Sunday, February 17, 2013

Monday, February 18 is President's Day -- but it's also...

Monday is President's Day this year, but February 18 is Battery Day every year, for reasons we can't begin to fathom. Our crack research staff was, as usual, of no use in ascertaining why this might be so. Instead, the research staff noted that Monday is also Drink Wine Day -- and they volunteered to research that. We turned them down.

Monday is also Pluto Day because astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh discovered Pluto on February 18, 1930.

Poor Pluto. From the time of its discovery until August 24, 2006, Pluto was recognized as the ninth planet in our Solar System -- but, on that dark day, the International Astronomical Union officially adopted a definition of planet the demoted Pluto from "planet" to "dwarf planet." Appeals are still pending.

Photo of Elm Farm Ollie, the flying cow, obtained here.
Also on February 18, 1930, Elm Farm Ollie, alias "Nellie Jay" and "Sky Queen," became the first cow to fly -- and be milked -- in a fixed wing aircraft. The stunt was staged to promote an air show in St. Louis; the milk obtained in flight was put into commemorative paper cartons and dropped, by parachute, to spectators below. A glass was supposedly served to Charles Lindbergh as well. For this reason, Usual Suspect calls Monday Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day.

How literal.

According to Wikipedia, on February 18, 1979, in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria, snow fell for the first and only time in recorded history. Two great American actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood were born on February 18, 1890 -- Edward Arnold and Adolphe Menjou. No American President was actually born on February 18, but 1940 Republican nominee Wendell Wilkie was born on February 18, 1892.

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