Today in My History
the Wild Things Are
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2 October 2018
OK. I was woefully out of date. The RedBubble t-shirts are being sold by Lawsuit, which Ned published on Facebook in 2016 for people who missed the band and wanted souvenirs:
My newest Swap Bot project is called "History of You and Me" and the directions are to write a letter which will highlight four interesting historical events throughout your life. Start with the year you were born, put the year, and write about one event. Then, choose three more events from your lifetime, write how old you were when they happened, and (if you were old enough at the time) write what your reaction to that event was. The events can be world history, or national, or local to your town.
In truth, I don't remember anything about 1943 but thanks to a web site called The People History, I was able to find out what it was like the year I was born.
The Cost of Living was the big...not so much
shocker, but indication of how old I am and how long I have lived.
Since WWII was still going on, war stuff was obviously a big deal. In fact, a huge chunk of the page is devoted to which battles were waged in 1943. Also....
* The US Mint begins producing the one-cent
coin in steel due to copper shortages during World War II. Copper was being
used for the created of ammunition and other military items.
and, of course, I was born. I didn't have any reaction to any of these momentous events, however, except my birth. I cried.
So many other big events have happened in my lifetime that it's difficult to pick only three others, but of course the death of JFK in 1963 has to top the list -- probably the list of everyone who is around my age. It was the first time a national event was televised and we were all glued to our television sets, except for Sunday morning, when we went to Mass, then went out to breakfast and had the radio on while we were coming home and heard Oswald killed. The sadness and the pageantry of those days will forever remain with me and it saddens me that my kids don't, as Jeri put it, "get the Kennedy thing." I can still get a little teary seeing pictures of little John-John giving his salute to his dad's coffin....even more poignant now, knowing his own eventual fate.
Another very crystal clear event that stands out for me was the first moon landing. When Armstrong stepped on the moon, it was an amazing feeling. We were watching it at Walt's mother's apartment. Paul (#3) was the baby then and he was nursing at that very moment. I can always remember that the landing was in 1969, because of Paul. For the time they were on the moon, I would occasionally look up into the sky at the moon and marvel that there were PEOPLE walking on it!
Being from San Francisco, I can't leave out the 1978 death of mayor George Mosconi and Supervisor Harvey Milk (the first gay supervisor), by Supervisor Dan White, who was angry about losing a seat on the Board of Supervisors (Milk campaigned against him and Mosconi refused to re-appoint him). Dianne Feinstein took over as mayor, beginning her very long career in politics.
White was subsequently convicted of voluntary manslaughter, rather than first-degree murder. The verdict sparked the "White Night riots" in San Francisco, and led to the state of California abolishing the diminished capacity criminal defense. It also led to the urban legend of the "Twinkie defense", as many media reports had incorrectly described the defense as having attributed White's diminished capacity to the effects of sugar-laden junk food. White committed suicide in 1985, a little more than a year after his release from prison.
Having grown up in SF, but not living in that world, I was only peripherally aware of what was going on in the gay community until an impromptu candlelight march started in the Castro leading to the City Hall steps. Tens of thousands attended. Joan Baez led "Amazing Grace", and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus sang a solemn hymn by Felix Mendelssohn. Upon learning of the assassinations, singer/songwriter Holly Near composed "Singing for Our Lives", also known as "Song for Harvey Milk."
This event, and the later murder of Matthew
Shepard 20 year later had a profound effect on me and made a gay rights
activist of me.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #6763