Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Ominous Date

Some dates on the calendar are clouded by the associations of history. July 16 is an infamous date for two notable reasons: on July 16,in 1918, Czar Nicholas II of Russia was assassinated, along with his wife and five children. The whole mystery of the "missing" Anastasia evolved over time after this event which horrified the world. The link to the New York Times story reporting the execution is here.

Also on this date, in 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and her sister plunged to their deaths in the Atlantic Ocean when the small plane Kennedy was piloting apparently lost control near Martha's Vineyard. I still remember seeing the little blurb on the news screen: "JFK Jr's plane is missing." I think everyone knew even then that this was going to be a significant tragedy.

Of course we can find records of tragic things on every day of the year. But some dates stay with us; I've met two people with birthdays on September 11 who have suggested that their special days have been forever tainted by the horrible events of 2001. One of them now chooses to celebrate her birthday on the day before.

What we need to do, I suppose, is to counteract what is bad with what is good. A special thing that happened on this date? In 1911, Ginger Rogers was born. The joy and wonder that she brought to innumerable moviegoers (and tv watchers) over the span of many years cannot be estimated, although I know she was a major hero of my young life--she was a picture of glamour and talent and independence.

I will make it a goal for the day to make July 16 special in some positive way. How about you?

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