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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


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


     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

Andrew Barbano, editor of NevadaLabor.com vs. Chuck Muth, protege of Grover "drown government in a bathtub" Norquist.

Moderated, if possible, by KUNR News Director Brian Bahouth.

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...

— Tom Lehrer


The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

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.


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.


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 –

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.

Blackie Evans

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.)

[Andrew Barbano/NevadaLabor.com photo]

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

Dear Sir,

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.

Yours affectionately,

Th. Jefferson

UPDATE: Sept. 25, 2007, 4:16 a.m. PDT, 11:16 GMT/SUT/CUT — BREAKING NEWS

BARBWIRE: Comeuppance for corporate welfare queens

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.

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

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.

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

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 labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2007 Dennis Myers.]]

UPDATE: Sept. 17, 2007, 8:43 a.m. PDT, 15:43 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 17, 1862, Union forces hurled back a Confederate invasion of Maryland in the Civil War battle of Antietam. With 23,100 killed, wounded or captured, it remains the bloodiest day in U.S. military history. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On this date in 1862, in the battle of Sharpsburg at Antietam Creek in Maryland, 23,100 men died; in 1871, twenty-nine prisoners broke out of the Nevada State Prison in Carson City; in 1874, Orvis Ring was nominated for Washoe County school superintendent by the county Republican convention; in 1908, repairs were being made to the U.S. Mint building in Carson City; in 1948, 1,696 students enrolled at the University of Nevada; in 1956, 118 people died when the ship Noronic burned on Lake Ontario; in 1980, deposed Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, whose dictator father was assassinated (the father probably ordered the assassination of popular Nicaraguan reformer Augusto César Sandino) was himself assassinated while in exile in Asunción, Paraguay; in 1990, the Los Angeles Times reported, falsely, that Iraqi soldiers had removed Kuwaiti babies from incubators and left them on the floor to die, a tale repeated by the Washington Post, President Bush the Elder (at least ten times), USA Today, the Associated Press and a member of the Kuwait royal family posing as a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl at a congressional hearing (see the Barbwires of 11-11-2001 and 1-25-2004); in 1998, Nevada casino figure Ted Binion was murdered.

UPDATE: Sept. 16, 2007, 5:33 p.m. PDT, 00:33 9-17-2007 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 16, 1974, President Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam War deserters and draft evaders. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

Nevada Governor Tasker Oddie / September 15, 1911: I believe in a national uniform divorce law and favor so improving conditions in Nevada that this state will be brought in line with the most enlightened and progressive states on all moral and other great questions. I consider the divorce laws of New York state too radical, stringent, and inhuman and largely responsible for the reprehensible divorce conditions existing in Nevada today.

On this date in 1498, Christian leader Tomas de Torquemada, whose crusade for sangre limpia (pure blood) helped shield his own Jewish heritage and under whose authority 2,000 Jews were set on fire, died at Avila; in 1874, Myron Lake was reported to be running for "county dad" (Washoe County commissioner); in 1893, with a bugle and a rifle shot, the land rush onto the six-million-acre Cherokee strip (opened to settlement by forcing the Cherokees to sell out) in Oklahoma began, with 100,000 whites taking part; in 1908, The Appeal in Carson City reported that an attempt was made to wreck a September 13 Virginia and Truckee Railroad train that was traveling from Reno to Carson City; in 1908, Nevada prison warden S.H. Day resigned and The Appeal in Carson City reported rumors that "for some time...there were certain forces working against him and for his removal from office."; in 1911, Reno High School students and teachers attending school in the old Whitaker seminary (where Whitaker Park is now located) petitioned school superintendent B.D. Billinghurst for an unbroken school day beginning at eight in the morning and ending at one in the afternoon, so that there would be no lunch break and eliminating the long walk from Whitaker to town and back during lunch; in 1911, in an editorial, the Reno Evening Gazette said all objections to women's suffrage "narrow down to practically nothing"; in 1949, Nevada Governor Vail Pittman told the state convention of the Nevada Labor Federation that he would ask the legislature to create a state arbitration board and increase the state labor department staff; in 1956, Natalie Wood said her first date with Elvis, a movie date (Hot Rod Girl), caused a stir in the theatre; in 1956, Oskar Hansen, the sculptor who created the winged figures and astronomical chart on Hoover Dam, visited the dam and was upset by the condition of his creations — the chart had been covered during the war and damaged by water seepage and the figures had been altered by the Bureau of Reclamation; in 1959, the Soroptomist Club held a luncheon at the Mapes Hotel, with the mayors of Reno and Sparks in attendance, to welcome Miss Nevada Dawn Wells back from the Miss American contest; in 1968, Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh In ("Sock it to me?"), produced by his supporter Paul Keyes.

UPDATE: Sept. 15, 2007, 5:16 p.m. PDT, 00:16 9-16-2007 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 15, 1963, four black girls were killed when a bomb went off during Sunday services at a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, in the deadliest act of the civil rights era. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]


Addie Mae Collins
Denise McNair
Carol Robertson
Cynthia Wesley

On Sept 15, 1900, an inspection group of three officials who reached hurricane-battered Galveston filed a report with Governor Joseph Sayers: "After the fullest possible investigation here we feel justified in saying to you, and through you to the American people, that no such disaster has ever befallen any community or section in the history of our country. The loss of life is appalling, and can never be accurately determined. It is estimated at about 6,000 people. There is not a home in Galveston that has not been injured, while thousands have been destroyed. The property loss represents accumulations of sixty years and more millions than can be safely stated. Under these conditions, with 10,000 people homeless and destitute, with the entire population under a stress and strain difficult to realize, we appeal directly in the hour of our great emergency to the sympathy and aid of mankind."; in 1900, a San Francisco group, operating under the name Washoe Briquet Company, having purchased 1,100 acres in Verdi, announced that it would soon begin mining lignite, an operation the Reno Evening Gazette described as "the most promising industrial enterprise ever undertaken in Washoe county" (Lignite is a soft brown fuel often characterized as "somewhere between coal and peat"); in 1911, workers started building a road on the north side of the Truckee River starting from Virginia Street and headed east, and holes were being drilled into the concrete seawall for an iron fence; in 1921, University of Nevada mathematician Charles Haseman explained the theory of relativity to the Reno Lions Club; in 1939, Clark County District Attorney Roland Wiley announced an effort to enforce the state's nepotism law on school districts, and a member of the Logandale, Mesquite, Overton and Bunkerville school board, Salena Leavitt, resigned; in 1953, as the Korean armistice took hold and the release of prisoners of war began, the Nevada State Journal ran the U.S. death toll (25,604, expected to rise above 30,000) in its lead front page story — and a story about another war, in Indochina, just below it; in 1954, at Fifty Second Street and Lexington Avenue in New York, Marilyn Monroe filmed the famous skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch while cheering crowds and photographers and Joe DiMaggio watched, and later that day DiMaggio beat up Monroe in his hotel suite, leaving bruises that had to be covered by make-up for the next day's filming (the whole New York skirt scene was a publicity stunt — the actual scene used in the movie was filmed on the Fox lot in Los Angeles); in 1963, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was bombed by Ku Klux Klan members, killing four girls attending a Sunday service at which the sermon was titled "The love that forgives"; in 1966, a Reno city official said twenty companies had inquired about buying or leasing land at the defunct Stead Air Force Base; in 1967, the Smithsonian opened the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum in a heavily African-American neighborhood in southeast D.C.; in 1979, using a hot air balloon that took months to devise, two east German families escaped over the Berlin wall.

