# 321, May 28, 2004
COLUMBUS: Big news in Columbus today. No rain.
Just when Mayor Coleman was preparing to proclaim a holiday for breaking Noah’s record (in days of rain, not amount) why the sun broke through and about blinded us. Not only did it shine today, it didn’t set till almost 9 o’clock. Here, we had all been turning in about 7:30 out of habit.
We can joke about rain here, because it ain’t done much harm. But down on that island of Haiti and Dominican Republic, floods have killed hundreds and washed out whole towns and villages. Lots of folks were so poor they didn’t have anything, and now they got even less.
Out West, folks are praying for rain and can’t understand why it’s all landing hundreds of miles to the east.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on Memorial Day)
“Lincoln made a wonderful speech one time: “That this Nation under God, shall have a new Birth of Freedom, and that Government of the People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from this earth.”
Now, every time a Politician gets in a speech, he digs up this Gettysburg quotation. He recites it every Decoration day and practices the opposite the other 364 days.
Now Lincoln meant well, but he only succeeded in supplying an applause line for every political speaker who was stuck for a finish.
In our Decoration Day speech-making Mr. Taft [former President and current Chief Justice] spoke at some unveiling of a monument in Cincinnati. He made an alibi for the Supreme Court. I don’t know what prompted him to tell the dead what the Court was doing, unless it was some man who had died of old age waiting for a decision from that August body.” WA #26, June 10, 1923
“Another Decoration Day passed and Mr. Abraham Lincoln’s 300-word Gettysburg Address was not dethroned. I would try and imitate its brevity if nothing else. Of course, Lincoln had the advantage; he had no foreign policy message to put over. He didn’t even have a foreign policy. That’s why he is still Lincoln.
Yours for shorter and better speeches, Will” DT #268, May 31, 1927