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[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of particular interest to labor. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE: June 30, 2007, 12:59 a.m. PDT, 19:59 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 30, 1997, in Hong Kong, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time over Government House as Britain prepared to hand the colony back to China after ruling it for 156 years. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 30, 1834, Congress created the Indian Territory, a sort of state for Native Americans who were forcibly relocated to it (and then displaced when whites decided they wanted it); in 1869, Camp Ruby in White Pine County, slated for abandonment by the U.S. Army, was auctioned off and purchased by Thomas Short; in 1894, the city of Chicago swore in as deputy marshals more than a thousand railroad employees (later described by Chicago's police commissioner as "thugs, thieves, and exconvicts") who then fanned out across the city killing strikers and starting fires to create an impression that the Pullman strike by 129,000 workers was getting out of hand (President Cleveland was taken in, and over the objections of Illinois' governor, sent troops, which provoked real violence thirty deaths and several riots and broke the strike); in 1899, the Nevada State Journal ran an article, The Italian farmer/As he is found in the Truckee Valley, that described Italians as thieves and drunks, an article it defended the next day but then apologized for three days later; in 1913, Governor Tasker Oddie said he had received Attorney General George Thatcher's report on the conduct of Nevada District Judge Frank Langan but was not yet prepared to say whether he would call a special session of the Nevada Legislature to remove Langan from office; in 1919, striking Reno electrical workers were angry because of a letter sent to them by Bell Telephone offering wage increases for themselves but not for striking telephone operators (referred to in a news report as "the telephone girls"); in 1932, a U.S. organization called the Friends of the New Germany was founded, and a 1934 congressional investigation found that although the pro-Nazi group was financially supported by the Third Reich, it violated no federal law; in 1936, one of the most pervasive and enduring sources of racism in U.S. history was published: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (see below), so rancid in places that during filming of the movie version Clark Gable refused to speak some of the lines; in 1937, F.F. Walter, an emissary from U.S. Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, arrived in Nevada to set new wage rates and other matters for unhappy Boulder Dam workers, and he met with them promptly after he arrived and supervised a vote in which they rejected a 48-hour work week and elected to work a 40-hour week; in 1947, Boston Mayor (and former Nevada mining investor) James Curley, the inspiration for Edwin OConnor's novel The Last Hurrah, was imprisoned in Danbury for mail fraud but continued serving as mayor; in 1947, mail was delivered to Yuma by rocket from Winterhaven, California; in 1960, Reno Police Department night matron Pat Fladager resigned in protest against the firing of chief Bill Gregory and said that several officers wanted to do the same but could not financially afford to leave their jobs; in 1966, The Beatles arrived in Tokyo to appear at Budokan Hall, among their most successfully bootlegged appearances, released under the titles Five Nights In A Judo Arena and Three Nights In Tokyo; in 1966, after FBI agent Burns Toolson testified that he had installed listening devices in the Desert Inn, Clark County District Attorney Ted Marshall said he had opened an investigation and was prepared to prosecute federal agents for wiretapping; in 1977, Vatican sources told United Press International that Paul VI was considering turning the case of rebellious French priest Marcel Lafebvre over to the Inquisition; in 1977, music licensing firm Broadcast Music Inc., better known as BMI, sued the Pioneer Inn and B Flat in Reno for using songs by Lennon and McCartney, Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, John Fogarty, Eddie Hewood, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Johnston, Mac Davis, Layne Martine, Jimmie Rodgers, Mike Stoller and Jerry Lieber, and Sterline Whipple without paying the licensing fees; in 1977, more than a thousand Nevada miners struck Anaconda and Kennecott; in 1991, UNLV withdrew from the Western Athletic Conference; in 1999, historian Phil Earl retired as curator of history at the Nevada Historical Society after 30 years of state service; in 2006 in Las Vegas, Ringo, Yoko, and Paul appeared together for the debut of Love, a stage show built around Beatles music.
From Gone With The Wind: How stupid Negroes were! [page 390]...niggery smell...increased her nausea [page 407]...Negroes were provoking sometimes and stupid and lazy, but there was loyalty in them that money couldn't buy, a feeling of oneness with their white folks [page 447]...insolent grins...black apes [pages 551-52]...lazy and shiftless [page 597]...creatures of small intelligence ... [l]ike monkeys [page 611]...negroes sat in the legislature where they spent most of their time eating goobers [page 828] [from a list compiled by Joel Rubenfeld for an article in the Yale Law Journal]
UPDATE: June 29, 2007, 12:32 a.m. PDT, 19:23 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 29, 1995, the shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 29, 1652, more than a century before the colonial declaration of independence, Massachusetts declared itself independent of England; in 1861, in Virginia City's Territorial Enterprise, Myron Lake placed an advertisement announcing his takeover of the river crossing that would become downtown Reno, using the headline "Bridge and Hotel at Fuller's Crossing."; in 1874, nine days after Congress ordered a federal takeover of the Freedman's Bank (formed in 1865 to help former slaves make the transition to freedom) because of white mismanagement, the bank closed, devastating tens of thousands of African-Americans; in 1901, Editor & Publisher, a newspaper for the newspaper industry, began publication; in 1906, Anasazi ruins at Mesa Verde were declared a national park; in 1940, Dick Grayson's family of high wire artists were killed by mobsters and Dick became Bruce Wayne's ward; in 1941, Kwame Ture (Stokeley Carmichael) was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; in 1944, the 'liberty ship" H.G. Blasdel (named for Nevada's first elected governor) was in convoy EMC 17 on its way to Omaha Beach when it was torpedoed by the German submarine U-984 about thirty miles south of the Isle of Wight (the liberty ships were rapidly built, mass produced emergency ships constructed to a standard design from prefabricated pieces, called the "ugly ducklings" by President Franklin Roosevelt); in 1946, Los Angeles District Attorney Fred Howser said he had created an "Anti-Cornero detail" to put Tony Cornero Stralla, operator of the Mr. Lucky-style gambling ship Lux, out of business; in 1955, Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets reached the top of the pop music charts, becoming known as the first rock 'n' roll single (the record died on its first release but then became a hit when it was used on The Blackboard Jungle movie soundtrack); in 1960, former Miss Nevada 1959 Dawn Wells, then a student and Alpha Chi Omega sorority member at the University of Washington, returned to Reno for an ACO luncheon; in 1963, From Me To You by Del Shannon became the first Lennon/McCartney song to break into the top 100 in the U.S.; in 1992, a 5.6 earthquake occurred on a previously unknown fault at Little Skull Mountain, 12 miles from Yucca Mountain in Nye County; in 1994, WABC New York radio talk show host Bob Grant, who had been known to call African[Americans "savages", made this on-air observation about the Gay Pride Parade: "Ideally, it would have been nice to have a few phalanxes of policemen with machine guns and mow them down."
UPDATE: June 28, 2007, 12:47 a.m. PDT, 19:47 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in France, ending World War I. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Advertisement for Easton, Crane, and Pike Co. of Pittsfield, Massachusetts / Stars and Stripes European edition / June 28, 1918: Lafayette, when he came to this country and offered his sword to the American Colonists fighting for liberty, little dreamed that the day would come when a newspaper named The Stars and Stripes, and printed in the American language, would circulate in France among so many native born Americans as now make up the subscription list of The Stars and Stripes.
On June 28, 1839, Sengbe Pieh was kidnapped from west Africa by slavers (he was later sold in Cuba and led the rebellion aboard La Amistad, later becoming known as Joseph Cinque); in 1863, the Washoe Typographical Union was organized in Virginia City; in 1870, twenty-three-year-old U.S. cavalry trooper Emanuel Stance became the first buffalo soldier (African-American soldiers) to win the Medal of Honor, for action against Apaches on May 20, 1870; in 1878, Bannock tribal leader Tambiago was hanged at the Idaho Territorial Prison for a shooting incident that preceded the Bannock war; in 1905, the Sutro tunnel was wired for electricity; in 1933, German Nazi minister of the interior Wilhelm Frick declared "Only when the State and the public health authorities will strive to make the core of their responsibilities the provision for the yet unborn, then we can speak of a new era and of a reconstructed population and race policy."; in 1956, a two day picket line at Nellis Air Force Base was brought down after the base agreed to comply with the Davis/Bacon Act's wage requirements; in 1960, at the recommendation of a county grand jury, the Reno City Council fired Police Chief William Gregory for favoritism; in 1964, Malcolm X founded the Organization for Afro-American Unity; in 1969, New York City police staged a brutal raid of the Stonewall gay bar, which backfired on them when the crowd that was ejected from the tavern turned around and trapped police inside, a folk singer was then pulled by police into the bar and beaten, and police and protesters rioted the rest of the night and on two subsequent nights, fueling the gay rights movement (police violence against homosexuals was then common across the nation, though New York City had been retreating from that policy); in 1971, four years after Muhammed Ali refused to be drafted, one year after it heard the case, the U.S. Supreme Court with its usual promptness overturned his conviction; in 1971, at a meeting of the Reno city council, 13 women and two men protested the removal of Reno city clerk Kay Kistler because (according to Mayor John Chism) the position "should be a man's job"; in 1980, a meeting of domestic violence activists from around Nevada was held in Washoe Valley, resulting in the establishment of the Nevada Network on Domestic Violence; in 1998, executives of the Cincinnati Enquirer retracted and apologized for a story about Chiquita Brands AKA United Fruit Company (alleging mistreatment of its plantation workers, cocaine shipments, pollution, illegal land dealings, anti-union activities, bribery) that many of its newspeople still believed was accurate, because of questions about the methods used to obtain information (an Enquirer reporter later pleaded guilty to hacking into the corporation's voice mail system, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined Chiquita for bribing foreign officials, and The New York Times reported that "some of the allegations cannot be dismissed so easily, despite the questions raised about the reporting method").
UPDATE: June 27, 2007, 3:29 p.m. PDT, 22:27 CUT/SMT/SUT BREAKING NEWS: The Reno City Council this afternoon listened to Building Trades Council criticisms of Cabela's contractors and voted unanimously to postpone action on STAR Bond tax subsidies for the west Reno retail construction project. Councilmembers were concerned about union complaints of illegally operating contractors to the state contractors board and questions about compliance with building codes and regulations. The council meeting will be rebroadcast in its entirety on Sierra Nevada Community Access Television (SNCAT), Reno-Sparks-Washoe County Charter cable channel 13. (1st Replay: Thursday, June 28, at 10:00 a.m.; 2nd Replay: Sunday, July 1, 10:00 a.m.)
UPDATE: June 27, 2007, 12:57 p.m. PDT, 19:57 CUT/SMT/SUT
Unions and other taxpayers protest Cabela's corporate welfare
State investigates use of illegal, unlicensed contractors
UPDATE: June 27, 2007, 12:17 a.m. PDT, 07:17 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 27, 1950, President Truman ordered the Air Force and Navy into the Korean War following a call from the United Nations Security Council for member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Franklin Roosevelt accepting renomination for the presidency / June 27, 1936: Concentration of wealth and power has been built upon other people's money, other people's business, other people's labor. Under this concentration, independent business was allowed to exist only on sufferance. It has been a menace to American democracy.
On June 27, 1844, Mormon Church founder and Nauvoo, Illinois Mayor Joseph Smith was assassinated by a mob after imposing repressive measures in the town; in 1865, in general order 118, President Johnson assigned Major-General Irwin McDowell command of the Department of California, which included the states of California and Nevada and the territories of Arizona and New Mexico; in 1877, Booker Washington began a campaign tour of West Virginia urging African-American voters to support Charleston over Clarksburg or Martinsburg for state capital; in 1880, the Nevada State Journal carried an excerpt from Mark Twain's A Tramp Abroad that dealt with chatting with blue jays; in 1900, it was reported that F.C. Savage would open a plumbing and heating business in Reno on about July 1; in 1932, on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the campaign of presidential candidate Melvin Traylor (supported by Chicago's Mayor Anton Cermak) was somewhat undercut by a run on his bank, and Traylor was preoccupied standing on a pedestal in the bank lobby begging depositors not to withdraw their money; in 1956, Nevada superintendent of schools Glenn Duncan died; in 1968, Elvis held a news conference in Burbank in connection with the start of taping that same day of his comeback special for NBC; in 1969, during a period when the Honduran government had been scapegoating illegal aliens from El Salvador for the nation's problems and days after Hondurans had been roughed up and the Honduran flag insulted at a soccer match in Tegucigalpa, Honduras broke diplomatic relations with El Salvador (two weeks later the "soccer war" began with Salvadoran land and air attacks); in 1969, a military-style assault by police on the Stonewall Inn (now on the National Register of Historic Places) in Greenwich Village and its patrons gave birth to the gay rights movement; in 1969, Michael James Themmen of Las Vegas, Nevada died in Tay Ninh province, Vietnam (panel 21w, row 26 of the Vietnam wall); in 1989, the Nevada Legislature approved a $2.1 million appropriation for construction of a journalism school at UNR; in 2001, Jack Lemmon died; in 2001, a Churchill County, Nevada, jury awarded nearly $9 million for the lifetime medical costs of a woman whose doctors (a) misdiagnosed her condition, then (b) gave her a drug screen because they suspected her of complaining of abdominal pain in order to get illegal drugs, then (c) were dilatory in re-diagnosing her condition, all of which caused her bowel obstruction to worsen, with the result that she will have to be fed intravenously for the rest of her life (the jury award covers about half her medical costs).
