October 4

Amber pages

Today in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the day following this one (calling it "tomorrow" would not explain this adequately) would be October 15, 1582; so many references to this throughout this Book of Days... 11 days, wiped from the human universe: I do hope he consulted God first, and obtained his signed approval

Edward L. Stratemeyer, US author ("The Hardy Boys"), born today in 1862 - and why would I include him? Thereby hangs a mystery that will require a Nancy Drew to solve it (private jokes are permitted in personal histories)

Alfred Damon Runyon, US journalist-author, born today in 1884

Buster Keaton, pioneer movie comedian and no relation whatsoever of Diane (who, guess what, turns out to be really Diane Hall, which explains that Woody Allen movie) born today in 1895

The Crimean war, another of the hundreds that are categorised among the "meaningless and pointless" of history, began today in 1853. Mind you, as Borges once pointed out, even wild geese were created for a purpose, and if there hadn't been a Crimean War, there wouldn't have been a Charge of the Light Brigade, and Tennyson would never have had that opportunity for a poem... no, on reconsideration...

The Mormons renounced polygamy, today in 1890. I think that "renounced" means "made a public statement that they accepted it was a bad thing to do while carrying on doing it anyway", but I may be misinterpreting. Interesting to undertake a web-search on this: official sites for the LDS church insist it no longer does, but all the unofficial sites confirm that it absolutely still does, and countless tales told by wives and children, some supporting it, others most definitely not. The answer may lie in the definition of polygamy, which involves a formal marriage; if you have one official wife, and then a harem of intermittent bed-companions, or concubines as the Bible calls them, and they happen all to live in your house, this nonetheless is not officially polygamy

Sputnik 1, the first manmade space satellite, launched today in 1957  (no, I don't know how a non-manmade space satellite comes into being, but this is the phrasing in the history books; maybe this is what Elon Musk expects to find on Mars)

Luna 3, also Russian, the first satellite to photograph the far side of the moon, launched today in 1959

Janis Joplin, singer, died, from an overdose of lovelessness mostly, today in 1970

The US Supreme Court, upholder of human liberty and ultimate manifestation of the American Enlightenment, reinstated the death penalty for murder, today in 1976

But I mostly want to write about Leonard Alfred Schneider, Lenny to his friends, Mr Bruce to his lawyers, against whom a campaign of harassment and eventual destruction by the forces of moral bigotry and hypocricy began today in 1961 - and see August 3

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