Wednesday, 12 June 2013


“Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men the most.” - Thucydides

Today is the anniversary of the birthday of:
Johann Georg Ahle
, German organist (1651);
John Augustus Roebling
, bridge builder (1806);
Charles Kingsley
, author (1819);
Egon Schiele
, Austrian artist (1890).
Djuna Barnes
, author (1892);
Anthony Eden
, British PM (1897);
Leon Goosens
, English oboist (1897);
Normal Hartnell
, coutourier (1901);
Irwin Allen
, movie producer (1916);
George Bush
, US President (1989), (1924);
Vic Damone
(Vito Farinola), singer (1928);
Anne Frank
, diarist (1929);
Rona Jaffe
, author (1932);
Jim Nabors
, actor (1932);
Chick Corea
(Armando Anthony Corea), musician (1941); 
Bert Sackman, German Nobel laureate (1991), physiologist (1942);

The pear tree, Pyrus communis, is the birthday plant for today.  It symbolises satire and the language of flowers ascribes the meaning “do not forget” to the pear.  Pear trees grow slowly, as the rhyme suggests: “Plant your pears for your heirs.”

Today is Independence Day in the Philippines (since 1898). The Philippines was a Spanish colony from 1565 to 1898 when it was ceded to the USA. It became fully independent in 1946. It is an archipelago in the Western part of the South China sea with three main island groups, with an area of 300,000 square km and a population of 62 million. The capital is Manila with other centres being Cebu, Quezon City, Bacolod, Davao and Zamboanga. It is subject to earthquakes, volcanic activity and typhoons.

Much of the Philippines is covered by rainforest thriving in the tropical monsoon climate. Fishing and farming on a small scale domiante the economy with rice and copra being the main produce. Textile production, electrical manufactuirng and forestry are becoming increasingly important economically but unemployement and emigration are still high in this developing country.


Dying on this day: In 816, Leo III, Pope of Rome; in 1842, Dr Thomas Arnold, English educational reformer; in 1982, Dame Maria Rambert, ballerina; in 1983, Norma Shearer, actress.

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