07 December 2004

Notable Moments of December 7

Some of my favorite people were born on December 7: Tom Waits, Noam Chomsky, my mother...

In addition to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, some other things happened on this day in history. Willa Cather and Leigh Brackett were born; Thomas Nast, Rube Goldberg, Thornton Wilder, and Robert Graves died. In 1872, according to a correspondent to the Birmingham Morning News, people saw "something like a haycock hurtling through the air. Like a meteor it was accompanied by fire and a dense smoke and made a noise like a railway train. 'It was sometimes high in the air and sometimes near the ground.' The effect was tornado-like: trees and walls were knocked down. It's a late day now to try to verify this story, but a list is given of persons whose property was injured. We are told that this thing then disappeared 'all at once.'" In 1900, Scientific American reported that a "fountain of light [was] observed to play upon the planet Mars for 70 minutes." In 1995, Galileo discovered Jupiter.

An interesting day, overall.