Yesterday, today and tomorrow
NEWS BULLETIN & ALMANIACAL ARCHIVES
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But before you do so, please read this note. AB
[[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 © 2008 Dennis Myers.]]
Breaking NewsDrag queens for change
Nugget makes workers an offer they can't refuse
Charter cable on the financial skids as AT&T enters market
Shoddy Sequoia voting machines play into Karl Rove's hands
Expanded from the 10-12-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
The good, the bad and the ugly
Illegal voting machines and killer vaccines
Michigan judge's ruling will affect Nevada cable ratepayers
Expanded from the 10-5-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
Paul Newman: Driven Star
New Michael Moore film premieres on SNCAT this week
Slow progress on saving community radio-TV stations
Expanded from the 9-28-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
Charter negotiates Russian-style: Will accept 100% of everything
Daily Sparks Tribune 9-5-2008
WE WIN ROUND ONE As the Barbwire show scooped the state on Friday, Aug. 22: Charter has caved in and postponed the execution date for 90 days. Thanks for bringing the heat. See the Barbwire in the Sunday Sparks Tribune for all the inside baseball. Be well. Raise hell. AB
SPARKS, WASHOE, CARSON AND DOUGLAS CABLE CUSTOMERS URGED TO CONTACT LOCAL OFFICIALS
ReSurge.TV may broaden legal action to include ratepayers
and program producers outside of Reno
8-25-2008, Updated 8-28-2008
Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fundThe evil empire eats its appetite
Community television wins a 90-day stay of execution
Barbwire / Sparks Tribune / 8-24-2008
Reno city council votes unanimously to sue Charter Communications to keep community TV accessible
Resurge.TV will also file
Bandwidth bandidos admit to their greed
Barbwire / Sparks Tribune 8-17-2008
The people were heard on Aug. 14. Call, write or show up at Reno City Hall at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20.
The people vs. Charter's pirate ship
Time to sue the bastards
Barbwire / Sparks Tribune 8-10-2008
Charter cable attempts to kill community TV
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Bad news for cable subscribers, good news for Hug High School
Barbwire / Sparks Tribune 8-3-2008
Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund
Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 & 216
2:00-4:00 p.m. PDT, 21:00-23:00 GMT/CUT/SUT
What may well be the first marriage of talk radio, talk TV and webcast webchat
Franklin Roosevelt/September 30 1934: I am not for a return of that definition of liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of a privileged few.
On this date in 1790, The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart debuted at Viennas Theatre auf de Wieden, two months before Mozarts death; in 1864 the Lincoln cabinet discussed the admission of Nevada into the union; in 1875 National Womens Party leader and Nevada U.S. senate candidate Anne Martin was born in Empire, Nevada; in 1918 after years of demonstrations, pickets, and protests, jailings of suffragettes, hunger strikes and force feeding, President Wilson surrendered and reversed his position on votes for women, sending a message to Congress calling for enactment of a womens suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution; in 1927 Babe Ruth hit his 60th season homer, setting a record that stood until 1961; in 1931 a meeting was held in Las Vegas on plans for public relief programs through the winter months; in 1935 the beloved Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess debuted in Boston, winning praise there˜and later in New York˜with purists claiming it was not a real opera (the same charge later made against Jesus Christ Superstar) but conductor Serge Koussevitzky calling it a great advance in opera; in 1938 Nevada Highway Department engineer J.M. Murphy said the new Searchlight highway would be finished and open with in two weeks; in 1953 President Eisenhower nearly doubled the $400 million already appropriated by Congress to pay for the French war against Indochina, which was now mostly U.S. funded; on 1957 in Sparks Local 1265 of the International Association of Fire Fighters held a meeting to plan its pettion for recognition to the city council; in 1966 an attorney for the Pyramid Lake tribe called for a halt to work on Stampede Dam upstream of Reno until legal water allocations on the Truckee River were complied with (he alleged that Truckee Carson Irrigation Ditch farmers were using twice as much water as allowed); in 1968 Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey announced that if elected he would stop the bombing of Vietnam as an acceptable risk for peace, a pledge that began bringing disaffected antiwar voters to him; in 1977 Nevada District Judge James Brennan issued an injunction barring the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from suspending basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian (the order was appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court which, in an incredible display of old boyism, sat on it more or less permanently); in 1983 the Reno Evening Gazette published its last edition and the morning Nevada State Journal changed its name to the Reno Gazette/Journal; in 1986 former Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu, who alerted the world to Israel's development of thermonuclear weapons of mass destruction, was kidnapped by Israeli agents in Rome, drugged, and taken to Israel where he was tried in secret and imprisoned for ten years, then released under conditions restricting his freedom of movement and speech (Amnesty International has designated hima political prisoner); in 1999 in the worst nuclear accident in Japans history, large amounts of radiation were released from the Tokaimura plant, killing two people, injuring dozens of others, and keeping hundreds of thousands in their homes at government direction.
On this date in 1789, the U.S. Congress established the U.S. military, which until then had been acting under congressional authorization but now came into being as a creation of the constitution (the force was kept small until after the Second World War because of the U.S. tradition of having only a small standing peacetime army); in 1869 About 1 Þ oclock p.m., to-day, the Miners Unions...marched down Main Street, Gold Hill, to the number of about 350, with drum and fife, and out on the line of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, with the avowed purpose of driving off the Chinese employed as graders; in 1924 Reno speakeasies operated by Fred Cunningham at 12 West Commercial Row and by Thomas Kinney in a tailor shop at 29 East Douglas Alley were raided, and Indian police officer Sam Johns arrested 64-year-old Alex Jamison for selling denatured alcohol to Native Americans in the jungles along the Truckee River; in 1936 President Roosevelt gave one of his funniest speeches, using his deliver and tone of voice to poke fun at Republican claims that they would not undo Roosevelts program if they won election (see below); in 1941 German Nazis, local Ukraine collaborators, and Ukrainian police began the massacre in Babi Yar Ravine, murdering from 70,000 to 120,000 people, believed to be the largest single massacre of the Holocaust; in 1945 with Vietnam emerging from Japanese occupation, President Ho of Vietnam wrote to President Truman after the death of U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Peter Dewey, the first known U.S. soldier killed in Vietnam, to tell him we are deeply moved by such a news and promise that nothing will be omitted on our part to find out the culprits and severely punish them. For the time being we can only assure you that we are touched by the death of any American resident in this country as much as by the death of our dearest relatives. Measures are being taken to prevent the return of such incidents. (Truman ignored the message); in 1960 an unusual crossover between two television sitcoms took place, with neighbor boy Dennis Mitchell (Jay North) helping Donna Reed redecorate her home on the Donna Reed Show and Donna turning to Mr. Wilson for help; in 1965 reacting to Saigons execution of Vietnamese prisoners of war, the Hanoi government sent a letter to the International Red Cross informing the organization that U.S. pilots captured while bombing Vietnam would be treated as war criminals and tried because Geneva accords on treatment of prisoners did not apply, the same argument the Bush administration used in Afghanistan and Iraq; in 1966 national guard troops patrolling San Franciscos riot-torn low income neighborhoods were given shoot to kill orders by Lt. Colonel Harland Smith; in 1978 Pope John Paul I, the smiling pope who used I instead of the royal we and disliked being carried on a throne, died 33 days after his election as pope; in 2002 a crowd of from a quarter- to a half-million people in London protested the British government's plan to support the unprovoked U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Franklin Roosevelt/New York Democratic Convention/Syracuse/September 29 1936: Let me warn you and let me warn the nation against the smooth evasion which says, Of course we believe all these things. We believe in social security; we believe in work for the unemployed; we believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things. But we do not like the way the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better, and most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything.
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Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 and 216
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On this date in 48, Ptolemy of Egypt had Pompey of Rome, who had invaded Egypt while fleeing Julius Caesars forces, assassinated at Pelusium; in 1863 Union generals Thomas Crittenden and Alexander M. McCook were stripped of their commands and ordered to face a court of inquiry for losing at Chickamauga; in 1904 heavyweight champion James Jeffries appeared in Renos McKissick Opera House in the title role in a performance of the idyl backwoods drama Davy Crockett by Frank Mayo; in 1909 the fading boom town of Goldfield saw a short renaissance as the American Mining Congress met, with U.S. Senator Francis Newlands declaring the silver issue that had long fueled the Democratic Party dead, the Congress calling for the establishment of a federal bureau of mines, and former Comstock editor C.C. Goodwin presenting a paper on Some Suggestions For the Settlement of the Silver Question (Goodwins paper was actually read by George Dern of Utah, later governor of that state, FDRs secretary of war, grandfather of actor Bruce Dern and great grandfather of actor Laura Dern); in 1912 W.C. Handys influential Memphis Blues or (Mister Crump) was published; in 1932 radio stations in Portland picked up distress calls from the freighter S.S. Nevada, and a Japanese ship wirelessed a message that it had arrived at the site given in the distress calls (about a hundred miles south of the Aleutians) and found nothing; in 1941 in a game against the Philadelphia Athletics, Bostons Ted Williams got 4 hits in 5 at bats to put his average at .404, the last player to hit .400 (see also 1960); in 1944 in a House of Commons speech lasting more than an hour and a half, Winston Churchill gave voice to a concern that preoccupied many allied leaders in the late stages of the European war, that die hard Nazis would establish a redoubt in German forests and mountains and keep fighting as guerrillas after the end of the war (no such thing came to pass); in 1944 U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull warned neutral nations that their relations with the U.S. would be adversely affected for years if they sheltered axis leaders after the war (he didn't address the eventuality that ultimately came to pass-- the U.S. sheltering axis scientists); in 1955 a sidewalk series˜the Dodgers versus the Yankees˜began in New York (Brooklyn won in seven games); in 1956 Elviss Love Me Tender, taken from the 19th century ballad Aura Lee with new words by Ken Darby (though the song was falsely credited to Darbys wife Vera Mattson and Elvis), was released; in 1957 the annual Orvis Ring Elementary School pet parade in Reno featured the Reno High School band and little Edith Raggio as Miss Nevada of 1970, Angelina Birks fourth grade class won first display prize and fourth grader Valentine Olds won first individual prize; in 1958 olympian Jesse Owens crowned Ruby Roberts of Oakland as the first keno queen of Renos New China Club; in 1960 Ted Williams played his final game and hit a home run in his last turn at bat; in 1963 President Kennedy spoke at the municipal convention center in Las Vegas, endorsing national park status for Hoover Dam/Lake Mead, importation of more water to feed Las Vegas growth, preservation of Lake Tahoe, and creation of Great Basin National Park; in 1964 Mike Goldwater, son of the Republican presidential nominee, spoke at Renos Riverside Hotel (with Michael Graham and Dennis Myers in the audience).; in 1966 Nevada Governor Grant Sawyer said the FBIs rampant use of electronic eavesdropping in Nevada reminds me of all I have read and heard about Nazism; in 1967 President Johnson used a medal of honor ceremony to defend the war on Vietnam from growing criticism (the medal recipience was 1st Cav Sgt. David Dolby); in 1968 the seven minute Hey Jude hit number one, the longest song ever to achieve the feat; in 2002 Father Mychal Judge, who died on September 11 while ministering to firefighters, was posthumously awarded the Thomas A. Dooley Award by the Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and St. Marys College; in 2007 seventh grader Graeme Frost of Baltimore, a victim of a brain stem injury, gave the Democratic Party's national weekly radio address on children's health care legislation, with the result that he and his family came under attack by John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, the National Review and the Weekly Standard.
