“Freedom Works” is an elemental aspiration to truth for me.
But the darknesses of human hearts mean that dream can turn out wrong.
Looking at three important freedom historical events on this date, February 20, my mantra “Freedom Works” doesn’t quite fit the bill every time.
In 1547, the 20th of February saw the coronation of Edward the 6th when he was 9 years old. My American monarchist friend says, “Poor little boy ….. Henry VIII’s desired, but mostly ignored son, motherless child who died too young …… ” One of the great achievements of his reign, when the realm was governed by a regency council, was to lift the requirement for celibacy from Anglican priests. This happened when Edward was an 11 year old boy.
On February 20, 1924, in New York City, Gloria Vanderbilt (pictured above in 1959 from The United States Steel Hour) was born into money and a sensational high profile custody battle between her mother and paternal aunt. Gloria lived life as a fully functioning woman, whose four marriages and affairs with Brando, Sinatra, Howard Hughes and Roald Dahl underline how impossible celibacy can be for some people.
In “The Rainbow Comes And Goes” she wrote, “Remember whenever money is involved, it brings out horrific things in people. ……. Take time and be certain you place your trust in those whose interests and goals mirror your own.”
In 1943 on February 20, the Saturday Evening post published Norman Rockwell’s painting, “Free Speech”, based on Frankilin Roosevelt’s idea of “freedom of speech, and expression—everywhere in the world.”
The 1940’s. The Greatest Generation. Not what we are now.
In the modern world, Roosevelt’s idea of worldwide free speech has withered and died.
Geoff Fox, 20th February, 2023