Sometime in 1804 that musical cadence was first voiced in the mind of Beethoven as he increasingly moved toward total deafness. The world was tragically engaged in the Napoleonic Wars. Four years later, in 1808 the Schicksals-Sinfonie [Symphony of Destiny] was performed for the first time in Vienna. According to reports the piece was not well-received. The performance that night lasted four hours. It included the debut of the Sixth Symphony, composed later, but performed first, numerically out of order, before the now-famous Fifth. You know the theme! Short … short … short … long! Though this initial performance contained many errors by orchestra members [Beethoven actually suspended the piece at one point and was required to start again] that theme is the most recognizable symphonic phrase in the world.
In 1825, an accomplished portrait painter working on a commissioned project in New York received word by courier that his wife in New Haven, Connecticut was ailing. The next day, a second courier delivered the message from his father that his wife had died. Troubled over the fact that his wife had become ill, passed and had been buried before he could respond, he began a mission to find a way to communicate faster over distance. Samuel Morse, among others, gave the world the telegraph. In 1837 he introduced the code used around the world known as the International Morse Code.
At the end of World War II, Beethoven’s Symphony of Destiny became the anthem celebrating victory in Europe and in the Pacific. “V” is for victory! “V” is the Roman numeral for five. It is the Fifth [V] Symphony, after all. It begins Short, short, short, long!
Short, short, short, long! is the Morse Code equivalent of the letter “V”. A boyhood memory of mine is flashing Morse Code messages to other scouts with flashlights in the dark. We loved the nighttime! Flashlights were “dark-suckers”!
Weeks back I had need for a new flashlight. I was surprised when I could not find a single flashlight with a Morse Code key. Perhaps you did not know that flashlights had interrupters that functioned as Morse Code keys. Today, I sit here with a word processing program downloaded to my device, at a remote cabin at Strawberry Reservoir, my device linked to my smart phone as a personal hot-spot, connected to the Internet and, therefore, connected to the world! No wonder the Morse Code key was removed from flashlights.
A little over a year ago, the City Council changed the format of the City newsletter and adopted this publication. This periodical is as affordable as its single-page predecessor. We hear repeatedly of its welcomed reception. Thank you, Melissa and Ryan, publishers of the Syracuse Connection. The economy offered the City in publishing this periodical comes from supportive business advertising. We encourage businesses to continue to support us here. We encourage residents to support those businesses that do. Tell them you’re there because of what you’ve seen in the Connection!
Michael Gailey, Mayor