On this date in 1826, Margaret Lindsay and James Webster were married in Kirriemuir parish of county Forfar (now Angus) in Scotland (fifty years later they celebrated what the Nevada State Journal said was the first known Truckee Meadows golden wedding anniversary˜among whites, anyway˜with a party at Steamboat Springs); in 1904 William Jennings Bryan, campaigning for the Democratic ticket, began the day in Reno, traveled to Virginia City and Carson City on the Virginia and Truckee, then returned and spoke in Sparks; in 1924 with a corporate-oriented Democratic candidate for president in John W. Davis and progressives drifting to Progressive candidate Robert La Follette, California denied La Follettes party ballot status, so the California Socialist Party turned its ballot line over to him; in 1924 a meeting held at George Wingfields house in Reno was held to organize women in a campaign organization to support President Coolidge (Coolidge came in last in Nevada, behind the Democrats, Progressives, and Socialists); in 1924 U.S.Senator Tasker Oddie of Nevada asked the U.S. Interior Department for an opinion on whether, in view of the recent grant of U.S. citizenship to Native Americans, there was any reason to continue Indian schools such as the one at Stewart, Nevada; in 1939 the Von Trapp family, having departed Austria by rail (not on foot over the alps) for Italy (not Switzerland; Captain Georg Von Trapp was Italian, not Austrian) and then Sweden to undertake a concert tour in the United States, departed from Oslo for New York on the SS Bergensfjord; in 1949 Nevada Governor Vail Pittman said he would meet with the Las Vegas Rent Control Advisory Board before acting on a recommendation that he lift rent control in the city; in 1953 Nevadas second television station, KZTV (later KOLO) in Reno, went on the air; in 1954 Steve Allens Tonight show debuted on the full NBC network after several months on WNBC (it would produce stars like Tom Poston, Don Knotts, Louis Nye, Eydie Gorme, Andy Williams, Gene Rayburn, Skitch Henderson, and Steve Lawrence and enduring routines like the Question Man [later revived by Johnny Carson as Karnac] and Stump the Band); in 1962 Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was published by Houghton Mifflin, helping to spark the environmental movement and prompting a vigorous counterattack by the chemical industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (it was named by a jury of journalists and journalism faculty convened by New York University as number two on a list of the 100 best works of journalism of the 1900s, by Discover magazine as one of the 25 greatest science books of all time, and by William F. Buckleys National Review as number 78 on a list of the 100 best nonfiction books of the 1900s); in 1964 the report of the Warren Commission was released (a nonfiction version was not made available); in 1992 60 Minutes on CBS and, the next day, the Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development was using taxpayer money to convince U.S. corporations to take jobs to other nations, providing sweetheart loans and tax breaks to companies that would relocate to Central America; in 1995 the U.S. government introduced its new Mattel money with the release of a hundred dollar bill that featured an enlarged, off center picture of Benjamin Franklin.
Ferdinand LaSalle/September 26 1863: Nothing is more sacred than the publishers capital! Ýit was now argued that it was the actual duty of the of the newspapers to do nothing that might incur a monetary lossÝIt is as if a soldier˜and the newspapers ought to be soldiers, champions of liberty, and claim to be such˜should regard it as his first duty under no circumstances to expose himself to the danger of being hit by a bullet.
On this date in 1787, the U.S. Congress began a two day debate on whether to censure the delegates to the federal constitutional convention for exceeding their authority and drafting a new form of government instead of amending the Articles of Confederation; in 1876 Margaret and James Webster celebrated what the Nevada State Journal said was the first known golden wedding anniversary in the Truckee Meadows with a party at Steamboat Springs; in 1904 former and future Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan spoke at the University of Nevada in Reno, with U.S. Senator Francis Newlands and Governor John Sparks in attendance; in 1909 Willie Boy and Carlota, Chemehuevi lovers who had been kept apart by her family, fled Banning, California and headed for the Morongo Pass at night after he fatally shot her father, setting off a famed manhunt that was dramatized in the Katherine Ross/Robert Blake film Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (the Chemehuevi were a tribe that overlapped with the Shoshone and Paiute and possibly the Numu); in 1916 Mildred Clark Myers was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania; in 1820 Daniel Boone died in Missouri; 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 Vegass Moulin Rouge Casino building; in 1957 West Side Story opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway, producing rhapsodic reviews; in 1960 the first Kennedy/Nixon debate was broadcast from WBBM in Chicago, moderated by Howard K. Smith and produced by Don Hewitt; in 1966 after settlement of a 79-day sheet metal strike, opening of the Park Lane Centre in Reno was set for February 1, 1967, though openings for some stores in the shopping center were set for November; in 1969 Abbey Road was released in England (on October 1 in the U.S.); in 1977 Georgetown University physicians, in a letter to the American Medical Association, drew attention to four deaths of patients who were taking laetrile, the alleged cancer cure that was made legal by the Nevada Legislature; in 1981 Nolan Ryan pitched his fifth no-hitter, prompting a round of commentaries about how people can still perform when they get older (Ryan was 34); in 1983 the members of the Australian yacht team became world wide heroes by breaking the 132-year U.S. winning stream to win the Royal Yacht Squadron Cup, informally known as the Americas 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.
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Monday thru Friday
Reno-Sparks-Washoe Charter cable channels 16 and 216
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Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq/September 25 2002: We do have a saying in America. If youre in a hole, stop digging. Uh˜Im not sure I should have said that. Lets pretend I never said that.
On this date in 1889, it was reported that Nevada lumber and railroad tycoon Duane L. Bliss had purchased San Franciscos Church of the Advent for $50,000; in 1906 in Chilcoot, a tiny town just over the Nevada border in California north of Reno, a saloon owner stood off a mob to protect a man accused of molesting a four year old; 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 1935 Joseph Fatso Negri, witness for the government in the trial of Frank Cochran and Tex Hall for harboring Baby Face Nelson in Reno, was seriously burned and injured in a car wreck at Galt, California; 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 Gestapo agents around the country); in 1953 at the Sub-Treasury Building in New York City, the Wall Street post of the American Legion presented a Bill of Rights award to U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin; in 1965 in the first episode of the animated Saturday morning cartoon program The Beatles, A Hard Days Night, the fab four tried to escape overenthusiastic fans by going to a haunted castle to rehearse and encounter monsters who were also fans (real Beatles songs were used in the series, though not the real voices for the characters); in 1970 Ringos Beaucoups of Blues album was released; in 1977 at King Williams Town, the funeral of Steven Biko attracted 20,000 people including ambassadors from western Europe and the U.S. (Biko died of massive head injuries while in South African police custody); in 2000 U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit 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).
UPDATE TUESDAY 9-24-2008, 9:59 a.m. PDT, 16:59 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 622, Mohammed arrived in Medina with Abu Bekr after they had fled persecution in Mecca, and they were met at the city gates by a large crowd of followers; in 1864, mine owner and Nevada governor James Nye requested and received two companies of U.S. Army cavalry troops from Fort Churchill to break a miners' labor union in Virginia City; in 1890, faced with federal confiscation of church property and revocation of Mormon civil rights, Latter Day Saints Church President Wilford Woodruff announced "And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land" (Woodruff's language was so indirect that in succeeding days other church spokespeople rushed to assure the public that he had indeed outlawed polygamy); 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 1935, after eight year-old Carleton Nichols, Jr., refused to salute the flag in his school in Lynn, Massachusetts, and after the city solicitor said students were not legally required either to salute or to sing the national anthem, the principal nevertheless said he would expel the student unless he complied (the newspapers called the child the "baby pacifist", but religion, not pacifism, was at issue; he was expelled in October and his father fined, and the boy was home schooled thereafter); in 1931, civil engineer J.T. McWilliams made a survey of the site for the new federal building in Las Vegas, then under construction, and reported that the excavation for the structure was 32 feet off; in 1953, at a time when the U.S. government was plotting the overthrow of the peaceful democratic governments of Guatemala and Iran, U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles made a speech in St. Louis about "communist leaders who openly repudiate the restraints of moral law"; 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 1961, after ten years of repetitive formula scripts, I Love Lucy ended its run; in 2002, Prime Minister Tony Blair released a US/British dossier purporting to prove the existence of "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq.
