The World Almanac E-Newsletter

Volume 4, Number 7 - July 2004



What's in this issue?

July Events
Holidays - National and International
This Day in History - July
July Birthdays
Featured Location of the Month: Dallas, Texas
Obituaries - June 2004
Special Feature: Eisenhower and the Interstate Highway System
Science in the News
Chronology - Events of June 2004
Offbeat News Stories
From the World Almanac - History of The World Almanac
Links of the Month
How to Reach Us

July Events

July 1 - Halfway point of 2004
July 1-4 - U.S. Women's Open golf tournament (Orchards Golf Club, South Hadley, MA)
July 2-4 - Livingston (MT) Roundup Rodeo
July 2-18 - Cheltenham (England) International Festival of Music; Exeter (England) Summer Festival
July 3 - Ladies' Singles Final, Wimbledon (England); Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series (Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL); International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship (Eau Claire, MI)
July 3-25 - Tour de France
July 4 - Men's Singles Final, Wimbledon (England); July 4th Family Celebration (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
July 6-11 - Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (East Molesey, Surrey, England)
July 7-14 - Running of the Bulls (Pamplona, Spain)
July 9-10 - Wayne (NE) Chicken Show
July 9-18 - Calgary Stampede (Calgary, Alberta, Canada); U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Track & Field (Sacramento, CA)
July 9-August 7 - Savonlinna (Finland) Opera Festival
July 10 - Open House Day Tour of Litchfield (CT); Stone House Day (Hurley, NY)
July 10-11 - Corn Hill Arts Festival (Rochester, NY)
July 10-18 - Three Rivers Festival (Fort Wayne, IN)
July 14-17 - Wyandotte (MI) Street Art Fair
July 14-25 - Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) Fringe Theatre Festival
July 15-18 - British Open golf tournament
July 16-18 - Salem (OR) Art Fair & Festival; Yarmouth (ME) Clam Festival
July 21-24 - Ann Arbor (MI) Summer Art Fair
July 23-25 - Gilroy (CA) Garlic Festival
July 23-28 - San Sebastian Jazz Festival (Spain)
July 25-31 - W.C. Handy Music Festival (Florence, AL)
July 26-29 - Democratic National Convention (Boston, MA)
July 26-31 - All-American Soap Box Derby (Derby Downs, Akron, OH)
July 28-29 - Chincoteague (VA) Annual Pony Swim and Auction
July 29-31 - Swiss Days Festival (Berne, IN)
July 29-August 1 - British Women's Open golf tournament (Sunningdale Golf Club, England)
July 30-August 8 - Dodge City (KS) Days
July 31 - Blue Moon (2nd full moon in July)
July 31-August 7 - National Eisteddfod of Wales (Newport, Wales)

July Holidays

July 1 - Canada Day; Half-Year Day, China; Midyear Day, Thailand
July 4 - Independence Day, U.S.
July 7 - Father-Daughter Take a Walk Together Day
July 11 - UN World Population Day
July 14 - Bastille Day, France
July 18 - National Ice Cream Day, U.S.


Cosmas Ndeti of Kenya holds the men's record in the Boston Marathon, running it in 2:07:15 in 1994.

This Day in History - July






The Dominion of Canada is formed by the confederation of Upper and Lower Canada and some of the Maritime Provinces.



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



By 12 strokes, Babe Didrikson Zaharias wins the U.S. Women's Open, a tournament that marks her return to golf after taking time off to recuperate from cancer surgery.



The United States celebrates its the bicentennial with festivals, parades, fireworks, and Operation Sail in New York City.



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



Baseball's 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.



Four conspirators in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln are hanged.



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



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



The Bahamas gains independence from Britain after 250 years as a crown colony.



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



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.



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.



Outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., better known as Billy the Kid, is shot and killed in Fort Sumter, NM, by Sheriff Pat Garrett.



Greek army officers serving in the National Guard of Cyprus stage a coup on the island, hoping to unify it with Greece; the action ultimately leads to the overthrow of the Greek junta.



John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette die in a plane crash off Martha's Vineyard, MA, in a private plane piloted by Kennedy.



The B-2 Stealth bomber makes its first successful test flight.



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



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



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.



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.



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



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



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.



In a move widely regarded as marking the beginning of the Cold War, U.S. and British aircraft fly in food and supplies to Berlin, in response to the July 24 Soviet cutoff of roads and railways into the city from the West.



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



A telegraph cable across the Atlantic is completed, establishing communication between the United States and England.



The Summer Olympics open in Los Angeles, with the Soviet Union and more than a dozen of its allies boycotting.



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.



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



In World War I, Germany declares war on Russia, France mobilizes its army and navy, and a general mobilization is declared for Austria-Hungary.

July Birthdays






Liv Tyler, actress (Portland, ME)



José Canseco, baseball player (Havana, Cuba)



Betty Buckley, actress/singer (Fort Worth, TX)



Gloria Stuart, actress (Santa Monica, CA)



Goose Gossage, baseball pitcher (Colorado Springs, CO)



Louise Erdrich, writer (Little Falls, MN)



Gian Carlo Menotti, composer (Cadigliano, Italy)



Philip Johnson, architect (Cleveland, OH)



Courtney Love, singer/actress (San Francisco, CA)



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



Tab Hunter, actor (New York, NY)



Van Cliburn, pianist (Shreveport, LA)



Wole Soyinka, author (Abeokutoa, Nigeria)



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



Linda Ronstadt, singer/songwriter (Tucson, AZ)



Will Ferrell, actor (Irvine, CA)



Lucie Arnaz, actress (Los Angeles, CA)



Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, basketball player (Memphis, TN)



Rosalyn Yalow, medical physicist (New York, NY)



Sir Edmund Hillary, explorer/mountaineer and first to reach the summit of Mount Everest (Auckland, New Zealand)



Don Knotts, actor (Morgantown, WV)



Margaret Whiting, singer (Detroit, MI)



Philip Seymour Hoffman, actor (Fairport, NY)



Julie Krone, jockey (Benton Harbor, MI)



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



Sandra Bullock, actress (Arlington, VA)



Christopher Dean, Olympic champion ice dancer as member of Torvill and Dean (Nottingham, England)



Jim Davis, cartoonist and creator of Garfield (Marion, IN)



Paul Taylor, dancer/choreographer (Allegheny County, PA)



Bud Selig, baseball commissioner (Milwaukee, WI)



J.K. Rowling, author (Bristol, England)


China's Chang River is the longest in Asia, at nearly 4,000 miles.


