17 June

The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York

Manhattan (Sweet)

So we are drinking a...

Manhattan (Sweet)

This day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty appeared in New York City's harbour for the first time, on board a French naval frigate. For her transatlantic journey, the 151-foot statue, already a year old, had been disassembled and divided between more than 200 packing cases.

The Americans rebuilt the statue into her current iconic form. And on 28th October 1886, after the last rivet had been fitted, one of the world's most recognizable icons took her place on Bedloe's Island. When Ellis Island, next door, became the prime reception point for migrants to the United States, the Statue of Liberty became the international symbol of New York, the sight that first greeted optimistic voyagers to the land of the free.

Today, we will be enjoying - what else? - a Manhattan, served in our preferred style, Sweet.

Today is also Icelandic Independence Day

Today is Iceland's National Day, commemorating Iceland's independence from Denmark in 1944, and also a famous day for rain.

Icelanders will be marking today with parades through towns, some of them headed by Iceland's stumpy little ponies, and others by hopefully less stumpy boy scouts, and, one assumes, ample consumption of the national spirit, Brennivin, AKA Black Death.

We are huge fans of this island nation, notwithstanding the problems its banks and volcanoes have caused in recent years, a climate that makes Britain look positively balmy, and a range of traditional dishes that include rotten shark, acid-cured seal flippers, sheep's heads and rams' testicles.

And so we are toasting Iceland, and Icelanders, with an aptly named, but atypically palatable, Dry Ice Martini.

Today is also the anniversary of the OJ Simpson car chase

On 17th June 1994, America watched, hypnotised, as a white Ford Bronco cruised slowly down the Los Angeles freeway with the police in gentle pursuit. Al Cowlings, at the time a retired American footballer, now forever the man who drove in the OJ car chase, was at the wheel. And OJ Simpson was lying in the back seat, with a gun to his forehead.

A star American footballer turned sports commentator, actor and corporate public speaker was on the verge, it seemed, of killing himself, after being accused of the murder of his ex-wife and her male friend. A slow-motion disaster happening in real time, and real life, it proved a precursor to reality TV.

Simpson was acquitted for the killings of his ex-wife and Ron Goldman - although he lost a civil case brought by Goldman's family, and wrote a quite spectacularly incriminating book entitled If I Did It. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison for crimes including kidnapping and armed robbery but was released 1st October 2017.

We're marking this anniversary, a sign of how even the mighty can fall far, with a Blood Sage, created by Seattle's Ryan Magarian.

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