Daily Update: Saturday, November 19th, 2016

11-19 - Gettysburg Address

No Saints today. On this date in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.

The principle speaker for the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Edward Everett, who had served as Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor of Massachusetts, and president of Harvard University, was invited to speak at the dedication a month before the original scheduled date of October 23rd but requested more time to prepare his oration, so the event was rescheduled to November 19th. President Lincoln was invited to give “a few appropriate remarks” only seventeen days before the ceremony. Everett spoke for two hours, speaking some 13,607 words in his Gettysburg Oration. Legend holds that the photographers, expecting the President to give a long address, took their time in setting up their equipment, and that when they were ready to take the President’s photo while speaking, he had already finished with his 272-word remarks (now known as the Gettysburg Address) and was returning to his seat amid somewhat scattered and barely polite applause. (Other photos of Lincoln at Gettysburg were almost certainly taken while he was seated listening to the music or listening to Everett’s oration.) In a letter to Lincoln written the following day, Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” Lincoln replied that he was glad to know the speech was not a “total failure”. There are five manuscripts of the Address (two drafts, and three copies), each different in details; in part because Lincoln provided a title and signed and dated the Bliss copy, it has become the standard text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. (Modern scholarship locates the speakers’ platform 40 yards (or more) away from the Traditional Site within Soldiers’ National Cemetery at the Soldiers’ National Monument and entirely within private, adjacent Evergreen Cemetery.)

I had my alarm clock set, but ignored it, and did not wake up until 11:00 am (!). I did my Book Devotional Reading and read the morning paper. At 12:00 pm we settled in to watch our #16 LSU Tigers play a home SEC College Basketball game with the #21 ranked Florida Gators, and ate grilled steak, a baked potato for me, and fresh steamed broccoli (all of which was very good). At halftime of the game I set up my medications for next week. Alas, our LSU Tigers lost the game on the last play, losing by the score of 10 to 16; our Tigers will next play an away SEC College Football game with the #25 ranked Texas A&M Aggies on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. I did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts (I have them done through December 2nd), and we spent the rest of the day watching MST3K episodes; I much prefer the ones with Mike Nelson to the ones with Joel Hodgson. Richard went out to get tacos for himself to eat; I was not hungry. I did another Advance Daily Update Draft for Saturday, December 3rd. And our New Orleans Pelicans won their NBA game with the Charlotte Hornets in Overtime by the score of 121 to 116; our Pelicans will next play an Away NBA game with the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, November 22nd.

Tomorrow is the Solemnity of Christ the King (the last Sunday of the Church Year, before Advent begins next Sunday), and the Last Day of the Holy Year of Mercy. I will pledge myself to not ignore the alarm clock and address Christmas Cards. I will also put the new Black Ice screen protector on my Android to replace the one currently resident which is cracked. Our LSU Lady Tigers (3-0, 0-0) will play a Home College Basketball game with the #3 ranked Uconn Lady Huskies (2-0, 0-0).

Our Parting Quote this Saturday Evening comes to us from Rex Reason, German-born American actor. He was born in 1928 in Berlin to an American family that returned to California shortly after his birth. He was raised in Los Angeles, attended high school in Glendale, California, and enlisted in the United States Army at the age of seventeen. He began his stage career in 1948 at the Pasadena Playhouse, performing there for three years before coming to the notice of Hollywood. In 1951 he was given a screen test at Columbia Pictures and was cast as the lead in a starring role in his first picture, a low-budget adventure drama Storm Over Tibet (1952). Reason was under contract for two more years at Columbia until moving to Universal in mid-1953, after making a promising appearance in the sword-and-sandal epic Salome (1953) with Rita Hayworth. A tall (6’3″), handsome, leading man with a distinctive baritone speaking voice, Reason appeared in several films and television shows throughout the 1950s and 1960s. He made two pictures at Universal Studios under the name “Bart Roberts” before demanding to be able to use his own name again; they agreed, as his real name did sound like a Hollywood screen name. Reason is perhaps best known for his role as stalwart, heroic scientist Dr. Cal Meacham in the science fiction movie This Island Earth (1955). Reason co-starred as sympathetic scientist Dr. Tom Morgan in the third—and final—installment of Universal International Pictures’ Creature from the Black Lagoon horror film series in The Creature Walks Among Us (1956). He also appeared opposite Clark Gable and Sidney Poitier in Band of Angels (1957) for Warner Bros. He appeared in Badlands of Montana (1957) as an opponent of a corrupt Mayor played by John M. Pickard. In the story line, Pickard administers ten lashes with a whip to Reason’s back. Reason starred as newspapermen in two television series. The first of those was a syndicated western, Man Without a Gun (1957–1959), in the role of Adam MacLean, editor of the Yellowstone Sentinel newspaper in Dakota Territory. The second was the ABC/Warner Bros. drama The Roaring Twenties (1960–1962), a crime drama in the role of Scott Norris, reporter for the fictitious New York Record. Reason walked out on his film contract with Warner Bros. in the fall of 1961 when he was being considered for a starring role in John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate (1962). The film began as a project at Warners, but was completed as an independent film and released by United Artists. Laurence Harvey was cast in the role instead. He appeared as a guest on an NBC interview program, Here’s Hollywood, in 1961, and guest-starred on a number of other television series. In Perry Mason he played the role of defendant Steve Brock in the episode, “The Case of the Ancient Romeo” (1962). His final television appearance was in an episode of Wagon Train broadcast in 1963. He was also featured in episodes of Bourbon Street Beat, 77 Sunset Strip, and The Alaskans. After his film and television acting career ended, he worked as a real estate broker and had a second career as a voiceover actor. During his later years, Reason was in retirement and living in Walnut, California, with his third wife (died 2015): “The mutant in This Island Earth (1955) I didn’t much care for. I felt it looked too much like it had a human body. It should have been changed, because if you look at its head it was wonderful, and it had claws and such, but then it had human feet. It didn’t jibe, but I thought it would be accepted, which it was…I thought the lagoon creature in The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) was handled very well, particularly in the underwater sequences. I think the guys in those costumes did a great job. That is a heck of a thing to be inside of something like that and have to exert some kind of an expression on the outside.”

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