Monday, April 19, 2010

APRIL 19tTH --A VERY BIG IDAY N HISTORY




On this date in 1775, The American Revolution began with the battle of Lexington and Concord. It is also the birthday of one of the five original writers of the Declaration-- Mr. Roger Sherman. The others being of course Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Livingston. Did you know that we actually did better in the Revolution than we did in the war of 1812-- which technically we lost and surrendered after the British burned down Washington D.C. We somehow came out on top because before the news of the surrender reached the southern battle states there came the stunning victory at the Battle of New Orleans thanks to Andrew Jackson and his collaboration with the pirate king Lafitte. Thankfully, the British didn't want the colonies back at that time - the whole issue of the war had been Brittan press ganging our merchant sailors into the British navy to fight Napoleon in the Napoleonic Wars. Actually, France was doing the same thing and there was great debate (especially after the XYZ affair) on which country to go to war with. All the presidents that we had in this period wanted America to be neutral in all wars as Switzerland is today! Too bad we didn't follow dear little Switzerland's example. And this day in history is significant for even more famous events. General Douglas MacArthur gave his farewell address to Congress after being fired by President Harry S. Truman. I personally think he was right. I believe sometimes just like our Revolution, one must strike as the iron is hot. MacArthur said on that fateful day: "Today I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away." And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good Bye. But this day holds more. The fifty-one day siege at Waco ended on this date in 1993 and the Oklahoma Federal Building Bombing happened on this day in 1995. The Pope celebrates his five year anniversary of being elected and dear Mel Brooks had the ultimate success of his life when great crowds formed for the opening of his first musical on Broadway "The Producers" based on his 1968 film. That movie was supposed to be a musical way back then, but as Mel was shopping around New York City, every producer in town told him that he had "too many sets" and should only be a movie. Evidently Mel thought no more about it until his late wife Anne Bancroft talked him into taking "The Producers" to Broadway in 1999. Today in the "I feel old" department Tim Curry turns sixty-four years old and Elinor Donahue, the eldest daughter in Robert Young's television classic "Father Knows Best" turns seventy-three. I'm off to Disneyland today to turn in my paperwork for availability for the upcoming Summer season.