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

UPDATE: Sept. 14, 2007, 12:18 a.m. PDT, 07:18 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 14, 1959, the Soviet space probe Luna 2 became the first man-made object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 14, 1836, former Vice-President Aaron Burr died on the same day his second wife obtained a divorce from him; in 1908, the Reno City Council, at the request of the Anti-Gambling League, ordered that a special election be held on October 24 to decide whether to outlaw gambling in the city — even though the regular autumn election would be held just ten days later; in 1918, Eugene Debs was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for violating the Espionage Act by making a speech critical of the Espionage Act; in 1932, at a meeting of the Reno Kiwanis, Democratic leader Charles Richards held his tongue as long as he could, then interrupted the meeting to ask if everyone had seen the morning headlines heralding the Democratic victory in rock-ribbed Republican Maine, regarded as an indication of Franklin Roosevelt'slikely November victory (Maine held its general election several weeks before the rest of the nation); in 1939, U.S. Senator Key Pittman of Nevada, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in Los Angeles that he expected the arms embargo on belligerent nations in the Neutrality Act to be lifted as requested by President Franklin Roosevelt so the U.S. could sell arms to Britain on a "cash and carry" basis; in 1948, James McKay and Jack Sullivan sold the Fordonia Building in Reno to Sanford Adler who made it into the Cal Neva (the transfer papers did not mention the actual owners, instead transferring it from beards J.B. Scarlett and Lottie Scarlett and the Lyon Building Corporation to the Cal Neva Lodge Inc.); in 1948, U.S. Representative Charles Russell spoke at the dedication of a new post office in Ely, where he had once been editor of the Record; in 1952, the Utah State Fair designated this date as "Nevada Day" at the fair; in 1956, the Clark County grand jury heard testimony from the staff members of the North Las Vegas police force who resigned en masse to protest the firing of their police chief (some of whom told the jurors they thought they were signing a protest letter, not a letter of resignation); in 1962, twenty-nine people escaped to West Berlin through a 413 foot tunnel dug twenty feet below the wall, but a broken water pipe flooded the tunnel the next day, preventing its continued use (in 2000 the remains of the tunnel were located by some of the original escapees for a documentary program); in 1965, another benchmark of western civilization was reached with the debut on NBC of My Mother the Car; in 1970, on a campaign trip to Las Vegas for Republican U.S. Senate candidate William Raggio, Vice-President Spiro Agnew denounced what he called the "drug culture", singling out for criticism Puff the Magic Dragon and Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds; in 2001, the military basic allowance for housing in Fallon jumped 36.1 percent because several cases of leukemia in the area — dubbed a "cancer cluster" by newspeople — were driving families of servicepeople stationed at the Fallon Naval Air Station to look for housing closer to Reno and Carson City, which have more expensive housing.

UPDATE: Sept. 13, 2007, 8:43 a.m. PDT, 15:43 GMT/SUT/CUT — ALERT: Mark the Ballots and Put Out the Pickets

BLEEDING HEARTS — Nurses at Reno's Renown/Washoe Medical Center will vote in a National Labor Relations Board-supervised election Sept. 25-27. The union-busting, tax-sucking corporate welfare queen has refused to recognize Service Employees Union Local 1107 as successor to Operating Engineers Local 3. Watch NevadaLabor.com for breaking news. For Washoe Med's shabby history, start here and also use the NevadaLabor.com search engine for "Washoe Med." Then get set for a heap of reading.

HOT AUGUST STRIKE! SPFPA LOCAL 1010 security guards man picket lines in front of the Reno Grand Sierra nee Reno Hilton during the 1996 strike which resulted in the first security guard union contract at a Nevada resort in more than three decades. The Little Union That Could will stand with its brothers and sisters as the Culinary Union prepares to strike the Grand Sierra in 2007.

BLOODY FEET — Get out your sunblock and picket signs. The rumble in the jungle is that Culinary Local 226 may strike the Reno Grand Sierra any day. Negotiations are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14. Click here for background and stay tuned.

Be well. Raise hell.

On Sept. 13, 1993, at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands after signing an accord granting limited Palestinian autonomy. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

Robert Kennedy / September 13, 1963: The Indian may be technically free — to vote, to stay on his reservation or leave it, to take part in state and local government — but that freedom amounts to precious little when he must struggle every day, against heavy odds, to feed and clothe and shelter his family. He may be technically free, but he is the victim of social and economic oppressions that hold him in bondage. He is all too likely to become the victim of his own proud anger, his own frustrations, and — the most humiliating of all — the victim of racial discrimination in his own land.

On this date in 1663, twenty-five African-American slaves and white indentured servants in Gloucester County, Virginia who had planned revolt against slavery were betrayed to owners or authorities and several were beheaded; in 1794, Tennessee and Kentucky militia forces led by James Ore attacked Chickamauga settlements Nickajack and Running Water, massacred the men and took women and children prisoner, and burned the villages; in 1874, the Independent on the Comstock accused William Sharon of using the Virginia and Truckee railroad to transport voters to the polls; in 1888, in West Virginia, African-Americans unhappy with the candidates of the Republican, Democratic, Prohibition and Union Labor parties formed their own party and nominated candidates; in 1897, at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., a five day showing began of films of the March 17 Fitzsimmons/Corbett fight in Carson City, Nevada; in 1900, Reno's Bryan Club Hall was the site of two primary conventions at once, with Democratic and Silver parties electing delegates to their county conventions; in 1911, the Reno Evening Gazette reported that women were "forcing" their way into aviation (at the time there were two licensed women pilots in the U.S.); in 1919, the Clark County Review reported that Utah's Latter Day Saints Church had spent "in the neighborhood of $1,000,000" to purchase the Samuel McIntryre ranch at Halleck, Nevada, for subdivision into small lots and creation of a Mormon colony; in 1929, the men's upper class committee at the University of Nevada built a colonial dunking stool to replace the practice of throwing first year students bodily into Manzanita pond; in 1939, the U.S. House Naval Committee toured Boulder Lake looking for possible sites for a naval reserve training station; in 1949, U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran, as part of his effort to block postwar displaced persons in Europe from entering the United States, set off on an inspection tour during which he expected to meet with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and Pope Pius XII; in 1963, in remarks in Bismark to the National Congress of American Indians, Attorney General Robert Kennedy said that the treatment of tribes by the U.S. government was a "national disgrace"; in 1963, Barbra Streisand and Elliott Gould married in Carson City; in 1971, after Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered the state police to regain control of Attica prison on the fourth day of a prison revolt, they charged the yard where the inmates were while helicopters dropped tear gas canisters, whereupon the state police fired blindly into the gas clouds, killing ten hostages and 29 inmates (officials quickly began a coverup, saying the hostages throats had been cut by prisoners when they were actually shot by police); in 1989, for the Last Temptation of Elvis charity album, Bruce Springsteen cut his second version of Viva Las Vegas; in 2007, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux amd Rahr Malting Co. will break ground for Koda Energy, a $55 million renewable energy project (biomass) in Minnesota that will power Rahr's brewing operation.

