We all know about George III, the Hanoverian king of England that was on the throne when the American colonies took leave of British governance. His madness late in life isn't news. His literary and artistic interests led to significant institutions, and he drove the civil servants nuts by actually reading all the paperwork. In honor of this ancient conflict the quotes today are from the fictional Sir Humphrey Appleby, star of the two BBC TV series "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister." It's fiction, but largely truth.
Other items fall into the general category of "striving for good government." We remember James Meredith, the US civil rights leader who was shot while marching to promote voting, Tonga celebrates her more recent and peaceful emancipation from British rule, and the Finns raise the flag to honor the creation of their armed forces after gaining independence from Russia.
Indicting Jimmy Hoffa on 28 counts of fraud probably fits that category as well. This was for siphoning money out of his members' pension funds, at the same time Bobby Kennedy as Attorney General was prosecuting Hoffa for jury tampering.
And then there is Heinrich Otto Wieland, a German chemist who seriously pursued the chemistry of drugs and poisons - the same stuff I did in high school chemistry when the teacher wasn't looking.
|On this day in history:|
1792 - Captain George Vancouver, sailing in the Resolute, claims Puget Sound for Britain. Most of the names bestowed by Vancouver belonged to influential men back in England, this area is named after Lieutenant Peter Puget of the Discovery, Vancouver's second ship on the voyage.
1963 - A twenty-eight count indictment is filed in Chicago alleging that James Hoffa, President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and seven others fraudulently obtained $20 million in loans from a Teamsters pension fund.
1966 - James Meredith, first black student at the University of Mississippi, is shot by a sniper during the "Walk Against Fear," a march from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi supporting black voter registration. He started alone, three days later he resumed the march accompanied by other civil rights leaders including Dr King.
|Holidays around the world today include:|
Emancipation Day, Tonga - Celebrates the 1970 independence of Tonga, formerly a British protectorate.
Flag Day of the Finnish Armed Forces, Finland - Celebrates the 1867 birth of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim who organized Finland's military after independence in 1917 and later served as president. Mannerheim was a better leader than follower apparently, he was expelled from military school for disciplinary problems. For some reason the army celebrates flag day in May, and the country as a whole later in June.
|Birthdays on this day include:|
1738 - George III, English politician - Born at London, first son of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Became heir to the throne on the death of his father in 1751, succeeding his grandfather, George II, in 1760. He was the third Hanoverian monarch, first to be born in England, and first for whom English was his first language. Read all government papers, annoying the ministers. A good family man, he bought the Queen's House (since enlarged and renamed Buckingham Palace) for his wife Charlotte, had problems with his sons and insisted on the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 to control them. Started a collection of books, 65,000 of which formed the nucleus of the national library, and founded the Royal Academy of Arts. And yes, he lost the American colonies in 1782 and went mad in 1810. Died at Windsor Castle on 29 January 1820.
1877 - Heinrich Otto Wieland, German chemist - Born in Pforzheim, father was pharmaceutical chemist. Studied at Munich, Berlin, and Stuttgart, worked for Bayer in Munich and won his doctorate in 1901. Lectured at University of Munich 1904 to 1917, did defense work in Berlin 1917 to 1918, soon returned to Munich for 27 years. Important work in demonstrating short-lived radicals in reactions in the cell, researched structure of morphine, strychnine, curare, and the poisonous agent in the "death cap" mushroom. Awarded 1927 Nobel prize in chemistry for work with bile acids. Wieland was one of the last general chemists rather than pursuing a narrow specialty. He died at Starnberg on 5 August 1957.
|Quotes that may (or may not) relate to the events above:|
A good Civil Servant must be able to use language not as a window into
the mind but as a curtain to draw across it.
Consciences are for politicians. It is dangerous for Civil Servants to
acquire a taste for such luxuries.
Ever since 1832 the Civil Service has been gradually excluding the voters
from government. Now we have got to the point where they vote just once
every five years purely on which bunch of buffoons will try to interfere
with our policies.
How can people accuse top Civil Servants of being out of touch with the
deprived and underprivileged? Do they not realize that we have read all
the published papers, seen all the statistics, and studied all the official
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|Silly Fine Print:|
Copyright 2000 G. Armour Van Horn, all rights reserved. This document may be distributed freely. Please forward the complete message including this copyright notice.