Dr. Hurlbutt's Highly Peculiar Online Calendar

September 2011

(Subliminal Marketing Month)


September 1: Feastday of St. Giles (Roman Catholic Church). According to legend, Giles (Latin: Aegidius) was a high-born Athenian hermit of the 6th, 7th, or possibly 8th century, who moved to the wilds of southern France to escape the irksome attentions of his would-be followers. Having taken refuge in a cave, he subsisted upon herbs, supplemented by the milk of an unexpectedly obliging hind. A monastery, established nearby at what is now the town of Saint-Gilles, is documented to have been in existence by the early 9th century. Most of the saint's relics are kept there, although the Church of St. Giles in Edinburgh, Scotland, preserves an arm bone also reputed to be his. The patron saint of lepers, beggars, and cripples, Giles was well venerated in much of western Europe during the Middle Ages. Over 150 churches were dedicated to him in England alone. His symbol is the hind.

September 2: The Great Fire of London began in 1666.

September 3: Ellen Stone, a middle-aged American Congregationalist missionary, was kidnapped in 1901 by revolutionaries in the wilds of Macedonia, then part of the Ottoman Empire. As a result, the U.S. government found itself confronted with the then novel experience of a hostage crisis. After months of tense negotiations, the kidnappers released Stone in February 1902, having received a ransom equivalent to well over a million of today's dollars.

September 4: To widespread scorn and indignation, the United States Department of Agriculture proposed reclassifying ketchup and pickle relish in school lunches as vegetable servings in 1981, during the first Reagan Administration.

September 5: Labor Day (U.S., Canada). A march by striking printers in Toronto, Canada, on April 15, 1872, was the original inspiration for this holiday. After the strike was suppressed, seven Ottawa labor unions held a parade of their own on Tuesday, September 3 of that same year. The Ottawa parade became an annual event, which in turn inspired the first Labor Day parade in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The New York parade moved to Monday in 1884, and the city adopted Labor Day as a municipal holiday in the following year. In 1887, Oregon became the first state to embrace the holiday. Other states quickly followed, in part to preempt the observance of May Day, promoted as a labor holiday by the international socialist movement. By 1894, when Congress designated the first Monday in September as a federal holiday, it was already a state holiday in thirty-one of the then forty-four states. As it happened, the Canadian parliament adopted Labor Day in 1894, as well.

September 6: The anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901. McKinley died eight days later of gangrene.

September 8: International Literacy Day. Proclaimed by the UNESCO in 1965, this day celebrates the achievement of literacy by nearly four billion people in the world today. Nevertheless, approximately 880 million adults, two thirds of them women, remain illiterate, while an estimated 130 million school-age children, again two thirds of them girls, are receiving no primary education.

No furniture is as charming as books. - Sydney Smith (1771-1845) A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. - Arab proverb.

September 9: The new U.S. federal capital was named after George Washington in 1791. The District of Columbia, at that time larger than the city itself, also received its name.

September 11: Construction began in 1941 on the enormous Pentagon military complex in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. By coincidence, the "nine-eleven" terrorist attacks of 2001, in the course of which al-Qaeda hijackers flew an airliner into the structure and killed 184 people (not counting the five hijackers themselves), took place on the sixtieth anniversary of the event.

September 12: The acerbic American journalist H. L. Mencken was born in 1880.

September 13: The temperature in El Azizia, Libya, reached 136 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade in 1922, setting a world record that has yet to be exceeded.

September 14: The renowned American illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the "Gibson girl," was born in 1867.

The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs. - Ascribed to Mme. Jeanne-Marie Roland (1754-93). Love will make a dog howl in rhyme. - John Fletcher and Philip Massinger, The Queen of Corinth (1616).

September 16: Cherokee Strip Day (Oklahoma, semi-official). At noon in 1893, the federal government opened the so-called "Cherokee Strip" to white settlement. In a huge land rush, some 100,000 homesteaders crossed into the strip to stake their claims by nightfall. The day is a second-tier Oklahoma state holiday: though recognized by law, it does not result in the closure of state offices.

September 19: In 1893, New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote.

September 20: The Secret Service descended upon a high school in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 2005 to confiscate a civics assignment on the right to dissent — a poster showing a student giving a "thumbs down" to President George W. Bush. Reportedly the Wal-Mart where the student had the photograph developed had deemed the poster a "threat."

September 21: The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris in 1911 by a former employee of the museum. The iconic painting by Leonardo da Vinci was recovered two years later in Italy, when the thief made a clumsy attempt to sell it.

September 23: At 9:04 a.m. GMT, the autumnal equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the southern as the sun crosses the celestial equator, moving southward. Night and day are approximately the same length and autumn begins in the north, spring in the south.

September 25: Under intense pressure from the federal government, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints renounced the practice of "plural marriage" in 1890.

September 26: The film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show premiered at the Westwood Theater in Los Angeles, California, in 1975.

September 28: The year 5772 of the Jewish calendar begins at sunset. The holiday of Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest in Judaism, continues until nightfall on September 10. The Jewish lunar calendar actually has four separate New Years, each used for a different purpose. Rosh Hashanah is used to count the passage of time since Creation.

September 29: In 1987, after touring the former Nazi concentration camp and mass-killing facility of Auschwitz, where approximately a million human beings lost their lives, then Vice President George H. W. Bush observed sagely, "Boy, they were big on crematoria, weren't they?"

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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.