Location: Northeast Texas, seat of Dallas County, on the Trinity River. The third largest city in Texas and one of the largest in the U.S., Dallas is among the most important commercial, financial, and distribution centers of the Southwest, as well as a major regional center of culture and manufacturing. With the nearby city of Fort Worth (to the west), Dallas forms the hub of a major metropolitan region.

Population (2002): 1,211,467

Mayor: Laura Miller

July Temperatures: Normal high of 96 degrees; normal low of 77 degrees

Colleges & Universities: The Art Institute of Dallas; Baylor College of Dentistry; Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development; Dallas Baptist University; Dallas Christian College; Dallas Theological Seminary; Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Baylor University; Southern Methodist University; University of Dallas (in nearby Irving); University of Phoenix-Dallas Campus; University of Texas at Dallas; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Events: Arts District Stroll, Dallas Arts District (July 3); Celebration on the Trinity, Crow Park (July 3); Kaboom Town, Addison Theatre & Conference Centre (July 3); Old Fashioned Fourth of July, Old City Park (July 4); Dallas Video Festival, Angelika Theater (July 7-11); Taste of Dallas, West End Historic District (July 9-11); Bastille Day, University of Dallas (July 10); Weather Day-Family Festivals, Dallas Museum of Natural History (July 10); Festival of Independent Theatre, Bath House Cultural Center (July 15-August 7); The Science of Ice Cream, Science Place-Fair Park (July 24); Dallas Bridal Show-Summer 2004, Dallas Market Hall (July 24-25); Dallas Black Expo, Dallas Market Hall (July 31)

Sports teams: Texas Rangers (baseball; in nearby Arlington); Dallas Mavericks (basketball); Dallas Cowboys (football); Dallas Stars (hockey); Dallas Burn (soccer)

Museums: African American Museum; Age of Steam Railroad Museum; Amon Carter Museum (in nearby Fort Worth); Dallas Museum of Art; Dallas Museum of Natural History; Kimbell Art Museum (in nearby Fort Worth); The Science Place; The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (containing a permanent historical exhibition dealing with the life, times, death, and legacy of John F. Kennedy, at the location of his assassination); The Women's Museum

Places to visit: Dallas Aquarium; Dallas Arboretum; Dallas Zoo; Fair Park; Farmers Market; Old City Park; Reunion Tower; Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Over Texas (in nearby Arlington); Southfork Ranch (the filming location for the "Dallas" television series); Texas Discovery Gardens; White Rock Lake

Tallest Building: Bank of America Plaza (921 feet, 72 stories)

History: The site of the present city was settled in 1841 by John Neely Bryan; his log cabin has been restored and is now in a downtown park. In 1846 a village was laid out; the name Dallas was adopted in honor of George M. Dallas, vice president under President James K. Polk. Dallas was incorporated as a town in 1856; two years later, French and Swiss artisans from nearby La Réunion, a failed utopian colony, settled there. In 1871 Dallas was incorporated as a city.

The arrival of several railroads in the early 1870s stimulated economic activity in Dallas. Agricultural trade, dominated by cotton, boomed in the early 20th century. In the same period finance and insurance were key factors in the city's growth. In 1930 the huge East Texas oil field was discovered southeast of the city, and Dallas became a center of the petroleum industry. During World War II aircraft and other defense industries were established in the city, but the most pronounced economic and population growth came after 1950 with the rapid expansion of manufacturing and distribution activities. Dallas was the scene of a national tragedy on November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade through the city. Because of the large influx of new residents since the 1950s, Dallas has a diverse population. According to the 2000 census, African Americans constitute some 26% of the population, and about 36% of the people are of Hispanic background.

Birthplace of: Singer/songwriter Erykah Badu (1971); actor Robby Benson (1956); actress Crystal Bernard (1964); First Daughters Barbara and Jenna Bush (1981); American jazz guitarist Charlie Christian (1916); Supreme Court justice Tom C. Clark (1899); actress Morgan Fairchild (1950); actress Angie Harmon (1972); track and field athlete Michael Johnson (1967); actor Peter MacNicol (1954); actor Spanky McFarland (1928); musician Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday; 1951); singer Jessica Simpson (1980); TV producer Aaron Spelling (1928); musician Stephen Stills (1945); actress Sharon Tate (1943); golfer Lee Trevino (1939); guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954); actor Luke Wilson (1971); actor Owen Wilson (1968); actress Robin Wright Penn (1966)

Websites: ;

Obituaries in June

Brown, Roosevelt, 71, offensive tackle for the National Football League's New York Giants in the 1950s and '60s who made it into the NFL Hall of Fame; Columbus, NJ, June 9, 2004.

Charles, Ray, 73, popular musician who surmounted early-onset blindness to become a highly esteemed pianist, singer and songwriter whose work fused a wide variety of genres; Beverly Hills, CA, June 10, 2004.

Ghiaurov, Nicolai, 74, Bulgarian singer regarded as one of the finest operatic basses of the post-World War II era; Modena, Italy, June 2, 2004.

Gold, Thomas, 84, iconoclastic astrophysicist whose scientific theories touched on everything from the workings of the inner ear to the origin of the universe; Ithaca, NY, June 22, 2004.

Kelman, Charles, 74, ophthalmologist who in the mid-1960s developed a simplified surgical procedure for cataracts using ultrasound that eventually benefited millions of patients worldwide; Boca Raton, FL, June 1, 2004.

Lacy, Steve, 69, soprano saxophonist, composer and bandleader, and protégé of jazz master Thelonious Monk; Boston, MA, June 4, 2004.

Manfredi, Nino, 83, Italian actor who made his mark in such comic films as Franco Brusati's Bread and Chocolate (1973); Rome, Italy, June 4, 2004.

Reagan, Ronald, 93, 40th president of the U.S.; Los Angeles, CA, June 5, 2004 (see more information in the Chronology section for June 5, below).

Reuther, Victor, 92, one of three brothers who led the United Auto Workers labor union during its heyday in the middle third of the 20th century; Washington, DC, June 3, 2004.

Stepanek, Mattie J.T., 13, inspirational poet and advocate for people with muscular dystrophy; Washington, DC, June 22, 2004.

Thanom Kittikachorn, 92, Thailand's premier for most of the decade of harsh military rule that stretched from 1963 to 1973, when Thailand was a Vietnam War ally of the U.S.; Bangkok, Thailand, June 16, 2004.

