500 Years and Counting

Evening, all you solstice seekers. We’re at the four-week mark, and that gets us one step closer.

I’m thinking that some sort of past and future game might be ‘kinda fun for Day 28.
Yeah, let’s go back a while – way back even – and see what was happening back in,
let’s say, 1528.

We’ll look at watershed events from the last five hundred years, all happening in the
year ’28.

1528 – Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in what would eventually become Texas, USA. (I’m suddenly wondering how our man, Cabeza, might have looked in a ten-gallon hat. The thing is, though, he would have needed to stick around about 400 years to connect with Pecos Bill, who created the first hat of its kind circa 1925.)   

1628 – Writs are issued in February of that year by Charles I of England mandating that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date. (Due to the war debts incurred during the reign of his father, King James I, and his father’s predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I, it seems King Charles needed to find ways to raise money to finance wars overseas. Hey, this was long before CNN, right? LOL! Don’t worry, gang, just joking around. Our shared journey to the solstice won’t include any fiscal discourse!)  

1728 – American Puritan minister Cotton Mather (famous for the Salem witchcraft trials), dies at 65. (The last major events in Mather’s involvement with witchcraft actually occurred some 35 years before his death. An ordained minister at just age 22, Mather was a true believer in witchcraft. He and his fellow New Englanders believed that divine intervention was largely responsible for the establishment of the colonies, and that the New World had once been the Devil’s stomping ground. Maybe he didn’t know it then, but Mather and his supporters became quite the PR machine. Now some three centuries later, the wait list for Ghost Tours of the cobblestone streets of Salem, Massachusetts and surrounding neighborhoods is miles and miles long.)   

1828 – The Zoological Society of London opened a zoological gardens in Regent’s Park, near Westminster. (Now known as simply the London Zoo, today, it’s recognized as the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study, but it eventually became a tourist destination. In its early years, patrons were politely requested to refrain from poking the animals through the bars of the cages. And I’m guessing such gentle warnings worked, as, today, the zoo participates in breeding programs for over 130
different species.) 

1928 – Scottish inventor John Logie Baird broadcasts a transatlantic television signal from London to Hartsdale, NY. (Widely recognized as *the father of TV, two years before Baird engineered the first international transmission, he provided the world’s first working demo in Lower Manhattan, NY. The industrious Baird converted two separate attic rooms into his laboratory from 1924 to 1926, before he earned the renown that afforded him more then-state-of-the-art facilities. If Baird were around today, he’d have to be pretty psyched, huh? Talk about an idea with staying power! )
*By most accounts, Baird shares the father of TV distinction with fellow inventor Philo Farnsworth, an American who was raised in Beaver, UT and lived in a house with no electricity until he was 14. Two others, Japan’s Kenjiro Takayanagi and American Charles F. Jenkins, who worked more with mechanical
disciplines vs. electronics, are also recognized as television pioneers.   

2028? – So, what do we think, friends? What will they be writing about our world in the next 5+ years? Yeah, as much as things just plain suck sometimes, I hope you’ll join me in trying to stay optimistic. How did Marianne Morrison say it? “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,  but that we are powerful beyond measure.”
Maybe if enough of us can believe it, it just might be true. Man, I hope so.
Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.
Talk again soon,


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