Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finding the special in a non-descript day

December 20th is not a date on which much of any real import has happened.

A day before the solstice, five days out from Christmas, and 11 back from year's end, the world just wants to catch its breath before the big rush of excitement.

Here is a minor historical accounting of the date's sometimes trivial past happenings:
  • In 1803, the U.S. completed its biggest single land grab as Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France.

  • In 1860, the state of South Carolina became the first to secede from the union and kick started a process that would inevitably tear the expanding country apart. From bad to good, the resulting internal revolution created the opportunity to undo one of our Constitution's worst oversights.

  • In 1946, there were two theatrical birthings. It's a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra's now-overplayed Christmas classic about pondered suicide and redemption, took its first bow in New York City. Half a world away in Israel, Uri Geller, the pseudo psychic with a penchant for bending spoons and re-invigorating clocks with his energetic touch, screamed his way onto the stage.

  • In 1963, on a snowy morning, Francis Christopher Scudellari (pictured above) was spanked to breath by the medical staff at Providence Hospital in Washington DC. He was the third of four children born to Marina and Anthony. From there the picture gets fuzzy and indistinct. Many guises put on, but none yet to stick. Check this space regularly for updates.
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