Good morning. Today is Tuesday, the 23rd day of July. It's the 204th day of the year. We're not in a leap year, so there are 161 days remaining in 2019. On the Jewish calendar, today is the 20th day of Tammuz in the year 5779. On this day in 1903, Ford Motor Company sold its first car.On this day in 1872, African American inventor Elijah McCoy was granted a patent for lubricators for steam-engines.
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Today in History: The American Spirit Hits Broadway
It was on this day in 1942 that composer and World War I Veteran Irving Berlin's musical, "This is the Army, Mr. Jones" opened on Broadway.
At the request of Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Berlin wrote a musical production that was intended to promote the sale of war bonds. Only six months earlier, the US had been pulled into the World War II arena following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Berlin was 52 at the time and was already established as America's most prolific composer and lyricist, so it was only natural for him to be chosen to handle the task at hand.
"This is the Army, Mr. Jones" amounted to numerous compositions that were of the standard that they could have stood independently as hit tunes. Berlin's musical sold far more war bonds than anticipated, yet he refused payment for his monumental contribution to the war effort. Yes, Berlin, who was a first generation American Jewish Russian born as Israel Isidore Baline, was a true patriot in every sense of the word.
After receiving an overwhelming reception as a Broadway musical, Berlin's play was adapted into a movie in 1943 and co-starred Joan Leslie and Ronald Reagan. Kate Smith sang "God Bless America" in the film with a backdrop showing families anxious over the coming war. The film became a tremendous hit among the Allied Powers and was a morale-boosting road show that toured the battlefronts of Europe. All told, the play and film earned more than $10 million for the Army--and that was a boatload of money back in the day.
Berlin drafted his first version of "God Bless American" in 1918 while he was serving in the Army. He revised it to what we sing today when he scored the music for the film. "God Bless America" is often referred to as our Second Nation Anthem. The inspiration for the lyrics came from Berlin's Russian born mother who--upon becoming an American citizen--often said "God Bless America." The Second Nation Anthem was sung from shore to shore following the September 11th attack. In the late afternoon of September 11, 2001, our Senate and House--joined by the Bush administration--all came together and sang it in a memorial service.
The only TRUE performance versions of "God Bless America" are the ones of the archived renderings by Kate Smith. Click below for her version from the 1943 film. Any attempt to upstage or alter Berlin and Smith's interpretation amounts to blasphemy. Only a precious few have even bothered. It'd be pretty much like tampering with Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus." [Aside: Audiences almost always stand during performances of the "Hallelujah Chorus" and usually for "God Bless America." It's a part of who we are.]
Today's Birthday Boys and Girls
Today is the birthday of Arthur Treacher (1894), Harold "Pee Wee" Reese (1918), Bert Convy (1933), Don Drysdale (1936), Don Imus (1940), Woody Harrelson (1961), Slash (1965), Charisma Carpenter (1970), Marlon Wayans (1972), Nomar Garciapara (1973), Monica Lewinsky (1973), Michelle Williams (1980), and Daniel Radcliffe (1989).
On Wall Street
About the stock numbers: There's no current stock market reporting at the moment because of a snag in the link that retrieves the data and gets it to the screen. The stock market stuff is on the work bench until it's working again.
The New York Stock Exchange is currently closed. At closing Monday, the NASDAQ was up by to . The S&P500 index closed at , up by .
Note: During trading hours all data is in real time. The data is preserved at the end of the trading day. It remains until the next opening bell. The process of retrieving stock info involves many links between the sources and what you're reading on the screen. At the moment, there's a technical issue up the line with the DJ average. Occasionally, the data appears as random characters. If there's numerical data on the screen, it's accurate. The other indicies are working and accurate.
Earth and All Spheres
The current weather conditions and forecast usually appear in this section. However, there have been technical issues the last few days with the NOAA system, so the data is not always available. Reloading the page will sometimes bring up the info.
We are under a last quarter moon. At the time you accessed this page, its exact age was 20 days, 23 hours, and 26 minutes. We will be under a new moon again on Wednesday, July 31st at 5:19 PM CDT. The moon will reach full luminescence on Thursday, August 15th at 11:41 AM. For now, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter are visible in the night sky. Mars, seen in the southern sky, is clearly visible and its red glow clearly identifies it. It can be seen beginning at nightfall; it moves slowly in a westerly fashion before disappearing. Mercury can be seen in the eastern sky just before dawn.
We are under the constellation of Leo in the 213th day of winter, which arrived in the Northern Hemisphere on December 21st at 5:45 PM CDT with the occurrence of the Winter Solstice, marked by the shortest day of the year. Winter will end on March 21st at 6:45 AM CDT with the occurrence of the Spring Equinox. For today, our sunrise and sunset times (at -96.852/32.847) are 6:29 AM and 8:20 PM, giving us 13 hours and 51 minutes of daylight. For now, we're on Standard Time. We will switch to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 10th at 1:00 AM when Santa Claus will magically roll our clocks forward to 2:00 AM, following the NIST standard.
This site is a working demonstration of on-demand PHP scripting. The code tightly integrates computed and imported data with text, spewing forth natural-sounding narrative output with flawless grammar and syntax. The birthdays, history section and the text below--which all change daily--are from an in-house database. Raw data used in the financial and weather sections is imported at page generation time. All the other data, particularly the celestial stuff, is derived and rendered by several hundred lines of code at the time the page request reaches the server. THIS SITE IS SELF-MAINTAINING. The daily content updates at midnight CDT. The weather target is -96.852/32.847.
Political correctness has breathed new life into the paralipsis, the rhetorical device whereby we make a statement by first announcing that we are not going to make it. When pundits write "No one is suggesting..." the American eye reads "I'm suggesting."
"If Words Mean Things, Then All is Lost"
Times-Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia)
February 9, 1995
VOX HUMANA DIALOGUS