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Calendar for August 17th, 2014

Cat Nights Begin

The term “Cat Nights” harks back to a rather obscure old Irish legend concerning witches and the belief that a witch could turn herself into a cat eight times, but on the ninth time (August 17), she couldn’t regain her human form. This bit of folklore also gives us the saying, “A cat has nine lives.” Because August is a yowly time for cats, this may have prompted the speculation about witches on the prowl in the first place.


  • Born 1786: Davy Crockett (frontiersman)

  • 1800s

  • 1807: The Clermont, a steamboat designed by Robert Fulton , departed NYC heading to Albany

  • 1830s

  • 1835: Solyman Merrick granted wrench patent

  • 1850s

  • 1859: First official U.S. airmail was carried by balloon

  • 1870s

  • 1877: Blacksmith F.P. Cahill fatally wounded by Billy the Kid

  • 1880s

  • Born 1882: Samuel Goldwyn (producer)

  • 1890s

  • Born 1893: Mae West (actress)

  • 1910s

  • Born 1913: Rudy York (baseball player)

  • 1920s

  • Born 1920: Maureen O'Hara (actress)

  • 1930s

  • 1939: The Wizard of Oz made its east coast premiere in NYC. It was the first film to use a combination of both black and white and color film

  • 1940s

  • Born 1943: Robert DeNiro (actor)

  • 1945: Indonesia proclaimed itself independent from the Netherlands

  • 1950s

  • Born 1958: Belinda Carlisle (singer)

  • 1960s

  • Born 1960: Sean Penn (actor)

  • Born 1969: Donnie Wahlberg (actor)

  • 1970s

  • Died 1979: Vivian Vance (actress)

  • 1980s

  • Died 1983: Ira Gershwin (songwriter)

  • Born 1983: Dustin Pedroia (baseball player)

  • 1990s

  • Died 1990: Pearl Bailey (singer)

  • 2000s

  • 2002: Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center opened in Santa Rosa, CA

  • Died 2003: Connie Reeves (America's oldest cowgirl at 101 died 12 days after being thrown from her horse, Dr. Pepper. She was one of the first women to study law at the University of Texas and she started one of Texas' first girls' drill teams)

  • 2008: U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps became the first person to win eight gold medals in a single Olympics

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