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Wednesday, October 1, 2014


The first day of October is a rather important day in history:
  • In 1891 Stanford University first opened.  Amazingly enough, my high school, McKinley, in Honolulu, is much older, 150 years old, in fact, beginning in 1865.  As William McKinley did not become President of the United States until 1897 (he was assassinated in 1901), we started as the Fort Street English Day School.  As President McKinley influenced the annexation of Hawaii, in 1907, when the school was moved to the present site, it was renamed McKinley High School.  My graduating class had around 850 students in 1958.  Today, only 450/class.
  • 1903 saw the first World Series, Boston Americans vs Pittsburg Pirates.  The 2014 Pirates are today playing the San Francisco Giants in a wild card game.  The WCG between the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics yesterday was the most exciting in the history of the game.  KC won, but how they did it was through a series of near miracles.  The last time they were in the Major League Baseball playoffs was 1985, and they won the World Series.  It's a long road, though, for if the seventh game is played, that will be October 29, and it has been known to approach 32 F in D.C. on that day.
  • Henry Ford first sold his Model T in 1908 for $825, which would be about $21,000 today. That is Ford with his Model T, which was known as the "Tin Lizzie," for Lizzie was then a slang term for faithful servant.  This car was sold for twenty years, with 15 million rolling off the assembly line, and was replaced by the Model A.
  • The People's Republic of China was established in 1949, headed by Mao Zedong.  Well, they misnamed themselves, as the country should instead have been called the Communist Party Dictatorship of China, for they are today being challenged for democracy by the people of Hong Kong.  An umbrella has become the symbol for freedom, with Tony Christie's Tie a Yellow Ribbon said to be the theme song.  He never did have a hit with this song, but he is British, and Hong Kong once belonged to the United Kingdom.  Tony Orlando with Dawn first made this tune popular in 1973 when yellow ribbons were tied around any tree (although an ole oak tree was the correct one) to welcome back fighting troops.  Actually, the lyrics are about a criminal leaving prison. While there is no link to China, John Wayne did also in 1949 star in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
  • In 1964, Japan's bullet train, the Shinkansen, first began high-speed service between Tokyo and Osaka, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics.  It has carried 10 billion people with ZERO passenger fatalities.  While the highest normal speed is 200 MPH, this train has reached 275 MPH and 361 MPH on their experimental maglev system.  I purchased a one week Japan Rail Pass to see the fall colors next month.  Get the Green Car option, and you can only purchase this bargain outside of Japan.
  • What some consider to be the best sport event in history  (mind you, there are detractors) occurred in the Philippines, the Thrilla in Manila, Ali-Frazier III, when the referee stopped the fight for Ali after the 14th round.     It was 1975, Ferdinand Marcos was still running the country, Ali's mistress caused a scandal, Ali kept calling Frazier a gorilla, the ringside temperature was 120 goes on and on.  WATCH THE WHOLE FIGHT HERE, all 51 minutes in almost high definition color.  Sorry for those irritating boxes.  Joe Frazier passed away at the age of  67 from liver cancer, while Muhammed Ali is 72 and suffering from Parkinson's Disease.
There is more to October 1, but let me end with the stock market.  Four of the worst days have occurred in the month of October, with #2 on 15 October 2008 seeing the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 733, and #1 on 29 September 2008 at minus 778.  That was only six years ago, at which time I bought.  I did exceptionally well and recently sold everything anticipating the worst this year or next.  The Dow dropped 238 today.   The Depression of 1929 began in October. Watch out!

Well, Phanfone is now a typhoon at 95 MPH, expected to strengthen into a Category 4, and the current track has moved closer to Japan, with landfall now expected over  Yokohama!


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