It Should Be a Holiday

Charles Lindbergh was born on this date in 1902. He died in 1974.

Byron Nelson, the golfer who once won 11 PGA events in a row, 18 in one year and 52 overall including five majors, was born on this date in 1912. He retired in 1946 at age 34 and died 60 years later.

Miss Rosa Parks — the Soul of the Civil Rights movement — was born on this date in 1913. Miss Parks died in 2005.

Betty Friedan was born on this date in 1921; she died on her birthday in 2006. Friedan was a leading figure in the women’s movement in the United States and author of the 1963 book The Feminine Mystique.

Lawrence Taylor, the NFL hall-of-famer, is 58 today. NewMexiKen was at RFK the night Lawrence Taylor ended Joe Theismann’s career by smashing his leg. There were great linebackers before Taylor, but he was the first of the new breed.

George Washington was elected first President of the United States on this date in 1789 when all 69 electors voting cast their ballot for him. John Adams was second with 34, becoming Vice President. Ten other candidates received votes. (Each elector had two votes.)

The Yalta Conference began on this date in 1945. President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union met to plan the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany.

Birthday Present

NewMexiKen was a Michigander in those days, though young enough to still be just a Michigosling.

Children didn’t get driven to school then. They walked. Or they took a bus. Or they rode a bike. And my bike was gone. Fortunately it was Saturday.

Still, it was my 11th birthday and it was depressing to have my bike missing on my birthday. We looked everywhere.

Finally Mom called the police. She described the vanished bike to them. “There was? Where? Downtown. OK!”

Dad and I drove the mile or so downtown to the bike shop. The missing bike was reportedly there.

We went in and Dad asked about the bike in our name. Sure enough, there was one.

Trouble was it wasn’t my bike. It was a brand new three-speed English racer.

“That’s not my bike.” I protested to Dad.

“Yes it is,” he said. “Happy Birthday!”