Yesterday, today and tomorrow
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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 interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]] Journalist Myers recovering from serious illness.
UPDATE 1-1-2008 4:33 a.m. PST, 12:33 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1959, Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory over Fulgencio Batista. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
New York Times / January 1, 1892
GAVE ANNIE TEN DOLLARS
NEW YORK, Jan. 1. Without any ceremony or formal opening the immigration officials of this city to-day settled down on Ellis Island, in the harbor, and the barge office is known to them no more. The steamship Nevada was the first to arrive at the new landing place. Her immigrants were put aboard the barge J. E. Moore, and amid the blowing of foghorn and whistles approached the pier.
Charles M. Hanley, private secretary to the late Secretary Windom, who had asked to be allowed to register the first immigrant, was at the registry desk when there came tripping up a fifteen-year-old-girl, Annie Moore, and her little brother. They had come from Cork to meet their mother, who lives here.
Col. Webber greeted Annie, and then presented her with a crisp new $10 bill. [PDA]
UPDATE 12-31-2007 7:51 a.m. PST, 15:51 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1829, a group of scouts from Antonio Armijo's western expedition returned to his encampment, minus scout Rafael Rivera, who returned January 7 (during his absence, Rivera probably became the first non-Native American to set foot in the Las Vegas Valley; in 1864, the Richmond Whig, quoting the New York Herald's assertion that the "emancipation proclamation" was without legal authority, said that it agreed with the Herald that "The slaves taken from our citizens during the war will have to be accounted for at its end, either by restoration or indemnity."; in 1887, Francis Farquhar, Sierra Club leader and author of History of the Sierra Nevada (1946) and Place Names of the Sierra Nevada (1925) for whom Mt. Francis Farquhar in Kings Canyon National Park is named, was born in Newton, Massachusetts; in 1869, Henri Matisse was born at Le Cateau in Picardy; in 1891, after an eleven-day voyage, Annie Moore of Ireland, the first immigrant to enter the United States through New Jersey's Ellis Island (on January 1, the day she turned 15), arrived in the U.S. with her family on board the S.S. Nevada, see above (a statue of Annie Moore now stands on the island, another at Cobh, formerly Queenstown, her point of departure in County Cork); in 1903, W. L. Butler purchased the Sunset Telephone Company in Winnemucca; in 1945, Bonanza Air Lines of Las Vegas was incorporated; in 1956, University of Nevada regent Silas Ross retired from the board of regents after twenty years of service; in 1969, at the order of United Mine Workers President William Boyle, three hitmen shot and killed UMW reform leader Jock Yablonski, his wife, Margaret, and his 25-year-old daughter, Charlotte, at the Yablonski home in Clarksville, Pennsylvania; in 1993, in a particularly vicious hate crime in a farmhouse near Humboldt, Nebraska, two white men killed an African-American man, a white mother, and transexual Brandon Teena (portrayed by Hilary Swank in the film Boys Don't Cry) who had also been raped by the men several days earlier (an infant in the house was spared by the killers); in 1996, the Hacienda casino in Clark County was imploded; in 1999 at noon, the United States ended its occupation of the Panama Canal Zone and returned management and control of the zone and the canal to Panama; in 1999 on CNN, host Larry King began an interview with the Dalai Lama by identifying his guest as a Muslim.
UPDATE 12-30-2007 4:09 p.m. PST, 12:09 12-31-2007 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year: The Immigrant
On this date in 1806, President Jefferson sent a letter to the Mandan tribe (see below); in 1880, Alfred Einstein was born in Munich; in 1888, Elko County Sheriff Atwell died (county commissioners appointed L.R. Barnard to replace him); in 1897, the Nevada Business College in Elko had 21 students enrolled; in 1899, two boys named John Barrett and Frank Brockliss were reported to have found a petrified canoe and oar a third of the way up Job's Peak near a cave; in 1928, singer, songwriter, guitarist Bo Diddley was born Otha Ellas Bates in Pike County, Mississippi.; in 1952, the Tuskeegee Institute reported that for the first time since it started keeping track seven decades earlier, there were no lynchings in the United States during the year; in 1954, a court test of Nevada's "right to work" law loomed in a dispute involving the installation of pipe between Las Vegas and Lake Mead; in 1956, a Bolivian named Ugo Ungaza Villegas threw a rock at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, chipping the paint near La Gioconda's left elbow; in 1972, reacting to worldwide denunciation of U.S. barbarism and a refusal by Hanoi to reopen negotiations, Richard Nixon ordered an end to eleven days of intensive bombing of Vietnam during which forty thousand tons of bombs were dropped (when negotiations were resumed, U.S. negotiators found Vietnamese delegates in a fury and unwilling to make any further concessions, whereupon Nixon ordered acceptance of any peace possible, finally accepting a settlement that left the Saigon regime to its fate); in 1977, Judge Aldon Anderson ruled against a Navajo effort to stop the immersion of the religious site of Bridge Canyon behind the Glen Canyon Dam; in 1994, in the worst incident of violence against abortion facilities in U.S. history, John Salvi III allegedly went on a shooting spree at two Massachusetts clinics, killing two women and wounding five others (he was later convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of armed assault with intent to murder, then apparently committed suicide in prison, making it possible for his conviction to be overturned on the ground of an old Massachusetts legal practice mandating that if a defendant dies before a conviction is reviewed on appeal, the charges are dismissed).
Thomas Jefferson to the Mandan:
To the Wolf and People of the Mandan Nation
Washington, December 30, 1806
MY CHILDREN, THE WOLF AND PEOPLE OF THE MANDAN NATION:
I take you by the hand of friendship hearty welcome to the seat of the government of the United States. The journey which you have taken to visit your fathers on this side of our island is a long one, and your having undertaken it is a proof that you desired to become acquainted with us. I thank the Great Spirit that he has protected you through the journey and brought you safely to the residence of your friends, and I hope He will have you constantly in his safe keeping, and restore you in good health to your nations and families.
My friends and children, we are descended from the old nations which live beyond the great water, but we and our forefathers have been so long here that we seem like you to have grown out of this land. We consider ourselves no longer of the old nations beyond the great water, but as united in one family with our red brethren here. The French, the English, the Spaniards, have now agreed with us to retire from all the country which you and we hold between Canada and Mexico, and never more to return to it. And remember the words I now speak to you, my children, they are never to return again. We are now your fathers; and you shall not lose by the change. As soon as Spain had agreed to withdraw from all the waters of the Missouri and Mississippi, I felt the desire of becoming acquainted with all my red children beyond the Mississippi, and of uniting them with us as we have those on this side of that river, in the bonds of peace and friendship. I wished to learn what we could do to benefit them by furnishing them the necessaries they want in exchange for their furs and peltries. I therefore sent our beloved man, Captain Lewis, one of my own family, to go up the Missouri river to get acquainted with all the Indian nations in its neighborhood, to take them by the hand, deliver my talks to them, and to inform us in what way we could be useful to them. Your nation received him kindly, you have taken him by the hand and been friendly to him. My children, I thank you for the services you rendered him, and for your attention to his words. He will now tell us where we should establish trading houses to be convenient to you all, and what we must send to them.
My friends and children, I have now an important advice to give you. I have already told you that you and all the red men are my children, and I wish you to live in peace and friendship with one another as brethren of the same family ought to do. How much better is it for neighbors to help than to hurt one another; how much happier must it make them. If you will cease to make war on one another, if you will live in friendship with all mankind, you can employ all your time in providing food and clothing for yourselves and your families. Your men will not be destroyed in war, and your women and children will lie down to sleep in their cabins without fear of being surprised by their enemies and killed or carried away. Your numbers will be increased instead of diminishing, and you will live in plenty and in quiet. My children, I have given this advice to all your red brethren on this side of the Mississippi; they are following it, they are increasing in their numbers, are learning to clothe and provide for their families as we do. Remember then my advice, my children, carry it home to your people, and tell them that from the day that they have become all of the same family, from the day that we became father to them all, we wish, as a true father should do, that we may all live together as one household, and that before they strike one another, they should go to their father and let him endeavor to make up the quarrel.
My children, you are come from the other side of our great island, from where the sun sets, to see your new friends at the sun rising. You have now arrived where the waters are constantly rising and falling every day, but you are still distant from the sea. I very much desire that you should not stop here, but go and see your brethren as far as the edge of the great water. I am persuaded you have so far seen that every man by the way has received you as his brothers, and has been ready to do you all the kindness in his power. You will see the same thing quite to the sea shore; and I wish you, therefore, to go and visit our great cities in that quarter, and see how many friends and brothers you have here. You will then have travelled a long line from west to east, and if you had time to go from north to south, from Canada to Florida, you would find it as long in that direction, and all the people as sincerely your friends. I wish you, my children, to see all you can, and to tell your people all you see; because I am sure the more they know of us, the more they will be our hearty friends. I invite you, therefore, to pay a visit to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and the cities still beyond that, if you are willing to go further. We will provide carriages to convey you and a person to go with you to see that you want for nothing. By the time you come back the snows will be melted on the mountains, the ice in the rivers broken up, and you will be wishing to set out on your return home.
