Tidbits in Time Almanac

Today’s News in History

“Tidbits in Time” is from contributor E. Adrian Van Zelfden, Keeper of Days.

June 23, 1911
David MacKenzie Ogilvy was born in Surrey, England. Through his agency, Ogilvy & Mather, he pioneered modern advertising. He said that five times more people read a headline than the ad itself. An old David Ogilvy favorite is a magazine ad he did for Rolls Royce, the headline of which reads, “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

Listen to Today’s 4 min. History

June Day-by-Day

June 1, 2001 Would you like to hear the fascinating story of the Laura Buxton Balloon Event? Laura Buxton released a balloon that ended up in the hands of another girl, also named Laura Buxton, who lived some 140 miles away. The two girls were both age 10, and the same height, which was unusual, because they were both tall for their age. They both also have the same eye color and hair color. Plus they each had a three-year-old female black Labrador Retriever at home, along with grey pet rabbits. They also had guinea pig pets which were the same color and even have the same orange markings on their hindquarters. The first Laura Buxton was attending the 50th wedding anniversary of her grandparents, in Stafordshire, England. Her grandfather encouraged her to tie a note with her name and address to a gold mylar balloon, fill it with helium, and release it. Off it floated into the sky. A farmer, Andy Rivers, later found the balloon in a hedge, in Milton, Lilbourne, England. He knew that his neighbors, Peter and Eleanor Buxton had a daughter named Laura, so he gave the balloon to her parents. There was a telephone call, and later the two girls met, became friends, and have continued their friendship.

June 2, 1929 Norton Juster was born in Brooklyn, New York. I just pulled out my old copy of the The Phantom Tollbooth to re-read, as one of great pleasures of life. He published it in 1961, and it was sold as a book for children, but it is so much more than that. And while kids will like it, adults will roar with laughter at its purposely made up-words, puns, deliberate misuse of words, and a thousand other things. It is a most delightful book. And various different actors read each of its chapters on YouTube.

June 3, 1946 Hungary issued the one hundred quintillion pengo note to deal with inflation. Throughout history, governments have spent more than they took in, piled up huge debts, and then tried to inflate their way out, inevitably causing a currency default. Is the U.S. already on the path recently forged by Zimbabwe, Greece, and the Euro by spending itself into oblivion?

June 4, 1989 A lone protestor stood in front of a column of Chinese Army tanks, causing them to halt. This came to be called the Tiananmen Square protest. The Chinese government had the area swept of demonstrators with the killing or arrest of an estimated 1,000 people. The site is huge, approximately 53.31 acres. The word Tiananmen means the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The gate has been called the “Great Ming Gate,” and the “Gate of the Nation” at various times in its history.

June 5, 1933 The U.S. went off the gold standard. The Federal Reserve has inflated the dollar by 2,123.9%. That means, anything you could have purchased for a $100 in 1933 would cost $2,223.92 today. Of course, that is a tremendous change just during fewer years than a full century. We are experiencing a huge amount of inflation right now, so buckle your seat belts.

June 6, 1946 In connection to the D-Day Invasion during World War II, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, “The greatest challenge facing America is not money, but thinking. You have to get it in your head, the current system is broken.” Then using the Allied invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944, as an example of the magnitude of the lift required that would reestablish the Judeo-Christian foundation and Biblically based culture established by the American Founders, Gingrich said, “Eisenhower had concluded that we could not afford to be pushed off the beach, that this was the one great opportunity to liberate Europe and that we would not have the nerve to try again if it failed. If you look at the planning for Normandy, it is this. Only an American system at its peak could have done this.”

June 7, 1938 George Guidall was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. He has recorded more than 2,000 audiobooks, far more than anybody else. And he is still going. Guidall says he reads all his books beforehand and seeks to understand the book, not to just impart information but emotion and performance. Guidall says many narrators are “just reading out loud. They do not have an emotional underpinning. There is a rhythm to speech in terms of what is implied. If it is raining in the book, there has got to be something about the voice that evokes the rain.” Guidall says audiobook narration “expands the intent of the author, that brings it into an immediacy. I am a literary hermit crab finding a home in someone else’s imagined truth.”

