Anno Domini stalks all of humankind

Posted: Feb. 21, 2013 8:59 am Updated: Mar. 14, 2013 11:15 am


To The Herald-Whig:

"Sir you shall taste my Anno Domini."

The quotation about Anno Domini, which appears above, comes from "The Beaux' Stratagem," a play I read when I was a student at Saint Louis University many years ago. Anno Domino means "in the year of our Lord," and has long been the Christian designation for the passage of time.

Feisty old Harry Truman who was always a favorite president and the one I cast my first presidential vote for in 1948, once jokingly made Anno Domino a woman and renamed this staid Latin phrase Annie Domini.

I suppose you have to be well in age to remember this playful remark, uttered so long ago by our wartime president. Nevertheless, throughout the years I've always thought that Truman's tongue-in-cheek personification of time as Annie Domini, the grim destroyer of life, was both witty and profound.

Harry Truman had many notable achievements during his almost eight year tenure in the White House. Among them was the Marshall Plan, NATO and the integration of the armed forces after World War II. In fact, many historians nowadays consider Truman to be one of our finest presidents.

Of course, I never forgot Truman's sundry accomplishments, both at the conclusion of World War II and during the hectic years that followed. But I also never forgot his homely, long dormant anecdote about Annie Domini. Annie Domini AKA Anno Domini has always been humanity's prime villain that all eventually must taste, and none I know of has ever been able to elude her deadly clutch.


Joe Dacovich