SPECIAL FEATURE: The War on Poverty

by Joseph Gustaitis

Fifty years ago on July 12, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a message to the 46th U.S. Governors' Conference, meeting in Bolton Landing, New York, in which he proposed a $50-billion highway building program over the next 10 years. Eisenhower had intended to deliver the message himself, but Vice President Richard Nixon filled in because of the death of the president's sister-in-law. A political cartoon of the day showed a bushy-browed Nixon declaring from the speaker's platform that "What this country needs is a ten-year $50 billion highway program," while a rather stupefied governor mutters "...and I can remember when vice-presidents used to say that what this country really needs is a good 5 cent cigar." Eisenhower's proposal, one observer said, had an "electrifying effect."

The United States would never be the same. This was the beginning of that vast system of interstate highways that now crisscrosses the country in every direction and that has changed the very shape of the environment Americans live in -- although Eisenhower almost certainly never anticipated such far-reaching results. In the 1950s just about everyone was enthusiastic about an interstate highway program -- it meant progress and growth. At least one analyst, the critic and student of urban life Lewis Mumford, however, saw it differently. Speaking of the American people's support for the highway legislation, he wrote, "The most charitable thing to assume is that they hadn't the faintest notion of what they were doing. Within the next fifteen years they will doubtless find out; by then it will be too late to correct all the damage to our cities and countryside..."

Eisenhower's Initiative

There was much in Eisenhower's background that inspired him to push for a national highway system. He had floated this idea in his State of the Union message the previous January, and it was one of the key elements in the domestic spending plan he later presented to Republican Congressional leaders at a White House meeting on December 13. In his message to the governors' conference he recollected an intriguing event from many years before. In 1919, as a young Army captain, Eisenhower had traveled with 294 other Army personnel (and a 15-piece band) on the first cross-country automobile caravan. Such was the condition of the roads (Eisenhower described them as "from average to non-existent") that the motorcade averaged 5 miles an hour and required 62 days to make the trip.

After World War II, Eisenhower journeyed around defeated Germany assessing war damage and came away impressed by that country's highway system, the Autobahn. He realized that these superbly engineered highways were nearly impervious to air attack because they could be put back into operation after being bombed much more swiftly than railroads. Another factor that swayed Eisenhower was economic. He greatly feared the fate of the last Republican president, Herbert Hoover, who had lost his reelection bid in the Great Depression of the early 1930s; Eisenhower viewed a highway program as a vast public works project that would keep unemployment and depression at bay. Finally, during his presidential tenure fear of atomic war was rapidly rising. Eisenhower envisaged a modern highway system as an invaluable means of evacuation in case of attack.


The idea of a limited-access highway for automobiles goes back a long way. The first true parkway in the United States was William K. Vanderbilt's Long Island Motor Parkway, begun in 1906 and completed in 1911. Beginning in the 1920, New York City planner Robert Moses pushed his grandiose plan for a system of limited-access recreational highways leading out of the metropolis. Moses oversaw the construction of more than 100 miles of four-lane, limited-access, and beautifully landscaped parkways that ran north to Westchester County and east across Long Island. Moses saw these parkways as safety valves for city dwellers who would use them for excursions to ocean beaches and forest preserves, and during the 1920s and 1930s many other cities followed his example. What he did not realize was that the overwhelming use of these highways would be not for the pleasure trips of urbanites but for the commutes of workers who toiled in the city but who used the parkways to find new homes in suburbia. In other words, they didn't escape just on weekends; they escaped for good. In a decision that would come to haunt future traffic planners, Moses steadfastly refused to allow for the use of mass transit on his parkways. He resisted the idea of incorporating railroad tracks into the system, and he deliberately made the overpasses so low that buses could not pass beneath them.

The federal government's involvement in highway planning had a long history, too. The first Federal Aid Road Act dates from 1916. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1938 authorized the Bureau of Public Roads (now the Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA) to study the possibility of a system of interstate toll roads -- three running north-south and three running east-west. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed a committee to study the issue, and its 1944 report called for a system of nearly 34,000 miles. Construction was authorized, but the funds were never adequate and progress was sluggish. More, but still insufficient, funds were forthcoming in the early 1950s, but it was not until Eisenhower's Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 that the funding problem was solved. The new legislation authorized the construction of over 40,000 miles of limited-access highway, at over $1 million per mile, with 90 percent of the funding coming from a Highway Trust Fund established through excise taxes on gasoline, vehicles, and tires. The system, as Eisenhower insisted, was "pay-as-you-go" and did not add to the federal budget deficit. The 1956 act also established uniform construction standards. For example, there had to be a minimum of two travel lanes in each direction, 12-foot lane widths, 10-foot right paved shoulders and 4-foot left paved shoulders, and design speeds of 50 to 70 miles per hour.

As of October 31, 2002, the interstate system totaled 42,793 miles. Routes with even two-digit numbers run east-west; those with odd two-digit numbers run north-south. (Three digits starting with odd numbers mean the road is a spur to or from a major city; three digits starting with an even number mean it's a beltway around a major city.) The longest interstate is I-90, which runs precisely 3,020.54 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, to Seattle, Washington; the one that crosses the most states is I-95, which passes through 16 states as it heads from Maine to Florida.

Routes of Social Change

The interstate highway system never had a great deal of military use and, thankfully, evacuations have been largely limited to those from storms. But it has been used a great deal, indeed. By 1986, when the system was for all practical purposes complete, it encompassed about 1 percent of U.S. roads but carried about 20 percent of the nation's traffic (50 percent of truck traffic). In 1990 it was calculated that cars, trucks, and buses traveled 479 billion miles on the U.S. interstates.

The number of automobiles in the United States went from just under 26 million in 1945 to more than 52 million in 1955 to just over 97 million by 1972. Today there are well over 200 million motor vehicles (including trucks and buses) registered in the United States -- more than there are registered drivers. Also, the average top speed of low-priced automobiles went up from less than 50 miles per hour in the 1920s to more than 80 miles per hour in the 1950s. No wonder that the 1950s was the decade of the greatest-ever growth in suburban population.

In that decade central cities grew by 6 million people (11.6 percent), but suburban counties grew by 19 million (45.9 percent). In almost every metropolitan area the ring of suburban counties grew much faster than the central city. One overlooked aspect of the interstate highway system -- which is often thought as solely a network of very long, ribbon-like roads -- is that it also laid plans to restructure the internal traffic of cities. The pattern was commonly along the lines of a hub-and-wheel model, the outer rim of the "wheel" being a ring road, or interstate "beltway," that made the city's outlying areas more accessible, especially where there were intersections with the highways radiating out from the city center. These beltways spurred a new phenomenon: shopping malls. In 1957 there were about 2,000 shopping centers around U.S. cities; 20 years later this figure had multiplied tenfold. By the mid-1980s shopping malls accounted for about 55 percent of all retail sales (excluding motor vehicles and gasoline). Beltways also lay behind that wonder that so bedevils planners today -- suburban sprawl. Suburbs in the United States go back at least to the horsecar days, but these in their massiveness were something new: a measureless landscape of uniformity that many observers derided for their monotony but which Americans couldn't seem to resist.

