On this day, July 12, in 1960, Etch a Sketch debuted and went on to become one of the best selling toys in the 20th Century, being inducted in 1998 into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, NY. Originally, it sold for $2.99. Now it’s about $15 at Wal-Mart or $3.99 at a thrift store. It’s probably been eclipsed by electronic tablets for kids that are a lot easier to use—and take a lot less planning and coordination.
Cheri with Konny, Karmen, and Kerry Bayer. Circa 1969
Today in 1996, the cloned lamb, code named 6LL3, was born. Her name was changed to Dolly following her birth, after Dolly Parton because the cells used to make her came from mammary cells, and well, we all know what Parton is known for—of course after her singing and charisma! Dolly’s scientists didn’t announce her birth until February of the next year and her arrival garnered a storm of controversy. While many were excited about the possibilities the advance could bring to help medical causes, many others were concerned and even horrified at the ethical dilemmas, especially the possibility that human cloning would be next.
On this day in 1964, three civil rights activists--Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner—were in Mississippi to help register black voters during “Freedom Summer.” When they went to investigate the burning of a black church, they were arrested on trumped-up charges, beaten, and released by the police into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered them. Only under extensive pressure from civil rights proponents was there a grand jury opened and were charges brought. Of eighteen men arrested, only seven were convicted and of those, no one served more than six years. The instigating KKK leader who arranged and oversaw the murders got off because of a hung jury of 11 to 1, with one woman refusing to hand down a guilty verdict because the defendant was a preacher and she could not convict a preacher.
June 7, 1909, Virginia Apgar was born. Her name may be familiar to you, but probably not because she was a leading female anesthesiologist, surgeon, professor, as well as a gifted violinist and cellist, stringed instrument maker, golfer, fly-fisherwoman, gardener, and stamp collector. Why might you have heard of her? Because her name was probably one of the first you heard uttered the day you were born. She is the woman and physician behind the famous Apgar Newborn Scoring System.
As long as there has been war, soldiers have fallen and survivors have remembered them. The Memorial Day we observe today had its genesis when the Ladies’ Memorial Association in Columbus, Georgia, passed a motion in 1866 to designate a day to throw flowers on the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers. For all the millions that have perished in our wars, every single one of them had their own story. Each had loved ones who would miss them, or a life that went unfulfilled. While millions is too big a number for our minds to grasp, one story can remind us of the sacrifice each made.
On this day in 1993, Microsoft introduced its new operating system, Windows NT—the NT for "New Technology." This morning I’ve been using a few of those early systems. I have two Windows 95 and a Windows 98—and that doesn’t count the one downstairs with a couple of old games on it.
This day in 1875 was the first Kentucky Derby. Coincidently, today is also the same date, in 1947, that champion thoroughbred racehorse, Seabiscuit, died. And more coincidently and deeply meaningful to me personally, the book Seabiscuit: An American Legend, was written by Laura Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand is one of my significant inspirations because she, as I, suffers from Chronic Fatigue.
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time. I'd love to know what you think!