Sept. 15: A day of insignificance

The Research Department, to no one’s surprise, has grown weary of the newsmongering profession, particularly the breathless sort that requires a dark suit and way too much makeup.

Even avoiding the television as much as possible, the R.D. has found itself with frayed nerves and jangled emotions, searching for a little peace. Therefore, it was very happy to discover that today, Sept. 15, happens to be utterly unremarkable.

Nothing of significance happened on Sept. 15 anywhere in history. It is a day free of connotations, celebrations, depredations, and insurrections. What a relief!

Sept. 15 lurks in the unfashionable end of the calendar, nowhere near a major holiday.

It is the 258th day of the year, at least this year. (Thanks to February’s calendric uncertainties, it can be the 259th, too.)

If you’re counting, there are only 101 shopping days until Christmas. For that matter, there are only 56 shopping days until Halloween, so get that candy while you still can.

On this day, nobody particularly famous was born. The best we can do is Dan Marino, the former Miami Dolphins quarterback who was upstaged by a “real” dolphin in the first Ace Ventura movie.

Dan shares a birthday with Amanda Penix, Miss Oklahoma Teen America of 1997, and James Fenimore Cooper, whose novel “Last of the Mohicans” might win a title for Most Undistinguished American Novel.

Samuel Horsley was born on this day in 1733; we have no idea who he was, and that’s the way we like it.

Nothing significant happened on Sept. 15. Oh, sure, the Texas Rangers retired Nolan Ryan’s jersey, but that hardly calls for national upheaval.

Pope John Paul had lunch with Yasser Arafat, the Lone Ranger television series premiered, and Tropical Storm Julia was upgraded to hurricane status.

Nikita Khrushchev arrived in the United States for a visit that would end in a tantrum, and Lost in Space broadcast its first episode. Coincidence? Without a doubt.

In 1620, the English ship Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, bound for Nowhere, America, (which got named Plymouth apparently because no one had any imagination.) This was not the first time the ship had made the attempt, so it’s hard to get all worked up about it.

Other historical events include Napoleon’s arrival, 192 years later, in Moscow, and Soyuz 22’s arrival, 356 years later, in outer space.

A search for Sept. 15 tragedies revealed that William Huskisson became, in 1830, the first human to be run over by a train. In 59 (a tough year for the Romans) Publius Quinctilius Varus, the viceroy of Syria, committed suicide after he lost three whole legions of his own men in a border skirmish.

That’s about it unless you want to count the Yankees clinching the pennant in 1947.

Of things that happened for the first time on Sept. 15, there is a positive dearth.

In 1854, the first woman minister was ordained; we do not know by whom, nor are we going to delve into this further.

Rochester, N.Y., had its first official milk goat show in 1913, something that someone, somewhere thought was important enough to write down. No word on which goat won.

Bangladesh won the ACC trophy for cricket, Magic Johnson got married, and Sandra Haynie won a charity golf tournament.

It’s sort of amazing, actually, just how undistinguished the 15th of September is. The Research Department believes that it should be honored.

We should petition Congress to name Sept. 15 National Nondescript Day, a day to celebrate the average in all of us. We could have one beer, eat half a hot-dog, and drink some decaf.

On National Nondescript Day, we could all go to bed at 8:30. After the last few weeks of hurricanes and hand-wringing, the Research Department knows we could all use the sleep.



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