My children, I have long desired to see you; I have now opened my heart to you, let my words sink into your hearts and never be forgotten. If ever lying people or bad spirits should raise up clouds between us, call to mind what I have said, and what you have seen yourselves. Be sure there are some lying spirits between us; let us come together as friends and explain to each other what is misrepresented or misunderstood, the clouds will fly away like morning fog, and the sun of friendship appear and shine forever bright and clear between us.
My children, it may happen that while you are here occasion may arise to talk about many things which I do not now particularly mention. The Secretary at War will always be ready to talk with you, and you are to consider whatever he says as said by myself. He will also take care of you and see that you are furnished with all comforts here.
UPDATE 12-29-2007 12:04 a.m. PST, 08:04 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1940, during World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
Edward R. Murrow / December 29, 1943: There was a time when I believed that out of this war there would come some sort of spiritual revival, some increase in dignity and decency. None of that has happened. One hears, here and at home, the rising chorus of the brittle voiced businessmen who have done very well out of this whole thing, and who are at heart not in the least appalled at the prospect of a repetition in a few years time.
On this date in 1170, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by knights of King Henry II, a crime that shocked the Christian world; in 1890, at Wounded Knee Creek, five hundred brave U.S. cavalrymen supported by light artillery overcame the resistance of 350 Lakota Sioux, mostly women, children, and elderly, killing 178 and wounding nearly 90 (25 cavalrymen were also killed, mostly by friendly fire); in 1897, the mechanical building at the University of Nevada was dedicated; in 1899, the Reno Opera House succeeded in getting opera soprano Emma Nevada on her transcontinental tour, but John Piper of Virginia City was unable to come up with the $800 guarantee against her share of the receipts; in 1914, Dorothy Lucille Tipton, who lived most of her life as jazz musician Billy Lee Tipton because it made it easier to find work and became publicly known as a female only after her death, was born in Oklahoma City (the Tiptons, a female sax group, is named for her); in 1947, former U.S. vice-president Henry Wallace, reacting to President Truman's domestic red-baiting and foreign policy of belligerence, announced his candidacy for president on a third party line; in 1948, a decade before it happened, U.S. Defense Secretary James Forrestal was talking about the need for an "earth satellite vehicle system"; in 1949, the British government received a petition signed by a million Scots seeking home rule for Scotland; in 1954, Shell Oil announced plans for a new well in Nevada's Railroad Valley oil field; in 1954, Nevada Attorney General William Mathews offered the opinion that two Republican state legislators, Senator Edward Leutzinger and Assemblymember Baptaste Tognoni, were not entitled to leaves from their state highway department jobs during the legislative session; in 1956, Las Vegas was setting up a prison farm near Sunrise Mountain to serve for rehabilitation of long term misdemeanor prisoners; in 1961, during a dispute over whether a mid-block crosswalk should be painted in the casino center of Reno, the city awoke to discover that during the night someone had painted a crosswalk from the steps of city hall on Center Street to the Stein saloon across the street (Now it can be told: The culprits were barbers Loyd "Dutch" Myers, Roy Porter and Les Price); in 1962, the Saigon regime announced that the hated U.S. strategic hamlet program (in which Vietnamese were uprooted from their home villages and forced into fortified enclaves to prevent them from having contact with National Liberation Front organizers) had brought more than one-third into the hamlets, a figure no one believed; in 1966, the Johnson administration chose its spokesperson to respond to New York Times reporter Harrison Salisbury's reports that U.S. air strikes were taking a substantial civilian toll. U.S. assistance defense secretary Arthur Sylvester, who in 1962 became famous for defending the right of the government to lie (he called Salisbury's reports "misstatements of fact"); in 1966, a hundred student body presidents sent an open letter to President Johnson expressing concern about the war in Vietnam and warning that resistance to the war was growing; in 1978, Nevada Governor Mike O'Callaghan tried to telephone President Carter, but (according to White House notes) the call was not completed; in 1996, opposition and government leaders signed a settlement of Guatemala's forty years of U.S.-provoked warfare; in 1997, Reno's Nevada Club, which opened in 1946, shut its doors for the last time.
UPDATE 12-28-2007 7:46 a.m. PST, 15:46 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1816, the American Colonization Society was formed by white leaders to aid African-Americans in emigrating to Africa where, as a result, the nation of Liberia was invented in 1847 (the society dissolved in 1964); in 1899, fourteen cases of smallpox were reported at the Stewart Indian School south of Carson City; in 1901, there was an accident at the electric light plant at Empire, plunging the town in darkness through the evening; in 1918, seven weeks after the armistice, daily casualty lists from the world war were still being issued, with the three latest reporting 1,249 dead, including four from Nevada: Gueseppi Randoni, Clinton Bonser, William Horgan and Henry Cooper; in 1937, Maurice Ravel died in Paris; in 1939, Nevada Nell, a burro donated to the Boston Police Department by the Las Vegas Kiwanis Club, died; in 1944, a group of men who constituted the City of Sparks' December draft quota, reported for duty and were sent to Utah's Fort Douglas for pre-induction physicals; in 1948, in San Gabriel, California, in the congressional district of U.S. Representative Richard Nixon, a child was born (but never quite grew to manhood); in 1926, the Nevada State Journal carried an article by assistant highway engineer Howard Loy on his trip as a member of a party headed by Governor James Scrugham that explored Nevada's Hidden Forest (an isolated stand of timber on the west slope of Sheep Mountain in Clark County, now a part of the Desert National Wildlife Range); in 1954, longtime Nevada journalist Chet Sobsey reported that casino-generated turmoil in the state, including federal investigations, was exhausting Nevadans' tolerance for the industry; in 1956, former Nevada Secretary of State (1937-47) Malcolm McEachin, a former Democratic state chair, left Nevada for Washington to become executive assistant to U.S. Representative-elect Walter Baring, recently returned by voters to the House after a four-year absence; in 1971, sixteen Vietnam Veterans Against the War, reacting to another Nixonian escalation of the war, seized the Statue of Liberty, barricading themselves inside and hung a U.S. flag upside down from one of the statue's crown spikes; in 1971, Newport Beach police captain James Parker was appointed Reno police chief, replacing Elmer Briscoe, who was forced out after a critical grand jury report; in 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Va. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]; in 1983, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson drowned at Marina Del Mar; in 2006, in a CNN interview, U.S. homeland security advisor Fran Townsend called the failure to capture Osama Bin Laden "a success that hasn't occurred yet."
UPDATE 12-27-2007 10:42 p.m. PST, 06:42 12-28-2007 GMT/SUT/CUT
The Barbwire vs. The Moonhowler
Live on KUNR 88.7-fm in northern Nevada/eastern California
9:00 a.m. PST, 17:00 GMT/SUT/CUT
Friday, Dec. 28, 2007
Join us for tea and acrimony
Mr. Muth recently left the Republican Party because it's not conservative enough for him.
My heart bleeds.
So I'll bring wolf bane and holy water.
Call-in number (877) 275-5677, toll-free statewide.
Be well. Raise hell.
UPDATE 12-27-2007 9:49 p.m. PST, 05:49 12-28-2007 GMT/SUT/CUT On Dec. 27, 2005, Nevada consumer activist and realtor Betty J. Barbano died.
On this date in 1763, during a period of rampaging white violence, a group of Pennsylvania settlers arrived at a Lancaster workhouse and murdered fourteen Susquehannock tribal members; in 1862, Brigadier General H.H. Sibley sent a wire to President Lincoln: "SAINT PAUL, December 27, 1862. The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have the honor to inform you that the thirty-eight Indians and half-breeds ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at Mankato at 10 a.m. Everything went off quietly and the other prisoners are well secured. Respectfully, H. H. SIBLEY, Brigadier-General."; in 1866, pioneer educator Melvin Leonard, who taught in rural Nevada schools for more than 35 years, was born in Milo, Maine; in 1869, a 6.7 earthquake hit the area now known as Olinghouse Canyon northwest of Wadsworth; in 1899, the Carson City News reported that operatic soprano Emma Nevada, long absent from "the land of her birth", would soon be making a transcontinental tour that would bring her to Nevada (she was actually born in Alpha, near Nevada City, California, though many seemed to think she was born in Austin, Nevada); in 1900, alcohol prohibitionist Carrie (AKA Carry) Nation smashed a bar in Wichita's Hotel Carey that was operating in defiance of state law (contrary to legend, this was not the first bar she smashed up); in 1927, a benchmark in the history of theatre was reached with the debut of Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern's Show Boat, a musical play instead of just a musical "revue" or operetta (it also introduced some standards into the U.S. musical bloodstream: Ole Man River, Can't Help Loving That Man Of Mine); in 1934, eighteen West Virginia miners died when the boiler in a locomotive hauling them exploded; in 1956, a few weeks after a young African-American named Morris Thomas, acting alone, refused to move from his seat to the back of a Tallahassee bus, a federal judge ordered local officials not to interfere with the integration of the bus system, declaring that "every segregation act of every state or city is as dead as a doornail"; in 1960, the Smith family was in the latest of what often seemed continual negotiations to sell Harold's Club in Reno, this time with Oliver Kahle of Lake Tahoe and Ben Jaffe of Las Vegas; in 1980, Double Fantasy by John and Yoko hit number one on the Billboard album chart and stayed there for eight weeks (their Starting Over single from the album was also number one).
