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The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History September 11- 17.
Happy Maundy Morning, Okay History friends! Thanks for your support!
There is one person in American history that I have written much about. As a blog that relies primarily on ranking American institutions and answering any questions you have, it may be a surprise to learn that this person is not a member of any of those.
He wasn’t a president.
He wasn’t a Congressman, Senator, or a United States Supreme Court Justice.
He was a musician.
His name is Johnny Cash.
Cash has played a unique role in my life, unlike others. I saw him in concert when I was ten, although this has been recently disputed, and it could be argued I was actually 13, but whatever, I was a kid, and that was a long time ago.
Cash lived a whirlwind of a life, from the military, where he learned of Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s death through Morse code, to his debut in music as a gospel singer.
He battled alcoholism, lost and found his faith, and was a strong advocate for the oppressed.
His songs have considerable meaning to me. Ring of Fire brings me back to my childhood, and I Walk the Line was the song Anonymous and I danced to at our wedding (Our first anniversary is this week!). He was the best.
Johnny Cash died on September 12, 2003, at 71, due to complications of diabetes.
I can’t believe it’s only been twenty years – it seems more than that.
Rise one up for Johnny today if you can.
How high is the water, Mama? It’s three feet high and rising…Love that song. If you love Okay History, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what I got:
1. Jacqueline Bouvier married John Fitzgerald Kennedy on September 12, 1953. JFK was a Senator directly elected by the residents of Massachusetts. Bouvier had dumped a stockbroker she was engaged to in early 1952 and met then US Representative Kennedy at a party in May. JFK proposed after winning his Senate seat.
2. The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing occurred on September 15, 1963. Four members of the Ku Klux Klan planted dynamite on the east side of the church and killed four girls: Addie Mae Collins (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Carol Denise McNair (11). Three of the four suspects were charged and convicted; one died in 1994 with no charges ever brought up. It is regarded as a turning point in the Civil Rights movement.
3. General Motors was founded on September 16, 1908. The car company, commonly known as GM, was founded in Flint, Michigan when it had acceptable drinking water. It is the second-largest American-based company and the sixth-largest in the world. My first car was a 1980 Chevy Malibu that I named Chico for some reason.
Anonymous and I visited the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, a few years back. I scored this sweet T-shirt that I wear when I want to look cool.
Does any artist have a significant influence on your life? Do you think we give too much credence to people like this?
Blue was sick again over the weekend, but diarrhea got the best of him this time. He woke me up on Sunday at 4:15 a.m. and was sick throughout the morning. The poor guy was exhausted by the end of the day. Anonymous is taking him to our vet today, so hopefully, we can get him back to getting healthy soon.
I am back to traveling this week, so South Carolina, here I come again. I’ll drop an Ask Me Anything on Friday where I ask the question and someone else answers. That someone else is an expert on U.S. history.
Have a great week!