UPDATE TUESDAY 9-23-2008, 7:45 a.m. PDT, 14:45 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1800, a powerful letter to Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson denounced the influence of religious leaders and vowed "opposition to their schemes" against the public "for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."; 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 1924, before joining Bryan in Winnemucca, Governor James Scrugham, Senator Tasker Oddie, and several others visited the Lehman caverns; in 1931, a Las Vegas grocery store owner started an effort to get rid of the recently adopted parallel parking favored by the city and reinstate vertical parking; in 1937, a new Greyhound bus, named the Carson City, was dedicated in Nevada's capital with the Stewart Indian School band taking part in the ceremony; in 1944 in a speech at a Teamsters dinner in D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt defended himself, sort of, against false Republican charges that he had accidentally left his pet dog behind on the Aleutians and then sent a U.S. Navy destroyer to retrieve him (see below); in 1950, the Internal Security Act of 1950, sponsored by U.S. Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, was enacted, providing under Title II, Section 104 (c) for concentration camps in the U.S., which were subsequently set up by the Justice Department on a "stand-by basis" at Allenwood, Pennsylvania; Avon Park, Florida; El Reno, Oklahoma; Florence and Wickenburg, Arizona; and Tule Lake, California (Tule Lake had been the site of a Japanese American internment camp), and contingency lists of names of politically suspect persons to be rounded up for the camps were compiled by J. Edgar Hoover including that of one of McCarran's cosponsors of the bill, U.S. Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois; in 1951, historian Guy Louis Rocha, administrator of the Nevada state archives and records management programs, was born in Long Beach; in 1952 on the anniversary of FDR's "Fala" speech, U.S. Senator Richard Nixon, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, gave a nationally televised speech about his dog the "Checkers" speech, defending his acceptance of money from wealthy supporters; in 1955 in the mutilation lynching of Emmett Till, an all white jury acquitted J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who later sold their confessions to Look magazine for $4,000; 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.
Franklin Roosevelt / September 23d 1944: These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog Fala. Well, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or 20 million dollars his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since! I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.
UPDATE MONDAY 9-22-2008, 12:06 a.m. PDT, 07:06 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date 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 1919, defying a year of corporate terrorism designed to discourage a strike, 365,000 steel workers led by communist William Z Foster went on strike in fifty cities; 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 1935, actress Dorothy Lee, whose Warner Brothers musical short In the Spotlight was playing at Reno's Granada Theatre, arrived in Reno to establish residency for a divorce; in 1939, Sarah Levering, who was reportedly an eyewitness to all three U.S. presidential assassinations, died in Turlock, California; in 1939, about half of the 700 residents of the Comstock pitched in to fight a fire that caused $30,000 in damage and destroyed the physical plants of the California and the Consolidated Virginia mines; 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, Maurice Chevalier's secretary received a post card from him in hiding, where he went to escape "cleansing" committees that sprang up in France after D-Day, the post card dispelling rumors that he had been shot as an alleged collaborator: "Telling the truth about me, you will silence the backbiters. I eagerly wish to return to Paris as soon as I can get transportation and to contact again my beloved public. I hope they will be glad to hear the news songs I learned during my temporary seclusion."; in 1944, Franklin Albiston of Elko and Wells serving as crew engineer on a B-24 received the Silver Star for action over Romania and Wallace Lima of Fallon received the Combat Infantryman's Badge for service with the Third Marine division in Italy; in 1945, Lt. General George Patton, the military governor of Bavaria, trivialized the necessity of "this denazification thing", prompting Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower to order an investigation of Patton's administration and summon Patton to Frankfurt for a trip to the woodshed (the investigation found that Patton had left 20 prominent Nazis in office, and Patton finally removed them while retaining his governorship); in 1948, President Truman campaigned in Reno, riding in a parade and then speaking at Powning Park, the first of two presidents to speak in the park (Lyndon Johnson appeared there in 1964); 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 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 1966, with 500 people in attendance, St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Fallon was dedicated; 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).
UPDATE SUNDAY 9-21-2008, 12:05 a.m. PDT, 07:05 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1784, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, the first daily U.S. newspaper, began publication; in 1890, Nevada Governor Charles Stevenson died, the first Nevada governor to die in office; in 1894, the Washoe County convention of the People's Party began in Reno, reportedly the largest assemblage in county history (the party was affiliated with Nevada's Silver Party and People's Party presidential nominee James Weaver carried Nevada in 1892); in 1897, the Marysville Appeal reported that two conductors in charge of trains that collided in August near Marysville, California, had been blacklisted from railroad employment throughout the nation; in 1904, Nez Perce Chief Joseph died in Washington; in 1916, Republican presidential nominee Charles Evans Hughes attacked President Wilson for trying to overthrown the Mexican government; in 1937, The Hobbit was published; 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 the 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, President Kennedy nominated Eva Adams of Nevada to be director of the U.S. Mint; in 1965, Lightnin' Hopkins performed at the Matrix on Fillmore Street in San Francisco, with Jefferson Airplane as the opening act; 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 1974, Walter Brennan, the only three-time Academy Award winning male actor, died in Oxnard, California [EDITOR'S NOTE: Jack Nicholson has since won three]; 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, amid an array of patriotic and belligerent anthems on America/A Tribute to Heroes simulcast on four networks in the U.S. and Britain, was a Neil Young performance of John Lennon's Imagine, which had just been placed on Clear Channel's airplay blacklist; in 2004, Arthur Miller's last play, Finishing the Picture, debuted at Chicago's Goodman Theatre with Heather Prete, Matthew Modine, Harris Yulin, Linda Lavin and Stacy Keach in the cast (the play dealt with Miller's experience with Marilyn Monroe during the filming in Nevada of The Misfits, with Prete playing Monroe and Modine playing Miller).
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UPDATE SATURDAY 9-20-2008, 11:07 a.m. PDT, 18:07 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1793, Dr. John Mason gave a sermon complaining about the secular nature of the United States Constitution and its 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." (the lecture helped fuel a new movement to try to amend the Constitution to make it into a Christian document); in 1873, Reno Congregational minister F.R. Girard was directed by the American Home Missionary Society to go to San Bernardino and Rev. W.J. Clark of Iowa City, Iowa was named pastor of Reno's Congregational Church; 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 1904, "State of Nevada Day" was held at the World's Fair in St. Louis; in 1911, a work camp for Nevada prison inmates was being set up at the Haff ranch south of Reno in preparation for a crew that would begin building a Reno-to-Carson boulevard; in 1924, George Talbot, federal court master who was hearing a Truckee River water rights case, entered a finding that the water rights of Reno and Sparks were junior to those of the Fallon reclamation project; in 1932, ghost dance prophet Wovoka died on the Walker Lake Reservation; in 1949, Superintendent of Schools Walter Johnson said Las Vegas schools were facing double sessions and the baby boom had not even hit the schools yet; in 1964, The Beatles played their last concert of their Canadian/U.S. tour, a charity event at New York's Paramount theatre (and that night Ed Sullivan reran their third appearance on his show); 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 sleeping 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 Secretary-Treasurer) George Meany and Steelworkers president I.W. Abel quashed a movement to endorse George McGovern's presidential candidacy by throwing their personal prestige into the fight with slashing attacks on McGovern; in 1978, the television series Vegas debuted, lasting three years; 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 Fox people.
Kicking Bear (quoting Wovoka): The earth is getting old, and I will make it new for my chosen people, the Indians, who are to inhabit it, and among them will be all those of their ancestors who have died...I will cover the earth with new soil to a depth of five times the height of a man, and under this new soil will be buried the whites...The new lands will be covered with sweet-grass and running water and trees, and herds of buffalo and ponies will stray over it, that my red children may eat and drink, hunt and rejoice.
UPDATE FRIDAY 9-19-2008, 7:36 a.m. PDT, 14:36 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1819, John Keats wrote To Autumn (see below); 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 traveling 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 1908, Carson City's Appeal reported rumors that Washoe County deputy sheriff William Maxwell had been selected as the new warden of the Nevada State Prison; 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, Charles Lindbergh visited Reno for three and a half hours on a flying national tour sponsored by millionaire Harry Guggenheim; in 1945, President Truman appointed Harold Burton to be a justice of the United States Supreme Court and the Senate confirmed Burton without any scrutiny the same day; 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 1995, Talk Like A Pirate Day was observed for the first time (this year, there is an Ayephone available to "talk like a pirate so you don't have to"); in 1997, New York City police officer Lawrence Johnston was suspended without pay when, after he was presented with a medal of valor by the mayor and police commissioner on behalf of the Gay Officers Action League, he returned the medal to the president of the League and made several vulgar homophobic remarks; in 2000, the 1914 Fernley/Lassen Railroad Depot on Fernley's Main Street was placed on the Nevada Register of Historic Places.
by John Keats
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies
UPDATE THURSDAY 9-18-2008, 12:41 p.m. PDT, 19:41 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1851, The New York Times began publication; in 1878, 130 delegates were eligible to attend the Nevada Republican nominating convention at Eureka that nominated Comstock editor Rollin Daggett for the U.S. House of Representatives, John Kinkead for governor, and numerous other candidates; in 1908, the Independence Party of Nevada, arm of William Randolph Hearst's Independent League, filed its petition as a new political party and its slate of candidates at the Nevada secretary of state's office; in 1911 in an editorial, the Reno Evening Gazette expressed approval of lynching; in 1918, Eugene Debs was convicted of violating the Espionage Act by criticizing the Wilson administration and its war (see below) and was later imprisoned from where he was nominated for president by the Socialist Party; in 1924, actress Edna Purviance, the Lovelock woman who was Charlie Chaplin's leading lady in all his early films, testified at the arraignment of Horace Greer, accused of shooting Denver oil man Courtland Dines at a late night Hollywood party attended by Purviance and actress Mabel Normand, a crime that damaged Purviance's public image and plagued her career; in 1939, a ten-foot high marker made of stones from every state in the union and commemorating white settlers who built the Las Vegas fort was dedicated; in 1940, Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again was published; in 1948, there was a milk shortage in Reno, leading to speculation that dairy cattle were being butchered because of skyrocketing beef prices; in 1957, the California Labor Federation raised the spectre of pushing for impeachment of President Eisenhower if he failed to resolve the Little Rock integration crisis quickly; in 1978, WKRP in Cincinnati premiered on CBS and lasted until September 20, 1982 (in spite of the network's constant efforts to kill it with repeated preemptions, schedule changes, and one "hiatus"), twice winning the Emmy for outstanding comedy and after cancellation becoming in syndication the biggest hit in the history of MTM Productions; in 1986, Crime Story, a television series set in Las Vegas, debuted on NBC, lasting 43 episodes until May 10, 1988 (the last episode ended in a season-ending cliffhanger that was never resolved because the series was cancelled before the next season started); in 2004 in downtown Reno, a street fair celebrated the centennial of the Nevada Historical Society and the city's first public library.
Eugene V. Debs / September 18, 1918: Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
I listened to all that was said in this court in support and justification of this prosecution, but my mind remains unchanged. I look upon the Espionage Law as a despotic enactment in flagrant conflict with democratic principles and with the spirit of free institutions
Your Honor, I have stated in this court that I am opposed to the social system in which we live; that I believe in a fundamental change but if possible by peaceable and orderly means.