UPDATE 12-26-2007 8:54 a.m. PST, 16:54 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1606, King Lear was performed for the court of King James I; in 1610 or 1609, Hungarian vampire Countess Erzsébet Báthory, who drained servants and peasants of their blood in the illusion that the substance was a youth drug, was arrested and imprisoned; in 1861, in the battle of Chustenahlah in Oklahoma, Confederate troops that were trying to snuff Union supporters in Indian Territory (the tribal "state" set aside for Indian removal) launched an assault on 9,000 pro-Union Native Americans and the tribal force was routed, many forced to flee to Kansas in bitter weather, a trek that became known as the "Trail of Blood on the Ice."; in 1862, after numerous terms in a treaty between the Dakota Sioux and the U.S. were violated, and after brief star chamber-style trials in which the defendants had no lawyers, 38 Sioux were hanged at President Lincoln's order in the largest mass execution in U.S. history (some of the bodies were skinned or experimented on by whites after the hanging); in 1854, leaders of 62 Washington tribes, including the Nisqually and Puyallup, signed a treaty with Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens, ceding most of their lands in exchange for $32,500, reservations, and the permanent right of access to traditional hunting and fishing grounds, a treaty that provoked hard feelings that led to more wars (much of the Nisqually reservation was later stolen by the U.S. Army for creation of Camp Lewis); in 1899, Nevada's first state governor, Henry Blasdel, was in Reno on mining business (How soon they forget: A report on his visit in the December 28 Carson City News misspelled his name); in 1901, Baby Face Nelson crony John Paul Chase, suspected of complicity in the disappearance of Reno banker and federal witness Roy Frisch, was born in San Francisco; in 1908, Jack Johnson became the first African-American heavyweight champion; in 1908, from Australia, where he was covering African-American boxer Jack Johnson's defeat of heavyweight champion Tommy Burns, Jack London wired his story that contained a call for a great white hope: "The fight! There was no fight! No American massacre could compare to the hopeless slaughter that took place in the Sydney Stadium. But one thing now remains. Jim Jeffries must now emerge from his Alfalfa farm and remove that golden smile from Jack Johnson's face. Jeff, it's up to you. The White Man must be rescued."; in 1911, the Reno Y.M.C.A. turned 300 unpaid pledges to its building fund over to its attorneys after the contributors failed to pay their pledges; in 1911, a new light and power company that was building a plant on the Lagomarsino ranch east of Sparks asked the Reno city council for a franchise in exchange for free power and water for the municipal government; in 1917, the Wilson administration seized and nationalized the railroads, operating them for the remainder of wartime; in 1955, Porgy and Bess began an eleven day run at the Palace of Culture in Leningrad; in 1966, in southern California, Kwanzaa was celebrated for the first time in the United States; in 1971, the Nixon administration sharply escalated bombing in Vietnam, prompting Vietnam veterans to escalate their protests.
[[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 interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE 12-25-2007 1:20 a.m. PST, 09:20 GMT/SUT/CUT Sometime within roughly three months of this date between 3 B.C. and 3 A.D, a son was born to a carpenter named Joseph and his wife, Mary, of Nazareth, Galilee, Israel. The boy grew up to form a rather large union movement which has since splintered into many bickering and often militant factions, eroding and weakening the founder's original intent and purpose. When will they ever learn?
Christmas Time is here by golly, disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of holly, fill the cup and don't say when.
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens. Mix the punch - drag out the Dickens.
Even though the prospect sickens, brother here we go again...
On this date in 274, Roman Emperor Aurelian dedicated a temple to his newly invented sun god, Deus Sol Invictus; in 1837, in the Battle of Lake Okeechobee, white forces led by Zachary Taylor in Florida defeated the Seminole tribe; in 1899, the Elko grammar school was destroyed by fire, only the records in the principal's office saved; in 1918, five weeks after the end of the world war, newspaper reporter Carl Sandburg, arriving in New York on the SS Bergensford after a three month reporting trip to Europe, was arrested by the U.S. Military Intelligence Bureau under the Trading With the Enemy Act (a federal law used by the Wilson administration to silence dissent), all his written materials confiscated, his money and money entrusted to him seized, and he was interrogated for a month (he was finally released at the end of January but the feds kept two $5,000 bank drafts Sandburg had planned to deliver to the Finnish Information Bureau in the U.S.); in 1921, President Harding commuted the sentence of Eugene Debs, imprisoned by the Wilson administration for an antiwar speech during the world war, to time served and released him from prison, later meeting with him at the White House; in 1937, future Nevada lieutenant governor and university regent Lonnie Hammargren was born in Minnesota; in 1951, Los Angeles Police Chief William Parkers highly publicized claims of police "professionalism" including police autonomy on issues of internal discipline took a hit when about 50 drunken police officers brutally beat seven men (five of them Latino) and Parker defended the officers, worked to suppress investigations, overlooked perjury, and demonized critics of the affair that became known as Bloody Christmas (in spite of Parker's best efforts, some of the officers were indicted and convicted, and Parker's professionalism campaign and relations with minority communities never recovered); in 1958, after photographers' flashes scared the sick children during his visit to the Gesu Bambino Hospital, Pope John XXIII chided the photographers: "There are fourteen recognized works of mercy, but we should probably add a fifteenth, that of enduring annoying people. I am very fond of photographers but by these words I mean I want a little peace."; in 1966, The New York Times began publication of a sensational series of reports by Harrison Salisbury (Gay Talese: "[T]hey landed like bombs on Washington"), who had obtained a visa for north Vietnam and was reporting from Hanoi that U.S. claims of little civilian damage from bombing missions were false: "Contrary to the impression given by United States communiqués, on-the-spot inspection indicates that American bombing has been inflicting considerable civilian casualties in Hanoi and its environs for some time past. It is fair to say that, based on evidence of their own eyes, Hanoi residents do not find much credibility in United States bombing communiqués."; in 1996, Jimmy Buffett embarked on a three week cruise in the southern hemisphere, an account of which became his bestselling memoir A Pirate Looks at Fifty; in 2002, Katie Hnida was the first woman to play in a Division I football game when kicking for the extra point for New Mexico against UCLA in a game played for no apparent reason in the Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada (Las Vegas columnist Scott Dickensheets wrote that "Meaningless but publicity-grabbing stunt aside, I guess that's why it's in Las Vegas, [the game] reminds us why sportswriters exist"); in 2006, James Brown died in Atlanta.
1870 Christmas Day
Proceeded to Benecia by order of Wm. H. Webb and took possession of Steamships Nevada and Nebraska under attachment; brought them to San Francisco and during the Winter was engaged in making repairs and fitting them for the Australian and New Zealand Mail Service.
From the log of Captain James Blethen
UPDATE 12-24-2007 2:25 p.m. PST, 22:25 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1223, a group of monks, including Francis, installed a nativity scene in a cavern on Mount Lacerone, supposedly the first nativity scene or the first celebration of Christmas (depending on who's telling it); in 1851, thirty-five thousand books in the Library of Congress were destroyed by fire, including almost two-thirds of the 6,487 volumes sold by Thomas Jefferson to the federal government to form the foundation of the library; in 1865, six Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee, formed the Ku Klux Klan, a secret society reportedly patterned after a Greek organization called the Kuklos; in 1871, Verdi's Aida debuted in Cairo, a year after it was supposed to have premiered to mark the opening of the Suez canal; in 1898, the road between Elko and Tuscarora was snowbound and all teams making the trip pulled wagons on runners, not wheels; in 1906, United Fruit ships at sea heard Oh Holy Night and Handel's Largo on the wireless, sent to them by Reginal Fessenden from Brant Rock station in Massachusetts, the first known instance of music being broadcast; in 1907, Isadore Feinstein Stone, the greatest journalist in U.S. history, was born in Philadelphia; in 1924, the Society for Human Rights, the first known U.S. gay rights organization, was incorporated in Illinois (Chicago police soon broke the organization up and publicized the members' names so they lost their jobs); in 1941, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a tiny eight-island colony of France northeast of Maine near the southern tip of Newfoundland, was liberated from Vichy by Free French forces landed by sea, a rare instance of the Second World War coming to North America (U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull denounced the liberation as a violation of the Monroe "doctrine" and demanded restoration of Vichy rule); in 1941, seventeen days after Pearl Harbor, Nevada Adjutant General Jay White said the administrative machinery was all in place in the state for operating the military draft, with Elko, Las Vegas and Reno serving as the sites for induction physicals; in 1962, President Kennedy pardoned John "The Barber" Factor, part owner of the Stardust and Desert Inn, for a 1943 bootlegging conviction; in 1966, attorney Robert Reid reported became the first African-American named a judge when the Las Vegas city commission appointed him an alternate municipal court judge; in 1992, President George Bush the Elder pardoned several of his cronies in the Iran Contra scandal, prompting special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh to call it a continuing cover up; in 1994, Vitalogy by Pearl Jam hit number one on the Billboard album chart.
