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Back to Newspaper articles archive: 2002


By:     Staff reports
Originally Published on: 05/23/02
Page: 2
MESMERIZE: Friederich Anton Mesmer came up with a good idea in the late 18th century... to treat disease with magnets and hypnosis (a welcome break from leeches, bloodletting and steaming hot poultices). Mesmer, who was born on this date in 1734, was a physician and a theologian who learned astrology from a Jesuit priest in the court of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, and the Holy Roman Empire. That Jesuit's name was "Father Hell."
     Mesmer believed in "animal magnetism," an arrangement of planetary bodies and their gravitational forces on the human body. Mesmer's therapeutic healing was chic in the royal and cultural set, among friends like Marie Antoinette and Wolfgang Mozart.
     Doctors use Mesmer's invention... hypnotism... and know that it works. They don't know how it works, but they don't think it has anything to do with planetary gravitational forces...
     FORCES: In the Lowcountry, though, we may be feeling the pull of the moon, which is waxing toward full on Sunday...
     It's a holy day in the Baha'i faith. In 1844, the prophet of this faith, announced in Persia (present-day Iran) that he was the herald of a new messenger of God. Baha'is don't work today, one of nine days in the year they take off.
     The Baha'i faith teaches the unity of humankind and the commonality of all religions, according to a snapshot of the faith in The Washington Post. The world's six million Baha'is believe that God sends messengers to Earth in successive stages of spiritual evolution. The latest was the 19th-century prophet Baha'u'llah, who came after Krishna, Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed and who himself will be succeeded in another 1,000 years.
     The Baha'is of Charleston have held several conferences in the Lowcountry on racial unity...
     The New York Public Library was founded on this date in 1895, opened to the public on this date in 1911 and remains a remarkable institution. Every Wednesday 5:30 to 6:30, a group of women stand at the library to protest global war and human rights abuses. They're part of an international peace group called Women in Black...
     Charleston County Public Library branches have programs ranging from tiny tot reading to Internet instruction. Go to or stop by your local library branch for brochures.
     South Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution on this date in 1788. We talked about all those guys (Constitution Charlie, etc.) last year in this space... Suffice it to say, they joined the union, only to leave it again 72 years later.
     HONOR: Speaking of the Civil War, on this date in 1900, Sgt. William H. Carney of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, the first regiment composed of African-American soldiers, received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first African-American soldier to do so.
     He was cited for his bravery and heroic acts during the Battle of Fort Wagner on Morris Island on July 18, 1863. He was wounded twice in that battle.
     MOROCCO: It is National Day in the land of the blue men, commemorating a referendum on the majority of the king in 1980.
     GMLc has always wanted to travel to Morocco, not only for its ancient history, natural beauty and exotic mix of African, Arab and French cultures, but to sit at the cinematic site of some of the best lines in film history, from "Casablanca"...
     German Major Strasser: "What is your nationality?"
     American Rick Blaine: "I'm a drunkard."...
     "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."...
     Renault: "I'm shocked, shocked to find out that gambling is going on in here."...
     And the best:
     Renault: "What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?"
     Rick: "My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters."
     Renault: "Waters? What waters? We're in the desert."
     Rick: "I was misinformed."
     SPOLETIANS: Several of the visual artists with their work on display in the Spoleto Festival exhibition "The Memory of Water" get together today at 5 p.m. at the Charleston Maritime Center to talk about "The Value of Trade."
     We're not sure, but we take that to mean maritime trade.
     The artists are Marc Latamie, J. Morgan Puett and Yinka Shonibare. Author Edward Ball ("Slaves in the Family") will be the moderator.
     This is the first in a Spoleto series called "Source: Artists Discuss" and, best of all, it's our favorite price!

©Copyright 2002, Charlston Post & Courier (SC, USA)

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