Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flag Day 2016

Old Glory

The famous "Betsy Ross" variant

On June 14, 1777 the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution of 1777, which specified the basic design elements for the "flag of the thirteen United States."

Flag Day was officially designated by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was subsequently formalized by an act of Congress in 1949.

"Will you be displaying 'Old Glory' today?"

Of course, just like every year...

Happy Birthday!

On June 14, 1775 the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia voted to form the Continental Army under the command of General George Washington.

Although the United States Army was not officially formed until 1796 it considers itself a lineal descendant of the Continental Army, and for that reason chooses to celebrate its institutional "birthday" on the date of the formation of that force.


Yesterday evening my beloved Kansas City Royals began a stretch where they will play 12 of their next 14 games at Kauffman Stadium. They defeated the Cleveland Indians 2-1 in a tense pitcher's duel for their third straight win, climbing to within 2 games of the Indians for 1st place in the Central Division.

Now 6-6, 3.90 ERA.
Royals starter Edinson Volquez was utterly dominant, holding the Indians scoreless on just two hits in his 7 innings of work.

Cleveland's run came on a solo homer off of reliever Kelvin Herrera leading off the 8th inning, but thanks to two double plays Herrera and All-Star closer Wade Davis were able to secure the win.

It was a frustrating night offensively for the Royals, who only managed single runs in the 1st and 4th innings despite having 11 hits and a walk off of Cleveland pitchers.

The hitting star was rookie 2B Whit Merrifield, who led off the game with his first major league triple and scored the game's first run, then hit his first major league home run in the 4th inning for what proved to be the winning run.

The Royals have been very streaky for the past three weeks, with a six-game winning streak followed by an eight-game losing streak prior to the current three-game winning steak. They'll try for a fourth straight win tonight behind RHP Chris Young.

"Tonight's pitching match-up doesn't look very favorable, does it?"

No, it really doesn't, but that's why we play the games...really hard to predict baseball...

Geek Milestone

UNIVAC I operator's console
On June 14, 1951 the first UNIVAC I computer was dedicated. This was the first commercial computer produced in the United States, so computer geeks like me tend to consider this date as the beginning of the computer revolution in this country.

Of course the UNIVAC I is relatively primitive by modern computing standards, but then the first wheel was probably rather crude and simple also.

Run for Your Lives, Folks!

From the acerbic pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

I've featured "The Star-Spangled Banner" in this space on earlier occasions. Flag Day seems like an appropriate occasion to feature it again.

Original 1814 broadside with Key's poem

Our national anthem's lyrics were originally an 1814 poem by Francis Scott Key celebrating the American victory in the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. They were first set to the music of a 1780 song by John Stafford Smith after a couple of local newspapers reprinting Key's poem suggested the pairing.

Because it is famously a difficult song to sing, there was considerable resistance to its adoption as the national anthem, but on March 4, 1931 President Herbert Hoover signed the bill designating it as such.

Today's send-off is a wonderful performance by the United States Army Field Band and Chorus, paired with evocative patriotic video clips. Enjoy...

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