UPDATE 12-23-2007 3:06 p.m. PST, 23:06 GMT/SUT/CUT Casino dealers at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip have voted to unionize by 380 to 128 of a landslide of 75% "yes" to 25% "no." Ironically, this is the same percentage won by the Transportation Workers Union earlier this year from dealers at the Wynn-Las Vegas. The bargaining group consists of about 565 employees.
MUY BUENO. MAZELTOV. BENETHICA. CONGRATULATIONS!
UPDATE 12-23-2007 12:01 a.m. PST, 08:01 GMT/SUT/CUT
Vera Brittain/Testament of Youth: I make no apology for the fact that some of these documents renew with fierce vividness the start agonies of my generation in its early twenties. The mature proprieties of "emotion remembered in tranquility" have not been my object, which, at least in part, is to challenge that too easy, too comfortable relapse into forgetfulness which is responsible for history's most grievous repetitions. It is not by accident that what I have written constitutes, in effect, the indictment of a civilization.
On Dec. 23, 1788, Maryland gave land to the U.S. government, part of which eventually became the District of Columbia; in 1875, J.A. Plummer, an Elko County attorney who was traveling through Nevada with his family on their way to relocate in Stockton, said in Reno that people in northeastern Nevada "have lost hope because they have consumed almost everything they had waiting for better times", that only one mine was still operating in Tuscarora where the several hundred residents were destitute and without the resources to depart; in 1886, in Arles after attacking Paul Gauguin with a razor, Vincent Van Gogh turned the blade on himself and sliced off his ear; in 1911, University of Nevada agriculture professor C.S. Knight resigned to join the Nevada Sugar Company's sugar beet operation in Churchill County; in 1912, an excerpt of Marcel Proust's Rememberance of Things Past was rejected by editors of Nouvelle Revue Francaise, a French literary periodical (editor Andre Gide reportedly said of the manuscripts that it was "full of duchesses, not at all our style"' and later publicly blamed himself for the blunder); in 1915, twenty year old British poet Roland Leighton, fiancé of Red Cross nurse Vera Brittain, died of wounds suffered near Hebuterne, France, the first of most of Brittain's closest friends (including her brother) who were killed in the senseless war, inspiring her to write Testament of Youth to try to make some sense of it all; in 1935, the Public Works Administration, a depression relief agency, awarded $165,000 ($2,277,812 in 2005 dollars) for the construction of a grammar school in Las Vegas; in 1944, General Dwight Eisenhower ordered the execution for desertion of Eddie Slovik of Michigan, the first execution of a U.S. soldier since the civil war; in 1960, George Burns began a ten-day performance at the Sahara Casino in Las Vegas with his discovery Ann Margret as part of the show; in 1963, seven top officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation met in a day-long gathering in D.C. to plan how to destroy Martin Luther King "as an effective Negro leader" (the agenda read "We are most interested in exposing him in some manner or another in order to discredit him"); in 1963, as secret talks between Cuba's ambassador to the United Nations Carlos Lechuga and U.S. Ambassador to Guinea William Attwood set in motion by the late President Kennedy to improve relations were showing promise, President Johnson's national security adviser McGeorge Bundy told Attwood to end the effort because Johnson planned to run for election to his own term and did not want to be at a political disadvantage in a campaign in which he expected to face Richard Nixon; in 1966, on a visit to Vietnam, U.S. Catholic Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York gave a ringing defense of the war, neglecting to clear the remarks with his boss Pope Paul VI, who sawed the limb off under Spellman by calling for an end to the war; in 2003, responding to a petition from first amendment advocates, Governor George Pataki of New York issued a posthumous pardon of Lenny Bruce for the 1964 obscenity conviction that followed Bruce's performance at the Cafe Au Go Go (Pataki said "The posthumous pardon of Lenny Bruce is a declaration of New York's commitment to upholding the First Amendment. I hope this pardon serves as a reminder of the precious freedoms we are fighting to preserve as we continue to wage the war on terror.").
UPDATE 12-23-2007 3:06 p.m. PST, 23:06 GMT/SUT/CUT Casino dealers at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip have voted to unionize by 380 to 128, a landslide of 75% "yes" to 25% "no." Ironically, this is the same percentage won by the Transportation Workers Union earlier this year from dealers at the Wynn-Las Vegas. The bargaining group consists of about 565 employees.
MUY BUENO. MAZELTOV. BENETHICA. CONGRATULATIONS!
ELECTIONS MATTER: 92 percent of Caesars dealers turn out to vote
Las Vegas Review-Journal 12-24-2007
UPDATE 12-22-2007 3:50 p.m. PST, 23:50 GMT/SUT/CUT Caesars Palace dealer voting closes at 11:30 p.m. PST Saturday or 07:30 GMT/SUT/CUT Sunday. Tabulation will begin immediately and announced when complete.
The Empire Strikes Back: Caesars launches website to smear dealers union
UPDATE 12-22-2007 3:27 a.m. PST, 11:27 GMT/SUT/CUT Las Vegas Caesars casino dealers vote on union today
Dealers sour on Caesars
They say drive to form union is an attempt to save a relationship ruined by corporate greed
UPDATE 12-22-2007 12:50 a.m. PST, 08:50 GMT/SUT/CUT On Dec. 22, 1849, Dostoevsky and 21 of his comrades in an anti-government Russian organization were brought before a firing squad to be executed three at a time but a reprieve from the czar arrived, halting the executions (instead, Dostoevsky was sent to a Siberian prison for four years followed by four years of military service); in 1898, the Hualapai Indian School Reserve was established in Arizona Territory; in 1943, W.E.B. DuBois was made the first African-American member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters; in 1944, Frances Wills and Harriet Pickens were commissioned the first African-American Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service); in 1954, University of Nevada seismologist David Slemmons reported that the December 16 earthquake that hit remote Dixie Valley had been extremely sharp and that he had found a single crack extending 26 miles, a stream of water in the valley where none had been before, and the side of a mountain that shifted 20 feet vertically; in 1958, a song that became a pop culture icon, the Chipmunk Song by David Seville, hit number one on the Billboard magazine chart, going on to win three Grammys at the first annual awards (Seville, whose name was actually Ross Bagdasarian, and his cousin William Saroyan had earlier written the Rosemary Clooney hit Come On-A My House); in 1972, on a vote of 70,373 to 56,334, United Mine Workers reform leader Arnold Miller was elected president of the UMW over William Boyle, who had ordered the murder of earlier reform leader Jock Yablonski (Miller appointed Levi Daniel of West Virginia as the union's first African-American district president); in 1999, the sale on Ebay of a Sacajawea dollar that had prematurely reached the public in the lining of a U.S. Mint bag of quarters was halted by the Secret Service when the bid was at $1,136.
UPDATE 12-18-2007 12:58 a.m. PST, 08:58 GMT/SUT/CUT On Dec. 18, 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first civilian nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went online. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
[[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 in particular and seekers of justice in general. . Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE 12-17-2007 2:55 a.m. PST, 10:55 GMT/SUT/CUT On Dec. 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, N.C. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On Dec. 15, 1417 John Oldcastle, condemned for Lollardry heresy (support of John Wycliffe) in 1413, was put to death by being roasted over a slow fire; in 1791, the Bill of Rights took effect; in 1890, Sitting Bull was killed by Indian police sent by the Army to arrest him; in 1865, the officers and men of Company B of the First Nevada Volunteer Infantry were mustered out of service at Fort Ruby, Nevada; in 1924, the Ponca tribe, forced to move from Nebraska to Oklahoma in 1877, revived an effort to obtain indemnification from the Sioux and the U.S. government for the loss of their Nebraska lands; in 1934, at least ten people died when an unscheduled train carrying Reichsfuhrer Adolf Hitler and his party from Bremen to Berlin in the fog plowed into a bus carrying a stage troupe; in 1934, plans were being made for a sea wall on the Truckee River in front of the Reno post office; in 1934, actress Clara Bow, married to actor Rex Bell, gave birth to their son, whose name was not announced (a couple of days later an article bylined Clara Bow was published on the event: "I am the happiest woman alive."); in 1939, ground was broken for the Jefferson Memorial; in 1939, Confederate veterans were welcomed to the Atlanta premiere of Gone With The Wind but its African-American stars, including Butterfly McQueen and Hattie McDaniel (who would win an Academy Award for her performance) were barred; in 1941, President Roosevelt spoke to the nation on radio, contrasting the policies of Germany, Italy and Japan with the values of the U.S. Bill of Rights (it was the 150th anniversary of the bill of rights); in 1941, Culinary Workers and Bartenders Union Local 179 in Tonopah purchased a $1,000 national defense bond; in 1945, Douglas MacArthur, military commander of Japan, issued a document entitled "Abolition of Governmental Sponsorship, Support, Perpetuation, Control, and Dissemination of State Shinto", abolishing Shinto as the state religion; in 1961, a U.S. Geological Survey report said that overuse of water in Las Vegas was so great that water levels and artesian pressures had fallen as much as 100 feet in some areas of the valley since 1906 when development of ground water began; in 1969, Italian anarchist leader Giuseppe Pinelli was thrown or fell from a fourth floor window while being held illegally in Milan police headquarters; in 2001, Al Jazeera journalist Sami al-Hajj was arrested by U.S. forces in Pakistan while working on a legitimate visa and sent to Guantanamo Bay where he has been held without charges or trial, is the only journalist among Guantanamo prisoners, and has lost 55 pounds since beginning a hunger strike on January 7, 2007.