When the interstate highway system began to be built, people in isolated rural communities were delighted to discover that a new highway in their vicinity gave them easy and speedy access to the amenities of cities and large towns. Vacationers appreciated how these wide new roads could take them to the natural wonders of the United States. It was largely in the cities, however, that the less benign effects were first felt. Engineers often chose to place highways along riverbanks, thus dividing city dwellers from one of their most cherished assets. All too often massive highways were rammed through viable neighborhoods, displacing thousands (often minority populations) and leaving behind ugly, deteriorating districts. People living anywhere near these new roads were commonly subjected to noise levels so high that they created stress and high blood pressure. These effects are documented by Tom Lewis in his valuable history and analysis Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life, which studies the corridor of Interstate 93 that was run through Somerville, Massachusetts. Highways had their harmful effects in rural areas, too. Towns located along the new highways usually welcomed them, but towns that were not on the routes laid out by the planners commonly withered away.

Experiences like these made the 1970s a decade of reaction. One of the first successful efforts to stop a new highway came in New Orleans, Louisiana. Activists rallied to defeat a proposal for a "Vieux Carre Expressway," an elevated interstate 40 feet high that would have cut off the renowned French Quarter from the riverfront and put it in the shadow of a streaming river of cars and trucks. Other locales, too, fought off highway projects. One contributing factor was the ironic discovery that new highways did not usually alleviate traffic but worsened it. It was a phenomenon that analysts labeled "induced demand" -- a new highway attracted more cars and trucks so quickly that the builders were surprised to find that in some places a new highway would be choked with traffic in as little as a month after completion. This trend was noted by author Helen Leavitt, who said, "Congestion rises to meet road capacity." Her 1970 book Superhighway-Superhoax was one of the first salvos against the passion for highways.

On August 22, 1986, the final section of I-80 was opened in Salt Lake City, Utah and the first transcontinental interstate highway was completed. It was a low-key affair, signaling the ambiguous feelings that many Americans had come to have toward their highways. The U.S. interstate highway system is without doubt one of the greatest engineering feats in the history of the world, and people from other lands admire and even envy it. On the other hand, it has been attacked as bland and detrimental to the ecology. TV newsman Charles Kuralt, who made a career out of traversing U.S. roads, once put it this way: "Thanks to the interstate highway system it is now possible to cross the country from coast to coast without seeing anything." Author Tom Lewis summed it up succinctly: "They have become the roads we love to hate, but we cannot imagine our world without them."

Science In the News - WWW Creator Finally Gets His Due

Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, received the first-ever Millennium Technology Prize on June 15, 2004. The prize of one million Euros (1.2 million U.S. dollars) will be presented every other year by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation.

Berners-Lee, living up to his reputation for humility, is hesitant to take sole credit for the World Wide Web. "Building the Web, I didn't do it all myself," he told the Associated Press. "The really exciting thing about it is that it was done by lots and lots of people, connected with this tremendous spirit." However, most people agree that the Web would not exist--at least not in its present form--had it not been for Berners-Lee. "No one doubts who the father of the World Wide Web is, except Berners-Lee himself," said Pekka Tarjanne, chairman of the prize committee.

Berners-Lee designed the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the protocol or set of rules that allows computers of different types to communicate over the Web. He also outlined the concept and format of the Internet address, and created the hypertext markup language (HTML), which is the language most web pages are still written in. Perhaps more important than the specific programming he did, the concept belonged to Berners-Lee. He was the one who envisioned an interconnected, free and open system for transmitting information to and from computers around the world.

He developed the concept and the execution while working as a software consultant at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. (CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world.) He got the idea for the Web as he watched CERN physicists struggling to exchange information with other researchers who were using different computer systems. He decided to create a system that would make communication between researchers' computers much easier. That system became the prototype for the World Wide Web.

Berners-Lee could have made a great deal of money by licensing his new technology. However, he chose to give it away, distributing it to as many people as possible. Looking back, this decision turned out to be key.

"If I had tried to demand fees...there would be no World Wide Web," he said at the award ceremony. "There would be lots of small webs." Others agree that if Berners-Lee had turned the Web into a commercial effort, today's level of nearly universal compatibility never would have been reached. The decision to give away one of the most important inventions of the last century is much of the reason why Berners-Lee received the prize, which is given for "an outstanding innovation that directly promotes people's quality of life, is based on humane values and encourages sustainable economic development."

Berners-Lee now oversees the W3C, or World Wide Web Consortium, an organization that sets suggested standards for the way things are done on the Web. The 49-year-old Briton has hope for the future of the Web and society alike. In his acceptance speech he noted, "There are so many new things to make, limited only by our imagination." In his case, that is not much of a limitation at all.


The now-ubiquitous "ATM" stands for "automated teller machine."

CHRONOLOGY - Events of June 2004


Democrats Pick Up House Seat in South Dakota - On June 1, for the 2nd time in 2004, the Democrats gained a seat in a U.S. House election to fill a vacancy. Stephanie Herseth, a lawyer, narrowly defeated Larry Diedrich, a former state legislator. Republicans now held 228 House seats and Democrats 206, with one independent.

Bush, Cheney Questioned in CIA Agent Leak Case - Federal prosecutors interviewed Pres. George W. Bush and Vice Pres. Richard Cheney about who may have leaked to a reporter the name of a covert CIA agent. The agent was the wife of Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador, who had disputed an administration claim on Iraq's attempt to obtain uranium. The White House, June 2, confirmed that Bush had consulted a private attorney, whom he later retained, in connection with the investigation. Cheney was interviewed prior to June 5; prosecutors questioned Pres. Bush at the White House June 24.

CIA Director Resigns - Pres. Bush announced June 3 that he had accepted the resignation, effective July 11, of George Tenet as director of Central Intelligence. Addressing CIA employees, Tenet said he wanted to spend more time with his family. He had served 7 years, a relatively long tenure, and had been credited with reforms, but had been strongly criticized for the agency's handling of the terrorist threat. He had also assured Bush, prior to the U.S. invasion, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Tenet's deputy, John McLaughlin, was to serve as DCI pending a permanent replacement.

