Daily Update: Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

09-06 - Assassination of President McKinley

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 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. In the days after the shooting McKinley appeared to improve. Doctors issued increasingly optimistic bulletins. Members of the Cabinet, who had rushed to Buffalo on hearing the news, dispersed, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt departed on a camping trip to the Adirondacks. However, the President took a turn for the worse on September 12th and died on September 14th. Roosevelt had rushed back and took the oath of office as president in Buffalo. Czolgosz went on trial on September 23th, was sentenced to death on September 26th, and executed on October 29th, 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. And today is also the birthday of my daughter-in-law Callie (1988).

With some difficulty I managed to wake up early, and I did my Book Devotional Reading; however, I forgot to bring in the flag that I had put out yesterday in honor of Labor Day. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. While waiting to sign the Early Out list, we discussed our current vacation plan, which is that after we spend a few days in Denver, Colorado, we will head for Telluride and spend several days at a hotel relaxing before their ski season. (We have not skied since our honeymoon, back in 1984.) Richard then went ahead and made reservations at a hotel in Telluride. We signed the Early Out list, and when we clocked in Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow, and the second Mississippi Stud table. He got out at 4:30 am. Meanwhile, I was first the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud and Three Card Poker, started reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde via Overdrive on my tablet on my break, and then was the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud, Three Card Poker, and the second Mississippi Stud table. I did not get out until 5:15 am; apparently just before 4:30 am our Pencil had told them to close one of the Blackjack tables and then to send the dealer on that table to take me out. The Pencil then went on his own half-hour break, and found to his great annoyance that they had not closed the Blackjack table, and that I was still doing my assigned relief string.

On our way home Richard got biscuits from McDonald’s, and when we got home at 6:15 am we read the morning paper and ate biscuits (bacon biscuits for me). I then went back to bed, and Richard joined me at some later point. At 9:15 am I woke up and asked Richard if he wanted to go to the funeral for Steve’s father; he said no, and we went back to sleep.

I woke up (again) at 11:00 am, and started my laundry. Richard woke up about 11:30 am, and his first thought was that we had missed going to the funeral. (He had no memory of me asking him if he wanted to go at 9:15 am.) I got on the computer and worked on Advance Daily Update Drafts, and brought in the flag. I also continued reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde via Overdrive on my tablet. I also finished my laundry. At 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy!, and Richard forwarded the mail from the hotel in Telluride to my phone. At about 5:30 pm we headed down to Lafayette, with me reading in Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. We ate at Rodizio Grill for my birthday, and on our way home I continued reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde via Overdrive on my tablet. We arrived home at 8:30 pm, and I got busy with today’s Daily Update. When I finish with the computer I will get ready for bed, and I will probably finish reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde via Overdrive on my tablet.

Tomorrow is the Remembrance of Reverend Lt. Joseph Verbis Lafleur (died 1944). I will be doing the computer maintenance and ironing my casino pants, apron, and shirts. I will also do my book review for The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, and request the next book in the series, Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde, via Overdrive. I will also get my hair cut. And I hope to do more Advance Daily Update Drafts; I won’t rest easy until I have Advance Daily Update Drafts done through to when we get home from vacation early in Thanksgiving week.

Our Tuesday Evening 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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