By Elaine Carlson
I remember talking with my mother about people who make crossword puzzles. But does anyone make Sudoku Puzzles? I mean except for the professionals who make them for the companies that sell them to the newspapers?
My mother had a good friend who wrote a column for a newspaper. In one she related her experiences of having a husband who was a soldier in the Second World War. Near the end of the war she did not know where he was or what he was doing because the War Department was able to completely block information on the war from getting out.
She tells how she had a baby while her husband was gone. It was only later when she learned her son was born on D Day. And that her husband had been at the action then. She was lucky because her husband was not killed or injured in the fighting. And she had a son.
How to get through this pandemic? Reading books is usually how I answer that question. I just started reading "Black Widows" by Cate Quinn. At the beginning the police go up to a house and ask to speak to Mrs. Nelson. The woman they approached asked, "Which one?"
Blake Nelson moved to a farm house in a rural and isolated wilderness with his three wives. Just before the novels opens police find Mr. Nelson dead and want to know which of the three wives killed him. Or was the murder a joint effort of the three wives? Could a fourth women have been involved? This is a mystery with an intriguing set up.
The short biography on the Dust Jacket says Quinn was a respected researcher. It intrigues me to think of how a researcher might pick a subject. Then instead of writing a report uses the material to write a novel. As soon as I start reading I know Quinn is a good writer. I haven't read very far so now all I have to do is read more to find out if this researcher was able to create a compelling novel.
My mother was born on December 8. I remember how when I was little she told me her 21st Birthday was her worst birthday because it was the day our country entered World War II. On December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was bombed. The next day President Delano Roosevelt asked Congress for a Declaration of War and Congress overwhelmingly approved his request.
It was not until much later when I realized my mother had her worst birthday when she became 22. She was born on December 8, 1919 so her 21st Birthday was on December 8, 1940.
"In the early afternoon of December 7, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt was just finishing lunch in his oval study on the second floor of the White House, preparing to work on his stamp album when his telephone rang.
"The White House operator announced that Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox was on the line and insisted on talking with him. Roosevelt took the call.
"The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, just before 8 a.m. Hawaii time, Secretary Knox told the President [Winter 2001, Vol 33, No 4, "Our Heritage in Documents"]."
On the radio the next day President Roosevelt addressed the Congress and the nation. He started his speech with, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy ..."
Friday June 17 was the 50th Anniversary of the break-in to the Watergate Building. Maybe there are some people in the United States who don't know that fact but those of us who at least have a radio, a TV or a computer with access to the Internet know about that anniversary.
In the 1980s I bought the Compact Edition of the Unabridged Oxford Dictionary. It was a Two Volume Set and because its print was so small it came with a magnifying glass. Once I used it to look up Watergate. It had 19 definitions for that word but what really struck me was that none of those 19 definitions included the word scandal.
I think we can conclude the edition of the OED I bought came out before 1972.
Besides December 7, 1941, November 22, 1963 and June 17, 1972 June 6, 1944 is an Important Date in American History but it is better known as D Day.
Two dates which are Important in American History but are not as well recognized are April 12, 1945 (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies and Harry S Truman is given the Presidential Oath of Office) and May 17, 1954 (Supreme Court issues their decision in Brown v Board of Education).
We have to be grateful for radio and TV making our public aware of Important Dates in American History. I wonder if FDR suspected he wasn't completely telling the truth in his most famous message.