing 20 people, mostly in the Houston area, and causing $1 billion in damages.

SPORTS

    Australian Karrie Webb won her second consecutive U.S. Women's Open, June 3, with an eight-stroke victory over Korean Se Ri Pak at Southern Pines, North Carolina.

    Preakness winner Point Given won the Belmont Stakes by 12 1/4 lengths on June 9, taking the final two legs of the Triple Crown after finishing fifth in the Kentucky Derby.  Monarchos, winner of the  Kentucky Derby, finished third.

    On June 9, Jennifer Capriati's remarkable return to tennis continued as she defeated Belgium's Kim Cljisters 1-6, 6-4, 12-10, to win the French Open.  (Capriati had won her first Grand Slam event, the Australian Open, in January 2001.) Gustavo Kuerten won his second consecutive French Open title, June 10, defeating Spain's Alex Corretja 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-2, 6-0.

    With a 3-1 victory in Game Seven, June 9, the Colorado Avalanche took the Stanley Cup from the defending champion New Jersey Devils.  Goalie Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP in the playoffs) a record third time.

    The Los Angeles Lakers won their second NBA Championship in a row, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers, 108-96, in Game Five of the NBA Finals on June 15, in Philadelphia.  Center Shaquille O'Neal won his second Finals MVP Award.

On June 18, South Africa's Retief Goosen redeemed himself by defeating Texan Mark Brooks by two strokes in an 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Open at Southern Hills Country Club.  Goosen had missed a three-foot putt on the 18th hole the previous afternoon that would have given him the Open, and had to make an 18-inch putt to force the playoff.

    After 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. announced, June 19, that the 2001 season will be his last.  Ripken will be remembered most for playing a record 2,632 consecutive games from May 30, 1982, to September 20, 1998-breaking Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130.

    Karrie Webb, of Australia, became the youngest to win a career Grand Slam in women's golf, June 24, with her two-stroke victory over Laura Diaz in the LPGA Championship at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.

Offbeat News Stories

    It's not often that a government offers a simple and direct way around its own complicated bureaucracy.  But on June 9, 2001, Turkish truck drivers were given a chance to break through the red-tape-literally.  A 2.5 kilometer race was held in the town of Silopi, near the Turkey-Iraq border.  The first trucker to break the tape-and the next nine drivers-received automatic government permits to haul inexpensive Iraqi diesel into Turkey. Truckers less fleet must go through  the usual days-long authorization process.

    Fears that Ireland would soon run dry of its most famous product-Guinness Beer-were alleviated after a one-day strike in April 2001.  Workers striking in protest over the proposed closing of a Guinness packaging plant in Dundalk, Ireland, voted to accept severance packages that included up to $150,000, health benefits-and ten years' worth of free beer.  Eligible employees will receive weekly beer allowance of about 14 bottles, with more on two holidays a year.  After all, according to their internationally famous slogan, "Guinness is good for you."

    It's doubtful an inspirational film like "Chariots of Fire" will ever be made about them, but the "Handwashing Olympics" do promote good hygiene. Held annually at the Food Safety Summit and Expo in Washington, D.C., the competition uses a plastic fluorescent particle solution instead of real germs and highlights a "dirty" secret:  most people don't wash their hands as well or as often as they should, spending an average of 5-7 seconds on a task that should take 20 seconds.  The most commonly missed areas are the cuticles, between the fingers, and the back of the hand. (Reportedly, about one out of every three people don't wash their hands at all after using a public restroom.)  For the record, Michelle Samariya-Timm, a graduate student in public health at Montclair State University (NJ), came away with the gold medal, scoring a perfect "germ-free" 100.


100 Years Ago in the WORLD ALMANAC

Once upon a time, The World Almanac and Encyclopedia, as it was known then, accepted paid advertisements in the annual book.  While patent medicines and liquor ads are evident, there is an assortment of other ads:

 

Long before everyone drank bottled water, and with celebrity endorsements:

 

THE SANITARY STILL.....on your kitchen stove furnishes plenty of distilled aerated water at trifling cost.  Simple as a tea-kettle.

 

Mrs. Julia Dent Grant, widow of the famous General writes: "I have used your Sanitary Still and am very much pleased with it.  The water from the still is pure and palatable."

 

Admiral Dewey writes:  "I join my friend, Hon. Hilary A. Herbert, ex-Secretary of the Navy, in recommending your Sanitary Still.  The water from the still is absolutely pure and palatable."

