The Maundy Morning Newsletter - This Week in History May 2- May 8.
Good morning, Okay History Friends. It's Monday!
Right? Is it Monday?
We are checking because we woke up at our cousin's house on Friday morning and realized we sent out Friday's lesson, which caused zero reaction, on Thursday. We hustled to get the latest state ranking out, but we accidentally hit send a day earlier in that rush.
We hope it didn't throw you off and ruin your Friday morning. Or maybe we ruined your Thursday morning.
Either way, our bad.
We can't promise we won't do something like that again, but please know, it was done by accident. Are we good? You probably didn't even notice. Let's get on with it, shall we?
This week we acknowledge the sixty-fifth anniversary of Joseph McCarthy's death on May 2, 1957, at the Bethesda Medical Navy Hospital. The cause of his passing was due to hepatitis, most likely caused by his excessive drinking.
We are not condemning the excessive drinking, and we admit we do it as well; it's just we aren't huge jerks.
McCarthyism is a term to refer to Joe's jerkishness. Recently, we have seen the term McCarthyism used more frequently. Whether people who use the term woke as a pejorative or have decided everyone is a fascist, the banner of modern-day McCarthyism flies high above for all to see, no matter if they want to or not.
Wisconsin Senator McCarthy rose to national prominence with a niche performance accusing everyone of being a communist. At the height of the newly formed Cold War, being accused of being a communist was akin to not liking someone's Instagram post.
What's the matter, Becky? Do you not like me? I posted that thing about us on my Insta, and you haven't liked it. Now everyone in high school hates me.
(This is how we imagine high school is nowadays.)
McCarthy brought his best high school gossip about people's sex lives, the United States Army, the State Department, the local youth sports league, newspapers; you name it. Even better, McCarthy was a Catholic, and many Catholics jumped on the jerk anti-Communist bandwagon as well. FANTASTIC!
To stop the madness, the United States Senate held a hearing and ultimately censured the Gentleman from Wisconsin, and back then, getting censured meant something. McCarthy was shunned from that moment on, other Senators avoided him at all costs, and any speech he made was done on an empty Senate floor.
Fast forward, McCarthy felt ill, died, and his funeral mass was held at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC, where in the early 2000s we served as an altar man, which is different from being an altar boy.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what we got:
J. Edgar Hoover died on May 2, 1972. The first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation served eight presidential administrations that spanned seventy years. From Coolidge to Nixon.
Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction on May 3, 1937. Mitchell's only novel, Gone With the Wind, depicts Atlanta burning to the ground in the only redeeming scene in the entire story. Gone with the Wind is right up there with Alexander Hamilton when it comes to making us angry.
The first Westminster Dog Show was held on May 8, 1877. It is the second-longest consecutive running sporting event in the United States, behind the Kentucky Derby. Best in Show became a category in 1907 and an excellent movie in 2000.
We don't know about you, but April was cray. Like cray cray. In March, we took on a few more work assignments, seeing that our schedule was open, and we try to be helpful.
Then BAM! We did the classic thing of underestimating how much time it took to do all this stuff. Have you ever experienced that? Why do we do this?
We need to Nancy Reagan this the next time around – Just say no!
We have no idea what we're writing for Friday. Maybe it's another States ranking, although it seems no one cared one way or the other, which is okay. We do have some readers' requests to get through.
If you have something you'd like us to touch on, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy May, we hope it begins to warm up, and let's make this week the best week ever.