UPDATE: Sept. 12, 2007, 10:25 a.m. PDT, 17:25 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 12, 1977, South African black student leader Steven Biko died while in police custody, triggering an international outcry. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On this date in 1864, Company D of the Sixth Infantry Regiment, which was stationed during part of the Civil War at Camp McDermit, Queens River in Nevada, was organized in San Francisco; in 1882, the Territorial Enterprise offered itself as an arm of the Republican Party in the 1882 election, promising to mail copies of its "Republican to the backbone" coverage to any address until the November election for one dollar; in 1900, four days after a devastating hurricane destroyed most of Galveston, estimates of the dead were at ten thousand, the area was under martial law, barges of bodies were being towed out to sea to be buried at sea, and there were reports of dead bodies being looted; in 1908, the Capitol Commissioners Board awarded a $23,700 contract to build a Nevada governor's mansion to the Reno firm of Freidhoff, Hoeffel and Company; in 1909, in a meeting at Anenecuilco, Emiliano Zapata was appointed to the town council; in 1919, his Reichswehr superiors ordered Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler to go undercover in civilian clothes and keep tabs on the tiny German Workers Party, which would become the National Socialist German Workers Party after he took it over; in 1919, Italian nationalist and poet Gabriele d'Annunzio, using a force of 2,000 mercenaries, seized Fiume (now Rijeka) in Croatia, across the Adriatic from Italy, and asked Italy to annex it (instead, Italy blockaded the city at sea, whereupon d'Annunzio declared an independent fascist nation that lasted for about a year); in 1943, U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran gave a speech entitled "Our American Constitutional Commonwealth: Is it Passing?" at the Mapes Hotel in Reno; in 1953, the House UnAmerican Activities Committee bagged a big red, releasing a hearing transcript showing that Lucille Ball registered to vote as a communist in Los Angeles in 1936; in 1956, Tiger, a seven-year-old house cat, arrived back home in Las Vegas fourteen months after being lost during a family trip to the Ruby Mountains in Elko County, four hundred miles away — but Tiger was one house off when she arrived back on her street in Las Vegas; in 1961, Bertrand Russell was jailed for refusing to keep the peace during a demonstration for nuclear disarmament; in 1987, in New York City's Prospect Park, Bread and Puppet Theater performed a show on the U.S. Constitution and its debt to the Iroquois confederacy; in 1992, Dr. Mae C. Jemison became the first black woman in space; in 2005, the London Guardian introduced a new format that included cancellation of the Doonesbury comic strip, prompting a flood of complaints to "every email queue and phone line into the Guardian" (the newspaper held out for two days, then reinstated Mike and the gang, and the editor wrote an article titled "My Donnesbury hell").

[[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.]]

When will they ever learn?

UPDATE: Sept. 11, 2007, 4:02 a.m. PDT, 11:02 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in New York, causing the 110-story twin towers to collapse. Another hijacked airliner hit the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

     WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2007 (New York Times) — President Bush contended on Thursday night that his plan to begin withdrawing some troops from Iraq gradually was based on a principle he called “return on success,” saying that progress made so far could be squandered by the deeper and speedier reductions that the war’s opponents have demanded.
RUN GOVERNMENT LIKE A BUSINESS — How many times have you heard that from moonhowler conservatives? All businesses require profits, better known as rate of return on invested capital. So when Dubya uses a term like "return on success," he's acting as a CEO talking to his stockholders. Examples of the escalating rate of return on this capital project are shown above.




The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

UPDATE: Sept. 10, 2007, 9:31 a.m. PDT, 16:31 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 10, 1919, President Ford New York City welcomed home Gen. John J. Pershing and 25,000 soldiers who had served in the United States 1st Division during World War I. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 10, 1964, the Reese River Reveille in Nevada reported on growing anger by Native Americans at white destruction of the tribal food supply: "As Messers. Robertson, Twyman, and Martin, who own a ranch six miles east of town [Austin], were loading their wagons with wood day before yesterday evening, a party of about a dozen Indians approached them in a hostile manner and drove them away from their wagons. They were armed with rifles, but did not fire them, and gave no explanation of their conduct except one of them said, 'White man no good — Cut down all pine nuts [trees that were a principal source of tribal food]..."; in 1908, a lawsuit against President Theodore Roosevelt and other federal officials, contending that presidents and forestry officials have no authority to set aside timber lands for forest reservations and seeking to overturn Roosevelt's establishment of Monitor Forest Reserve in Eureka County, was being tried in Carson City; in 1908, while serving as race marshal at the Reno race track, Tom Ramsey, for whom the Nevada town of Ramsey was named, pistol whipped an African-American jockey who declined to race, causing a near riot; in 1917, a war profits tax, described as the largest tax increase in U.S. history, was approved by the Senate on a 69 to four vote and returned to the House for conference; in 1917, Dallas, Texas voted for alcohol prohibition; in 1930, the Union Pacific Railroad contracted for construction of a 23-mile branch line to supply the Boulder Dam project; in 1931, Roger Maris was born in Hibbing, Minnesota; in 1945, Norway's Vidkun Quisling, whose name entered the language as a common noun after his collaboration with the Nazis, was sentenced to death; in 1948, the White House announced that President Truman would visit Reno on September 22; in 1949, an inspection trip to Las Vegas by a U.S. House subcommittee on public lands was cancelled when one of the members of the panel had a heart attack on his way to Nevada and died; in 1955, the manager of the Reno Veterans Administration office warned veterans planning to go to college on the GI Bill of Rights to bring enough cash to tide them over for the first couple of months because it would take that much time for their checks to start arriving; in 1956, Nevada Board of Regents candidates in the primary election, who then had to run statewide, included William Elwell (13,792 votes), incumbent Archie Grant (13,636), Fred Anderson (7,738), Grant Sawyer (3,622), and Albert Hilliard (1,499); in 1974, in the Nevada Assembly district 17 race, a recount confirmed that Democrats Ruby Duncan and Bob Price would appear on the November election ballot as a result of the following tally: Bob Price 194, Ruby Duncan 174, Curly Price 170; in 1976, Columbia Pictures president David Begelman forged actor Cliff Robertson's name on a ten thousand dollar check, which when detected five months later set off a major corporate scandal and the discovery of several other Begelman embezzlements, all of which a majority of the Columbia board of directors tried to cover up; in 2000, The West Wing won a record nine Emmy awards; in 2001, the motion picture remake of The Quiet American starring Brendan Fraser and Michael Caine, based on Graham Greene's legendary novel about a U.S. agent in Vietnam in the 1950s (reportedly based on Colonel Edward Lansdale), was released into theatres — and pulled from circulation the next day by studio executives who feared it would cause offense in the wake of the September 11 tragedies; in 2004, the Associated Press reported that Costa Rica had told the Bush administration to remove it from the list of nations in the Iraq "coalition of the willing" after the Costa Rican Constitutional Court ruled that its inclusion violated national policy, though the AP also reported that the White House did not remove Costa Rica from its web site list (and it is still there on the day of this mailing. Click here.)