UPDATE: June 26, 2007, 12:37 a.m. PDT, 07:37 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 26, 1963, President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: "Ich bin ein Berliner" ("I am a Berliner"). [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 26, 1541, Francisco Pizarro was assassinated in Lima, Peru; in 1794, in the Battle of Fleuris in Belgium during the War of the First Coalition (a war by neighboring nations to try to stop the French Revolution), J. M. M. Coutelle piloted the French reconnaissance balloon l'Entreprenant, marking the first military use of an aircraft that had decisive influence on the outcome of the battle; in 1844, Julia Gardiner and Acting President John Tyler were married in New York City; in 1870, the first section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk opened along the New Jersey beach; in 1893, Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld announced that, because of fabricated testimony and bias on the part of trial judge Elbert Gary, he would pardon the anarchists convicted in the Haymarket Square bombing in Chicago in 1886, an unpopular action that made Altgeld a political pariah for a time, prevented his advancement to the U.S. senate, won him immortality in Vachel Lindsay's verse The Eagle That Is Forgotten and a mention in Profiles in Courage (see below); in 1894, U.S. railway workers went out on strike in sympathy with Pullman workers; in 1903, veteran Reno teacher Mary Doten, who after teaching for fourteen years was forced to leave the state for her health, returned to the city in improved condition; in 1907, at the Boise trial of labor leader William Haywood in the case of the assassination of Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg, miner William Davis of Goldfield, Nevada, took the stand for the defense and contradicted the testimony of chief prosecution witness Harry Orchard; in 1916, the Cleveland Indians became the first big league team to put numbers on player uniforms, though the innovation was later abandoned; in 1924, after eight years of occupation, American troops left the Dominican Republic; in 1933, Washoe County commissioners decided to try to tap federal tribal boatbuilding funds to build a hard surface highway to Pyramid Lake; in 1939, Los Angeles Power and Light announced plans to build an office building in Boulder City; in 1946, Yoshia Kamecka, interpreter at a Japanese prisoner of war camp, was convicted of war crimes charges in a case in which the testimony of Vincent Owen of Las Vegas played a part; in 1952, in a state-by-state rundown of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the Associated Press reported that Taft was leading Eisenhower in Nevada by seven delegate votes to two; in 1958, Nevada Governor Charles Russell held a meeting in the capital to plan for keeping the government functioning in the event of atomic attack; in 1964, the soundtrack album of A Hard Day's Night was released in the U.S. by United Artists, minus five Beatles songs that were in the British version released by Parlophone on July 10 (the U.S. version, however, had instrumentals by George Martin that the British version lacked); in 1992, Las Vegas' Tailhook scandal claimed Navy Secretary Lawrence Garrett, who resigned; in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state laws outlawing sex by gays.
Brand Whitlock, aide to Governor Altgeld:
He knew the cost to him; he had just come to the governorship of his state, and to the leadership of his party, after its thirty years of defeat, and he realized what powerful interests would be frightened and offended if he were to turn three forgotten men out of prison; he understood how partisanship would turn the action to its advantage. It mattered not that most of the thoughtful men in Illinois would tell you that the "anarchists" had been improperly convicted, that they were not only entirely innocent of the murder of which they had been accused, but were not even anarchists.
And so, one morning in June, very early, I was called to the governor's office, and told to make out pardons for Fielden, Neebe, and Schwab. I took them over to the governor's office. I was admitted to his private room, and there he sat, at his great flat desk. The only other person in the room was Dreier, a Chicago banker, who had never wearied, it seems, in his efforts to have these men pardoned.
The Governor took the big sheets of imitation parchment, glanced over them, signed his name to each, laid down the pen, and handed the papers across the table to Dreier. The banker took them, and began to say something. But he only got as far as "Governor, I hardly" when he broke down and wept.
I saw the Governor as I was walking to the Capitol the next morning. The Governor was riding his horse he was a gallant horseman and he bowed and smiled that faint, wan smile of his, and drew up to the curb a moment. I said: "Well, the storm will break now."
"Oh, yes," he replied, with a not wholly convincing air of throwing off a care, "I was prepared for that. It was merely doing right." I said something to him then to express my satisfaction in the great deed that was to be so willfully, recklessly, and cruelly misunderstood. I did not say all I might have said, for I felt that my opinions could mean so little to him. I have wished since that I had said more, said something that could perhaps have made a great burden a little easier for that brave and tortured soul. But he rode away with that wan, persistent smile. And the storm did break, and the abuse it rained upon him broke his heart.
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UPDATE: June 25, 2007, 1:07 a.m. PDT, 08:07 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 25, 1580, the Lutheran Church published the Book of Concord; in 1876, General George Custer attacked a Sioux village at Little Big Horn, unaware that the village contained four warriors for every one of his calvarymen; in 1887, Nevada teacher, Lincoln County school board member and president, and state legislator Hazel Baker Denton was born in Monroe, Utah; in 1903, the Nevada Board of Regents took several actions on the Girls Cottage, denied use of the University Hospital to any except students, accepted a bid for granite coping for the stone wall at the entrance to the campus, and appointed Robert Lewers to be acting President until September 1, 1903; in 1917, a businessperson told the Churchill County Liquor Control Board he was having trouble getting enough workers because of drunkenness, so the board shut down saloons between 11 at night and 7 in the morning; in 1927, the month-long Transcontinental Highways Exposition opened in Reno, Nevada (two features of the expo lasted long after the fair left Idlewild Park, which was the grounds of the fair, and an arch over Reno's main street); in 1935, Joe Louis, described by the newspapers as the "dark dynamiter", beat Primo Carnera (the "man mountain") in Madison Square Garden when the referee stopped the fight in the sixth round; in 1940, after 23 years, an iron flagpole erected on top of Green Mountain near Tonopah when the U.S. entered the world war toppled over under the force of high winds; in 1940, a news report said the chamber of commerce in Kingman, Arizona, was seeking establishment of a U.S. Army Air base near Boulder Dam; in 1946, Arthur Detrie, totally disabled veteran of the Burma/India theatre of World War Two, was ordered by Las Vegas Judge A.S. Henderson in the fourth trial of his divorce case to pay $100 a month in alimony and $50 a month in child support (his monthly disability payment was $196.87); in 1953, the Sparks Tribune called for federal removal of reefs in the Truckee River (where the river leaves the Truckee Meadows and enters the canyon east of Sparks) because the reefs were causing flooding of ranches at the mouth of the canyon (a second editorial endorsed the 18-year-old vote); in 1962, in Engel vs. Vitale, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against recitation in schools of a government prayer; in 1967, on a television program originating from all over the world and broadcast by satellite, England offered The Beatles from Abbey Road Studios, who introduced All You Need Is Love to two hundred million viewers worldwide, now considered a benchmark of the summer of love; in 1970, Thomas Joseph Davis of Las Vegas died in Hua Nghia province, Vietnam (panel 09w/row 090 of the Vietnam wall); in 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that misconduct by State of Nevada officers on tribal land is not subject to the jurisdiction of tribal courts; in 2003, Nevada legislators returned to Carson City for a second special session of the legislature in a last ditch effort to end the budget deadlock before the fiscal year ended.
UPDATE: June 24, 2007, 12:01 a.m. PDT, 07:01 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 24, 1997, the Air Force released a report on the so-called "Roswell Incident," suggesting the alien bodies witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1807, former vice president Aaron Burr was indicted for treason (he was found not guilty); in 1844, Mayor Joseph Smith of Nauvoo, Illinois, the Mormon founder, ordered the suppression of church rebels (which sparked violence, which in turn prompted Smith to call out the town militia and destroy a local newspaper's printing press, for which state officials arrested him and his brother and jailed them in Carthage where they were assassinated by a mob); in 1893, the U.S. established a post office at Los Vegas, Nevada (the spelling is correct, as used by postal officials until 1903).; in 1912, Congress enacted legislation assigning to itself the authority to determine the exact proportions of features of the U.S. flag, bringing to an end the long era of the public being able to design the arrangement of stars for themselves; in 1918, after a worker in a Reno cigar factory was heard making comments critical of the world war, he was arrested for sedition on a warrant issued by U.S. Attorney William Woodburn [EDITOR'S NOTE: A cigar maker's union operated in Reno at the time.]; in 1924, the Democratic National Convention began in Madison Square Garden and quickly developed into a 16-day deadlocked convention whose polarization and divisions and dominance by the Ku Klux Klan were broadcast on radio through 103 ballots for the presidential nomination, destroying the party's prospects in an otherwise promising year (the refusal of U.S. Senator Oscar Underwood to accept the presidential nomination under Klan sponsorship was dramatized in the 1964 television series Profiles in Courage, based on the John Kennedy book); in 1929, James Seastrand, later mayor of North Las Vegas, was born in American Fork, Utah; in 1939, the film crew of Grantland Rice's Sportlight (a short subject shown in movie theatres) arrived in Boulder City to film a segment; in 1939, 'Miss Boulder Dam" Bettina Norberg, who was a resident of Burlingame, California, and had never actually seen the structure whose name she bore, arrived in Nevada to tour the dam; in 1940, the Las Vegas Evening Review Journal published a letter and copy of a telegram from U.S. Senator Key Pittman of Nevada, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which Pittman said that because of belligerent U.S. policies, he would not vote for war if a U.S. battleship was lost and that three fourths of Congress felt the same way (the telegram was a reply to a Nevada couple; see below); in 1942, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes approved an $18,966,392 contract for construction of the Bullshead dam and power house on the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada; in 1944, President Roosevelt signed the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, also known as the GI bill of rights; in 1962, Ladeo Corporation advertised availability of "first come - first served" reservations for a 500 unit trailer park then under construction in Cactus Springs, Nevada, near Mercury; in 1971, Daniels and Bell became the first known African American-owned firm to gain a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (co-owner Travers Bell's son Gregory Bell has written a history of African-Americans on Wall Street titled In The Black); in 1978, Russ McDonald, former Washoe County manager, director of the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau, and author of the 1978-80 tax cutting Ballot Question 6 (the Nevada version of California's Proposition 13), was honored at a testimonial dinner in Reno; in 1995, the first game of the Major Indoor Soccer League was played at UNLV between Sacramento and Las Vegas; in 2003, historian Beverly Mobley gave a lecture at the Nevada State Museum on the history of the Stewart Indian School; in 2003, Philip Deale, owner of Philip's Supper Club who was once sued by other restaurant owners for paying cab drivers $3 to refer passengers to his club, died in Las Vegas; in 2003, the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association gave a testimonial dinner for former state district judge Jerry Whitehead, who was forced off the bench by federal prosecutors in 1995.
Telegram from U.S. Senator Key Pittman to Tim and Lulu Harnedy of Las Vegas (published 6-24-1940):
My dear Sir and Madam:
I am today in receipt of the following telegram from you: "Your very discourteous remarks directed at Col. Lindbergh, a real patriot and hero, are a reflection on the intelligence of the people of the State of Nevada."
I attempted to be courteous to Col Lindbergh in my analysis of the position he took in his speech. I fully admitted his courage and his patriotism. I am surprised that you do not recognize not only his discourtesy but his attack upon the patriotism of the president of the United States. His statement in his speech that "We must have a nation ready to give whatever is required for its future welfare, and leaders who are more interested in their country than in their own advancement" is a very serious and absolutely unjustifiable attack. I unhesitatingly assert that there is no intelligent, unprejudiced person in the United States who doubts the patriotism of the president or that he would in every case place the welfare of the United States, particularly in this great emergency, over his personal advancement. The whole tenet of Col. Lindbergh's speech clearly discloses that his subject is political; that he is attempting through arousing a false fear that the president is seeking to lead us into war to defeat the president at the coming election and to defeat the other leaders in his administration who are supporters of the president.
It is well known that Mr. Lindbergh, since his recent return to the United States after an absence of several years in Great Britain, has been advising with republican politicians, some of whom lost their positions with the United States government through the defeat of the republican party in 1932 by an overwhelming vote of the people of this country. The president has clearly shown that he intends to take national defense out of politics. That alone would demonstrate to an unprejudiced person that he thinks more of the welfare of his country than he does of his own political advancement...
UPDATE: June 23, 2007, 1:03 a.m. PDT, 08:03 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 23, 1947, the Senate joined the House in overriding President Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley Act. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Abigail Adams / June 23, 1798: I wish our Legislature would set the example & make a sedition act to hold in order the base Newspaper calumniators.
