What’s on Need to Know this week? Here’s a special holiday bulletin from the Corner Cubicle.
The Daily Need
On November 22, 1963, the 35th president of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. He was 46 years old. The next day, newly sworn-in President Lyndon B. Johnson issued his first proclamation, declaring November 25 to be a national day of mourning. On that day, hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the streets of Washington, D.C., to watch a horse-drawn caisson bearing Kennedy’s body travel from the Capitol to St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral for a requiem mass. Accompanying the casket was a riderless horse named Black Jack. With boots sitting reversed in the stirrups, the horse was the symbol of a fallen leader. The procession then continued to Arlington National Cemetery, where Kennedy was laid to rest. Representatives from more than 90 countries attended the state funeral.
A female peafowl is called a peahen. A male is called a peacock. A white peacock is sometimes called an albino, but it is nothing of the sort. It is a color variation of the Indian Blue peacock. The lack of color in its feathers is due to a condition called Leucism, which is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment. Unlike a true albino bird, white peafowl have normally colored eyes. Whatever it is that makes them this way, they are stunning.
Away from the spotlight and cameras that broadcast the images of soldiers returning home to embrace their awaiting loved ones are the soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard. They also welcome home the soldiers of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to receive the remains of America’s fallen soldiers at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del. When the call comes in, the soldiers, dressed in the army combat uniform and white gloves, meet the aircraft carrying the transfer cases of deceased soldiers returning from overseas, and with stoic precision, receive the flag-draped caskets and carry them to awaiting vehicles. In the middle of the day or night, in the heat, cold or rain, with or without the relatives present, every returning soldier receives the 15-minute ceremony called a dignified transfer.
Although 5 inches shorter and 17 pounds lighter than his opponent, boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao soundly defeated Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito to claim the WBC super welterweight title last Saturday in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao became the first boxer in history to win world titles in eight different weight divisions. What Pacquiao lacked in size, he made up in skill and speed, winning every round of the 12-round fight and ultimately fracturing Margarito’s orbital bone in his right eye, which will require surgery Tuesday to repair. Now that the fight is in the history books, Pacquiao will return to his native Philippines to resume his second job as congressman; he was elected to the House of Representatives last May, representing the province of Sarangani.