753 BC Rome was founded.
1836 Seim Houston’s army defeated the Mexican forces at San Jacinto, Texas. (San Jacinto Day)
1838 John Muir was born. (See September 25th entry.)
1895 Woodville Latham demonstrated motion picture projection. (See March 26th entry.)
1926 Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born. (See June 2nd entry.)
In 1836, Sam Houston’s forces defeated the Mexican army at San Jacinto, Texas. This decisive battle occurred less than two months after the fall of the Alamo and turned the tides for Texas in its war for independence. Only Texans seem to remember San Jacinto Day. The rest of us remember the Alamo. Victory can be sweet, but heroism and personal sacrifice are memorable.
When moving pictures were invented they were a private sort of entertainment. You watched images move by peeping into a box where a huge wheel flipped one card after another. They were called peep shows back then. Woodville Latham changed all that when he demonstrated a process of projecting moving pictures onto a screen. On this
Iday in 1895, he showed an amazed New York audience the first projected motion pictures. Ten years earlier, George Eastman had invented motion picture film, but it took Latham’s invention to complete the chain of events. A whole new era of mass entertainment was born that day.
Rome may not have been built in a day, and it might not have been founded by twin brothers raised by a nurturing wolf. But on this day in 753 bc one of the ancient world’s greatest cities was founded on a site surrounded by seven hills. Rome was the hub of an empire that stretched as far as Constantinople to the east and Ireland to the west. Roman
Forces conquered Egypt and Palestine. The Roman senate created roads, waterways, and monuments across Europe. In later centuries, Rome also became the seat of Christianity. All roads led to Rome, until their governmental system became so complex they were no longer able to control their empire.
John Muir’s birthday gives us cause to celebrate our nation’s natural wonders. In 1838, this naturalist and author was born in Dunbar, Scotland. When he was eleven years old his family emigrated to Portage, Wisconsin, where he studied engineering. In 1867, an industrial accident nearly cost Muir his eyesight. Temporarily blinded he vowed to devote his life to witnessing God’s work in nature if only his sight would return. It did and he did. Muir walked through woods and fields from Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico observing the solemn beauty of the forests and hills. The next year, he walked through California’s majestic glaciers and forests in Yosemite Valley. He walked north through Humboldt County’s giant sequoia forest; and south through the exotic Joshua tree desert. After a decade of walking, Muir fulfilled his destiny when he urged the federal government to adopt a national forest conservation policy. And in 1903, he shared his vision with President Theodore Roosevelt as they camped together in Yosemite National Park. The Muir Woods National Monument—a redwood forest with trees that are nearly 2,000 years old—was dedicated by a grateful nation in his honor while he was still alive.