Daily Update: Sunday, September 6th, 2015

09-06 - Assassination of President McKinley and Louisiana Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday

Today is the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. With no Saints today, we instead recall that on this date in 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated (although he did not die immediately). Today is also the third and last day of the three-day Louisiana Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday, and today is the birthday of my daughter-in-law Callie (1988).

President William McKinley was attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York in September, 1901. At a reception at the Temple of Music, McKinley was shaking hands as a long line of people filed by. Leon Czolgosz. a failed anarchist, joined the line, with his hand wrapped in a white handkerchief to hide the gun he was carrying. McKinley had been shaking hands for approximately ten minutes when he reached out to take Czolgosz’s “bandaged” hand, but before he could shake it Czolgosz pulled the trigger twice. The security detail jumped Czolgosz and secured him and the gun; McKinley remained standing while security dragged Czolgosz away. After someone hit Czolgosz again, McKinley cried out “Don’t let them hurt him!” Eleven minutes after the shooting an ambulance arrived and McKinley was taken to the hospital on the Exposition grounds. He had been shot twice; one bullet deflected off his ribs, making only a superficial wound. However, the second bullet hit McKinley in the abdomen, passed completely through his stomach, hit his kidney, damaged his pancreas, and lodged somewhere in the muscles of his back. The doctors, unable to find the bullet, left it in his body and closed up the wound. An experimental X-ray machine, which might have helped to find the bullet, was on hand at the exhibition, but for reasons that remain unclear it was not used. The President’s condition seemed to improve for several days, but he took a turn for the worse on September 12 and died on September 14. Czolgosz went on trial on September 23, was sentenced to death on September 26, and executed on October 29, less than two months after the shooting. Not until 1906 did the Congress pass legislation officially designating the Secret Service (founded in 1865 to combat counterfeiting) as the agency in charge of presidential security. Today is the third and last day of the three-day Louisiana Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday, covering individuals’ purchases of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies on the first consecutive Friday through Sunday of each September. And today is also the birthday of my daughter-in-law Callie (1988).

Regarding the LSU – McNeese State game last night, “Saturday night’s football game between LSU and McNeese State was canceled after a 3 hour, 46 minute rain delay, it was announced at 10:36 p.m. CT. The game kicked off at 6:39 p.m. as scheduled, but after 11 minutes of play and one offensive drive by each team, lightning halted play in a scoreless game. After heavy rains chased most of the fans from Tiger Stadium, additional lightning in the area prevented a restart. The game will not be made up” (from LSUSports.net). The paper this morning also noted that it is the first time since 1918 that a game in Tiger Stadium was canceled, and that Mike the Tiger had gotten into his portable cage and gone to the game. Our LSU Tigers will next play the Mississippi State Bulldogs in an away game next Saturday night.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in at the casino (for the last day of the current pay period), Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud, Three Card Poker, and Let It Ride. I was on Mini Baccarat; I had no guests between 4:00 am and 9:30 am. And I decided not to read Rivers by Michael Farris Smith for my Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club; in fact, I am thinking of dropping that book club altogether.

On our way home we stopped for gas for the truck; once home, I read the Sunday papers, then retreated to the computer. I was working on music (I downloaded some stuff from Amazon) when Michelle came by to wish me a Happy Birthday; she had gone to Paragon Casino yesterday, and forgot her phone. I also worked on getting my music from the computer to my Galaxy S-4, a procedure that took awhile, as my phone was refusing to connect to the computer.

Tomorrow is the Remembrance of Reverend Lt. Joseph Verbis Lafleur (died 1944). And tomorrow, being the first Monday in September, is Labor Day, a federal holiday. Tomorrow is a Paid Holiday at the casino, meaning that we will get paid time and a half for our hours worked; it is also the first day of the new pay period. And in the afternoon I will continue getting my music from the computer to my phone.

Our Sunday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Madeleine L’Engle, American author. Born in New York City as Madeleine L’Engle Camp, she was the only child of her parents, who loved to travel throughout Europe. She wrote her first story at age five, and began keeping a journal at age eight. These early literary attempts did not translate into academic success at the New York City private school where she was enrolled. A shy, clumsy child, she was branded as stupid by some of her teachers. Unable to please them, she retreated into her own world of books and writing. Her parents often disagreed about how to raise her, and as a result she attended a number of boarding schools and had many governesses. She was sent to a boarding school in Switzerland, but in 1933 the family moved to northern Florida, and she attended another boarding school, Ashley Hall, in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father died in 1935, she arrived home too late to say goodbye.  L’Engle attended Smith College from 1937 to 1941. After graduating cum laude from Smith she moved to an apartment in New York City. In 1942 she met actor Hugh Franklin when she appeared in the play The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. She married Franklin on January 26, 1946, the year after the publication of her first novel, The Small Rain. The family moved to a 200-year-old farmhouse called Crosswicks in rural Connecticut in 1952. To replace Franklin’s lost acting income, they purchased and operated a small general store, while L’Engle continued with her writing. During this period she also served as choir director of the local Congregational Church. In 1959 the family returned to New York City so that her husband could resume his acting career. The move was immediately preceded by a ten-week cross-country camping trip, during which L’Engle first had the idea for her most famous novel, A Wrinkle in Time. She had completed the book by 1960, but more than two dozen publishers rejected the story before Farrar, Straus and Giroux finally published it in 1962. From 1960 to 1966 L’Engle taught at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School in New York. In 1965 she became a volunteer librarian at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, also in New York. She later served for many years as writer-in-residence at the Cathedral, generally spending her winters in New York and her summers at Crosswicks. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, L’Engle wrote dozens of books for children and adults. As a result of her promotion of Christian universalism, many Christian bookstores refused to carry her books, which were also frequently banned from Christian schools and libraries. This is somewhat ironic, since some of her most secular critics attacked her work for being too religious. A theme often implied and occasionally explicit in L’Engle’s works was that the phenomena that people call religion, science and magic are simply different aspects of a single seamless reality. During this same period her husband played Dr. Charles Tyler on the daytime soap opera All My Children, a role he played from the show’s first episode in 1970 until 1983, when he was forced to retire as his hearing loss, which had previously been gradual, started to affect his ability to receive cues. One of L’Engle’s books for adults, Two-Part Invention, was a memoir of her marriage, completed after her husband’s death from cancer on September 26, 1986. She returned to teaching at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School in New York in 1989 and 1990. L’Engle was seriously injured in an automobile accident in 1991, but recovered well enough to visit Antarctica in 1992. In her final years she became unable to travel or teach, due to reduced mobility from osteoporosis, and especially after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage in 2002. She also abandoned her former schedule of speaking engagements and seminars. A few compilations of older work, some of it previously unpublished, appeared after 2001 (died 2007): “Nothing important is completely explicable.”

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