Friday, September 14, 2012

The Door Marked 14 September

        So, some truly remarkable souls stepped through the door marked [on our side of it anyway] 14 September.  
        Alexander von Humboldt entered our world at this time/space intersection: Monday, 14 Sept. 1789/Berlin. A few months after Geo. Washington's Inauguration. I could say that he began his earthly adventure.  He grew up to be a geographer, a curious-minded botanist, an explorer whose curiosity took him deep into the wilds of South America. By golly, if I were an ambitious person I would so write a book about this man. By golly, I just might... Just the wikipedia essay about him will knock your socks off. Figuratively. It's damp & chilly here today [blessedly so, after this dry cauldron of a summer]  socks are warranted. 
      And one of my all-time favorite illustrators was born on this day, in 1867, when future author Laura Ingalls Wilder was 7 months old. Check out the wonderful drawings of pen & ink maestro Charles Dana Gibson.   

      And it's the birthday anniversary of a true revolutionary. Margaret Higgins Sanger,  champion of giving women volition and control over their potential motherhood, came into the world at the corner of Sunday, 14 Sept. 1879/Corning, NY.  And, and, and, thanks to Leon Czolgosz,  his unhappy, confused, perhaps demented assassin, 58-year-old  President William McKinley departed our world on a Saturday in 1901, went into he Blue Beyond through the door marked 14 September. I once came across a lovely, candid photo of him, smiling in his open carriage, tipping his topper at the crowd. No idea that he was going to be shot w/in the hour.  Ah well. There's a lesson, no?  Anyway, Mr. McKinley died of his bullet wound and what were his parting words? 
    "Good-bye – good-bye, all. We are all going.  It's God's way. His will be done, not ours. Nearer, my God to Thee, nearer to Thee. We are all going. We are all going, we are all going. Oh dear..." 
    And not long after, in Buffalo, NY, Theodore Roosevelt took up the task, but that's another story.

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