On a Book Review – Fascism: A Warning

I recall seeing former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on various talk shows promoting this book. Once I decided to use the public library during my stay in Alabama, this book was at the top of my list – especially after reading Prague Winter a few months earlier.

Fascism: A Warning was not available on my first trip to the library, so that’s when I read Albright’s The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs. Not long thereafter, I reserved the book I wanted.

Published by Harper-Collins in 2018, Fascism: A Warning contains 254 pages within 17 chapters, plus acknowledgments, endnotes, bibliography, and an index.

Throughout the book, she shares her personal experiences with Fascism that started as a child during WWII in her native Czechoslovakia – a country for who her father served as a diplomat – a country with a proud democracy – a country later controlled by Nazis – a country that would become part of the Communist bloc – a country that would regain democracy as part of the Velvet Revolution in late 1989.

Her personal history involves being born in Czechoslovakia, living in Serbia, living in exile in England during WWII, returning to Czechoslovakia, and fleeing to the United States. Reading Prague Winter helped me understand life during the 1930s and 1940s – as well as the loss of family members in the Holocaust.

To introduce the topic (Fascism), Albright shares discussions with and thoughts by students in her classes at Georgetown University. Because of my past-life as a teacher, I know the importance of this by dealing with prior knowledge and misconceptions very early in the learning process. Her definition of a Fascist is the following:

Fascist: Someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, someone who is utterly unconcerned with the Rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.

After the introduction, the next four chapters center around Adolf Hitler (Germany) and Benito Mussolini (Italy) – their rise to power, their styles, their relationship, and their demise. General Francisco Franco (Spain) is embedded. If you recall this post past I did as a Final Jeopardy question (about Fascism), I based the list primarily on the first five chapters of this book.

The Chapters 6-14 focuses on past leaders as Joseph Stalin (USSR) and Slobodan Milosevic (former Yugoslavia); plus modern leaders as Hugo Chavez & Nicolas Maduro (Venezuela) with past leaders Juan & Eva Peron (Argentina) and Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines) are integrated into the chapter. Vladimir Putin (Russia), Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey), Viktor Orban (Hungary), and the three generations of Kims in North Korea (DPRK) have dedicated chapters. Jaroslav Kaczynski (Poland) is integrated in the chapter about Hungary.

While a separate chapter focuses on President Trump, different US Presidents (starting with FDR) appear throughout the book. Madeleine Albright is perfectly clear that she is not a fan of President Trump, his agenda, and his tactics. She continues to believe in the strong light of liberty and democracy along with having a strong faith in the United States. (For the record, President Trump has praised at least four of the leaders listed in the previous paragraph.)

Chapter 16 examines if Fascism could become dominant in the US. After all, aspects of US history have events paralleling Europe. For instance, a Nazi movement in the US existed in the 1930s and 1940s.

In Chapter 17 (the final chapter), Albright focuses on connecting the dots by looking at the present world through the lens of the past and her experiences as a diplomat and a human. She unquestionably sees the growth in modern-day Fascism as a threat to international peace.

This is the third book I’ve read by Madeleine Albright, and like the others, it’s an easy read and meant for the general public. As with her other books, the reader’s political view will impact her words and their conclusions. Bill Woodward co-authors all three books with Albright.

For me, this book has a scary side – but I also see a hope. Then again, humanity as a way of not learning from its mistakes. Thumbs up to Fascism: A Warning.

On Shopping Carts

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This post is about a cart, basket, buggy, trolley, carriage, trundler, barrae, coohudder, bascart, and wagon – and all of these may be preceded by grocery, shopping, and supermarket. For me, it’s a grocery cart. Then again (in my mind), the same cart in a different store could be a shopping cart or just a cart.

Long-time readers here know that I enjoy playing golf. While golf carts have a different application than carts at the grocery, I enjoy this 30-second commercial from the past that combines those two thoughts.

