Imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.
      - Brenda Ueland


Today is Tuesday - August 22nd, 2017

On This Day In History:

Island of Lost Toys

1851 - The First "America's Cup"

The Yacht "America" wins the first Royal Yacht Squadron Cup. On this day in 1851, the U.S.-built schooner America bests a fleet of Britain's finest ships in a race around England's Isle of Wight. The ornate silver trophy won by the America was later donated to the New York Yacht Club on condition that it be forever placed in international competition. Today, the "America's Cup" is the world's oldest continually contested sporting trophy and represents the pinnacle of international sailing yacht competition.

The history of the yacht America began with five members of the New York Yacht Club, who decided to build a state-of-the-art schooner to compete against British ships in conjunction with England's Great Exposition of 1851. Designed by George Steers, the 100-foot, black-hulled America had a sharp bow, a V bottom, and tall masts, making it strikingly different from the traditional yachts of the day. In June 1851, the America set sail from its shipyard on New York City's East River, bound for England. Manned by Captain William H. Brown and a crew of 12, the America raced and overtook numerous ships during the Atlantic crossing.

After being outfitted and repainted in France, the America sailed to Cowes on the Isle of Wight to challenge the best British sailboats in their own waters. At Cowes, America welcomed all comers for a match race, but no English yacht accepted the challenge. Finally, on August 22, the America joined 14 British ships for a regatta around the Isle of Wight. The prize was the Hundred Guinea Cup, a 2-foot-high silver jug put up by the Royal Yacht Squadron.

In the 53-mile race, the America trounced the competition, beating the cutter Aurora by 22 minutes and finishing nearly an hour ahead of the third boat, the schooner Bacchante. Queen Victoria watched the race from her royal yacht, and at one point asked, "What is second?" after seeing the America come over the horizon. Her attendant reportedly replied, "Your Majesty, there is no second."

A few weeks after its victory, the America was sold to an Irish lord for about $25,000, giving its owners a slim profit over what they paid for it. It later went through a series of other owners, one of whom changed the America's name to Camilla. As the CSS Memphis, it served briefly as a Confederate blockade runner during the Civil War. The Confederate navy sunk it in Florida to keep it from falling into Union hands, but it was found, raised, and rebuilt by the U.S. Navy, which renamed it the America and used it as a Union blockade ship.

Meanwhile, the first owners of the America deeded the Hundred Guinea Cup to the New York Yacht Club in 1857 to be put up as the prize in a perpetual international challenge competition. The first race for the trophy, renamed the America's Cup, was not held until August 1870, when the British ship Cambria competed against 14 American yachts in Lower New York Bay. The Cambria finished 10th. The schooner Magic won the race, and the America, refitted by the navy for the occasion, finished fourth. After service as a navy training ship, the America fell into disrepair under private owners. Today, it exists only in fragments.

From 1870 until the late 20th century, New York Yacht Club-sponsored U.S. yachts successfully defended the America's Cup 24 times in races generally spaced a few years apart. Since the 1920s, the America's Cup race has been between one defending vessel and one challenging vessel, both of which are determined by separate elimination trials. In 1983, the United States lost the trophy for the first time in 132 years when Australia II defeated Liberty off Newport, Rhode Island. The San Diego Yacht Club's Stars & Stripes returned the America's Cup to America in 1987, but in 1995 Black Magic took the trophy home to New Zealand. Team New Zealand successfully defended its claim in 2000, defeating an Italian challenger in the first America's Cup final for which the U.S. did not qualify.

1906 - The Record Industry is Born

The Victor Talking Machine Company of Camden, New Jersey began to manufacture the Victrola. The hand-cranked unit, with sound horn built into the cabinet, sold for $200. Records sold separately.

Celebrating Birthdays Today:


Claude Debussy
Born in 1862




Valerie Harper
Born in 1940




Mats Wilander
Born in 1964




Giada De Laurentiis
Born in 1970



What Happened on Your Special Day?

I became a fan of "today in history" information when I was very young. My father had a calendar that he had put together of "reasons to celebrate". If anybody asked "what are we celebrating?" my father could check his book and come up with a reason to celebrate for any day of the year. Charlie Chaplin's birthday, Buster Keaton's birthday, the anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, for every day of the year, my father's calendar had some interesting historical event that had occurred.

With this page I have tried to continue the tradition. Generally, I prefer to include birthdays and anniversaries of positive, uplifting, life affirming people and events that have had particular significance in my life. It's here because it was important to me.

I am trying to continually update with links from stories to other relevant sites. Check back regularly for a story on something interesting that happened on this day in history.

There are many, many, sites out there that have a lot of "this day in history" information. Many are not so great, full of inaccurate information and "negative vibes". However, there are a few that are really fabulous. Here are links to a few of my favorites. These sites feature "Today in History" stories for today, and some include archives that will enable you to look up information for any other date in history that is special to you:

This Day in History
The History Channel tells you what happened in Automotive, Civil War, Cold War, Crime, Entertainment, General Interest, Literary, Old West, Vietnam War, Wall Street, and World War II history for today or any day.

Life Magazine Covers
Life offers a look at covers from this day in history.

New York Times: On This Day
Lists events which occurred on each month and day of the year throughout history. Links to New York Times articles on the events when available.

Today in History
Stories and pictures from the American Memory historical collections of the U.S. Library of Congress.

The Internet Movie Database
The Internet Movie Database claims itself to be the biggest, best, most award-winning movie site on the planet. I'm not sure if it really is, but it is huge and has TONS of info on even the most obscure films, movies stars, directors, producers, etc. If it is motion picture related, you can probably find out something about it at this site.