Daily Update: Friday, January 8th, 2016

01-08 - Battle of New Orleans

No Saints today; but on this date in 1815 the Battle of New Orleans was fought as the final land battle of the War of 1812 (taking place after the technical end of the war, but the news had not gotten to Louisiana by the time of the battle).

In the Battle of New Orleans American forces of less than 5,000 men commanded by General Andrew Jackson defeated an invading British Army, Royal Marines and a large Royal Navy fleet (totalling some 11,000 men), commanded by Admiral Alexander Cochrane and General Edward Pakenham, intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory America had acquired with the Louisiana Purchase. Among those on the American side were French pirate Jean Lafitte, who with his men participated in the battle in exchange for a full pardon. The battle was remarkable for both its brevity and lopsided lethality. In the space of twenty-five minutes, the British lost 700 killed (including General Pakenham), 1400 wounded and 500 prisoners, a total loss of twenty-six hundred men; American losses were only seven killed and six wounded. This was the final land battle of the War of 1812; the Treaty of Ghent had been signed on December 24, 1814, but due to the inherent slowness of trans-Atlantic communication by sailing ships (almost two months), the news of the battle had reached Washington before the news of the treaty signing. The battle is often regarded as the greatest American land victory of the war, and boosted Andrew Jackson’s career; he was elected the Seventh President of the United States in 1828. The night before the Battle of New Orleans, nuns at the Ursuline Convent and relatives of the men fighting with Andrew Jackson’s forces spent the night in prayer before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Americans believed that a vastly powerful British fleet and army had sailed for New Orleans (Jackson himself thought 25,000 troops were coming), and most expected the worst. Miraculously, the badly outmanned and under equipped Americans defeated the British. In keeping with a vow made that day, a Mass is celebrated every January 8th in thanksgiving. The miraculous statue is presently in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, at the Ursuline’s latest home in New Orleans; the 1997 mosaic by Sergio Papucci of the battle and the nuns praying to Our Lady of Prompt Succor is located in the Old Ursuline Convent Herb Garden, the site of the Almonester Chapel in the old Ursuline Convent where the nuns prayed before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor.

Last night our LSU Women’s Basketball team beat Ole Miss by the score of 76 to 57; our Lady Tigers will next play #13 ranked Texas A&M in a home game on January 10th.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in Richard was on Mini Baccarat, and I was busy on the $5.00 Minimum Blackjack table.

On our way home I continued reading Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell. Once home, I read the morning paper; I was going to take a nap, but instead downloaded a program to my phone called Checkbook Pro, which is a better program than the one I had been using. We also got a Christmas Card from my Internet friend Jean in California. Richard went to bed, and I watched Jeopardy! and had some King Cake, and then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update. Tonight our New Orleans Pelicans will play a home game with the Indiana Pacers; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow we have no Saints to honor, so we will instead recall that tomorrow is the anniversary of the date in 1806 when Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, who had been killed during his great victory at the naval Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, received his state funeral in London. We will return to the casino to work our eight hours, and in the afternoon our LSU Men’s Basketball team will play an away game with Florida. I will go to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, and the New Moon will arrive at 7:31 pm.

Our Parting Quote this Friday afternoon comes to us from Antonio Frasconi, Argentinian-born Uruguayan – American woodcut artist. Born in 1919 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, his parents were of Italian descent, and he was brought up in Montevideo, Uruguay. Frasconi’s mother managed a restaurant whilst his father was frequently unemployed, raised Frasconi and his two sisters, and still found time to be a seamstress. She early recognized her son’s talent and felt that if he had been born with a gift, then he should become a famous artist instead of doing menial work. By the age of twelve, he was learning a trade at a printers after abandoning a course at Círculo de Bellas Artes, and as a teenager he admired Gustave Doré and Goya, whilst indulging in creating caricatures of political figures. During World War II an exhibition of impressionism and post-impression was organized by the French in Latin America. Artists such as Van Gogh and Cézanne captured his imagination. However it was the woodcuts of Paul Gauguin that he was attracted to most. Frasconi he also became intrigued by American writers and musicians. He would hear Jazz on the radio and read American authors like Walt Whitman. He moved to the United States in 1945 at the end of World War II, and worked as a gardener and as a guard at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. It was at that museum that he had his first dedicated show. Within n twelve months he had a similar show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1952. In 1958 he co-wrote and illustrated La Maison Que Jacques A Batie (The House that Jack Built), in English and French, which was a runner-up for the 1959 Caldecott Medal, which honors the illustrator of the best American picture book for children. In 1962 Frasconi won a Horn Book Fanfare award for La Nieve y el Sol (The Snow and the Sun), in Spanish and English. In 1982 Frasconi was the Distinguished Teaching Professor of Visual Arts at the State University of New York at Purchase. Between 1981 and 1986 he created a series of woodcuts under the name “Los desaparecidos” (“The Disappeared”). This series refers directly to the people who were tortured and killed during the Civic-military dictatorship of Uruguay.This collection of woodcuts is now at the MNAV (Museum Nationale Visual Arts) in Montevideo, Uruguay; a film that accompanies the artwork had introductory notes by Mario Benedetti, video and animation by Eduardo Darino. and music by Pablo Frasconi (died 2013): “A sort of anger builds in you, so you try to spill it back in your work.”

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