 

Back at the store and regardless of terminology, grocery carts haven’t been around forever. Sylvan Goldman, a Oklahoma City grocery owner, invented this wheeled apparatus in 1937. Before then, shoppers used a hand-carrying basket. Goldman’s idea had a simple purpose – allow shoppers to buy more! Have you noticed a grocery cart looks like a big basket (without handles) on wheels?

Having gone through various design changes since Goldman’s first edition, carts during my youth were the basically same from store to store (well, other than the feature identifying the store). Through the years, their size has increased to reinforce the belief that size matters. On one hand, this is a contradiction because people eat outside the home more.

On the other hand, today’s grocery stores are larger, offer more products, and some include clothing, home goods, hardware, sporting goods, and lawn & garden. Therefore the cart must be large enough to contain canned vegetables, milk, cereal, pasta, a toaster oven, a laundry hamper, package of underwear, a set of socket wrenches, a flower pot, an ornamental shrub, and a bag of mulch.

Through the years, I’ve been the primary grocery shopper in our home – so, I notice shopper behaviors as well as their carts. Store aisles are typically wide enough for two carts to carefully pass – but not much more. After all, stores must maximize space for stuff to buy!

Given the tight quarters, I’ve consider the idea that shoppers should pass a grocery cart operating test before being allowed to use one. For instance, shoppers should never stop the cart on one side of the aisle, and then stand beside the cart while analyzing shelf products on the opposite side. Never block an aisle. Never!

From Wikipedia

I’ve often thought that grocery should hire plain-clothed cart police to issue citations for poor cart management. Then again, that would be effective only if all stores participated with equal scrutiny. Other times I wonder if I should carry a prod to shock people for improper cart management. Clear the aisle, here comes the crazy man with the stick!

As I think about my primary grocery store, they offer full-sized carts, mini-carts (for shoppers with a short list), and two sizes of hand-carrying baskets. Battery-operated riding carts for elderly and the disabled are a great addition – but should operators be subject to standards by passing a test or attending a class?

Sean Dreilinger via Flickr Creative Commons

Oh wait – there are more carts! How about the carts the size of a stretched limo because they have a car attached to the front so a kid can ride while the parent shops. Of course, this is done to entertain the child so they don’t disrupt other shoppers with loud squalls. However, ever notice how much space those thing require to turn the corner from one aisle to the next?

If the limos aren’t bad enough, how about he miniature carts for a kid to push around. Beyond the “how cute” aspect, what the hell do they know about cart etiquette? Then again – the price we pay for another squalling-prevention technique.

Unfortunately, stores won’t require a shopping cart operating license – nor hire a team of undercover shopping cart gestapo – and I won’t be taking a shocking device with me to the store. But, at least I got this heavy burden off my chest – not that my message will do any good for society because two past posts (one and two) about grocery carts and shoppers didn’t change behaviors.

On the positive side, grocery carts can be a source of amusement – as Exhibit A below shows.

On aFa Final Jeopardy

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Welcome to aFa Final Jeopardy. I’m your host, aFrank Angle.

For those who don’t know how to play, here is a refresher. The answer will appear below, and you submit your response in the form of a question. Let’s play aFa Final Jeopardy!!! 30 seconds on the clock, please. Click to get started.

Category: Leadership

 

 

Answer

Nationalism
Protectionism
Vilifying immigrants
Anti-Semitic
Ethnic identity
Controlling the press
Threatening, jailing, or killing political rivals
Autocrats praising other autocrats
Authoritarian
Aggressive
Anti-Socialism
Condemnation of independent media
Promoting lies
Hateful
Fighting the establishment
Championing for the oppressed and disenfranchised
Distaste for democracy
Denying themselves
Promoting fear and anger

Scroll down below the image to see the correct response.

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Question: What are the qualities of Fascist Leaders?

How did you do?

On 66

This post bumped a weekend concert and more tidbits from Eastern Europe. So hey – it must be special!

