In 1986, Lake Nyos in Cameroon erupted with an estimated billion cubic yards of carbon dioxide gas. The gas had apparently been accumulating in the crater lake, held down by the weight of the water. When it finally erupted, the gas cloud smothered and killed every living animal, including insects, in its path until it dissipated. Outsiders learned of the disaster when they approached the villages and found animal and human bodies on the ground. The best estimate is that 1,700 people and thousands of cattle died.
August 20th is the birthday of former Congressman Ron Paul (born, 1935.) He recently retired from congress. Dr. Paul is to be commended for fighting the good fight for many years.
August 20th, 1866 is also the day that president Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over.
August 19th is the birthday of Philo Taylor Farnsworth (1906-1971). Farnsworth was an American inventor who is best known for his image pickup device that formed the basis for the fully functional and complete all-electronic television system. Among his many other inventions was the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor, a small nuclear fusion device that remains a viable source of neutrons. At his death, he held over 300 patents, mostly in radio and television.
August 18th is the birthday of Meriwether Lewis, an American explorer, soldier, politician and public administrator that is best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. An interesting side note is the Girandoni Air Rifle carried by Lewis during that expedition.
While salmon fishing near the Klondike River in Canada’s Yukon Territory on August 17th, 1896, George Carmack reportedly spotted nuggets of gold in a creek bed. His lucky discovery sparked the last great gold rush in the American West. His two companions later agreed that Skookum, Jim–Carmack’s brother-in-law, actually made the discovery.
On August 16th, 1841, President John Tyler vetoed a second attempt by Congress to re-establish the Bank of the United States. In response, angry supporters of the bank gathered outside the White House and burned an effigy of Tyler.
On August 15, 1961, two days after sealing off free passage between East and West Berlin with barbed wire, East German authorities began building a wall–the Berlin Wall–to permanently close off access to the West. For the next 28 years, the heavily fortified Berlin Wall stood as the most tangible symbol of the Cold War–a literal “iron curtain” dividing Europe. The wall has now been torn down for longer than it stood, but the scars in memory are still there.
Today is the birthday of screenwriter, director, and producer, Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) His many films spanned five decades.
Today is also the birthday is shared by sharpshooter, entertainer, and folk heroine Annie Oakley (1860–1926.)
This the birthday of country singer/songwriter Buck Owens (1929–2006). His songs typified what has been called “The Bakersfield Sound.”
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It was sad to hear that Ty Hardin has passed away, at age 87. He is remembered for his television western roles. His film credits included Battle of the Bulge and PT-109. He was also the founder of an anti-tax movement that later morphed into The Arizona Patriots.
August 11th is the birthday of SurvivalBlog editor The Werewolf in Brazil. Feliz aniversário!
On October 10th, 1984, Red Dawn, the first PG-13 rated movie, starring Patrick Swayze was released. The movie (the 1984 original, not the 2012 remake) is a favorite of both JWR and HJL, and the characters that the movie is about embody the independent, indomitable spirit that created this country.
August 9th, 1831 was the birthday of James Paris Lee (August 9, 1831 – February 24, 1904). He was a Scottish-Canadian and later American inventor and arms designer, best known for inventing the bolt action that led to the Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield series of rifles.
August 8th is the birthday of Terry Nation (August 8th, 1930 – March 9th, 1997), who was a Welsh television writer and novelist. Nation wrote two series, Survivors and Blake’s 7, in the 1970s. Survivors was re-made a few years ago.
August 7th, 1933 The birthday of Jerry Pournelle. He, along with Larry Niven authored the survivalist classic Lucifer’s Hammer.