Tomorrow is November 8th, and we all know the significance of the day: it is, of course, the anniversary of the invention of the insect exterminator by William Frost in 1910. Understanding the serendipity of tomorrow’s date being the anniversary of extermination of insects, I found it equally terrifying that tomorrow is also the anniversary of Hitler’s first attempt to seize power during his failed coup in 1923 Munich at the event which became known as the “Beer Hall Putsch.”
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
The Louvre Museum in Paris opened on November 8th in 1793 just a dozen years before Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean.
Appropriately enough, Ford rolled the Edsel off the line for the first time on November 8th, nine years before “Days of Our Lives” premiered.
Reagan became governor in 1966.
Let’s go back: in 392 Roman Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the official religion, but we’ve screwed with the calendar since then so to be honest I have no clue what day that would be. I do know that Ben Franklin opened the first library in Philadelphia in 1731, and in 1789, much to the pleasure of my old friend Mike Russell, Bourbon Whiskey was first distilled from corn by Elijah Craig in Bourbon, Kentucky.
The number one type “event” whose history lands as a start date on November 8th is a battle of some sort. Go figure.
But tomorrow is irrelevant to me. There isn’t a blessed thing I can do about tomorrow more than I’ve already done by voting. The importance comes the day after. This is the significance of history; it is the measure of integrity and character; it is proof of sustainability—what happens next. The tragedy of September 11th was followed by armies of volunteers on September 12th ready to do what was necessary. December 7th was followed by a surge in enlistment and patriotism. The death of Mother Teresa was followed by canonization. It is progression. We have an uncanny ability to survey whatever happens and move forward.
It is never the situation; it is how we handle the situation.
Tomorrow I have classes all day. Some will show up, some will not. They know that if they vote instead of going to class I won’t count them absent. But there are so many things they do not know. They don’t know their individual vote counts. They don’t yet realize that one voice whether in a crowd or alone on a beach somewhere can still make waves. They have no idea that they are as much a part of the decision process as me, as the candidates’ spouses, as the candidates themselves. Tomorrow is historic no matter what happens. It is one of those days that will end up on the timelines I read to compile the above list of events.
And no matter what happens, it is important to note that on the next day, November 9th, Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921, that the first US pharmacy college held classes in Philadelphia, that the Atlantic Monthly was first published in 1857, the NY Symphony Orchestra played for the first time in 1858.
They played Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” According to one review, “I was left with hope, with a sense that no matter what else, everything is going to be okay. The audience was left in tears, and I wish to believe it from the sheer possibility.”