Interesting people/things with whom/which I share my birthday:
Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, Michael Faraday, Nick Cave, Li Zicheng, Fay Weldon, Bulgaria, Mali, the Peace Corps,and Joan Jett.
Interesting people who died on my birthday:
Snorri Sturluson (depending whether you're using the Gregorian or Julian calendar, and he seems to be a day off, anyway, alas, but I claim him anyway because after 700 years what's one day between friends?), Shaka Zulu, Henry Plantagenet (3rd Earl of Leicester), Irving Berlin, George C. Scott, and Hugo Young
Interesting things that happened on my birthday:
1598: Ben Jonson indicted for manslaughter in the death of Gabriel Spencer, player. He plead literacy (technically, benefit of clergy), and was let off with a brand on his thumb. (I killed a man in Hogsden just to watch him die.)
1692: Last eight witchcraft hangings of the Salem witch trials
1776: Nathan Hale hanged for spying
1784: Russia establishes a colony in Kodiak, Alaska
1789: Russian forces defeat the Turkish army at the Rymnik River, breaking the Turkish invasion of Russia
1792: commencement of the French Republican Calendar (They actually did this in 1793, but they backdated it to the date of the Convention the previous year.)
1827: The angel Moroni reveals the golden tablets containing the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith
1862: President Lincoln announces the emancipation of slaves
1893: Duryea Brothers take the first American-produced automobile for a spin through the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts
1906: Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) speaks at daughter Clara's American singing debut in the town of Norfolk, Connecticut. Proceeds from the concert fund a memorial window to Olivia Clemens in the town's Episcopal Church.
1938: The "Long Island Express" (an estimated Category 5 hurricane at the peak of its force) finally dissipates over Canada, having making landfall the previous day over Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Blue Hill Observatory in Massachussets measured sustained winds of 121 MPH, gusting as high as 183.
Katharine Hepburn was a survivor of this hurricane. So was my grandfather, who drove home to Wethersfield from New York City in its midst, stopping to sandbag along the way. No hurricane ever stopped a Swede.
1949: Soviet Union's first nuclear weapon detonated
1964: Fiddler on the Roof opens on Broadway
1964: The Man from UNCLE premiers on NBC
1973: Henry Kissinger sworn in as Secretary of State
2005: Criminal Minds premiers on CBS
Today, I survived the Tower of London, and a lovely luncheon with fjm, owlfish, and miramon. There are a lot of stairs at the Tower. (secritcrush says, "What was your first clue?")
Also, it must have been very beige, back in the day.
Oppressively beige, even. ("We're taking you to that big beige castle thing, to be tortured and probably beheaded. Enjoy the buffet.")
We got toured about by a Scottish Yeoman Warder who loved his job rather a lot. He was rather put out with the Brits that I was the only one who knew when the Gunpowder Treason was, (disgraced by an American!) but paid me back for it later by asking a question about wood carving that I totally blew. Yes, I am ready to become a contestant on "It's not my Job."
The signing at Forbidden Planet was a success. At least five people showed up, which is pretty good for an author who is mostly unknown. And I had a lovely chat with some of the staff. After that, they found me a fish and chip shop (apparently the third oldest in London) and I managed to satisfy my week-long fish and chips craving in good order.
Getting to FP was a bit of a trick, though, as the Northern Line was delayed, so I had to circumnavigate London to get to Leicester Square. And then I had to backtrack and start over several times to actually find the store, because London is wicked and tricksy. Also, nearly got run over by a lorry--not because I looked in the wrong direction, but because it drove up onto the pavement. (Look at me, I'm practically English already.)
Actually, it's funny; I can already hear my accent starting to slide unless I consciously try to sound American. Also, I am getting a slight headcold. Too much time of the train with other people's germs. Dammit.
On the other hand, having walked through Leicester Square about six times looking for the store, now I can say I stood where Jeffrey stood.