On This Day….

On Sept. 9, 1776, the second Continental Congress made the name United States official, replacing United Colonies.
On this date:

In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union.

In 1926, the National Broadcasting Co. was created by the Radio Corporation of America.

In 1943, Allied forces landed at Salerno and Taranto during World War II.

In 1948, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea (news – web sites)) was created.

In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of three appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

In 1957, President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction.

In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y., beginning a siege that ended up claiming 43 lives.

In 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung died in Beijing at age 82.

In 1993, PLO leaders and Israel agreed to recognize each other, clearing the way for a peace accord.

In 1997, Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland’s future.

Ten years ago: The United States agreed to accept at least 20,000 Cuban immigrants a year in return for Cuba’s promise to halt the flight of refugees. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said they would not seek the death penalty against O.J. Simpson. The space shuttle Discovery blasted off on an 11-day mission.

Five years ago: Former Republican Sen. John Danforth opened an independent inquiry into the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. A massive explosion tore apart a Moscow apartment building, killing about 100 people. Israel released 199 Palestinian security prisoners as part of a new peace deal. Baseball Hall-of-Fame pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter died in Hertford, N.C., at age 53. Actress Ruth Roman died in Laguna Beach, Calif., at age 75.

One year ago: The Boston Roman Catholic Archdiocese agreed to pay $85 million to 552 people to settle clergy sex abuse cases. France’s leading undertaker estimated the country’s death toll from a summer heat wave at 15,000. Twin Palestinian suicide bombings killed 16 Israelis. Nuclear scientist Edward Teller died at age 95.

Leaving on Saturday

I’ll try to update the site while I’m gone to France to watch the tour. I’ll be keeping a diary of the sites, sounds, etc. and I’ll certainly want to note my mileage. I’ll take plenty of pictures, too.

Here’s a blog written by a guy that works for Velo Echappe, the tour company who will cart me around for the 9 days I’ll be in France. While I think he should stick to wrenching for the bike shop, I like that he’s writing a lot. I’m looking forward to meeting him and comparing notes. And, yes, I’d like his “scout” job, pre-riding the stages, looking for good viewing spots.