We have no Saints today, but today is the Half-Way Point of Lent. We now turn to this date in 1933 when, eight days after being inaugurated President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt made the first of his “Fireside Chats” radio addresses to the nation.
In his first “Fireside Chat”, the new President explained how the nation was going to recover from the current banking crisis. Roosevelt took special care in preparing each aspect of his Fireside Chats and made his addresses accessible and understandable to ordinary Americans. In order to attract a peak national audience, the Chats were broadcast on all national networks around 10:00 p.m. Eastern time — early enough that Easterners were still awake but late enough that even people on the West Coast would be home from work. The Chats were relatively brief, ranging in length from fifteen to forty-five minutes. In addition, Roosevelt and his speech writers always used basic language when preparing the Fireside Chats; eighty percent of the words chosen in the Chats were among the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English vocabulary. Sometimes beginning his talks with “Good evening, friends”, Roosevelt urged listeners to have faith in the banks and to support his New Deal measures. The “fireside chats” were considered enormously successful and attracted more listeners than the most popular radio shows during the “Golden Age of Radio.” Roosevelt continued his broadcasts into the 1940s, as Americans turned their attention to World War II.
Before I woke up at 9:00 am, Richard bagged up the trash and put it out on the curb. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, then went to Dollar General for a loaf of bread. When I returned home I made my breakfast toast, which I ate while reading the Thursday Acadiana Advocate. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading, and Richard called our local paper to get a new one delivered (it’s usually out by the front door on Wednesday evening, but we did not get one).
I left the house at 11:00 am; at the RaceTrac on Ambassador Caffrey in Lafayette I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing. At 12:30 pm I was at the Friends of the Lafayette Public Library Book Sale, where I purchased some $6.00 worth of used books. I then swung by the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch and returned my library copy of The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell (I had discovered before leaving the house that I had a used copy that I had acquired at some point). I then went to Barnes and Noble; I got myself two almond filled croissants, which I ate while continuing my reading of The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell. I then installed myself in a comfy chair, and continued reading The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell; I also bought A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Salazar for my Nook (more anon). I then went to Wal-Mart on Ambassador Caffrey; I got cat food, could not find the work shoes Richard had asked me to look for, and got my salad supplies and some other groceries. I called Richard to tell him I could not find the shoes he wanted in his size, and asked him if he wanted me to go to the Wal-Mart in Opelousas, but he said no. I got gas on my way home in Rayne, and arrived home at 4:15 pm. At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy! (two out of the three contestants were in minus numbers at the end of Double Jeopardy, so only one contestant was in Final Jeopardy). I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and ate my meal of leftover barbequed thick cut pork chops, boiled small potatoes, and fresh steamed green beans. And when I finish today’s Daily Update I will get ready for bed.
Tomorrow we have no Saints again, but since tomorrow is a Friday in in Lent, tomorrow is a Day of Abstinence from Meat for the faithful. And we note that in 1997 strange, eerie lights (cue spooky music) were seen over Phoenix, Arizona. And since today is Thursday the 12th, that makes tomorrow Friday the 13th (the last one until November). The Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 12:49 am, and Richard and I will head to the casino for the beginning of our work week. On my breaks at work I will start reading A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Salazar on my Nook, as it is our Third Tuesday Book Club book. In the afternoon our LSU Men’s Basketball team will play Auburn in the SEC Tournament, and tomorrow evening our #1 ranked LSU Baseball team will play their SEC season opener in a home game with Ole Miss.
Our Parting Quote this Thursday afternoon comes to us from Olive Dickason, Canadian journalist and historian. Born in 1920 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, her family moved to the Interlake region after losing everything they owned during the Great Depression. Aged 12, she, her sister Alice, and her mother Phoebe went trapping and fishing to provide food for the family. Encouraged by her mentor Father Athol Murray, she decided to finish high school in Saskatchewan, prior to pursuing post-secondary education. She completed a BA in French and Philosophy at Notre Dame College, an affiliate of the University of Ottawa. She first became aware of her Métis ancestry as a young adult upon meeting some Métis relatives in Regina. She began a 24-year career in journalism at the Regina Leader-Post and subsequently, worked as a writer and editor at the Winnipeg Free Press, the Montreal Gazette, and the Globe and Mail. She promoted coverage of First Nations and women’s issues. In 1970, aged 50, Dickason entered the graduate program at the University of Ottawa. She had to struggle with faculty preconceptions regarding Aboriginal History (including arguments that it did not exist) before finally finding a professor (Cornelius Jaenen) to act as her academic advisor. While at the University she published Indian Arts in Canada (1974) which won three awards for conception and design. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa two years later, began teaching at the University of Alberta in 1976, and was granted her PhD in 1977. In 1985 she fought the University of Alberta against the mandatory retirement age of 65, filing suit and claiming its mandatory retirement policy was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Dickason won her case in the lower courts, but lost in a 5-4 split at the Supreme Court of Canada; as the case had taken some seven years to make a final decision, she retired at the age of 72, after having coauthored The Law of Nations and the New World (1989) with L. C. Green. Her doctoral thesis, entitled Myth of the Savage and the Beginnings of French Colonialism in the Americas, was published in 1997. She also published The Native Imprint: The Contribution of First Peoples to Canada’s Character — Volume 1: to 1815 (1995) and The Native Imprint: The Contribution of First Peoples to Canada’s Character — Volume II: from 1815 (1996). She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1996 and was the recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1997. Canada’s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from the Earliest Times was published in 2001 and A Concise History of Canada’s First Nations was published in 2010. Her last book, co-authored with David Long, was Visions of the Heart: Canadian Aboriginal Issues (2011) (died 2011): “Living in the bush as I did during my adolescent years, I very soon learned that survival depended upon assessing each situation as it arose, which calls for common sense and realism. You neither give up nor play games.”