Daily Update: Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

06-14 - Flag Day

With no Saints to honor, we will note instead that today is Flag Day in these fifty states.

Today’s holiday commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened by resolution of the Second Continental Congress on this date in 1777. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14th as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14th, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday. Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, Chapter 1, § 110 is the official statute on Flag Day, allowing the President to officially proclaim the observance of the holiday. The week of June 14th is designated as “National Flag Week,” during which the President issues a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all Government buildings. Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America’s national flag and everything it represents. The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June. The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore, Maryland, birth place of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen his famous poem, has celebrated Flag Day since the inception of a museum on the property in 1927. The annual celebration commemorates the Star-Spangled Banner and its creator Mary Pickersgill. And the Betsy Ross House has long been the site of Philadelphia’s observance of Flag Day. (Research conducted by the Smithsonian National Museum of America History notes that the story of Betsy Ross making the first American flag for General George Washington entered into American consciousness about the time of the 1876 Centennial celebrations. In 1870 Ross’s grandson, William J. Canby, presented a paper to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in which he claimed that his grandmother had “made with her hands the first flag” of the United States. Canby said he first obtained this information from his aunt Clarissa Wilson in 1857, twenty years after Betsy Ross’s death.)

Last night I started reading Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner via Kindle on my tablet.

Today I woke up at 8:00 am, did my Book Devotional Reading, and posted to Facebook that today was Flag Day. I started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, then read the morning paper. I put out the flag in honor of Flag Day (today I alway wore a patriotic T-shirt and my Flag Earrings), then I finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance and started the Weekly Virus Scan.

We left the house (in the car) at 9:45 am, and I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Sixth Day of my Corpus Christi Novean. We arrived at Butch’s apartment at 11:30 am, and fifteen minutes later the three of us went to Phil’s Oyster Bar and had lunch. (When we lived in Baton Rouge, we used to go to the Phil’s on Government Street all the time with the kids, back when they were not in school yet; we moved to SouthWestCentral Louisiana in 1993, where our son started second grade, and our daughter started first grade.) After lunch we made a quick stop at Wal-Mart, where Richard got glasses cleaning supplies for Butch, and we returned to Butch’s apartment. I continued reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, then, while Richard put the safe up (it is bolted to the top of Butch’s chest of drawers in his bedroom, but not before he had to go to Wal-Mart for a ratchet set) I continued reading Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner via Kindle on my tablet.

We left Butch’s apartment at 3:15 pm, and arrived back home at 5:00 pm; the Weekly Virus Scan had finished, without turning off the computer for a change. The bank statement had arrived in the mail, so I reconciled the bank statement with our checkbook using my Checkbook Pro app. Richard then went to the local drive-through daiquiri place and got us daiquiris. (They give you the daiquiri, in a styrofoam cup with a top, and a straw. Once you put the straw through the top, it becomes a Open Container, and only at that point is it illegal to drive with it.) We then watched MST3K Episode 306 Time of the Apes (Saru No Gundan), which was originally a Japanese twenty-six-episode mini-series based on the Pierre Boulle book Planet of the Apes. It was then drastically edited down into a movie, using the first and last episodes and parts of the other episodes, leaving us with a movie with a woman and two very annoying children. And now I will do my Daily Update, and get ready to go to bed.

Tomorrow is the traditional date of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), but not the date when it is celebrated in most United States Catholic dioceses (that will be on Sunday). And tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Vitus, Martyr (died 303). I do not have to get salad supplies and make my salads for Friday and Saturday, because I never ate my Monday or Tuesday salads, which I will eat on Friday and Saturday. Callie and our granddaughter are due to visit us after lunch.

On this Flag Day evening our Parting Quote comes to us from Ruth Bell Graham, American missionary. Born in 1920 in Qingjiang, Kiangsu, China, her parents were medical missionaries at the Presbyterian Hospital 300 miles north of Shanghai. At the age of 13 she was enrolled in high school in Pyongyang, Korea, where she studied for three years. She completed her high school education at Montreat, North Carolina, while her parents were there on furlough. She then went to Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois where she met Billy Graham; they were married in the summer of 1943, shortly after their graduation. In 1945, after a brief stint as a suburban pastor, her husband became an evangelist for Youth for Christ. The Grahams moved to Montreat near her parents where they continued to live for the rest of their married life. Despite Graham being one of the world’s most famous Baptists, his wife remained a Presbyterian and often taught Sunday School. Between 1945 and 1958, Mrs. Graham gave birth to five children, whom she raised (sometimes single-handedly) while her husband was away on extended national and international evangelistic crusades. She was always a vital part of Graham’s evangelistic career, and he turned to her for advice and input about many ministry decisions. One of the early uses of media by the BGEA was the Hour of Decision radio program begun in 1950, which she named. In 1959 Mrs. Graham published her first book, Our Christmas Story, an illustrated volume for children. She went on to write or co-write thirteen other books, many of them works of poetry she wrote as an emotional release while her husband was so often on the road through the years. In 1966 she founded the Ruth and Billy Graham Children’s Health Center in Asheville, North Carolina, with which she was actively involved until her death. She taught Bible studies at North Carolina Women’s Prison and at a local college with a difficult reputation, working with troubled students. One of those troubled students she helped was a young woman called Patsy Daniels, who wrote Mrs. Graham’s biography, A Time for Remembering (later reissued as Ruth: A Portrait) in 1983, after she had become author Patricia Cornwell. Mrs. Graham’s significant role in Graham’s ministry was recognized in 1996, when they were jointly awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a special ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. (died 2007): “Just pray for a tough hide and a tender heart.”

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