Daily Update: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

05-19 - Execution of Queen Anne Boelyn

With no Saints to honor today, we note that on this date in 1536 the second wife of King Henry the Eighth, Anne Boleyn, was executed. (Being Henry’s Queen was a high-risk occupation; in 1542 he had his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, executed as well.)

Born about 1499, in 1520 she joined the English court, where her older sister Mary was the King’s mistress. She quickly established herself as one of the most stylish and accomplished women at the court. In 1526 the King began to pursue her, and proposed marriage, contingent on the annulment of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, who had not produced any male heirs to the throne. In 1533 the King broke with the Catholic Church (which had refused his annulment), divorced Catherine of Aragon, and married Anne, who soon became pregnant. The child was a girl, and after several miscarriages, by 1536 Catherine of Aragon had died, and the King had begun courting Jane Seymour. As Anne recovered from her latest miscarriage in 1536, Henry declared that he had been seduced into the marriage by means of “sortilege”, a French term indicating either “deception” or “spells”, and Jane Seymour was quickly moved into royal quarters. On May 2nd, 1536, Anne was arrested and taken to the Tower of London by barge. On May 14th Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declared Anne’s marriage to Henry null and void. The next day Anne and her brother George Boleyn were tried separately in the Tower of London, before a jury of 27 peers. She was accused of adultery, incest, and high treason. Convicted of all charges, her brother (with other accused men) was executed on May 17th. The King commuted Anne’s sentence from burning to beheading, and rather than have a queen beheaded with the common axe, he brought an expert swordsman from Saint-Omer in France to perform the execution. On the morning of Friday, May 19th, Anne Boleyn was executed within the Tower precincts, not upon the site of the execution memorial, but rather, according to historian Eric Ives, on a scaffold erected on the north side of the White Tower, in front of what is now the Waterloo Barracks. She wore a red petticoat under a loose, dark grey gown of damask trimmed in fur and a mantle of ermine. The ermine mantle was removed and Anne lifted off her headdress, tucking her hair under a coif. After a brief farewell to her weeping ladies and a request for prayers, she kneeled, and one of her ladies tied a blindfold over her eyes. She knelt upright, in the French style of executions. Her final prayer consisted of her repeating continually, “Jesu receive my soul; O Lord God have pity on my soul.” The execution consisted of a single stroke. She was then buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, the Parish Church of the Tower of London. Her daughter, not yet three years old at the time of her mother’s death, lost her place in the royal succession, but eventually became Queen Elizabeth I in 1558. Anne’s skeleton was identified during renovations of the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in 1876 in the reign of Queen Victoria, and Anne’s resting place is now marked in the marble floor.

Last night Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.

I slept in until 9:45 am, did my Book Devotional Reading, then read the Thursday papers. Richard and I left the house at 10:30 pm, met with the person in charge of Savings Accounts and wire transfers, and opened up a Savings Account at the bank with the amount I calculated that we will need for our 2016 taxes due to the check from Chase Bank. I then sent a text to Callie letting her know that we needed her bank information, and we told our person at the bank that I would come by later, once I got the information from Callie. (I figured that it was lunchtime for Kitten, which was indeed where Callie was.) We arrived back home at 11:15 am, and I did my Internet Devotional Reading. I got a text back from Callie with the banking information, and prepared my monthly packages to mail out to Liz Ellen (leaving one of the packages not sealed; more anon).

Leaving the house on my own at 12:30 pm, my first stop was the bank, where I met with our person and arranged for the wire transfer to Matthew and Callie’s account; it was a done deal (with the money available to Matthew and Callie either today or tomorrow), and I texted Callie to let her know. At the Hit-n-Run I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing. I then went to Peking to eat Chinese for lunch, and continued reading Julian’s Gospel: Illuminating the Life & Revelations of Julian of Norwich by Veronica Mary Rolf. As I was finishing my lunch, our person at the bank called; the main office in Opelousas of our bank needed to know the provenance of the original check. I told her that I would come by later with the letter from Chase. I then went to Wal-Mart; while waiting to be waited on at the Pharmacy, our person at the bank called back, very upset; the Grand Poobahs in Opelousas had told her to void the wire transfer and to have us come in on Monday to re-do it. I assured her that we were not upset (at least not with her), as this was essentially found money for Matthew and Callie. I purchased Liz Ellen’s 12-hour Sudafed© (using cash), then did my grocery shopping for my salad supplies. When I went to check out, our ATM/Debit card would not work, so I used cash. I put Liz Ellen’s Sudafed© in the unsealed box, sealed it up, and went to the Post Office, where I mailed off two packages of stuff to Liz Ellen; I had to use Cash again, as the ATM/Debit card would not work again (the Post Office told me the message on their side of the counter was “insufficient funds”). Back to the bank I went, and gave our person the letter from Chase, and had her copy the letter and the back of the letter (containing my computation of the tax effect) to fax to Opelousas; she also told me that Opelousas had put a hold on our account until “all this is cleared up”. I asked her to ask Opelousas to take the hold off, and headed home.

