Daily Update: Friday, April 17th, 2015

04-17 - Bay of Pigs

With no Saints today, we can recall the events of this day in 1961, when United States military naval transports under the command of the CIA landed 1,300 Cuban exile ground troops at Playa Girón in the Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the southern coast of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow the Communist government of Fidel Castro.

The objective of the troops landed in the Bay of Pigs was to link up with revolutionary elements within Cuba two years after Castro had taken power in Cuba and less than three months after President John F. Kennedy had taken office. The Cuban armed forces, trained and equipped by Eastern Bloc nations, defeated the exile combatants in three days. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion severely embarrassed the Kennedy Administration and made Castro wary of future United States intervention in Cuba. The invasion is often recognized as making Castro even more popular, adding nationalistic sentiments to the support for his economic policies. There are still yearly nationwide drills in Cuba during ‘Dia de la Defensa’ (Defense Day) to prepare the population for an invasion. On April 22, 1961, President Kennedy asked General Maxwell D. Taylor, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Admiral Arleigh Burke and Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles to report on the lessons to be learned from the failed operation. On June 13, General Taylor submitted the report of the Board of Inquiry to President Kennedy. The defeat was attributed to lack of early realization of the impossibility of success by covert means, inadequate aircraft, limitations of armaments, pilots and air attacks to attempt plausible deniability, and ultimately, loss of important ships and lack of ammunition. In August 1961, during an economic conference of the Organization of American States in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Che Guevara sent a note to Kennedy via Richard N. Goodwin, a secretary of the White House. It said: “Thanks for Playa Girón. Before the invasion, the revolution was weak. Now it’s stronger than ever.”

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow (twice he also picked up Blackjack tables on his relief string), and I was on Three Card Poker all day. At the end of the day I went to the Shift Office and, in keeping with Part 1 of the Loyalty Program, got one of my call-ins and my only tardy forgiven; I now have three call-in points (the earliest coming off on October 19th), with two of those being forgiven in Part 2 of the Loyalty Program if I do not call in or have a tardy between now and July 1st. (Richard went earlier in the week, and got two call-ins removed, including one that had come off anyway since April 1st; his earliest now comes off on August 12th, and because he called in last week he does not get two more call-ins forgiven in Part 2 of the Loyalty Program.)

On our way home from work I started reading The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman on my Nook. Once home from work I read the morning paper and ate my lunch salad, then I took a nap until 4:15 pm. At 4:30 pm we watched Jeopardy!, then went across the back field to Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen, where Richard got a grilled seafood salad and where I got five pounds of boiled crawfish (with corn and potatoes). We got home at 5:45 pm, and I got on the computer to do today’s Daily Update. The 6:00 pm game that our #2 ranked LSU Baseball team was going to play as the first of a three-game away series with Georgia was rained out; more anon.

Tomorrow is the Remembrance of Venerable Cornelia Connelly, Religious, and the birthday of my Internet friend Jessica in California. On my breaks at work I will continue reading The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman on my Nook. After work I will head over to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, followed by lunch at McDonald’s and the 4:00 pm Mass for the Third Sunday of Easter (Alleluia!). Meanwhile, our #2 ranked LSU Baseball team will play an away double-header with Georgia starting at 12:00 pm, and our New Orleans Pelicans will play an NBA Playoff game with the Golden State Warriors at 2:30 pm.

Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon comes to us from Kitty Carlisle, American singer and actress. Born Catherine Conn in 1910 in New Orleans, Louisiana, her family was of German Jewish heritage. Her mother was a daughter of the first Jewish mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, and a woman obsessed with breaking into the prevailing Gentile society. Her early education took place in New Orleans. In 1921 she was taken to Europe, where her mother hoped to marry her off to European royalty, believing the nobility there more amenable to a Jewish bride. Instead, the pair flitted about Europe. She was educated in Switzerland (Chateau Mont-Choisi in Lausanne), then at the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics. She studied acting in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After returning to New York in 1932 with her mother, she appeared, billed as Kitty Carlisle, on Broadway in several operettas and musical comedies, and in the American premiere of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. She also sang the title role in Georges Bizet’s Carmen in Salt Lake City. She studied private voice with the noted Juilliard School teacher, Anna E. Schoen-Rene, who had been a student of Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Manuel Garcia. Her early movies included Murder at the Vanities (1934), A Night at the Opera (1935) with the Marx Brothers, and two films with Bing Crosby, She Loves Me Not (1934) and Here Is My Heart (1934). Carlisle married playwright and theatrical producer Moss Hart on August 10, 1946, after having met as actors at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania. She became a household name through the television show To Tell the Truth, where she was a regular panelist from 1957 to 1978, and later appeared on revivals of the series in 1980, 1990-91 and one episode in 2000. (One of her most notable hallmarks was her writing of the number ‘one’, when she voted number ‘one’, it was written in a roman numeral ‘I’). She appeared on each and every revamped format from its 1956 inception to its 2002 syndicated version. Known for her stately presence, infectious laugh, pouffy dark Prince Valiant hairstyle, and sweeping couture gowns on the show, audiences reveled at her effortless class to these simple parlor games. She was also a semi-regular panelist on PasswordMatch GameMissing Links, and What’s My Line. After Moss Hart died on December 20, 1961, she never remarried, but she dated former New York governor and presidential candidate Thomas Dewey. On December 31, 1966, Carlisle made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. She sang the role 10 more times that season, then returned in 1973 for four more performances. Her final performance with the company was on July 7, 1973. Known for her gracious manners and personal elegance, she became prominent in New York City social circles as she crusaded for financial support of the arts. She was appointed to various state-wide councils, and was chair of the New York State Council of the Arts from 1976-1996. She also served on the boards of various New York City cultural institutions and additionally would make an appearance at the annual CIBC World Market’s Miracle Day, a children’s charity event at the former CIBC Center (300 Madison Avenue). In her later years, she was linked romantically to the diplomatic historian Ivo John Lederer. From 1984 until Lederer’s death in 1998, the two traveled widely together. Afterwards, she was known to keep company with the financier and art collector Roy Neuberger. She penned her autobiography, Kitty, in 1984. Carlisle would resume her film career later in life, appearing in Woody Allen’s Radio Days (1987) and in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), as well as on stage in a revival of On Your Toes, replacing Dina Merrill. Her last movie appearance was in Catch Me If You Can (2002) in which she played herself in a dramatization of a 1960s To Tell the Truth episode. She also widely performed her one woman show, Kitty Carlisle Hart: An American Icon, in which she told anecdotes about the many great men in American musical theater history whom she had personally known, notably George Gershwin who proposed marriage (according to a recent interview in American Heritage magazine), Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Oscar Hammerstein, and Frederick Loewe, interspersed with a few of the songs that made each of them famous. In 2006 Carlisle performed at Feinstein’s at the Regency in New York City, in St. Louis, Missouri, Phoenix, Arizona, Atlanta, Georgia, and at the famed Plush Room in San Francisco. According to her official website, her appearances in Atlanta in November 2006 were her last public performances (died 2007): “Each morning I wake up and say, “Dear Lord, I don’t want anything better; just send me more of the same.””

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