On June 23, 1683, William Penn met in Philadelphia with Lenape chiefs led by Tamanend and purchased (note: not stole, purchased) four pieces of native land and paid a substantial price in goods; in 1862, Jacob Marklee recorded a land claim of 160 acres in Douglas County, Nevada, not realizing that it was actually in California (the Alpine County Courthouse now sits on the site in Markleeville); in 1863 at Dayton, Nevada, John Thoroughman enlisted in the army for three years and was inducted at Fort Churchill (after Civil War service, he ended up in the Ormsby County Poor Farm where he died); in 1874 at a meeting of the Nevada Board of Regents at Walley's Hot Springs, the board accepted title to land in Elko County for the state's first university, directed that the deed be recorded, and noted the authority of the Nevada Legislature's "Act to Create the State University and to Provide for the Control and Management of the Same", approved March 7, 1873; in 1878, a key battle in the Bannock war was fought between the cavalry and Paiutes and Bannocks at Silver Creek, Oregon; in 1896, the Nevada State Journal carried an essay on women's suffrage by Reverend Caroline Bartlett; in 1927, U.S. Rep. John Q. Tilson of Connecticut, the GOP floor leader, joined President Coolidge on vacation in the Black Hills to tell him that Boulder Dam was not needed, that a small dam costing $15 million would suffice; in 1944, playing off the myth that Hitler was once a wallpaper hanger, Harold's Club in Reno ran a full page newspaper advertisement promoting the sale of war bonds that showed Hitler being papered against a wall by a bond (the ad was designed by PFC Ken Vares at the Reno Army Air Base); in 1964, Henry Cabot Lodge resigned as U.S. ambassador to Vietnam so he could return to the United States after unexpectedly winning the New Hampshire presidential primary election as a write in candidate; in 1965, Motown released The Tracks Of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (it would later also be a hit for Johnny Rivers and Linda Ronstadt); in 1969, U.S. Representatives Harold Johnson of California and Walter Baring of Nevada introduced legislation to launch an investigation of the land and water resources of the Beatty/DeathValley/Amargosa River Basin region; in 1970, Harold Lee Linville of Reno, Nevada, died in Phong Dinh province, Vietnam (panel 9w, row 84 of the Vietnam wall); in 1971, actress Carrie Fisher made her show business debut at the Sparks Nugget, appearing in the show starring her mother, Debbie Reynolds; in 1972, Title IX banned sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal assistance; in 1972, six days after the arrests at the Watergate, there occurred the key moment in the scandal President Nixon made a fateful decision, telling his aide H.R. Haldeman (and his hidden microphones) to instruct the FBI "Don't go any further into this case, period" on grounds that CIA activities could be compromised; in 1983, the Native Hawaiians Study Commission submitted its final report to Congress, laying the groundwork for the apology by the United States for the subversion of the Kingdom of Hawaii; in 1997, nurse, educator and widow of Malcolm X, Betty Shabazz, died after suffering for three weeks from burns inflicted when her home was torched by an angry grandson; in 2003, in Grutter vs. Bollinger, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the University of Michigan Law School using race as a factor in deciding admissions because of "the educational benefits that diversity is designed to produce. These benefits are substantial. ... In order to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity. All members of our heterogeneous society must have confidence in the openness and integrity of the educational institutions that provide this training. As we have recognized, law schools cannot be effective in isolation from the individuals and institutions with which the law interacts."
UPDATE: June 22, 2007, 5:15 p.m. PDT, 00:15 CUT/SMT/SUT In television interviews, NALC President Bill Young announced Reno's dubious distinction: the first instance in the country of which the union is aware of existing postal jobs being given to private contractors. A Utah company will take over the local routes formerly serviced by 10 postal workers.
UPDATE: June 22, 2007, 4:30 p.m. PDT, 23:30 CUT/SMT/SUT Letter carriers picket Reno main post office
Postal workers demonstrate at Reno main branch today
National letter carriers president joins local picketers
RENO (U-News) National Association of Letter Carriers President Bill Young will join his Nevada members in a demonstration at the Reno main post office, 2000 Vassar Street, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. today.
The picketing is part of a national series of protests of the subcontracting of new city routes to private companies, thus compromising the security of the mail.
It also jeopardizes support of U.S. service personnel.
"The new subcontracting policy eliminates any preference for returning war veterans, something which the United States Postal Service has offered for decades," stated Nevada Assn. of Letter Carriers President Mickey Grizzle.
Union leaders support S. 1457, a bill by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, to curb postal subcontracting. Support for S. 1457 has grown to 31 senate co-sponsors.
House Resolution 282, which also opposes the subcontracting policy, currently has more than 220 co-sponsors, including southern Nevada Representatives Shelly Berkley, D, and Jon Porter, R.
Northern Nevada Rep. Dean Heller, R, has not signed on, Grizzle noted.
Other aspects of the subcontracting program criticized by the workers and their union:
 The normal recruitment and hiring process has been bypassed, subverting the proper screening of personnel.
 Using contractors undermines accountability by putting mail in the hands of unknown workers. (The U.S. Mail is not pizza delivery, with all due respect to pie purveyors.)
 The process lacks transparency. Wage levels of contract workers are reportedly less than half of those of career letter carriers. Other payments and fees paid to subcontractors for such catch-alls as vehicle expenses and overhead costs wipe out any labor cost savings. The details of contract delivery services are subject to little or no scrutiny.
 Outsourcing threatens the sanctity and security of the mails. Recruited with minimal screenings, contractors and subcontractors become vulnerable to identity thieves, convicted felons and other unqualified workers who may gain access to Americans' mail and their mail boxes.
BARBWIRE: Want Halliburton in your mailbox?
"In Florida, deliveries to a new shopping mall are being handled by a private contractor whose criminal record would prevent him from working directly for the USPS," one union leader says.
UPDATE: June 22, 2007, 12:25 a.m. PDT, 07:25 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 22, 1940, during World War II, Adolf Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1877, the New York Herald reported "No part of the world ever presented so favorable an opportunity as the coal regions for the rich to oppress the poor workingman. In many instances the opportunity was not neglected."; in 1902, while working both as a freighter for the Tonopah Mining Company and as a deputy U.S. marshal in Tonopah, Wyatt Earp (as a deputy) served notice of a lawsuit on his (private) employer Tasker Oddie, general manager of the mining company; in 1914, with the state fiscal year a week short of complete, the state workers injury insurance system reported that there had been 1,203 injuries and twenty nine deaths during the year to date and that more than $201,000 in claims had been paid out with $227,000 paid in as premiums; in 1937, Joe Louis won the world heavyweight championship against James Braddock; in 1938, two years after Nazi leaders trumpeted Max Schmeling's defeat of Joe Louis as a triumph of racial supremacy, Louis beat Schmeling in two minutes and four seconds in at a Yankee Stadium rematch, knocking Schmeling down four times in the only round until the referee stopped the fight (Schmeling was not the Aryan champion the Nazis suggested; on Kristallnacht, he saved the lives of two Jewish brothers); in 1940, French representatives surrendered to Adolf Hitler and German officers in the railroad car at Compiegne where Germany had surrendered to France in 1918 (Nazi officials had ordered communications from the site cut off so they could control the spin on the even after it was over, but CBS newsman William Shirer got a line out and narrated events to his U.S. audience); in 1940, in Las Vegas, Victor Matteucci, blinded by a bullet in his head from an unsuccessful suicide attempt, and Maryl Marshall, who read of his plight in the newspaper and went to the hospital where she spent long hours working to raise his spirits and restore his interest in life, took out a marriage license; in 1944, the War Department announced that two Nevadans, Pvt. Henry Miller of Las Vegas and 2d Lt. Robert Christensen of Ely, were prisoners of war of Germany; in 1947, the Las Vegas Age reported that Los Angeles officials were "baffled" by the gangland slaying in Beverly Hills of Las Vegas casino operator Benjamin Siegel (inside, the newspaper published an ad for the "largest prizes in the history of Las Vegas" and a "direct wire to all major tracks" at Siegel's Flamingo Hotel); in 1956, the California Highway Commission decided to relocate U.S. 40 from Donner Lake to Floriston, bypassing Truckee; in 1959, Memphis by Chuck Berry was released; in 1961, Congress extended for the tenth time taxes imposed as a Korean war measure; in 1963, Wipe Out by The Surfaris was released; in 1968, Classical Gas by Mason Williams was released; in 1969, the legendary one and only album of Blind Faith was released; in 1971, the United States Senate for the first time voted (57 to 42) to order an end to the war in Vietnam; in 1992, in RAV vs. St. Paul, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled that adding additional penalties onto crimes because they are motivated by animosity ("hate crimes") is an impermissible punishment of opinion.
UPDATE: June 21, 2007, 12:01 a.m. PDT, 07:01 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers [Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman, requiesecant in pacem] disappeared in Philadelphia, Miss. Their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. Eight members of the Ku Klux Klan went to prison on federal conspiracy charges; none served more than six years. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 21, 1854, Seattle minister David Blaine wrote to his eastern relatives complaining about whites mixing with Native Americans: "We have in our community many of the most intelligent and better class of persons, many of whom have moved in refined society at home, who have been moral and upright until they came to the Pacific Coast, but now they show no respect for religion nor regard for the Sabbath. They live with savages and live as savages. When they left the states their only aim was to get rich, and to secure the wealth they seek. They violate every moral principle with the utmost recklessness and profess all kinds of infidelity to quiet their consciences and pollute and excuse their wickedness."; in 1861, Tennessee became the first Confederate state to authorize state militia companies composed of free African-Americans; in 1866, Congress enacted the Southern Homestead Act, a post-Civil War measure to assist newly emancipated slaves by opening public lands in five southern states to settlement by people of all races; in 1874, the Pioche Record was predicting completion of the railroad between Palisade and Eureka by June 27; in 1877, fourteen labor union miners were hanged in Pennsylvania for murder on the testimony of a Pinkerton private "detective" paid by the mine owners; in 1883, Churchill County leader W.C. Grimes said his county had been badly damaged by the construction of the Carson and Colorado Railroad, which had "driven off the towns" and dried up the market for the county's farm produce; in 1910, on the day "great white hope" James Jeffries arrived in Reno to begin preparations for his fight with heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, the owner of the Novelty Theatre in Ely staged a boxing match and refused to pay the $1,000 license fee (and was arrested) in an apparent effort to provoke a court test of the state's licensing law, a test that might stop the Reno bout; in 1915, in Guinn vs. United States, Oklahoma's grandfather clause allowing residents to avoid a literacy test for voting if their grandfathers were voters was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court because its practical effect was that illiterate whites were able to vote but not illiterate blacks whose grandfathers were nearly all slaves and therefore barred by law from both voting and literacy; in 1921, in one of its first arbitrations, the League of Nations directed that the Aland Islands, chronically disputed among Finland, Sweden and Russia and considered a threat as a military staging ground by Britain and Sweden, should remain a part of Finland but be granted autonomy and prohibited from having military facilities, conditions that prevailed through the Nazi period and continue today; in 1927, newspapers reported a warning to businesses from Nevada highway engineer Sam Durkee to remove their billboards and signs from along state highways or see them destroyed in compliance with a state law that forbade all advertising alongside highways; in 1940, the U.S. Census Bureau released a 110,014 population figure for Nevada (32,366 in Washoe, 16,358 in Clark, 12,352 in White Pine, 10,857 in Elko, all other counties in four digits); in 1962, Humboldt County Senator John Fransway said that "the civil rights problem in Nevada has been magnified away out of proportion by outside interests" and objected to the NAACP's "marches, posters, hymn singing, sit ins, ultimatums, deadlines, and threats"; in 1964, three civil rights workers vanished in Philadelphia, Mississippi, their bodies later found in an earthen dam, a case later dramatized in the film Mississippi Burning (which gave the FBI a role it did not have in solving the case) and told by William Bradford Huie in his book Three Lives For Mississippi, a case which also produced one of the unforgettable photographic images of the civil rights era, of laughing deputies being arraigned while chewing Red Man tobacco; in 1966, The Beatles recorded She Said She Said by John Lennon for the Revolver album; in 1968, Native Americans participating in the Poor People's Campaign protested in front of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs building in D.C.; in 2004, in the major privacy case Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a law abiding citizen has no right to stand mute when asked by police to identify him/herself and can be arrested and convicted for doing so; in 2005, forty one years to the day after the murders of the three civil rights workers in 1964, Edgar Killen was convicted of manslaughter in the slayings (he was later sentenced to 60 years in prison); in 2006, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd visited the west bank wall in Bethlehem, wrote Tear down the wall and No thought control on it, and moved a concert from Tel Aviv to Neve Shalom/Wahat al Salam, a village where Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel work together in spite of Israeli government policies; in 2007, a National Day of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places is being commemorated.
UPDATE: June 20, 2007, 5:38 p.m. PDT; 00:38 June 21, 2007, CUT/SMT/SUT MISSING MINER: Midas tunnel swallows Newmont worker. (Elko Daily Free Press, 6-20-2007, 4:23 PM PDT) On its 5:30 p.m. newscast today, Reno's KOLO TV-8 news reported that the miner remains missing and that a medevac helicopter is standing by. Stay tuned.
UPDATE Search for missing miner continues
Elko Daily Free Press, Wednesday, 6-20-2007 5:47 PM PDT
UPDATE 6-22-2007 The search, now in its fourth day, continues. A team from Naval Air Station Fallon has joined the effort. The mine remains shut down.
UPDATE 6-30-2007 (rgj.com/AP) WINNEMUCCA The body of a miner trapped underground at a gold mine near Winnemucca was located Saturday, 11 days after he turned up missing, Newmont Mining Corp. officials said.
Dan Shaw, 30, was working with a blasting crew 200 feet below the Midas mines portal on June 19 when the ground gave way beneath the loader he was operating. No one else was injured.
Newmont spokeswoman Mary Korpi said Shaws body was seen with the help of night-vision equipment through a hole drilled through the debris.
We havent seen any indication of movement, she said.
