Thursday, April 14, 2016


Dark Day

On April 14, 1865, just days after Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant
at Appomattox, President Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending a theatrical performance at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.

He died of the wound the following morning.

Ford's Theatre, guarded by soldiers and displaying mourning decorations

The mindset that drove John Wilkes Booth to commit this heinous act is not a relic of our ancient past, of course. Even today, there are people who publicly call for the death of their political opponents, and gloat when they die.

If anything, our current political discourse is even more contentious than the debates over slavery that roiled the nation during Lincoln's time. For all of the somber remembrances of Lincoln's death we hear on this anniversary every year, we never seem to grasp the real meaning of the event.

 I know, old friend, I too...


Over the past couple of seasons, my beloved Kansas City Royals have developed a reputation as a team that takes nothing for granted, and battles until the final out.

Last night's 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park was the most recent instance of the team's relentless approach.

It was disheartening when the Astros tied the game in the bottom of the 7th inning, but in the top of the 8th LF Alex Gordon drew a two-out walk, and C Salvador Perez clubbed a two-run homer to put the Royals back in front to stay.

Relievers Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria only allowed one baserunner over the final two innings, and once again the Royals had won a game in the late innings.

RHP Ian Kennedy takes the mound for the Royals tonight as they go for the series victory before heading to Oakland to complete the season's first road trip.


RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10

At approximately 11:40 PM on April 14, 1912 RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic a few hundred miles to the south of Newfoundland.

Because she was thought to be "unsinkable," the number of lifeboats on board were insufficient to hold even half of the passengers, and the crew had not been trained in how to handle an evacuation.

1,514 people lost their lives due to sheer hubris. Sadly, humanity never seems to learn this lesson, no matter how often it is repeated...

The Modern Inquisition

From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Our memories of Abraham Lincoln will always be inextricably linked to the Civil War,
of course. And those events produced some of our country's greatest patriotic music.

Original 1862 sheet music

In November of 1861, abolitionist poet Julia Ward Howe wrote new lyrics for the popular marching song "John Brown's Body." Her new version was published in The Atlantic Monthly magazine in February 1862.

Now called "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," Howe's update quickly became a popular patriotic song, and continues to be used on ceremonial political occasions, especially state funerals, to this day.

No song is more closely linked to the Civil War and to Lincoln's presidency than this one.

Today's send-off is a stirring 2007 performance of the song by the orchestra and choir of Brigham Young University, paired with evocative illustrations from the period. Enjoy...

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