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The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History October 16 - October 22.
This newsletter has been brought to you by the letters A, K, and E.
I have a great last name. It’s four letters, and the last three are special. A-K-E are underrated in letter combinations. Put these three letters after numerous others in the alphabet, and they create great English words. There’s so much we can do with A-K-E at the end of a word.
We can bake a cake. We can make, rake, and take things. We have a stake in many things; when it is hot, we can jump into a lake. The earth can quake from time to time, causing it to shake. When we die, we can attend a wake, but only for people we genuinely care about, lest we be accused of being fake.
The Jake was the nickname of the baseball stadium of my favorite team.
If I had a son, Christopher would be a great namesake. Or I’d want to name him Alexander The Dake. My imaginary daughter would be Katherine The Dake. If you wanted to disparage someone, you could call them a snake or perhaps a snowflake.
There’s even a famous rapper named Drake, who I am grateful for because since he has come around, it has made my life easier to explain that when you put a D in front of A-K-E, it’s the same sounding name – just without the R. It has saved me the time to provide similar sounding words so that people understood.
So A-K-E are three powerful, passionate letters. You put a D in front of it, and BOOM, you have a powerful and passionate person.
And Anonymous didn’t take it when we got married.
Now, I don’t hold it against her. She likes her last name. It’s a nice name. It took me a while to pronounce it correctly, and it’s only been recently that I have consistently spelled it correctly. She’s literally the only person on the planet with her name, while I share mine with a few guys named Christopher Dake.
Before she met me, she developed a strong career, most likely as a spy, so she didn’t want to change it and confuse a bunch of people that she had magically become this other person. I get it, even though I thought spies were supposed to be confusing. We don’t talk about it much; there’s no reason to, but why am I bringing this up?
Because Lucy Stone, abolitionist and women suffragist, died on October 19, 1893. She is partly well-known for keeping her maiden name when she got married. This never happened back in the 19th century and rarely happens today, according to a Pew Research study where only 14% of women in opposite-sex marriages keep their name. (Anonymous likes studies.)
Whatever last name you choose to take, if you aren’t a subscriber, go ahead and subscribe to Okay History, a reader-supported newsletter. Thanks!
Now, I won’t be able to do Stone justice with a recap of her life. So, if you have time, look at her long biography on Wikipedia. It’s impressive. I had heard of her from time to time concerning the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment but never took a deep dive into her life.
Since Okay History is mostly about me, I’ve highlighted this small part of Stone’s life as it relates to me. I greatly appreciate her preservation and activism, allowing me to live with a wife who can vote, get paid fairly, keep her last name, and be spared the time it would take to explain herself.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what I got:
1. The Walt Disney Company was founded on October 16, 1923. Brothers Walt and Roy founded the cartoon and animated movies. They also developed theme parks and cruise ships and consistently grew as a powerful entertainment company, eventually buying Marvel Comics, ESPN, National Geographic, and the Star Wars franchise. If you have the Disney Plus streaming channel, as Anonymous and I do, now you understand what they are talking about when it comes to mentioning 100 all the time.
2. Albert Einstein arrived in the United States from Germany on October 17, 1933. The world’s most intelligent human fled Germany as Hitler’s Germany rose to power. Having already developed the theory of relativity and received the Nobel Peace Prize, Einstein would be the biggest free agent the country ever secured.
3. The Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase on October 20, 1803. The 8th Congress signed off on President Jefferson’s negotiation with France over the 800,000 square miles of land earlier in the year. The final vote was 24-7, with seven no votes coming from members of the Federalist Party who never liked anything Jefferson did.
Blue has kept Anonymous’s last name as well. When I take him to the vet or get his drugs refilled, people look at me strangely because I have a different last name. It’s okay; it’s just funny that I’m the only one in this house with A-K-E in my last name.
I’m off to South Carolina again for a few days but hope to return on Friday, ranking another Constitutional amendment. There is a slight chance we can make history this week with a new Speaker of the House, and it might be too good for me to pass up. But we shall see.
Please remember to hit the like button, especially if you think Anonymous is correct. Or hit the like button if you feel my old-fashioned way of thinking is correct. Either way, please hit the like button.
Have a great week!