Standing here this morning, I recall my boyhood. At fourteen I went to work in a railroad shop; at sixteen I was firing a freight engine on a railroad. I remember all the hardships and privations of that earlier day, and from that time until now my heart has been with the working class. I could have been in Congress long ago. I have preferred to go to prison.
I am thinking this morning of the men in the mills and the factories; of the men in the mines and on the railroads. I am thinking of the women who for a paltry wage are compelled to work out their barren lives; of the little children who in this system are robbed of their childhood and in their tender years are seized in the remorseless grasp of Mammon and forced into the industrial dungeons, there to feed the monster machines while they themselves are being starved and stunted, body and soul. I see them dwarfed and diseased and their little lives broken and blasted because in this high noon of Christian civilization money is still so much more important than the flesh and blood of childhood. In very truth gold is god today and rules with pitiless sway in the affairs of men.
In this country the most favored beneath the bending skies we have vast areas of the richest and most fertile soil, material resources in inexhaustible abundance, the most marvelous productive machinery on earth, and millions of eager workers ready to apply their labor to that machinery to produce in abundance for every man, woman, and child˜and if there are still vast numbers of our people who are the victims of poverty and whose lives are an unceasing struggle all the way from youth to old age, until at last death comes to their rescue and lulls these hapless victims to dreamless sleep, it is not the fault of the Almighty: it cannot be charged to nature, but it is due entirely to the outgrown social system in which we live that ought to be abolished not only in the interest of the toiling masses but in the higher interest of all humanity.
I believe, Your Honor, in common with all Socialists, that this nation ought to own and control its own industries. I believe, as all Socialists do, that all things that are jointly needed and used ought to be jointly owned that industry, the basis of our social life, instead of being the private property of a few and operated for their enrichment, ought to be the common property of all, democratically administered in the interest of all.
I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
This order of things cannot always endure. I have registered my protest against it. I recognize the feebleness of my effort, but, fortunately, I am not alone. There are multiplied thousands of others who, like myself, have come to realize that before we may truly enjoy the blessings of civilized life, we must reorganize society upon a mutual and cooperative basis; and to this end we have organized a great economic and political movement that spreads over the face of all the earth.
There are today upwards of sixty millions of Socialists, loyal, devoted adherents to this cause, regardless of nationality, race, creed, color, or sex. They are all making common cause. They are spreading with tireless energy the propaganda of the new social order. They are waiting, watching, and working hopefully through all the hours of the day and the night. They are still in a minority. But they have learned how to be patient and to bide their time. They feel they know, indeed that the time is coming, in spite of all opposition, all persecution, when this emancipating gospel will spread among all the peoples, and when this minority will become the triumphant majority and, sweeping into power, inaugurate the greates social and economic change in history.
In that day we shall have the universal commonwealth the harmonious cooperation of every nation with every other nation on earth.
Your Honor, I ask no mercy and I plead for no immunity. I realize that finally the right must prevail. I never so clearly comprehended as now the great struggle between the powers of greed and exploitation on the one hand and upon the other the rising hosts of industrial freedom and social justice.
I can see the dawn of the better day for humanity. The people are awakening. In due time they will and must come to their own.
When the mariner, sailing over tropic seas, looks for relief from his weary watch, he turns his eyes toward the southern cross, burning luridly above the tempest-vexed ocean. As the midnight approaches, the southern cross begins to bend, the whirling worlds change their places, and with starry finger-points the Almighty marks the passage of time upon the dial of the universe, and though no bell may beat the glad tidings, the lookout knows that the midnight is passing and that relief and rest are close at hand. Let the people everywhere take heart of hope, for the cross is bending, the midnight is passing, and joy cometh with the morning.
I am now prepared to receive your sentence.
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UPDATE WEDNESDAY 9-17-2008, 8:50 a.m. PDT, 15:50 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1862 in the battle of Sharpsburg at Antietam Creek in Maryland, 23,100 men died in a single day, the bloodiest day in U.S. military history; 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 1911, Reno's new amusement park on Belle Isle ended its first season; in 1923, Hank Williams was born; in 1948, as the postwar red baiting period warmed up, a group called the Committee on Zeal for American Democracy was formed at Reno's State Building, part of an effort promoted across the nation by the National Security Agency; in 1967, after being instructed by Ed Sullivan not to include the word "higher" when singing Light My Fire on the Ed Sullivan Show (the band agreed), The Doors sang it anyway with emphasis and were told by a show producer that they would never do the Sullivan show again ("Hey, man, we just did the Sullivan show," Jim Morrison replied); in 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first African-American woman named Miss America; in 1985 at a news conference five years into his presidency, President Reagan finally spoke the acronym AIDS in public: "[I]ncluding what we have in the budget for '86, it will amount to over a half a billion dollars that we have provided for research on AIDS in addition to what I'm sure other medical groups are doing. And we have $100 million in the budget this year; it'll be 126 million next year. So, this is a top priority with us. Yes, there's no question about the seriousness of this and the need to find an answer."; in 1990, during the effort to rev the U.S. public up for war, 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 15 year-old Kuwaiti girl testifying at a congressional hearing who was actually a member of the Kuwait royal family; in 1992, Las Vegas City Life published for the first time; in 1993, Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa released an analysis of the Nevada Plan For Public Land (an argument that Nevada owned all federally managed land in the state) that concluded the federal government had "firm control on the management of public lands".
UPDATE TUESDAY 9-16-2008, 8:19 a.m. PDT, 15:19 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1810, just before dawn in the little Mexican village of Dolores, Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel leader Hidalgo y Costilla made a speech now known as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) demanding independence and calling on the people to govern their own nation, an event that helped trigger resistance to foreign rule, provided a battle cry, and is now marked as Independence Day (Guadalajara's airport is named Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport); in 1845, Phineas Wilcox, "a young man of good reputation", traveled to the Mormon enclave of Nauvoo, Illinois, and vanished, murdered by the suspicious church members, who believed he was a Christian gentile spy; in 1874, the Carson Index asked why the Nevada congressional delegation had not been able to obtain money for Nevadans who "furnished money, rations, animals and arms" for the 1860 war by whites against the Pyramid Lake tribe; 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 1932, Mahatma Gandhi began a "fast unto death" to try to force the British government to improve official treatment of "God's children" the untouchables, the lowest class of Indian society; in 1940, more than a year before Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation creating a peacetime draft for the first time in U.S. history; in 1949, Beep Beep the road runner appeared for the first time in a Warner Bros. cartoon titled Fast and Furry-ous; 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 1961 on the week's episode of Have Gun Will Travel, Paladin escorts a physician to the doctor-less community of Goldfield, Nevada, so she can convince the inhabitants to accept her as their doctor; in 1968, Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh In ("Sock it to me?"), produced by his supporter Paul Keyes; in 1982, after Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in violation of his promise to President Reagan sent troops to occupy West Beirut; Christian soldiers were permitted to enter the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps (which Israel had surrounded and sealed but had not entered) and murder thousands of refugees, a massacre that was declared genocide by the United Nations; in 1987, Robert Bork, President Reagan's nominee for associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, badly damaged his chances of senate confirmation by telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that there was no sound basis for Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the landmark decision that overturned segregated schools; in 1999, Rush Limbaugh claimed Democrats staged a Fort Worth church shooting, in which eight people were killed, in order to promote gun control legislation.
UPDATE MONDAY 9-15-2008, 7:50 a.m. PDT, 14:50 GMT/CUT/SUT
Addie Mae Collins
On this date in 1858, one year to the day after he received a federal contract for continental mail delivery, John Butterfield's Overland Mail stages began operation between San Francisco and New York (the route swung south, missing Nevada); in 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 1906, Reno schools were strained "to the uttermost" with nearly 1,500 students, 139 more than in 1905; in 1911, a coroner's jury empaneled in White Pine County to look into the August 23d deaths of three miners in the Giroux mine found the three had died of smoke and gas inhalation and found that Giroux Consolidated Mines had been extremely negligent in caring for the health and safety of its workers; in 1934, U.S. Senator Gerald Nye of North Dakota, a Republican chairing the senate investigation of arms trafficking, said that U.S. arms manufacturers were "calloused to rottenness", used U.S. warships as "sample cases" in marketing their arms in other nations, were "instrumental in provoking war scares, arousing suspicion between friendly nations and blocking disarmament efforts", used bribery freely, ignored U.S. treaty commitments, and benefited from collusion with the U.S. war and navy departments in obtaining release of patent rights and secret designs; in 1934, the New Deal and Democrats were at war with labor, with National Recovery Administration director Hugh Johnson denouncing a national textile strike that was in its second week with 14 dead and troops mobilized in six states and Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge preparing to use national guardsmen as strikebreakers; 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, construction on the proposed new Reno television station KTVN was halted because KOLO went to court to appeal the license award to KTVN by the Federal Communications Commission; in 1977, Nevada supreme court justices hearing a case challenging the Nevada open meeting law's requirements that judicial administrative meetings (but not other court proceedings) be open were caustic toward the legislators exempting themselves from the law; in 2001, four days after the September 11 tragedies, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, D-Calif., was the only member of Congress to vote against granting unlimited military power to George Bush.
UPDATE SUNDAY 9-14-2008, 12:15 p.m. PDT, 19:15 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1862, Brigadier General Jesse Reno was shot and killed in the Battle of Boonsboro Gap (towns were named for him in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Nevada, as well as a county in Kansas); in 1900, money raised across the nation for victims of the Galveston hurricane disaster reached nearly a million dollars (the equivalent of $22,155,604.58 in 2005 dollars) and the 2,701 bodies found so far were being burned, buried at sea, or buried in mass graves, with the death toll expected to reach about five thousand; in 1906, the City of Reno was developing a plan for signal lights to be flashed from the top of the new city hall to summon police or other uses; in 1908, the horse bus to Shaw's Hot Springs north of Carson City ended service and an auto service began operating (round trip, including admission to the springs, was sixty cents); 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's likely November victory (Maine held its general election several weeks before the rest of the nation); 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 1949, members of the Las Vegas city commission said wartime rent control in the city should end within a month; 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 1974, Bob Marley's I Shot the Sheriff by Eric Clapton hit number one; in 1988, labor leader Dolores Huerta was beaten by police in front of Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.
