…with a nod to the Smashing Pumpkins, part of the soundtrack of the ’90’s.
And that nod is ironic, in that April 14 is a titanic (sorry not sorry) American anniversary, for two kabooms heard ’round the world. Would that we could go back in time and stop either one!
First kaboom: John Wilkes Booth, after failing to kidnap President Lincoln with his coconspirators on March 20, 1865, shot the president from the stage during Laura Keene’s performance in Our American Cousin. President Lincoln died the next day, the first American president to be assassinated.
No word on the life-shattering PTSD Miss Keene likely experienced for the rest of her years. I’ll bet my master’s degree in counseling that she was the hostess with the mostest for Independence Day soirees: late dinner, then dancing under the fireworks at Miss Keene’s, how divine, how thrilling!
- Episode 117: Boston Corbett
- Episode 48: Charles Guiteau (in reference to the 2nd assassinated American president–yes, damn it, it happened again)
- Episode 142: A Terrible Vice President
- Episode 54: Cassius Clay
Second kaboom: April 14, 1912: The RMS Titanic “fails to divert its course from an iceberg” (thank you, history.com, for that incredible turn of phrase).
entry referencing the Titanic, as of now: Episode 152: The Car Known as “The Dale”
One last bad event, just one:
In what came to be known as “Black Sunday,” one of the most devastating storms of the 1930s Dust Bowl era swept across the region on this day. High winds kicked up clouds of millions of tons of dirt and dust so dense and dark that some eyewitnesses believed the world was coming to an end.
The term “dust bowl” was reportedly coined by a reporter in the mid-1930s and referred to the plains of western Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and northeastern New Mexico. (history.com)
entry (with photographs of that day): Episode 40: Dollop: LAPD 2: James Davis Years
I won’t leave you with all death and mayhem. April 14 has seen its share of shiny:
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, the first American society dedicated to the cause of abolition, is founded in Philadelphia on this day in 1775. The society changes its name to the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage in 1784. (history.com)
1775, not 1875: During the Revolutionary War, this Quaker badass was already publicly stumping for abolition. Just let that stew in your brainpan.
Started and led by Anthony Benezet, after he taught black children in his home after regular school hours, and then founded the first girls’ school in America in 1754.
…and then educating women. Women. Blacks and women. Reading and writing and critical thinking. In the 18th century. I’ll bet his neighbors lovvvvved him.
After Benezet’s death, Benjamin Franklin became the Pennsylvania Society’s president in 1787.
related entry: Episode 68: Centralia
BOOM. That’s why you love me. And no, I didn’t know that when I started this entry.
Cue spooky music.