Ronald Reagan, 40th President, Dies at 93 - Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th president of the U.S., died at his home in Los Angeles June 5. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1994 and had rarely been seen in public since then. With him at his death was his wife of 52 years, Nancy, and other family members.

Born in Tampico, IL, Reagan grew up in Dixon, IL, and graduated from Eureka College. After reporting sports events on radio, he got a screen test in Hollywood and appeared in many movies. His first political activity came as president of the Screen Actors Guild; during this time his views evolved in a pronouncedly anti-Communist and conservative direction. As a spokesman for conservative causes for the General Electric Corp., he gained a national following, buttressed in 1964 by an impassioned speech in behalf of Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee for president. Twice elected governor of California (1966,1970), Reagan sought to put into practice his philosophy in support of smaller government, less regulation, and lower taxes. After 2 unsuccessful tries for the GOP nomination for president, Reagan won the nomination in 1980 and was elected president, unseating the incumbent, Jimmy Carter. He was reelected in 1984.

Reagan's efforts to rein in government were frustrated by difficult economic times and a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. He reduced, raised, and then reduced taxes as circumstances seemed to warrant. He committed the nation to a major military buildup to overcome the threat posed by the Soviet Union and its allies. During his second term he and the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, explored ways to end the cold war, and in 1987 they signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, banning an entire class of weapons.

More than 100,000 walked past Reagan's coffin at his presidential library in Simi Valley, CA, before it was flown to Washington, DC, for a state funeral, June 9. In the capital, the coffin was transported by a horse-drawn caisson through the streets from near the White House to the U.S. Capitol. There, Reagan was eulogized by Vice Pres. Richard Cheney. During the next 36 hours, tens of thousands filed past the coffin.

Another service was held at the National Cathedral in Washington June 11. Pres. George W. Bush and all 4 living former presidents were present. Both Pres. Bush and former Canadian Prime Mini. Brian Mulroney gave eulogies. Former Prime Min. Margaret Thatcher of Britain was present, but her eulogy was presented by videotape because she was not well enough to give it in person. Former Soviet leader Gorbachev, former Pres. Lech Walesa of Poland, Prime Mini. Tony Blair of Britain, and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany were among other dignitaries present.

The Reagan family then returned to California, where the former president was laid to rest at his library at sunset, with eulogies by his 3 surviving children.

9/11 Commission Staff Finds No Iraqi Link - The commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks completed public hearings June 16-17 and issued 3 preliminary staff reports. These reported finding "no credible evidence" that Iraq had cooperated with al-Qaeda in carrying out the attacks on the U.S. Iraq and al-Qaeda had reportedly been in contact, but the commission concluded there had been no "collaborative relationship." The commission said it did not believe reports that the lead hijacker, Mohamed Atta, had met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague, Czech Republic, in April 2001.

On the basis of interrogation of captured al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the commission concluded that he had promoted the idea of using airplanes against the U.S. as early as 1996. Terror mastermind Osama bin Laden apparently decided to go forward with the plan, scaled down to 4 planes, in 1999. The commission concluded that the final date for the attack had not been chosen until mid-August 2001. The staff concluded that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Federal Aviation Administration were unprepared for the attacks, It said that Vice Pres. Richard Cheney had authorized Air Force fighters to shoot down hijacked airliners, but that it was not clear whether he had the approval of Pres. Bush. The 2 had difficulty communicating at first.

The commission concluded that the government of Saudi Arabia had not directly financed al-Qaeda, although the terror organization did raise a lot of Saudi money. The commission estimated that the September 2001 attacks cost $400,000 to $500,000

Just before the reports were released, on June 14, Cheney had said that Pres. Saddam Hussein of Iraq had "long-established ties" with al-Qaeda; these purported ties were cited as a reason to invade Iraq. Pres. Vladimir Putin of Russia said June 18 that after the 2001 attacks Russia had given U.S. intelligence evidence that Iraq was planning attacks against the U.S.

Clinton's Book and a Movie Stir the Political Pot - With several months to go, the presidential contest between Pres. Bush and Sen. John Kerry (MA), the prospective Democratic nominee, remained close, according to public-opinion polls. The 2 campaigns were raising and spending record amounts of money, mostly on TV ads. A third contender, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, spent much of his time seeking ballot access in as many states as possible.

Observers debated the possible impact of a new book and motion picture. My Life, the autobiography of former Pres. Bill Clinton, was published June 22 by Knopf. Critics found his account of growing up under difficult circumstances more revealing than what some said was a rather superficial overview of his presidency. Clinton said in a TV interview that his affair with a White House intern had been "a terrible moral error." With Clinton on a book tour and sales soaring, Kerry seemed briefly to be left standing in his shadow.

Fahrenheit 9/11, the latest documentary film by Michael Moore, opened nationally on June 25. An anti-Bush polemic which focused on the invasion of Iraq, the film drew praise from many critics, though it was acknowledged to contain factual errors; it broke box-office records for a documentary during its first few days.

On June 16, 26 retired top military officers, ambassadors, and other officials denounced Bush's foreign policy. Sec. of State Colin Powell June 16 denied their assertion that the U.S. had become isolated in world affairs. Sen. John McCain (R, AZ), who had reportedly been wooed by Kerry as a possible running mate, campaigned with Bush in Washington state June 18.

Scandals Send 2 Political Leaders to Sidelines - Gov. John Rowland (R, CT) resigned June 21, effective July 1. He had admitted that he accepted free work on a vacation cottage from contractors who worked for the state and that his aides paid for some of the work. A state House committee was drafting an impeachment article charging Rowland with obstructing its investigation. Witnesses told the committee that he had received expensive gifts and favors from contractors and aides. Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) succeeded Rowland. Jack Ryan, an investment banker who was the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, withdrew as a candidate June 25 after court papers showed that his ex-wife had alleged that he had taken her to sex clubs and wanted to have sex with her at one club.

Supreme Court Rebuffs President on Enemy Combatants - In cases decided June 28, the Supreme Court rebuffed a position of the Bush administration that the government could detain terror suspects indefinitely and interrogate them without access to courts or lawyers. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld the court ruled, 8-1, that Congress had given the president the authority to hold a U.S. citizen as an enemy combatant, but that the plaintiff, Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen held for two years without charges, could argue in court that he was being held illegally. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the majority that "a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens." In Rasul v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States, a 6-3 Supreme Court majority agreed that detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could use U.S. courts to argue that they were being held illegally.

