saint columba - great britain stamp - chrisdorney - shutterstock - this one a

This Day in History – August 22nd – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight


NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.




565 – St. Columba confronts the Loch Ness Monster.

While out spreading the gospel, Columba stood at the banks of the River Ness, which flowed out of Loch Ness. He saw a boat on the other side and ordered one of his monks to swim across and get it for him. Halfway across the monk was confronted by a huge monster roaring toward him. On the shore, Columba made the sign of the cross and speaking in a commanding voice to the monster, ordered “You will go no further! Do not touch that man! Leave at once!” Thereby chastised, the monster dove to the depths of the loch and the monk was saved. The act typifies St. Columba. This is from the National Catholic Register. “Among his lengthy miracle résumé, Columba prophesied regularly and cured the sick, disabled and lame. Once, when he didn’t have wine for Mass, he miraculously changed water into wine. The monk also produced water from a rock, calmed storms at sea, conversed liberally with angels, subdued savage beasts (like boars and serpents), provided several fishermen with a bounteous catch of fish and brought peace to warring factions. He also multiplied a herd of cattle to the joy of the herd’s owner and exorcised demons without batting an eye. In addition, a divine light seemed to follow him wherever he went.”

There you go. With that kind of credible, and holy, witness, how can any right-minded person deny the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. Now if only some Saint would personally see Bigfoot.


1962 – Assassination attempt on French President Charles de Gaulle.

Twelve gunmen opened fire on a car carrying de Gaulle and his wife. Led by Jean Bastien-Thiry, an air force colonel, they were part of a nationalist movement that was upset because de Gaulle had granted independence to Algeria. The car was riddled with bullets and two bodyguards were killed but de Gaulle and his wife escaped unhurt. Bastien-Thiry was captured, tired and executed, the last man to be executed by a firing squad in France. An appeal for clemency was considered but denied by de Gaulle. During the trial Bastien-Thiry had mocked de Gaulle and while the French president could forgive an attempt on his life, ridiculing him went too far.

Patriotism, nationalism, and ego are all at play here, almost always a deadly mix.


1965 – Juan Marichal hits John Roseboro on the head with a bat.

In the midst of a pennant race, there was an intense rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Roseboro was a catcher for the Dodgers and Marichal a pitcher for the Giants. There had already been some knockdown pitches thrown when Marichal came to bat in the third inning. Throwing the ball back to Sandy Koufax, the Dodgers pitcher, Roseboro purposely threw it close to Marichal’s head. Marichal later claimed it clipped his ear. The two men confronted one another, angry words were exchanged, and Marichal swung down on Roseboro’s head with his bat. “All hell broke loose” is an appropriate cliche for what took place next, one of the ugliest brawls in baseball history. It could have even been worse but for the actions of Willie Mays. Although he was on the opposing team, he tended to Roseboro’s wound and helped calm everybody down.

Roseboro and Marichal, oddly enough, later in life, became close friends. Marichal was an honorary pallbearer and speaker at Roseboro’s funeral in 2002.

All’s were that ends well, I guess.



1893 – Dorothy Parker.

Writer. Parker was a critic for “The New Yorker” and also contributed poetry and short fiction to the magazine. She was a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, a literary gathering that included such notables of the time as Robert Benchley, James Thurber, Harpo Marx, Edna Ferber and others.

Though talented, Parker led a difficult life. As a child both her mother and then her stepmother died, an uncle went down on the Titanic, and her father died the same year. Her troubles continued into adulthood and she suffered from depression and alcoholism, leading her to attempt suicide several times. (Read her poem: “Resume.”) Parker became a socialist as a young woman and later was a civil rights activist. She worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood for a while but her politics got her blacklisted.

Parker died of a heart attack in 1967. In her will she left her estate to Martin Luther King, Jr. After his murder, that estate was turned over to the NAACP.

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for one of those early gatherings of the Algonquin Round Table. I did go to the hotel bar there one time and had a beer.


1902 –  Leni Riefenstahl.

