05/10 is Golden Spike Day
Setting Orange, Discord 57, 3187 YOLD (discordian)
And let us not forget 18.104.22.168.2 mlc (the Mayan Long Count)
No! Don't go there. In the first place, it was "The Man With The Golden Arm", not Golden Spike.
Golden Spike Day commemorates the driving of the golden spike for the "Transcontinental Railroad" on May 10, 1869, the USA's first nation-wide media event. Presaging those to follow, it was mostly bullshit in numerous particulars. So what happened? The so-called transcontinental railroad was formed by the junction of the Central Pacific RR out of Sacramento, CA ( about 95 miles from the ocean, at San Francisco) and the Union Pacific RR out of Omaha, NB ( 1,153 miles from the ocean, at Baltimore, MD) at Promontory Point, UT. A train from each end was driven to the end of its line and the last rails were placed. (For the record, the UP crew was Irish and the CP crew was Chinese.) The last rail was spiked into a special tie made from California Bay Laurel, with a golden spike driven by Leland Stanford (CP) and Thomas Durant (UP) using a silver (plated) mallet. The simple fact is that you don't drive golden spikes into laurel with anything short of magic, so a hole was pre-drilled into the laurel tie, somebody dropped the spike into it and it was then tapped into place. Leland Stanford, being astoundingly unaccustomed to any sort of physical labor took the silver hammer and took a swing like he had seen the workmen do and missed the spike completely. Not to be outdone, Thomas Durant stepped up to the plate, grabbed the mallet and missed the whole damn tie. Some unknown worker then stepped in and tapped the spike into place and word was telegraphed far and wide that it was done.
Not necessarily in this order, the spike and tie were pulled lest they be stolen and replaced with ordinary, serviceable, ones, the two trains rolled forward until their cowcatchers touched, and a great photo shoot took place and history was more or less made. Meanwhile, out west, the CP line was stalled at the town of Lathrop, 60 miles from Sackamenna, by a minor detail known as the San Joaquin River. A bridge was eventually built and rail connections laid in September 1869, a paltry 4 months after the fact. To the east, the UP line was stalled at Council Bluffs by the Misery, which they did not manage to bridge and link up to Omaha until 1872. Still landlocked at both ends, though there was some river traffic between Sackamenna and San Francisco, it was nevertheless in the history books forever. In 1904, no doubt tired of the hills and curves on the promontory point route, they did what they should have done ab initio and ran a new line straight across the Great Salt Lake from Ogden, UT to Lucin, UT and Promontory Point ceased to be on the mainline. The rails on that section, however, weren't removed until 1942, when they were salvaged for wartime uses.
The US successfully launched its very own V-2 rocket on May 10, 1946, almost exactly a year after VE Day (May 8, 1945). Why the long delay, one might ask, and well one might. We will most probably never ever know and should be very reluctant to accept any official explanation, be it from the government or the MIC, (assuming that they aren't really one and the same). I do, however have a working hypothesis. Beyond the probable graft, corruption and division of spoils in the form of contracts and subcontracts, I strongly suspect that the originals were metric, that any plans, documents, computations and the like were metric. Further, the German scientists "voluntarily" working on our project probably thought and computed in metric.. Meanwhile we had all these sub-contractors running around going "Does anybody have a metric torque wrench or a tape measure with centimeters?" Being USA, we couldn't just order some from abroad, which would make it seem that we weren't up to the task, but had to manufacture our own, and not just tools, but precision tools, gauges, measuring devices, calibration kits, and shit like that. I mean, I don't know, but that's my guess. I mean this was 1946 and we lost a Mars orbiter in 1999 because Lockheed still used Imperial Units for a critical computation..
On this day in history:
28 BC – Han dynasty astronomers observed a sunspot during the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han
1503 – Christopher Columbus visited the Cayman Islands and named them Las Tortugas
1534 – Jacques Cartier visited Newfoundland.
1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passed the Tea Act
1774 – Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette became King and Queen of France,
1775 – The Second Continental Congress met
1801 – Tripoli's Barbary pirates declared war on the United States of America.
1824 – The National Gallery in London opened
1837 – NYC banks suspended payment of specie, starting a banking crisis and economic depression known as The Panic of 1837
1857 – India's first war of Independence began.
1869 – The golden spike completing the Transcontinental Railroad was driven at Promontory Summit, Utah
1872 – Victoria Woodhull became the first female nominee for US President
1876 – The Centennial Exposition opened in Philly
1916 – Ernest Shackleton arrived at South Georgia
1922 – The US annexed the Kingman Reef.
1924 – Lawless criminal mastermind J. Edgar Hoover was appointed Director of the Feebs, a position he abused until his death in 1972,
1940 - Winston Churchill was appointed Prime Minister of the UK; Germany invaded France, Belgium and Luxembourg; and the UK occupied Iceland
1946 – The first successful launch of a US V-2 rocket
1994 – Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first black president.
2012 – The Damascus bombings were carried out, killing 55 people
Born this day in:
Simplicity lies concealed in this chaos, and it is only for us to discover it.
~~ Augustin-Jean Fresnel
1755 – Robert Gray, captain and explorer
1788 – Augustin-Jean Fresnel, physicist and engineer
1812 – William Henry Barlow, engineer
1841 – James Gordon Bennett, Jr., publisher and broadcaster
1847 – Wilhelm Killing, mathematician and academic
1893 – Tonita Peña, San Ildefonso Pueblo (Native American) artist
1894 – Dimitri Tiomkin, composer and conductor
1898 – Ariel Durant, historian and author
1899 – Fred Astaire, actor, singer, and dancer
1900 – Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, astronomer and astrophysicist
1901 – John Desmond Bernal, crystallographer and physicist
1901 – Hildrus Poindexter, bacteriologist
1909 – Maybelle Carter, autoharp player
1911 – Bel Kaufman, author and educator
1916 – Milton Babbitt, composer and educator
1920 – Bert Weedon, guitarist
1929 – Antonine Maillet, author and playwright
1930 – George E. Smith, physicist and engineer
1935 – Larry Williams, singer, songwriter, pianist, and producer
1940 – Arthur Alexander, country-soul singer and songwriter
1946 – Donovan, singer and songwriter
1946 – Graham Gouldman, guitarist and songwriter
1946 – Dave Mason, singer and songwriter and guitarist
1947 – Caroline B. Cooney, American author
1952 – Sly Dunbar, drummer
1957 – Sid Vicious, singer and bass player
1960 – Bono, singer, songwriter, musician and activist
1969 – John Scalzi, author and blogger
Died this day in:
Never explain what you do. It speaks for itself. You only muddle it by talking about it.
~~ Shel Silverstein
1482 – Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, mathematician and astronomer
1787 – William Watson, physician, physicist, and botanist
1798 – George Vancouver, navigator and explorer
1849 – Hokusai, painter and illustrator
1990 – Walker Percy, novelist and essayist
1999 – Shel Silverstein, poet, author, and illustrator
2006 – Soraya, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer
Holidays, Holy Days, Festivals, Feast Days, Days of Recognition, and such:
Confederate Memorial Day (North Carolina and South Carolina)
Golden Spike Day (Promontory, Utah)
National Women's Check Up Day
Wouldn't it be nice if that were "FREE National Women's Check Up Day"??
National Shrimp Day
National Small Business Day
World Lupus Day
Music goes here, iirc, well, With apologies
Golden Spike Day
US V-2 Rocket Launch Success
It's an open thread, so do your thing, got it? Below this point this is a public forum, your forum, nothing is off topic, so go for it