In Shift, Fed Raises Interest Rate - On June 30, for the first time in four years, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate, from a historic low 1 % to 1.25% for overnight loan; at the same time the Fed said that inflation remained low and that rates would rise at a "measured" pace.


U.S.-Led Coalition Transfers Power to Iraqis - On June 28, the U.S.-led coalition formally transferred political power in Iraq to an interim government that would run the country until elections were held. Pres. George W. Bush had determined that the handover of power must take place despite continuing violence by enemies of the coalition. The transfer came 2 days ahead of the announced date, to avoid terror attacks. Only a few dozen people were present at the low-key ceremony, after which L. Paul Bremer III, the top U.S. civilian representative in Iraq, left the country. On June 30 the new interim government took legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 of his aides, though they remained in physical custody of U.S. forces for security reasons; Hussein appeared before a court that day and was to be arraigned July 1.

On June 1 UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi had appointed 33 members of the interim government, to be led by Iyad Allawi as prime minister. The ministers, included 6 women, represented all major religious and ethnic groups. Also on June 1, the U.S.-created Iraqi governing council voted to dissolve itself. Before doing so, it pushed through its choice for president, Sheikh Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar, a Sunni Muslim, who was not the favorite of Brahimi or Bremer. Allawi said June 4 that an early withdrawal of foreign troops would be a disaster. He and Sec. of State Colin Powell agreed June 6 to cooperate closely with a UN resolution establishing the conditions for the transfer of authority and providing that coalition forces could take "all necessary measures" to protect the country. In a significant diplomatic victory, the resolution won approval by the Security Council ,15-0, on June 8.

Violence against the coalition continued during June, although in one hopeful sign the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, June 17, did order his followers to stop fighting. Two bombings June 1 killed 16 people. Five U.S. troops were killed in a firefight in the Sadr City slum in Baghdad June 4. Four civilian contractors, 2 Americans and 2 Poles, were killed June 5 in a rocket attack on their vehicles. Attacks on a police station and a military base June 6 killed 19 Iraqis. A mortar June 8 killed 6 Polish, Slovak, and Latvian soldiers. A bomb June 8 in the Kurdish city of Mosul killed 9 and wounded 25. Gunmen June 12 assassinated a deputy foreign minister. A suicide bomber killed 12 in Baghdad June 13; 3 bombs June 14 killed 21. The bombing of pipelines June 14, 15, and 16 forced the temporary closing of Iraq's main oil export terminal. Two car bombers in and near Baghdad killed 41 Iraqis June 17. Kim Sun Il, a South Korean translator, was beheaded June 22 by kidnappers after South Korea rejected their demand that South Korea pull its military out of Iraq.

In a series of apparently coordinated attacks, insurgents struck June 24 at Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops in 5 cities. More than 100 people, including many policemen and 3 Americans, were killed and hundreds wounded. Bombings in Mosul, targeting a hospital and police positions, took more than 60 lives. The heaviest fighting occurred in Baquba, where gunman seized the main police station.

At the NATO summit conference in Istanbul, June 28, the leaders declared that they would offer NATO's assistance to Iraq for the training of security forces. However, France and Germany indicated that no such training by their troops would take place in Iraq. Speaking at the summit June 29, Bush urged the Muslim world to put aside hatred of the West and embrace democracy. On June 29, in the first reported deaths of U.S. soldiers since the handover, 3 Marines were killed in Baghdad by a roadside bomb.

Prices Peak, Then Decline - Oil prices jumped sharply June 1, following the May 29 attack in Saudi Arabia in which 22 people, mostly oil-industry workers, were killed. Crude oil prices hit $42.33 a barrel, the highest ever reported, before falling back. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries voted June 3 to increase output by 2 million barrels, or 8.5%, a day, beginning July 1. By June 28, oil had declined to below $38 a barrel, and the price of self-serve regular gasoline in the U.S. had fallen to an average of $1.94 a gallon, 13 cents below its recent peak.

Bush Meets With Pope, European Leaders - Pres. Bush met in Rome June 4 with Pope John Paul II. In a statement, the pope reiterated Vatican opposition to the war in Iraq and concern about strife in the Middle East. Bush met June 4 with Italian Prem. Silvio Berlusconi of Italy and June 5 in Paris with Pres. Jacques Chirac of France. On June 6, the 60th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landing on the beaches of German-occupied Normandy, Bush attended a memorial service in Arromanches, France. Other attendees included Chirac, Queen Elizabeth II , Prime Min. Tony Blair of Britain, and Pres. Vladimir Putin of Russia. For the first time at one of these international D-Day observances, Germany was represented by its chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder. Thousands of soldiers killed in the 1944 invasion lay buried in nearby cemeteries.

Israeli Cabinet Backs a Gaza Withdrawal - Prime Min. Ariel Sharon of Israel won approval June 6 for a revised plan to withdraw all Jewish settlements in Gaza and 4 small ones in the West Bank. His cabinet supported the plan 14-7, but only after he had dismissed 2 ministers to insure victory. In all, about 8,000 settlers would be affected. The opposition Labor Party said June 6 that it would support the withdrawal in parliament.

Leaders of Industrial Nations Meet in U.S. - Presidents and prime ministers of the world's 8 leading industrial nations met at Sea Island, GA, June 8-10 at their annual summit. In their "Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative," released June 9, they supported democratic reform, calling on nations in the region to promote reform from within, involve civic and business leaders in the reform process, and be willing to make a long-term effort. Several leaders rebuffed efforts by Pres. Bush and Prime Min. Blair to support a NATO commitment to aid Iraq.

Investigations of Prison-Abuse Scandal Continue - Pres. Bush June 10 indicated he was unsure whether he had seen 2 memoranda dealing with how to handle captured enemy combatants. They were seen as significant in light of the unfolding investigations into the abuse of Iraqi detainees by the U.S. military. The 2 memos, from the Defense and Justice departments, advocated a loose interpretation of the UN convention against torture and broad presidential powers superseding treaties and laws. Bush said any orders he issued were consistent with the law and treaty obligations.

Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted June 17 that he had ordered the name of a detainee omitted from a prison roster to prevent the Red Cross from monitoring conditions at Camp Cropper in Baghdad. The captive was thought to be a senior member of a terror group. On June 22, the administration released classified documents relating to policies toward detainees. In one, dated Feb. 7, 2002, Bush held that provisions of the Geneva conventions did not apply to al-Qaeda. He also asserted the constitutional authority to deny Geneva's protections to fighters captured in Afghanistan who did not follow the rules of combat. Bush aides June 22 disavowed a 2002 Justice Dept. memo saying that torture might be legally defensible.