[[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 interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
On Dec. 14, 1960, a Clark County recount ordered by a court at the request of county GOP chair Alvin Wartman, who was seeking to overturn John Kennedy's Nevada victory in the presidential race, quickly produced an additional hundred votes for both Kennedy and Democratic U.S. Representative Walter Baring as a result of a clerical error in transferring vote totals from a voting machine to log sheets.
UPDATE 11-26-2007 5:43 p.m. PST, 01:43 11-27-07 GMT/SUT/CUT From Danny L. Thompson
Loss of friend and advocate
Please be advised that Ed Mayne, Utah State Senator and President of the AFL-CIO, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007, at home surrounded by his family.
For more than 30 years, Ed Mayne raised his voice on behalf of Utah's working families. What some considered idealism, he called common sense. Ed Mayne knew it was just common sense that families should do better economically, that workers should be safe at their jobs, that everyone should have quality health care, and that our schools should perform well. He believed that the American Dream is not just for the lucky among us but should be a possibility available to all of us.
Ed Mayne's joyous, battling spirit that so distinguished his life and his politics will be missed.
UPDATE 11-18-2007 9:14 p.m. PST, 05:14 GMT/SUT/CUT 11-19-2007
BREAKING NEWS FROM CABELLYUP.COM
HOT OFF DEPRESS: Local small businesses fear big box kibosh
Gov. Jim the Dim swallows Cabela's Kool-Aid
Sparks Council hires consultant to review prevailing wages on Scheels sporting goods construction
UPDATE 11-6-2007 4:10 p.m. PST Nov. 7 downtown Reno event scheduled in support of the Jena 6. See RenoSparksNAACP.org for details.
Claude S. "Blackie" Evans, 1935-2007
Updated on May 27, 2008, at 4:10 a.m. PDT, 11:10 CUT/SUT/GMT
Tree planting to honor the memory of AFL-CIO leader Claude "Blackie" Evans slated for Saturday, May 31, 2008, in Las Vegas
Memorial services for Blackie Evans will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 5, at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas. A reception will immediately follow at the Painters' Union Hall located at 1701 Whitney Mesa in Henderson.
UPDATE 9-28-2007 11:26 a.m. PDT, 18:26 GMT/CUT/SUT Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Danny Thompson announced this morning that his predecessor, Claude S. "Blackie" Evans, passed away of a massive heart attack at his southern Nevada home. (See below.) Evans held the post for more than 20 years and brought Nevada organized labor into the modern era. All of Nevada Labor mourns. Rest in peace, old warrior. You did us proud....About 900 nurses at Reno's Renown/Washoe Medical Center this week voted in a landslide [491 almost 70 percent yes, vs. 213 no] to retain their unionized status by supporting group representation through Service Employees International Union Local 1107....The Reno City Council on Wednesday, over the protests of organized labor, took the next step in granting Cabela's sporting goods $34 million in taxpayer paid corporate welfare....The United Auto Workers have announced a settlement with General Motors. The workers should vote down the deal....Almost three dozen of 56 Latino workers remain in the Washoe County Jail or federal custody today after La Migra busted eleven Reno area McDonald's and at least one Burger King yesterday. Local Latino leaders, including Gilbert Cortez, marched on the Bruce Thompson federal building and called for a national strike in protest....About 130 Peri & Sons Farms workers were stricken with pesticide-spawned gas and taken to South Lyon (County) Medical Center in Yerington on Wednesday. The effects were similiar to tear gas. All were treated and released. Details and commentary in Sunday's Barbwire by Barbano in the Daily Sparks Tribune. Be well. Raise hell. [Last updated on Oct. 4, 2007 at 6:01 a.m. PDT, 13:01 CUT/SUT/ GMT.]
THE LAST HURRAH: Nevada State AFL-CIO convention, Reno Grand Sierra Resort, Aug. 22, 2007 Former Nevada State Labor Commissioner Stan Jones, left, presented the Nevada State AFL-CIO with a copy of a biography of legendary labor leader Joe Hill of the Industrial Workers of the World (the IWW, better known as the Wobblies). The book included many of the labor songs Hill composed. Claude S. "Blackie" Evans holds the book at center. Evans' successor as Nevada State AFL-CIO executive secretary-treasurer, Danny Thompson, stands at right.
The book had been presented to Jones in 1981 by the late Leola Armstrong, secretary of the Nevada State Senate.
"I think you won that one," Armstrong told Jones after his impassioned speech against a bill by Sen. Cliff McCorkle, R-Reno, which would have eliminated Nevada's prevailing wage law. (The bill failed.) Evans led 250 union workers into the hearing room to oppose the proposal. That kind of activism was absent in the movement before Evans rose to the top job and continues today.
Evans passed away of a massive heart attack Friday, Sept. 28, at his Henderson home. First elected in 1978, he led the statewide union umbrella organization for more than 20 years and brought the Nevada movement into the modern era. The Missouri native came out of United Steelworkers Local 4856 at the Titanium Metals plant in Henderson, having been elected at age 22 as the youngest president in the union's history. Democratic Gov. Mike O'Callaghan appointed him to a seat on the Nevada Industrial Commission, the former state agency insuring workers injured on the job.
The Nevada State AFL-CIO's Arnold-Jones-Evans annual college scholarship competition is named after Evans, the late Jim Arnold, Sr., and former Nevada labor commissioner Jones.
Evans was close friends with former national AFL-CIO leader Lane Kirkland and traveled with Kirkland to meet with labor leaders in Israel. The nickname "Blackie" came from the jet-black hair of his younger days. The Associated Press reported that "the former Golden Gloves boxer became active in union affairs and developed a reputation as a tough labor representative."
Future Gov. O'Callaghan, as a teacher and boxing coach at Henderson's Basic High School, taught Evans the sweet science.
"He was truly an icon of Nevada's labor movement," his successor, Danny Thompson said, adding that "he did more for the working guy than anyone I know."
Gov. Jim Gibbons said "Nevada has lost a true leader, a man who spent his life working to make the lives of average Nevadans better."
The 9-29 Las Vegas Review-Journal story on Evans, as well as the Associated Press report published in the 9-29 Reno Gazette-Journal, contain errors and conflicting information. The RJ reported that Evans "served eight years as head of the Nevada Industrial Commission under Gov. Mike O'Callaghan." According to historian and Nevada State Archivist Guy Louis Rocha, Evans was an NIC commissioner but the panel back then was chaired by John R. Reisner. Stan Jones says that Evans held the seat reserved for a labor representative.
The RJ wrote that Evans was born Nov. 26, 1935, in Duenweg, Mo., rather than Joplin, as noted by AP. The Oct. 3 Las Vegas Sun obituary concurs about Duenweg, which part of the greater Joplin area, and correctly notes Evans' former status as a commission member representing labor on the Nevada Industrial Commission, but never serving as chairman.
The Associated Press also stated that O'Callaghan appointed Evans as state labor commissioner. Actually, Jones held that post during the O'Callaghan years, 1971-79. (Jones' tenure began under Republican Gov. Paul Laxalt in 1967.)
UPDATE: Sept. 27, 2007, 12:27 a.m. PDT, 07:27 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 27, 1964, the Warren Commission issued a report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
UPDATE: Sept. 26, 2007, 12:01 a.m. PDT, 07:01 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 26, 1807, Thomas Jefferson wrote about the need to record the history of the American west. (See below.) [BARBWIRE]; On Sept. 26, 1960, the first televised debate between presidential candidates took place in Chicago as Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy squared off. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
William Jennings Bryan /University of Nevada / September 26, 1904: Life is a continual unfolding, a progress toward a better end. We are here to serve, to accomplish good, and when we depart this life we should leave something behind that will benefit mankind.
