[Daily article] October 10: Wendell Willkie

Wendell Willkie (1892–1944) was an American corporate executive and
the 1940 Republican candidate for president. In 1933 he became president
of Commonwealth & Southern Corporation (C&S;), a utility holding
company. He fought against President Franklin Roosevelt’s Tennessee
Valley Authority (TVA), a publicly owned competitor of C&S; though
unsuccessful, he sold C&S;’s property to the TVA for a good price, and
gained public esteem. A longtime Democratic activist, Willkie changed
his party registration to Republican in late 1939. He did not run in the
1940 presidential primaries, but positioned himself as an acceptable
choice for a deadlocked convention. As German forces under Hitler
rampaged through Western Europe in the spring of 1940, many Republicans
did not wish to nominate an isolationist like Thomas E. Dewey, and
turned to Willkie, who was nominated on the sixth ballot. His support
for aid to Britain paralleled Roosevelt’s, defying Republican
opposition. Roosevelt won a third term, taking 38 of the 48 states and
55 percent of the vote. Willkie made two wartime foreign trips as
Roosevelt’s informal envoy.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

680:

Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad, was killed in the Battle
of Karbala by the forces of Yazid I, whom Husayn had refused to
recognise as caliph.

1780:

One of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes on record struck the
Caribbean Sea, killing at least 22,000 people over the next several
days.

1846:

English astronomer William Lassell discovered Triton, the
largest moon of the planet Neptune.

1943:

World War II: The Kempeitai, the military police arm of the
Imperial Japanese Army, arrested and tortured over 50 civilians and
civilian internees on suspicion of their involvement in a raid on
Singapore Harbour during Operation Jaywick.

1998:

General Augusto Pinochet was indicted for human rights
violations committed in his native Chile and arrested in London six days
later.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

biannual:
1. Occurring twice a year; semiannual.
2. (proscribed, through conflation with biennial) Occurring once every
two years; biennial.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  I do not think that any civilization can be called complete until
it has progressed from sophistication to unsophistication, and made a
conscious return to simplicity of thinking and living, and I call no man
wise until he has made the progress from the wisdom of knowledge to the
wisdom of foolishness, and become a laughing philosopher, feeling first
life’s tragedy and then life’s comedy. For we must weep before we can
laugh. Out of sadness comes the awakening, and out of the awakening
comes the laughter of the philosopher, with kindliness and tolerance to
boot.  
–Lin Yutang

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