Women’s Right To Vote Hinged On A Boy Listening to His Mother
August 19, 2010

How Could Anyone Oppose These Babes?

How Could Anyone Oppose These Babes?

These Guys Opposed the Chick Vote, But Wouldn't Show their Faces.

These Guys Opposed the Chick Vote, But Wouldn't Show their Faces.

On This Date in History:

We’ve had the health care debate  and people were complaining that one side or the other may have an organized or orchestrated effort.   Now, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is suggesting that opponents to the mosque in New York City should be investigated to determine from whom their organized funding is coming.  Then, there is the argument as to whether the Tea Party is a “grass roots effort” or a co-ordindated national movement.   The charge of “organization” comes up quite often in politics and the proper response may be , “so what?”  The Sons of Liberty was an orchestrated movement against the crown.  The Civil Rights movement was organized. The women’s suffrage movement was organized, but so were opposition groups. It has happened throughout history. Organization is what gets things done…that’s why there are political parties.  But, even with organizations, sometimes success or failure relating to a given topic may fall to an individual.

Burn became women's best friend, thanks to mom

In the Summer of 1920, the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was very much in doubt. Only one more state legislature had to ratify the amendment but the remaining states were in limbo. It was called the war of the roses. Supporters of the amendment, the “Suffs” which was short for “suffragists”, wore yellow roses while those opposed, or the “Antis” clung to a red rose.

Febb Is An Unsung Heroine

On August 18 in Tennessee, a vote was taken and it resulted in a tie. Young legislator Harry Burn was from the “anti” county of McMinn and he wore a red rose. But, it seems young Burn got a letter from his mother Febb Ensminger Burn who told her son to” be a good boy” and help put the “rat” in ratification and so on the second vote  the changed his vote and the amendment passed.  On this date in 1920, when the sun rose, the suffrage movement finally succeeded and women had gained the right to vote. Burn said, “I know that a mother’s advice is always safest for a boy to follow.” So, all you ladies out there should lift a glass to Febb….and hope the World Meteorological Organization doesn’t find out and call a hurricane Febb as it would most certainly make its presence known. But, truth be told, we should all perhaps thank Febb because the wisdom of women in the voting booth is most likely a necessary ingredient in making the nation a more perfect Union.

Weather Bottom Line: We really won’t have a warm front per se coming through today but just a return flow from the south as the old boundary washed out south of the region.  We most likely get up to around 90 or so today and then on Friday I suspect that, not only will we inch into the low 90’s but the humidity will again be an issue.  Saturday, a pre frontal trof will be lurking to our west so the prospects of it working in conjunction with higher heat and humidity to give us some afternoon t’storm activity will be enhanced.  The cold front itself will be creeping down here over night and then get bogged down in the region, either just to our north or south, either way, the mercury should be held down on Sunday with a chance of rain from time to time.

The Exploits of Vice President Aaron Burr Seem A Work of Fiction
July 11, 2010

There May Be a Good Reason Alexander Hamilton Got in So Many Duels

On This Date In History: In recent years, we have heard the “I” word tossed about rather liberally. That word is impeach.

President Andrew Johnson was impeached but was not convicted by one vote. President Clinton was impeached but also avoided removal from office as the Senate did not vote for conviction. Today, we haven’t heard of anyone calling for the impeachment of the current president or vice-president. Yet. Someone probably will before President Obama’s 4 years are up. There were certainly those who wanted to impeach President Bush and even Vice-President Cheney. These calls came from allegations of malfeasance. But on this date in 1804, there is no doubt about it…Aaron Burr,  Vice-President of the United States gunned down Revolutionary War hero Alexander Hamilton.  And guess what, he wasn’t impeached nor did he go to jail.

