[April 15, 2017] We deserve a little levity today. In the United States, this date is when our annual taxes are due. Today is also the anniversary of the RMS Titanic sinking, U.S. President Lincoln dying from an assassin’s bullet, and terrorist bombing the Boston Marathon; among other infamous events. It is also the day that Molly Brown began her journey to fame.
Playing in the musical by the same name, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), Debbie Reynolds stars as the outgoing Molly Brown (the movie trailer can be seen here). It’s an uplifting film that follows the life of Brown from impoverished tomboy living in the Wild West to flamboyant socialite in Denver and Europe; a feel-good movie (my term) with a good ending. So was the life of the real Molly Brown.
Brown is a great example of how far someone can go, if and only if they charge ahead to accomplish their dreams. In this case it’ a rags to riches story. When I originally saw the musical with Debbie Reynolds playing the part, I assumed the “unsinkable” metaphorically referred to Brown’s stanch refusal to ever let anything get her down. I was wrong.
Brown’s rise to national fame began on this date April 15, 1912 aboard the Titanic returning from her European trip.1 As the ship was sinking after hitting a large iceberg, Brown was tossed into a lifeboat. She quickly took command, as the story goes, helping a drowning sailor and other victims. To keep up everyone’s spirits he told stories of her life in the Wild West.
When people in the U.S. learned of her courage, newspaper reporters dubbed her “the unsinkable Mrs. Brown” and she quickly became an international heroine. While surviving the Titanic disaster was the single incident that ignited her fame across the world, it was nonetheless her tenacity, ambition, passion, and drive, some call it spunk, that is the real reason she was so great at whatever she did.
Those happen to also be the traits of a leader. Molly Brown has all of those characteristics and much more.
On an unrelated matter that April 15th (today) may bring us, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered an underground nuclear detonation; at least according to intelligence agents. They believe this is somehow related to its ‘Day of the Sun” national day on Saturday2 their most important holiday. What will happen if he does?
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