No Saints today, but it was on this date back in 1805 when during the Napoleonic Wars a British fleet led by Vice Admiral Lord Nelson defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet off the coast of Spain under Admiral de Villeneuve in the Battle of Trafalgar.
The battle was the most decisive British naval victory of the war. Twenty-seven British ships of the line led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under French Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve and Spanish Admiral Federico Gravina off the south-west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost. The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the past century and was achieved in part through Nelson’s departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy, which involved engaging an enemy fleet in a single line of battle parallel to the enemy to facilitate signaling in battle and disengagement and to maximize fields of fire and target areas. Nelson instead divided his smaller force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the larger enemy fleet, with decisive results. Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle, becoming one of Britain’s greatest war heroes. The commander of the joint French and Spanish forces, Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve, was captured along with his ship Bucentaure. While on parole he attended Nelson’s funeral, and after his return to France he was found dead in 1806 in a hotel with six stab wounds to the lungs and one to the heart (the authorities returned a verdict of suicide, which finding was much mocked in the British press). Spanish Admiral Federico Gravina escaped with the remnant of the fleet and succumbed months later to wounds he sustained during the battle. London’s famous Trafalgar Square was named in honor of the victory, and Nelson’s statue on Nelson’s Column, finished in 1843, towers triumphantly over it. The Royal Navy proceeded to dominate the sea until the Second World War. Although the victory at Trafalgar was typically given as the reason at the time, modern analysis by historians suggest that relative economic strength was an important underlying cause of British naval mastery. And the Orionid Meteor Shower occurred today.
Last night, in their last Preseason NBA game, our New Orleans Pelicans lost an away game to the Orlando Magic by the score of 111 to 114. Our Pelicans will play their first Regular Season game at home with the Denver Nuggets on October 26th, 2016.
I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading (we did not see any meteors). Once we were in ADR I called the Pharmacy and renewed my prescriptions. When we clocked in, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Pai Gow and Mini Baccarat, and I was on a Blackjack table. I asked our Shift Manager if he had spoken to the Director of Table Games about if we had to attend one of the Meetings set up for Table Games Personal to hear the latest from the Director on November 1st (which is the day when we had hoped to sign the Early Out list and get out and on our vacation; our Shift Manager advised me to send an Email to the Director with our request. Richard also asked the Shift Manager if he had spoken to the Casino Games Scheduler about making sure we had November 20th through November 22nd off, and our Shift Manager said he would talk to the Casino Games Scheduler later in the morning. I also continued reading Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8? by Ethan Brown on my breaks.
After work I went to Uniforms and exchanged my Red Dealer Shirt for one in the same style as my Gold and Orange shirts, and picked up a prescription at the Pharmacy. Our Pharmacist told me to call him on Wednesday, and he would see about getting my other prescriptions filled before our vacation. When we got into our town I left Richard at the auto garage to pick up my car, and drove the truck to Wal-Mart, where I got my Christmas Candle and my salad supplies. Meanwhile, Richard got the oil changed in the car, and stopped by the Post Office to arrange to have our mail held while we are on vacation. When I got home I tried on my new Red Dealer shirt, and it fits fine. I then made my lunch salads for Saturday and Sunday, and ate my Friday salad while reading the morning paper. Next, I addressed my Email (with a blind carbon copy to Richard) requesting permission to not attend the Meetings on November 1st; I got back an out-of-office notice that he will not be in his office until Sunday, October 23rd. We then watched Jeopardy!, and I will now finish today’s Daily Update and read a few more chapters in One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde before going to sleep.
Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint John Paul II, Pope (died 2005). Tomorrow is also the Anniversary of the Creation of the Earth in 4004 BC per Archbishop James Ussher (died 1656), whose Chronology represented a considerable feat of scholarship for his time. We will work our eight hours tomorrow at the casino, and I will continue reading Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8? by Ethan Brown on my breaks. After lunch I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration; when I come home after my Hour I will sleep until about 7:00 pm, at which point I will do my Daily Update, then start watching the College Football away game between our LSU Tigers (4-2, 2-1) and the Ole Miss Rebels (3-3, 1-2) at 8:00 pm; I will record the score of the game in Sunday’s Daily Update.