 

THE SANITARY STILL used in the WHITE HOUSE.  HIGHEST AWARD at the PARIS EXPOSITION.

Only Still recognized by U.S. Government.  Six styles, $10.00 up.

 

THE CUPRIGRAPH CO., 69 N. Green St., Chicago

 

 

KAISER MUSTACHE TRAINER

Use this wonderful trainer.  Worn five minutes in the morning trains any moustache for all day to the shape desired, and permanently after using a few times, assuring comfort and improved appearance.

 

It will be found that nearly all gentleman with nice and well-trained mustaches use one of these Kaiser Trainers.

It overcomes every objectionable feature of a moustache.

 

Sent to any address on receipt of 50 cents.

BOHNER MANUFACTURING CO., 42 State Street, Chicago, IL

 

 

And in the days when it was a rarity to own an automobile, good carriages were available:

 

Prices

$37.50 - Leather Quarter Top

$41.50 - Full Leather Top

 

TOP: Three or four bow.  CUSHIONS: Leather or cloth, spring back, solid panel.  WHEELS: Sarven, select hickory, ironed full length, double reach.  TIRES: 1-4 inch Bessemer steel, round edge, bolted between each spoke.  AXLES: Finest O.T. steel, 1 inch square.  Our axles never bend or give down.  No hole in centre.  SPRINGS: End or side bar; best steel.  BODY: 17, 19, 22, or 24 inches wide, 53 inches long.  Select yellow poplar well seasoned.  PAINT: Best lead and oil.  Body black, wheels dark green or red, nicely striped and ornamental.  COMPLETE:  With shafts, anti-rattlers, storm apron, boot, wrench and feather duster.

 

We can sell you a good Imitation Leather Top or Cushion Buggy for $31.95

 

CHAS. C. CLARK & CO., Main and Walnut Sts., St Louis

 

 

Links of the Month

Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

 

Chocolate.  That one word conjures up a multitude of mouth-watering images.  I have found an online chocoholics site that offers virtual chocolate, chocolate virtual postcards, and the chance to join a club of other people with this "problem," as well as to select some real chocolates.  Visit:  http://www.virtualchocolate.com/index.cfm

 

As the U.S. celebrates the 225th anniversary of independence, you can visit the Library of Congress's "Today In History" page will offer up a photo for a look at an earlier version of the Declaration, information about the Constitution, an audio Fourth of July oration entitled "Equal Rights" given by Calvin Coolidge in 1920, and an audio of "The Stars and Stripes Forever March" performed by John Philip Sousa and the Imperial Marimba Band in 1918.  Visit:  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jul04.html


Okay, so you shouldn't use it to decide whether or to ask your boss for a raise, or ask that special someone out on a first date, but for some of the little things in life, sure go ahead and try it.  What am I talking about?  The Magic 8 ball of course!  I'm sure you had one as a child, that has long dried up (I'll admit to having one in my office right now), but now you can get the answers on line too!  A visit to http://www.springfield-il.com/kids/8ball/8_ball.html gives you the chance to ask a question and get an answer. Ever wondered what's going on inside the Magic 8 Ball?  A visit to http://www.fiendation.com/people/chris/eight.htm will help clear up the mystery.

 

"I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member," quipped the late Groucho Marx.  A visit to The Groucho Zone at http://www.sirius.com/~rickc/groucho.htm will give you the chance to relive old Marx Brothers routines and view pictures, but also listen to audio of his classic one-liners. 

 

Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year.  We used to dress up here in the office, and I actually won the contest one year.  My most creative costume eluded everyone.  I wore a pumpkin piñata on my head with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' face on it --- Jackie O'Lantern, but I'm afraid no one got it!  It's not too early to begin planning your costume, and a visit to http://users.aol.com/nebula5/hallocst.html#hallo-howto will provide you with a list of ideas.  For the disabled, there are a multitude of wonderful ideas, including fashioning wheelchairs as thrones for royalty.

 

Would you like to see the "Venus de Milo," Rembrandt's "The Night Watch," "The Resurrection" by El Greco, or perhaps "The Arnolfini Portrait," by Jan Van Eyck without ever leaving the comfort of your home?  Viewing these works of art is just a keystroke away when you visit http://www.icom.org/vlmp/galleries.html, which offers direct connections to the great art museums of the world, as well as to a variety of galleries, auction houses, and art guides.

 

 

World Almanac Education Group

World Almanac E-Newsletter
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief
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editorinchief@waegroup.com

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