On This Date in History: President Warren G. Harding died on this date in 1923 in San Francisco. Officially he died of a heart attack but speculation is that he may have been murdered. However, all subsequent investigations have determined that he was not poisoned, as conspiracy theorists suggest. Why would there be a conspiracy? Well, Harding had allowed his Secretary of the Interior to take over the Teapot Dome oil reserves in Wyoming from the Navy Department. The Secretary then allowed for two oilmen to develop the oil field and another in California. Murmuring began as the Secretary suddenly upgraded his lifestyle. Turns out he had received $400,000 in “gifts” from the two oilmen. The Teapot Dome Scandal was the first huge Federal Government corruption scandal in the 20th century, if not in all US history. Many more have followed.
When told that his friends may be enriching themselves at the Federal trough, Harding is said to have exclaimed, “My…friends…they’re the ones that keep me walking the floors nights!” Herbert Hoover urged Harding to publicly expose the scandal, but Harding did not, fearing the certain the public uproar it would cause. Harding avoided the whole mess and possible impeachment by conveniently dying before the Teapot Dome Scandal really bubbled to the surface. For some, however, the convenience of his death was a little too convenient. There are those who speculate to this day that President Harding was murdered, committed suicide or was the victim of neglegent homicide. That puts his death in the company of that of many celebrities, such as Jim Morrison and, more recently, Michael Jackson. Somehow, when an average Joe expires unexpectedly, no one thinks twice. But, for some, when it’s one of the popular kids in the class…it must be something much more interesting.
In 1876, Wild Bill Hickok was shot and killed in Deadwood, South Dakota. But, it wasn’t in a gunfight. Hickok was playing cards in Saloon Number 10 with his back to the door. A tinhorn gunman named Jack McCall came in an shot Wild Bill in the back of the head. Legend is that Hickok was holding a pair of black aces and black 8’s. That is now commonly known as the “dead man’s hand” though most of the time the suit is not noted and just aces and eights will suffice for the moniker.
Two things have eluded me. One is how does someone named James Butler become “Wild Bill?” The other is why he had his back to the door. Hickok had a storied life as a gunfighter and his reputation made him a target for those wanting to make a name for themselves. So, he typically sat with his back to the wall. It is especially odd that he was so careless when he knew that he had just taken McCall’s money at the poker table and the very sore loser McCall was on the loose and very angry tht Bill had taken all of his money. I guess on August 2, 1876 he thought he was among friends. Seems Wild Bill and Warren G. needed to be more careful about their friends.
Weather Bottom Line: The front late Saturday night certainly did not “pack a punch” as I heard one local weather foof say that it did. There were some rumbles of thunder out to the west but the action basically fizzled as it moved through. There just wasn’t enough instability and the boundary itself didn’t have enough slope and there were no shortwaves to help. A different story perhaps with the next system. Timing may be better…say Tuesday afternoon or evening….and there may be a shortwave to boot. Until then we will probably be rain free and warm, but still below seasonal norms.
DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0229 AM CDT SUN AUG 02 2009
VALID 041200Z – 051200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS THE OH/TN VALLEYS…
…MIDWEST AND OH/TN/LOWER MO RIVER VALLEYS…
COLD FRONT SHOULD CONTINUE TO GRADUALLY SPREAD SOUTHEASTWARD OVER
THE MIDWEST/OH VALLEY ON TUESDAY…AS BRUNT OF UPPER TROUGH PIVOTS
EAST-NORTHEASTWARD OVER ONTARIO/QUEBEC AND THE ADJACENT GREAT LAKES.
UNCERTAIN DAY 2 CONVECTIVE EVOLUTIONS INHERENTLY LIMIT CONFIDENCE OF
DETAILS INTO TUESDAY…HOWEVER OVERALL SCENARIO/REASONABLE GUIDANCE
CONSENSUS APPEARS TO WARRANT A BROAD CATEGORICAL SLIGHT RISK ACROSS
THE REGION. INITIAL THINKING IS THAT SCATTERED TSTMS /PERHAPS SOME
STRONG/ WILL BE ONGOING ACROSS THE OH VALLEY TUESDAY MORNING. AIDED
BY A POTENTIAL MID LEVEL IMPULSE EMBEDDED WITHIN NORTHWESTERLY FLOW
ALOFT…PER 00Z NAM/GFS/ECMWF GUIDANCE…THE REMNANTS OF THIS
ACTIVITY AND/OR PERIPHERAL STRONG/SEVERE DEVELOPMENT COULD OCCUR
ACROSS THE LOWER OH VALLEY/TN VALLEY. PRESUMING A RELATIVELY
UNPERTURBED/NON-CONVECTIVELY OVERTURNED AIRMASS…ADDITIONAL
STRONG/SEVERE DEVELOPMENT WOULD ALSO BE POSSIBLE FARTHER NORTH
ACROSS THE LOWER MO VALLEY/MIDWEST/UPPER OH VALLEY IN VICINITY OF
THE ROUGHLY WEST-EAST SURFACE FRONT. DAMAGING WINDS/SEVERE HAIL WILL
BE THE PRIMARY HAZARDS.
…LOWER GREAT LAKES/NORTHEAST STATES…
A SOMEWHAT MORE ISOLATED/LESSER CONFIDENCE SEVERE THREAT WILL EXIST
WITH THE EASTERN EXTENT OF THE ADVANCING COLD FRONT ACROSS THE LOWER
GREAT LAKES VICINITY TO THE NORTHEAST STATES…MAINLY ATTRIBUTABLE
TO MORE MODEST INSTABILITY. NEVERTHELESS…DAMAGING WINDS/SEVERE
HAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE…AND PORTIONS OF THE REGION COULD ULTIMATELY
WARRANT A CATEGORICAL SLIGHT RISK.
UPPER HEIGHTS WILL LIKELY FALL OVER ORE ON TUESDAY AS PERSISTENT
UPPER LOW MIGRATES SLOWLY EASTWARD TOWARD THE NORTHERN CA COAST. A
MOIST/UNSTABLE AIRMASS AND MODERATE SOUTHERLY FLOW ALOFT WILL AGAIN
FAVOR THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGING WINDS/HAIL WITH THE STRONGEST
STORMS TUESDAY AFTERNOON/EARLY EVENING.