1. On this date in 1784, Russia starts a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska. (Kodiak Island eventually becomes the second largest island in the United States.)
2. In 1797, Andre-Jacques Garnerin makes the first parachute jump. (Couldn’t pay me to be the first to do that. Or the ten millionth and first, for that matter. Chicken? Yes, but a live chicken.)
3. In 1910, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen’s notoriety is assured when he is convicted of poisoning his wife; amazingly enough, Crippen’s tale forms the basis of a musical number in the 1943 Broadway hit One Touch of Venus.
4. In 1976, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans red dye #4. (If you really just can’t live without it, go north; it is still available in Canada.)
5. Franz Liszt, famous Hungarian composer who really deserved better than Ken Russell’s bizarre biopic Lisztomania, is born in 1811. (Roger Daltrey would rather we all forgot about that film; believe me, I’ve tried, Roger, I’ve tried.)
6. Pretty Boy Floyd bites the dust in 1934. He was glad he didn’t live to see Fabian portray him in a 1970 biopic.
7. Happy Fechner Day! Psychophysics celebrate this date as the one on which Gustav-Theodor Fechner invented psychophysics, which is “the scientific study of the relation between stimulus and sensation.” (I really don’t make this stuff up.)
8. It’s also international Stuttering Awareness Day. Started in 1998, the day calls attention to a speech disorder that affects over 3,000,000 Americans.
9. In 1962, at 7:00 p.m. EST, President Kennedy addressed the United States announcing the discovery of Soviet-originated nuclear missiles in Cuba, and that he is “quarantining” Cuba.
10. Annette Funicello is born in 1942 and Catherine Deneuve in 1943. I have never before placed these two in the same sentence.