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The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History August 6- 13.
Happy Monday, friends!
Have you seen the new blockbuster movies from this summer, Oppenheimer and Barbie? Both have been enormously popular, grossing hundreds of millions, almost billions of dollars at the box office. Anonymous went to see Barbie over the weekend and loved it while I spent time depositing all the golf balls I just purchased into the woods of the local public golf course.
She leaves today for an out-of-town work trip – most likely a spy convention, or spy work, or whatever she does, and has informed me that while Blue and I spend the week eating pizza and watching reels of proper golf swings on Instagram, she will be taking in Oppenheimer – a three-hour movie about a bomb.
I think I’ll rewatch a better movie – Black Mass, which is based on the book written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. It was published in 2001, and I read it on a plane on a plane to Ireland about a year later. Black Mass is the story of Boston Irish gangster James (Whitey) Bulger, who sat atop the FBI’s Most Wanted list for years after being atop the FBI’s informant list. It’s a really good book – not spy-level, but really good.
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On August 12, 2013, Bugler was found guilty on 31 of 32 counts, including murder, extortion, poor wardrobe, bad accent, and liking the Red Sox. I can’t believe the government didn’t score a 100% conviction rate on this guy. I guess the jury convicted him of 11 murders but acquitted him of another seven. He would be sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, meaning when he died, should he rise from the dead, he would go back to prison again. I always like how our judicial system protects us from the mysteries of the afterlife.
In September 2015, Black Mass the movie came out. It wasn’t a summer blockbuster and grossed just under $100M. Johnny Depp received praise for his portrayal of Bugler, although Whitey himself refused to watch it.
So instead of leaving the house and watching a movie about Barbie or Bombs, you can stay at home, watch Black Mass and have yourself a good time.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what I got:
1. U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by terrorists on August 7, 1998. The coordinated simultaneous attack in Africa was organized and executed by a then-little-known group called al-Qaeda. Over 200 people were killed, and over 4,000 were injured. President Clinton ordered missile attacks about three weeks later in a nationally televised speech.
2. President Reagan signed a bill granting $20,000 to each survivor of the Japanese-American internment on August 10, 1988. The Civil Rights Act of 1988 was a formal apology to the more than 122,000 Japanese Americans who lived on the west coast and were placed in internment camps during World War II.
3. U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won his 11th career gold medal on August 12, 2008. Phelps dominated the Beijing Summer Olympics, becoming the first athlete in Olympic history to achieve such a feat. Of course, he had many more opportunities, but whatever, he still had to do it.
Okay, I’ll be back this Friday with another amendment ranking and figuring out what to do until Anonymous comes back.
Until then, it’s back to work. I hope it’s a good one. Thanks for your support!