Farewell to Springfield

Farewell to Springfield

Abraham Lincoln made these remarks in Springfield before boarding the train for Washington 155 years ago today. He transcribed them on the train — it’s Lincoln’s handwriting at first, then his secretary John Nicolay’s. The movement of the train is seen in the scrawl. Click image for a larger version. The text is below.

No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe every thing. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now [2] leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be every where for good, [3] let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell

Lincoln never saw Springfield again.

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Oyez Oyez Oyez

On this date in 1803 Marbury v. Madison was argued before the Supreme Court.

Marbury was the case that established the Supreme Court’s standing as the arbiter of The Constitution.

On this date in 1856 Dred Scott v. Sandford was argued before the Supreme Court.

Scott was the case where the Supreme Court ruled that persons of African descent could never be citizens of the United States whether free or slave and that the federal government had no constitutional authority to limit slavery in the territories.

February Sixth

Babe Ruth was born on this date in 1895.

Ronald Reagan was born on this date in 1911.

It should be a friggin’ holiday. No silly, for Ruth.

Aaron Burr, the first vice president known to have shot someone, was born on this date in 1756.

Thurl Arthur Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger and singer of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, was born on February 6th, 1914.

Today is also the birthday

… of Mike Farrell, 77.

… of Tom Brokaw. He’s 76.

… of Fabian (Forte), now 73.

and of Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99 today!

Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945. He might have been 71 today. He died of cancer at age 36.

The Franco-American Alliance

On this date in 1778, the United States and France signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. France recognized America as an independent nation and offered trade concessions. The two nations also signed a Treaty of Alliance, which stipulated that if France entered the war, neither country would lay down its arms until America won its independence, that neither would conclude peace with Britain without the consent of the other, and that each guaranteed the other’s possessions in America. This was the only bilateral defense treaty signed by the United States until 1949 (NATO).

January 25th Should Be National Holiday

January 25th is the birthdate of Jamesetta Hawkins, know to us as Etta James. Miss James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the same year as Creedence, Cream, the Doors, Sly and the Family Stone, Van Morrison and Dick Clark if you need a clue.

Jerry Wexler, Atlantic Records’ legendary producer, describes Etta James as “the greatest of all modern blues singers…the undisputed Earth Mother.” Her raw, unharnessed vocals and hot-blooded eroticism has made disciples of singers ranging from Janis Joplin to Bonnie Raitt. James’ pioneering 1950s hits – “The Wallflower” and “Good Rockin’ Daddy” – assure her place in the early history of rock and roll alongside Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Ray Charles. In the Sixties, as a soulful singer of pop and blues diva compared with the likes of Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday, James truly found her musical direction and made a lasting mark.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

January 25th

One of the most important songwriters of the 20th century, Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was born on January 25, 1927. The Brazilian was the primary force behind bossa nova and was especially influential in the U.S., most notably for “The Girl from Ipanema (Garota de Ipanema)” which he composed. Others include “Corcovado” (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars), “Desafinado” (Slightly Out of Tune) and “Samba de Uma Nota Só” (One Note Samba). Jobim died in 1994.

Pro Football Hall of Fame member Lou Groza was born on January 25, 1924. He played for Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns (1946-1959, 1961-1967). How good was Groza? The award for best college place kicker each years is the Lou Groza Award. Groza died in 2000.

William Earnest “Ernie” Harwell was born 98 years ago today. Harwell broadcast baseball games from 1948-2002, primarily in Detroit (1960-1991, 1993-2002). For decades he was one of the best things about Detroit. Harwell died in 2010. In 1981, Harwell, was recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award, just the fifth announcer so honored.

Harwell made his major league debut in 1948 after becoming the only broadcaster who ever figured in a baseball trade. Earl Mann, President of the Atlanta Crackers, agreed to let him go to Brooklyn if Branch Rickey would send Montreal catcher Cliff Dapper to Atlanta to manage the club. Harwell also worked for the New York Giants and for the Baltimore Orioles before coming to Detroit in 1960. . . .

Baseball Hall of Fame

Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen on January 25th in 1882. She married Leonard Woolf in 1912.

I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier ’til this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.

Woolf’s note to her husband just before she drowned herself in 1941.

Charles Curtis was born in Kansas on this date in 1860. Curtis was the 31st vice president of the United States, serving under President Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933. Curtis is the first person with non-European ancestry to ever serve as President or Vice President. His mother was part Kansa or Kaw, Osage and Potawatomi and part French. Curtis had a one-eighth Indian blood quantum.

George Edward Pickett was born on this date in 1825. He was 59th out of 59 in the Class of 1846 class at West Point, but was a hero at the Battle of Chapultepec in September 1847. On July 3, 1863, Maj. Gen. Pickett was one of three Confederate generals under Gen. James Longstreet who led their men against the Union forces on Cemetery Ridge outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Pickett’s division suffered over 50% casualties. All three of Pickett’s brigade commanders and all 13 of his regimental commanders were casualties. Pickett himself lived until 1875.

Robert Burns was born on this date 256 years ago.

The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want-O do Thou grant
This one request of mine!-
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.

Etta James (1938-2012) would have been 78 today. Dean Jones (1931-2015) would have been 85.

Alicia Keys (Alicia Augello Cook) is 35. Carl Eller is 74.