My toast to all the readers who’ve stuck with us for the past 10 years
(Copyright © 2006 by Wil C. Fry.)
Several important events in history have occurred on June 6. The most important to me, personally, of course, is my wedding day in 2006 CE. Others were fairly important as well.
When my soon-to-be wife and I first began chatting about wedding dates, the calendar window was relatively small. We couldn’t in good conscience choose a date earlier than May 31, 2006, because she was still in grad school in New York City. May 31 was the earliest date she could fly into Oklahoma City’s “international” airport to begin life with me. And we didn’t think it would be appropriate to delay the date much later than that, due to the rural, conservative, and gossipy town in which we would live.
With the window narrowed down to June 1 through perhaps mid- to late June, I jokingly suggested June 6 because of its memorability — 6/6/6 — the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the new millennium. All those numbers are of course arbitrary. While it is the Earth’s orbit around the sun that determines the length of the year, there is really no objective day during that cycle that must or should be the “first” day of the year. There is also no objective or scientific reason to divide the year into 12 months of unequal numbers of days. But it is what we’ve done, and this calendar is nearly universal today (exceptions for traditional Chinese calendar, Islamic and Jewish calendars, and others).
It wasn’t long before my wife agreed with me on the 6/6/6 date, and we made sure a courthouse would be open then, and found a cruise ship that would dock at that location on that day.
Perhaps the most well-known historical event on June 6 was D-Day (1944), the allied forces’ landing on the beaches of Normandy, the largest seaborne military invasion in history and commonly thought to precipitate the end of World War II in Europe.
Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 6, 1968 (he was actually shot on June 5, but did not expire until more than 24 hours later).
Aside from these two, several other events are dated to June 6 of various years, including, but not limited to:
• 1808: Napoleon’s brother Joseph was crowned King of Spain.
• 1833: Andrew Jackson became the first U.S. President to ride on a train.
• 1862: Memphis, Tennessee, was attacked and conquered by the United States.
• 1889: The entirety of downtown Seattle was destroyed in a fire.
• 1912: Novarupta (volcano) began to erupt in Alaska, beginning the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th Century.
• 1933: The first drive-in movie theater opens, in Camden, N.J.
• 1942: Day three of the Battle of Midway, sometimes called “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare”.
• 1946: The Basketball Association Of America was founded, leading to (three years later) the NBA.
• 1971: A U.S. military F-4B collided with a passenger-carrying DC-9 over California, killing all but one person involved (the F-4B’s radar operation successfully ejected). It was the second-deadliest military-involved mid-air collision over U.S. soil.
• 1997: A New Jersey teen left her prom to give birth in a bathroom, tossed the baby in the trash, and returned to dancing with her friends. She was released from prison in 2001.
• Every year: National Day of Sweden
If I had more time, I would concoct a very well tied-together conspiracy theory about how all these events are related. Let’s just pretend I did that, and then all have a good laugh. There, that’s better.