UPDATE SATURDAY 9-13-2008, 6:48 p.m. PDT, 01:48 9-14-2008 GMT/CUT/SUT
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.
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On this date in 1814, during a battle at Fort McHenry in Maryland (which continued into September 14) and while on a mission to try to free prisoners of war, Francis Scott Key, who opposed the war, wrote the Star Spangled Banner and, to make it unsingable, set it to a British drinking song To Anacreon in Heaven ("May our Club flourish Happy, United, and Free!/And long may the Sons of Anacreon intwine/The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus' Vine."); in 1847, thirty prisoners of war who were members of the St. Patrick's Battalion, a body of Irish, German and Scottish soldiers many of them deserters from the U.S. who fought for Mexico against U.S. aggression in the Mexican war, were executed by the U.S., bringing to 48 the number of the battalion so treated (of 5,000 U.S. deserters in the disreputable war against Mexico, only the San Patricios were executed; ceremonies honoring them are held each year in Mexico and County Galway); in 1874, the Independent on the Comstock accused William Sharon of using the Virginia and Truckee railroad to transport voters to the polls; 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 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 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 1932, elections in Maine and Vermont (where the general election was held several weeks earlier than other states) had good news for the Democrats and Governor Franklin Roosevelt, as Democrats scored major gains in the two rockribbed Republican states, and in primary states across the nation wet candidates defeated alcohol prohibition supporters, and in Louisiana soak-the-rich candidates allied with Huey Long won; in 1932 in Tonopah, the cost of the Nye County election in which 977 votes were cast was determined to be $2,221.57, or $2.27 a vote ($27.58 in 2005 dollars); in 1939, the U.S. House Naval Committee toured Boulder Lake looking for possible sites for a naval reserve training station; in 1945, using Indian colonial troops in order to be as offensive as possible, the British (with U.S. support) invaded southern Indochina to overturn the new Republic of Vietnam and reinstall France as colonial occupier, thus starting the nine-year war that ended in the French being ejected by the Vietnamese; 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 were married in Carson City; in 2002, a week after weapons inspector Scott Ritter challenged the Bush administration's claims on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, CNN interviewer Paula Zahn accused him of being a Saddam Hussein supporter (while attributing her accusation to "people out there"): "People out there are accusing you of drinking Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid."
UPDATE FRIDAY 9-12-2008, 11:42 a.m. PDT, 18:42 GMT/CUT/SUT LATEST NEVADA LABOR NEWS
For Immediate Release
September 12, 2008
Contact: Jill Furillo, 916-417-6203 or Charles Idelson, 415-559-8991
Reno office: Nick Schramm, (775) 324-4612
Saint Marys Reno RNs Win Landmark Nevada Pact
Huge Breakthroughs in Patient Safety with RN Staffing Ratios
29.5% Pay Hikes, Pension, Retiree Health Will Aid RN Retention
Registered nurses at Saint Marys Regional Medical Center in Reno won a groundbreaking tentative agreement with hospital officials early this morning on their first-ever collective bargaining pact that sets a new Nevada standard for patient safety protections and enhanced conditions for RNs.
Establishment of hospital-wide minimum, specific RN-to-patient staffing ratios is a centerpiece of the proposed pact, the California Nurses Association/ National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), which represents 500 RNs at Saint Mary's, said this morning. Saint Mary's RNs voted to join CNA/NNOC last December.
"This agreement will transform the landscape for nurses and patients in Nevada," said Jill Furillo, RN, the CNA/NNOC Nevada director. "RNs throughout Nevada closely followed our contract talks. The breathtaking improvements we have achieved, which are unprecedented in Nevada, will have a profound impact throughout the state."
"Saint Marys nurses have negotiated the best contract in the state of Nevada," said labor and delivery RN Mary Maupin.
The ratios, which match those won by CNA/NNOC in California law and hundreds of California hospitals, and strengthened through enforceable contract law, are the first-ever California-style, hospital-wide ratios achieved for any RNs outside California.
"We set initial goals for staffing ratios and have gone well beyond our expectations. We are so proud to be the first state outside of California to have achieved the California ratios in our contract, said neo-natal intensive care Unit RN Marylea Hall.
Additional key elements of the pact include more patient safety protections, with limits on unsafe assignments of RNs to areas where they do not have clinical expertise, and safe patient handling procedures, as well as major economic improvements.
The RNs will gain average pay increases of 29.5 percent over four years, assurances of future pay hikes based on years of experience, and big improvements in retirement security with pension and retiree health gains.
Furillo noted that the contract gains are modeled on improvements CNA/NNOC has won in other hospitals that, like Saint Mary's, are part of the Catholic Healthcare West system. CNA/NNOC represents 10,500 RNs at 27 CHW hospitals in California and Nevada. "It is the collective strength of CNA/NNOC RNs throughout CHW facilities that sets the table for achievements like this," Furillo said.
Saint Mary's RNs also hailed the tentative agreement, which must still be approved by the nurses in upcoming membership meetings next week. The nurse negotiating team is unanimously recommending ratification.
"This contract is what we needed to recruit and retain nurses," said Saint Mary intensive care RN Kevin Redner. "The contract promotes professional standards and protects our patients. Our historic nurse-to-patient ratios based upon California's standards will help pave the way for safer patient care here in Nevada and across the nation."
"We voted for CNA less than 10 months ago and we won the same ratios that CNA achieved after its courageous 10-year campaign in our contract. Thank you CNA," said Hall. "Our average wage increase is 29.5 percent, but with the employer-paid health benefits for my family, I will actually receive an additional 7 percent in additional compensation. I never dreamed I would get 36.5 percent."
"Until now nurses were not sure how they were going to retire. But now with our new retirement plan and retiree health benefit, nurses can look forward to retirement," Maupin said.
"We will have excellent benefits but more importantly, we have a landmark contract setting the standard for patient care," said Victoria Edmondson, a medical-surgical RN.
RN ratios mean the hospital must maintain a minimum number of RNs in each unit based on the number of patients. The ratio, which varies by hospital area, ranges from one RN for every two patients in critical care (1:2) to one to six (dropping to 1:5 in 2010) on general medical or post-surgical floors. The ratios are minimums, and staffing must be increased, if needed, for individual patient illness, and charge RNs who make clinical assignments cannot be considered part of the count.
While mandatory ratios are common in CNA/NNOC-represented California hospitals, based on a CNA/NNOC-sponsored law, the ratios are a first for Nevada RNs, protected by contract language, and enforceable with dispute resolution mechanisms.
"Ratios have had a stunning impact for nurses and patients in California hospitals," said CNA/NNOC Co-president Malinda Markowitz. "RNs now have the time they need to assure patients receive the care they need. The ratios, along with gains made by CNA/NNOC in California hospitals, have also helped reduce the nursing shortage in California by encouraging RNs to stay at the bedside."
Other components of the agreement include:
- Pay increases averaging 29.5 percent over four years, with at least 16 percent of the increase within next 10 months. More than 100 of the RNs will see higher increases.
- Safe patient lifting procedure to reduce patient falls and accidents and RN injuries.
- Fully-paid employer health benefits, including dependent coverage, and the best retiree health package for RNs anywhere in the state of Nevada.
- No mandatory overtime, except in cases of a publicly declared emergency or an unavoidable occurrence.
CNA/NNOC is the nation's largest organization of registered nurses with 80,000 members in all 50 states.
NevadaLabor.com history of health care organizing in northern Nevada
Update: Service Employees International Union Local 1107 on the same day announced its success at arriving at a new contract with Washoe Med/Renown.
UPDATE FRIDAY 9-12-2008, 11:29 a.m. PDT, 18:29 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date 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, the Virginia Evening Chronicle in Virginia City called for efforts to kill the "unholy scheme" a state constitutional amendment to make lotteries legal that had already been approved by the 1899 Nevada Legislature and needed second-round approval by the 1901 legislative session; 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; in 1932, the Elko Independent published a map of New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt's planned western tour in his campaign for the presidency, showing that he would circle completely around Nevada and speak in every surrounding state (Utah, Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona) without ever visiting the Silver State; in 1939, although the U.S. was not a party to the war, the Federal Communications Commission ordered New York radio station WMAC to give reasons why it should not lose its license for reporting on secret government messages from Britain and Germany; 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 1949, a labor meeting was held on plans to acquire the troubled Biltmore Hotel for a Clark County labor temple; 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 1959 in an effort to popularize color television, NBC put a new one-hour western called Bonanza on the air, using outdoor Nevada locations to showcase colorful settings and bringing new tourism life to Virginia City; in 1974, a day after Kanawha County students in West Virginia walked out of school in protest against the school board pulling textbooks from schools (Christians claimed the books were anti-U.S. and anti-religious), schools were closed because of textbook-related violence and after the superintendent of schools said "mobs are ruling" and the sheriff said his fifty deputies could not handle the situation and coal miners in the county and various workers throughtout the southern part of the state struck in sympathy with the Christians (later one person was shot and efforts were made to bomb two elementary schools); 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).
UPDATE THURSDAY 9-11-2008, 1:23 p.m. PDT, 20:23 GMT/CUT/SUT LATEST NEVADA LABOR NEWS
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FOREIGN-OWNED MANAGEMENT COMPANY STONEWALLS IN RENO-SPARKS MASS TRANSIT TALKS
RENO Two days of talks between Teamsters Local 533 and the First Transit management company have adjourned without progress. Bus drivers, dispatchers and support staff for the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission's RTC/RIDE system have been working without a contract since June.
In early summer, representatives of the foreign-owned management company which runs the publicly owned transit system reiterated their "last, best and final offer" which the workers overwhelmingly turned down 103-2 on June 15. That vote also constituted a renewed strike authorization under the union constitution. Management then agreed to return to the bargaining table.
Before talks adjourned yesterday, the union offered not to strike and work under the old contract through Nov. 15. Local 533 also offered to schedule negotiations for later this month and in October. First Transit has not responded.
The union filed charges of illegal unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board, which added two additional counts after factfinding. The NLRB had prepared a draft order holding in the union's favor when it was reversed by higherups. Such is the state of workplace fairness in the Bush administration.
The complete text of the draft order will be posted at NevadaLabor.com later today.
[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to KJIV.org news director William Albright for confirming the above and feeding it to me via the Barbwire.TV chat room on Sept. 10 so that I could timely inform our audience and scoop the state as a result.]]
