Thursday, May 8, 2014

Well, the buck did stop there

Harry S Truman was born on this day in 1884.

"My villain is a perfectly nice little man called Harry S (for nothing) Truman. He created the national security state. He institutionalized the Cold War. He placed us on a permanent wartime footing. He started that vast hemorrhaging of debt...

"Deliberately (he) set in train an imperial expansion that has cost the lives of many millions of people all over the world." -- Gore Vidal.

To read Truman's own modest take on the matter, see Today in The Cynic's Almanac

Saturday, May 3, 2014

And frankly, I don't give a damn

On this day in 1937, Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone With the Wind, won the Pulitzer Prize.

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses, riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion
(From the poem by Ernest Dowson, stanza 3)

Friday, May 2, 2014

If they'd known she was dying they'd have baked her a cake

Lady Nancy Astor died on this day in 1964. She was the first woman to serve as a member of the British Parliament, as a member of the House of Commons.

Her last words, when she woke briefly during her last illness and found all her family around her bedside:

"Am I dying or is this my birthday?"