Royalty - Friday, January 8, 2016

The word "irony" was, quite frankly, abused in the incredibly popular 1995 Alanis Morissette song. But there does seem to be irony to the fact that many Americans are obsessed with the British royal family, when we fought a long and expensive war in the 1770's and 1780's to create a government devoid of inherited leadership (and please do not bring the Adams, Harrison, Roosevelt or Bush names up right now, that will only prove confusing).  We bring this up because today we are honoring Bob Omrod's homage to royalty in his Giant World of Miniatures - a king and queen (presumably) of England (potentially) standing on the balcony at their impressive castle.  (It really is quite an impressive castle.  It stands over four feet tall, at the far end of the display of Omrod's artwork located in the Music Room here at the ATT.  You HAVE to see the whole thing to appreciate its grandeur.)

The imaginary seen depicted by Omrod reminds us of the great pomp and circumstance surrounding the members of the British Royal Family.  Queen Elizabeth II is, of course, the current Queen of England.  She has had Great Britain's top seat since 1952 - a whopping sixty-four years!  She is the world's longest-living monarch, claims the crown in twelve countries (including Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Papua New Guinea), and has seen many, many changes to her empire since she took power. Numerous African dependencies broke away from the United Kingdom during her reign, Canada severed its official connection in 1982, and Australia did the same in 1986.  It's difficult to assess how involved Elizabeth II is with the day-to-day running of affairs, especially since England has a strong Parliament.  It would seem to those without an expertise that she is more a figurehead, but there is no doubt the Royal Family has been a subject of great fascination for people around the world for centuries.
QUESTION:  Who was Queen Elizabeth II's father?
A)  King George III
B)  King George IV
C)  King George VI
D)  King George VII
ANSWER BELOW

WE'RE DEBT FREE!  Anyone who knows anything about our 7th president - Andrew Jackson - knows he was a bit of a controversial figure.  He endorsed the removal of Native American tribes from land they owned (gold was found there, 'nuff said), he fired his entire Cabinet because of a sex scandal, and he destroyed the federal banking system.  On this day in 1835, he did something that has never been replicated - he paid off the national debt!  Sounds great, right?  Coupled with the bank thing, it would lead to a massive economic depression, but it was a first and, so far, a last as well.

READ THIS QUICKLY!  Born today in 1909 was the educator and businesswoman Evelyn Wood. Never heard of her?  Surely, you've heard of the phrase she coined - speed reading.  She developed a system of reading where a person who normally read 200 word a minute could increase to an astounding 6,000 words per minute and retain information better.  During the heyday of Reading Dynamics, there were over 150 outlets - and very familiar television commercials - spread across the United States.  

QUOTE:  We lose ourselves in books.  We find ourselves in books, too. - Anonymous.

ANSWER:  C)  King George VI.  III was the guy the United States gained independence from.