THREE IN A ROW AT THE SANDS Members of Painters and Allied Trades Local 567 will picket the Sands Regency Hotel-Casino this afternoon for the third day in a row. The contractor hired by the Sands to re-paint its mustard-yellow building pays well below area standard wages, benefits and pension allowances. Serious safety questions have also been raised by construction experts at the downtown Reno jobsite.
THEY WERE FOR IT BEFORE THEY WERE AGAINST IT In Las Vegas, Nevada Power submitted a "last, best and final offer" to International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 396, then withdrew it to submit a second and even more inferior "last-best-final." The company proposal would change its pension program to a cash balance plan causing a 60 percent reduction in benefits. Negotiations have been going on for almost a year and brought union pickets to Nevada Power's southern Nevada headquarters earlier this summer.
Due to what the union calls "regressive bargaining," a ratification vote by the membership has been cancelled. An informational meeting with affected workers will be held by Local 396 on Sept. 16.
Bill Cosby once quoted God as asking Noah "how long can you tread water?"
Perhaps its time to ask the electric company how long can you work without electricians?
NP is a subsidiary of Reno-based Sierra Pacific Resources.
BUILDING TRADES UNIONS QUESTION CONTRACTOR LICENSES ON TWO RENO HYATT HOTEL CONSTRUCTION JOBS The Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada is asking union members and concerned citizens to call or e-mail the Chicago-based Hyatt Hotel chain about its hiring of unlicensed contractors for two Reno construction projects.
One hotel is under construction across from Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the other is slated for downtown Reno near the new AAA baseball stadium.
Contacts: Chris Dobbins, Regional VP of Development, (480) 308-2915, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hyatt Corporation, (312) 750-1234
For ongoing updates on these and other workplace stories, go to Nevada's source for labor news, NevadaLabor.com
Discuss them on The Barbwire, open line talk (775-682-4145) and webchat simulcast (Barbwire.TV) 2-4 p.m. Monday thru Friday on Charter cable channels 16 and 216 in Reno-Sparks-Washoe. Barbwire.TV is part of the KJIV.org community radio enterprise soon to be on the air at 89.5 fm in northwestern Nevada.
UPDATE THURSDAY 9-11-2008, 7:13 a.m. PDT, 14:13 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1609, Henry Hudson's ship, the Half Moon, entered a bay on the east coast that is now New York harbor; in 1776, the Mexican Dominguez/Escalante exploring expedition entered what is now Utah; in 1872 in Harper's Weekly (released on this day but dated September 21) cartoonist Thomas Nast accused Democratic presidential nominee Horace Greeley of treason by portraying Greeley embracing the Confederacy over the graves of Union soldiers who died in Andersonville prison; in 1893, at an interfaith gathering in Chicago, Swami Vivekananda of India was a popular sensation among Protestants for his address declaring that his Hindu faith regards all religions as representing universal truths, a message that made him an acclaimed religious figure in the United States (he lectured thereafter at churches throughout the U.S. and his vision of tolerance was so influential that in 1998 a statue of him was erected in Chicago); in 1906 at a mass protest meeting in Johannesburg, Indian attorney Mohandas Gandhi publicly embraced for the first time the method of satyagraha (truth force), the assertive nonviolent resistance that he later used in India, Ghaffar Khan used in what is now Pakistan, and Martin Luther King used in the United States; in 1917, German patriot Albin Kobes, awaiting execution for joining a mutiny on the German dreadnought battleship S.M.S. Prinzregent Luitpold, wrote a last letter to his family: "I don't like dying so young, but I die with a curse on the German-militarist state."; in 1936, the first Boulder Dam generator was put in operation with President Franklin Roosevelt throwing a ceremonial switch in Washington; in 1941 in Des Moines, Charles Lindbergh carried his opposition to war across a line that offended many ("Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not. Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government. I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war."); in 1953, two Utah fliers took off from Salt Lake City's airport in an effort to stay aloft for 50 days, which if successful would break the record of 47 days; in 1956, Republicans and Democrats closely watched the election in Maine, where the general election was held in September, as a bellwether (Democratic Governor Edmund Muskie was reelected and Democrats picked up all three U.S. House seats); in 1956, southern Nevada police agencies, in "a spirit of cooperation never seen before in this area", provided assistance to the North Las Vegas department after 14 of its officers resigned in protest over the firing of Chief William Pool and Captain Wilbur McNinch; in 1956, Las Vegas Postmaster C.K. Ryerse said the city's post offices would soon replace the lobby counter fountain pens with ball points; in 1957, a fire at the Rocky Flats plutonium factory in Colorado ignited into a radioactive firestorm, but officials reported that any releases were slight, which was a lie; in 1962, The Beatles re-did their September 4 recording of Love Me Do, scheduled to be their first single, this time without their new drummer Ringo because producer George Martin did not think his playing on the first version was good enough (drummer Andy White replaced Ringo, thus joining the elite group of musicians who have been Beatles); in 1963, Nevada gambling regulators filed a complaint against Frank Sinatra for entertaining mobster Sam Giancana at Sinatra's Cal Neva Lodge at Crystal Bay; in 1971, the Ford Pinto, a car so badly designed and so recklessly rushed into production that Ford executives were indicted for homicide, was released on the world;
in 1973, a U.S.-engineered coup in Chile overthrew democratically elected President Salvador Allende (who was "suicided") and installed a vicious military dictatorship (the junta admitted to a death toll during the coup of only 3,197); in 1987, the CBS network went to black for several minutes when news anchor Dan Rather could not be found to start a newscast; in 2001, 2,749 citizens of the United States died in one day, including UNLV graduate Karen Wagner, who was working in the Pentagon; in 2002, former Nevada first lady Bette Sawyer died in Las Vegas; in 2004, a storm and flash flood poured silt and debris into Devil's Hole in Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nye County, the only known habitat in the world of the desert pupfish, killing eighty of the little fish and disrupting the year's spawn.
Nevada State Journal/September 11, 1955/by Peggy Trego: One of the last holdouts of steam locomotive power in this part of the country is the "Pyramid Lake run" of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Most of the rest of the SP's steam engines around these parts have been replaced with diesel power within the last few years, and billowing smoke plumes coupled with the "wuff-wuff" of steam exhausts are rare on the mainline. Some people miss the steam engines a lot, and they are usually termed romantics for even giving a second thought to what the SP is using on the head end. But ail the same, no diesel blatting, even the made-to-resemble steam-whistle "chime," sounds quite like the mournful, nostalgic blasts that were a part of the Truckee Meadows normal sounds for more than eighty years. More recently, the irregular snort of the big air pumps of the cab-ahead Mallet-type locomotives was a usual punctuation of Renos more stilly nights. It was a penetrating sound, with a whiperack quality that would carry it a couple of miles on a frosty midnight. Like it or not, it had less irritating properties than the siren-plus-rumble that means a diesel engine. A freight train on the move nowadays projects its whine and roar almost as effectively as a low-flying Convair.
Steam locomotive fans are fond of the Pyramid Lake area at present, although some of the residents of Sutcliffe are inclined to take a rather cool attitude toward any train noises. Sutcliffe is the place where the westbound freight frequently goes "in the hole" to await the passing of the eastbound train; sometimes the four or five whistles necessary to summon up the rear brakeman (depending which way the train is headed) sound as though they were being let loose in the next room. Sutcliffe won't be any happier about diesels, though: dieselized rolling stock still depends on the old familiar signals. The railroad men in general find the diesels far more comfortable than the steam "hogs." It is no longer possible to get a turkey sandwich sizzling hot by placing it on a strategic portion of the boiler, but it is also no longer a matter of freeze on one side, roast on the other, on a cold night. The diesels ride easier; they are less demanding of cab labor. In fact, the firemen of a diesel is [sic] not infrequently accused of loafing along just for the ride, not that this is strictly true. From the aesthetic point of view, the steam locomotives had something grand about them that the diesel lacks completely. There is considerable wonderment for the casual onlooker who likes trains when a great, visibly-complicated mass of machinery begins to move 100 loaded freight cars easily, effortlessly, and with a minimum of racket. There are few men who didn't at one time of their early youth consider the great prestige of being on the right side of the cab with all that power at a hand's command. Perhaps todays youngsters enjoy diesels as much, but it seems doubtful.
Not long ago, a pint-sized Reno citizen observed one of the few steam locomotives still in service as switch engines traveling through town. "Look!" he screamed. "A REAL train." And that's the way the rail fans feel about the situation. The SP is using mostly 3800's and 4200's on the stretch of track that extends from Fernley on the transcontinental mainline to Wendel, where the branch joins the northern California mainline, and a more picturesque set of modern locomotives was never designed. Every so often, one of these "big fellows" is shoved off to "retirement" on the scrap heap, and so it will go until there just aren't any more steam hogs around. Meanwhile, the "real trains" are a pleasant sight and (apologies to Sutcliff dwellers) a pleasant sound along the prehistoric lake shore.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 9-10-2008, 6:46 a.m. PDT, 13:46 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1874, the Nevada State Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Society decided to hold a state fair; 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, the Wilson administration shut down the Philadelphia Tageblatt, a newspaper that criticized his decision to go to war, and charged the editors with violation of the Espionage Act; in 1917, Otto Schoffan, who was being shipped by rail to one of the Wilson adminstration's internment camps in Utah, escaped by leaping from the train near Las Vegas, Nevada; 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 1953, Willie Martello, owner of Searchlight's El Ray Club casino, was stripped of his license for a year by the Nevada Tax Commission for operating a rigged slot machine; 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 1963, State Department official Joseph Mendenhall and marine General Victor Krulak returned from an inspection tour in Vietnam and briefed President Kennedy and his Vietnam advisers on their findings Krulak that the war was "going ahead at an impressive pace" and would be won, Mendenhall that a religious civil war was impending and the Vietnamese turning to the National Liberation Front prompting Kennedy to ask them "Did you two gentlemen visit the same country?"; in 1972, during a post-midnight performance at the Sahara Tahoe, Ann Margret fell 22 feet, crushing her cheek bones and breaking her jaw and one arm; 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 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: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030326-7.html).