UPDATE: Sept. 9, 2007, 2:01 a.m. PDT, 09:01 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 9, 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung died in Beijing at age 82. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 9, 1842, the primary election was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, when local Democrats began using it in legislative and county races; in 1857, Elijah Carson Hart, later a California state senator, assemblymember, judge and Sacramento city attorney, was born in an emigrant wagon on the banks of the Carson River in the area now known as Nevada en route to California; in 1903, the Nevada State Journal editorialized that Acting Governor Charles Green "might turn things upside down" except that he probably did not know of his status (Governor John Sparks and Acting Governor Lemuel Allen were out of state and Green, Silver-Democratic senator from White Pine County, was president pro tempore of the senate and thus acting governor); in 1908, James Shaw, for whom Shaw's Hot Springs north of Carson City were named (now called Carson Hot Springs) returned to the capital for a visit; in 1914, the University of Nevada Sagebrush put out an extra reporting the appointment of Archer Hendrick as university president, beating the downtown Reno newspapers on the story; in 1926, RCA started NBC; in 1935, Works Progress Administration Director Harry Hopkins rejected two Clark County applications for construction of a Las Vegas grammar school and of a water system in North Las Vegas; in 1935, forty one Civilian Conservation Corps recruits, 28 years old or older, were being sought in southern Nevada for slots at camps in Delmues, Moapa and Overton; in 1949, the U.S. Lime Corporation purchased the first parcel of real property from the Basic Magnesium plant built in Henderson by the federal government and acquired after the war by the Colorado River Commission for economic development purposes; in 1959, at a traditional exchange of gifts among contestants at the Miss America contest in Atlantic City, Miss Nevada Dawn Wells handed out shiny new silver dollars; in 1971, the John Lennon album Imagine was released in the United States (on October 8 in England).

[[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. 8, 2007, 10:43 a.m. PDT, 17:43 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 8, 1974, President Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Nixon. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 8, 1308, The Inquisition sealed off the entire town of Montaillou, France, and began cross-examining residents as part of a campaign against the gnostic, anti-sacerdotal Catharite heresy that attacked the moral and political corruption of the Catholic Church to restore the purity of the early church; in 1541, Hernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi River and, by gosh, it was exactly where its innumerable previous discoverers back through the eons also found it; in 1755, Mohawk leader Theyanoguin (aka King Hendrick), one of the most influential Native Americans who traveled to Europe, was a noted orator, and led warriors in the Seven Years War (French and Indian War), was killed in the Battle of Lake George; in 1858, in the Pacific northwest, U.S. Army Colonel George Wright (1803-1865) ordered his troops to slaughter 800 Palouse tribal horses and destroy the tribe's homes and stores of grain, devastating the tribe; in 1882, Frederick Eckfeldt, sent to Carson City by the Bureau of the Mint to investigate charges of mismanagement at the Nevada branch mint, began taking testimony one day after his arrival; in 1883, at a ceremony marking the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad, whites applauded remarks by Sitting Bull in his own language, not knowing he had just denounced them for making the tribes outcasts on their own lands; in 1900, eight thousand people died in a hurricane that hit Texas at Galveston like a sledge hammer (see below); in 1908, the Appeal in Carson City reported that California lawyer James Waymire was promoting a plan to drain Lake Tahoe by driving a tunnel from the lake to the American River, generating power along the way, providing both water and electricity for San Francisco; in 1908, a fight in Goldfield between boxers Al Neil and Peter Jackson was stopped when the crowd demanded that the "palpably fake" bout be ended (the promoter took the gate receipts and headed out of town, followed by a mob led by a constable and the sheriff); in 1915, a German zeppelin appeared over London and began bombing, causing major damage and killing at least 22 people; in 1920, the last leg of the first transcontinental air mail route that was flown from Omaha to San Francisco by way of stops in North Platte (Nebraska), Cheyenne, Rawlins and Rock Springs (Wyoming), Salt Lake City, Elko and Reno, was inaugurated; in 1923, the U.S. Navy suffered a huge loss when seven destroyers ran aground in a fog on Honda Point off California (a later press report said the "destroyers were thrown off their reckoning by shore signals intended for the Reno", which was not damaged); in 1924, The Covered Wagon, the great silent film classic filmed in White Pine County, was released; in 1926, a double wedding of Eleanor Boardman and King Vidor and Greta Garbo and John Gilbert went somewhat awry when Garbo failed to appear; in 1935, U.S. Senator Huey Long of Louisiana was shot and mortally wounded, dying on September 10; in 1935, on the day Senator Long was assassinated, Louisiana novelist Robert Penn Warren (who would write All the King's Men, a fiction treatment of Long's life) pulled into a small Nevada desert filling station: "Seeing my Louisiana license plate, the gas station attendant said 'I see they shot your boy last night,' and he began to call some people around and said 'I want to talk about him.' Long was billed there, you see, as somehow their friend and they wanted me to talk about him. And all the way across the continent I made a habit of stopping at the smallest places, not at big filling stations. Well, people would gather immediately around a Louisiana license and talk about Long, and I got the impression from these conversations that his power was much more diffused than I had suspected."; in 1941, United Press described the French resistance against the collaborationist Vichy regime as "terrorism" and also carried this lead on another story: "National defense is making the American woman more beautiful — in spite of herself"; in 1941, a Boulder City manganese plant managed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines began operating when U.S. Representative James Scrugham of Nevada opened a valve to send low grade ore into the plant; in 1949, in a report on a speech by U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran on his efforts to pass legislation encouraging more immigration by western European nations than eastern European or African/Asian nations, the Las Vegas Review-Journal said the U.S. was being "invaded" by illegal aliens; in 1949, parking meter income to the city of Las Vegas broke all records — $5,466.99 for a month, all of it in nickels and pennies; in 1953, Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade said he hoped to bring Las Vegas casino figure Benny Binion, who just pleaded guilty to four federal counts of tax evasion, to trial on racketeering charges; in 1966, Star Trek went on the air on NBC with The Cage starring Susan Oliver and Jeffrey Hunter; in 1998, seventeen-year Bureau of Indian Affairs police officer Jack Spencer was killed in a car wreck on his way back to his office from a standoff (his son Creighton, also a BIA police officer, was also killed in a car wreck in 2001).