June 8, 1967 Israeli war planes, along with 3 torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty while it was in international waters, along with 3 Israeli torpedo boats which also attacked. This caused the death of 34 people and injured 174 people. After surveilling USS Liberty for more than nine hours with almost hourly aircraft overflights and radar tracking, the air and naval forces of Israel attacked without warning. USS Liberty was identified as a US naval ship by Israeli reconnaissance aircraft before the attack and continuously tracked by Israeli radar and aircraft thereafter. With no offensive armament, the ship was not a military threat to anyone. The ship, a $40-million dollar state-of-the-art signals intelligence platform, was later declared unsalvageable and sold for scrap. The administration of President Lyndon Johnson never sought justice for the victims, and were therefore accused of a cover-up.

June 9, 1923 David M. Gonzales was born in Pacoima, California. He enlisted in the US Army during WW II. Serving in the Philippines, he was killed in action on April 25, 1945 while, under heavy enemy fire, digging out several soldiers buried under rock and sand following a bomb explosion. Posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, Gonzalez was also awarded several commendations and awards although decades later.
June 10, 1935 Alcoholics Anonymous was established in Akron, Ohio. It was founded by a stockbroker named Bill Wilson and a surgeon, Bob Smith, who found that the best way to keep from drinking was to spend time with other people who were trying to keep from drinking. Between the two of them, they developed the main traditions of AA— anonymity, confession, and mutual support. Alcoholics Anonymous grew rapidly in the 1940s and 1950s, but Bill Wilson refused to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. And he would not accept an honorary degree from Yale, because believed in anonymity, and he stuck with it to the end.

June 11, 1630 John Winthrop, on his way to the New World aboard the ship Arabella, put pen to paper outlining his goals for the new colony, “We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when He shall make us a praise and glory, that men of succeeding plantations shall say, ‘The Lord make it like that of New England.’ For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill . . .”

June 12, 1929 Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main, Weimar, Germany. Anticipating the upcoming Holocaust, in 1933 her family immigrated to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. They got out of Germany, but not far enough. She, and her whole family, were captured and died in concentration camps. On her thirteenth birthday in 1942 she got a diary as a present, which she used to chronicle her life. The diary entries were published and became one of the most read books in the world.

June 13, 1970 The Beatles released a song written by Paul McCartney, “The Long and Winding Road.” It was the last Beatles song to hit Number One in the U.S. Shortly after recording it, the group gave it to Phil Spector to arrange. Spector added harps, horns, strings, an orchestra, and a choir of women. After McCartney heard the remixed version, he was aghast, and within two weeks McCartney announced the breakup of the Beatles. He later filed a lawsuit asking for a legal dissolution of the partnership. The Spector version of the recording was released and sold 1.2 million copies in the first two days. So, what caused the breakup of the Beatles? Surely it was not this song, but maybe it can be blamed on Phil Spector? Or maybe Paul McCartney had an artistic hissy fit about the arrangement? But it was likely not just one thing but many things; all culminating at a particular time. After all the success, the adulation, the crowds, the stardom, the money, the fame, the drugs, the alcohol, the gurus, the accumulated years of petty strife among the guys (added to by their wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends), that they just could not hold it together any longer. What do you think?

June 14, 1975 Henry Edward Roberts began marketing a personal computer, based on using an Intel 8080 chip, designed for ordinary people. Popular Electronics Magazine featured it in a January 1975 story. The Altair 8800 just had some lights on the front, and it was hard to program. Altair expected to sell only 200 computers, but after the Electronics Magazine boost, they sold 2,500 by May of 1976. Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates bought an Altair, then wrote a program for it in Basic, which they later sold to the manufacturer.

June 15, 1479 Lisa Gheradinini del Giocondo (also known as Mona Lisa) was born in Florence, Italy. She was the subject of the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci. She was married at age 15 to a cloth and silk merchant shoemaker. She became a mother to five children and lived an ordinary and a comfortable middle-class life. Upon his death, her husband returned her dowry, her clothing, and her jewelry, and other funds, thanking her for always acting with a noble spirit and as a faithful wife, wishing and hoping that she shall have all she needs.

June 16, 1829 Geronimo was born near Gila River, Arizona. A Chiricahua Apache, he led raiding parties into Mexican locations in revenge for the killing of his wife and children. When he began attacking Americans, the Cavalry went after him, and he surrendered. It is rumored that six members (including Prescott Bush) of the Yale Secret Society, Skull and Bones, stole the skull of Geronimo and took it back to New Haven, but the rumor has never been proven.