On this date in 1786, Daniel Shay led Massachusetts workers in a rebellion against laws that were flagrantly unfair to farmers and workers, unsettled economic conditions, high property taxes, poll taxes that prevented the working poor from voting, bias against workers by the court of common pleas, the high cost of lawsuits, and the lack of a stable currency, an uprising that appalled U.S. leaders (except for Thomas Jefferson, see below) who had so recently rebelled against the British government; in 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, equatorial Africans on display who had been given gas cooking stoves without instructions were injured (and one killed) in an explosion (the next month a sick African infant was taken to a hospital and was forgotten in the ambulance and thrown in the trash when found by an ambulance cleaning crew); in 1909, the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU Local 25) struck the Triangle Shirtwaist Company (the strike became a part of a larger action against 352 firms, with a 52-hour workweek and improved workplace conditions resulting in most companies but not at Triangle Shirtwaist, where 132 girl workers died two years later in a notorious fire); in 1916, Mildred Clark Myers was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania; in 1931, the Union Pacific Railroad withdrew a request before the Nevada Public Service Commission seeking to discontinue Boulder Dam passenger service, while the acquisition of James Cashman's Hoover Dam/Las Vegas Transportation Company, a bus company, by Inter-state Transit Lines was approved by the PSC; in 1945, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Peter Dewey was shot and killed in Saigon, believed to be the first U.S. casualty in Vietnam; in 1956, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and two AEC contractors were exploring the possibility of taking over Las Vegas' Moulin Rouge Casino building; in 1962, CBS Reports broadcast a one-hour program titled Mississippi and the 15th Amendment; in 1966, Carson College president Edwin Richardson resigned after serving for three months when the faculty requested his resignation and the college board of trustees agreed (Carson College was a short-lived institution in Nevada's capital that billed itself the "Oxford of the west"); in 1969, Abbey Road was released in England (on October 1 in the U.S.); in 1977, Southern Nevada Museum was reported to be "falling apart" from neglect while housed in an old gymnasium whose roof leaked, and the Clark County commission was considering taking it over; in 1983, five Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp members leafleted workers on the grounds of Boeing's cruise missile production plant in Seattle and were arrested; in 1983, the members of the Australian yacht team became worldwide heroes by breaking the 132-year U.S. winning streak to win the British Royal Yacht Squadron Cup, informally known as the America's Cup; in 1986, Jody Marie Olsen was born in Portland, Oregon; in 2005, the U.S. Department of Transportation designated the new 101-mile Native American Scenic Byway in South Dakota. [PDA]
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison [PDA]
Paris, January 30th, 1787
My last to you was of the 16th of December; since which, I have received yours of November 25 and December 4, which afforded me, as your letters always do, a treat on matters public, individual, and economical. I am impatient to learn your sentiments on the late troubles in the Eastern states. So far as I have yet seen, they do not appear to threaten serious consequences. Those states have suffered by the stoppage of the channels of their commerce, which have not yet found other issues. This must render money scarce and make the people uneasy. This uneasiness has produced acts absolutely unjustifiable; but I hope they will provoke no severities from their governments. A consciousness of those in power that their administration of the public affairs has been honest may, perhaps, produce too great a degree of indignation; and those characters, wherein fear predominates over hope, may apprehend too much from these instances of irregularity. They may conclude too hastily that nature has formed man insusceptible of any other government than that of force, a conclusion not founded in truth or experience.
Societies exist under three forms, sufficiently distinguishable: (1) without government, as among our Indians; (2) under governments, wherein the will of everyone has a just influence, as is the case in England, in a slight degree, and in our states, in a great one; (3) under governments of force, as is the case in all other monarchies, and in most of the other republics.
To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too, the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem [I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude]. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs.
I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
If these transactions give me no uneasiness, I feel very differently at another piece of intelligence, to wit, the possibility that the navigation of the Mississippi may be abandoned to Spain. I never had any interest westward of the Allegheny; and I will never have any. But I have had great opportunities of knowing the character of the people who inhabit that country; and I will venture to say that the act which abandons the navigation of the Mississippi is an act of separation between the Eastern and Western country. It is a relinquishment of five parts out of eight of the territory of the United States; an abandonment of the fairest subject for the payment of our public debts, and the chaining those debts on our own necks, in perpetuum.
I have the utmost confidence in the honest intentions of those who concur in this measure; but I lament their want of acquaintance with the character and physical advantages of the people, who, right or wrong, will suppose their interests sacrificed on this occasion to the contrary interests of that part of the confederacy in possession of present power. If they declare themselves a separate people, we are incapable of a single effort to retain them. Our citizens can never be induced, either as militia or as soldiers, to go there to cut the throats of their own brothers and sons, or rather, to be themselves the subjects instead of the perpetrators of the parricide.
Nor would that country quit the cost of being retained against the will of its inhabitants, could it be done. But it cannot be done. They are able already to rescue the navigation of the Mississippi out of the hands of Spain, and to add New Orleans to their own territory. They will be joined by the inhabitants of Louisiana. This will bring on a war between them and Spain; and that will produce the question with us, whether it will not be worth our while to become parties with them in the war in order to reunite them with us and thus correct our error. And were I to permit my forebodings to go one step further, I should predict that the inhabitants of the United States would force their rulers to take the affirmative of that question. I wish I may be mistaken in all these opinions.
UPDATE: Sept. 25, 2007, 4:16 a.m. PDT, 11:16 GMT/SUT/CUT BREAKING NEWS
BARBWIRE: Comeuppance for corporate welfare queens
UNION ELECTIONS AND STRIKES SPREAD ACROSS THE LAND
SPECIAL INTERNET EDITION 9-25-2007
UPDATE: Sept. 25, 2007, 12:51 a.m. PDT, 07:51 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 25, 1957, with 300 United States Army troops standing guard, nine black children were escorted to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, days after unruly white crowds had forced them to withdraw. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
John Kennedy to the U.N. General Assembly / September 25, 1961: Established international rights are being threatened with unilateral usurpation. Peaceful circulation has been interrupted by barbed wire and concrete blocks. One recalls the order of the Czar in Pushkin's Boris Godunov: "Take steps at this very hour that our frontiers be fenced in by barriers. . . That not a single soul pass o'er the border, that not a hare be able to run or a crow to fly."
On this date in 1789, the U.S. Congress reluctantly sent twelve proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution to the state legislatures for approval (ten were ratified quickly, one which would have regulated the size of the House and would have been the first amendment was never ratified, and one was ratified 203 years later, on May 7 1992); in 1858, a day after Qualchan, son of Yakima Chief Owhi, surrendered himself to Colonel George Wright, Wright lynched him, the first of 27 tribal members trying to surrender or negotiate lynched by Wright; in 1924, Humboldt County Clerk J.W. Davey shipped four cartons of records to the state capital for use by Nevada Attorney General Michael Diskin and the state water engineer in litigation over water rights on the Humboldt River; in 1924, federal officials ordered that, unless it rained, the water in Lahontan reservoir should be conserved for irrigation instead of used to generate electricity; in 1942, with Norwegian resistance records in the hands of the Germans but not yet examined, the British sent a Mosquito bomber to Oslo to bomb Gestapo headquarters (it missed the headquarters building but landed in and around a Nazi rally, killing four people and scattering terrified Gestapo agents around the country); in 1953, Reno attorney James Santini and several other men agreed to serve as advisors to the local League of Women Voters chapter; in 1957, President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division and 10,000 National Guardsmen to Little Rock, Arkansas, to prevent defiance of federal court orders on integration of Central High School; in 1963, Beach Party, starring Annette and Frankie, was released; in 1965, in the first episode of the animated Saturday morning cartoon program The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, the fab four tried to escape overenthusiastic fans by going to a haunted castle to rehearse and encountered monsters who were also fans (real Beatles songs were used in the series, though not the real voices for the characters); in 1966, inspection of a Western Pacific train at Portola, California, turned up equipment problems that, left uncorrected, might have caused derailment of the train, which was carrying ammunition bound for Vietnam; in 1975, the U.S. Senate began its session with a Native American prayer; in 1975, an FBI representative testified before a public session of the Church Committee about black bag jobs committed by FBI agents; in 2000, U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt ruled that the remains of Kennewick Man are "culturally affiliated" with Native Americans and ordered them turned over to five tribes in eastern Washington (federal courts later overruled Babbitt and ordered that scientists be permitted to examine the remains); in 2007, the book Daisy Bates/In Her Own Words, recording the observations of the civil rights leader who led the Little Rock NAACP during the 1957 Central High school crisis (and, along with other women leaders, was later excluded from speaking during the 1963 march on Washington), will be released at the L.C. & Daisy Bates Museum in Little Rock.
UPDATE: Sept. 24, 2007, 12:39 a.m. PDT, 07:39 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 24, 1996, the United States and the world's other major nuclear powers signed a treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1854, U.S. Senate President pro tempore David Atchison, writing from the Kansas town named for him, wrote to Jefferson Davis: "[I urged Missourians] to give a horse thief, robber, or homicide a fair trial, but to hang a Negro thief or Abolitionist without Judge or Jury. This sentiment met with almost universal applause, and I could with difficulty keep the 'Plebs' from hanging two gentlemen. We will before six months rolls round, have the Devil to pay in Kansas and this State. We are organizing to meet their Organization. We will be compelled to shoot, burn and hang, but the thing will be soon over..."; in 1868, the Winnemucca Argent reported heavy duck hunting on the Humboldt River "Shotguns are all day popping during daylight and sometimes later...Ducks are unusually numerous on the big [river] and Little Humboldt Rivers, and an expert Sport could kill a hundred a day. The game is worth the powder too. The Paiutes capture large numbers of the birds."; in 1924, William Jennings Bryan arrived in Reno to campaign for the Democratic ticket and found an editorial by the town's Republican Gazette that is a reminder of how much presidential campaigning has changed: "Few are left of those who twenty eight years ago gave the virtually unanimous vote of Nevada to...Bryan for president of the United States but the memory still lives. Without a suspicion of partisan bitterness remaining, Nevadans, Republicans as well as Democrats, always will give him a kindly welcome."; in 1953, the Gallup Poll reported that those surveyed opposed, by 85 to 8 percent, sending U.S. troops to aid France in its war against the Vietnamese (which was already being paid for by the U.S.); in 1953, the Las Vegas Jockey Club race track, not yet opened, was struck by the Central Labor Council; in 1957, the Dodgers played their last game in Brooklyn; in 2002, Prime Minister Tony Blair released a US/British dossier purporting to prove the existence of "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq.
