Piano Month / V.J. Day

Piano Month

Month of September

The piano was invented in Italy in 1709 by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori. The piano was originally called the pianoforte because of its ability to play notes both quietly (piano) and loudly (forte). The harpsichords that came before were only able to play softly. The piano has over 12,000 parts, 10,000 of which are moving. It has an enormous number of small pieces that need to work perfectly to get the sound that you want out of the instrument. There are 230 strings needed for a piano to make its full range of sound. The strings are made of steel and produce their sound when struck by tiny hammers inside the piano. Each string usually holds about 170 pounds of tension. This is one of the reasons why piano tuning is a job for a specialist. The range of the piano goes from the lowest note you can play on a double-bassoon to the highest note you can play on a piccolo. That is an entire orchestral range in one instrument.

V.J. Day

September 2

The United States fought in WWII for 3 years, 8 months and 7 days. The U.S. officially entered the war when Japanese bombed the Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. Japan’s surrender was announced on August 14, 1945, and the formal surrender was on Sept. 2, the date we call V.J. Day. The photo above was published a week after VJ Day in Life Magazine. The sailor depicted in the photograph was later discovered to be veteran George Mendonsa who was on a date with his current wife, Rita Petry, before they were married.  However, she was not the other subject of the famous photograph. Mendonsa and Petry had been at a bar, and when they were leaving, he saw the nurse. Out of instinct, Mendonsa grabbed the nurse, dipped her and gave her the kiss. Petry says she was in the background grinning and that it didn’t matter to her. Greta Friedman, the widely-suspected nurse in the photograph, reflected that the kiss wasn’t romantic—it was a celebration of the end of the war.

Today’s Birthdays of Note….

Keanu Reeves – Actor – born in Beirut, Lebanon

Terry Bradshaw – Pro Football Hall of Fame and Sports TV Analyst – born in Shreveport, Louisiana


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