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton had been an aide-de-camp of Washington during the war and later led a crucial attack at the Battle of Yorktown. He became the first Secretary of the Treasury and served in that capacity for 6 years before retiring. He then formed the Federalist Party, the first political party in America. He detested Thomas Jefferson and the two developed what became known as Hamiltonian ideals and Jeffersonian ideals. Basically, Hamilton wanted a strong central government and Jefferson was for a weak central government with most of the power belonging to the states. Today, Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

Burr's 1807 Treason Trial

Burr's 1807 Treason Trial

Anyway, in 1804, Burr was the sitting Vice-President under Jefferson and Hamilton had made some unsavory remarks about Burr, who demanded satisfaction and responded with a challenge to a duel! Hamilton had been famous for dueling but had ironically pushed to outlaw the practice in New York. So, Hamilton and Burr went across the river to New Jersey. On this date in 1804, two shots rang out in Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton lay mortally wounded. There is great speculation regarding the incident as many suggest that Hamilton missed on purpose as he was a veteran duelist and a good shot. But there were procedures if one was to desire to not shoot one’s opponent. Hamilton did not follow the procedures. Witnesses could not determine who fired first. But what did happen, is that Burr was forced to stay out of New York for the remainder of his term as murder charges were filed.  For most people, Aaron Burr is now left to nothing more as a footnote to history.   Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, has lived in immortality as the face of the ten dollar bill.  While the duel is probably Burr’s most infamous act, his lesser known final act for history literally made him an enemy of the United States.

Jefferson and Burr At Odds Till the End

If you recall, Burr and Jefferson both had the same number of electoral votes for the 1800 presidential election. The tie went to the House of Representatives who voted for Jefferson only after Tom’s old nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, reluctantly went to bat for the famous statesman.   Hamilton must have really hated Burr for him to vote for Jefferson.  Help from his political rival made Jefferson the President and Burr the Vice-President.  The original Constitution had the second place electoral vote-getter become Vice-President. But that meant that political rivals had to be the team. That obviously created problems and the Constitution was changed. The problem became all too apparent when Burr, as the sitting Vice-President, took out his anger at Hamilton for his support of Jefferson, as well as other items of disagreement, by taking Hamilton to the dueling field.   Even though the murder charge was eventually dropped, the public turned on Burr for his duel and his political career was over in the United States.

Peter Charles Hoffer Wrote About Burr Treason Trials That Had Nothing To Do With the Duel With Hamilton

So, Burr secretly conspired with Britain and Spain to try and set up a new country in the Southwest of what is now the United States and part of Mexico. Of course, Burr would rule the new empire. But, the plot was foiled and Burr went to trial for Treason.  As part of his defense, he had Jefferson, still the sitting President, called to the trial to produce documents that would exonerate him.   On June 13, 1807, President Thomas Jefferson received a subpoena to testify at the treason trial of his former Vice-President, Aaron Burr.   In response to the subpoena, Jefferson cited his right to protect wing up at the trial and he only offered a few of the documents requested.  If Jefferson was trying to send Burr to the gallows it didn’t work because Chief Justice John Marshall declared that the charges were to be dropped due to lack of evidence. 

Tom Jefferson Depicted As Constitutional Destroyer

I’m not a legal historical scholar but I bet that Jefferson’s claim was the precedent for the presidential claim of Executive Priviledge.  Jefferson had also used his position as Commander in Chief to commit US armed forces halfway around the world for the undeclared Barbary Pirate War.  While those two roles of the president seem to pass constitutional muster,  Jefferson’s purchase of the Louisiana Territory and the funding of the Lewis and Clark expedition are seen by some as examples of how Jefferson the President acted perhaps differently than Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence.   So often today, when we hear charges that the President is shredding the Constitution, we hear the name of Jefferson invoked.  Yet, some of Jefferson’s opponents viewed him as the enemy of the Constitution as evidenced by the cartoon showing Jefferson offering the document to the alter of Satan while the eagle tries to grab it from his hand.   

Ukraine legislators sometimes operate like Americans did many years ago

The political battles that go on today may seem rough.  But, they pale in comparison to the political wars that went on almost from the beginning of the nation.  After all, it’s been a long time since we had a Senator pull a gun on another in the Senate chamber.  I don’t recall a Congressman almost beating a Senator to death while the Senator sat behind his Senate chamber desk nor a House member attacking another on the House Floor with a pair of fire tongs.  As President of the Senate, Vice President Martin Van Buren carried a side arm to keep the peace.  It’s been awhile since a sitting Vice-President gunned down the former Secretary of the Treasury and a long time since we had a former VP try to set up his own country.  But we have an a couple of impeachment trials of two presidents…oh…and then there was Vice-President Cheney who while Vice-President did in fact shoot his friend with a shotgun blast.