UPDATE: Sept. 23, 2007, 12:02 a.m. PDT, 07:02 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 23, 1805, Zebulon Pike (after whom Pike's Peak in Colorado is named), held a council with the Sioux, urging them to cease trading with the British; in 1807, the British asked the American legation about Thomas Jefferson's Chesapeake Proclamation; in 1845, the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club was founded; in 1952, Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon took to the tube to deliver the "Checkers" speech as he denied allegations of improper campaign financing. (His wife's dog, a gift, was named Checkers. Awwww...we're so easy to con.) Nixon invented interactive TV on the same night when he asked people to mail their opinions to the Republican National Committee as to whether or not he was a crook, i.e., withdraw as Dwight D. Eisenhower's VP nominee. (The American people, as usual, got it wrong.) [BARBWIRE]
On this date in 1871, the Reese River Reveille of Austin, Nevada, suggested that the state's self-promotion may have been a mistake, since it was attracting California ranchers flocks and herds and wiping out the pasturage in Nevada; in 1886, the Nevada Press Association's second annual meeting adopted a resolution pledging members not to mention any lawyer's name in news stories unless the lawyer advertised; in 1924, on his campaign swing through the west for the Democratic ticket of John W. Davis for president and his brother Nebraska Governor Charles Bryan for vice president, William Jennings Bryan spoke in the Nixon Opera House in Winnemucca ("Wonder if Bill Bryan thinks he is his brother's keeper?" asked a newspaper columnist in the Republican Reno Evening Gazette); in 1931, Nevada's George Malone, later a two-term United States senator, dropped out of the race for national commander of the American Legion; in 1931, Mary Weir Vanderbilt, recently divorced in Reno from Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., owner of the Lazy Me divorce ranch, was reported on her way back to Reno for a visit during which she would stay at the Lazy Me; in 1949, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that a Japanese tourist was permitted to visit Boulder Dam for the first time since the war; in 1952, U.S. Senator Richard Nixon, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, delivered the "Checkers speech" on national television, defending his acceptance of money from wealthy supporters; in 1966, President Johnson met with eight state governors, including Nevada's Grant Sawyer, to tell them that the cost of the war in Vietnam meant that they would have to cut back their federally funded state programs; in 1966, in a filing in a lawsuit filed by the Nevada Taxpayers Association to prevent an initiative petition (providing for a privately operated lottery) from getting on the ballot, Nevada Secretary of State John Koontz reported that the petition's signatures had fallen short of the total required in six of the needed 13 counties (the 13-county formula was overturned in court in 2004); in 1967, the cover of Time magazine (cover date September 29) carried a photo of U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk's daughter Margaret and her new husband Guy Smith leaving the church after being married, an interracial marriage in a period when they were still news (Rusk offered his resignation to President Johnson, who refused it); in 1970, Ani Difranco, Grammy winning singer/songwriter who started her own label (at age 18!), Righteous Babe Records, was born in Buffalo; in 1971, the 25th annual Nevada Water Conference began. [PDA]
[[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 interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE: Sept. 22, 2007, 12:02 a.m. PDT, 07:02 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1792, the French National Convention declared France a republic; in 1892, the Nevada State Journal wrote "There are three parties in Nevada to-day contending for supremacy. Two of them, the Republican and Democratic, represent Wall street ideas, which, as is too well known, bode no good to the State."; in 1908, construction began on the Nevada governors mansion; in 1924, federal prohibition agents arrested a tubercular man at Baxter Springs in Nye County on charges of operating a thirty gallon still; in 1931, Assemblymember Lindley Branson of White Pine County said Nevada was losing $200 a day in unpaid gas taxes because tourists were carrying thirty gallon gas cans on the running boards of their cars, particularly on the Victory Highway (not so much on the Arrowhead Trail), and he would propose legislation to deal with the "problem"; in 1932, the U.S. Forest Service was doing a survey of the road between Truckee, California, and Lake Tahoe with an eye to straightening and leveling it.; in 1937, the U.S. government condemned alleged bombing of civilians by Japan in Nanking; in 1939, U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran of Nevada, member of an isolationist bloc in the senate, said the group could muster 35 to 37 votes against President Roosevelt's "cash and carry" plan for selling arms to combatant nations in the European war; in 1939, Hollywood director Hal Roach announced he had selected Logandale, Nevada, as the site for filming of a dinosaur/caveman movie that did not yet have a title (it would become One Million B.C. starring Carole Landis, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Victor Mature, and its dinosaur footage would be recycled for use in many later films); in 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt was appointed assistant director of the Office of Civilian Defense but soon stepped down to protect President Roosevelt from critics' attacks over the appointment; in 1944, Dalton Pulsipher of Las Vegas was killed while serving with U.S. forces in France; in 1944, U.S. War Food Administration supervisor for Nevada Dan Ronnow said $21,150 was available to have the national school lunch program in the state again and he was waiting for applications from local school districts to determine how far the money would go; in 1949, the Las Vegas city commission voted to recommend that Governor Vail Pittman end rent control; in 1950, Ralph Bunche, grandson of a U.S. slave, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for stepping in after the assassination of his boss Count Bernadotte and negotiating a settlement between Israel and the Arab states; in 1954, using an old red-baiting technique on behalf of Republican U.S. House candidate Cliff Young, GOP leader Les Gray said that Democratic candidate Walter Baring's voting record on labor issues was similar to that of leftist New York congressmember Vito Marcantonio; in 1955, it was announced that a U.S. Navy oil tanker would be named the U.S.S. Truckee; in 1956, attorney George Franklin was awarded $190,000 in his libel suit against Las Vegas Sun publisher Hank Greenspun; in 1961, a memorial service was held at the University of Nevada in Reno for United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, killed in a plane crash; in 1965, the U.S. Post Office objected to plans to name a town in California's El Dorado County "Tahoe" because "traditionally the name 'Lake Tahoe' has encompassed the entire geographic area surrounding the lake"; in 1988, the government of Canada apologized for interning of Japanese-Canadians and offered compensation; in 2004, a London to Washington flight was diverted when it was learned that Yusuf Islam, AKA Cat Stevens, was on board and Bush administration officials later said he was barred from flying into the U.S. because they claimed he had an association with terrorists even though he had met in Washington the previous May with White House officials seeking his help with "faith based" efforts (in 1989, Islam/Stevens had endorsed Iran's death sentence against author Salman Rushdie and supported Saddam during the first Gulf War).
UPDATE: Sept. 21, 2007, 1:55 a.m. PDT, 08:55 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1522, Martin Luther published a German translation of the new testament, 3,000 copies in two volumes entitled The New Testament-German-Wittenberg; in 1890, Nevada Governor Charles Stevenson died, the first Nevada governor to die in office; in 1897, the New York Sun published Francis Church's famed response to Virginia O'Hanlon's letter asking "Is there a Santa Claus?"; in 1916, Republican presidential nominee Charles Evans Hughes attacked President Wilson for trying to overthrow the Mexican government; in 1932, the reopening of Yerington's bank was uncertain according to the state bank examiner; in 1938, a hurricane hit New York and New England, killing 700 people, making 63,000 people homeless, destroying 8,900 buildings, 3,300 boats, and an estimated two billion trees; in 1939, the Los Angeles death toll so far from a heat wave in southern California was 45, crops were suffering, there was a shortage of milk, lightning storms set 88 fires in one day, and people were sleeping in their yards; in 1949, two aviation cadets crashed their planes in midair over the Charleston Range in Nevada, but both bailed out safely; in 1949, local officials in Clark County said they had a handle on landfill burning that would solve the area's air pollution problems under an tentative agreement with a sanitation company; in 1953, Lowell Landrum, restaurateur and investor in gambling properties (the North Shore Club at Lake Tahoe, the Sahara in Las Vegas, the Palace Club in Reno) whose name endures on tiny cafes in Virginia City and Sparks, died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles; in 1955, four lesbian couples in San Francisco (including Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin) founded the Daughters of Bilitis, the first homophile organization for women (five decades later, Lyon and Martin became first same sex couple to legally marry in the United States; Martin is author of Battered Wives, which was enormously influential in fueling the movement against domestic violence and spreading shelter programs in the United States); in 1961, with the water outlook poor, federal watermaster Claude Dukes said he expected to halt outflows from Lake Tahoe on October 10; in 1961, Nevada Attorney General Roger Foley said a Winnemucca minister who filed a request asking that brothels in that city be shut down had withdrawn the request; in 1969, the Nixon administration inadvertently provided compelling evidence that marijuana is a barrier rather than a gateway to harder drugs when it mounted "Operation Intercept," a massive effort (organized by Gordon Liddy) to stop the flow of marijuana over the border, causing supply in southern California to dry up and the use of smack to skyrocket (physician David Smith said "The fact is that the lack of marijuana leads to more dangerous drugs"); in 1970, Monday Night Football debuted on ABC; in 1978, ex-Synanon member Phil Ritter, who was a witness for Time magazine in Synanon's libel suit, was beaten into a coma by two Synanon members; in 1983, Reagan Interior Secretary James Watt described the diversity of his staff appointments to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in terms that led to his resignation: "I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple"; in 2001, Congress approved a $15 billion bailout for the airlines, whose economic woes were already serious before September 11 and became deeper afterward; in 2006, Nielsen Media Research reported that for the first time there were more television sets than people in most U.S. homes.