Korpi said crews must remove more rock and dirt, and it was uncertain when they would be able to reach the body. Crews have removed more than 5,000 tons of rock and dirt so far.
Its very confined space theyre working in, she said. The crews are dedicated to get in and recover him.
The mine operations remain suspended and an around-the-clock effort relying on specialized equipment continues to reach the body.
Newmont officials are coordinating the effort with state and federal mine safety regulators.
Shaw began work at Newmont in 2003, most recently as a blaster.
Copyright © 2007 Reno Gazette-Journal / Associated Press
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Links to Reno Gazette-Journal stories are now rarely provided as most quickly become stale with Gannett randomly nuking its subsidiary newspapers' archives as a way to save disk server space which should erode their web traffic and thus negatively affect profitability. And all this time I thought all they cared about was money.]
Body of Nevada miner recovered just after 1:00 a.m. PDT July 2 (AP/Lahontan Valley News)
Rest in peace, brother.
UPDATE: June 20, 2007, 9:11 a.m. PDT, 16:01 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 20, 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. The conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1803, Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Capt. Meriwether Lewis describing the goals of a proposed expedition into the interior of the continent: "The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River... its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean...." (see below); in 1806, Meriwether Lewis wrote in his journal that stocks of meat for the expedition "being now nearly exhausted", Native American hunters told him that "their greatest excertions would not enable them to support us here more than one or two days longer" and so the expedition would risk a move to find an area with better game; in 1863, West Virginia was admitted to the union and under legislation later approved by the new legislature, this was the last day former slaves were permitted to enter the state to reside; in 1866, Lewis Cass, member of the Ohio Legislature, brigadier general in the war of 1812, military governor of Detroit and west Canada, governor of Michigan Territory, secretary of war under President Jackson, minister to France under President Van Buren, U.S. Senator from Michigan, secretary of state under President Buchanan, and the Democratic presidential nominee in 1848, died in Detroit; in 1872, the first church service in Lamoille, Nevada, was held; in 1874, Congress ordered a takeover of the white-administered Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, a bank created in 1865 to help former slaves make the transition to freedom that had been subverted by white overexpansion, mismanagement, abuse and fraud and by the Panic of 1873; in 1879 in Elko, the Nevada Board of Regents met, approved the principal's salary (the state university then included pre-collegiate instruction), approved the janitor's salary and adjourned; in 1893, Lizzie Borden was found not guilty of murdering her parents; in 1903, Marius Krarup and Tom Fetch left San Francisco to drive a Packard across the United States at a time when there were no cross country highways, crossing Nevada en route and beating by two days another car that went around Nevada; in 1917, newspapers were making a fuss over William Teller, a Shoshone from the Duck Valley reservation, because he purchased a liberty bond (war bond); in 1939, two years away from war in the far east, the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran an editorial on the gathering far eastern crisis that led to the Pacific war entitled "Not As Serious As It Looks"; in 1940, with war still 17 months away, President Roosevelt jolted Washington by forming a coalition war cabinet, appointing Republicans Henry Stimson as secretary of war and Frank Knox as navy secretary (the move for some reason convinced many in Washington that FDR would not seek a third term); in 1940, Emma Nevada died; in 1940 in Philadelphia, former Acting Nevada Governor Morley Griswold was appointed to the national defense committee at the Republican National Convention; in 1947, Las Vegas mobster Benjamin Siegel was murdered in Beverly Hills; in 1963, the U.S.S.R. and U.S., seeking to cool cold war tensions in the wake of the missile crisis, agreed to establish a telegraph link between Moscow and Washington to provide instant communication, a link that became known as the hot line; in 1967, heavyweight champion and Muslim minister Muhammad Ali was convicted of violating the federal draft law (he was stripped of his title and blacklisted from working for years); in 1972, the Tallahatchie Bridge, made famous by singer (and Bill Harrah spouse) Bobbie Gentry, collapsed; in 1979, at a routine Managua checkpoint during the last days of the Somoza dictatorship, ABC News reporter Bill Stewart, lying face down on the street, was executed by a member of the Nicaraguan guardia while a camera (unknown to the killer) rolled and the disturbing footage showing Stewart's body jerk from the impact of the bullet in his back helped dissolve U.S. support for the tyrant, an incident later dramatized in the Joanna Cassidy/Nick Nolte film Under Fire (in which a Nicaraguan woman is portrayed saying "Fifty thousand Nicaraguans can die...Maybe we should have killed an American journalist fifty years ago."; the guardia had been formed by the United States Marines in 1927 during a U.S. occupation of Nicaragua and became the Somozas personal police force); in 1981, the Dutch novelty group Stars on 45 (also known as Starsound) hit number one on the Billboard chart with the song that had the longest name in history: Medley: Intro Venus/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I'll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want to Know a Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/Nowhere Man/You're Going to Lose That Girl/Stars on 45.
David Plotz / October 2, 2006 / Slate: "If Lewis and Clark had died on the trail, it wouldn't have mattered a bit," says Notre Dame University historian Thomas Slaughter, author of the forthcoming Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness. Like the moon landing, the Lewis and Clark expedition was inspiring, poetic, metaphorical, and ultimately insignificant.
First of all, Lewis and Clark were not first of all. The members of the Corps of Discovery were not the first people to see the land they traveled. Indians had been everywhere, of course, but the corps members were not even the first whites. Trappers and traders had covered the land before them, and though Lewis and Clark may have been the first whites to cross the Rockies in the United States, explorer Alexander MacKenzie had traversed the Canadian Rockies a decade before them.
After the celebration of their safe return, Lewis and Clark quickly sank into obscurity, and for good reason. They failed at their primary mission. Jefferson had dispatched them to find a water route across the continent the fabled Northwest Passage but they discovered that water transport from coast to coast was impossible. Jefferson, chagrined, never bragged much about the expedition he had fathered.
Not discovering something that didnt exist was hardly Lewis and Clark's fault, but the expedition also failed in a much more important way. It produced nothing useful. Meriwether Lewis was supposed to distill his notes into a gripping narrative, but he had writers block and killed himself in 1809 without ever writing a word.
The captains' journals weren't published until almost 10 years after the duo's return; only 1,400 copies were printed, they appeared when the country was distracted by the War of 1812, and they had no impact. The narrative was well-told, but it ignored the most valuable information collected by Lewis and Clark their mountains of scientific and anthropological data about the plants, animals, and Indians of the West. That material wasn't published for a century, long after it could have helped pioneers.
Lewis and Clark didn't matter for other reasons. At the time of the journey, the Corps of Discovery "leapfrogged Americans concerns," says American University historian Andrew Lewis (no relation to Meriwether). "They were exploring the far Missouri at a time when the frontier was the Ohio River. They were irrelevant."
In a few years, Lewis and Clark disappeared from the American imagination ... By the late 19th century, Lewis and Clark were negligible figures. They weren't found in textbooks, according to the University of Tulsa's James Ronda, a leading scholar of the expedition. Americans didn't hearken back to the adventure. It was so unimportant that Henry Adams could dismiss it in no time flat in his history of the Jefferson administration as having "added little to the stock of science and wealth." ... But by the late '60s, Americans had rediscovered Lewis and Clark, and their fervor has not flagged since. ... But our fascination with Lewis and Clark is much more about us than about them. The expedition is a useful American mythology: How a pair of hearty souls and their happy-go-lucky multiculti flotilla discovered Eden, befriended the Indian, and invented the American West. The myth of Lewis and Clark papers over the grittier story of how the United States conquered the land, tribe by slaughtered, betrayed tribe. ...
Lewis and Clark didn't give Americans any of the tools they required to settle the continent, not new technology, not a popular narrative, not a good route, not arable land. It didn't matter. Nineteenth-century pioneers were bound to take the great West, with or without Lewis and Clark. Their own greed, ambition, bravery, and desperation guaranteed it. They did not need Lewis and Clark to conquer and build the West.
But we do need Lewis and Clark to justify having done it.
UPDATE: June 19, 2007, 12:39 a.m. PDT, 07:39 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 19, 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1754, delegates from most of the northern British colonies and representatives from the Six Iroquois Nations met in Albany in a forerunner of the continental congresses and considered a plan of union offered by Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania that was derived from the governing practices of the Iroquois Confederacy (Franklin's Iroquois plan was not adopted in Albany but its elements later became a part of the U.S. Constitution); in 1862, slavery was outlawed in the Territory of Nevada and other U.S. territories; in 1865, two months after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans in Texas were told, incorrectly, that the proclamation had freed the slaves, the day becoming known among blacks as Juneteenth; in 1865, the first of several meetings called to organize to support "equal rights before the Law to all the Colored Citizens of the State of Nevada" was held in Virginia City; in 1918, there was hope that the German near-monopoly on potash (a form of potassium carbonate used in the manufacture of glass and soap and as a fertilizer) might be broken by the discovery of a potash field in Dixie Valley, Nevada; in 1918, northern Nevadans were surprised to learn that an arbitration conference in a decade-old Truckee River water rights case had been scheduled by federal officials in Denver, and the Churchill County Standard compared the case to Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce in Bleak House (Dickens: "The scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least; but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes, without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit."); in 1936, Max Schmeling, heavyweight champion from 1930 to '32, came back as a ten to one underdog to beat Joe Louis for the championship, a victory German Nazi officials portrayed as a triumph of racial supremacy; in 1939, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reject President Roosevelt's nomination of William Boyle as U.S. Attorney for Nevada, which Nevada's Senator Key Pittman had championed but which its other senator, Pat McCarran, had called "personally offensive to me" because he considered the nomination retribution for McCarran's opposition to FDR's court packing plan; in 1962, a Long Beach company, Kit Manufacturing, was hired to construct bachelor quarters at Mercury, Nevada, for the Atomic Energy Commission; in 1962, on the hottest day of the year, North Las Vegas' water system went dry and at the Las Vegas convention center a dozen spouses of conventioneers collapsed from heat prostration; in 1967, Jack Edward Cossins of Henderson, Nevada, died in Gia Dinh Province, Vietnam (panel 22e/row 0100 of the Vietnam wall); in 1970, Pvt. Mark Crouse of Yerington, Nevada, was wounded in action in Cambodia with a foot injury and shrapnel in the back and arm; in 1971, a festival called Indiana Black Expo debuted at the Indiana state fairgrounds, highlighting the cultural, educational and entertainment contributions of black Hoosiers (the event drew Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson, Bill Russell and John Mackey); in 1982 at Lake Tahoe, Steve Miller began a tour to promote his album Abracadabra; in 1997, when Julia Roberts was introduced on Letterman, the band played Julia from the white album (the song is about John Lennon's mother); in 1999, high school coach Jim Morris tried out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and his fast ball was clocked at 98 miles an hour, resulting in his being signed and sent to Devil Ray teams (Orlando and Durham) and finally making a major league debut for Tampa Bay on September 18, 1999, as the oldest rookie in 40 years, events dramatized in the film The Rookie with Dennis Quaid playing Morris; in 2002, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama disclosed information he received as a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence to Fox Network reporter Carl Cameron, but although a grand jury was empaneled on the matter, the Bush administration chose not to prosecute; in 2004, a marker was dedicated in Virginia City commemorating African-Americans on the Comstock near the site of the Boston Saloon, an African-American owned business of the 1860s that was the subject of a 1999 dig by archeologist Kelly Dixon.
Justice Hugo Black / Torcaso vs. Watkins / June 19, 1961: There were, however, wise and far-seeing men in the Colonies too many to mention who spoke out against test oaths and all the philosophy of intolerance behind them. One of these, it so happens, was George Calvert (the first Lord Baltimore), who took a most important part in the original establishment of the Colony of Maryland. He was a Catholic and had, for this reason, felt compelled by his conscience to refuse to take the Oath of Supremacy in England at the cost of resigning from high governmental office. He again refused to take that oath when it was demanded by the Council of the Colony of Virginia, and as a result he was denied settlement in that Colony. A recent historian of the early period of Maryland's life has said that it was Calvert's hope and purpose to establish in Maryland a colonial government free from the religious persecutions he had known one "securely beyond the reach of oath." When our Constitution was adopted, the desire to put the people "securely beyond the reach" of religious test oaths brought about the inclusion in Article VI of that document of a provision that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Article VI supports the accuracy of our observation in Girouard v. United States that "[t]he test oath is abhorrent to our tradition." Not satisfied, however, with Article VI and other guarantees in the original Constitution, the First Congress proposed and the States very shortly thereafter adopted our Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment. That Amendment broke new constitutional ground in the protection it sought to afford to freedom of religion, speech, press, petition and assembly. Since prior cases in this Court have thoroughly explored and documented the history behind the First Amendment, the reasons for it, and the scope of the religious freedom it protects, we need not cover that ground again. What was said in our prior cases we think controls our decision here...We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person "to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion." Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.
[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of particular interest to labor. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE: June 18, 2007, 12:27 a.m. PDT, 07:27 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 18, 1948, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted its International Declaration of Human Rights. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Susan B. Anthony / June 18, 1873: I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."
On this date in 1812, over the objections of New England governors who refused to provide coastal defenses and of antiwar critics like Francis Scott Key (who would soon write the national anthem) and of the financial community, Congress declared war on England by votes of seventy-nine to forty-nine in the House, and nineteen to thirteen in the Senate; in 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry attacked Fort Wagner, S.C., an event that became the climax of the movie Glory; in 1868, the first passenger train arrived in Reno; in 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for "knowingly, wrongfully and unlawfully" voting; in 1917, a presidential order reserved 60 acres for a Winnemucca Paiute colony (another 60 acres were added on February 8, 1918, ten more on May 21, 1928, and another ten on May 28, 1928); in 1934, the Indian Reorganization Act, aka the Wheeler Burton Act, aka the Indian New Deal was enacted by Congress to reverse the Dawes Act's efforts to break up reservations and distribute tribal lands to individual tribe members and restore some self government and control of assets to tribes; in 1954, in the chronically corrupt Alabama town of Phenix City, the Democratic nominee for state attorney general, Albert Patterson, was assassinated while campaigning on a promise to crack down on corruption just three days before he was scheduled to testify before a grand jury on alleged voter fraud used against him by the incumbent attorney general, who was under indictment (these events were dramatized the next year in the movie The Phenix City Story); in 1961, an Italian archeologist revealed that the name of Pontius Pilate had been found carved (TIVSPILATVS, reconstructed by scholars to have been PONTIVSPILATVS in the undamaged original) on a broken section of stone or wall in the former site of Caesarea, the Roman capital of Palestine, the first hard evidence of the existence of the Roman procurator; in 1967, Reno police chief Elmer Briscoe, a week after announcing he would retire, said he had been forced out "under duress because of that poll" (a reference to a private poll by Reno Mayor Roy Bankofier of city council members that indicated the council would give Briscoe a resign-or-be-fired choice); in 1968, Keith Degero Taylor of Carson City, Nevada died in Quang Nam province, Vietnam (panel 56w, row 28 of the Vietnam wall); in 1970, in a shocking upset that no opinion surveys (including the vaunted Gallup poll) had forseen, the Conservative Party turned Prime Minister Harold Wilson's Labour Party out of office; in 1971, appearing in court in Tonopah, Nevada, actor Jean Peters obtained a divorce from billionaire Howard Hughes (news reports said she married Hughes in Searchlight in 1957, but other accounts say in Tonopah or at sea or on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles); in 1991, Wellington Webb was elected the first African-American mayor of Denver; in 1994, a huge crowd turned out for an Eagles concert at UNLV; in 2001, U.S. House Resolution 168 was enacted urging schools to instruct students on the contributions Native Americans have made to American history, culture and education, a step toward a legal Native American holiday on the fourth Friday in September.
UPDATE: June 17, 2007, 2:43 a.m. PDT, 09:43 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 17, 1928, Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. She flew from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1703, John Wesley, founder of Methodism, was born; in 1775, colonial forces lost the battle of Breed's and Bunker hills, marked by the heroism of former slave Peter Salem fighting for the colonials; in 1759, pirate Francis Drake, his ship Golden Hind overloaded with stolen goods, was forced ashore in Alta California (northern California) at an unknown location where he reputedly built a fort, became acquainted with local Native Americans, and installed a brass plaque claiming California for England (the plaque that has never been located); in 1871, anthropologist, author, journalist, poet, educator, lawyer, songwriter, civil rights activist and Harlem Renaissance figure James Weldon Johnson, author of the song known as the black national anthem, Lift Every Voice And Sing, was born in Jacksonville, Florida; in 1877, the Nez Perce War began with the decisive defeat of U.S. forces at White Bird Creek; in 1927, confessed bootlegger and mother Daisy Bell of Las Vegas spent about a day in the city jail but found it not to her liking so she paid the $100 fine instead; in 1932, on a 62-to-18 vote, the U.S. Senate defeated immediate payment of the adjusted service payment better known as the bonus to veterans, with Nevada's Tasker Oddie voting against payment and Key Pittman not voting but paired in favor of payment; in 1933, at Kansas City's Union Station, outlaws Adam Richetti and Verne Miller tried to rescue captured bank robber Frank Nash from seven lawmen in the busy train station, killing four of the escorting officers (and Nash), a highly publicized incident that became known as the Kansas City massacre and helped fuel approval of federal anti-crime measures (the feds spread the word that Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd participated in the crime, but it's unlikely he was involved); in 1938, a Hollywood crew looking for a western location rejected Tombstone, Arizona, because improvements had made it too modern: "There's not a street we could photograph without telephone or telegraph poles."; in 1944, Iceland declared independence from Denmark; in 1944, in a ceremony at Reno Army Air Base, Louis Ellertson of Carson City received the Air Medal posthumously awarded to his son, Lt. Woodrow Ellertson (a 22 year-old assistant manager of a Reno Walgreen's when he was drafted) for five missions over Europe, including the one in which he died; in 1947, Native American Ray Steve, identified as a marine war hero with an artificial leg as a result of his combat injuries, was stabbed to death in the hobo jungle behind the Union Pacific depot in Las Vegas; in 1954, with the French public profoundly weary of the Indochina war, Prime Minister Pierre Mendès-France promised to resign if he failed to negotiate an armistice by July 20; in 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against government-sponsored Bible and Lord's Prayer recitations in schools; in 1966, Big Brother and the Holding Company with their new singer Janis Joplin began two days of appearances at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City; in 1967, Carrie Anne by The Hollies was released; in 1967 at the Monterey International Pop Festival, two performers Janis Joplin of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Jimi Hendrix (who appeared on the 18th) gave two unforgettable performances that catapulted them into heavy buzz; in 1968, Yummy Yummy Yummy by the Ohio Express went gold; in 1971, retired General Duong Van Minh began his presidential campaign against the U.S.-backed NyugenVan Thieu, calling a military victory impossible and offering a softer approach to the Hanoi government (he withdrew his candidacy a few weeks later when operatives began murdering leaders of his campaign, after which U.S. Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker tried unsuccessfully to bribe him back into the race to provide a charade of democracy); in 1972, five burglars were arrested in the second break-in at the Democratic Party's national headquarters in the Watergate office complex; in 2004, Sue Powers, docent at the Atomic Testing Museum and widow of cold war hero Francis Gary Powers, died in Las Vegas.
UPDATE: June 16, 2007, 10:24 a.m. PDT, 17:24 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 16, 1933, President Roosevelt opened his New Deal recovery program, signing bank, rail, and industry bills and initiating farm aid. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
James Madison / June 16, 1788: I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
On June 16, 1822, a South Carolina slave rebellion planned by Denmark Vesey (a free African-American) collapsed when it was betrayed by a fearful slave to his owner (Vesey and 47 rebels were executed); in 1829, Geronimo was born; in 1846, Pius IX was elected pope, beginning a 31-year papacy the longest in history during which he would create papal infallability and the immaculate conception, encourage the spread of the myth of ritual murder of Christians by Jews to obtain Christian blood, reestablish the Inquisition, order the Jews back into the ghetto in the Papal States, kidnap a Jewish boy and raise him in the Vatican apartments, and issue the Syllabus of Errors (which condemned religious freedom, human reason, Protestantism, rationalism, pantheism, socialism, separation of church and state, nonviolence, the authority of civil government, rebellion, admission of all classes to public schools, freedom of opinion and expression, and civil marriage); in
1858, in the Illinois capital, Abraham Lincoln delivered his "house divided" speech; in 1869, Callville, once a Mormon settlement and later an Army outpost in Nevada, was abandoned (the site is now underwater in Lake Mead); in 1874, C.C. Powning's Nevada State Journal carried an article on Adolf Sutro that began "The old Jew is at his tricks again."; in 1919, the Supreme Court of Nevada ruled that the existence of Pershing County was legal, rejecting a challenge by Humboldt County; in 1937, while newsreel cameras rolled, the Hoover Dam outlets were opened, sending spectacular spouts of Boulder Lake water forth from the face of the dam; in 1942, for her thirteenth birthday, Annelies Marie Frank received an autograph album which she used as a diary, expressing in its pages the wish that she might someday publish it as a book that she wanted called The Secret Annex but which was published as The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; in 1947, a U.S. House public lands subcommittee approved $300,000 for construction of a grade and high school on the Owyhee Reservation in Nevada; in 1953, the Nevada Tax Commission heard testimony on plans to bring "a game called jai alai" to a proposed new Las Vegas hotel casino (one of the partners in the enterprise was Matthew Tracy, identified by the Kefauver Senate Crime Committee as a Florida organized crime figure); in 1967, the three-day Monterey Pop Festival, organized by Lou Adler, Michelle Phillips and John Phillips, began at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, during which Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix registered on the pop radar for the fist time, Janis Joplin performed in a major showcase for the first time as singer for Big Brother and the Holding Company, and an array of acts appeared (The Association, The Blues Project, Booker T. & The MG's, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Canned Heat, Country Joe and the Fish, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Hugh Masekela, Moby Grape, Lou Rawls, Laura Nyro, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Ravi Shankar, The Steve Miller Band, and The Who) though several acts that were expected did not appear (Donovan, The Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band), the whole concert free and remembered, with the release of Sgt. Pepper two weeks earlier, as one of two principal benchmarks of the summer of love; in 1971, on the same day that the U.S. Conference of Mayors voted to support withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam and Danny Gerald Studdard of Virginia City, Nevada, died in Quang Tin province, Vietnam (panel 3w, row 78 of the Vietnam wall), U.S. Senators Howard Cannon and Alan Bible of Nevada twice voted against ending the war in Vietnam by setting a mandatory deadline for withdrawal of all U.S. forces; in 1971, hundreds of members of the Laborers' International Union walked off their jobs across 13 Nevada counties, bringing to a halt a Washoe Medical Center annex, the Bell of Nevada building in downtown Reno, freeway construction north of Reno and, as the strike spread, Reno's new Second Street bridge, three University of Nevada buildings and miscellaneous home construction and paving jobs; in 1975, John Lennon sued the U.S. government for selectively targeting him in its long running battle to keep him out of the country; in 1997, the Nevada State Historical Records Advisory Board submitted a report to Governor Robert Miller on "the conditions of archives and records programs in Nevada and a strategic plan to assure the continued preservation of the state's historical past"; in 2007, a Truckee Meadows memorial service will be held for KTVN (Reno television station 2) founder Lee Hirshland.
UPDATE: June 15, 2007, 12:23 a.m. PDT, 19:23 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 15, 1904, more than 1,000 people died when fire erupted aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York City's East River. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 15, 1215, King John signed the Magna Carta, granting the aristocracy more liberty (and other things: "All fish-weirs [fish traps] shall be removed from the Thames, the Medway, and throughout the whole of England, except on the sea coast"); in 1763, as part of the Pontiac rebellion, a siege began of Fort Presque Isle in northern Pennsylvania; in 1864, Congress enacted equal pay, health care, and equipment for African- American troops (some black Union soldiers had refused any pay until treatment was made equal); in 1877, Henry Flipper graduated from West Point, the first African-American graduate; in 1910, California Governor James Gillett requested the state attorney general to try to stop the Jack Johnson/Jim Jeffries "great white hope" fight planned for that state, and Acting Nevada Governor George Pyne sent a wire to the Reno Gazette-Journal: "I know of no reason why Jeffries-Johnson fight could not take place in Nevada upon complying with the [state prizefight] law."; in 1918, the Fallon draft board received instructions to send eleven draftees to Camp Lewis, Washington, for training; in 1927, President Coolidge arrived in South Dakota on vacation where (unknown to him) one of his temporary local bodyguards was Richard Hart, whose real name was James Capone, brother of Al; in 1936, payment of the bonus promised to World War One soldiers and sailors, which veterans tried to force by occupying the nation's capitol in 1932, was finally paid by Congress over the objections of the Roosevelt administration, and veteran Harold Baldwin was the first in a long line at the Las Vegas post office (the bonus was paid at post offices) when it opened at 8 a.m.; in 1936, the Nevada labor federation called for vacation with pay for Boulder Dam workers; in 1944, Nevada Assemblymember J.P. Smith of White Pine County died on the job in the Kennecott open pit mine in Ruth; in 1962, Students for a Democratic Society adopted its Port Huron mission statement denouncing bigotry, bureaucracy and the gap between U.S. ideals and U.S. government policies (since the Iraq war began, SDS has been revived by a new generation and its second annual convention will begin July 27 in Detroit ); in 1966, Capitol released the album Yesterday and Today by The Beatles, complete with the rapidly discontinued "butcher" cover art; in 1971, the National Labor Relations Board reported that a petition by a Las Vegas dealers union to represent Aladdin Casino employees in collective bargaining had been filed; in 1994, the U.S. Army released some documents about its biological warfare programs throughout the U.S., and promised to eventually disclose them all; in 2004, an opinion survey of Iraqis that was commissioned by U.S. occupation forces and then suppressed was disclosed by the Associated Press and it showed that 55 percent of the respondents wanted the U.S. to leave the country; in 2004, the Huntington Free Library in the Bronx sold its renowned collection of Native American materials (appraised at $8.3 million) to the Cornell Library for $2.5 million, to be used in settling a lawsuit by the Smithsonian over ownership of the collection.
UPDATE: June 14, 2007, 3:50 a.m. PDT, 10:50 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 14, 1982, Argentine forces surrendered to British troops on the disputed Falkland Islands. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Thomas Jefferson/letter to John Norvell / June 14, 1807: I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors.
On June 14, 1855, after 35 days of travel from Utah, Mormon settlers arrived at the present site of Las Vegas; in 1865, Company I of the Sixth Infantry Regiment organized in California for Civil War service, arrived at Fort Churchill, Nevada; in 1919, the Clark County Review reported that an impending Western Union strike would not affect Las Vegas (a week later, the headline in the Review was "Wire strike ties up Western Union here"); in 1938, the Mineral County Commission voted to declare the district attorney's office vacant after District Attorney Fred Wood failed to file his bond; in 1947, when Las Vegas Review-Journal sports writer Clarence Heckathorn stepped out to take a break, his desk in the newsroom somehow burst into flames; in 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Jackson, Mississippi's shutdown of its municipal swimming pools to avoid letting African-Americans use them was legal; in 1971, the Reno City Council fired city clerk Kay Kistler and replaced her with Robin Bogich because, Mayor John Chism said, the council was agreed that "it should be a man's job" (Bogich promptly hired her as his chief deputy); in 1971, 65 Native Americans, claiming federal surplus land under a treaty, took control of a Nike missile base the U.S. government had abandoned near Richmond, California (they were evicted on June 17 by a force of 300 soldiers and police officers); in 1972, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Simon and Garfunkel all reunited for one night to raise money for the presidential campaign of George McGovern; in 2001, Las Vegas FBI security analyst James Hill was arrested for selling classified files to organized crime and others.
UPDATE: June 13, 2007, 8:29 a.m. PDT, 15:29 CUT/SMT/SUT On June 13, 1966, the Supreme Court issued its landmark Miranda vs. Arizona decision, ruling that criminal suspects must be informed of their constitutional rights prior to questioning by police. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Las Vegas Strip: New Frontier to close July 15
Reno: Anti-union owner buying Fitzgerald's
UPDATE: June 12, 2007, 7:14 a.m. PDT, 14:14 CUT/GMT/SUT On June 12, 1898, the Phillippines declared independence from Spain (only to see the United States replace Spain as Phillippine occupiers and oppressors); in 1918, Vera Haywood, the new teacher at the school in tiny Ocala, Nevada, was out of a job because the school was shut down after local school board president Daniel Besse was arrested for running supplies to fugitive Paul Walters, accused of murdering Churchill County Sheriff Mark Wildes; in 1918, a group of oil prospectors who created a sensation by pulling their huge drill through Fallon were in the eastern Churchill County gold field being mined by the Nevada Potash Syndicate to see if the same land was a likely oil field; in 1918, the Mason Valley Mines Company smelter at Thompson in Lyon County accepted a woman, Lucille Gallivan, as an apprentice machinist; in 1918, the wartime Ely Council of Defense prohibited solicitation of any kind unless approved by the ECD; in 1918, the Churchill County Standard published In Flanders Fields, the memorable poem written by physician John McCrae to vent his anguish after seeing a good friend die a gruesome death in the second battle of Ypres (see below); in 1937, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Palmer annulled the Nevada marriage of Texas musician William Graham and his cousin Annette Graham; in 1944, a war bond rally was held at the War Department Theatre at the Reno Army Air Base; in 1947, seventeen days after former Vice-President Henry Wallace said he might run against President Truman on a third party line, the House UnAmerican Activities Committee said it had opened an investigation of Wallace; in 1947, directors of the Reno Chamber of Commerce seeking contributions to a $150,000 publicity fund were suprised to receive $500 from the chamber of commerce in Las Vegas; in 1957, Radio Hanoi called on Britain and the Soviet Union, as joint chairs of the 1954 Geneva conference on Indochina, to crack down on U.S. violations of the Geneva agreement; in 1963, African-American leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi, shot from hiding by white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith; in 1963, after refusing to allow an opposing assemblymember to speak, the Nevada Assembly approved a measure calling for a federal constitutional convention to overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions ordering state legislatures to apportion their members on the basis of population (which, in Nevada's case, restored the original procedure in the 1864 Nevada Constitution); in 1963, Washoe County Assemblymember Chet Christiansen resigned to take office as mayor of Sparks and Don Mello was appointed to replace him in the legislature; in 1969, it was announced in London that Prime Minister Harold Wilson had named the four Beatles to receive the MBE, the Membership of the most excellent order of the British Empire, provoking other MBEs to return theirs to the government ("I thought you had to drive tanks and win wars to get the MBE," said John Lennon, who would later return his to protest the British government's support of the U.S. war against Vietnam); in 1971, the Nevada Oil and Gas Conservation Commission reported that the oil field at Eagle Springs had produced 2,451,376 barrels; in 1973, brothel owner Joe Conforte was deeply offended he called it a "dirty deal" that University of Nevada boosters refused his $400 purchase of tickets to a fund raising dinner.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
by John McCrae
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
UPDATE: June 11, 2007, 7:32 a.m. PDT, 14:32 CUT/GMT/SUT On June 11, 1942, the United States and the Soviet Union signed a lend lease agreement to aid the Soviet war effort in World War II. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 11, 1861, residents of the rugged western mountain region of Virginia met in Wheeling as the "restored government" of the state and repealed the action of the Virginia Legislature in seceding from the Union; in 1918, President Wilson submitted the name of Albert Gray to the U.S. senate for confirmation as receiver of the U.S. Land Office in Carson City, Nevada; in 1931, two thousand men and women stormed the county jail in St. Clairsville, Ohio, to free eleven striking coal miners and were driven off by 49 sheriff's deputies and American Legion vigilantes using tear gas and machine guns; in 1936, the Nevada State Journal carried a United Press report that said white hope Max Schmeling's supporters' brave talk of their champion's chances against Joe Louis sounded like "the bravado of a frightened darky whistling in a graveyard, a man trying to keep up his courage"; in 1937, Nevada Lieutenant Governor Fred Alward delivered the commencement address to the graduates of Esmeralda County High School in Goldfield; in 1937, the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light was building 27 homes in Boulder City to try to solve a housing shortage; in 1938, the rising waters of Lake Mead behind Boulder/Hoover Dam began to cover the mining and farming community of St. Thomas, Nevada (in 2002 when a drought shrank the lake, St. Thomas began to emerge again); in 1947, Bonanza Air Lines began regular air service to Tonopah, Nevada; in 1953, President Eisenhower, in a speech at Mt. Rushmore, taunted communist nations, warning them not to attack the U.S. "except at your peril" and four days later, fresh Chinese assault battalions launched the biggest offensive in two years against Allied lines in Korea; in 1953, in Chicago, Illinois, state representative Clem Graver was hustled into a car by three men and never seen again; in 1957, U.S. Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson opposed consolidation of the military services, saying the concentration of power would "risk a form of dictatorship in which we do not believe"; in 1963, the Washoe County school board declined to oppose establishment of a Synanon facility across the street from Booth School on Roberts Street after Synanon threatened to shut down its Nevada State Prison anti-drug program unless it found a new residential site; in 1963, the California Assembly defeated a bill prohibiting bus and airline excursions to Nevada casinos; in 1969, former United Mine Workers president and first president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations John L. Lewis died in Washington; in 1971, at a meeting at Stewart, Nevada, Inter Tribal Council executive director Robert Hunter ended his tenure after five years and was replaced by Harold Wyatt; in 1971, Reno Police Chief Elmer Briscoe announced his retirement, days after a county grand jury investigating his acceptance of loans from a topless club owner suggested he do just that; in 1974, in a notorious public tantrum in Salzburg, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger upstaged President Nixon's trip to Europe and Egypt by holding a news conference to threaten to resign because of wiretapping charges against him; in 1998, the Elko County Hospital was sold to Province Healthcare.
UPDATE: June 10, 2007, 3:58 a.m. PDT, 10:58 CUT/GMT/SUT On June 10, 1967, the Six-Day War ended as Israel and Syria agreed to observe a United Nations-mediated cease-fire. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Treaty of Tripoli, approved by U.S. Senate and President John Adams, June 10, 1797: As the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims]; and as the states never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mohometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever produce an interruption of harmony existing between the two countries.
On June 10, 1908, a statue of Comstock mining tycoon John Mackay sculpted by Gutzon Borglum was dedicated on the University of Nevada campus in Reno; in 1911, a root-attacking parasite was threatening Churchill County's new sugar beet industry; in 1925, jazz critic, civil libertarian and author (Free Speech for Me and Not for Thee/How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other) Nat Hentoff was born in Boston; in 1942, after the assassination of deputy SS chief Reidnhard Heydrich by Czech partisans in occupied Czechoslovakia, Hitler personally selected the little town of Lidice for reprisal the occupants of the town were gathered together, men and women were split into groups and sent to the death camps, the children were taken away to be educated, and the town was bulldozed, buildings torn down or exploded, the land leveled and grass planted over the former site of Lidice; in 1943, after several months of going from place to place (including Reno) looking for a legal way to accomplish a proxy marriage, Jeanne Scroggy of Sacramento succeeded in Denver in marrying Lt. Izzy Tamres in north Africa, where he was stationed with U.S. forces; in 1944, Bertha Raffetto, composer of Home Means Nevada, was the keynote speaker at the Nevada Republican Convention; in 1953, an eleven-day strike by Las Vegas Carpenters Local 780 ended when members voted for a second proposed agreement with the Associated General Contractors; in 1960, Salt Lake City's Oakland Construction Company won a $1,352,850 contract for construction at the Nevada atomic test site; in 1963, above-ground atomic testing ended at the Nevada test site, never to resume, when President Kennedy at American University pledged the U.S. not "to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so; we will not be the first to resume," a promise that led to a breakthrough in test ban negotiations and resulted in an agreement 45 days later; in 1964, a Republican/southern Democratic filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act ended after 57 days with a fourteen hour speech by U.S. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia; in 1966, Parlophone released the Beatles single Paperback Writer b/w Rain in Britain, eleven days after their U.S. release (Rain was the first instance of a use of tape being run backwards as part of the recording, in this case of John's voice); in 1971, at least 25 protestors, and possibly many more, were killed in the Corpus Cristi Massacre, part of Mexico's "dirty war" against pro-democracy activists in which thousands murdered and others were "disappeared" (33 years later, in 2004, former president Luis Echeverria, who was interior minister at the time of the killings, and the attorney general of Mexico were indicted for genocide in the massacre, but arrest warrants were quashed by a judge); in 1997, Sunset Station Casino opened in Las Vegas.
UPDATE: June 9, 2007, 1:00 a.m. PDT, 08:00 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 9, 1954, Army counsel Joseph N. Welch confronted Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wisc., during the Senate-Army Hearings over McCarthy's attack on a member of Welch's law firm, Frederick G. Fisher. Said Welch: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 9, 1874, there was a meeting in Reno to organize a local base-ball club; in 1874, there was a meeting in Carson City to organize a grange; in 1910, after the Storey County Commissioners received a letter from U.S. Attorney Sam Platt reporting that he had taken the county's claim against the U.S. government to Washington without success, they directed District Attorney Noel to sue the feds for $3,641.66 ($78,826.51 in 2006 dollars) for four years housing of federal prisoners; in 1911, a weights and measures inspector of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor said his inspections in the mining boom camp of Goldfield led him to believe that measures in the camp were chronically wrong both because of carelessness and because of fraud; in 1915, U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned in protest against President Wilson's policy of belligerence toward Germany; in 1930, Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle was shot and killed in the Loop, and in the days after his death his newspaper and the city learned he was actually a member of the Capone mob who had used his reporters' job as cover; in 1935, End Poverty in California, the political group formed by novelist Upton Sinclair, incorporated a publishing firm; in 1937, Lincoln County's 1871 "million dollar court house" (built for $16,400 but plagued with inflated costs, unfulfilled contracts and a decline in mining activity that led to endless interest payments on the bonds) was finally paid off as a new court house was being constructed; in, 1939, Nevada's state prison population was down to 226 from its May record high of 270, and the prison baseball team was doing poorly against other western Nevada teams (home games only) compared to previous years; in 1939, the Sparks Tribune editorialized against a third term, then added "Roosevelt has been a wonderful president. The Tribune will not say that it will not support him if the Democratic Party nominates him."; in 1944, Elzyette Selby, reportedly the first white child born in Genoa, Nevada, died at age 84; in 1946, twenty-year-old King Ananda Mahidol of Siam [Thailand] was found shot dead (an investigating commission reported on July 2d that he had probably been assassinated but that neither assassination or suicide was fully proved; a later show trial held by a military junta ended inconclusively but two aides to the king were executed); in 1946, Gladys Rowley's last "Reno Review" newspaper column was published; in 1954, in a nationally televised confrontation, Army counsel Joseph Welch denounced U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisc., to his face and before a nationwide television audience: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"; in 1970, Bob Dylan received an honorary degree from Princeton; in 1971, German state prosecutors brought charges against dozens of women who had been quoted in news reports saying they had undergone abortions (the prosecution targets included actresses Romy Schneider and Senta Berger).
UPDATE: June 8, 2007, 12:09 a.m. PDT, 19:09 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 8, 1968, authorities announced the capture in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 8, 632, the Prophet Muhammad died in Medina (Madinah) in northern Arabia; in 1914, in a flurry of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court powerfully strengthened the federal government's hand in cases of interstate commerce, even allowing federal intrastate action where interstate commerce was affected; in 1918, Robert Preston (Beau Geste, The Music Man, Victor Victoria, Junior Bonner, The Last Starfighter) was born in Newton Highlands, Massachusetts (Richard Burton: "the best American actor, with a voice like golden thunder"); in 1934, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to name a mountain in Roane County, Tennessee, after President Franklin Roosevelt, prompting minority Republicans to point out that Hoover Dam had been changed to Boulder Dam and ask what was the big idea?; in 1934, Washoe County District Attorney Melvin Jepson announced that the Washoe county commission had withdrawn the $1,000 reward offered for information on the disappearance of Roy Frisch, who vanished in 1934 shortly before he was to testify against Reno political and crime bosses William Graham and James McKay; in 1937, Gilbert Ross, the Nevada director of the Works Progress Administration (the WPA was a New Deal agency that put people to work constructing highways and buildings, clearing slums, reforesting and on other kinds of projects) announced that he had been instructed to reduce the number of people being given jobs in the state from 2,000 to 1,700; in 1947, in a call that fans of both teams condemned, first base umpire Charlie Berry ruled that an out of bounds hit in Fenway was fair, giving the Cleveland Indians the game's only two runs over the Boston Red Sox and causing the season to end with the two teams tied (Associated Press: "From the time Berry made his decision until he walked from the field after the game, he took a loud riding from the fans who waved handkerchiefs and shouted "'fair ball' in raucous tones any time a foul was hit near first base."); in 1953, Henderson was incorporated; in 1953, KLAS television in Las Vegas was named a primary affiliate of CBS; in 1953, the University of Nevada board of regents opened an insubordination hearing against biology professor Frank Richardson for distributing a magazine article to fellow faculty members; in 1959, the United States Post Office issued a four cent stamp commemorating the centennial of the discovery of silver in Nevada; in 1961, Wild in the Country starring Hope Lange and Elvis Presley was released; in 1967, on the fourth day of the Six Day War, Israel attacked the U.S.S. Liberty, a U.S. spy ship, with PT boats and planes, killing 34 and wounding 171; in 1971, shortly after the polls closed, newly reelected Sparks city councilmember James Vernon told Mayor James Lillard that he could not face another term and would resign (he changed his mind the next day); in 1971, Sparks City Councilmember Doug Byington, defeated in the Sparks mayor's race, also learned he had been appointed commanding officer of the Third Squadron, 116th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Nevada National Guard and promoted to lieutenant colonel; in 1971, William Harrah announced he was taking his company public with a proposed public offering of 375,000 shares of common; in 1972, South Vietnamese military jets dropped white phosphorus and napalm on a village and screaming children running from the village were photographed by Huynh Cong Ut, the photo winning the Pulitzer Prize (Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the screaming and naked girl running down the road with her body aflame in the photo, spent years getting skin grafts and became a peace activist); in 1978, the "Mormon will" which left $150 million of the Howard Hughes estate to Fallon and Gabbs resident Melvin Dummar, a student at Weber State, was declared a forgery in a Clark County court.
UPDATE: June 7, 2007, 12:45 a.m. PDT, 19:45 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 7, 1929, the sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Charles Eliot Norton / June 7, 1898: The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamour of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent, and spite of obloquy, misrepresentation, and abuse, to insist on being heard, and with sober counsel to maintain the everlasting validity of the principles of the moral law.
On June 7, 1864, the national convention of the Republican Party temporarily renamed the Union Party to make it more palatable to Democrats renominated Abraham Lincoln for president; in 1871, a Virginia City businessperson hoisted a Confederate flag over his store on A Street in Virginia City, but eventually was persuaded to remove it to avert a violent reaction; in 1892, New Orleans Creole Homer Plessy was arrested for violating the state Separate Car Act by seating himself in a railroad car restricted to whites only, giving his name to the infamous U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld segregated facilities, Plessy vs. Ferguson; in 1894, the Nevada Central Railroad was considering extending the line to Kennedy, a mining camp northeast of Lovelock; in 1927, Nevada political boss George Wingfield filed for a divorce from his wife on grounds of cruelty after several years of separation; in 1929, Premier Mussolini and Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty; in 1930, The New York Times, following the lead of the city's school board, began capitalizing the N in Negro; in 1936, a Druid's Dance was held in Reno's Lyon Building; in 1937, the Truckee River was bridged at Sierra Street in Reno for the first time as steel girders were laid across it as part of the construction of a concrete faced bridge; in 1952, the Nevada Board of Regents voted to grant honorary degrees to Herbert Hoover and Bernard Baruch; in 1954, the Nevada State Journal headlined "U.S. Intervention in Indochina War May Be Asked Within Next 30 Days"; in 1954, a group of nine, some of them associated with the Desert Inn (including Ruby Kolod and Moe Dalitz), filed an application for a new casino on the Boulder highway called the Showboat; in 1965, at a time when extrication from Vietnam was still possible, General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, informed the Joint Chiefs of information he withheld from the public: "In pressing their campaign, the Viet Cong are capable of mounting regimental-size operations in all four ARVN [Saigon regime] Corps areas, and at least battalion-sized attacks in virtually all provinces. Major attacks could occur also in other areas; the Viet Cong have shown that they are capable of concentrating in regimental strength with little or no warning. Whether or not the 304th Div is in, or moving toward SVN [south Vietnam], the DRV [Democratic Republic of Vietnam] has a doorstep capability to reinforce the VC with sizable forces. ARVN forces on the other hand are already experiencing difficulty in coping with this increased VC capability. Desertion rates are inordinately high. Battle losses have been higher than expected; in fact, four ARVN battalions have been rendered ineffective by VC action in the I and II Corps zones. Therefore, effective fighting strength of many infantry and ranger battalions is unacceptably low. As a result, ARVN troops are beginning to show signs of reluctance to assume the offensive and in some cases their steadfastness under fire is coming into doubt."; in 1969, Stephen Earl Larsen of East Ely, Nevada died in Quang Tin province, Vietnam (panel 23w, row 102 of the Vietnam wall) and Dale Earl Thompson of Henderson died in Quang Nam province (panel 23w, row 107); in 1969, Blind Faith gave a free concert in London's Hyde Park; in 1981, Israel bombed and destroyed a nuclear power plant in at Osiraq, Iraq, justifying the strike with a claim that the plant could be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction (the U.S. voted in the United Nations to condemn the Israeli action as an act of terror).
UPDATE: June 6, 2007, 9:12 a.m. PDT, 16:12 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion of Europe took place during World War II as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
"Spoils, glory, flags and trumpets! What is behind these high-sounding words? Death and destruction, triumphals of crippled men, Sweden victorious in a ravaged Europe, an island in a dead sea. I tell you, I want no more of it. I want for my people security and happiness. I want to cultivate the arts of peace, the arts of life. I want peace and peace I will have!" Garbo as Queen Christina, calling for an end to the Thirty Years' War. [Editor's note: Queen Christina (1934) is currently running on the Fox cable channel.]
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
On June 5, 1242, in Paris, by the decrees of Pope Gregory IX and King Louis, all copies of the Talmud were stolen from the Jews and burned and, in an irreparable loss to history, twenty four cartloads of Hebrew manuscripts were burned; in 1654, Christina of Sweden, who opposed war and made her nation a mecca for learning and science known as the Athens of the north, abdicated her throne as queen to become a Catholic free thinker, but later tried to become queen of Naples and then Poland (she was portrayed by Greta Garbo in Queen Christina, which changed her abdication motive from a religious conversion to a desire to be a normal person and marry the man she loves); in 1859, an exploring party led by army topographical engineer James Simpson passed Carson Lake; in 1870, for the first time, in Hamilton, Nevada, African-American residents voted in a municipal election; in 1874, a town meeting was held in the Reno schoolhouse to make plans for Reno's U.S. centennial fourth of July; in 1878, workers and material were in readiness for the building of 31 miles of canal by the Truckee and Steamboat Springs Irrigating Canal Company; in 1911, debts of the closed Searchlight Bank in Clark County, in receivership for three years, were paid at 25.5 cents on the dollar; in 1933, the first drive- in theatre opened in Camden, New Jersey ("The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are," said its developer Richard Hollingshead); in 1941, novelist Richard Wright delivered a speech about World War Two entitled "Not My People's War", arguing that with white supremacists in charge of both the U.S. and Germany, there was no African-American stake (he changed his mind after Pearl Harbor); in 1944, Allied forces began to retake continental Europe with a successful landing at Normandy; in 1944, it was business as usual away from Normandy: 1,795 Corfu Jews arrived in Greece on the way to Auschwitz, where all but 200 were gassed and the remainder were made slaves; in 1953, the morning after overwhelmingly voting to reject the terms of a settlement with the Associated General Contractors, members of Carpenters Local 1780 in Las Vegas continued their two week-old strike; in 1955, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Van Dong announced that his nation was ready to negotiate with Saigon for arrangements for elections required by the 1954 Geneva agreement (Saigon Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem waited a month and then repudiated the Geneva agreement); in 1963, Alaska Governor William Egan turned back the $300 honorarium due him for speaking at the University of Nevada commencement, specifying that it be used as a scholarship for a deserving Nevada student; in 1963, Nevada Assembly and Senate leaders rejected Governor Grant Sawyer's request that the lawmakers pull back a roughly worded resolution they had passed condemning Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall for proposed grazing fee increases, but some other legislators were reportedly trying to go around the leaders to do something about the "unstatesmanlike and undignified" resolution; in 1966, Robert Earle Garey of Las Vegas died in Quang Nam province, Vietnam (panel 7e/row 133 of the Vietnam wall); in 1971, April Kestell of Reno graduated first in her law school class at the University of San Francisco (which she attended on a full scholarship), winning the Bancroft/Whitney Prise and the Haley Award after editing the law review; in 2004, Donald R. Currey, a geography professor who achieved immortality of a sort by cutting down a bristlecone pine in eastern Nevada (such pines are the second oldest living things on earth), died in Utah.
UPDATE: June 5, 2007, 12:20 a.m. PDT, 19:20 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 5, 1968, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded just after claiming victory in California's Democratic presidential primary. Gunman Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was immediately arrested. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Mark Twain's diary: Sunday Evening, June 5, 1904 11:15 o'clock. She has been dead two hours. It is impossible. The words have no meaning. But they are true; I know it without realizing it. She was my life, and she is gone; she was my riches and I am a pauper.
On June 5, 1874, a smallpox outbreak that closed schools and depressed business in Elko prompted a sanitary meeting at the court house and a plea to the Central Pacific Railroad to help pay for the costs of fighting the disease (which locals claimed was brought to Elko by the railroad) such as spraying the town with chloride of lime; in 1890, San Francisco attorney Francis Newlands and U.S. Senator William Stewart of Nevada incorporated the Chevy Chase Land Company, which created the community of Chevy Chase, Maryland; in 1911, Native American Jack Macini was hit by the Overland Limited, mangled, decapitated and killed all of which was a great source of amusement to the Reno Evening Gazette, which published a long supercilious story filled with racism, disdain and a white person's version of tribal lore (and elsewhere in the same edition there was a one inch death notice on a second, apparently less interesting "buck Indian"); in 1918, Frank Fuller died in France, the second Clark County soldier, and the first from Las Vegas, lost in World War One; in 1920, Marion Motley, college fullback at South Carolina State and the University of Nevada, football hall of famer '68, one of four players (Motley, Bill Willis, Kenny Washington anWoody Stroded ) who broke the football color barrier the year before Jackie Robinson did it in baseball, was born in Leesburg, Georgia; in 1924, U.S. Senators Key Pittman and Tasker Oddie got an amendment attached to a reclamation bill that would provide $800,000 to try to make the Newlands project work better, including turning the Spanish Springs Valley into a reservoir; in 1937, a recluse named William Ebaugh in California's Willow Valley was jailed in Nevada City for purchasing another man's wife from her husband for $20; in 1947 in Cincinnati a man was arrested after he walked into a printing plant, doused his head in gold ink and then walked into a nearby café and told the patrons "Just call me golden boy."; in 1953, U.S. Rep. Donald Jackson refused a demand from the Methodist Church for an apology to Bishop Bromley Oxnam (former DePauw University president), who Jackson said "works for the Lord on Sunday and the communist fronts the rest of the week"; in 1962, The Beatles played their music for producer George Martin for the first time, at the Abbey Road studios; in 1963, U.S. Representative Donald Bruce and Senator Everett Dirksen claimed that some of the Soviet missiles remained in Cuba; in 1987, Clark County Senator Ray Rawson, speaking for a bill responding to restaurant patrons' complaints that menu ingredients are often not actually used in preparation of meals (sometimes causing physical allergy reactions) said "When they tell you it's crab, it should be crab".
UPDATE: June 4, 2007, 6:41 a.m. PDT, 13:41 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 4, 1989, Chinese army troops stormed Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush the pro-democracy movement; hundreds possibly thousands of people died. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Gold Hill News / June 4 1864: Glory to Old Washoe! The sage brush on all our hills, under the influence of the late rains, is becoming quite green. A couple of large droves of horses have already arrived from sterile California to graze upon this succulent vegetation now to be found in so great abundance throughout the Territory, and we hear that a drove of at least "three hundred thousand more is on the way". Glory to old Washoe! Should the showery weather continue, and the sage brush flourish accordingly, we shall soon have "cattle on a thousand hills," and billy-goats browsing on every mountain.
