Today in History (December 12th):
1745: Birthdays: John Jay, first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
1781: The HMS Victory defeated the French fleet during the Revolutionary War.
1787: Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1821: Birthdays: French novelist Gustave Flaubert.
1863: Birthdays: Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.
1870: Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina was sworn in as the first African-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1893: Birthdays: Actor Edward G. Robinson.
1901: Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.
1913: Two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The Mona Lisa was recovered in a Florence, Italy, hotel room.
1914: Birthdays: English writer Patrick O’Brian.
1915: Birthdays: Singer/actor Frank Sinatra.
1917: The Rev. Edward J. Flanagan, a 31-year-old Irish priest, opened the doors to Boys Town, a home for troubled and neglected children in Omaha. He lived by the adage, There is no such thing as a bad boy.
1923: Birthdays: TV game show host Bob Barker.
1924: Birthdays: Former New York Mayor Edward Koch.
1932: Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Fame member Bob Pettit.
1937: Japanese planes bombed and sank the U.S. gunboat Panay in the Yangtze River north of Nanking, China. Japan later said it was a mistake.
1938: Birthdays: Singer Connie Francis.
1940: Birthdays: Singer Dionne Warwick.
1943: Birthdays: Rock musician Dickey Betts.
1948: Birthdays: Actor Tom Wilkinson.
1949: Birthdays: Actor Bill Nighy.
1952: Birthdays: Former Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby.
1957: Birthdays: Musician Sheila E.
1962: Birthdays: Former tennis star Tracy Austin.
1975: Sara Jane Moore said she willfully tried to kill U.S. President Gerald Ford. She was sentenced to life in prison but was released Dec. 31, 2007. Birthdays: Actor Mayim Bialik.
1981: Martial law was imposed in Poland.
1985: The crash of an Arrow Air DC-8 military charter on takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland, killed all 256 aboard, including 248 U.S. soldiers.
1990: 15 people were killed and more than 260 injured in a pileup of vehicles on a foggy Tennessee highway.
1991: The Russian Parliament ratified a commonwealth treaty linking the three strongest Soviet republics in the nation’s most profound change since the 1917 revolution.
2002: North Korea announced it would reactivate a nuclear reactor idle since 1994. The European Union invited 10 nations, including Poland and Hungary, to join its ranks in 2004.
2003: Paul Martin became Canada’s 21st prime minister, succeeding Jean Chretien.
2005: Jibran Tueni, an anti-Syrian member of the Lebanese Parliament and head of a leading Lebanon newspaper, was assassinated when an explosion tore through his armored car outside Beirut.
2006: A Baghdad suicide bomber, luring the unemployed to his truck with promises of work, killed at least 60 people and injured 220 others. More than 1,000 federal agents raided Swift meatpacking plants in six states, arresting more than 1,200 undocumented workers in a 10-month investigation into identity theft by illegal immigrants. Deaths: Elizabeth Bolden, reportedly the world’s oldest person, died at a Memphis nursing home at the age of 116. She was born Aug. 15, 1890, to freed slaves.
2007: Central banks in Europe and North America worked on plans to lend billions of dollars to the U.S. banking system in an effort to ease the credit crisis. Nearly 30 people were killed and 150 wounded when three car bombs exploded in the southern Iraqi city of Amara. Alberto Fujimori, the former president of Peru, was convicted of abuse of power and sentenced to six years in prison.
2008: An Iraqi journalist, calling him a dog, threw two shoes at U.S. President Bush during a news conference in the Iraqi prime minister’s office in Baghdad. Bush ducked and wasn’t struck.
2009: As many as 100,000 marchers from nearly 200 countries swarmed over central Copenhagen. Denmark, urging action on global climate change by representatives, sought international accord on mandatory cutbacks in greenhouse gases.
2010: A South Korean fishing boat with 42 people aboard sank north of Antartica. There were 20 reported survivors. The boat’s owner said the craft might have hit an iceberg.
2011: The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the way the Board of Immigration Appeals applies federal law in deportation cases. The high court opinion said the BIA’s method is ‘arbitrary and capricious’ under the [federal] Administrative Procedure Act.
“I have often thought morality may perhaps consist solely in the courage of making a choice.” – Leon Blum
“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and, if it were possible, speak a few reasonable words.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, dramatist, novelist, and philosopher (1749-1832)
“You will need to find your passion. Don’t give up on finding it because then all you’re doing is waiting for the Reaper.” – Randy Pausch, 1960-2008
“One must pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while still alive.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)
Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) American singer, actor:
“Basically, I’m for anything that gets you through the night – be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.”
“Hell hath no fury like a hustler with a literary agent.”
“Here’s to the confusion of our enemies!”
“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”
“When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.”
“May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine.”
“Rock ‘n Roll: The most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear.”
“The martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth.”
“The thing that influenced me most was the way Tommy played his trombone. It was my idea to make my voice work in the same way as a trombone or violin-not sounding like them, but ‘playing’ the voice like those instrumentalists.”
MEANING: (noun), An ill-tempered, stubborn person, usually an old man.
ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown. Earliest documented use: 1587.
USAGE: “Fred Eaglesmith can sound like a curmudgeon at times, delivering cynical proclamations on the state of music.” – Cathalena Burch; Success Finds Man of the Road; Arizona Daily Star (Tucson); Feb 2, 2012.
Explore “curmudgeon” in the Visual Thesaurus.
1. An extraneous part of a system found in an unusual place, as adventitious roots growing from the trunk of a tree;
2. added extraneously, not inherent or natural, out of place.
ETYMOLOGY: Latin adventicius “foreign” from adventus “arrival” the past participle of advenire “to arrive, come to” based on ad “(up) to” + venire “to come.” This word is visible in English “advent,” “adventure,” “souvenir,” and others. “Venire” goes back to Proto-Indo-European *gwem- “go, come.” In Germanic, the [g] became [k] and the [w] disappeared by regular processes, leading to English “come” and German “kommen.” Today’s word resembles “adventurous” and you might be tempted to confuse the two. Although both derive from the same source, the two words are distinct. The adverb for today’s word is “adventitiously” and the noun is “adventitiousness.”
USAGE: “Margaret arrived in a matching skirt and sweater outfit, leather pumps, and an adventitious yellow purse that raised more than one eyebrow.”
MEANING: noun: Emotional gratification or pride, especially taken vicariously at the achievement of one’s children.
ETYMOLOGY: From Yiddish (nakhes), from Hebrew nakhat (contentment). Earliest documented use: 1929. Also see kvell.
USAGE: “So while I love living in this adopted country of mine, I will never get the naches from shopping here that I do in America.” – Ann Kleinberg; Confessions of a Mad Shopper; The Jerusalem Post (Israel); Sep 5, 2003.