Our Friday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Ben Bradlee, journalist. Born as Benjamin C. Bradlee in 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts, his father was a direct descendant of Nathan Bradley, the first American Bradley, born in the colony of Massachusetts in 1631, and his mother was awarded the French Legion of Honour for starting an orphanage that sheltered children from Nazi Germany during World War II. The second of three children, Bradlee grew up in a wealthy family with domestic staff; with his siblings he learned French, took piano lessons, and went to the symphony and the opera. The stock market crash of 1929 put an end to the family’s wealth. During the Great Depression, Bradlee’s father worked odd jobs to support his family, including keeping the books for various clubs and institutions and supervising the janitors at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Bradlee contracted polio while at high school, but exercised regularly at home and developed strong arms and a strong chest. He was able to fight off the effects of polio and could walk without limping. Thereafter he attended Harvard College, where he was a Greek–English major and joined the Naval ROTC. Bradlee received his naval commission two hours after graduating in 1942, joined the Office of Naval Intelligence, and worked as a communications officer in the Pacific during World War II. His duties included handling classified and coded cables, serving primarily on the destroyer USS Philip fighting off the shore of Guam and arriving at Guadalcanal with the Second Fleet. Bradlee’s main battles were Vella Lavella, Saipan, Tinian, and Bougainville. He also fought in the biggest naval battle ever fought, the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines Campaign, in the Borneo Campaign, and made every landing in the Solomon Islands campaign. His first marriage, in 1942, was to Jean Saltonstall, who also came from a wealthy and prominent Boston Brahmin family; they had one son, Ben Bradlee, Jr., who later became a deputy managing editor of The Boston Globe. After the war, in 1946, Bradlee became a reporter at the New Hampshire Sunday News, a venture he helped launch. After he sold the paper, in 1948 he started working for The Washington Post as a reporter. He became close friends with then-senator John F. Kennedy, who had graduated from Harvard two years before Bradlee, and lived nearby; Bradlee’s wife was related to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy through her father’s sister Rosamund who married Charles Auchincloss. He got to know associate publisher Philip Graham, who was the son-in-law of the publisher, Eugene Meyer. On November 1st, 1950, Bradlee was alighting from a streetcar in front of the White House just as two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to shoot their way into Blair House across the street in an attempt to kill President Harry S. Truman. In 1951 Graham helped Bradlee become assistant press attaché in the American embassy in Paris, France. In 1952 Bradlee joined the staff of the Office of U.S. Information and Educational Exchange (USIE), the embassy’s propaganda unit. USIE produced films, magazines, research, speeches, and news items for use by the CIA throughout Europe. USIE (later known as USIA) also controlled the Voice of America, a means of disseminating pro-American “cultural information” worldwide. While at the USIE, according to a Justice Department memo from an assistant U.S. attorney in the Rosenberg Trial, Bradlee was helping the CIA manage European propaganda regarding the spying conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on June 19th, 1953. Bradlee was officially employed by USIE until 1953, and he began working for Newsweek in 1954. While based in France, Bradlee divorced his first wife and married Antoinette Pinchot in 1957. In 1957, while working as a reporter for Newsweek, Bradlee created controversy when he interviewed members of the FLN. They were Algerian guerrillas who were in rebellion against the French government at the time. As a result of these interviews, Bradlee was forced to leave France. In 1960 Bradlee toured with both Kennedy and Richard Nixon in their presidential campaigns. Bradlee was, at this point, Washington Bureau chief for Newsweek, a position from which he helped negotiate the sale of the magazine to The Washington Post holding company. Bradlee maintained that position until being promoted to managing editor at The Washington Post in 1965. He became executive editor in 1968. Under Bradlee’s leadership, The Washington Post took on major challenges during the Nixon administration. In 1971 The New York Times and the Post successfully challenged the government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers. One year later, Bradlee backed reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they probed the break-in at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. Ensuing investigations of suspected cover-ups led inexorably to congressional committees, conflicting testimonies, and ultimately to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. For decades, Bradlee was one of only four publicly known people who knew the true identity of press informant Deep Throat, the other three being Woodward, Bernstein, and Deep Throat himself, who later revealed himself to be Nixon’s FBI associate director Mark Felt. (In the 1976 movie All The President’s Men, Bradlee was played by Jason Robards, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.) In 1975 Bradlee wrote Conversations With Kennedy (1975), recounting their relationship in the 1950s and 1960s. After Bradlee and Pinchot divorced, Bradlee married fellow journalist Sally Quinn in 1978, and they had one child. In 1981 Post reporter Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer Prize for “Jimmy’s World”, a profile of an 8-year-old heroin addict. Cooke’s article turned out to be fiction: there was no such addict. As executive editor, Bradlee was roundly criticized in many circles for failing to ensure the article’s accuracy. After questions about the story’s veracity arose, Bradlee (along with publisher Donald Graham) ordered a “full disclosure” investigation to ascertain the truth. Bradlee personally apologized to Mayor Marion Barry and the chief of police of Washington, D.C., for the Post’s fictitious article. Cooke, meanwhile, was forced to resign and relinquish the Pulitzer. In 1983 he gave the inaugural Vance Distinguished Lecture at Central Connecticut State University. Bradlee retired as the executive editor of The Washington Post in September 1991 but continued to serve as vice president at large until his death. That same year he was persuaded by then–governor of Maryland William Donald Schaefer to accept the chairmanship of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission and continued in that position through 2003, and delivered the Theodore H. White lecture at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He had an acting role in Born Yesterday, the 1993 remake of the 1950 romantic comedy. Bradlee published an autobiography in 1995, A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures. On May 3rd, 2006, Bradlee received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In the fall of 2005, Jim Lehrer conducted six hours of interviews with Bradlee on a variety of topics, from the responsibilities of the press to Watergate to the Valerie Plame affair. The interviews were edited for an hour-long documentary, Free Speech: Jim Lehrer and Ben Bradlee, which premiered on PBS on June 19, 2006. Bradlee received the French Legion of Honor, the highest award given by the French government, at a ceremony in 2007 in Paris. He was named as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on August 8th, 2013, and was presented the medal at a White House ceremony on November 20th, 2013 (died 2014): “Lying has reached such epidemic proportions in our culture and among our institutions in recent years, that we’ve all become immunized to it.”