UPDATE TUESDAY 9-9-2008, 7:44 a.m. PDT, 14:44 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1739, twenty enslaved African-Americans met at the Stono River in Virginia, marched to a nearby store and seized guns and supplies, and marched south toward Spanish Florida, gathering an army Spartacus-like along the way until a force of white planters engaged them in battle, suppressing the uprising with dead on both sides; in 1776, the Second Continental Congress changed the nation's name from the United Colonies to the United States; in 1842, the primary election was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, when local Democrats began using them in legislative and county races; in 1908, Thomas Edison's monopoly, the Motion Picture Patents Company, was incorporated and operated until a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings put it out of business (the cartel, made up of several corporate owners of patents on movie making equipment, pooled their patents, prohibited anyone to make movies who wasn't licensed, and used bands of thugs who through brutality and the destruction of equipment enforced their will on independent producers, who in turn eventually left the movie making capital of New York for southern California); 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 1939, the film Gone With the Wind (minus the music) was shown for the first time, to an unsuspecting audience at the Fox theatre in Riverside, California, and received a rapturous reception; in 1954, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy complained that the senate subcommittee investigating charges against him was invading his privacy in its investigation; 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); in 2002, the Las Vegas Sun reported on the emergence of the abandoned and submerged community of St. Thomas from Lake Mead as the level of the lake dropped during a drought.
Teamsters resume talks with Washoe bus system
Phone callers to Barbwire.TV warn that a strike remains imminent
Monday thru Friday
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UPDATE MONDAY 9-8-2008, 7:53 a.m. PDT, 14:53 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1541, Hernando de Soto "discovered" the Mississippi River and, by gosh, it was exactly where its thousands of previous native discoverers back through the eons also found it; in 1880, "President" Rutherford Hayes (he lost both the popular and electoral vote and was appointed by Congress) visited Reno; in 1905, Members of the United Typothetae of America unanimously adopted a resolution pledging themselves to resist an eight hour day for members of the International Typographical Union and counseling against use of the union label (paradoxically, the Typothetae began as a printer's union in 1887 but evolved into Printing Industries of America); in 1924, The Covered Wagon, the great silent film classic filmed in White Pine County, was released; in 1935, U.S. Senator Huey Long of Louisiana was shot and mortally wounded, dying on September 10; in 1935, on the day Huey 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 1936, the newly remodeled Silver City school was ready for use on the first day of school, with two teachers employed in the school for the first time in many years; 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 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, KZTV [now KOLO] in Reno, which would become Nevada's second television station, put a test pattern on the air so residents could start tuning their television sets for the start of operations at the end of the month; in 2000, the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued an apology to Native Americans: "Tell your children that the time of shame and fear is over. Tell your young men and women to replace their anger with hope and love for their people. Together, we must wipe the tears of seven generations."; in 2002, The New York Times ran a story by Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller planted by Bush administration officials claiming that Iraq was engaged in a "worldwide hunt" to obtain aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment, and later in the day Dick Cheney cited the Times story on Meet the Press as evidence of the need to go to war, a neat example of garbage in/garbage out.
Remarks of Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior
at the ceremony acknowledging the 175th Anniversary of the establishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
September 8, 2000
In March of 1824, President James Monroe established the Office of Indian Affairs in the Department of War. Its mission was to conduct the nations business with regard to Indian affairs. We have come together today to mark the first 175 years of the institution now known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It is appropriate that we do so in the first year of a new century and a new millennium, a time when our leaders are reflecting on what lies ahead and preparing for those challenges. Before looking ahead, though, this institution must first look back and reflect on what it has wrought and, by doing so, come to know that this is no occasion for celebration; rather it is time for reflection and contemplation, a time for sorrowful truths to be spoken, a time for contrition.
We must first reconcile ourselves to the fact that the works of this agency have at various times profoundly harmed the communities it was meant to serve. From the very beginning, the Office of Indian Affairs was an instrument by which the United States enforced its ambition against the Indian nations and Indian people who stood in its path. And so, the first mission of this institution was to execute the removal of the southeastern tribal nations. By threat, deceit, and force, these great tribal nations were made to march 1,000 miles to the west, leaving thousands of their old, their young and their infirm in hasty graves along the Trail of Tears.
As the nation looked to the West for more land, this agency participated in the ethnic cleansing that befell the western tribes. War necessarily begets tragedy; the war for the West was no exception. Yet in these more enlightened times, it must be acknowledged that the deliberate spread of disease, the decimation of the mighty bison herds, the use of the poison alcohol to destroy mind and body, and the cowardly killing of women and children made for tragedy on a scale so ghastly that it cannot be dismissed as merely the inevitable consequence of the clash of competing ways of life. This agency and the good people in it failed in the mission to prevent the devastation. And so great nations of patriot warriors fell. We will never push aside the memory of unnecessary and violent death at places such as Sand Creek, the banks of the Washita River, and Wounded Knee. Nor did the consequences of war have to include the futile and destructive efforts to annihilate Indian cultures. After the devastation of tribal economies and the deliberate creation of tribal dependence on the services provided by this agency, this agency set out to destroy all things Indian.
This agency forbade the speaking of Indian languages, prohibited the conduct of traditional religious activities, outlawed traditional government, and made Indian people ashamed of who they were. Worst of all, the Bureau of Indian Affairs committed these acts against the children entrusted to its boarding schools, brutalizing them emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually. Even in this era of self -determination, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs is at long last serving as an advocate for Indian people in an atmosphere of mutual respect, the legacy of these misdeeds haunts us. The trauma of shame, fear and anger has passed from one generation to the next, and manifests itself in the rampant alcoholism, drug abuse, and domestic violence that plague Indian country .Many of our people live lives of unrelenting tragedy as Indian families suffer the ruin of lives by alcoholism, suicides made of shame and despair, and violent death at the hands of one another. So many of the maladies suffered today in Indian country result from the failures of this agency. Poverty, ignorance, and disease have been the product of this agencys work.
And so today I stand before you as the leader of an institution that in the past has committed acts so terrible that they infect, diminish, and destroy the lives of Indian people decades later, generations later. These things occurred despite the efforts of many good people with good hearts who sought to prevent them. These wrongs must be acknowledged if the healing is to begin. I do not speak today for the United States. That is the province of the nations elected leaders, and I would not presume to speak on their behalf. I am empowered, however, to speak on behalf of this agency, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and I am quite certain that the words that follow reflect the hearts of its 10,000 employees.
Let us begin by expressing our profound sorrow for what this agency has done in the past. Just like you, when we think of these misdeeds and their tragic consequences, our hearts break and our grief is as pure and complete as yours. We desperately wish that we could change this history, but of course we cannot. On behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I extend this formal apology to Indian people for the historical conduct of this agency.
And while the BIA employees of today did not commit these wrongs, we acknowledge that the institution we serve did. We accept this inheritance, this legacy of racism and inhumanity. And by accepting this legacy, we accept also the moral responsibility of putting things right.
We therefore begin this important work anew, and make a new commitment to the people and communities that we serve, a commitment born of the dedication we share with you to the cause of renewed hope and prosperity for Indian country. Never again will this agency stand silent when hate and violence are committed against Indians. Never again will we allow policy to proceed from the assumption that Indians possess less human genius than the other races. Never again will we be complicit in the theft of Indian property. Never again will we appoint false leaders who serve purposes other than those of the tribes. Never again will we allow unflattering and stereotypical images of Indian people to deface the halls of government or lead the American people to shallow and ignorant beliefs about Indians. Never again will we attack your religions, your languages, your rituals, or any of your tribal ways. Never again will we seize your children, nor teach them to be ashamed of who they are.
We cannot yet ask your forgiveness, not while the burdens of this agencys history weigh so heavily on tribal communities. What we do ask is that, together, we allow the healing to begin: As you return to your homes, and as you talk with your people, please tell them that time of dying is at its end. Tell your children that the time of shame and fear is over. Tell your young men and women to replace their anger with hope and love for their people. Together, we must wipe the tears of seven generations. Together, we must allow our broken hearts to mend. Together, we will face a challenging world with confidence and trust. Together, let us resolve that when our future leaders gather to discuss the history of this institution, it will be time to celebrate the rebirth of joy, freedom, and progress for the Indian Nations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was born in 1824 in a time of war on Indian people. May it live in the year 2000 and beyond as an instrument of their prosperity.
UPDATE SUNDAY 9-7-2008, 12:18 a.m. PDT, 07:18 GMT/CUT/SUT
George Bush the Elder / American Legion Convention / September 7, 1988: This is Pearl Harbor day. Forty seven years ago to this very day, we were hit and hit hard at Pearl Harbor.
On this date in 1872, the Nevada State Journal reported that "The new Ormsby house is up to the third story, and when finished will be the finest wooden hotel in Carson, or the State." ; 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 1910, the day after Nevada's first full-fledged primary election, the outcome in the Republican governor and attorney general races was still in doubt, with William Massey leading Tasker Oddie in the governor's race and George Springmeyer and Hugh Brown in an even closer race for attorney general; in 1927, Philo Farnsworth succeeded in sending an image through the air by electronic means, the start of television; in 1935, New York City police 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 (on July 26) was trying to tear it down and ended up giving Solomon a brutal beating; in 1936, Charles Hardin "Buddy" Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas; in 1941, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told his private secretary "If we must have preferences let me whisper in your ear that I prefer Arabs to Jews." ; in 1949, Las Vegas' second polio case of September was reported; in 1950, the Nevada Appeal ran an editorial on the capabilities of Korean troops: "THE GOOKS ARE DOING WELL"; in 1954, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, schools in Baltimore and the District of Columbia were desegregated, demonstrating that it could be done promptly; in 1972, in an effort to halt the integration of Clark County schools, Nevada Attorney General Robert List flew to D.C. to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt an integration plan; 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 held it longer than Babe Ruth; in 2002, George Bush claimed that the International Atomic Energy Association had issued a report asserting that Iraq was six months away from developing a nuclear weapon, which was false, though journalism covered up the lie (the Washington Post reported it in the 21st paragraph of its story and MSNBC posted it on its web site but then quickly removed it).