I arrived home at 2:45 pm, and told Richard what was going on with the bank. He called the Grand Poobahs in Opelousas while I was ironing my Casino pants, apron, and shirts, and told me that the hold had been taken off. I got on the computer to work on today’s Daily Update, and our person at the bank called me to tell me that the hold had been adjusted for only the amount of the Chase check, and that the rest of our funds were now available; I thanked her, and told her that Richard had raised heck (my word) with Opelousas. (This also means our Savings Account that we just opened now has a $0.00 balance, since that was based off of the Chase check.) I then sent an Email to Liz Ellen letting her know that I had sent her packages to her. I then made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday, and then Richard and I watched Jeopardy! We then walked down to the house on the corner, which has tons of cats (unfixed); however, the tame kittens were not out (only the untamed ones). And now I am finishing up today’s Daily Update, and then I will do some reading and go to bed. Our #8 ranked LSU Tigers will be playing the first game of a three-game home College Baseball series with #1 ranked Florida tonight; these games will finish out their Regular Season, and I will post the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, Priest (died 1444), and the second of three Ember Days for this season of the year. Richard and I will return to the casino for the start of our work week. On one of my breaks I will call Uniforms to see if the rust (orange) dealer shirts are ready yet. Before I eat lunch, I will either walk or ride my recumbent exercise bike. And our #8 ranked LSU Tigers will be playing the second game of a three-game home College Baseball series with #1 ranked Florida tonight; these games will finish out their Regular Season, and I will post the score of the game in Saturday’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote on this Thursday afternoon comes to us from Morley Safer, Canadian born American journalist. Born in 1931 in Toronto, Ontario, his family was Austrian-Jewish, and his father was an upholsterer. After he finished high school, he briefly attended the University of Western Ontario. Safer began his journalism career as a reporter for various newspapers in Canada (Woodstock Sentinel-Review, London Free Press, and Toronto Telegram) and England (Reuters and Oxford Mail). Later, he joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a correspondent and producer. In 1964 Safer joined CBS News as a London-based correspondent. In 1965 he opened the CBS News bureau in Saigon. That year he followed a group of United States Marines to the village of Cam Ne, for what was described as a “search and destroy” mission. When the Marines arrived, they gave orders in English to the inhabitants to evacuate the village. When the homes were cleared, the Marines burned their thatched roofs with flamethrowers and Zippo lighters. Safer’s report on this event was broadcast on CBS News on August 5th, 1965, and was among the first reports to paint a bleak picture of the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Baines Johnson reacted to this report angrily, calling CBS’s president and accusing Safer and his colleagues of having “shat on the American flag.” Certain that Safer was a communist, Johnson also ordered a security check; upon being told that Safer “wasn’t a communist, just a Canadian”, he responded: “Well, I knew he wasn’t an American.” In 1967 Safer was named the London bureau chief, a post he held for three years. Safer was also a CBS reporter during the Nigerian Civil War. In 1970 he left London to replace Harry Reasoner on 60 Minutes, after Reasoner left to anchor the ABC Evening News (although Reasoner would return to 60 Minutes in 1978, alongside Safer). In 1989 Safer returned to Vietnam and interviewed known and less-well-known Vietnamese people, most of them veterans of the war. These included General Vo Nguyen Giap, Duong Quynh Hoa, Pham Xuan An, Major Nguyen Be, and others. He also visited the Caravelle Hotel, the Marble Mountains (Vietnam) air field, China Beach, Huế, Quảng Trị City, a Cham museum, an old wrecking yard full of American artifacts, and several other locations. His trip was the basis of a 60 Minutes show in 1989, which Safer said got a reaction of annoyance from some veterans, and a positive reaction from others. The trip was the basis of his bestselling book Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam (1990); the book also contained reflections on Bill Moyers (regarding the Cam Ne affair), Barry Goldwater, and General William Westmoreland. During his career he was a 12-time Emmy Award winner, a 3-time Overseas Press Award winner and a 3-time George Foster Peabody Award winner, and was named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1995. Safer set the record for 60 Minutes‘ longest-serving correspondent, announcing his retirement on May 11th, 2016 after 46 years. On May 18th, CBS aired a special 60 Minutes episode covering Safer’s 61-year journalism career (died 2016): “The helicopter is a fine way to travel, but it induces a view of the world that only God and CEOs share on a regular basis.”

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