Some days transcend stories. Take for example, Christmas. December 25th is special every year and regardless of the news stories that may occur on that particular day, the uniqueness of the day is that, well, it's Christmas.
July 2nd, someone I know, would have you believe is one of those days.
On the surface, it may seem like another summer day. Perhaps warm, overly humid. A day inching us closer to baseball's All-Star break. 48 hours removed from our nation's birthday. Firework purchase time, maybe?
Wikipedia - the most trusted news site on the Internet - offers plenty of tidbits for July 2nd.
Today happens to be the feast day of Saint Otto. Wikipedia didn't bother to have any information on Saint Otto ("Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact title") , but hey, let's all take some time to reflect on the Bishop of Bamberg.
July 2nd is also Palio di Siena as celebrated in Italy. As you are all probably experts on Palio di Siena, you do not need me to tell you that it is a horse race in which the rider and horse are dressed up as a variety of animals and Earthy things (owls, rams, forests, lonewolfs). As with all flag waving ceremonies that have Catholic origins, this Italian celebration is a must-see.
On July 2, 1776 John Hancock signed, in letters far too big later leading to some later signers to circle their names ala yearbook signing and messages, the Declaration of Independence. (Could be true.)
On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean, leading to a tremendous aviation mystery not solved to this day.
July 2nd is also a big day for the nation's largest retailer. For this day 45 years ago in Rogers, Arkansas Sam Walton celebrated the opening of the country's first Wal-Mart.
This date in 1983, The Police saw their last album "Synchronicity" hit store shelves on its way to an impressive four months at the top of the Billboard charts.
All of these events are all well and good, but this day is meaningful not so much for its religious feast days, its American history, or even its musical meaning. Rather, July 2nd shows its value because of who joined the world.
There are a handful of famous birthdays. Among them are...
-Valentinian III, 419. I would tell you something fascinating about Valentinian III, but I became bored after reading his birth and death dates.
-Christoph Willibal Gluck, 1714. Some regard him as the father of the Rococo and Classical age of music---at least in Opera. Important to remember from this excerpt is that only "some" regard him as the father. I don't want any heated exchanges in the comments section of this post for those of you who debate this claim.
-Rene Lacoste, 1904. Rene was a tremendous tennis player, capturing seven Grand Slam titles during his reign of dominance. The only title he failed to win was the Australian Open and that's only because in the 1920s, it wasn't as easy to get to the land down under as it is today.
-Bret "The Hitman" Hart, 1957. 5-time World Wrestling Federation Champion was known as "The Excellence of Execution" whose memorable feuds with Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin rank him among the all time greats of the squared circle.
-Jose Canseco, 1964. Noted baseball player who took steroids and now enjoys prostituting himself for money. Jose is also the proud face of many of my baseball cards back when he was the best player in the game for his 40 steal speed and 40 homer power.
-Mike Brinkman, 1982. Good friend of mine in high school went off to Japan in a noble attempt to make English the accepted langauge everywhere in the world. Became tired of being called "Brinkman" instead of Mike and consequently decided to live his life in a drunken haze. Hey, Brinkman, drop me an e-mail if you read this. Long time, no talk.
-Lindsay Lohan, 1986. Today is Lindsay's 21st birthday, which is interesting simply because she has become notorious for her partying and alcoholic (and drug?) intake despite her not having been of legal age. People do not consume these alcoholic beverages before they are legal, do they?
Also, and most importantly, today is my wife's birthday. Happy Birthday!