Weather  Bottom Line:  I”m not exactly sure of the mechanism that brought t’storms to the Southeast of Louisville on Saturday.  Snow White and I were out riding bikes and I told her that I was guessing that it was on the 850 boundary of the cold front that came through Friday.  I explained that they were probably elevated storms without much rain but with gusty winds and hail.  Well, I heard on the news that there was hail and gusty winds with the storms.  However, I saw the cold front analyzed way to the South.  So, its doubtful that it was the 850 front.  But, I also don’t buy the explanation of one guy who said it was an outflow boundary.   As I said, I was out riding bikes so I didn’t do an analysis.  It was something but I’m not sure what it was some sort of subtle feature.  Sunday should be warm and dry.  A cold front approaches on Monday and our rain chances will be elevated for at least the first half of next week.

Abraham Lincoln: No Signature Required
February 1, 2010

No Signature Required

Famous Alexander Gardner Photo of Dead Soldiers at Antietam

On This Date in History:   Many people mistakenly think that the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the United States.  It did not.  The presidential proclamation was announced on September 22, 1862 following the Battle of Antietam.  President Lincoln was a very astute politician and knew, at the outset of the Civil War,  that he could not get support for the war in the North if he said that his goal was to abolish slavery.  He campaigned on a platform of limiting the “peculiar institution” to the states that already allowed it and preventing its inclusion in any new states that were formed in the western territories.  In this way, he knew that the system would “whither on the vine” as it would be impossible for it to continue in just a handful of states.  The slavocracy knew this as well and was the reason why they were willing to secede and go to war, if necessary, with Lincoln’s election.  Lincoln’s war aims were to preserve the Union.

President Lincoln Visited Antietam 2 weeks after announcing Emancipation Proclamation

Old Abe was a pretty smart guy because he knew, using his power as Commander In Chief under Article II section 2 of the Constitution, he could eradicate slavery in the rebellious states as a war measure by saying that since slavery was so prevalent in the Southern economy that it was aiding in the Confederacy’s ability to make war.  But, the early stages of the war didn’t go well for the Union and he felt that he needed to wait for a decisive Union victory before he could make such a proclamation or the public might think it was a desperate, rather than necessary, measure.  While Antietam wasn’t a decisive victory on September 17, 1862, Lincoln figured he better take what he could get because there was no telling when another battle could at least in some way be construed as a Union Victory.  Five days following the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln announced his intention to execute his Executive Order on January 1, 1863.  In this way, it would not be a surprise to anyone. 

Lincoln Skillfully Managed Destruction of Slavery

While the slaves in the rebellious states were declared free, that left the states that remained in the Union that allowed slavery.  But, the stage had been set for the ultimate destruction of slavery.  It would be unthinkable to free the slaves for the war and then enslave them again after the war.  But, that required a constitutional amendment.  The US Senate easily passed the amendment  in April 1864 but the House was being stubborn and after pressure from Lincoln and the Radical Republicans, enough Congressmen were convinced it was in their best interest to vote for passage of the 13th Amendment  that it was adopted by the House on January 31, 1865.  

Note Lincoln's Signature and "approved" In Middle of Amendment

From there it went on to the states for ratification and became the law of the land on December 6 1865.  But, when it went to the state legislatures it had a little something extra…a little lagniappe as they say in Cajun Country.  On This Date in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln for some reason affixed his signature to the amendment next to the word “approved” and the date, February 1, 1865.  What is wrong with this picture?  What’s wrong is that the Constitution does to ask for nor require a presidential signature nor approval for amendments.   Article V merely says that, if Congress wishes to propose and amendment, that 2/3 of both houses of Congress must pass the amendment and then 3/4 of the state legislatures must follow suit.  If presidential approval was needed, then conceivably a president might stand in the way of the will of the people and that’s not good.  It’s unclear why Lincoln chose to approve the amendment except for perhaps the political purpose of making it clear that he fully approved and, since he had just won re-election, that might help persuade legislatures to approve the amendment.  So, Lincoln never lived to see the slavery ended, but he had to have known with the Union victory, that goal had been fulfilled. 

