April 7th, 2006

clone, meme

Wikibirthday meme

Via half of my friendslist:

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birthday. Post three interesting facts/events, two births, and one death that happened on that day, and include the year of each.

As others have said, the hardest part of this was narrowing it down to just 3, 2, and 1.

1776 - The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with Great Britain.
1964 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law.
1982 - Larry Walters uses 45 helium balloons and a lawnchair to propel himself to 16,000 feet. (And, possibly in commemoration of that auspicious event: 2002 - Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.)

1932 - Dave Thomas, American fast food entrepreneur (d. 2002)
1970 - Yancy Butler, American actress

1997 - James Stewart, American actor (b. 1908)

And, from the random facts file:

It is the middle day of a non-leap year; there are 182 days before it and 182 days after it. (In a leap year, it shares "middle day" status with the day before, and the midnight between them is the "middle point" of the year.) Except for leap years, it falls on the same day of the week as New Year's Day.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf

U.S. states trivia quiz: Answers

These questions represent bits of history about the origins of various U.S. states that are generally not taught in school; I think you'll probably find the answers (and the stories involved in them) intriguing, even if you are normally bored by history or aren't living in the U.S.

1. Not counting the sessession and readmittance of the Confederate States of America, which four U.S. states were independent nations (all organized as republics) before they joined the United States? (Bonus question: Which one of those four was an independent republic for the longest time?)

Answer: Vermont, Texas, California, Hawaii
Bonus: Vermont (14 years) (Texas: 10 years, California: 25 days, Hawaii: 3 years)

(Technically, there were two other independent republics that became part of the U.S., but neither is roughly contiguous with or readily identified with the entirety of the modern state, as the above four are. The Republic of Indian Stream is now part of northern New Hampshire, and the Republic of West Florida is now the Gulf coasts of Mississippi and Alabama and the part of Louisiana north of Lake Ponchitrain and south of Mississippi.)

2. A few years after the State of Franklin got a majority of the votes from the other states to be admitted to the U.S. as a state, but fell two votes short of the 2/3 total needed at the time, it dissolved into being a territory, and more than a decade later was officially admitted to the U.S. as what state?

Answer: Tennessee

3. Long before the Civil War, which two modern U.S. states went to war with each other over possession of an area of swampland? (Bonus question: When this dispute was finally settled, one state got all of the disputed land; what did the other state get in exchange?)

Answer: Michigan & Ohio
Bonus: Michigan was granted the western two-thirds of the Upper Peninsula

4. Of the twenty British colonies present in North America in 1776, which two stayed loyal to England during the American Revolution, but later joined the U.S.? (Bonus question: Name the other five loyal colonies.)

Answer: West Florida & East Florida
Bonus: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Province of Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Rupert's Land (Technically, the last of those wasn't a "colony" as such, but rather was the territory owned and governed by the Hudson's Bay Company, granted via royal charter in 1670.)

(The trick to this one is the date: Florida was originally a Spanish colony, and was given back to Spain after the Revolutionary War--but during the American Revolution, it was a British colony. The others were all French colonies, but due to the outcomes of several wars involving Britain and France during the 1700s, particularly the French and Indian War, they had all become British colonies by the time of the Revolutionary War. The Treaty of Paris, which in 1763 ended the French & Indian War and the Seven Years War, was responsible for most of eastern and northern North America being ceded to the British.)

5. Which U.S. state was colonized by a European country other than England, France, Spain, Sweden, or the Netherlands?

Answer: Alaska (colonized by Russia)

Feudalism: Serf & Turf