Thursday, February 18, 2010

Record Madness: Feb. 18, 1930

There is something about being on record as the first to attempt an unusual act that leads to odd behavior.

A good example of this is the tale of Elm Farm Ollie (real name Nellie Jay), the Guernsey cow who was such a prodigious producer that she had to be milked 3 times a day.

Back in the days when aeronautics had not been around for long, if you came up with a new idea, chances are you would be the first. So when someone got the bright idea to bring a cow along in a plane, and milk her midflight, and put the milk in paper cartons to be parachuted to the crowds below at the St. Louis International Air Exposition, it was, naturally, a first.

Ostensibly this was done so scientists could study how animals behave in midair, but lets face it. Really it was about doing something wacky, and being first, and getting in the record books.

The fact that it has inspired a comic opera, "Madame Butterfat," is gravy. Milk gravy, of course.

So today, in honor of the record setting bovine, lift a glass of milk and give a cheer for the "Sky Queen" as she was known post flight.

And try not to laugh so hard with milk in your mouth. Holy cow.

Today is:

Feast of Tacita -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of silence)

Festival of Women, Persian (traditional)

Fly-By for Fairies and Elves -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day, Gambia

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

National Battery Day

National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day

Pluto Day

St. Bernadette's Day

St. Fra Angelico's Day (patron of artists)

Tribhuvan Jayanti, Nepal (democracy day)

Anniversaries Today:

Ohio State University is chartered as the first US land-grant college,

Birthdays Today:

Jillian Michaels, 1974
Molly Ringwald, 1968
Dr. Dre, 1965
Matt Dillon, 1964
Vanna White, 1957
John Travolta, 1954
John Hughes, 1950
Cybill Shedherd, 1950
Andrea Dromm, 1941
Yoko Ono, 1933
Milos Forman, 1932
Toni Morrison, 1931
Gahan Wilson, 1930
George Kennedy, 1925
Helen Gurley Brown, 1922
Bill Cullen, 1920
Jack Palance, 1920
Hans Asperger, 1906
Enzo Ferrari, 1898
George "The Gipper" Gipp, 1895
Boris Pasternak, 1890
Nikos Kazantzakis, 1883
Sholem Aleichem, 1859
Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1848
Ernst Mach, 1838
Count Alessandro Volta, 1745
Uesugi Kenshin, 1530 (Japanese samurai and warlord)
Mary I Tudor, 1516
Saint Jadwiga of Poland, 1374

Today in History:

Origin of the Kali Yuga Epoch ("age of vice" or Dark Age) of the Hindu/Buddhist calendars. BC3102
Jerusalem is taken by Emperor Frederik II, 1129
Amda Seyon I, Emperor of Ethiopia, begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim regions, 1332
Henry Tudor (Henry VIII) created Prince of Wales, 1503
Zeeland falls to Dutch rebels, 1574
John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" is published, 1678
Fort Saint Lewis, Texas, is founded by Frenchmen under LaSalle at Matagorda Bay, the basis for France's claim to Texas, 1685
Quakers conduct their first formal protest of slavery in Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1688
Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, 1797
The Detroit Boat Club (still in existence) forms, 1839
The first continuous filibuster in the US Senate begins, lasts until March 11, 1841
The first regular steamboat service to California begins, 1849
A direct telegraph link between Britain and New Zealand is established, 1876
Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is published, 1885
The Cave of Winds at Niagara Falls goes almost dry for the first time in 50 years, 1896
Winston Churchill makes his first speech in the British House of Commons, 1901
H. Cecil Booth patents a dust removing suction cleaner, 1901
The first official flight with air mail takes place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet delivers 6,500 letters to Naini (a distance of about 10K), 1911
The US and Canada begin formal diplomatic relations, with the appointment of Vincent Massey as the first Canadian ambassador to the US, 1927
The first Academy Awards are announced, 1929
Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first flying cow, 1930

1 comment:

  1. Oh my - I'm glad I didn't know this earlier when having my cereal. I am pretty sure I would have chuckled with my mouth full!