From the Galveston Daily News / September 13, 1900:

The story of Galveston's tragedy can never be written as it is. Since the cataclysm of Saturday night a force of faithful men have been struggling to convey to humanity from time to time some of the particulars of the tragedy.

They have told much, but it was impossible for them to tell all, and the world, at best, can never know all, for the thousands of tragedies written by the storm must forever remain mysteries until eternity shall reveal all.

Perhaps it were best that it should be so, for the horror and anguish of those fatal and fateful hours were mercifully lost in the screaming tempest and buried forever beneath the raging billows.

Only God knows, and for the rest let it remain forever in the boundlessness of His omniscience.

But in the realm of finity, the weak and staggered senses of mankind may gather fragments of the disaster, and may strive with inevitable incompleteness to convey the merest impression of the saddest story which ever engaged the efforts of a reporter.

UPDATE: Sept. 7, 2007, 2:08 a.m. PDT, 09:08 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 7, 1940, the German air force began its blitz on London during World War II. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 7, 1776, colonial Ezra Lee used the submersible Turtle to try unsuccessfully to attach a bomb to the hull of the British ship HMS Eagle, first known use of a submarine for military purposes; in 1839, the Colored American, a newspaper published in New York, carried an article on "Schooner Amistad"; in 1857, the Fancher emigrant train was attacked at Mountain Meadows, Utah Territory, by a mob of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints militia and tribal allies, with many dying on both sides before the emigrants gained secure ground and could hold off the marauders, after which several days of siege began; in 1896, Nevada State University President Joseph Stubbs issued a public statement: "To the public — The report that Miss. Neila M. Butler of Gold Hill was expelled from the University is not true and is very unjust to her"; in 1935, New York city Detective Matthew Solomon, a Jew, was given permission to accept a $150 reward from the German Hapag-Lloyd shipping line for protecting the Nazi flag on one of its ships, the Bremen, from a mob that was trying to tear it down on July 26 and ended up giving Solomon a brutal beating; in 1935, a horrific abuse case was unfolding in Sparks: A couple was in custody after admitting encouraging "criminal attacks" (apparently newspaper lingo for rapes) on their 12-year-old daughter who was expected to die in childbirth: "Bertha Wilkinson, superintendent of nurses at the county hospital...said there apparently was no way in which the girl could avert motherhood."; in 1941, former Las Vegas lounge singer Dorothy Olson married a California mining executive in what was reportedly the first wedding conducted in the California governor's mansion; in 1956, Tiger, a cat owned by the James Watson family of Las Vegas, who was lost in the Ruby Mountains of Elko County in July 1955, showed up back at the Watson home on Biltmore Drive in Las Vegas; in 1967, in the latest instance of the U.S. belief that technology could solve all the problems of the Vietnam war, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, in recognition of the failure of bombing to destroy Vietnamese industry and impede the flow of products south, announced an electronic field of cleared ground 600-1,000 meters wide laced with barbed wire, watchtowers, 540 million mines, and 20,000 listening devices stretching from the South China Sea to Laos at a cost of $800 million a year plus additional research and development to stay ahead of technology to combat the Line, raising the figure to approximately $100 million (the idea died a long slow death amid jokes about Maginot lines); in 1972, President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Alexander Butterfield began using Secret Service men protecting Senator Edward Kennedy to spy on Kennedy for political reasons, with Nixon saying into the White House taping system "We might just get lucky and catch this son of a bitch. Ruin him for '76." (protection had been thrown around Kennedy and his family members after the assassination attempt on George Wallace that year); in 1972, a study of Nevada education headed by Jack Davis said the state's schools had adequate financing; in 1977, President Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos signed the Panama Canal treaties guaranteeing the canal's neutrality and returning Panamanian territory to Panama, earning the United States a wave of good will in Latin America (which, in patented U.S. style, was soon squandered); in 1998, Roger Maris' home run record fell to Mark McGwire after Maris had held it longer than Babe Ruth.

From Territorial Enterprise / September 7, 1882 (same edition that carried a report on Chinese exclusion policies in Washington): CHINA BEING DISTURBED. Just now there is trouble on account of the uneasiness in the great earth-dragon. A Pekin [Beijing] dispatch states that "an overture has been presented to the Emperor of China praying that the deep mining operations at the K'ai-Ping mines, which are conducted on foreign methods, may be stopped, the reason given being that they have disturbed the earth-dragon, who will not allow the deceased Empress to rest quietly in her grave. The question has awakened much discussion, but the alleged fact of the troubled rest of the dead Empress has not been fully proved. It will be useless to stop work in any of the mines of China. The trouble comes from the deep mining on this side. Our Comstock miners have ousted the earth-dragon from his den, and he has made a dive over to the China side of the earth and caused a rattling among the dead bones of the defunct Empress. Our giant powder is too much for the earth-dragons and other subterranean devils of Mongolian breed.

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

UPDATE: Sept. 6, 2007, 10:34 a.m. PDT, 17:34 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 6, 1901, President William B. McKinley was shot and mortally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

George Bush / Poplar Bluff, Missouri / September 6, 2004: Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.

