So it’s 2021’s dog days, “the hot, sultry days of summer, historically the period after the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius (known colloquially as the ‘Dog Star’), which Hellenistic astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.”
Years ago, we marked some dog days watching policeman Ralph Hunter fry eggs on downtown pavement.
So far, July 2021 has seen Far West temperatures soar to 120+ degrees, a familiar number in the Wiregrass Area.
One ’70s afternoon, after a typical pop-up thunderstorm, your scribe was hanging out at Enterprise Banking Co. when a customer asked, “Y’all seen what the temperature is on y’allses’ outdoor thermometers?”
“They a’showin’ 128 degrees!”
After the Hines Walters’ wannabe left, the late Ben Henderson Jr. and your scribbler climbed the ladder leading to the bank’s roof, where gusting winds had blown the birdhouse-looking structure away from the thermometer inside it.
Felt more like 130 degrees by the time we replaced the structure.
Moving forward, this hot week has continued marking the end of U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan … after 20 years.
Thank goodness that war’s all but over, ready for filing away forever.
Don’t believe it.
Elsewhere this week, a Japanese court ruled “Hiroshima Radioactive ‘Black Rain’ Victims Recognized as Atomic Bomb Survivors” … 76 years after the U.S. dropped the first of two atomic bombs.
Seems like World War II memories, and recollections of horrific events leading to it, aren’t fading away even as veterans of that tragic era continue marching toward extinction.
On this date in 1925, Adolph Hitler published his autobiography, “Mein Kampf,” a book originally titled, “Four And A Half Years (Of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice.”
On July 18, 1942, the first test flight of Germany’s Messerschmitt Me-262 used only jet engines; two years later, U.S. troops marched into St. Lo France after having landed on Normandy’s beaches beginning June 6.
On July 18, 1944, a non-Olympic year, Arne Andersson (not the wrestler) ran a world record 4:01.6 mile, a time that’d be laughable next week in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 1976, Nadia Comăneci became the first gymnast in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10, at Montreal’s Games
Another result of WWII occurred July 18, 1955, when the first electric power generated from atomic energy was sold.
Six years later, Major League Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled Babe Ruth’s record of 60 homers in the 154-game schedule in 1927, must be broken in the first 154 of 162 games.
Didn’t happen for Roger Maris.
Is Shohei Ohtani the new Bambino?
Sorta looks like it.
There was a race riot in Harlem that spread to Brooklyn on this date in 1964, and in 1980, a federal court voided the Selective Service Act because it didn’t include women.
On July 18, 1902, actor/singer Chill Wills was born in Seagoville, Texas.
Portraying retired Texas Ranger “Gentleman George Asque” in 1969’s “The Over-The-Hill Gang,” Chill’s retiree outfit had a special word they used when imperiled, desperately needing rescue.
With all these seemingly ever-increasing, festering perils plaguing us nowadays, somebody needs to holler that help-seeking word ASAP.