Relatively speaking, two years isn't a long time.
Two years ago I prepared a column for updating on May 29. For some reason I no
longer remember, that column was ultimately dated May 30, and because of that
the date-tie related to that date as well. But I'd already done my homework, and
when I searched for significant events that took place on May 29, I found that
I had a Word file ready and waiting - with quite a few interesting items that
deserved their day in the sun. I learned, for instance, that:
In 1913, the premiere performance of Igor Stravinsky's
Le Sacre du Printemps, took place in Paris on this date. Today I doubt that
it would raise many eyebrows, though back then it was the cause of a near-riot
in the audience.
But perhaps most interesting was the solar eclipse that took place on this day
in 1919. The eclipse itself wasn't particularly earth-shattering (though in this
case that's definitely a case of a poorly mixed metaphor). But the scientific
community was ready for it with a variety of tools for attempting to measure the
bending of starlight that passed through the sun's gravitational field. This was
predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity, and the eclipse offered the opportunity
that theory. Observations made by two separate teams of investigators, one in
Brazil, the other in Africa, showed that, starlight actually bent as it passed
through the gravitational field of the sun, as Einstein had predicted.
Forty years later, in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first
mountain climbers to reach the top of Mount Everest (and come down safely).
Fifty years ago the credit went almost exclusively to Hillary - Norgay was considered
a "guide" and apparently not part of the western quest to reach the
top. Today they receive equal billing.
And then, twenty-one years after that, in 1974, a major stepping-stone in the
downfall of President Richard Nixon took place when he agreed to turn over 1,200
pages of edited Watergate transcripts to investigators. Thirty-one years later,
almost to the day, Deep Throat's identity became public knowledge.
It took fourteen years from the time Einstein's general theory of relativity was
published until that prediction was verified. I've held onto this list, looking
for the opportunity to make note of these significant events, for two years. Barely
a blip in the time-space continuum.
Go to: The tyranny of search.