June 17, 1972 A security guard, Frank Wills, at the Watergate office building and apartment complex in Washington, D.C. noticed that the locks of several doors had been taped in the open position. He removed the tape, but an hour later when he made his rounds, he found the doors re-taped; so he decided to call the police. Five men were caught, Bernard Barker, James W. McCord, Jr., Frank Sturgis, Eugenio Martinez, and Virgilio Gonzalez. Along with two accessories, G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, Jr., they were convicted in January, 1973.
This by itself would have probably not have brought down President Richard M. Nixon, except that it indirectly caused the testimony before Congress by Col. Alexander P. Butterfield on July 13, 1973, when he blabbed that there was a secret tape recording system at the White House. Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.
Much of this was happening at about the same time as Nixon fought inflation by putting on mandatory wage and price controls, endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment, kicked Taiwan under the bus, invented the new departments of OSHA, EPA, and CPSC, caused the international currency default of the U.S. by the closing of the gold window, and presided over the Arab oil embargo. The nation was in terrible turmoil during those days.

June 18, 1841 Lester Frank Ward was born in Joliet, Illinois. He introduced sociology courses to schools. He believed that social forces could be guided at a macro level using universal mandatory public schooling. He believed that societies could reduce what he called “waste” by central planning. He believed that elites could use scientific legislation to form a good society. He never was able to solve the problem that elites are not usually altruists. And in his writings he assumed that the masses could be controlled by linear thinking, never understanding that in dynamic systems, there are always unintended consequences that are in most cases unknown, and in other many cases unknowable.

June 19, 2022 Fathers Day, the companion to Mothers Day last month. It is sometimes difficult to find an appropriate gift, but here is a site with some ideas for you.

June 20, 1782 The U.S. Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States. Because of the uniting of the thirteen colonies, triskaideca is a prominent theme. Above the head of the eagle, there is a radiant constellation of 13 individual stars, arranged as a six-sided star. The shield has 13 separate vertical stripes. In its talons the eagle is clutching 13 arrows on one side and 13 olive branches on the other, with its beak turned toward the olive branches. On the other side of the seal, there are enigmatic symbols, like unfinished pyramid with 13 strata, 1776 engraved on the base, and an eye floating on top, with the Latin “novos ordo seclorum” slogan.

June 21, 1779 During the War for American Independence, Spain came to the aid of the American colonists by formally declaring war on Great Britain. They supplied Spanish forces, mounting an assault on British territory from Louisiana. King Carlos III commissioned Bernardo de Gálvez to conduct a campaign against the British along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast. In order to feed his troops, Gálvez sent an emissary, Francisco García, to Texas governor Domingo Cabello y Robles requesting the delivery of Texas cattle to Spanish forces in Louisiana. Accordingly, between 1779 and 1782, 10,000 cattle were rounded up on ranches belonging to citizens and missions of Bexar and La Bahía. Rancho de la Mora was typical of these ranches, and escorts were provided from small posts like the Fuerte de Santa Cruz del Cíbolo. From Presidio La Bahía, the assembly point. Texas rancheros and their vaqueros trailed these herds to Nacogdoches, Natchitoches, and Opelousas for distribution to the Gálvezs forces. Fueled in part by Texas beef, Gálvez and his men defeated the British in battles at Manchac, Baton Rouge, Natchez, Mobile, Pensacola, and New Providence in the Bahamas. He was busy preparing for a campaign against Jamaica when peace negotiations ended the war.

June 22, 2022 In my family, this is the date we celebrate the birthday of my sister. My parents only had two of children. Since I am about five years older, I distinctly remember the night my mother and father left me with neighbors to go to the hospital. They returned a few days later with a little baby girl. Happy birthday, Roxanne.

June 23, 2005 The U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of the Little Pink House (Suzette Kelo vs. New London, Connecticut, 545 U.S. 469). This is an Eminent Domain case, where the city allowed a private developer to bulldoze a whole neighborhood of privately owned homes to build under a “comprehensive redevelopment plan.” Besides the Suzette Kelo home, this was part of a 91 acre tract that involved many homes. case decided little pink house. Many people protested the opinion of the court, and 8 states have prohibited such actions. The dispute resulted in a movie about the Little Pink House that came to theatres in 2018.

