Ghost of Mark Twain here again, children --
How mankind defers from day to day the best it can do, and the most beautiful things it can enjoy,
without thinking that every day may be the last one, and that lost time is lost eternity!
We are nearing the end of the month, and it occurs to me that some of you are much closer to your end than you would imagine.
Cherish each moment. I wish I had done that more.
On this day in 1969, old Duke Ellington got the Medal of Freedom on his 70th birthday.
In 1965, the Music Jury of the Pulitzer Prize Committee unaminously recommended him for a special award, but the Advisory Board declined it.
Old Duke just smiled, "Fate doesn't want me to be famous too young!"
I like especially what he once told me, "I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues."
Now, there's a man for you!
Ah, gentle readers, that shows you the power of music, that magician of magicians,
who lifts his wand and says his mysterious word and all things real pass away and the phantoms of your mind walk before you clothed in flesh.
Painting, c. 1485
On this date in 1429,
young Joan of Arc arrived to relieve a siege in Orleans. The siege had been going on since October of the previous year,
and Joan's success in lifting the siege was the first of a series of stunning victories.
Think of it: a young peasant girl, unschooled in the arts of war, leads seasoned men and commanders to a victory long denied them.
That is the way with us:
we may go on half of our life not knowing such a thing is in us, when in reality it was there all the time, and all we needed was something to turn up that would call for it.
On this day in 1945:
Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun.
The two married in the Fuhrerbunker, where they had been living underground for months, and committed suicide together the next day.
American troops guarding the main entrance to Dachau just after liberation, 1945
Dachau was liberated.
Dachau was one of the first concentration camps opened, and was the site of some of the worst atrocities of World War II.
When it was finally liberated, most of the 30,000 inmates were severely emaciated, and many more had died.
Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable.
Of the entire brood he is the only one--the solitary one--that possesses malice.
That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices--the most hateful.
He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.
Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel.
He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.
In a sour example of "justice",
an all-white suburban Los Angeles jury acquited four white police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King.
The case centered on a video, taped by an amateur cameraman which caught the scene on film
as the four police officers beat, kicked and clubbed unemployed laborer Rodney King while other officers looked on.
Three days of rioting ensued. Man sure doesn't improve with age does he?
is still on the run from a nationwide hunt after escaping from a band of policemen
with orders to catch him dead or alive 1 week ago in North woods Wisconsin.
On this date in 1958, Michelle Marie Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California, U.S.
Michelle Pfeiffer is an American actress who has won a number of awards including
a Golden Globe Award ( The Fabulous Baker Boys ) and a BAFTA Award ( Dangerous Liaisons ).
That gal is recognized for her talent and beauty
and was at one time featured in People Magazine's '50 Most Beautiful People in the World' issue in 1990.
I keep showing up in her boudoir, asking her to put on her catwoman outfit. She keeps asking me to jump in the cat litter box!