KY Legislative 1837 Resolution Asking For Return of Slaves

Oh, by the way…all the states eventually ratified the 13th Amendment.  Georgia’s ratification on December 6, 1865 secured the 3/4 states needed.  But, Oregon, California and Florida all got it done later in the month and Iowa and New Jersey both did so in January 1866, after New Jersey had rejected it in March of the previous year.  Think that is a surprise…New Jersey first rejected the amendment that ended slavery?  Well, they aren’t the only Union state to reject the 13th amendment.  Delaware and and Kentucky both nixed the idea in February and March of 1865.  Delaware decided to pass it in 1901.  Former Confederate state Texas never rejected it but also didn’t get around to passing it until 1870.   

Law Makers Ponder Tough Decision to Ratify 13th Amendment in 1995

What about Kentucky?  Well, yes…Kentucky did pass the 13th Amendment…in 1976!!  Not to be outdone, the Magnolia State of Mississippi refused to vote for the amendment on December 5, 1865 which, if it had, would have been the vote to put it over the top.  No…Mississippi didn’t want that distinction.  So,  Mississippi waited and waited, until 1995!  Abe didn’t have to sign it but did so over 130 years before Mississippi thought that, even though it didn’t have to pass it, it might be a good idea.  Though, maybe not that good of an idea.    Seems that the “Legislative Highlights” of  the 1995 Mississippi legislature, prepared by the House information office considered it more of a low light as it was listed second to last on the list of accomplishments

Weather Bottom Line:  Generally seasonally chilly conditions this week.  The jetstream flow really doesn’t do anything too dramatic one way or the other.  A little system on Tuesday scoots by to our north.  It’s pretty tough for us to get any snow from a low passing north.  Late in the week into next weekend, there is a some disagreement as a low comes about.  Earlier model runs were showing an upper low back over our area after the parent low scoots by to our east, thus dragging down cold air and giving us a decent chance for some action.  Saw a few inches being kicked out by the GFS earlier.  Most public forecasts are cautious now and not going out on that limb.  Several days out so we’ll have to see how it shakes out.  Not really a slam dunk either way but I betcha we end up with a little something something for Saturday and the highs are colder than most public forecasts.  But, we’ll see.  NWS finally got around to putting out a snowfall graphic from this weekend so I attached it above.  If you like it, call John Gordon at the NWS and tell him you like his artwork!

Corruption, Selling Of Senate Not New w/ Blagojevich
December 11, 2008

Obama/Blagodevich Dec. 2 2008...Obama says he's had "no contact"...that kind of contact would be called a foul in the NBA

Obama/Blagodevich Dec. 2 2008...Obama says he's had "no contact"...That's only not contact in the NBA

The low that brought the storms to our south that I talked about cutting off some of the moisture our way on Tuesday brought a bunch of tornadoes in the deep south.  I’m not sure if I’m statistically correct, but I would wager that the deep south is the most likely place to find tornadoes in the winter so its not unprecedented.  That low will run up the east coast Thursday.  We”ll be chilly and Friday remain cold with maybe even a bit of rain or errant snowflakes.  We turn milder on Sunday.

gay-dayDon’t Got To Work if you are Happy!  In California, it was proposed that people “call in gay” on Wednesday and not show up for work.  It was supposed to show how important gay people were to the work force and society in general.  It was to show support for those opposed to Proposition 8 which recently was passed in California by a majority of voters who want marriage to be defined as between a man and a woman.  I don’t get it.  Happy people are indeed an integral part of society and a happy workforce is a productive workforce and I don’t see how showing how happy you are has anything to do with politics.

Richard J Daley Stirred Up '68 Convention

Richard J Daley Stirred Up '68 Convention

The Blagojevich Senate Seat For Sale Issue Is Not New:  This is another installment of my reasons to not get too worked up over today’s controversies because they’ve happened before and the Republic has survived.

Much has been made in recent days about the “unprecedented” alleged sale of a Senate seat by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  The Constitution initially called for senators from each state to be appointed by elected by state legislatures.  Remember, the founders weren’t too keen on giving the public direct involvement in determining who was in federal office.  Representatives were the only officials elected directly by the people and their terms were limited to just two years.The president is actually elected by the Electoral College, which is not bound by the popular vote to cast their ballots as the public did.  Judges are appointed.  It was feared that if Governors appointed senators, then they could hold out for the highest offer, but they also didn’t trust the public to make a determination.  So, a compromise was reached in which legislators from the state, elected by the people, would be the best to determine the most qualified individuals to represent each state.  It was ascertained that gaining a senate seat unethically would be more difficult when individuals had to face an entire elective body.

Sounds good.  Eventually, the 17th Amendment was passed in 1913 that called for the election of Senators directly by

Does Lorimer Look like a Crook?

Does Lorimer Look like a Crook?

 the people of each state.  Perhaps in response to hijinx in the selection process.  In 1912, Illinois Senator William Lorimer was refused a seat in the Senate by that body because it was found he had paid a bunch of money to just about the entire Illinois legislature.  See, it was commonly thought in the 19th century that rich guys could buy their way into the Senate by doing what Lorimer tried to do.  From 1866 to 1906, six bribery cases were brought in the senate.  In 1899, these two guys had gotten a bundle from their gold mining exploits and thought that they would buy the seat.  Each spread money around the legislature and the process took 17 ballots.  Each time there was another vote, each guy had to pass out more loot to keep the legislators in their respective corners from switching sides.  I wonder if the Montana legislature was running a scam on the scammers because the more votes they had, the more money they made.  Finally, on the last vote, a winner was declared but the Senate refused to seat him and the post remained vacant for two years.

Interestingly, the Lorimer case probably was the tipping point and helped propel the ratifcation of the 17th Amendment the year after the Lorimer monkey business.  While the amendment gave the power directly to the people, it had a clause that brings us to today that read,  “When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.”  Because Senator Obama will soon be President Obama, his seat is open and its left to the Governor to fill the seat and back to the fears of the Founding Fathers.  That’s where Blagodevich comes in.  Curiously, the same situation arises in New York and Delaware with Senator Clinton and Senator Biden giving up their seats, yet…no news of corruption there.

Nope, it’s Illinois.  In recent years, we had Republican Governor George Ryan. He had a long history of corruption charges but he was elected anyway.  In 2003, he “retired” from political life but was then indicted and eventually convicted of fraud charges.  He’s still in jail.  His ouster led to Blagojevich’s rise.  Barack Obama was involved in Blogo’s election in 2002, but recently said he had “no contact” with the embattled governor. (See Details of Questions Involving Obama Blagodevich Relationship) 

He Made Her Do It and GOP Made Him Quit

He Made Her Do It and GOP Made Him Quit

Before that, there was Republican Jack Ryan of Illinois…no relation to George.  He was a good looking, bright, energetic candidate for Senator.  His opponent?  The young man from the Illinois legislature?  Barack Obama.  Ryan’s candidacy was derailed at a late date in the campaign when his divorce records were released to the public.  Earlier in the campaign, both he and his ex-wife, Actress Jeri Ryan, agreed that their divorce records should be unsealed but not the part regarding custody.  A judge in California decided that those records should be released as well and so it was found that Ryan had gotten his wife to go to wild clubs for the intent of having sex in public.  That was the end of him, though it should be noted that neither parent wanted that part released in order to protect their young son.  Nevermind…politics trumps the kids!  The Republicans literally dropped in Alan Keyes, from Maryland, to take Ryan’s place but Illinoisians weren’t about to vote for a guy who parachuted in to their state and Obama won in a landslide.

Of course, we have the recent allegations of Obama associations with controversial Chicago figures such as William Ayers (Weatherundeground admitted domestic terrorist) and Rev. Jeremiah Wright as well as convicted felon Tony Rezco.    But, to be fair, it seems like its tough to be a politician

Felon Still Picking Up Nice Congressional Pension

Felon Still Picking Up Nice Congressional Pension

from either party without running into questionable characters.  We had the controversial Chicago Mayor Richard J Daley.  Now we have his son, controversial Mayor Richard M. Daley…this guy knows Obama too.  Not long ago, there was Democrat Illinois Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, who was indicted on 17 felony charges, including embezzlement of nearly $700,000 of taxpayer and campaign funds (Remember the stamps?)  He served 15 months in prison before being pardoned by President Clinton.  Today he pockets something in the neighborhood of $100,000 a year from his congressional pension.

