Aug. 10, 1999
Poem: "Courage," by Anne Sexton, from The Awful Rowing Toward God (Houghton Mifflin).
The OLD FIDDLERS' CONVENTION starts up today in Galax, Virginia, and runs through the 14th.
And the 101st annual TONTITOWN GRAPE FESTIVAL begins today and runs through the 14th in Tontitown, Arkansas.
It is the anniversary of the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution, 1846, Washington D.C. The Institution was founded on a bequest from an English chemist named James Louis Smithson, an illegitimate son of Sir Hughes Smithson Percy, the first Duke of Northumberland. It was in part due to the resentment of his illegitimate birth that Smithson gave to an American institution, not a British one. He said his name would then "live in the memory of man when the titles of the Northumberlands and Percys are extinct and forgotten."
It was on this day in 1945 that JAPAN ANNOUNCED ITS SURRENDER, ending the Second World War. The two U.S. atomic bombs had been dropped on the 6th and 9th of August, and Emperor Hirohito told his generals that taking the war any further would just mean more Japanese casualties.
On August 10, 1821, MISSOURI ENTERED THE UNION as the 24th state and from its very first days was split over the issue of slavery. The state was named for the Indians who originally lived there. Under the Missouri Compromise of 1820, Missouri was admitted as a slave state but prohibited slavery in its southwestern territories, but the Compromise was repealed 30 years later. When the Civil War erupted, the state remained in the Union, but many Missourians fought for the Confederacy.
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