A quick perusal of the This Day in History (August 22) will show not too many major historic events of interest happened in our past – or at least not things most of us carry around in our general historical knowledge.
If you are into Irish or English history, you’ll know that King Richard III and Michael Collins were killed on their own August 22nds. The Red Cross was founded on this day, and the women’s professional tennis color-barrier was broken by Althea Gibson today in history. In yachting news, for our School by the Sea, America won its first America’s Cup on an August 22. And not to be forgotten…if you are a rock and roll historian, you’ll be happy to recall a band called Zager and Evans topped the charts for the last time with a dark and foreboding tune about the future of mankind (“In the Year 2525, if Man is Still Alive…”).
These sort of under-the-radar historical moments aside…this is a huge day in Tabor and Town of Marion history. It was today, in 1791, that Elizabeth Taber, our school’s namesake and the greatest benefactor of Marion and Tabor Academy, was born. It was much later in life, of course, that she began to transform the Town by funding countless public buildings and works – the Library, the Music Hall, the original Tabor buildings to name a few. Her spirit for the Town and the Academy she founded drift everywhere about us, here at our harbor home.
Who knows in years to come (say in 2525), how the things we do in our lives will be recalled, or the consequence of what we’ve tended to will remain relevant. The trickle of history is enigmatic this way. For some, like Elizabeth Taber, their gifts, foresight and kindness are turned into a deluge of consequence – known to all, meaningful to all. For others, for most of us, this won’t be true. We all have the chance, however, to do the right things, help in the right way, serve where needed, be of consequence where we can. For a single person in our lives, for all the people around us – it really does not matter. Simply, “To whom much is given is much be expected.” How much we have to share, and how many are around us who have needs!
Elizabeth Taber had a great deal, and she gave a great deal. Care and Committed Citizenship, Personal Responsibility, High Standards of Achievement, Life Long Love of Learning. Our school, our mission, our opportunities here at Tabor – none of these would be possible today, without Elizabeth’s Taber’s entry to the world on August 22, 1791. But then none of these things would have been possible had she not made the absolute most out of what she had to give.
So…as we prepare in whatever ways we do to come back to school, let’s take a moment today to hum a little birthday tune to Elizabeth Taber and to thank her for the life she lived and the good works she left shining. Better yet, let’s honor her example by committing to lives of consequence as gracious as hers
Happy Birthday and ALL-A-TAUT-O, Mrs. Taber!