In Language

gjashtëdhjetë e gjashtë (Albanian), šedesát šest (Czech), animnapu’t anim (Filipino), sessantasei (Italian), hatvanhat (Hungarian), sitta u sittin (Maltese), tse mashome a tšeletseng a metso e tšeletseng (Sesotho), oltmish olti (Uzbek), Mae chwe deg chwech (Welsh), LXVI (Roman)

In Mathematics

66 – an even integer, a sphenic number, a triangular number, a hexagonal number, a semi-meandric number, a semiperfect number, being a multiple of a perfect number, an Erdős–Woods number

In Science

M-66 – Messier object Spiral Galaxy in the constellation Leo

NCG-66 – (New General Catalogue) a spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus

66 – the atomic number of the element dysprosium (Dy), whose neutrally charged atom contains 66 protons and 66 elections

66 – Chromosome number of the Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

In Computing

66 (more specifically 66.667) megahertz (MHz) is a common divisor of processor speed

In Geography

Photo from pexels.com

Route 66 – One of the most famous highways in the US going from Chicago to Los Angeles

I-66: – A US interstate connecting Washington, DC and I-81 near Middletown, Virginia

66 Parallel North – Crosses Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, United States, Canada, and Iceland

66 Parallel South – Crosses Antarctica

66 Meridian East – Crosses Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan

66 Meridian West – Crosses Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Antarctica

In Business

Phillips 66 – a brand of gasoline and service station in the United States

Rum 66 – aged Bajan rum

Pier Sixty Six Hotel & Marina (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Sixty Six Pictures – an independent film production company in the UK

Sixty Six Brix – a catering company that specializes in frosted maple taffy (Toronto, ON)

Sixty Six Theater Company – a not-for-profit company (West Hollywood, CA)

66 N – a clothing manufacturer in Iceland

In Religion

66 – The total number of chapters in the Bible book of Isaiah

66 – The number of verses in Chapter 3 of the book of Lamentations in the Old Testament

66 – The total number of books in the Protestant edition of the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) combined

Papyrus 66 – near complete codex of Gospel of John

66 – In Abjad numerals, the numeric value of the Name Of Allah

In Sports

From allfreevectors.com

66 – The number of the laps of the Spanish Grand Prix

66 Circle Option – the Pittsburgh Steelers play that resulting in the Immaculate Reception (click to see)

66 kg (145 pounds) – upper limit of featherweight boxing division

#66 – Retired Sports Jersey Numbers

  • MLB: Don Zimmer (Rays)
  • NBA: None
  • NFL: Bulldog Turner (Bears), Ray Nitschke (Packers)
  • NHL: Mario Lemieux (Penguins)

NASCAR #66: 732 races, driven by 103 different drivers, 1 win (Larry Frank, 1962)

In Entertainment

In Film

66th Academy Awards – Held in 1994 honoring films released in 1993. Major winners Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, director & winner), Tom Hanks (Philadelphia), and Holly Hunter (The Piano)

Sixty Six – a 2006 British movie about a bar mitzvah in London on the day of the 1966 World Cup final starring Eddie Marsan and Helena Bonham Carter

Order 66 – In the Star Wars movie series, a prepared order to the clone troopers to kill the Jedi commanding them

In Television & Radio

Route 66 – a popular US television series on CBS from 1960 to 1964

66 WNBC radio – a popular New York radio station, which became WFAN on 1 July 1987

In Music

Image from vector-images.com

Route 66 – Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry, Bing Crosby, James Mayer, Brian Setzer, Harry James, Rolling Stones … but my favorite is this one

Opus 66 – Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu

(Albums) Sixty Six Steps (Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon); Sixty Six to Timbuktu (Robert Plant); Combo 66 (John Scofield)

OMG 66 – song title by Lil B

66 – The number of songs on Bruce Springsteen box set released 1998

Le 66 – a one-act opérette by Jacques Offenbach and Pitaud de Forges and Laurencin

