Today is 17 July, 2017.
I had a great birthday yesterday. My mom came up to Omaha, and she, Giulia, and I roamed around open houses. We all love house shopping, but I’ll admit I’m ready to find one and get a move on.
In 1453, the Battle of Castillon concluded, thereby ending the Hundred Years War, which of course lasted longer than 100 years (116 to be exact).
It’s hard to overstate how momentous that time was for all of Europe, especially since it includes the Black Death and the Fall of Constantinople (on 29 May).
One my personal favorite thoughts of the Hundred Years War is the time when I was walking through Monmouth Castle, which is where Henry V is born. I doubt I’m the first visitor to walk around the remains, which are not all that extensive, and recite the St. Crispin’s Day Speech loud enough to hear it echo off the stone.
I will also say I did *not* chip off a piece of the castle wall to bring a piece home. Nope, didn’t chip off a chunk.
However, I am geeky enough that if I ever go to Istanbul I’m likely to sing Istanbul, Not Constantinople as I walk through Hagia Sophia and the Imperial Palace area. And if I make too much noise, well, it’ll be nobody’s business but the Turks.
Back to yesterday. I really enjoy going through the Wikipedia daily pages where they list interesting events, birthdays, death days, and such things for each day.
Is it hubris to wonder if some day the 16 July entry will have my birthday on it? Probably, but I still do it.
There are some fun and interesting things that happened on 16 July, besides me entering this world. Joe DiMaggio hit safely in his 56th game in 1941. What’s really fun from my perspective is that streak started on 15 May, 1941. My mom was born on, you guessed it, 15 May, 1941. How cool is that?
On my first birthday, 16 July 1969, the Apollo 11 mission lifted off from Cape Kennedy. It landed on the moon on 20 July. My dad’s father, also named Robert Howell (but called Bob), was born on 20 July. How cool is that?
In 1862, David Farragut is promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first ever admiral in the US Navy. Of course, he’s famous in part for the “Damn the torpedoes” quote, which he uttered in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Currently, the USS Alabama, BB-60, is moored in Mobile Bay. When I was about six or so, my grandfather (the aforementioned Bob), took me to see it around my birthday. I have loved warships ever since. How cool is that?
As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I find it fun that Jimmy Johnson, former coach of the Cowboys, was born on 16 July in 1943. I loved watching him pound opponents game after game with Emmitt Smith, who is one of my favorite players ever. Obviously, he was great for the Cowboys, but he was born on 15 May, 1969, which was both a great and terrible date. On the one hand, he and mom shared a birthday. On the other, he was the first athlete who I consciously noted was younger than me.
But Emmitt was not my favorite running back of the time. That would be Barry Sanders, who was born on 16 July 1968 in Wichita, KS. I watched him play in high school because, shockingly enough, we were in the same class, though I went to East and he went to North. Still, how cool is that?
I suppose I should write instead of simply letting my mind wander, so I’ll just stop here. Have a great day.