On Sept. 6, 1878, Lewis Bradley, seeking a third term as governor, swept the Democratic primary in Storey County, giving him 25 of the county's 41 delegates to the state Democratic nominating convention; in 1890, Broadway and silent movie star Clara Kimball Young, who performed with a stock company in Nevada mining camps in her early years, was born in Chicago or on the road (her parents were performers); in 1910, Nevada held its first full-fledged primary election; in 1921, a privately-built 67-foot-high "peace arch" was dedicated on the Canadian/U.S. boundary, commemorating the 1914 Treaty of Ghent (settling the War of 1812) and placed to be astride the hoped-for location of a Mexico-to-Canada highway (the highway was built nearby but not through the arch); in 1935, after receiving a letter from publisher Roy Howard warning him that his strong support from the business community was waning, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote to Howard that the New Deal was "substantially completed"; in 1935, federal officials purchased three dormitories from Six Companies (the mega-corporation formed to build Hoover Dam) to house 400 Civilian Conservation Corps workers who were being brought to Nevada to build a road around Boulder Lake; in 1945, the marine corps announced that Lieutenant Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, released from a Japanese prison camp, would arrive on September 7 at Oakland where members of his "black sheep squadron" were gathering to welcome him; in 1953, the Nevada State Journal, over a story about Stewart, Nevada, ran this headline: "People Who Say Those Things About Stewart Indian School Should Be In Mental Asylums"; in 1954, songwriter Carmen "Curley" Fletcher (The Strawberry Roan) of Mina died in San Jose; in 1956, the New York Journal American was reporting that a U.S. million dollar bill was missing from the Republic of Chile (along with a high Chilean official) and was being sought in four cities, including Las Vegas; in 1970, four commercial airliners were hijacked by Palestinian nationalists, one taken to Beirut and then Cairo, the others to an abandoned British airfield in Jordan, triggering martial law and a civil war in Jordan and nearly causing a regional war among Syria, Iraq, and Israel (U.S. President Nixon ordered bombing of Palestinian areas in Jordan but his Defense Secretary, Melvin Laird, concocted a weather pretext to avoid obeying) and leading to a long running drama in the desert until it was settled with an exchange of political prisoners for hostages; in 1973, former United Mine Workers president Tony Boyle, already convicted of embezzling $49,250 in union funds to make illegal campaign contributions in the 1968 presidential race and preparing to go to prison, was arrested for ordering the murder of Jock Yablonski, who had run against Boyle for UMW president, and Yablonski's family; in 1975, during the U.S. Open, Czechoslovakian tennis player Martina Navratilova requested political asylum in the United States; in 1976, Soviet Air Force Lieutenant Viktor Belenko landed a MIG-25 at a Japanese airfield on the island of Hokkaido and asked for asylum, a major setback for Pentagon officials who had been describing the Soviet MIG-25 in nearly hysterical terms as a super-aircraft in order to increase congressional appropriations — the jet turned out to be lumbering, relatively slow, not particularly maneuverable, and a lousy interceptor; in 1991, an Untouchable policeman was killed for entering a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Maharastra; in 2002, Washington reporters Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay, in a story published by the Knight Ridder chain of newspapers, reported that U.S. intelligence officials knew of no evidence to support the Bush administration's claim that Iraq represented any serious threat to the United States or to Middle East stability, the first in a series of reports that broke away from the stenography in which other reporters were engaged; in 2002, the United States Congress traveled to New York on two Amtrak trains for ceremonies honoring the victims of September 11, only the second session of Congress held outside Washington since 1800; in 2003, a court martial acquitted Marine Lance Corporal Stephen Funk, believed to be the first person to refuse to serve in the Iraq war, of desertion but convicted him of being AWOL and sentenced him to six months imprisonment, reduction in rank, and a bad-conduct discharge; in 2007, the 83d annual burning of Zozobra, a fifty-foot tall boogeyman, will take place at dusk, kicking off Fiesta de Santa Fe, which has been held in the New Mexico city every year since 1712.

[[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. 5, 2007, 12:23 a.m. PDT, 07:23 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 5, 1972, Palestinian terrorists attacked the Israeli Olympic team at the summer games in Munich; 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, five terrorists and a police officer were killed. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 5, 1651, while on a visit to Massachusetts to comfort a fellow Baptist who was ill (a blind man named William Witter), Obadiah Holmes was whipped 30 times with a three cord whip held in both hands for preaching Baptist doctrine (this may have happened on the 5th or 6th; records conflict); in 1859, Our Nig; or, Sketches From the Life of a Free Black, In a Two Story White House, North, Showing That Slavery's Shadow Falls Even There, by "Our Nig" (Harriet E. Wilson) was published, the first known novel published in the United States by an African-American; in 1877, thirty-three-year-old Sioux Chief Crazy Horse was assassinated at Fort Robinson, Nebraska (where he had surrendered his 889-warrior band) by a cavalryman or cavalrymen; in 1882, Labor Day in September was celebrated for the first time, as an establishment alternative to the May Day holiday that workers originated in Chicago which spread worldwide; in 1887, the Nevada board of regents decided that no students under 16 years old would be admitted to the university; in 1908, James May, who owned casinos both in Reno and at Moana Springs, was being accused by other Reno casino owners of funding the Anti-Saloon League in an effort to put all city casinos (including his own) out of business while still owning a casino out in the county at Moana; in 1939, after U.S. Senator Key Pittman of Nevada failed to successfully floor manage President Roosevelt's neutrality program, the Washington bureau chief of the Salt Lake Tribune, Harry Brown, predicated that Pittman would break with Roosevelt and join the Garner wing of the party because FDR had failed to consult with Pittman on the European war (Pittman chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) and had vetoed Pittman's bill to grant the Las Vegas wash and nearby land to Nevada for a state park; in 1941 in Washington, contracts were signed with McNeil Construction, Basic Magnesium Inc., and Defense Plants Corporation for construction and operation of a $60 million magnesium plant ten miles east of Las Vegas on the Boulder highway; in 1948 in Los Angeles, toddler Tommy Myers wandered around a family friend(Al Nelson)'s private botanical garden and plunged into an alligator pit, whereupon his mother jumped in and pulled him out, after which he was rushed to the hospital and recovered (and his photo went out on a wire service); in 1949, a Labor Day parade in Las Vegas included 200 carpenters union members marching in white overalls and bartenders and culinary union members working at a moving bar and lounge; in 1952, one day after Claymont High School in Castle County, Delaware, admitted twleve students, the state attorney general informed the school district that the students would have to leave school, but school officials and the faculty refused and the students were kept in school (the court case involving Claymont was one of several cases that were combined by the U.S. Supreme Court into Brown vs. Board of Education of Tokepa et al.); in 1953, after complaints from bankers in southern states, the Eisenhower administration made a federal anti-discrimination regulation for farm loans optional; in 1953, United Air Lines offered to lease the Reno airport, Hubbard Field, to the city for a dollar a year; in 1956, the Nevada Home and Property Owners Association, formed to bring the Las Vegas Valley Water District under Public Service Commission control, held its second meeting; in 1964, The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals reached number one on the record charts; in 1975, the International Union of Police and Protection Employees Local 151 shut down because of lack of interest by the members, voiding union contracts with the Flamingo, Tropicana and Four Queens; in 1994, at a U.N. family planning conference in Cairo, Norway Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland was harshly critical of a Vatican/Islam alliance that prevented any discussion of birth control: "States that do not have any population problem — in one particular case, even no births at all — are doing their best, their utmost, to prevent the world from making sensible decisions regarding family planning."

