Daily Update: Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Corpus Christi and Father's Day

Today is the date when the American church celebrates the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). In the secular world, today is Father’s Day.

The Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ honors the Eucharist, which believers hold to be the actual body and blood of Christ, and as such it does not commemorate a particular event in Jesus’ life. At the end of the Mass for this Solemnity, it is customary to have a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament (often outdoors), followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Until the two feasts were combined in 1970, separate feasts existed for the Body of Christ, held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, and for the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with a feast on July 1st. And until 1955 the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) was followed by a privileged octave; not only on the eighth day from the feast but on all the intervening days, the liturgy was the same as on the feast itself, with exactly the same prayers and Scripture readings (except for certain highly ranked feasts). The traditional date of the Feast is on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday; in the American church and some other jurisdictions, it is held on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday, and thus on the Second Sunday after Pentecost. Starting next Sunday, the Sundays will be numbered by Ordinal Numbers (unless that Sunday is a superseding Feast) until the First Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas. Turning to today’s holiday, modern Father’s Day was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd (died 1978), born in Creston, Washington, who was also the driving force behind its establishment. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. and Dodd was inspired by Anna Jarvis’s efforts to establish Mother’s Day to create a day honoring fathers. Although she initially suggested June 5th, her own father’s birthday, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The first June Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19th, 1910, in Spokane at the Spokane YMCA. A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make the holiday official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. In 1957 Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for forty years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents”. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. At one time it was said that more phone calls were made in the United States during Mother’s Day than during Father’s Day, but that the percentage of collect calls on Father’s Day was much higher, making it the busiest day of the year for collect calls; that was at a time when no one had cell phones, O my best beloved Four or Five Loyal Readers.

Last night 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. I also got a text from Callie at 6:30 pm that she and our granddaughter had made it safely home. And at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, our #3 LSU Tigers beat the #17 Florida State Seminoles by the score of 5 to 4.

When I woke up to get ready for work I posted to Facebook that today was Father’s Day, tagging both Richard and Matthew. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Today was a Heavy Business Day at the casino for Father’s Day, with call-ins and tardies counting for two points. When we clocked in, Richard was on Macau Mini Baccarat, which turned into a regular Mini Baccarat table when all of our Macau players left. I was on the regular Mini Baccarat table, signed my surveillance report for the error I had made yesterday in setting a Pai Gow hand, closed the Mini Baccarat table, was the Check Racker on Roulette for about twenty minutes, and spent the rest of the day dealing Blackjack on the Sit-Down Blackjack table.

On our way home from work I continued reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; once home from work I ate my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers. Richard got a call from Matthew wishing him a Happy Father’s Day. Richard then went out to mow the grass, and I came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, as I plan to go to bed for the duration once this Daily Update is done.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Romuald, Abbot (died 1027). And in the secular world, tomorrow is Juneteenth. Richard and I will work our eight hours at the casino, and I will finish reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, and in the afternoon I will be packing, doing my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, and putting the new screen protector on my phone. At the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska tomorrow evening, our #3 LSU Tigers will be playing  the #1 Oregon State Beavers.

