Monday, December 28, 2009

Childermas Revisited

Here is what happened on this day after 1954 (a "Marian Year" by the way):

* On this day in 1973, Alexander Solzhenitsyn published "Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison system.

* On this day in 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.

* On this day in 1982, Nevell Johnson Jr, a black man, was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade, setting off three days of race-related disturbances that left another man dead.

* On this day in 1989, Alexander Dubcek, the former Czechoslovak Communist leader who was deposed in a Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, was named president of the country's parliament.

* On this day in 1999, Clayton Moore, television's "Lone Ranger," died in West Hills, Calif., at age 85.

* On this day in 2004, in New York City, activist and author Susan Sontag died at age 71, and actor Jerry Orbach died at age 69.

* On this day in 2005, former top Enron Corporation accountant Richard Causey pleaded guilty to securities fraud, and agreed to help pursue convictions against Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

* On this day in 2008, the Detroit Lions completed an 0-16 season, the NFL's worst ever, with a 31-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

* On this day in 2009, eleven people (who deserve my sincere thanks) showed up for my party, and a generous benefactor other than me picked up the tab. The rest of you lost out on that one, SUCKAS!!! The staff of the Clarendon Silver Diner did a magnificent job, and I actually got presents. That's right, kids, people actually put thought into this. What's more, I've had three, maybe four birthday parties in my life, and this was my first bi-lingual birthday party.

It also turns out that a birthday of twin digits (22, 33, 44, et cetera) has some significance in Asian culture. Something about good luck for the year ahead.

I could live with that.

(FIRST IMAGE: A rare photo of the Salus Populi Romani, crowned by Pius XII in 1953. The crown inscription reads: "Pius XII PM Deiparae Reginae Kal MCMLIV A Mar." Pope Pius XII to the Queen Mother of God, Marian Year 1954. After the renovation, the crown was deleted and is now in the museum of the sacristy of Saint Peter. The picture today in Rome exists therefore only without the crown.)

No comments: