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Monday, September 1, 2014

September Noir

"By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather, and autumn's best of cheer."  - H. H. Jackson

September and October are my favorite months, for as long as I can remember, it has been this way.   Historically, September is an interesting month.  As Americans, we appreciate the first of this month being Labor Day, and having a well-earned day away from our normal work day.  And of course, September 11th will always be our collective, most horrific memory.  There is nothing more I can express in sorrow, than has already been said.  Let us hope and pray that another tragedy like this, will never be seen on our beloved soil again.

Just hearing the word September will conjure images of autumn leaves turning into various shades of fire; red, crisp apples and the smell of wood-smoke from the chimneys outside.  It is traditionally one of the best times of year, here in New England to utilize your camera, as the light is pristine and everyone seems to want to capture the sights of the season.

But what of the darker side of September?  Here's a few odd facts and amusing tid-bits:

September 2, 1666:  The Great Fire of London - "The Great Fire started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner (or Farynor) on Pudding Lane, shortly after midnight on Sunday, 2 September, and spread rapidly west across the City of London. The fire swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman city wall. It threatened, but did not reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall, and most of the suburban slums.  It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul's Cathedral and most of the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants.  The death toll is unknown but traditionally thought to have been small, as only six verified deaths were recorded. This reasoning has recently been challenged on the grounds that the deaths of poor and middle-class people were not recorded, while the heat of the fire may have cremated many victims leaving no recognizable remains."

On September 15th in 1784, it has been recorded that Vincent Lunardi made the first "sustained English ascent" in an air balloon, at which time he announced, "In the air balloon to distant realms I fly; And leave the creeping world to sink and die."

On the 17th, long ago in Rupertwinkel, Bavaria it was once permissible to publicly flog an enemy while the church bell rang. 

"Lady Bug. Lady Bug, fly away home,
Your house is on fire
and your children will burn."

In Europe, September is the time when hop vines were burned after harvest.  The reason for this was the vines were loaded with aphids.  

World War II began with the Nazi invasion of Poland, on September 1st, 1939

The Espionage and Sabotage Act was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It authorized the death penalty for peacetime sabotage and the statute of limitations for these crimes was removed,  1954

"Lassie" made its television debut, 1954     (forgive me....)

President William McKinley died, 1901

The Swastika was made the official symbol of Nazi Germany, 1935

Yellow Fever cases reached epidemic proportions in Brunswick, Georgia, 1893

Singer James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix died in London at the age of 27 from the overdose of barbiturates and alcohol, 1970

Patricia "Patty" Hearst was captured by the FBI, 1975. She was tried, and sentenced to prison in 

Bruno Hauptmann was charged with the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh infant, 1934

The first underground atomic explosion occurred at the proving grounds near Las Vegas, Nevada, 19571976 and paroled in 1979.

The U.S. Embassy in Beruit was bombed through the means of a suicide car-bomb, which exploded outside the Embassy, killing 23 including two Americans, 1984

Colonel Ethan Allen was captured while attacking Montreal, taken prisoner and held until the end of the American Revolutionary War, 1775.

Benedict Arnold, American soldier and turncoat, treason was discovered, 1780. Through a conspiracy with John Andre, he agreed to betray the United States during the American Revolutionary War. Upon Andre's capture, Arnold fled to the British lines, and was given a command in the royal army. He went to England and remained there until his death in 1801.

The Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was released. Its findings were that there was no conspiracy, either domestic or international in the assassination, and that lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. This report also found that Jack Ruby, the convicted murderer of Oswald, had had no prior contact with Oswald, 1964

A woman was arrested in New York City for smoking a cigarette in public, while riding in an open automobile. It is said that the policemen told her, "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue!" 1904

Eight Chicago White Sox baseball team members were indicted for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series, 1920

Cyanide placed in Tylenol capsules caused the deaths of seven people in the Chicago area. The makers of Tylenol recalled 264,000 bottles of the drug. The killer was never found, 1982

The first criminal was executed in the American Colonies, 1630

The Military trial in Nuremberg found 22 Nazi's guilty of war crimes, 1946

Actor James Byron Dean died at age 24 from injuries received in a car crash, 1955

September 30th (every year): 

"It is believed on this day all the berries in the world have been poisoned, the Devil having put his foot upon them the day before." -Putnam Book of Days