The Sixty-Six, the New Jersey-based rock band founded by Scott Liss

66 ft. – a song by Lil Yachty featuring Trippie Redd from Yachty’s studio album Lil Boat 2

In Literature

Sixty-Six (novel), a novel by film director Barry Levinson

The 66 Laws of the Illuminati: The Secrets of Success (House of Illuminati); A Shade of Vampire 66 (Bella Forest)

In History

Year 66 BC
  • a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar known as the Year of the Consulship of Lepidus and Tullus
  • known less frequently, year 688 Ab urbe condita
Year 66 AD
  • A common year starting on Wednesday
  • Emperor Nero ruling Rome
  • The Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire begins
  • The Sicarii capture the fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea.

Miscellaneous

Alpha 66 – an anti-Castro terrorist group in Miami

Flight 66 – Eastern Airline flight from New Orleans crashing on approach to NYC-JFK on 24 June 1975

66 in (167.6 cm) – average height of Neanderthal males

66th Congress – served 1919-1921, the last 2 years of the Woodrow Wilson administration

Died at age 66: Davy Jones, Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Hubert Humphrey, Marie Curie, Carlo Ponzi, John Steinbeck, Lizzie Borden, James Thurber, Dudley Moore, Indira Gandhi

66 – The international direct dialing (IDD) code for Thailand

66 block – used to organize telephone lines In telecommunications

Sixty-six – a German card game

Solo 66 – a card game involving 5 players competing for tricks

Series 66 Exam – qualifies people as investment adviser representatives or securities agents

Cell 66 – In the video game Fullmetal Alchemist, elusive villain Barry the Chopper imprisoned cell number 66, which later becomes his alias when battling the brothers at Laboratory Five

66 – the age I become today. Happy Birthday to me. Yep, on the 46th day of 1953 (for the record, a Tuesday), yours truly came into being

Happy 66th Birthday Frank from Mini-Me

 

I can’t believe it! Look who has stopped to sing a song she wrote about me!

https://youtu.be/KNZH-emehxA

On 90

In Language – 90 is ninety, nëntëdhjetë (Albanian), noranta (Catalan), novanta (Italian), devetdeset (Slovenian), naw deg (Welsh), and XC (Roman numerals)

In Mathematics

90 – divisible by 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 15, 18, 30, 45, 90

90 – a natural number, unitary perfect number, a semiperfect number, a pronic number, a nontotient number, a Perrin number, a Harshad number, and a palindromic number and a repdigit in bases 14, 17, 29, and 44

90 – the number of degrees in a right angle

In Science

90 – the atomic number of thorium (Th), whose neutrally charged atom contains 90 protons and 90 electrons

90 – the number of chromosomes in cells of moonworts, African hedgehog, Grape fern, and Sweet potato

In Sports

Nike Total 90 Apparel – a brand name of football apparel and equipment

90 feet – the distance between bases on a Major League Baseball diamond (27 m)

90 – the car number most associated with former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey

90 – the number of minutes in a football (soccer) match

90 Retired sports numbers: only NFL: Dennis Byrd (NY Jets)

In Geography

Photo from pexels.com

90 – the latitude in degrees of the North and the South geographical poles

90th Meridian West crosses land in Canada, United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador

90th Meridian East crosses land in Russia, Mongolia, China, Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh

I-90 – the longest interstate highway in the US system (3,020.54 miles/4,861.09 km) connecting Seattle and Boston

90 – national highways in Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and the United States

In Entertainment

Joe 90 – a sci-fi series on British television (1968-1969)

90th Academy Awards (2017) with Shape of Water winning 4 Oscars

Image from vector-images.com

In Music

Route 90 (Johnny Winter)

The Ninety and Nine (Tennessee Ernie Ford)

‘90s is not 90

In Literature

The First 90 Days (Michael Watkins)