Raids in a Russian Republic Take Heavy Toll - Guerrillas raided the city of Nazran and 2 smaller towns in the Russian region of Ingushetia during the night of June 21-22, killing 97; 105 were wounded. About half of the dead were government and law-enforcement officials. Ingushetia bordered on the rebellious republic of Chechnya, but many of the raiders were thought to be Ingush.

Saudi Terrorists Behead an American - A terror group in Saudi Arabia June 12 kidnapped Paul Johnson, an American employed by Lockheed Martin Corp., and beheaded him June 18. Later that day security forces shot and killed the group's leader, Abdelaziz al-Muqrin, and 3 of his comrades. The Saudis said June 19 that 12 members of the group had been arrested.

Liberals Lose Majority in Canadian Parliament - The Liberal Party in Canada, led by incumbent Prime Min. Paul Martin, lost ground in the national parliamentary election held June 28. They won just 135 seats, falling well short of a majority. The Conservatives were left with 99 seats, the Bloc Quebecois with 54, and the labor-aligned New Democratic Party with 19 (there was 1 independent). The strained transfer of leadership to Martin from ex-Prime Min. Jean Chretien had left wounds among Liberals. While Conservative leader Stephen Harper failed to make sufficient inroads with his program of lower taxes and more military spending, Martin acknowledged that the election had been a rebuff to Liberals, who went on to form a minority government; he declared that "as a party and as a government we must do better."


Spacecraft Begins Saturn Orbit - After nearly seven years in space, the Cassini spacecraft became the first ever to orbit the comparatively little known planet Saturn, starting at 9:12 PM Pacific Time on June 30. It was hoped that the craft would complete at least 74 orbits of the planet over a period of four years, A planned highlight of the $3.3 bil U.S.-European mission was a thorough scrutiny of Saturn's planet-sized moon Titan.

Sports Highlights

On June 5, the Triple Crown bid of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones (2-5) came to an end at the 136th Belmont Stakes, in Elmont, NY. Birdstone, a 36-1 long shot, won the 1.5-mile race by a length in a time of 2 minutes, 27.50 seconds. Royal Assault (27-1) finished 3rd. Smarty Jones became the 18th horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown only to lose at Belmont. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.

Anastasia Myskina defeated fellow Russian Elena Dementieva, 6-1, 6-2, to win the French Open women's singles title on June 5. It was the 1st Grand Slam title for Myskina, who is also the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam. In the men's French Open final on June 6, Gaston Gaudio (Argentina) survived two match points in the 3rd set before defeating countryman Guillermo Coria, 0-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 8-6. It was the 1st Grand Slam win for Gaudio, ranked 44th in the world.

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames, 2-1, in the deciding Game 7 of the NHL's Stanley Cup finals June 7 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL. It was the first Stanley Cup in the expansion team's 12-year existence. Brad Richards scored 12 goals in the playoffs, including an NHL-record seven game-winners, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP in the playoffs).

Sweden's Annika Sorenstam won her 2nd straight LPGA Championship at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, DE, on June 13. After Friday's 2nd round was delayed by rain, tournament officials decided the players would complete 36 holes on Sunday to finish on schedule. Shi Hyun Ahn, of South Korea, shot the lowest score of the final round, a 5-under 66, to close within three strokes of Sorenstam, who had led by as many as six after shooting a 64 in round three. The win was the 7th major victory of Sorenstam's career.

The Detroit Pistons won its 3rd NBA Championship in franchise history, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 100-87, in the 5th and deciding game at the Palace at Auburn Hills on June 15. The heavily favored Lakers, looking for their 4th title in five years, were down three games to one heading into Game 5. No NBA team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. It was the first title for Detroit since consecutive championships in 1989 and 1990. Detroit's Chauncey Billups, who had 14 points and six assists in the game, was named MVP of the finals. It was the first NBA title for Pistons coach Larry Brown, who became the first to coach championship teams in the NCAA tournament (Kansas, 1988) and the NBA.

On June 20, South African Retief Goosen won the U.S. Open, held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY. Phil Mickelson finished 2 strokes back. Goosen's final score of 276 (-4) was the lowest winning score of the three U.S. Opens held at Shinnecock (1896, 1986). It was the 2nd major for Goosen, who won the 2001 U.S. Open. Tiger Woods finished tied for 17th with 290, 10 strokes over par.

On June 24 the Orlando Magic made Dwight Howard of Atlantas Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy the #1 selection in the NBA Draft. Howard is the 3rd high school player to be the top pick in the past four years, joining Kwame Brown and LeBron James. In all, eight high school players were chosen in the first round. The 2nd overall pick was University of Connecticut junior Emeka Okafor, who led his team to an NCAA championship and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.


Pope John Paul II is the longest-serving Pope since Pius IX, who served from 1846 to 1878.


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN II: Curse of the Hot Chocolate
A 32-year-old teacher's aide, Hope Clarke, got a nasty surprise when she was clapped in leg-irons and hauled off a cruise ship at 6:30 a.m. on June 18 after it landed in Miami. All cruise ships arriving from foreign ports are met by U.S. Customs agents, who run routine random checks of passenger lists. A search of the federal law enforcement database apparently showed she had neglected to pay a $50 fine a year ago, for failing to put away her marshmallows and hot chocolate when she was at Yellowstone National Park. Worst of all, it was a mistake. Nearly nine hours after her arrest, U.S. Magistrate Judge John O'Sullivan apologized to Clarke after seeing a copy of citation showing the fine had indeed been paid.

Motorists know how irksome it is to be driving along carefully within the speed limit only to see a police car zoom by, but Lance Champion, a Tennessee man, decided to do something about it. He pulled in behind the speeding deputy-directly across from the local jail-and admonished the officer. From there on, the confrontation escalated. Champion, 23, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting and evading arrest. Champion's mother and 17-year-old brother arrived at the jail and were both taken into custody because the teen allegedly slapped a deputy's hand and the mother was loud and unresponsive to deputies' orders. Champion's father, who arrived after church and joined the melee, was shot with a Taser, then arrested on charges similar to his wife's.

From the World Almanac - The History of The World Almanac

The first edition of The World Almanac was published by The New York World newspaper in 1868 (the name of the publication comes from the newspaper itself, which was known as "The World"). Published just three years after the end of the Civil War and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, its 120 pages of information touched on such events as the process of Reconstruction and the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.

