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Just Melanie -- Examining October 28
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Just Melanie -- Examining October 28


The day of October 28 has always meant one thing to me . . . getting older.

It’s not necessarily my favorite 24-hour period of time, but I do find it interesting that on one particular day people act like they appreciate the fact you exist.

So I guess that’s a good thing about a birthday.

I started thinking about the history of this day and thought I’d check to see if October 28 means anything else in the big scope of things.

Who do I share birthdays with, as far as famous people? Well, two I know of for sure are smarter than me – Bill Gates – and slightly more attractive than myself – Julia Roberts.

Another famous person sharing my birthday is probably more feminine than me – Caitlyn Jenner (who used to be known as U.S. Olympic Champion/Legend Bruce Jenner and the head of the Kardashian/Jenner family).

Another birthday mate who is somewhat more musical than me is country music star Brad Paisley.

And did I mention I used to share a birthday with the late great Charlie Daniels? That must explain my love of some good fiddle music.

Did you know that on this day, in 1956 (long before I was born), Elvis Presley received a polio vaccination on national television? Isn’t it ironic, considering the state of our world right now?

Also on October 28, 1886, then-United States President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty. Well, now, that’s pretty cool.

Let’s go back really far . . . on October 28, in 1492, on his first voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba. That used to be heralded as a momentous moment, but we all know how that turned out, don’t we? Yet, it got us that one step toward America becoming our homeland.

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On October 28, 1636, the first college in the United States was established by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. That university is now known as Harvard.

Apparently, there were some horrific earthquakes (quite a few actually) and historically tragic train accidents (again, oddly quite a few) on October 28 – that’s a bummer.

On October 28, in 1793, Eli Whitney applied for a patent on his cotton gin. Thanks Eli, for my closet full of clothes.

On October 28, 1858, the first Macy’s store opened in New York City. The retail sales were hot – gross receipts came in at $11.06.

Here’s an interesting one – on October 28, 1904, some police officers in St. Louis tried a brand new investigation method – taking fingerprints.

On October 28, 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini had a face to face meeting. That must have been something.

On October 28, 1954, Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (something this column will surely never earn).

Fortunately, on October 28, 1962, Radio Moscow reported that nuclear missiles in Cuba were deactivated. And President JFK received a letter from Khrushchev saying they should probably talk and make an agreement. Hmm, another October 28 reference to Cuba.

The Gateway Arch was opened in St. Louis on October 28, 1965.

Luna 23 launched on October 28, 1974, with eventual landing on the moon.

In reviewing all the historical events that happened on October 28, they just sort of start to wane at that point. Not much has happened on October 28 since then, except for me turning old enough to drive, old enough to vote, old enough to drink, old enough to celebrate Dirty Thirty, old enough to contemplate being over the hill and old enough to see the other side of the hill.

So here it is October 28 again. I hope it’s a nice, quiet, non-eventful day . . . and I have a lapse in memory in which I can’t do the math to figure out how old that makes me.

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