June 24, 1982 In a 5–4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Nixon v. Fitzgerald (457 U.S. 731) ruled that the President is entitled to absolute immunity from legal liability for civil damages based on his official acts. The Court, however, emphasized that the President is not immune from criminal charges stemming from his official or unofficial acts while he is in office. The Court observed that the President was subjected to constant scrutiny by the press and noted that vigilant oversight by Congress would also serve to deter presidential abuses of office and to make the threat of impeachment credible. It determined that other incentives to avoid presidential misconduct existed, including the desire to earn re-election, the need to maintain prestige as an element of presidential influence, and the traditional concern for his historical stature. The decision was clarified by Clinton v. Jones, in which the Court held that a President is subject to civil suits for actions committed before he assumes the presidency.

June 25, 474 BC King Xerxes, at the request of his wife, Queen Esther, issued a decree granting authority to the Jews in his kingdom to defend themselves. He had previously issued a decree, prompted by Haman the Agagite, for the extinction of the Jews. Due a quirk in the law the King could not rescind his prior order. About a year later, when the Jews were attacked, they successfully defended themselves, killing some 75,000 of their enemies.

June 26, 1909 Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk (who used the name Colonel Tom Parker) was born in Breda, The Netherlands. As a young man he came to the United States and worked as a carnival barker, involved himself in short cons, and served a stint in the U.S. Army. His first music promotion client was Gene Austin, then Eddy Arnold, and later Hank Snow. After helping singer Jimmie Davis in his election to the governorship of Louisiana, he was named an honorary Colonel in the non-existent Louisiana militia. An extremely shrewd manager, he came to represent Elvis Presley in 1955 and guided all aspects of the career of Elvis for the rest of the lifetime of the famous singer and movie actor, at a commission of 50%. Despite the exorbitant percentage, many feel that Elvis would not have become such a huge star without the Colonel representing him. What do you think?

June 27, 1976 Operation Thunderbolt. An Air France Airbus A300 commercial flight took off from Tel Aviiv, Israel with a final destination in Paris, France. It stopped in Athens, Greece and picked up 58 additional passengers, though inadvertently two Palestinian and two German hijackers boarded. The plane was diverted to the airport at Entebbe, Uganda and landed there. The hijackers released some hostages, but they retained 106 people, making demands for some 53 Palestinian prisoners to be released from Israeli prisons. The Israeli government attempted a diplomatic solution, but failed. Then, they called upon their Mossad to attempt a rescue. Four Lockheed C-130 aircraft were loaded with about 100 soldiers and their equipment and flown about 2,500 miles to Entebbe, at an altitude of about 100 feet to avoid detection. Four hostages were killed, 12 rescuers were wounded and 1 was killed, the brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, who later became the Prime Minister of Israel. There was a great movie made about this, the Raid on Entebbe.

June 28, 1914 Lester Roloff was born in Dawson, Texas. After being called to preach at age 18, he entered Baylor University in Waco, Texas, taking a milk cow with him to sell the milk for tuition money. He later attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He then began preaching in southern Texas before taking pastoral duties in Houston and later Corpus Christi, Texas. He began broadcasting on the radio, calling his radio show the Family Altar. He preached against communism, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gluttony, and psychology. He later set up what he called Rebekah Homes for homeless girls. The state of Texas claimed licensure authority of such homes, and Roloff fought that in court, using the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He sometimes lost and had to spend a few days in jail. Lester Roloff died in a plane crash in 1982.

June 29, 1895 Paul Vincent Galvin was born in Harvard Illinois. He founded the Motorola Corporation. He developed car radios and home radios, capitalizing on an important trend. After perfecting a working car radio, he drove his Studebaker 815 miles from Chicago to Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1930. He set his car up near the Radio Manufacturers Association Convention, and he turned the radio up all the way, attracting quite a few orders for his design. Motorola Corporation became a huge company under his leadership.

June 30, 1953 The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan. It is known as the “Halo Car,” because it is so distinctive that it has a halo effect on all the other cars that General Motors makes. It became known as the American Sports Car, when it was featured in the 1980s television show, Route 66. It became synonymous with freedom and adventure, ultimately becoming the most successful concept car in history.