Dr. Hurlbutt's Highly Peculiar Online Calendar

July 2011

(National Baked Bean Month)

July 1: Canada Day. Known as Dominion Day until 1982, this Canadian national holiday commemorates the establishment of Canada as a union of British colonies in 1867.

July 2: Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared over the Pacific in 1937, while attempting to make the first flight to follow the equator around the world.


July 4: Independence Day (U.S.). The United States' preeminent holiday, the Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (although the Continental Congress actually voted in favor of independence on July 2 and most of the representatives did not sign a formal copy of the Declaration until August 2). While long observed, Independence Day did not become an official federal holiday until 1941. The occasion is traditionally celebrated with outdoor feasting, public drunkenness, bombastic speeches, and fireworks displays. Injuries caused by fireworks have been a perennial problem, leading to their prohibition in many jurisdictions.

July 5: Bicentennial of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence in 1811. Venezuela was the first South American country to declare independence from Spain.

July 6: Jan Hus was burned at the stake in 1415. Sir Thomas Moore was beheaded in 1535. Pope Pius VII was arrested in 1809.

July 8: Local people reported that snails rained from the sky during a heavy thunderstorm near Redruth in Cornwall on this day in 1886. A scientific investigator later concluded that in fact the snails were of two common species that "live in myriads at the roots of grass and herbage, and at certain periods, after showers of rain, appear on the leaves and stalks to the astonishment of rustics."

July 9: The fortieth-first World Pea Shooting Championships will be held on the village green in Witcham, England, while halfway across the world the nineteenth annual International Mango Festival will begin at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, to celebrate the mango as an object of beauty and admiration.

July 10: Clerihew Day (unofficial). The birthday of Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956), inventor of the clerihew, has been designated "Clerihew Day" by the man's many followers. The clerihew, a wholly frivolous poetic form, is a four-line verse adhering to the rhyme scheme AABB. The first line consists of a personal name, while those that follow traditionally are, or purport to be, biographical in nature. Little, if any, attention is paid to meter.

Dr. Allardyce Hurlbutt
Gave clerihews a whirl, but
The result was only madness
And unutterable badness.

July 11: Birthday of Saints Januarius and Pelagia, who were martyred in Nicopolis, Armenia, in 310, when they were "racked, and torn with iron claws and pieces of earthenware" for four days (quotation: Martyrologium).

July 13: In 1793, in the midst of the French Revolution, the Girondin sympathizer Charlotte Corday assassinated the radical Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat in his bath. Marat's lifeless body is the subject of a famous painting by Jacques-Louis David, held in the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.

July 14: Bastille Day (France). Commemorating the capture of the Bastille fortress prison in Paris at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, Bastille Day is the preeminent French national holiday. It is also celebrated in the city of Pondicherry, in southeastern India, which was ruled by the French from 1673 to 1954 (apart from sporadic periods of occupation prior to 1816 during various wars, first with the Dutch, then with the British).

July 15: As part of "Operation Blue Bat" in 1958, U.S. Marines undertook an amphibious landing on a beach near Beirut to support the Lebanese government during a sectarian revolt. The marines stormed ashore from landing craft, observed by bikini-clad tourists, local road builders, and soft-drink vendors. Apparently somewhat perplexed, one marine remarked, "It's better than Korea, but what the hell is it?" The U.S. troops withdrew some three months later, having lost only three men, two of whom drowned while swimming during their off-duty hours.

July 16: The first atomic bomb was exploded in a test in New Mexico in 1945.

July 17: Unable to obtain official permission to make a trans-Atlantic flight with his modified Curtiss Robin in 1938, Douglas Groce Corrigan took off from Brooklyn, New York, supposedly on his way to Los Angeles, California. Undaunted, he headed east instead. Despite a leaky fuel tank, Corrigan landed safely in Dublin, Ireland, the next day. His preposterous story that he had merely made a navigation error in the fog tickled the public's fancy, and "Wrong Way Corrigan" was feted as an American hero.

July 18: King Edward I ordered the Jews expelled from England in 1290.

July 19: Under pressure from the War Department, the U.S. Army Air Corps reluctantly opened a flying school for black cadets at Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941.

July 20: Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon in 1969. Seven years later to the day, Viking I became the first spacecraft to land on Mars in 1976.

July 22: In 1910, a Captain Kendall sent the following wireless telegraph message to Scotland Yard, the first time sending such a message from a ship at sea resulted in the arrest of criminal suspects:

Have strong suspicions that Crippen London cellar murderer and accomplice are amongst saloon passengers moustache taken off growing beard accomplice dressed as boy voice manner and build undoubtedly a girl both travelling as Mr and Master Robinson.

July 23: In 1979, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran declared in a speech: "Music is no different from opium. . . .  Music is a treason to the country, a treason to our youth, and we should cut out all this music and replace it with something instructive."

Of all noises I think music the least disagreeable. Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-84)

July 24: Parents' Day (U.S.). Evidently not satisfied with Mother's Day and Father's Day, Congress voted in 1994 to declare the fourth Sunday of July to be "Parents' Day," with the purpose of "recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children."

July 26: The Inquisition was established by Pope Clement IV in 1267. Its last victim was executed in Valencia, Spain, on this same day in 1826.

July 27: Feastday of St. Pantaleon. Martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian (reigned 284-305), Pantaleon had been the emperor's physician. Along with more than a dozen other saints, he is a patron of bachelorhood.

Bachelors should be heavily taxed: it is not fair that some men should be happier than others. - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

July 28: Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, beginning a chain reaction among the other great European powers that resulted in the First World War.

July 29: Feastday of St. Olaf. King of Norway from 1015 to 1028, Olaf II attempted without success to convert the pagan Viking populace, the effort ending with his expulsion from the country. Canonized in 1164, he became Norway's patron saint.

July 31: Samuel Hopkins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received the first U.S. patent in 1790, for an improvement "in the making [of] Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new Apparatus and Process."

January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December

While Archelaus reasonably believes the contents of this calendar to be accurate, it disclaims
all liability for the consequences of any action undertaken in reliance upon said contents.