We could go on…at least back to Al Capone and all of the judges, police officials and political figures that he paid off…but I won’t.  But, I would suggest that Illinois can give Louisiana a run for its money (bad pun) as the poster state for corruption…or at least corruption known.

President Invokes Imaginary Right to Avoid Subpoena ; Non-Imaginary Severe Threat Friday
June 13, 2008

Here is the Thursday afternoon update from the SPC regarding the severe threat for Friday into Saturday morning.  If you notice the highest probability’s location, you will see that it is along the path of an upper low or MCS that is expected to develop in Kansas and move into Missouri before swinging up toward the Ohio Valley.  This should happen in the heat of the late afternoon and evening.  As it moves up along the frontal boundary that is approaching from the west, it will enhance the severe weather threat.  What it will also do is keep the front moving slowly so rain totals will continue to be a problem in the Midwest.  The storm risk area ends just to the east of Louisville because we get into the late hours Friday night and early Saturday when the storms approach the Metro.  The storms should be on the downside of their life-cycle but we could see line segments or bow echoes that would produce gusty winds.  Bow echoes are also known to produce weak, short lived but dangerous tornadoes.  The track of the upper low and the slow moving nature of the front could also amplify the rain amounts over southern Indiana. For that reason, a Flash Flood Watch was issued on Thursday, taking effect Friday afternoon through 4 AM on Saturday.  AS the low moves by, the front will get energized and move through Kentucky fairly quickly so inordinate amounts of rain are not likely, but heavy downpours are still possible.  I’ll try to bring updates along.

On This Date In History:  On this date in 1807, President Thomas Jefferson received a subpoena to testify at the treason trial of his former Vice-President, Aaron Burr.  If you recall, Burr and Jefferson both had the same number of electoral votes for the 1800 presidential election.  The tie went to the House of Representatives who voted for Jefferson only after Tom’s old nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, reluctantly went to bat for the famous statesman.  That made Jefferson the President and Burr the Vice-President.  The original Constitution had the second place electoral vote-getter become Vice-President.  But that meant that political rivals had to be the team.  That obviously created problems and the Constitution was changed.  The problem became all too apparent when Burr, as the sitting Vice-President, took out his anger at Hamilton for his support of Jefferson, as well as other items of disagreement, by taking Hamilton to the dueling field.  Burr killed the Revolutionary Hero and a warrant was issued for the Vice-President’s arrest for murder.  Burr fled until the charges were dropped.

Well, Burr wasn’t done.  His political career was over in the United States as the public turned on him for his duel.  So, he secretly conspired with Britain and Spain to try and set up a new country in the Southwest of what is now the United States and part of Mexico.  Of course, Burr would rule the new empire.  But, he plot was foiled and he went to trial for Treason.  As part of his defense, he had Jefferson, still the sitting President, called to the trial to produce documents that would exonerate him.  But, Jefferson cited his right to protect the public interest as reason for not showing up at the trial and he only offered a few of the documents requested.  If Jefferson was trying to send Burr to the gallows it didn’t work because Chief Justice John Marshall declared that the charges were to be dropped due to lack of evidence.

Now, I’m not sure why the Chief Justice was involved unless somehow an appeal was made to the Supreme Court or if the judicial system was different then.  But, I do know that this is another of a number of instances in which President Jefferson simply ignored the Constitution to suit his needs. On these here pages, we’ve talked about the undeclared Barbary Pirate War which I suppose set the precedent for other undeclared conflicts to come and the funding of the Lewis and Clark expedition as examples of how Jefferson the President acted perhaps differently than Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence.  So often today, when we hear charges that the President is shredding the Constitution, we hear the name of Jefferson invoked….when in fact, Jefferson is hardly the one who should be upheld as the President who held the Constitution without contempt.


