Tags: july | 8

The Significance of July 8

Tuesday, 08 Jul 2008 12:24 PM

By Phil Brennan

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A lot of very significant earth-shattering events have taken place on July 8. On that date in 1992, for example, the new Florida Marlins unveiled to a breathlessly awaiting world the uniform they'd wear while playing baseball in Miami. No kidding, it really happened.

On that very same day, as proof that events of great importance tend to come in pairs, the people of Austria installed Thomas Klestil as their president.

In 1982 "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" opened at Alvin Theater New York City. It lasted for just five performances. In 1977 Miss Sabra Starr finished history's longest recorded belly dance — a monumental 100-hourlong belly-shaking extravaganza, while in 1974 the New York Yankees shortstop Jim Mason tied the record with four doubles in a nine-inning game.

In 1972 England's Prince Richard married Birgitte of Deurs, both then faded into obscurity and were never again heard from but we assume they lived happily ever after.

In 1946, the memorable performance of "Tidbits of 1946" opened at the Plymouth Theater New York City and lasted for exactly eight performances, providing short-term employment for the cast and a financial headache for the investors who backed this ill-fated adventure in the arts.

Not everything of signal importance took place on July 8 in the 20th century. In 1693, for example, New York City authorized America's very first police uniforms, and in 1796 the U.S. State Department issued the very first American passport.

In 1849 a Bronx street was christened St. Paul's Place, and there was no ACLU protest over this apparent violation of the doctrine of separation of church and state, probably because there was no ACLU at the time.

In 1891 the high for the day was a mere 61 degrees in both Baltimore and Philadelphia, and nobody blamed the cooling on global warming, probably because it happened before Al Gore invented global warming. And in 1895, the world celebrated the opening of South Africa's Delagoa Bay Railway.

If all these mind-boggling historic July 8 moments in history fail to convince you of the monumental importance of that storied date, consider this: on July 8, 1926, I was born.

In other words, today, Tuesday July 8, is my birthday — my 82nd. Henceforth, I will be working on my 83rd year. I'll admit that the importance of this event pales in comparison to such monumental events as the historic naming of St, Paul's Place in the Bronx, or the celebrated nuptials of Prince Richard and his Brigette, but it has great meaning for me.

Were it not for the fact that I have achieved the feat of living 82 long years, I wouldn't be around to write this column and look forward to a festive meal tonight (my favorite taco salad prepared expertly by Mary, my daughter) with two of my sons. Matt and Peter, Peter's wife Paige, and two of my daughters, Mary and Connie, my grandson and, a lot of granddaughters and, of course, mon chef, Mary.

In the event that some of you may wonder what you have to look forward to in the event that you live as long as I have, let me explain a few of the advantages of living that long.

To begin with, you no longer have to spend money on toothpaste and tooth brushes. You simply put your teeth in a glass filled with water and a denture cleaning tablet that fizzes and does the job brushing used to do and by morning you'll have sparkling clean teeth with barely any effort. Just pop 'em in and go about your business.

The time you save by not having to brush your teeth every day can be put to use by wandering around trying to remember where you put your eyeglasses, or learning exactly why it was you came into that room in the first place, or trying to remember your longtime next door neighbor's name which is hidden somewhere right on the tip of your tongue.

If you've reached the stage I have, you will find yourself looking back frequently, seeking to find whatever parts of your body may have fallen off. And you'll wonder why that guy on television always seems to be whispering instead of speaking in a voice that you can hear. You will envy the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz" who could deal with his creaking joints simply by oiling them.

You will also develop a keen ability to recognize how much better things were "in your days," and to frequently remind younger folks how far from the beaten path their misbegotten generation has strayed.

You will make a lot of new friends whose names begin with Dr. And you'll be seeing them almost weekly for a host of complaints, along with the folks in the pharmacy who magically seem able to interpret the unreadable prescriptions your friends the Dr.S scribbled on little slips of paper.

Among your new friends will be those who share your longevity and with whom you can compare your maladies and derive comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your infirmities.

These are called the golden years by people who haven't yet reached them. For those who have, lead might seem a more appropriate metal.

See what you've got to look forward to? And, by the way, things were much better back in my day.

Note: July 8 events courtesy of http://www.brainyhistory.com/days/july_8.html.

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist and World War II Marine who writes for Newsmax.com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist (Cato) for National Review magazine in the 1960s.

He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.

He can be reached at pvb@pvbr.com.

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