UPDATE: Sept. 20, 2007, 1:51 a.m. PDT, 08:51 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 20, 1973, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in a $100,000 winner-take-all tennis match. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1793, clergyman Dr. John Mason of New York gave a sermon complaining about the secular nature of the United States Constitution and the founders' failure to endorse or even mention God: "That very Constitution which the singular goodness of God enabled us to establish does not so much as recognize His being! Yes, my brethren, it is a lamentable truth; a truth at the mention of which, shame should crimson our faces."; in 1873, Nevada was represented at the California state fair in Sacramento by twenty Native Americans men, women, and children; in 1876, the Nevada State Journal reported that E.A. Brown had been named agent in Idaho, Nevada and Utah for the Leininger shackle, "the most secure shackle ever invented. Prisoners are absolutely safe when this shackle is placed on them."; in 1878, Upton Sinclair was born; in 1879, Storey County, normally known for mining and the Comstock Lode, was experiencing a farming boom four acres of onions and six of wheat and "a whole raft of small patches devoted to other kinds of products"; in 1889, a San Francisco firm was making plans for a street railroad connecting Nevada City and Grass Valley; in 1906, Upton Sinclair's muckraking novel The Jungle was published after he spent months in Chicago investigating conditions in the meat industry, its publication resulting in federal reforms in meatpacking over the objections of President Roosevelt and industry leaders; in 1911, the first Truckee/Carson Fair began in Fallon; in 1938, the National Automobile Club announced that work would soon begin on a portion of the Tahoe/Ukiah highway, 2.1 miles running between LeTrianon and the Scotts Valley Road; in 1949, for no apparent reason, Irene Donohue (identified as a mid-1930s Miss Minnesota) posed in a bathing suit in the forgotten mining camp of Gold Point, Nevada, a photo that appeared on the front page of the Las Vegas Review-Journal; in 1958 at Blumstein's Department Store in New York City, Martin Luther King, Jr., was stabbed in the chest by an unstable African-American woman while he signed copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom (rushed into surgery at Harlem Hospital, surgeon Aubre Maynard made the incision over King's heart in the shape of a cross "Since the scar will be there permanently...it seemed somehow appropriate"); in 1968, as Republican vice-presidential candidate Spiro Agnew's plane lifted out of Carson City, Nevada, he wandered down the aisle and, upon spotting reporter Gene Oishi sleeping in his seat, asked reporters "What's the matter with the fat Jap?" a comment that became a major campaign issue; in 1972, at the AFL/CIO convention in Las Vegas, AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer George Meany and Steelworkers president I.W. Abel quashed a movement by locals to endorse George McGovern's presidential candidacy by throwing their personal prestige into the fight with slashing attacks on McGovern; in 2006, as part of an ABC interview to promote his latest book, Bill O'Reilly said "the FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that al Qaeda had us on a death list", which turned out to be news to both the FBI and the other people at Fox.
Nevada State Journal / September 20, 1890: Nevada's decline is now a thing of the past and our sister States have commenced to observe the power of a new life. Sweep the croakers into the mire and let the live rustlers push us to the front where we are able to blow our own horn with a true American blast.
UPDATE: Sept. 19, 2007, 9:14 a.m. PDT, 16:14 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 19, 1881, the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, died of wounds inflicted by an assassin. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1819, John Keats wrote To Autumn; in 1857, U.S. merchant Peter Duncan, finding guano deposits on Haiti's Navassa Island, claimed it for the United States (without asking Haiti's permission, naturally), which made it the first U.S. colony (it is still held by the dog-in-the-manger U.S. as an unincorporated, unorganized territory administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service); in 1868, two months after Georgia was readmitted to the union and two weeks after the Georgia Legislature expelled 33 African-American legislators, a group of several hundred Republicans traveled to a meeting in Camilla when whites hidden around the Camilla courthouse square opened fire, killing a dozen and driving the rest out of town where they were repeatedly ambushed along their line of retreat, a massacre that enraged the north, resulting in military rule being reimposed on the state; in 1907, a meeting of coal mine operators called by West Virginia Governor William Dawson at the capitol to discuss luring working people into the state was begun and quickly adjourned after a United Mine Workers leaders attended and the owners made themselves scarce; in 1911, two hundred and fifty men were employed by Stone and Webster Construction at Verdi building a power plant for the Truckee River General Electric Company; in 1927, the KiMo Theatre, a Pueblo Deco moving picture palace, opened in Albuquerque; in 1938, in Carson City, John Vallarde was sentenced to 18 months in McNeil's Island federal prison and fined $500 for violating the Mann act by transporting a woman from Utah to Nevada "for immoral purposes"; in 1945, President Truman appointed Harold Burton to be a justice of the United States Supreme Court and the Senate confirmed Burton the same day without any scrutiny; in 1949, Clark County commissioners signed a contract for a $139,559 wing on the court house; in 1957, the Eisenhower administration detonated an underground atomic bomb at Area 12 in Nevada, then lied about the worldwide detectability of the test in order to avoid a nuclear test ban treaty, a lie later exposed by journalist I.F. Stone in his legendary I.F. Stone's Weekly; in 1992, at a ceremony in New York City, Mayor David Dinkins restored the original Lenape tribe name of Shorakapkok to the area occupied by Inwood Hill Park; in 2001, five thousand people marched in Seattle in support of a non-violent response to September 11.
UPDATE: Sept. 18, 2007, 8:29 a.m. PDT, 15:29 GMT/SUT/CUT On Sept. 18, 1947, the National Security Act, which unified the Army, Navy and newly formed Air Force, went into effect. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]
On this date in 1846, members of the Donner party sent two men ahead to California to bring back food (one of them returned a month later with food and Native American guides); in 1873, Jay Cooke and Co. collapsed, triggering the closure of 37 banks and two brokerages by the end of the day and a depression that lasted for years; in 1917, twenty-three year old Aldous Huxley was hired as a schoolmaster at Eton (one of his students was Eric Blair, later known as George Orwell); in 1936, a new marble hall and vault with the latest in climate control, burglar alarms, vermin control and so on, opened in Washington after being built to house the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence but it remained empty because Congress would not surrender the two documents; in 1936, work began on a power line between Hoover Dam and Pioche, described as the first southern Nevada development to come out of the construction of the dam; in 1942, the Nevada Highway Department announced that the Mount Rose highway was closed and, because it held no military importance and there was a wartime shortage of plow blades, no effort would be made to keep it open for the rest of winter; in 1949, organized crime figure Lincoln Fitzgerald of Reno was gunned down at his Mark Twain Drive home just before midnight, shot from ambush in a mob-style hit that damaged his leg, kidneys and liver and left him reclusive for years afterward; in 1969, Republican state senators Coe Swobe, Cliff Young, Archie Pozzi and James Slattery, as well as an array of Democrats in both houses of the Nevada Legislature, said they favored more liberal marijuana laws; in 1972, Catch Bull At Four by Cat Stevens hit number one on the Billboard album chart, where it stayed for three weeks; in 1973, Jimmy Carter files a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena in which he described seeing an unidentified flying object in Leary, Georgia, in October 1969 ("the object hovered about 30 degrees above the horizon and moved in toward the earth and away before disappearing into the distance"); in 1977, Klansman Robert Chambliss was convicted for his involvement in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham, Alabama's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church that killed four girls (Chambliss was convicted of murdering Denise McNair, one of the girls); in 1985, the quality of world culture took a sharp rise with the start of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes; in 1994, recording artist (Minnie the Moocher), orchestra leader (Cab Calloway's Cotton Club Orchestra), club performer (Club Zanzibar, the Paramount), movie star (Stormy Weather, St. Louis Blues, The Blues Brothers, The Cincinnati Kid), author (Minnie the Moocher and Me), and Broadway performer (Porgy and Bess, as Sportin' Life, Hello Dolly) Cab Calloway died in Hockessin, Delaware.
[[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 interest to