UPDATE: Sept. 4, 2007, 9:22 a.m. PDT, 16:22 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 4, 2007, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 4, 1780 at Blue Savannah, South Carolina, guerrilla leader Francis Marion and 52 of his men, fleeing Loyalists from the west, encountered a second Loyalist force of 250 soldiers and succeeded in routing it; in 1781, El Pueblo Nuestra Senora Reina del los Angeles was founded in California by Spanish settlers; in 1908, author Richard Wright (Native Son, Black Boy) was born near Natchez; in 1908, Rawhide in Mineral County was destroyed by fire; in 1911, a week after he emerged from the wilderness and was assumed to be the last surviving member of the Yahi tribe, Ishi was taken to live at a museum at the Affiliated Colleges at Golden Gate Park; in 1913, Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge in Pyramid Lake was established; in 1921, the West Virginia Mine War, the largest insurrection in the U.S. after the Civil War, came to an end with victory for mine owners over workers, but the war brought workplace grievances to the attention of the nation and led to many reforms; in 1921, a meeting was held at Donner Lake to discuss changing the route of the Reno/Truckee road from Dog Valley pass to along the Truckee River; in 1927, children from the Nevada orphan's home were taken by train to a Labor Day picnic/celebration at Laughton's hot springs west of Reno, courtesy of the Western Federation of Labor; in 1944, a court martial began of Lieutenant Colonel Harvey Rankin, quartermaster at the Las Vegas Army Air Field charged with neglect of his duties; in 1944, a news story out of D.C. sought to explain one of the year's political mysteries — why Nevada's Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran, fighting for his political life in a rough primary election, had attracted support from his fellow senators like Harry Truman who despised him; in 1949, Vice-President Alben Barkley spent the day in St. Louis courting the widow Jane Hadley; in 1949, University of Nevada student and former 4-H livestock award winner Carol Lampe, Nevada's first entry in the Miss America contest, left Reno for Atlantic City where her talent was to be a three-minute talk on how to raise a prize steer; in 1957, the Edsel, which would pioneer new marketing theories but itself fail, went on sale; in 1956, the North Las Vegas city council, anticipating a rumored grand jury report critical of the police department, fired Chief of Police William Pool and police Captain Wilbur McNinch (the council decided to fire the two earlier, but conducted the formal vote on September 4); in 1962, The Beatles recorded Why Do You Do It and Love Me Do while photographer Dezo Hoffman shot carefully framed photographs of them, shooting George mostly from the right because he had received a black eye in the Pete Best riots; in 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus ordered the National Guard to surround Little Rock's Central High School to protect it from nine African-American students who were expected to begin attending; in 1967, Republican presidential candidate George Romney told Detroit television interviewer Lou Gordon that on a trip to Vietnam in 1965 "...I had just the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get when you go over to Vietnam, not only by the generals, but also by the diplomatic corps over there, and they do a very thorough job," a comment that journalists used to crucify Romney, forcing him to withdraw from the GOP race in which he was the principal obstacle to Richard Nixon, leaving Republican voters with no dove candidate (an account of the campaign by British journalists noted that Romney was not the only one brainwashed on Vietnam by U.S. officials — "most Americans had been"); in 1969, a no-fault divorce law was signed into law by California Governor Ronald Reagan.

UPDATE: Sept. 3, 2007, 8:39 p.m. PDT, 03:39 GMT/SUT/CUT Sept. 4, 2007 — On Sept. 4, 2007, a memorial service will be held for longtime Nevada political pollster and businessman Brent Tyler at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno. Requiescat in pace.

UPDATE: Sept. 3, 2007, 1:56 a.m. PDT, 08:56 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 3, 1976, the unmanned U.S. spacecraft Viking 2 landed on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the planet's surface. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 3, 1883, the school trustees in Austin, Nevada, were disturbed when the school principal, Professor Crenshaw, failed to appear for the first day of school so they telegraphed around to locate him and then sent him a wire telling him he was no longer wanted; in 1887, a foundation for the White Pine Court House was laid in Ely; in 1939, Clark County assistant district attorney Paul Ralli was reported trapped in Europe by the outbreak of war after the German steamship Hansa on which he was returning to the U.S. was recalled to Germany; in 1949, New York Governor Thomas Dewey ordered all available state police to Peekskill where a mob of war veterans was threatening to disrupt a Paul Robeson concert (which Dewey called a "hateful" event) a week after they succeeded in preventing a previous Robeson concert at the same site; in 1959, "Miss Nevada" Dawn Wells departed Reno on Bonanza Airlines for a stop in Las Vegas and then the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City accompanied by her chaperone Nada Novakavich; in 1964, assistant secretary of defense John McNaughton drafted a memo listing ways the U.S. could provoke Vietnam into attacking to make the U.S. look less like an aggressor; in 1967, U.S.-backed General Nguyen Van Thieu was elected president of the Saigon government with 35 percent of the vote, but the big news was the 17 percent of the vote collected by peace candidate Truong Dinh Dzu, a little known attorney who was then arrested and thrown into prison by Thieu; in 1997, Arizona Governor Fife Symington was convicted of bank fraud, resulting in his resignation (he was later pardoned by President Clinton).

The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.

RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

UPDATE: Sept. 2, 2007, 12:11 a.m. PDT, 07:11 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri, ending World War II. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

On Sept. 2 in 31 BC, Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium; in 1882, an official of the United States Mint left Washington for Carson City to conduct an investigation of the conduct of James Crawford, superindendent of the Nevada branch mint; in 1885, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, after Chinese miners declined to join a strike for higher wages, a Euro mob of miners murdered 28 of the Chinese on the spot, wounding others, some of whom died later, burned the homes of 79 Chinese (along with some of the dead bodies), and drove off hundreds of other Chinese, prompting federal troops to be called in and stay for 13 years (Congress indemnified the Chinese for $150,000); in 1907, psychologist Evelyn Hooker, whose groundbreaking studies showing straight and gay men are similarly well adjusted and pioneered a steadily expanding field of study that undercut the view that homosexuality is a disorder (see below), was born Evelyn Gentry in North Platte, Nebraska; in 1908, Nevada Supreme Court Justice A. L. Fitzgerald announced that he would be the candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives of Nevada's Independence Party, arm of William Randolph Hearst's Independent League; in 1909, Smith Day was held at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle, in honor of all those attending named Smith; in 1911, R Guild Gray, author, superintendent of schools first of Las Vegas Union School District Number 2 and then of the Clark County School District, and Nevada Assemblymember (1962-1966), was born in Peoria Illinois; in 1926, the New Mexican in Santa Fe published an account of the first Zozobra, the burning of a bogeyman marionette during Fiesta; in 1935, the 700-page opera Porgy and Bess was completed; in 1939, at the start of the school year, Clark County superintendent of schools Maude Frazier warned parents and students that hazing of first year students at Las Vegas High School would not be tolerated; in 1944, a sign of official confidence that the end of the Europe war was near: British beaches were filled with sunbathers after wartime restrictions were lifted; in 1944, a bighorn sheep ram yearling rescued from a ledge on the Nevada side of the Colorado River in Black Canyon was found to have a bullet wound although firearms discharges in the area were illegal; in 1945, in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square, Vietnam's Declaration of Independence from France (patterned after the U.S. declaration and written with the assistance of U.S. Army Major Archimedes Patti) was read by the U.S.-admiring President Ho Chi Minh (less than two months later, the U.S. approved French reconquest and recolonization of Vietnam); in 1948, the Thunderbird Casino opened on the Las Vegas Strip; in 1953, thirty seven days after the armistice in Korea was signed, the American Legion called for all-out war against Korea using "the full military strength and might of our government with every usable weapon at its disposal" if further armistice negotiations failed; in 1967, The Principality of Sealand was established when Major Paddy Roy Bates occupied a sea fort (similar to an oil drilling platform) abandoned by England in international waters in the North Sea and declared its sovereign nationhood; in 1969, the first ATM started operating at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York; in 1969, Star Trek was broadcast for the last time in its original NBC series, though the series was already in reruns, so the last episode was Requiem for Methuselah, which had already aired on Valentine's Day (like Forbidden Planet, "Methuselah" was a sort of a retelling of The Tempest); in 1974, the CBS Evening News carried a report by reporter David Dow on the Nevada Democratic primary election race between U.S. senate candidates Maya Miller and Harry Reid; in 1991, the United States formally recognized Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; in 1995, Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened; in 2005 in Pennsylvania, the Centre Daily Times dropped Ann Coulter as columnist and publicly stated its reasons (see below; the editor has since departed from the newspaper and the place on its web site where the firing was then posted now reads "The requested article was not found"); in 2007, the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C. begins Navajo Paradiso, a series of documentary screenings chronicling Native Americans culture, including The Snowbowl Effect about efforts to protect from development the hallowed San Francisco Peaks in Arizona.