Publication was suspended in 1876, but in 1886 famed newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who had purchased The New York World and had quickly transformed it into one of the most influential newspapers in the country, revived The World Almanac with the intention of making it "a compendium of universal knowledge." The World Almanac has been published annually ever since.

In 1894, when it claimed more than a half-million "habitual users," The World Almanac changed its name to The World Almanac and Encyclopedia. This was the title it kept until 1923, when it was changed to The World Almanac and Book of Facts, the name it bears today.

In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in after President Warren Harding's sudden death by a Vermont Justice who read the oath from a copy of The World Almanac.

During World War II, The World Almanac could boast that it was read by GIs all over the world: between 1944 and 1946, at the request of the U.S. government, The World Almanac had special print runs of 100,000 to 150,000 copies for distribution to the armed forces.

In 1961, a wire service photograph showed President John F. Kennedy sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office and on his desk were 6 books: the only reference book was The World Almanac.

That The World Almanac has become a household name can be witnessed by the fact that it is mentioned in a number of Hollywood classic movies. Fred MacMurray talks about it with Edward G. Robinson in Double Indemnity; Bette Davis screams about it in All About Eve; Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper flirt about it in Love in the Afternoon; and it is featured in Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street when a trial is held to see if Santa Claus really exists. It was more recently seen in the film White Men Can't Jump with Rosie Perez, and it is constantly cited as a source on TV's popular "Jeopardy."

Links of the Month

Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

I've just returned from Alaska, and a new word has been added to my vocabulary - calving. Calving occurs when pieces of a tidewater glacier break off and fall into the sea. I saw some of this occurring while in Glacier Bay, Alaska. To learn more about glaciers and see pictures of calving, visit Alaska, declared the 49th state on January 3, 1959, is the largest state in the United States, about one fifth the size of the Lower 48 states, with about 654,000 residents on 365,039,104 acres of land. To learn more about the history of state visit The scenery in Alaska in breathtaking, but of equal importance, I learned much about the Natives and culture of the Alaskans. To learn more about the Tlingits, Athabascans, and other Natives, visit While in Ketchikan, I visited the Totem Bight Historical State Park, where various totem poles and a clan house are on display. A totem pole served as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry. To learn more about totem poles visit I took the Denali Star, a train that includes glass domed cars, up to Denali National Park, where Mount McKinley (the mountain is increasingly known by its native name, Denali, which means The Great One in the Athabaskan language), the tallest peak in North America (at 20,320 feet) lies. It was an awesome sight, and we were among the lucky ones to see it, as clouds often shroud it. To learn more about Denali, visit

My friend Lucile Layton Zinman, one of four living Ziegfeld girls, will turn 101 on July 22nd. Lucile performed in the 1922 Ziegfeld Follies, and one of the memories she shared with me from the past, was the fact that she learned to play cards from Will Rogers. So this month, I honor Lucil(l)es. Probably the most famous Lucille was a red headed actress who became the first lady of comedy, Lucille Ball. Known simply as Lucy, she will forever be remembered as the scatterbrained housewife who was always getting into trouble on the classic television show I Love Lucy. For more information about Lucy, visit, and Another Lucille was Lucille Fay LeSueur, born in 1904, the child of a broken home. She rose from being a dancer in the 1920s to being a classic film star of the 1930s and 40s, under the stage name Joan Crawford. To learn more about her, visit: And let's not forget B.B. King's trademark guitar, named Lucille. Find out why King has named all of his guitars Lucille at "Lucille" is also one of the many songs that Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman), now 71, has made famous during his career. A flamboyant performer, who has credited gospel singer Mahalia Jackson as his inspiration, Little Richard was a pioneer in the early development of rock and roll. Not one to underplay his achievements, he notes, "I am the originator, the emancipator, and the architect of rock and roll." To learn more about him, visit:

July 20th marks the 35th anniversary of landing the first man on the moon. Although it has been 32 years since anyone walked on the lunar surface, no one who was around then will ever forget the 21 hours that the crew of Apollo 11 -- Mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin -- spent on the moon in 1969. To commemorate this history-making day, visit an image gallery at NASA that shows the Apollo 11 crew from takeoff to their triumphant return to Earth at To view video, visit: Ever wondered where the Apollo ships went after returning to Earth? See where Apollo Command Module Capsules are on display at various sites throughout the U.S. and the world by visiting: The USS Hornet, was the primary recovery vessel for this historic mission, and the USS Hornet Museum, in Alameda, CA, where the ship is moored, will honor the astronauts of the first two moon landings, Apollo 11 and 12, on July 16-25. Visit for more information. Believe it or not, conspiracy theorists still question whether we actually went to the moon or whether it was all a spectacular hoax perpetrated by the U.S. government. Visit, and for detailed rebuttals of their theories.

We have summer hours at our office, and I've decided that I'm going to visit a bunch of New York City landmarks and museums with the extra time I'll have on Friday afternoons. One thing I want to do is walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. If you never make it to New York, but want to experience what it would look like to stand on the bridge, and get a complete 360 degree view, visit and you can control what you see. The site also includes views of New York City landmarks such as Central Park, Wall Street and Times Square, as well as views of the now destroyed World Trade Center. Other scheduled trips include the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden/Abigail Adams Smith Museum (where the daughter of Founding Father John Adams was lived) (, the Lower East Tenement Museum (, and Newseum NY (check out the Newseum DC site and see what today's headlines are across the world

Last month I went to see an exhibit of items being auctioned from the Estate of Katharine Hepburn at Sotheby's in New York. I left with the catalogue, because as I walked around the many rooms of furnishings, photographs, paintings, and keepsakes, I realized that there was no way I was going to own any of them myself. From the first item, a telegram announcing her birth ($1,560) to a New York City Proclamation announcing Katharine Hepburn Day ($3,600), these bits and pieces of film legend all went for prices that far exceeded expectations. In the end, a total of 695 items fetched $5.85 million. Check out the items that were for sale and see how much they sold for at

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number, or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. It is a growing crime, but there are ways to help to prevent it from happening to you. If you have been the victim of identity theft, or want to know how you can be proactive in preventing it, visit

Unusual website of the month: Everything you'd ever want to know about Frisbee Dogs:

© World Almanac Education Group

World Almanac E-Newsletter
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

Newsletter Contributors:
Louise Bloomfield, Erik Gopel, Walter Kronenberg, Bill McGeveran, Kevin Seabrooke and Lori Wiesenfeld

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