Derby Forecast May Not Be A Winner-Ellen, Chandra, Casey and George
April 30, 2008

Casey Jones


What I’ve been suggesting for the weather to wind up the Derby Festival activities is pretty much still supportable. We still warm up today to the upper 60’s to low 70’s for the Parade. We still move to around 80 or so for the Parade Thursday and the front still approaches for Friday. Most of Oaks Day should be warm, humid and breezy but pop up showers or even t’showers may be on the prowl ahead of the front on Friday afternoon. Then the main event shows up for Friday night. The severe prospects will probably be limited due to the timing of the front and be mainly west but the SPC has us in the eastern flank of the severe risk for Friday into Saturday morning.  There will be pretty good available energy and decent dynamics and that is why they have us in the risk but its also on the edge because of the timing.

 Rain will be possible for Saturday morning. Now, there also continues to be a suggestion, perhaps even more suggestive than yesterday, that we have a situation on Saturday similar to what we had on Monday. That is that a low pivots around the main low and swings through on Saturday afternoon. It’s a pool of cold air aloft and that would possibly trigger afternoon showers and t’showers. This may actually be a better chance than on Monday because our surface temperatures will be in the low to mid 70’s and not 60. That will increase the likelihood of increased lapse rates which would enhance rain/t’storm chances. This guy will act as a cold front and bring in cooler air for Sunday, though probably not as chilly as we had for Tuesday. So, the forecast is still not in the winner’s circle…maybe place but most would probably consider it call it to show.

On This Date In History: I found a source that claims that Jesus of Nazareth died on this date around 30 AD, but I haven’t been able to get corroborating evidence so take that for what its worth.

George Washington took office for the first time in 1789. I’m a bit shady on why it was April 30 and not March 4 as the Constitution outlined but my shady memory makes me want to say it was due to transportation issues. It was a long and slow journey from Mt. Vernon to New York, the provisional Capitol. In fact, if I recall correctly, John Adams was sworn in as Vice President before President Washington took his oath. Some sources claim that means that Adams was really the first president since he would assume presidential duties in the absence of a president. 100 years later, George was honored with the nations first national holiday on this date in 1889. Then, perhaps not coincidentally, on this date in 1931, the George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey was opened.

Casey Jones died on this date in 1900. His real name was John Luther Jones but when he took the job as a flagman for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and someone asked him where he was from and he said Cayce, Kentucky. The men started calling him Cayce and that turned into “Casey.” He became an engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad and was driving the Cannonball Run, which was a generic term for fast trains, from Chicago to New Orleans. He was behind schedule so he had his fireman, Sim Webb to open it up. Casey had a reputation for going too fast and also for the way he handled his train whistle. People would hear the way he manipulated the tootling and say “there goes Casey Jones.” So, he’s flying along at between 75 and 100 mph in driving his passenger train when he comes around a curve and sees a freight train stopped ahead of him. He tells Webb to jump as he applies the brakes and toots the whistle. Webb jumps and Jones plows into the caboose of the freight train. They say that he had managed to slow his train down to 35 mph, thus saving all of the passengers but he was killed. The myth is that he was found with one hand clutching the whistle and the other the brake. His watch stopped at 3:52 AM and his action is credited with saving the lives of all of the passengers. The reason he was behind schedule is that he had already driven a northbound train to Memphis and decided to make another run southbound because the engineer scheduled called in sick. In spite of the heroic lore that has followed his name, an investigation concluded that he was largely to blame for driving too fast.

Remember Chandra Levy? This was the last day she was seen alive in 2001. There was a big investigation into her murder with suspicion being focused on Congressman Gary Condit. Remember it was all over the news, day and night all summer. That is until Sept. 11, 2001 and suddenly the media dropped it has fast as they picked it up. That was also the summer of “shark attacks” that suddenly wasn’t so important by mid September.

And on this date in 1997, Ellen DeGeneres “came out” on her TV show. It was all the controversy. There was on station in Alabama that refused to run the episode on TV.

Oh…one other thing. Thomas Jefferson violated the Constitution on this date in 1803 when the US government paid $15 million to France for Louisiana on this date in 1803. It was a good deal but the Constitution doesn’t give the Executive the power to do such a thing without Congressional approval. But expediency trumped the rule of law and no one said a thing.