It’s Johnny’s Birthday

Once again, it is John Lennon’s birthday.

I always remember it, and not the other Beatles’ birthdays, not merely because it comes six days after my own. It’s because of Nueve de Octubre, and that looms large because when I was a schoolboy in Ecuador, we always got a whole week off for it — while only getting a day and a half for Christmas.

At the time, I thought that it was Ecuadorean Independence Day. I mean, it would have to be at least that, right — who would take off a whole week for anything less?1024px-Escudo_de_Guayas.svg

But it turns out that it’s only when the province of Guayas, which contained the city of Guayaquil — where I lived — declared its independence from Spain. Not the whole country.

Bonus fact ripped from today’s headlines: Guayaquil is now effectively the capital of Ecuador, since unrest in Quito caused el presidente to have to relocate the seat of government.

Now you know.

Let’s close with one of John’s better songs…

5 thoughts on “It’s Johnny’s Birthday

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, The Washington Post gets it wrong, repeatedly:

    Ecuadoran President Lenín Moreno moved his government out of the capital as protests against his austerity measures continued to grow on Tuesday…

    One person has died, dozens have been injured and more than 500 arrested in the demonstrations that began after Moreno withdrew a fuel subsidy that helped Ecuadorans buy gasoline….

    There’s no such word as “Ecuadoran.” It’s “Ecuadorean,” or sometimes “Ecuadorian.”…

  2. Mark Stewart

    Last time I left Quito it was to a general strike and burning piles of tires, and crushing crowds at the airport wanting to just go anywhere else – that was in 1999 or 2000. The people in Quito seemed used to the idea that chaos was always just around the corner.

    It was striking to me at the time. Now I get their outlook.

  3. Tom E Stickler

    For once “It’s” is used correctly — as a contraction of “it is” rather than incorrectly as a third-person singular possessive pronoun (as seen in the more recent post above).

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