90 Minutes in Heaven (Don Piper and Cecil Murphey)

90 Miles to Havana (Enrique Flores-Galbis)

Ninety Percent Mental: An All-Star Player Turned Mental Skills Coach Reveals the Hidden Game of Baseball (Bob Tewksbury and Scott Miller)

Ninety Degrees North: The Quest for the North Pole (Fergus Fleming)

In Business

90 Minute IPA (an ale brewed by Dogfish Head Brewery)

90+ Cellars (an online wine retailer)

In History

Year 90 CE

  • A common year starting on a Friday
  • Assyrian calendar year 4850, Discordian calendar year, 1256, Holocene calendar year 10090
  • Cologne becomes the capital of Germania Inferior
  • Young Flavian Woman sculpture made (now kept at Musei Capitolini, Rome)
  • Drafting of the Gospel of John and the Acts of the Apostles
  • Born – Ptolemy, Greek mathematician, geographer, astronomer, and astrologer (d. c. 168)

Year 90 BC

  • Ab urbe condita calendar year 664, Korean calendar year 2244, Holocene calendar year 9911, Berber calendar year 861
  • Rome grants the Etruscans Roman citizenship
  • Cicero starts to serve in the Roman army

Miscellaneous

90 – the calling code for international direct-dial phone calls to Turkey

Change 90 – a right-wing political party in Peru

90 proof – the measure of alcohol in Maker’s Mark Bourbon

GE 90 – a family of jet engines built by GE Aviation in Cincinnati

TAZ 90 – the camouflage pattern used as on the battle dress of the Swiss Armed Forces

90 – how old my mother would be if still living today (she died in 1984). Her birthday was a month ago (23rd Sept), and the day our Eastern Europe tour started.

This song does not have any version of ninety in the title, but my mother would have loved this singer and his son. Thinking of her when I first watched this video caused a few tears.

On 1968

1968 – 50 years ago; a year of triumph and tragedy; a year of social unrest and cultural changes; the year that some describe as the most tumultuous in history; a year I remember as a 15 year old; a year captured below with randomly ordered events.

 

1968 – A leap year starting on a Monday

1968 – World leaders included Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Charles de Gaulle, Indira Gandhi, Leonid Brezhnev, Lyndon Johnson, Harold Wilson, Mao Tse-tung

1968 – Vietnam War, Tet Offensive, My Lai massacre, and the end of US bombings

1968 – Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April) and Robert F Kennedy (June)

1968 – Eastern Bloc armies (Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary) invade Czechoslovakia

1968 – Intel Corporation created

1968- Super Bowl II (2) – Packers vs. Raiders

1968 – Anti-Vietnam War protests throughout the US and the Western World

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1968 – The Beatles White Album

1968 – Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France – the first Winter Olympics broadcast in color

1968 – North Korea captured the USS Pueblo (an American surveillance ship) and its crew

1968 – General Strike in France by students and workers

1968 – Enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 in US

1968 – Dutch Elm disease

1968 – Earthquake in Sicily with 231 dead, 262 injured

1968 – South African Dr. Christian Barnard performs his third human heart transplant

1968 – London Bridge sold for $1 million and re-erected in Arizona

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1968 – US President Johnson surprisingly announces he would not run for another term

1968 – Redwood National Park created in California

1968 – Pope Paul VI bans Catholics from using the contraceptive pill for birth control

1968 – The Poor People’s March on Washington, DC

1968 – Zodiac serial murderer in California

1968 – France becomes the world’s fifth nuclear power

1968 – Several major US cities elect black mayors

1968 – Unrests on college campuses across the US

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1968 – Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy marry

1968 – The Ferry TEV Wahine capsizes in Wellington Harbour, New Zealand_

1968 – The nuclear-powered US submarine Scorpion sinks in the Atlantic Ocean (99 crew members died)

