Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Kirby: Bad luck doesn't own a calendar

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Editor's Note: An earlier version of this column reported the wrong year of the McKinley assassination.

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Guess what day it is?

- GEICO camel

On a day known for bad luck, let’s celebrate the misfortune of others.

For example, Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence, of England.

In 2001 they were vacationing in New York City on Sept. 11. They got to see first hand one of American history’s worse tragedies.

Four years later, July 7, 2005, they were visiting in London, that day the scene of a terror attack on the city’s transit system that killed 52.

Three years later, they decided to take a quieter vacation to Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in India, and were there for one of that city’s worst riots, which killed and wounded hundreds.

Let’s also remember Violet Jessop, who in 1911 was a stewardess aboard the ocean liner Olympic. It struck a British warship. The next year she was on a different ship, the Titanic.

You saw the movie.

She made it to a lifeboat that night in April 1912 and survived, but in 1916, she had signed up to serve on another ship, the Britannic, and was aboard when it struck a mine and sank.

Violet missed the lifeboat, but managed to get ashore. She lived until 1971 when she died of heart failure.

Finally, there’s Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln.

He was not present, but summoned to his father’s bedside after John Wilkes Booth mortally wounded him.

In 1881 Robert was named to the cabinet of President James Garfield, and was with the Republican president when he was fatally shot by the deranged office-seeker Charles Guiteau.

Then in 1901, unlucky Lincoln was traveling with President William McKinley when he was fatally shot by Leon Czolgosz.

After that, tradition says, Lincoln, politely but consistently turned down all appearances with U.S. presidents.

YOUR MAIL: Pam Ferree, of Martinez, sends a post card from Mount St. Helens, and says the trip to Washington is the 48th of the 50 states she’s visited. Jean Hamilton, of North Augusta, sent an old Augusta postcard showing an aerial view of the Continental Airport at the Bush Field.

Ralph and Monica Walker, of Evans, are “drying” out in Santa Fe.

TODAY’S JOKE: Here’s one from Red Hewett.

Two men were flying to the West Coast. The plane landed in Mississippi. A little red truck came out and fueled the plane.

They took off and landed in Oklahoma. A little red truck came out and fueled the plane.

They took off and landed in Arizona, and again the little red truck came out.

One man looked at his watch, and said, “Hey, we’re making good time.”

The other man said, “That little red truck’s not doing bad, either.”


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