San Fran Sell Out; Zack and Bertha Die Out


We’re done as far as interesting weather for awhile. Saturday may hold some promise. The front should move through quietly Wednesday morning. Rain chances will subside late Wednesday. The boundary will slowly drift to the south and should go far enough for a good Thursday with lower humidity. The humidity and heat return for Friday and Saturday will probably be like Tuesday with hot and humid conditions and a front approaching.

On This Date In History: Explorers wandered up and down the Pacific Coast for years before someone decided to snoop about an inlet in what is northern California. In 1769, the Spanish found it and saw it as a strategic asset. In 1776, while the colonists on the other side of the continent were in rebellion, the Spanish founded San Francisco de Asis, which means St. Francis of Assisi. The outpost was the northern most in the Spanish empire and later was the same with Mexico. In 1835, US government made the Mexicans an offer that they should not have refused. Uncle Sam offered to buy the settlement and the Mexicans refused. I believe it was Santa Anna who turned down the Americans generous offer. I guess he was too busy putting down a rebellion in Tejas to consider such real estate deals. By 1846, the Mexicans found themselves in a war with the United States over the southern border of what by that time was the state of Texas.

Not long after hostilities commenced on this date in 1846, Captain John Montgomery sailed his US warship into San Francisco bay, dispatched a group of marines and promptly took San Francisco de Asis without firing a shot. The Americans must have thought the name was too long and shortened it to simply San Francisco. In 1848, the Americans dictated terms of the end of the war with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that not only forced Santa Anna to turn over San Francisco, but also about 55% of his territory which included all of California, Nevada and Utah, most of Arizona and parts of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. Santa Anna did get $15 million for his trouble. But Santa Anna just had bad luck. Not long after he made the deal, gold was found in California which yielded many many more millions than he got. Gold, silver and other precious metals and natural resources were later found in the entire region. He should have taken the San Francisco deal to begin with.

It just so happens that a big shot general in the Mexican War was Zachary Taylor who used his battlefield prowess to propel him to the Presidency. He was elected a few months after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in November 1848. On July 4, 1850 President Taylor attended Independence Day festivities on a hot day in Washington DC and for some reason ate a bunch of cherries and washed them down with milk. He returned to the White House and drank a bunch of water. On This Date In History President Taylor promptly died. The cartoon at left suggests it was from lemonade which I cannot find suggested anywhere else. I had read that he died from eating too many sweet potatoes but that story seems to have gone by the wayside. There was talk in modern times, though surprisingly not in his day, that he was poisoned because he was a staunch unionist and threatened to personally lead a military attack against any state that tried to secede. In 1991, some of these conspiracy theorists convinced the Taylor family that they needed to dig up the former President from his resting place in Louisville to solve a crime. The DNA results were negative. Imagine that.

So, they were back to the original cause of death, which was described as gastroenteritis. Now, many say that Taylor succumbed to Cholera, probably ingested through the milk or water. Regardless, he died on this date in 1850 and you can visit him in Louisville. Snow White and I have done so a few times. If he had not passed away as President, we may never have heard of his successor, Millard Fillmore. Well…maybe it made no difference because not too many people have heard of Millard Fillmore.

Bertha Dead?

The photo shows makes Bertha look better than previously. But the storm took a battering with dry air getting involved into the circulation. The official track takes it generally north and then turns it east. It’s got a little area of warmer water ahead of it so it may hold its own or even get a tad stronger before it goes back to falling apart. I saw a couple of computer runs that had the storm slowly drifting to the northwest well off the Northeast coast and south of Nova Scotia. But, the NHC is discounting any such suggestion, though they admit the outlying time frames of will be a little erratic and slow. Either way, it remains very unlikely that the storm will get remotely close to its former self nor that it affects anything more than maritime interests or perhaps vacationers in Bermuda.


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