I recently decided to look up things that happened in the world on the day of my birth, August 14, 1979.
I found it fitting that, as I was born under the sign of the sun, my birthday was heralded by a solar flare.
According to a brief item in the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (Vol. 12, p.515), the solar flare (or “coronal transient”) that occurred that day was the “fastest and most massive solar event that we have observed yet with the Solwind coronagraph.
“The two sides of its lateral expansion showed remarkable and contrasting behavior. The northern boundary expanded through a large range of position angles (~70 degrees) as if this lateral movement were unrestricted. The southern boundary terminated abruptly along an edge whose lateral motion was relatively small. We are considering the possibility that the southward expansion may have been limited by the magnetic field in a nearby, large, southern-hemisphere coronal hole.”
I wonder if this had any connection to the UFO sighting recorded in Canada, “possibly more of a spiralling vortex like an intelligent eye to another realm.” Or the freak storm that struck during a yacht race in the Irish Sea, killing 15.
Overall, though, it was a pretty average Tuesday. Just ask Jimmy Carter, who had a fairly uneventful day at the White House. He woke up at 5:30AM, had a few meetings and made some calls. He ate lunch with his wife. Later, while I was being born at 5:54PM, he went jogging with her. That night, his family watched the movie “For A Few Dollars More,” the second installment of the rivalry between The Man in Black and the Man With No Name.
Back in Boston, it was cloudy with a high of 75. This relatively mild summer day, however, came a couple of weeks after a 90+ heat wave that drove my mother, heavily pregnant with my brother and I, into Beth Israel Hospital with preeclampsia, high blood pressure and a host of potential complications. But the weather was clear enough for baseball at Fenway Park, the cheering crowd within earshot of the hospital. The Red Sox won 12-1, with stellar pitching by Dennis Eckersley and three hits apiece by Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk and Butch Hobson.
Their opponent? The Minnesota Twins.