Our Parting Quote on this afternoon of the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) comes to us from Allen Weinstein, American historian. Born in 1937 in New York, New York, he was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, and his parents owned several delis in the Bronx and Queens. He graduated from City College of New York, then received a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. He taught at Smith College from 1966 to 1981. In 1970 Weinstein began researching the Alger Hiss case for a book. Reviewing the case, John Ehrman wrote at the official CIA website that initially, Weinstein “believed that Hiss had not been a Communist or a spy.” Weinstein’s extensive research included interviews with former Soviet intelligence officers who had worked with Chambers and a Freedom of Information request that eventually yielded 30,000 pages of FBI and CIA files. Ehrman continues “Hiss also cooperated with Weinstein, granting him six interviews and access to the defense’s legal files. After plowing through the data, however, Weinstein did what no previous Hiss defender had done: he changed his mind.” Controversy resulted when Weinstein indicated in a 1976 book review that he now believed that Hiss was guilty, and grew with the publication in 1978 of Weinstein’s book, Perjury: The Hiss–Chambers Case. The book and the conclusions expressed in it have aroused some controversy; The Nation has since published a series of articles critical of Weinstein. One of Weinstein’s interview subjects, Samuel Krieger, sued Weinstein for libel in 1979 for misquoting him and incorrectly identifying him as a fugitive murder suspect, leading Weinstein to settle out of court by issuing a public apology and paying Krieger $17,500. Briefly, in 1981, he served on the editorial staff for The Washington Post and was an Executive editor of The Washington Quarterly from 1981 to 1983. In 1981 he moved to Georgetown University, where he was a professor until 1984. From 1982 to 1991 he was a member of the Foreign Policy Association’s Editorial Advisory Board. In 1982 he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies, and in 1983 he served on the U.S. delegation to the UNESCO-sponsored International Program for the Development of Communication. He was a Professor of History at Boston University from 1985 to 1989. Weinstein was a founding member in 1985 of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace and Chairman of its Education and Training Committee, remaining a Director until 2001, after which he served on the Chairman’s Advisory Council. In 1985 Weinstein founded The Center for Democracy, where he served as president until the organization merged with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in 2003. At the request of Senators Lugar and Pell of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Center for Democracy organized a bipartisan group of election lawyers to oversee the preparations for the February 1986 elections in the Philippines. At Ronald Reagan’s request, Weinstein returned to the Philippines to continue to monitor the election procedures. The Center drafted the official report of the U.S. Observer Delegation, and went on to work with President Aquino’s government on matters of electoral procedure. While president he also chaired the organization’s observation missions to El Salvador (1991), Nicaragua (1989–90, 1996), Panama (1988–89), and Russia (1991, 1996, 2000). For his work in international elections work, Weinstein received the United Nations Peace Medal (1986) and the Council of Europe’s Silver Medal (1990 and 1996). After the organizations merged in 2003, Weinstein remained on staff at IFES as their senior adviser. He was a founding officer of the Strasbourg-based International Institute for Democracy from 1989 to 2001. He chaired the annual “Global Panel” in the Netherlands from 1993 to 1998. He chaired the Judging Panel for the annual International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award from 1995 to 2003. With Alexander Vassiliev he wrote The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America—The Stalin Era in 1999. In 2004 Jon Wiener accused Weinstein in The Nation of breaching professional ethics by paying for exclusive access to Soviet archives for The Haunted Wood, and of refusing to allow other researchers access to his personal archives. Other sources, including Harvard professor Daniel Aaron, Sidney Hook, Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin and Garry Wills supported Weinstein’s scholarship. Ellen Schrecker “explicitly acknowledge[d] that the 1999 publication of Allen Weinstein’s The Haunted Wood finally convinced me of the guilt of the major communist spies.” He served as the Archivist of the United States from February 16th, 2005 until his resignation on December 19th, 2008. During his tenure he worked on the Restoration of public trust through declassification and release of interagency agreements with audit and other procedures, established the National Declassification Initiative to address challenges in policies, procedures, structure, and resources, expanded public outreach with Foundation for the National Archives via Digital Vaults and Boeing Learning Center, and implemented to creation of the “First Preservers” program to preserve vital records. Weinstein returned to IFES in 2009 and taught history at the University of Maryland. During his career in education, Weinstein received two Senior Fulbright Lectureships, a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a fellowship at the American Council for Learned Societies. In 2009 historian Eduard Mark wrote that “The declassification of Venona excepted, no development since the end of the Cold War has affected the study of Soviet espionage in the United States as much as the work jointly written by Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev, The Haunted Wood.” (died 2015): “We will lose the millions of records being created daily in a dizzying array of electronic forms unless we find a way to preserve and keep them accessible indefinitely.”

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