June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, marks the anniversary of the 1862 court ruling that prohibited slavery in the United States. It is also the anniversary of the 1964 approval of the Civil Rights Act. And then everything was solved forever.
German chemist and pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner was born June 19, 1783. He was the first person to isolate morphine. Speaking of a problem solved forever: morphine was sold commercially for a number of years, both as a pain reliever and as a treatment for opium addiction and alcoholism. Whoops.
Olympic swimmer and former world-record holder Helene Madison was born June 19, 1913. Moses Horwitz was born June 19, 1897. He is probably better known as Moe from The Three Stooges, a show that having to watch, in my opinion, is akin to torture. Speaking of insufferable entertainment, the comic strip Garfield debuted June 19, 1978. He hates Mondays, loves lasagna, and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the expanse of his of his unavoidable celebrity.
Artists John Heartfield was born June 19, 1891. Also born on June 19th: artist Mary Callery and baseball player Lou Gehrig, both in 1903; and socialite Wallis Simpson, in 1896. King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry her.
Professor of physics Silvanus Phillips Thompson was born June 19, 1851. Among his published works are the textbooks Calculus Made Easy, which explains the fundamentals of infinitesimal calculus (still in print), as well as a physics text titled Elementary Lessons in Electricity and Magnetism. Also, folk singer Nick Drake was born in 1948.
Do you ever have way too many things you want to tell people about, but not enough time to organize them and coherently present? That’s how I feel about today. I will have to let many factoids go, for now, seeds to plant on another day.
Today is the Catholic Feast Day of Saint Juliana Falconieri, O.S.M. She died June 19, 1341, and is the patron saint of the helpless, chronically ill and abandoned.
This post will now be abandoned, without formal closing or insightful observation, but ultimately protected by a saint so we will all be just fine.
If you must have further insight into today, or your life, or the ultimate path of mankind, you could probably consult the personal website of Laura Ingraham. She turns 55 today, and seems terribly thoughtful and well-rounded. Or at least, I bet she has a lot of empathetic responses to the opioid crisis. Or did Jared Kushner solve that one already?