1968 – Hong Kong Flu pandemic begins in Hong Kong

1968 – Student riots threaten Mexico Olympics

1968 – Black power salute after the gold and bronze medalists at Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico

1968 – Completed: The Aswan Dam in Egypt and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

1968 – The border between Spain and Gibraltar is closed

1968 – Riots at the Democratic Party National Convention in Chicago, Illinois

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1968 – The first Big Mac goes on sale at McDonalds at a cost of 49 cents

1968 – The Beatles create Apple Records and release “Hey Jude” as the first single on the label

1968 – Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace for US President (Wallace is the last third-party candidate to win Electoral votes)

1968 – Boeing introduces 747 aircraft

1968 – Mattel introduces Hot Wheel Cars

1968 – Kymer Rouge forms in Cambodia

1968 – Led Zeppelin performs for the first time

1968 – Allen K Breed invents an airbag for cars

1968 – Yale University announces it will admit women

1968 – Apollo 8 orbits the Moon (first manned mission to do so)

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1968 – US Explodes experimental hydrogen bomb and France explodes its first

1968 – Emergency 911 Telephone service starts in the US

1968 – The first ATM (automated teller machine) in the US (Philadelphia)

1968 – CBS airs “60 Minutes” shown for the first time

1968 – Musical Hair, featuring nudity and taking drugs) opens in London and then New York City

1968 – Popular films include The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, The Odd Couple, Planet of the Apes, Rosemary’s Baby, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

1968 – Popular Songs include Hey Jude (Beatles), Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel), Hello I Love You (Doors), Honey (Bobby Goldsboro), I Heard it through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye), Love is Blue (Paul Mauriat), The Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding), People Got to Be Free (Rascals)

1968 – Birth year for Will Smith, Celine Dion, LL Cool J, Cuba Gooding Jr, Guy Fieri, Kenny Chesney, Michael Weatherly, Barry Sanders, Rachael Raye, Mary Lou Retton

1968 – Death year for Yuri Gagarin, Helen Keller, Charlie Chaplin, Robert F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr

1968 – First interracial kiss on US television (Star Trek)

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Learn more about 1968

On Time Before Me

Click the video for background music for this post.

The day before I was born, baseball great Ted Williams safely landed his damaged jet – for which he earned an Air Medal

One month before I was born, Tito became the first president of Yugoslavia – a position he held for 27 years

One year before I was born, a nor’easter blanketed New England

4 years before I was born, Chaim Weitzman elected first president of Israel

6 years before I was born, Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union

10 years before I was born, Sergei Rachmaninoff performed his last concert

15 years before I was born, first public experimental demonstration of Baird color TV occurred in London

20 years before I was born, the US Senate passes the Blaine Act to end Prohibition and first issue of Newsweek magazine appeared on newsstands

30 years before I was born, British Egyptologist Howard Carter found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun (King Tut)

40 years before I was born, New York Armory Show introduced Picasso to American public

42 years before I was born, General Motors installed the first electric starter for a car into a Cadillac

49 years before I was born, opera Madame Butterfly debuted in Milan

52 years before I was born composer Gustav Mahler conducted the premiere of his Second Symphony

70 years before I was born, A. Ashwell patented the free-toilet in London

75 years before I was born, first telephone exchange in San Francisco opened with 18 phones

77 years before I was born sardines were first canned in Eastport, Maine

86 years before I was born, chocolate manufacturer William Cadbury was born and the first ship passed through Suez Canal

88 years before I was born, Union forces regained Fort Sumter (US Civil War)

117 years before I was born, the HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin left Tasmania

277 years before I was born, Kings Charles II (England) and Louis XIV (France) signed a secret treaty

355 years before I was born, Boris Godunov chosen tsar of Russia

1,589 years before I was born, Roman Emperor Jovian died

The day I was born was 17 February 1953

65 years after I was born, I celebrate another birthday with a historical look at February 17th – so the number salute to 65 will be soon.

Happy 65th Birthday from Mini-Me