American Psychological Association / 1991: When homosexuals were considered to be mentally ill, were forced out of government jobs, and were arrested in police raids, Evelyn Hooker courageously sought and obtained research support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to compare a matched sample of homosexual and heterosexual men. Her pioneering study, published in 1957, challenged the widespread belief that homosexuality is a pathology by demonstrating that experienced clinicians using psychological tests could not identify the nonclinical homosexual group. This revolutionary study provided empirical evidence that normal homosexuals existed, and supported the radical idea then emerging that homosexuality is within the normal range of human behavior ... Her research, leadership, mentorship, and tireless advocacy for an accurate scientific view of homosexuality has been an outstanding contribution to psychology in the public interest.

Centre Daily Times / September 2, 2005: Dear Ann Coulter: You're fired. It's not that extreme viewpoints are unwelcome on the opinion pages of the Centre Daily Times. All political viewpoints, from Cal Thomas on the right to Molly Ivins on the left, are welcome here. But, we don't welcome haters, Ann, and that's what you are. Well, you are either a hater or a hypocrite who calls names and spews enmity because you believe it will get your pretty face on television more or sell more copies of your best-selling books... We decided not to publish a piece of yours a few weeks back because it was nothing more than a sexual history of some of your enemies -- i.e., private citizens who dared to give money to the Democrats. I ... told readers then that if you continued to cross the line, we'd can you. Your Friday column, in which you declared that liberals are "no good," then trashed the entire Kennedy clan as a collection of "heroin addicts, convicted killers, cheaters, bootleggers and dissolute drunks," crossed that line.

UPDATE: Sept. 1, 2007, 6:39 a.m. PDT, 13:39 GMT/SUT/CUT — On Sept. 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland. [New York Times/AP e-headlines]

    ARISE, my soul, on wings enraptur'd, rise
To praise the monarch of the earth and skies,
    Whose goodness and benificence appear
As round its centre moves the rolling year,
    Or when the morning glows with rosy charms,
Or the sun slumbers in the ocean's arms:
    Of light divine be a rich portion lent
To guide my soul, and favour my intend.
    Celestial muse, my arduous flight sustain
And raise my mind to a seraphic strain!
Phillis Wheatley, Thoughts on the Works of Providence

On Sept. 1, 1773, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley was published (in London), the first book of poetry by a U.S. African-American; in 1775, George III refused to receive the "olive branch petition", a direct appeal signed by representatives of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, seeking reconciliation between the crown and colonies; in 1807, former vice president Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason after witnesses could not testify to actual treasonous actions by Burr (he was accused of planning to take western territories into a new nation); in 1873, San Francisco clothing manufacturer A.B. Elfelt began selling riveted clothing, sparking a lawsuit for alleged infringement of Reno tailor Jacob Davis' patent; in 1907, labor leader Walter Reuther was born in Wheeling, West Virginia; in 1908, a charge of contempt of court brought by a divorce lawyer against the Reno Gazette for reporting on a supposedly secret divorce case was dismissed; in 1936, a media circus in California started to break up after a week's gathering at Warner's Hot Springs of law enforcement and journalists who were following up reports that vanished New York Judge Joseph Crater had been seen in the area (United Press said the excursion at the desert resort "involved almost everything except looking for the judge"); in 1939, World War Two began with Germany's invasion of Poland; in 1939, the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War announced plans to meet with movie censors in the DUV's effort to halt the showing of Gone With the Wind, which the group described as an effort to emend the treason of the south and defame the reputation of General William Sherman; in 1953, Danish tenor and actor Lauritz Melchior was made honorary mayor of Carson City, Nevada; in 1954, Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour, a rare program that aired on all four of the original television networks (Dumont, then NBC, then ABC, then back to NBC, then CBS, then back to ABC) during its 12-year run from 1948 to 1960, was held in the University of Nevada gymnasium; in 1957, Elvis Presley performed at Sicks' Seattle Stadium before 16,200 people, the largest crowd for a singer in Seattle to that date; in 1964, the Census Bureau reported that California had passed New York in population; in 1970, thirty-nine members of the United States Senate voted to order an end to the war in Vietnam by the end of 1971 by voting for the McGovern/Hatfield Amendment, the closest Congress ever came to asserting its warmaking powers to end a war until 1991 (see below); in 1975, Daniel James became the first African-American four star general; in 1975, veteran Reno newspaperman Ty Cobb retired; in 1979, Hazel Johnson was appointed the first African-American woman general; in 1983, Korean Airlines flight 007 deviated from its flight plan and flew into Russia where it was shot down with a loss of all 269 people aboard, an incident now regarded as a tragic miscommunication but at the time used by the Reagan administration to disrupt U.S./U.S.S.R. relations; in 1987, during a nonviolent protest at Concord Naval Weapons Station, a Navy munitions train ran over blockader and Air Force veteran Brian Willson, who lost both his legs (now an attorney, he continues to agitate for peace); in 2002, a lap dancing ordinance took effect in Las Vegas; in 2003, Cameron B. Sarno of Waihupa, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, was killed in Kuwait City; in 2004, the "theme" competition ended for Nevada's U.S. quarter coin (previous state quarter competitions were for designs, but the U.S. mint changed the procedure midway through the state quarters project and began accepting only ideas or themes for coins to be designed by the mint's own artists and engravers).

U.S. Senator George McGovern / Senate debate / September 1, 1970: Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave. This chamber reeks of blood. Every Senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land — young men without legs, or arms, or genitals, or faces, or hopes. There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage. It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes. And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the Executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us. So before we vote, let us ponder the admonition of Edmund Burke, the great parliamentarian of an earlier day: "A contentious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood."

[[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.]]

Also see NevadaLabor.com's Statewide U-News Roundup


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