I am happy to report that my wife’s recovery continues apace, with no complications. I can also now reply to all my outstanding comments, following my laptop’s power-starvation-induced stroke – the power cord has a bad spot, occasionally causing a break in the current flow. I missed the teeny-tiny little warning LED, and the computer’s battery drained overnight, consuming a number of items, including all my open browser tabs (about 23 or 24) and a number of logged-in sessions, including WordPress. Nothing life-shattering was lost. just a huge pain in the butt.
As to twin anniversaries – turns out July 20 is a pretty happening day. First Special Olympics, held in my hometown at Soldier Field in 1968, Viking 1 lands on Mars in 1976, and (sadly) the Aurora Colorado theatre shootings 2 years ago. (Holy smoke, it’s been two years already? Yeesh!) But I think a lot of you can guess which two are foremost in my mind. As pretty much anybody over the age of 40 remembers (and the younger folk out there learned), July 20 1969 was the famous Apollo moon landing. For the first time in human history, a resident of the planet Earth set foot on another soundstage .. sorry, on another space body (as they say in Star Trek). To think we made it to the Moon 45 years ago, and today we bum rides on ex-Soviet ICBMs with the Russians. Here’s hoping it won’t be ANOTHER 45 years before we get to our next step, be it Mars or its’ moons, an asteroid, or our own Moon (and there’s pretty strong cases for each of the non-Lunar alternatives, so we’ll see which one wins out).
The other anniversary was, until Tom Cruise’s film in 2008, the little-known attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler, known as Operation Valkyrie. Since Valkyrie came out, there has been a fair amount of press and video on the story, including some science shows experimenting as to whether the blast would have been fatal in a closed-in underground room (you betcha!), rather than the open-windowed, airy meeting room that the meeting was moved to. Though the best known of the attempts to kill Hitler, there were at least 41 other attempts, seriously made and unsuccessful only by blind luck, to rid the world of the Führer between his taking first powers in 1933 and his eventual suicide in 1945. (Sorry, folks, Hitler is NOT working with Elvis at a Battle Creek Burger King. You’re thinking of Jimmy Hoffa. ;) ) It bears remembering that, in the midst of the horror and cruelty that was the Third Reich, there were a few brave souls attempting to decapitate the Nazi scourge. Imagine Hitler having been killed before the war started, or shortly after Poland – two of the next-closest-to-succcess attempts made. How different our world might be, without a triumphant Soviet military to face post-war, and with all those lost lives instead living up to their gifts.
And never fear, I am already gathering notes for a post in 8 days, when one of the most momentous of all anniversaries will be noted – the beginning of the First World War. Here’s a teaser fact for you – the great Caesars had an impact on history, all the way to the 20th Century. The end of the Great War saw the downfall of the last two Caesars, the Russian Czar and the German Kaiser (both titles derive from Caesar). Cool factoid, eh?
See y’all soon.