UPDATE SATURDAY 9-6-2008, 12:57 p.m. PDT, 19:57 GMT/CUT/SUT
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 this date in 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 1939, U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran of Nevada said "There is a group in the senate of which I am one, that is resolved [this] country will not go into this war. In the last 150 years since this country became a constitutional democracy, if we had engaged in every war in which central Europe is involved, we would have been forced to have our armed forces everlastingly at points of embarkation and our natural resources would have been spent or largely exhausted. The American republic must not be regarded as an instrumentality for the furtherance of Europe's quarrels. Those quarrels have been going on for ten centuries."; 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 1949, Las Vegas Review-Journal printers failed to appear for work after talks broke down on new typesetting equipment; in 1956, a door on a TWA Constellation bringing a Nevada contingent to a Stevenson/Kefauver rally in San Francisco blew inward, colliding with Nevada Democratic chair and Las Vegas mayor C.D. Baker's seat, whereupon Baker and former Governor Vail Pittman and two others tried to push the door back into place (the plane, which was still over the bay area, nevertheless continued on to Las Vegas where it landed safely); 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 1960, in a stunning Olympics performance, Rafer Johnson set a record of 8,392 points in the decathlon and won a gold medal; in 1972 in the small amount of Vietnamese territory under his control, Saigon dictator Nguyen Van Thieu abolished elections, which may have been an improvement since in practical terms it meant no more crooked elections; in 1972, John and Yoko appeared on the Labor Day muscular dystrophy telethon; 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 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.
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UPDATE FRIDAY 9-5-2008, 8:15 a.m. PDT, 15:15 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date 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 and which spread worldwide; in 1882, Enoch Strother won the nomination for governor on the fourth ballot at the Nevada Republican Convention in Reno, and the Territorial Enterprise ran the story under the headline THE WINNING TICKET (Strother, referred to by the Enterprise as "Governor Strother", lost the election) and two days later ran an account of Democrat Jewett Adams' nomination under the headline THE LOSING TICKET (Adams won); 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 1933, a state convention in Nevada ratified the federal constitutional amendment repealing alcohol prohibition, the only amendment ratified by the convention process; in 1939, the local chapter of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers began work on a marker on North Fifth Street in Las Vegas to the old Mormon fort, the marker constructed from stones from around the nation to be ten feet tall with a six foot base; 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 1953, Gardnerville Air Force pilot Capt. Hamilton Shawe, Jr., was released by North Korea after three years as a prisoner of war; in 1960, the third congress of the Vietnamese Lao Dong Party, despairing of ever seeing the large powers support the agreement they wrote at Geneva (providing for restoration of Vietnam as one nation, free elections, and no outside intrusion) formally decided to liberate the south, ending President Ho Chi Minh's policies of discouraging armed insurrection in the south and trust in the large powers; in 1964, The House of the Rising Sun by the Animals reached number one on the record charts; in 1989, a special two day hearing was held on the conduct with a female student of University of Nevada Reno professor Thomas Harrington that resulted in his being discharged.
UPDATE THURSDAY 9-4-2008, 10:16 p.m. PDT, 05:16 Sept. 5 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1882, Charles D. Gibbs read a paper at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on the pre-history Carson City footprints; in 1913, Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge in Pyramid Lake was established; in 1912, Socialist Party presidential nominee Eugene Debs spoke at the Majestic Theatre in Reno (Nevada, particularly then-populous Nye County, gave Debs his highest percentage in the nation 17 percent of the vote in the four-way race); in 1931, the national convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City voted to support repeal of alcohol prohibition; 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, 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 1952, two years before Brown vs. Board of Education, twelve African-American students were admitted to previously all-white Claymont High School in Castle County, Delaware, the first school known to be integrated in the 17 states with segregated school systems; 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 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").
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 9-3-2008, 12:10 a.m. PDT, 07:10 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed among France, the United States, England and Spain, formally ending the American Revolution; in 1838, Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland to free Pennsylvania and then New York; in 1855, General William Harney refused an offer of surrender from a peaceful Sioux village in Nebraska and attacked with 700 men, killing 85 people, including women and children, in alleged revenge for an earlier battle against a different village in Wyoming in which a U.S. officer provoked a battle and lost thirty men at the hand of tribal warriors (Harvey became known as Woman Killer and Squaw Killer); in 1908 for $100,000, Nevada political boss George Wingfield and U.S. Senator George Nixon purchased the parcel known as the "Smith block" at the corner of Second and Virginia streets in Reno; in 1939 when the Athenia was attacked and sunk by a German submarine (the u-boat commander Fritz-Julius Lemp mistook the passenger ship for an armored cruiser) eight hours after Britain declared war on Germany, Las Vegas figure Harry Trehearne was on board (he survived); in 1946, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., author of the novel Reno which did much to spread the myth that divorcees throw their wedding rings into the Truckee River, was married to Maria Feliza Pablos at the home of Samuel Platt in Reno; 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 1950 in a portentious action, President Truman committed the U.S. to a role in Vietnam when a U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) of 35 men set up shop in Saigon to fund the French war against the Vietnamese and advise on strategy; in 1956, the Las Vegas YMCA announced that it was seeking 640 acres of federally managed land south of the city for expanded recreation programs; 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 1967, the last episode of Gilligan's Island, starring former Miss Nevada Dawn Wells, was broadcast; in 1969, Ho Chi Minh, named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most important figures of the 20th century, died at age 79; in 1977, Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants broke Hank Aaron's career record for home runs by hitting his 756th home run (he retired with 868 home runs); in 2007, millionaire Steve Fosset disappeared after taking off in a small plane from Yerington, Nevada, for a trip to Bishop California.
UPDATE TUESDAY 9-2-2008, 7:38 a.m. PDT, 14:38 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 31 BC, Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium; in 1871, an "old, well known snow bank" on Thomas Canyon Peak (described as west of Washoe City) that had never been known to disappear even in the hottest summers, was gone under the onslaught of this year's heat; in 1908, the Nevada Democratic Convention, which featured credentials battles and at least two fist fights, nominated Francis Newlands for reappointment to a new term as U.S. Senator, George Bartlett for the U.S. House, three party regulars as candidates for the electoral college, and Judge Peter Somers was elected as Democratic state chair; 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 1935, George Gershwin completed the seven hundred page orchestral score of Porgy and Bess; in 1939, stocks on the New York Stock Exchange soared after Hitler invaded Poland, beginning World War Two, but then declined after news reports that French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier was talking about peace negotiations; 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 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 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 1969, Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh died; 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 2005 in Pennsylvania, the Centre Daily Times dropped Ann Coulter as columnist and publicly stated its reasons (below); in 2007, one day after The New York Times devoted an 800-word story by a Times reporter with a photo to a Human Rights Watch report on Hezbollah killing 43 Israel civilians during the 2006 Israel/Lebanon war, Human Rights Watch issued a second report on Israel killing 900 Lebanese civilians and the Times did not do a story of its own on the report, instead carrying a 143-word Associated Press story (with no photo).
Elko Independent [reprinted Nevada State Journal / September 2, 1890]: It is reported that Billy Rogers has left the Republican party and joined the Democrats. This is an evidence of the truth of the old couplet:
While the lamp hold out to burn,
The d---dest sinner may return.
Centre Daily Times / September 2d 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.
A nice Labor Day story
The films former actor and union president
Ronald Reagan didn't want you to ever see
(Thanks to a reader named Suzanne for forwarding this information.)
In 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter's administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) commissioned a series of three 30-minute films about worker safety. These were real pro productions, with Studs Terkel as narrator on two of the productions. In 1981, Reagan appointed 36-year old Florida construction executive Thorne G. Auchter, who proceeded to systematically dismantle the agency. Evidently, the 3 films disturbed Thorne greatly, because OSHA issued a recall, threatening to withold OSHA funds from any organization that did not return their copies of the films, which were promptly destroyed.
But, a few union officials defied the ban and "stole" copies so they weren't able to be returned. Over the years, they would occasionally show them to their troops, using the fact they banned as a way to get them to watch the films, which have important messages about worker rights and workplace safety. But, aside from these bootleg showings, the video disappeared.
Public.Resource.Org got a note recently from Mark Catlan, a health and safety expert for one of the unions for the last 28 years (he actually started working for the union the year the film came out, and remembers his education director stealing a copy out of his office so it wouldn't get returned). A year ago, Mark decided the world needed to see these films, so he found 16-mm cannisters and made them available to us to transfer to DVCAM and then disk.
Making their public debut after 30 years are Worker to Worker, Can't Take No More, and The Story of OSHA.
Link to YouTube
Link to the Internet Archive
UPDATE MONDAY 9-1-2008, 9:32 a.m. PDT, 16:32 GMT/CUT/SUT On this date in 1807, in a trial presided over by U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, former Vice-President Aaron Burr was found not guilty of treason for his alleged role in a plan to conquer New Orleans and Mexico; 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 1890, Frank Bell became acting governor of Nevada for 128 days after the following events from 1887 to 1890: (1) Lieutenant Governor Henry Davis died and (2) Governor Charles Stevenson appointed Samual Chubbuck to replace Davis and (3) Chubbuck resigned and left the state and (4) Governor Stevenson appointed Frank Bell to replace Chubbuck and (5) Governor Stevenson was certified as disabled; in 1908, the Wellington Petroleum Development Company, formed to develop the new Wellington oil district, was incorporated at the Ormsby County clerk's office; in 1927, air express cargo service began in Reno with a Boeing Aircraft Company flight stopping between San Francisco and Chicago; in 1939, California Governor Culbert Olsen granted a stay of execution to two Las Vegans after a group of Nevadans petitioned for the delay so one of the two could donate an eye to injured boxer Dick Swartz; in 1953, Danish tenor and actor Lauritz Melchior was made honorary mayor of Carson City, Nevada; in 1958, student government contracts that paid Richard Bryan $80 a month to serve as president of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (the legal name of the student government) and paid Carol Gardenswartz $60 a month to serve as Associated Women Students president took effect; 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 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 used by the Reagan administration at the time to disrupt U.S./U.S.S.R. relations; in 2002, while the Bush administration and The New York Times were saber rattling with false claims about weapons of mass destruction, arms inspector Scott Ritter wrote in a Baltimore Sun essay that "From 1991 to 1998, U.N. weapons inspectors, among whom I played an integral part, were able to verifiably ascertain a 90 percent to 95 percent level of disarmament inside Iraq. This included all of the production facilities involved with WMD, together with their associated production equipment and the great majority of what was produced by these facilities." (Bush and the Times ignored publication of the essay); in 2003, Cameron B. Sarno of Waihupa, Hawaii and Las Vegas, was killed in Kuwait City.
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."
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