Film director, actress and photographer. Riefenstahl’s life, and art, was filled with controversy. Her groundbreaking techniques in “Triumph of the Will” and “Olympia” won her attention throughout the world. Unfortunately for her, “Triumph of the Will” was viewed as more of a propaganda film than an artistic achievement. The film was both praised for innovative style and condemned for subject matter.  She was criticized for the rest of her life for promoting the Nazis. She remained unapologetic, claiming she was just a filmmaker, not a Nazi. Although jailed for a time after the war by both the Americans and the French, she was never charged with any crimes. However neither was she ever able to restart her career as a film director. She turned to still photography and made that her livelihood. Ray Müller, director of the documentary The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl, said “Her talent was her tragedy.” To the end of her life, she lived to be 101, she was unrepentant about being a “fellow traveler” with the Nazis, claiming she knew nothing about the death camps.

Fascinating woman, but really? Along with the rest of the German people, how could she not?


1908 – Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Photographer and filmmaker. Cartier-Bresson was a Frenchman who traveled much of the world taking photographs. He is credited with pioneering what now is known as street photography. During the Spanish Civil War he co-directed an anti-fascist film and at the start of WWII he joined the French army. Captured as France fell, he spent thirty-five months in a German POW camp before escaping. He made his way back to France and participated in the underground resistance against the Nazi occupation. Cartier-Bresson was friends with two other famous photographers, Robert Capa and David Seymour, and together they formed Magnum, a cooperative for photographers. In the 1970s he began to retire from taking pictures and began painting instead, stating that he had said all he could through photography. He remained an artist until he died in 2004 at age 95.

A contemporary of Riefenstahl, but unlike her, he stood on the right side.



At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at



The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers.



We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

*  Lead-In Image – Saint Columba (stamp) – chrisdorney / – “GREAT BRITAIN – CIRCA 1997: A used postage stamp from the UK, celebrating the life of Saint Columba – an Irish Abbot and Missionary credited with spreading Christianity.”

great britain stamp - saint columba - chrisdorney - Shutterstock - embed

* Juan Marichal (video) – Mr. Misty Eyed /

* Dorothy Parker (video) – i24NEWS English /

* Henri Cartier-Bresson (video) – Niels Tacoma /

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio /



December 2

* December 5

* December 9

December 11

December 12

* December 15

December 16

December 18 

December 22

December 23

December 24

December 28

* December 30

* January 3

January 4

January 6

January 7

January 10

* January 11

* January 14

January 15

January 16

January 19

January 21

January 22

January 24

January 25

January 29

January 30

February 1

February 3 

February 5

February 6

* February 9

* February 10

* February 11

February 14

February 15

February 18

February 20

February 21

February 24

February 25

February 28

March 2

March 3

March 6

March 9

March 10

March 12

* March 14

March 16

March 17

March 19

March 20

March 21

March 23

March 26

March 27

March 29

March 31

April 2

April 3

April 6

April 7

April 11

* April 12

April 13

April 18

April 19

April 22

April 23

April 25

April 28

April 29

May 2

May 3

* May 4

May 6

May 8

May 9

May 10

May 13

* May 17

May 18

May 19

May 23

* May 24

May 26

* May 28

May 29

June 1

June 2

June 3

June 8

June 9

June 10

June 15

June 17

June 18

June 19

June 21

June 23

June 24

June 28

June 29

June 30

July 2

* July 3

July 6

July 12

July 13

July 15

July 18

July 19

July 22

July 23

July 25

July 27

July 30

* July 31

August 3

August 4

August 7

August 10

August 11

August 14

August 16

August 17

* August 18

* August 21

August 24

August 25

* August 28

August 31

September 2

September 5

September 6

September 8

September 11

September 12

September 15

September 16 

September 17

September 21

September 23

September 24

September 25

September 28

September 30

October 1

October 3

October 7

October 10

October 12

October 14

* October 16

October 18

October 24

October 25

October 27

October 28

October 30

November 3

* November 4

November 5

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 13

November 14

November 16

* November 17

November 19

November 20

November 23

November 28

November 30

* Stay tuned for more!