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Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Lincoln’

I was 79 years old on October 15, 2018. Thanks to the internet, that was not even a glimmer in anyone’s eye or imagination when I was born, an old man my age on the day I was born would have been born on the day 11-year-old Grace Bedell writes to Abraham Lincoln telling him to grow a beard.

Other notable events that happened on October 15 over the past 2000 years are:

  1. Byzantine general Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals.
  2. King Henry VIII of England orders bowling lanes at Whitehall
  3. Asser Levy granted butcher’s license (kosher meat) in New Amsterdam
  4. 1st American fishing magazine, American Angler published
  5. “Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams is published by Harper & Brothers
  6. Shelley Taylor of Australia makes fastest swim ever around Manhattan Island, doing it in 6 hours 12 minutes 29 seconds

So, if you want to celebrate my birthday, grow a beard, conquer some Vandals, go bowling, eat some kosher sausage, go fishing, have a swim or write a book or at least read one and above all VOTE.

On my birthday this year, my estranged son, among other more sordid invectives, called me a “political hack.” While some of his more scurrilous accusations may be true that certainly is not. I “was” a political hack, now I am just an old hack with regrets.

Some additional notable events that occurred on my birthday, October 15, during the 16th and 17th Centuries:

1552 Khanate of Kazan is conquered by troops of Ivan Grozny.
1581 Commissioned by Catherine De Medici, the 1st ballet “Ballet Comique de la Reine” is staged in Paris
1582 Many Catholic countries switch to the Gregorian calendar, skip 10 days
1598 Spanish general strategist Bernardino de Mendoza occupies fort Rhine
1641 Paul de Chomedy de Maisonneuve claims Montreal
1654 Prince Willem III appointed viceroy of Overijssel
1655 Jews of Lublin are massacred
1674 Torsåker witch trials begin, largest witch trials in Sweden, 71 beheaded and burned

All and all, not very good or notable days.

Note also, on the day I was born in 1939:

1939 LaGuardia Airport opened in NYC
1939 Yeshiva of Mir closed after 124 years

So on my next birthday raise a glass to LaGuardia (The mayor and the airport) and shed a tear for the Yeshiva of Mir.

For those of you over 70 and well into the great decline, you probably already experience this. Even as my body weakens, the voice in my head that talks to me all the time always seems to be as young as it was when I was a teenager. Oh, a bit more cynical perhaps, but every bit as vigorous as ever in letting me know how foolish I really am whenever I feel I have done something that rises to the level of the barely adequate. One would think that at this age that voice would give up and feebly warble, “I no longer give a damn. Do what you want. Who cares?”





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