19 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: The Great Square of Pegasus is now high in the east-southeast after dark, still, for now, balancing on one corner
The modest Orionid meteor shower should be active for the next several mornings, but the light of the waning gibbous Moon will interfere with the viewing
Mars continues to put on a nice show these October evenings. The Red Planet lies among the background stars of Sagittarius & appears high in the south-southwest after darkness falls. While you look at Mars this evening, it should have a new visitor from Earth sitting on its surface. The European Space Agency’s ExoMars Schiaparelli module is scheduled to touch down on Martian soil shortly before 10 am CDT. Although largely a test to demonstrate the technology needed for future missions, Schiaparelli will capture 15 black-&-white images on its way to the surface
1512 – Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology
1781 – At Yorktown, Virginia, representatives of British commander Lord Cornwallis handed over Cornwallis’ sword & formally surrendered to George Washington & the comte de Rochambeau. The Revolutionary War Ends
1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Austrian General Mack surrenders his army to the Grande Armée of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Ulm. 30,000 prisoners are captured & 10,000 casualties inflicted on the losers
1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte retreats from Moscow
1813 – The Battle of Leipzig concludes, giving Napoleon Bonaparte one of his worst defeats
1893 – Deathday of Lucy Stone, a prominent American orator, abolitionist, & suffragist, & a vocal advocate & organizer promoting rights for women. In 1847, Stone became the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women’s rights & against slavery at a time when women were discouraged & prevented from public speaking. Stone was known for using her maiden name after marriage.
Stone’s organizational activities for the cause of women’s rights yielded tangible gains in the difficult political environment of the 19th century. Stone helped initiate the first National Women’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts & she supported & sustained it annually, along with a number of other local, state & regional activist conventions. She assisted in establishing the Woman’s National Loyal League to help pass the Thirteenth Amendment & thereby abolish slavery, after which she helped form the American Woman Suffrage Association AWSA, which built support for a woman suffrage Constitutional amendment by winning woman suffrage at the state & local levels.
In the long-running & influential Woman’s Journal, a weekly periodical that she founded & promoted, Stone aired both her own & differing views about women’s rights. Called “the orator”, the “morning star” & the “heart & soul” of the women’s rights movement, Stone influenced Susan B. Anthony to take up the cause of women’s suffrage. Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote that “Lucy Stone was the first person by whom the heart of the American public was deeply stirred on the woman question.”
1897 – Deathday of George Pullman, an American engineer & industrialist. He designed & manufactured the Pullman sleeping car & founded a enslaving ‘company town’ for the workers who manufactured it.
During an 1894 downturn in manufacturing demand, he lowered wages & required workers to spend longer hours at the plant, but did not lower prices of rents & goods in his company town. He gained presidential support by Grover Cleveland for the use of federal military troops which left 30 strikers dead in the violent suppression of workers there to end the Pullman Strike of 1894. A national commission was appointed to investigate the strike, which included assessment of operations of the company town. In 1898 the Supreme Court of Illinois ordered the Pullman Company to divest itself of the town which became a neighborhood of the city of Chicago
1902 – Founding of the German Section of the Theosophical Society in Belin with Rudolf Steiner as the General Secretary
1915 – J.P. Morgan arranges the biggest foreign loan in history – a $500 million war loan to Britain & France – passing global financial control from the UK to the US
1936 – Deathday of Lu Xun, a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writing in Vernacular Chinese as well as Classical Chinese, Lu Xun was a short story writer, editor, translator, literary critic, essayist, & poet. After the May Fourth Movement, Lu Xun’s writing began to exert a substantial influence on Chinese literature & popular culture. Though sympathetic to socialist ideas, Lu Xun never joined the Communist Party of China
1937 – Deathday of Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand physicist & Nobel Prize laureate, who came to be known as the father of nuclear physics. Encyclopædia Britannica considers him to be the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday
He conducted research that led to the first “splitting” of the atom in 1917 in a nuclear reaction between nitrogen & alpha particles, in which he also discovered & named the proton
1950 – Deathday of Edna St. Vincent Millay, poet & playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, & was also known for her feminist activism. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work
1950 – Iran becomes the first country to accept technical assistance from the United States under the Point Four Program, a technical assistance program for “developing countries” announced by President Harry S. Truman in his inaugural address
1984 – Roman Catholic priest from Poland, Jerzy Popiełuszko, associated with the Solidarity Union, was murdered by three agents of the Polish communist internal intelligence agency
MY POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Let the invisible be seen…
As the ball of dung turns gold
See the ball bounce back & break
As beetles fly into the sun…
Tivu tivu ushpizin ila’in. Tivu tivu ushpizin ka’dishin. Tivu tivu ushpizin dim’hemnuta Tivu b’tzila de-shechina
Reader: Be seated, be seated, exalted guests. Be seated, be seated, holy guests. Be seated be seated, guests of faithfulness, be seated in the shade of the Shechina. This harvest hut, green boughs, ripe fruit, they are sweet with meaning.
All: We long for the link with each other and with our ancestors of the desert.
Reader: In the seasons of rich harvest, we gather each other in; we pause in the leafy shade in the sukkah of peace.
All: We listen inwardly; we thirst for spiritual richness; we invite the shechinah, the in-dwelling spirit of the Creator.
Reader: We know how fragile these shelters are. We remember Miriam unsheltered in the desert. We honor her and all our mothers, all the courageous makers of brief and loving safety–the cradle of rushes; the huppah; the hidden bunker; the sukkah; the circle of a mother’s strong arms.
All: The shelter is frail; the love is long.
Reader: We will weave our branches together. We will make each other stronger.
ALL: We shall reap in joy.
Reader: The Book of Proverbs tells us: Wisdom, Hochmah, is a woman. She has built her house, she has prepared the feast, set out the wine and called forth the people. She pours forth her spirit for us.
All: Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace. we shall reap in joy
Reader: She is a tree of life to those who hold her, and happy is everyone who honors her.
All: Sit, sit, honored guests. Sit, sit, wise guests. sit, sit, absent guests for whom we have waited. Sit, sit. The meal has been prepared already — this time you do not have to cook or serve.
Reader: Ushpizot is an Aramaic word meaning guests. One Sukkot custom that became popular in the Middle Ages, based on the mystical text known as the Zohar, was to invite “invisible” guests to the sukkah along with “visible” ones. Who shall we call forth this year?
May our beloved dead bless us as we send our love to them.