Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's another holy day of obligation

It's Ascension Thursday, the day Catholics (you know, that cult religion) celebrates the day that Christ, in the presence of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven. The Ascension occurred on the 40th day of Easter, so it falls on a Thursday, and thus is often called Ascension Thursday (as apposed to Ascension Tuesday or Saturday.)

Once again, please look to one of the little old ladies currently kneeling in your local church, rosary firmly embedded in their arthritic hands for the deeper religious implications.

I went to the bank this morning to take out some money and heard this song playing - I became quite wistful (although I was not filled with ennui or jejuneness.)

I realized that within two years of release of this song and the eponymously titled Pretenders album, two of the band members would be dead.

Today in History-
June 2, 1740 -
The Marquis de Sade was born on this date and his sexual proclivities made his name a noun.

His sexual proclivities themselves have been preserved in a mason jar at the Louvre.

June 2, 1793 -
Jean Paul Marat recites names of 29 people to the French Assembly, virtually all of whom will be guillotined. The Rain of Terror officially began in France.

This was one of the worst meteorological events in French history and cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

June 2, 1886 -
President Grover Cleveland, 49 and weighing over 300 lbs. (think Gov. Chris Christie with a walrus mustache) married Frances Folsom (his legal ward) in a White House ceremony. Ms.Folsom, was the 22-year-old daughter of Cleveland's late law partner and friend, Oscar Folsom.

The intimate wedding ceremony took place in the White House Blue Room with fewer than 40 people present (those who could get over the entire ick factor.) To date, Cleveland is the only president to marry in the Executive Mansion while in office.

June 2, 1910 -
Charles Stewart Rolls, one of the founders of Rolls-Royce, becomes the first man to fly an airplane nonstop across the English Channel both ways.

He became Britain's first aircraft fatality the following month when his biplane broke up in midair, while attempting to get a cocktail from the non-existent flight attendant.

June 2, 1941 -
Baseball great, Lou Gehrig, dies at 37 at his home in the Bronx.

You would have thought someone might have mentioned to him that he had Lou Gehrig's disease earlier in his career.

June 2, 1953 -
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten officially becomes the head of her family's business and was coronated on this date.

The entire ceremony was, save for the anointing and communion, televised throughout the Commonwealth, and was watched by an estimated twenty million people, with twelve million more listening on the radio.

The Queen's reign is longer than those of her four immediate predecessors combined (Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, and George VI). She is the third longest reigning British or English monarch, the second-longest-serving current monarch of a sovereign state (after King Bhumibol of Thailand), and the oldest reigning British monarch.

And so it goes.

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