On June 4, 1876, a train arrived in San Francisco three days and 11 hours after leaving New York; in 1892, the Sierra Club was incorporated; in 1901, in Denver the Western Federation of Miners, which would become a powerful force in Nevada's Goldfield mining boom, adopted a resolution opposing an increase in the size of the nation's small standing army; in 1913, Agnes Hat Wilson, daughter of the secretary of labor, addressed the National Women's Trade Union Leave and urged that women be taught to look for the union label on products they purchase, in preference to the use of boycotts; in 1919, newly elected Las Vegas Mayor W.E. Ferron and new city commissioners held their first meeting; in 1926, in a powerful speech in the U.S. Senate, James Reed of Missouri denounced unrestrained majority rule (see below); in 1927, Las Vegan Jackson Stocker, reported to have been a Union soldier at Antietam, Fredricksburg and Spottsylvania Court House, died at age 90; in 1931, in an old fashioned gunfight that followed a fist fight, Reno underworld figure and political boss William Graham and F.R. "Blackie" McCracken shot it out in a Reno speakeasy, with Graham finally killing McCracken; in 1939, in a radio debate, U.S. Representative Josh Lee of Oklahoma advocated his legislation to draft capital as well as people during wartime; in 1952, Clark County's hopes of sending its first local to the "Miss America" pageant ended when "Miss Nevada" Sylvia Russell got married to another Bonanza Airlines steward and Renoite Bonnie Wilson assumed the title (Russell also lost her job, though her husband kept his the airline prohibited marriage only for its female employees); in 1953, in New York, Kennecott announced it would develop an open pit copper mine in Nevada; in 1962, the Nevada AFL/CIO held a carnival at the Washoe fair grounds for children from the state orphanage, Catholic Welfare Bureau, Stead air base, NAACP, YWCA and other groups; in 1971, the U.S. Department of Justice charged seventeen Las Vegas casinos and hotels, four unions and the Nevada Resort Association with discrimination against African-Americans employees; in 1984 Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA album was released; in 1989, Chinese troops charged into Tiananmen Square to stop the pro-democracy movement (no reliable death toll is available, which has led some to deny that any deaths occurred); in 2001, the Nevada Legislative session ended in the dead of night after the senate approved utility deregulation, a measure that blew up in the lawmakers' faces a year later.
Senator James A. Reed of Missouri / U.S. Senate / June 4, 1926: I am getting a little tired of hearing about the sacred rights of the majority; that this is a country ruled by the majority; and that the majority has the right to have its way. This is not a country ruled by the majority. This is not a country of majority rule. The Constitution of the United States was written, in large part, to prevent majority rule. The Declaration of Independence was an announcement that there are limitations upon majority rule.
The rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were declared in the Declaration to be inalienable rights. They could not be given away by the citizen himself. Much less could they be taken away by temporary agents, sitting in legislative bodies, holding a limited authority of brief duration.
The Constitution itself is a direct limitation upon majority rule. "You shall not take property without due process of law," says the Constitution, and before we can take that safeguard away what must we do? We must obtain not a majority by this body, not a majority of the House of Representatives, but a two-thirds majority in each House concurring in a resolution, and that resolution must be approved by three fourths of the States. What about majority rule in connection with that proposition?
The right to trial by jury can not be taken away by majority rule. The right for the habitation of the citizen to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures can not be taken away by majority rule. If it could have been so taken away, Volstead and his like would have invaded every home of America and fanaticism would have thrust its ugly face into every home of this land...Before you can trample upon certain rights of the American people you must have more than a majority, Sir, and I believe it to be true that there are certain rights which even by amending the Constitution of the United States, we can not take away from the citizens of the United States.
Majority rule! Where is the logic or the reason to be found back of majority rule except in the mere necessity to dispatch business? The fact that a majority of 1 or 10 vote for a bill in the Senate is not a certification that the action is right. The majority has been wrong oftener than it has been right in all the course of time.
The majority crucified Jesus Christ.
The majority burned the Christians at the stake.
The majority drove the Jews into exile and the ghetto.
The majority established slavery. The majority set up innumerable gibbets.
The majority chained to stakes and surrounded with circles of flame martyrs through all the ages of the world's history.
The majority in China believe in a doctrine and follow a code of ethics different from ours. Either they are wrong or we are wrong.
The majority in India follow a different code of ethics and have a different set of ideas than we, and they far outnumber us. Either they are wrong or we are wrong.
The majority went down the pathway of the ages wearing gyves [shackles], which they voluntarily forged and fastened upon their arms; and when a minority arose headed by some brave soul, they hanged him upon a gibbet, they crucified him upon a cross, they pulled his limbs apart with horrible instruments of torture, and the majority stood there leering and jibing at the man who was the apostle of a better day.
Majority rule without any limitation or curb upon the particular set of fools who happen to be placed for the moment in charge of the machinery of a government!
The majority said that Galileo must recant or that Galileo must go to prison.
The majority cut off the ears of John Pym because he dared advocate the liberty of the press.
The majority to the South of the Mason and Dixon line established the horrible thing called slavery, and the majority north of it did likewise, and only turned reformer when slavery ceased to be profitable to them.
UPDATE: June 3, 2007, 4:50 a.m. PDT, 11:50 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 3, 1965, during the flight of Gemini 4, astronaut Edward White became the first American to "walk" in space. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 3, 1647, Puritans in the British Parliament outlawed Christmas; in 1839, during a 23-day effort in China, Imperial Commissioner Lin Ze Xu ordered the seizure and burning of two million tons of opium at a time when the West was making huge profits by foisting the substance onto China, and Lin's actions made him a Chinese national hero (U.S. and British businesspeople responded to the crackdown by provoking the opium wars against China); in 1861, the 1860 Democratic presidential nominee Stephen Douglas (for whom Nevada's Douglas County is named) died in Chicago; in 1888, Ernest Thayer's Casey at the Bat was published for the first time in the San Francisco Examiner; in 1904, Charles Drew, who devised the procedure for separating blood so it could be stored (plasma) and who developed the concept of the blood bank, was born (the story that he bled to death after a traffic accident in 1950 because he was refused admission to a whites-only Alabama hospital is a myth, but he was critical of the Army/Navy practice during World War Two of segregated blood donations and of the Red Cross practice of maintaining separate blood banks for the races); in 1906, for the second day in a row the Nevada State Journal reported on its contention that workers at the little mountain lumber town of Floriston were paying a dollar a month fee for health care and were being given grossly inadequate care by their employers; in 1924, the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico was established by the U.S. Forest Service; in 1933, members of a posse tracking a robber or robbers who held up the Lander County Bank in Austin went from the Lincoln Highway (U.S. 50) to New Pass, down New Pass Canyon to Alpine Valley where they found a camp where someone had shaved and left behind a blackjack; in 1937, the Las Vegas Typographical Union began an effort to convince businesses to get their printing done in the community instead of sending it out to Los Angeles or other cities; in 1937 in Philadelphia, escaped Nevada prison inmate Jack Meredith, who had been cashing bad checks in the name of Nevada prison accountant William Harris, mailed a post card to Nevada Governor Richard Kirman: "Dear Richard, Kindly deposit more money in the Philadelphia bank. Thanks. Kindly, Will."; in 1953, after dancer Gene Nelson and singer Marguerite Piazza refused to appear at the Las Vegas Sahara with Christine Jorgensen, the Sahara claimed to have found evidence that Jorgensen was not really a woman and broke its contract with her (in London, Jorgensen demanded that the casino produce its proof); in 1962, this was the second of two Sundays during which there was an effort to supply the Sabin oral anti-polio vaccine to the entire Nevada state population of 150,000, and eighty percent of Nevadans were inoculated on the two days; in 1963, one of the monumental figures of the 20th century, Pope John 23d, died in Rome after a life that included the rescue of Bulgarian Jews from the Nazis and the beginnings of reconciliation of the Catholic Church with Protestants and Jews; in 1964, after Ringo collapsed with tonsillitis, Jimmy Nicol joined the elite group of members of The Beatles, filling in as drummer on an Australian tour; in 1967, Light My Fire by The Doors was released; in 1971, Jimmy Hoffa announced he would not run for relection as president of the Teamsters Union in order to devote full time to his new job as an inmate at Lewisburg federal penitentiary.
UPDATE: June 2, 2007, 1:16 a.m. PDT, 08:16 CUT/SUT/GMT On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain was crowned in Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 2, 1864, four days after a raucous meeting on whether union greenbacks should be accepted as common currency at which some people did not get a chance to be heard, a second and well-guarded meeting was held in Virginia City; in 1877, the New York Sun turned down a request from the Hayes White House for a free subscription; in 1888, a new hotel, the Bellevue, was open on Sugar Pine Point at Lake Tahoe; in 1910, the U.S. House, acting on a concern that antitrust law could be used against unions, adopted an amendment to an appropriations bill stipulating that none of the funds in the bill could be used for that purpose, though Republicans pointed out that except for the Democratic Cleveland administration, no presidential administration had ever done such a thing; in 1924, Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. which, however, did not win the vote for Native Americans, since the states controlled elections; in 1948, Irish war bride Bridget Waters, convicted of manslaughter in the shooting of her husband in Las Vegas, was deported on board the S.S. Marine Flasher from New York bound for England; in 1955, Reno High School student and varsity debater Dawn Wells was named the winner of the Reno Exchange Club speech contest; in 1966, Robert Earle Garey of Las Vegas, Nevada, died in Quang Nam province, Vietnam (panel 7e, row 133 of the Vietnam wall); in 1971, a new water treatment plant capable of handling 400 million gallons of water a day began operating in the fast growing Las Vegas Valley; in 1998, thirty-seven years after a benchmark national gathering of Native Americans at the University of Chicago, a UC anthropology class hosted another such gathering on the Midway Plaisance in Chicago; in 2004, former deputy New York City police inspector Seymour Pine, who led the brutal raid on the Stonewall tavern that helped fuel the gay rights movement in 1976, apologized for his role in the notorious raid in an appearance at the New York Historical Society.
UPDATE: June 1, 2007, 12:11 a.m. PDT, 07:11 GMT/CUT/SUT On June 1, 1968, author-lecturer Helen Keller, who earned a college degree despite being blind and deaf most of her life, died in Westport, Conn. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On June 1, 1859, Patrick McLaughlin and Peter O'Riley found high grade ore in Six Mile Canyon east of the later site of Virginia City; in 1865, seven weeks after Appomattox, Confederate General Joseph Shelby, who had not surrendered his forces, led them across Texas to the Rio Grande, crossed the river and encountered Juaristas, sold their arms to the rebels, continued south to Mexico City and were accepted by Emperor Maximilian as settlers and given land at Tuxpan and Carlota, though the colonies were short-lived and nearly everyone eventually returned to the U.S. (the Confederate exodus to Mexico was dramatized in the Rock Hudson film The Undefeated); in 1918, Governor Emmet Boyle announced that wool from the First Sheep (a herd kept on the White House grounds) arrived in Reno where it would be auctioned off, the money becoming Nevada's wartime contribution to the American Red Cross; in 1921, white rioting in Tulsa resulted in 1,115 homes and businesses owned by African-Americans burned down and left 21 whites and 300 blacks dead; in 1926, Norma Jean Mortensen was born in Los Angeles; in 1926, Andy Samuel Griffith was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina; in 1936, Western Air Express began a scenic flight over Boulder Dam, Boulder Lake, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Zion National Park; in 1946, eighty-seven days after France recognized Vietnam as an independent nation within a French confederation, a negotiating conference in Fontainbleau to work out relations collapsed when France broke the earlier agreement and declared an "Autonomous Republic of Cochinchina"; in 1954, Edward Lansdale, who always seemed to be close at hand when bad U.S. foreign policy decision were made or screwball schemes launched and who was the model for the classic Vietnam novel The Quiet American as well as for the novel The Ugly American, arrived in Vietnam to operate for the CIA while posing as a diplomat; in 1956, at a conference on Vietnam at the Willard Hotel in D.C., Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts showed he was in thrall to the belief that Vietnamese communists were cat's paws for Moscow: "What we must offer them [the Vietnamese] is a revolution a political, economic and social revolution far superior to anything the Communists can offer far more peaceful, far more democratic and far more locally controlled."; in 1962, the University of Nevada building committee voted to construct new academic buildings in Mackay Stadium after a new stadium was completed; in 1967, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band was released in England (on June 2d in the U.S.); in 1968, Harold Joseph Knittle of Las Vegas, Nevada, died in Thua Thien province, Vietnam (panel 61w, row 003 of the Vietnam wall); in 1971, U.S. marshals invaded Alcatraz Island and forcibly removed Native Americans who had held the island for nineteen months; in 1980, Cable News Network began operating; in 1988, serial corporate polluter W.R. Grace and Company pleaded guilty to lying about the amount of a chemical it dumped in Woburn, Massachusetts, two years after it reportedly paid $8 million to Woburn residents for the dumping (the case was featured in the Robert Duvall film A Civil Action); in 1998, Northwest Airlines began flying nonstop service from Tokyo to Las Vegas; in 1999, Elton John gave a concert at the University of Wyoming in memory of hate murder victim Matthew Shepard.
[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of particular interest to labor. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
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