Today is the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. With no Saints to honor, we turn to the events of this day in 1957, when in Little Rock, Arkansas, Governor Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine African American students from enrolling in and integrating Central High School. Today is also the third day of the three-day Louisiana Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday, and the birthday of Callie’s father Ken (1955).
Turning to Little Rock in 1957, several segregationist councils, vehemently opposed to school desegregation, had threatened to hold protests at Central High and physically block black students from entering the school. Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to support the segregationists on September 4th, 1957. The sight of a line of soldiers blocking nine black students from attending high school made national headlines and polarized the city. On September 9th “The Council of Church Women” issued a statement condemning the governor’s deployment of soldiers to the high school and called for a citywide prayer service on September 12th. Even President Dwight Eisenhower attempted to de-escalate the situation and summoned Governor Faubus to meet him; he warned the governor not to interfere with the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. The next day Woodrow Mann, the Mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students. On September 24th the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000 member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Governor Faubus. The 101st took positions immediately, and the nine students successfully entered the school on the next day, Wednesday, September 25th, 1957. They were subjected to a year of physical and verbal abuse (being spat on and called names) by many of the white students; one of the students was suspended for the rest of the school year in December, 1957 after retaliating to abuse in the cafeteria. Governor Faubus shut down Central High School for the 1958-1959 school year to resist integration. The school did not reopen until the fall of 1959, at which point two of the nine initial students returned and graduated in 1961. Testament: The Little Rock Nine Monument is a group of bronze figures representing the Little Rock Nine, the work of artists John and Cathy Deering, which was dedicated in August 2005 on the State Capitol grounds in Little Rock. Today is the first day of the three-day Louisiana Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday, covering a two percent exemption from the state sales tax for individuals’ purchases of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies on the first Friday through Sunday of each September. And today is the birthday of Callie’s father Ken (1955).
I very much regret to say that yesterday afternoon at their first College Football game of the season, at Lambeau Field, our #5 ranked LSU Tigers lost their away game to the unranked Wisconsin Badgers by the score of 14 to 16. This was “the first major college football game ever played at Lambeau Field” (we know that, because the ESPN announcers told us that at least six times), and the first time our Tigers have lost their season opener since 2002. Also, the Tiger’s streak of 52 straight non-conference regular season wins is now broken. Our Tigers looked lackluster the whole game, but were leading at one point in the second half; down by two points, our quarterback threw a pass that was intercepted by the Badgers, followed by LSU offensive lineman Josh Boutte going after the Badger that had made the interception and clotheslining him. Boutte was ejected from the game and escorted out of the stadium, and I hope that Coach Miles made him ride home to Baton Rouge in the baggage compartment of the bus / plane. Our Tigers (who will no doubt drop out of the Top 10) will be playing the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at home on Saturday, September 10th at 6:30 pm.
I did my Book Devotional Reading, then brought in the LSU flag I had put out yesterday. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. At the Casino today was the first day of a two day Heavy Business Volume period due to the Labor Day weekend, and the last day of the two-week pay period. We thought briefly of signing the Early Out list (I was tired), but of the fifteen people already on the list when we looked at it, fourteen of them would have had priority over us as having worked more hours in the pay period. Richard was on a Blackjack table all day, and I was the Relief Dealer for Macau Mini Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, and Pai Gow. After they closed the Macau Mini Baccarat table I just broke Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow until my last rotation, when I broke the Four Card Poker table once. On my breaks I traded messages with someone who is working on my grandmother’s father’s family on Ancestry.com.
On our way home we stopped at Wal-Mart, where I purchased a couple of packs of my Listerine Breath Strips. When I got back to the truck, Richard was talking to his friend Steve in Baton Rouge, whose father passed away yesterday and getting the funeral arrangements. Once we got home I removed the polish from my toenails. I then made lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday, and ate a lunch salad while I read the Sunday papers and put fresh polish on my toenails. I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update. When I finish this Daily Update I will go to bed for the duration.
Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Virgin (died 1997). Tomorrow is also Labor Day. Last and perhaps least, tomorrow is my birthday (1958). We will return to the casino for the first day of the two-week pay period; if I signed the Early Out list, I would have priority, but I am not going to do so. (Wait till next year, when my birthday will be on a Tuesday, which is our Friday.) Tomorrow is the second day of a two day Heavy Business Volume period due to the Labor Day weekend, and tomorrow is a Paid Holiday, which means we will get paid time and a half for our hours worked tomorrow. (Another reason not to sign the Early Out list). On my breaks (and on my way home, if necessary) I will finish reading The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton via Overdrive on my tablet. And I do not have anything much scheduled for the afternoon, save for doing a Book Review and my Daily Update, and going to the Visitation for Steve’s father at the funeral home here in town.
This Sunday afternoon brings us a Parting Quote from Warren Murphy, American author and screenwriter. Born in 1933 in Jersey City, New Jersey, he served in the Korean War. After the war he worked in journalism and politics, then began writing. In 1963 he and Richard Sapir completed their manuscript of Created, The Destroyer, featuring a U.S. government operative named Remo Williams. However, the novel was not published until 1971, and then Murphy and Sapir begin writing more books in the Destroyer series. Murphy was one of the authors of the screenplay for The Eiger Sanction in 1975. In the late 1970s, the relationship between the two became tense, and Sapir withdrew. In the early 1980s, Murphy began using ghostwriters to help with the series, among them his then-second wife Molly Cochran. In the mid-1980s, Sapir returned to participating in the series, but they both got out in the late 1980s. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1985 for his novel Grandmaster (co-authored with Cochran) and won the Edgar Allan Poe Award again in 1986 for his novel Pigs Get Fat. Ceiling of Hell won the 1985 Shamus Award in the “Best Original Private Eye Paperback” category. In 1988 he married his third wife, actress and voice actress Nancy Cartwright. He co-wrote (with series creator Shane Black) the original story for Lethal Weapon 2 (1989). Some of his solo novels included Jericho Day, The Red Moon, The Sure Thing and Honor Among Thieves. Over his career, Murphy sold over 60 million books. He served on the board of the Mystery Writers of America, and also was a member of the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, the American Crime Writers League and the Screenwriters Guild. He and Cartwright divorced in 2002. In April 2007, Warren returned to co-authoring The Destroyer, which is now published by Tor Books. His final novel, the Mafia epic Bloodline, was released from Tor in 2015 (died 2015): “Please feel free to tell anyone who asks that I am not, repeat NOT, married to Bart Simpson’s voice.”