Daily Update: Thursday, November 19th, 2015

11-19 - Gettysburg Address

No Saints today. On this date in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.

The principle speaker for the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Edward Everett, who had served as Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor of Massachusetts, and president of Harvard University, was invited to speak at the dedication a month before the original scheduled date of October 23 but requested more time to prepare his oration, so the event was rescheduled to November 19. President Lincoln was invited to give “a few appropriate remarks” only 17 days before the ceremony. (Modern scholarship locates the speakers’ platform 40 yards (or more) away from the Traditional Site within Soldiers’ National Cemetery at the Soldiers’ National Monument and entirely within private, adjacent Evergreen Cemetery.) Everett spoke for two hours, speaking some 13,607 words in his Gettysburg Oration. Legend holds that the photographers, expecting the President to give a long address, took their time in setting up their equipment, and that when they were ready to take the President’s photo while speaking, he had already finished with his 272-word remarks (now known as the Gettysburg Address) and was returning to his seat amid somewhat scattered and barely polite applause. (Other photos of Lincoln at Gettysburg were almost certainly taken while he was seated listening to the music or listening to Everett’s oration.) In a letter to Lincoln written the following day, Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” Lincoln replied that he was glad to know the speech was not a “total failure”. There are five manuscripts of the Address (two drafts, and three copies), each different in details; in part because Lincoln provided a title and signed and dated the Bliss copy, it has become the standard text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

The First Quarter Moon arrived at 12:28 am, and I awoke at 9:00 am, having ignored my alarm clock. Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb, and then went to get biscuits from McDonald’s. When he got home, we read the Baton Rouge paper and ate biscuits, and he called our local paper to get them to deliver to us today. I selected the photo that I will include in selected Christmas Cards, and copied the photo onto a CD to take to Wal-Mart. I also made labels to put on the back of the cards. By this time our local paper had arrived, and I read it. I then did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and said the Seventh Day of my Novena to Christ the King.

Richard and I left the house at 12:15 pm; our first stop was the Hit-n-Run, where I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing. We ate at Gatti’s Pizza for lunch; while there, I went to the Printery House website, and could not find my order for Christmas cards (more anon). At Wal-Mart I set up my Christmas Photo to have copies made; I would have had to pick them up in a hour, so I elected to get them tomorrow. The Pharmacy was full up, so I did not stand in line to get another box of 12-hour pseudoephedrine for Liz Ellen. However, I did get a new weather station, and we got my salad supplies and other groceries. Our last stop was at True Value Hardware, where Richard got tree root removal crystals (it’s that time again).

We arrived home at 1:30 pm; I called The Printery House, and they assured me that my Christmas cards were in the pipeline and would be shipped, probably tomorrow, at which point I will get an Email from them. I then set up the new weather station, with the outdoor sensor being right outside the front door; it is not surprising that it is better than the old one was (which was refusing to work right when we got home from vacation, even though I had put new batteries in the outdoor sensor and the indoor station). I then went out to the front room, and Richard and I watched CSI: Cyber “Corrupted Memory” via CBS On Demand, so we are now caught up on that show. (Richard has been catching up on his own on American Horror Story, which I refuse to watch, to the point of leaving the room.) My Hanukkah candles were delivered by Amazon, and I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday. I then watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm. After that, I got a bowl of cereal and came to the computer to finish this Daily Update. When I am done with the computer, I will get ready for bed and do some magazine reading before going to sleep. Our #23 ranked LSU Men’s Basketball team (2-0, 4th SEC) will play a home game with South Alabama (1-1, 7th Sun Belt) tonight; I will report the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is another Saintless day; instead we will note that tomorrow is the anniversary of the sinking of the Whaleboat Essex by an enormous whale in 1820, forcing the crew into small boats in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, with bad results for the crew and good (eventual) results for world literature. (It remains to be seen what the results are for the world of movies; In the Heart of the Sea, based on the book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick (which I have read), will be released to theaters on December 11th.) We will return to work for the first time in over three weeks, and I am sure we will see our same guests at the casino. On his breaks Richard will get his ADP password reset at the Shift Office. After work we will stop by Wal-Mart, and I will pick up my photo copies and see if the pharmacy has a short line so that I can get Liz Ellen’s box of 12-hour pseudoephedrine And tomorrow evening our New Orleans Pelicans (1-11, 15th Western) will play a home game with the San Antonio Spurs (9-2, 2nd Western).

Our Parting Quote this Thursday afternoon comes to us from Dick Wilson, British-born American character actor. Born as Riccardo DiGuglielmo in 1916 in Preston, Lancashire, his father was an Italian vaudeville performer while his mother was an English singer. In late 1916 his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario where he spent his childhood. He had a Hamilton Spectator newspaper route and got his start in show business with a part-time job at CHML radio in Hamilton at age fifteen. Not wanting to be typecast as Italian, DiGuglielmo anglicized his first name and took his mother’s maiden name as a surname when performing. (Interestingly, “DiGuglielmo” and “Wilson” are etymologically similar names). He graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design and then became a comic dancer in vaudeville. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force early in World War II and served as a fighter pilot against the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain in 1940. After the War he moved to the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1954. After the War he worked as an acrobatic dancer in New York City before heading to California in 1954 for movie and TV work. Starting in 1956, he began his career as a character actor in television comedies; his first movie role was an uncredited part in The Tattered Dress (1957). In 1966 he had the (uncredited) role of Supervisor of Pleasure Units Conditioning in Our Man Flint. Through 1989 he played some 102 roles in television episodes and movies. However, Wilson’s most prominent role started in 1964, when for a Procter and Gamble product commercial he became Mr. Whipple, the finicky grocery store manager who would tell his customers, “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!” while squeezing it himself; the phrase was used in the very first Mr. Whipple Charmin toilet tissue commercial. It became the longest running ad campaign in the history of television, producing some 500 Mr. Whipple commercials through 1989, with some more aired in 1999. According to a 1970s survey, Mr. Whipple topped then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter as the most recognizable face in North America. In appreciation for his performance of the recognizable character, Procter & Gamble famously provided Wilson with a free lifetime supply of Charmin (died 2007): “I’ve done thirty-eight pictures and nobody remembers any of them, but they all remember me selling toilet paper.”

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