Marcus Garvy 90 years ago

August 4, 2014

A photograph of Marcus Garvey from the collection of the Library of Congress.  The photo was taken on August 5, 1924.

Why?  I don’t know.

Marcus Garvey, August 5, 1924.  Photographer, and location, unknown.  Library of Congress collection.

Marcus Garvey, August 5, 1924. Photographer, and location, unknown. Library of Congress collection.

The photo was part of a Library of Congress exhibit honoring the NAACP in 2009, on its 100th anniversary.  The description from the exhibit covers Garvey’s life.

Born in Jamaica, Marcus Garvey (1887–1940) moved to New York in 1917 to organize the American branch of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the largest black mass movement.  His defiant black nationalism, which stressed self-help and entrepreneurship, coupled with his flair for pageantry galvanized thousands of working class urban blacks. Garvey also founded the Negro Factories Corporation and the Black Star Steamship Line. Financial mismanagement of these organizations led to his indictment on mail fraud charges in 1922.  He was convicted and sentenced to Atlanta’s federal penitentiary in 1925.  After his release in 1927, he was deported to Jamaica.

 


What ARE these Christians advertising?

August 4, 2014

Not your usual bon mot from a church sign; probably from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California

Not your usual bon mot from a church sign; probably from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California

Found this on Twitter, from an @DocBobLA.  I believe the sign is from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California.  An  enlightened bunch of Christians — they even have a Twitter account, @CAPCOakland.

Some Christians take the Gospels seriously, even in those scriptures not exactly found in the New Testament, it would appear.  Would that others follow.

Update: I see @CAPCOakland tweeted this sign earlier.

 


History in art: August 4, 1964, and the Dallas Symphony

August 4, 2014

On August 4, 1964, President Johnson awoke to the news that two U.S. Navy ships cruising in the Tonkin Gulf had been fired upon by North Vietnamese Navy gunboats; then the FBI called and announced that the bodies of three civil rights workers had been found, young men registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi.  Both of these events rumble through history like a Rocky Mountain avalanche to today; either was a make-or-break event for any presidency.  

Lyndon Johnson dealt with them both, the same day

“August 4, 1964,” is an oratorio covering a remarkable and fantastic coincidence in the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.  On that day, the bodies of three civil rights workers who had been missing for nearly seven weeks, were found in shallow graves near Philadelphia, Mississippi — they were the victims of violence aimed at stopping blacks from voting.  The incident was a chief spur to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

And also on that day, the U.S.S. Maddox reported it had been attacked by gunboats of the North Vietnamese Navy, in the Gulf of Tonkin.  The Gulf of Tonkin incident led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave Johnson the authority to expand and escalate the war in Vietnam, which he did.

Cover for the CD of the Dallas Symphony's performance of Steven Stucky's

Cover for the CD of the Dallas Symphony’s Grammy-nominated performance of Steven Stucky’s “August 4, 1964,” Jaap van Zweden conducting.

The Dallas Symphony commissioned the work, from composer Steven Stucky and librettist Gene Scheer, in commemoration of President Johnson’s 100th birth anniversary — he would have been 100 on August 27, 2008.  The works were premiered in Dallas in 2008.

The music is outstanding, especially for a modern piece.  The Dallas Symphony was at its flashiest and most sober best, under the baton of new conductor Jaap van Zweden.  It was a spectacular performance.  According to the New York Times:

Mr. van Zweden, hailed in his debut as music director a week before, scored another triumph here. And the orchestra’s assured and gritty performance was rivaled by that of the large Dallas Symphony Chorus, both corporately and individually, in shifting solo snippets charting the course of the fateful day.

The strong cast, mildly amplified, was robustly led by the Johnson of Robert Orth, last heard as another president in John Adams’s “Nixon in China” in Denver in June. Laquita Mitchell and Kelley O’Conner, wearing period hats, were touching as Mrs. Chaney and Mrs. Goodman. Understandably, the taxing role of a high-strung McNamara took a small toll on the tenor of Vale Rideout in his late aria.

The entire thing deserves more commentary, perhaps soon.  There is stellar history in the choral piece.  And there is this:  Consider that Lyndon Johnson, the best legislator and second most-effective executive we ever had as president, got hit with these two crises the same day.  On the one hand the nation got the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, executive orders and government support to end segregation and the evils it created.  On the other hand, we got stuck with the disaster of the Vietnam War.

How would the nation fared had a lesser person been in the White House on that day?

(August 4 is a busy, busy day in history; much to think about.)

More: 

This is an encore post.

Much of this is an encore post.


Rachel Carson: Pen Against Poison (U.S. State Department bio)

August 4, 2014

Especially for international audiences, often distributed by U.S. Embassies in foreign nations, the U.S. State Department offers a wealth of information about the United States, our businesses and heritage, and our history and national heroes.

For several years State has made available a 20 page booklet on Rachel Carson, one of the great drivers of the modern conservation movement after 1960. It was created in 2007, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carson’s birth.

Cover of the 20-page pamphlet, Rachel Carson: Pen Against Poison

Cover of the 20-page pamphlet, Rachel Carson: Pen Against Poison

It keeps moving.  Today I’m unable to find it at the site of the U.S. State Department, except through our Embassy to South Korea.  I fear the document may go away, and I frequently refer people to it.

I’m making it available here, as insurance against its going away from State Department sites.

If you haven’t read it, take a look.  If you’re a teacher of literature, or biology or science, or history, consider this as a resource for your students.

Three extended essays make up the substance of the book.  Phyllis McIntosh wrote, “A Quiet Woman Whose Book Spoke Loudly.”  Michael Jay Friedman discussed the effects of Carson’s work and writings, “A Book That Changed a Nation.”  And distinguished entomologist May Berenbaum contributed an essay on the actual controversies about the hard choices involved in dealing with pesticide safety, “A Persistent Controversy, A Still Valid Warning.”  There is a photo essay covering 50 years, and a series of links and other sources, good for students.

If you find those links no longer work, please comment below — and maybe send me an e-mail.

 

 


70 years ago today, August 4, 1944: Germans capture Anne Frank and her family

August 4, 2014

When I look at the time line, I feel frustrated and angry.

Commemorative stamp honoring Anne Frank, from Germany, 1979.

Commemorative stamp honoring Anne Frank, from Germany, 1979.

On August 4, 1944, the German Army in the Netherlands raided the warehouse where Anne Frank’s family hid from the Nazis since 1942.  As you know, Anne died in a concentration camp shortly after — only her father survived from her immediate family.

History students will recognize that this was nearly two months after D-Day, the Invasion of Normandy that set off the events leading to liberation of Europe from Nazi rule and the collapse of Hitler’s grand visions of conquest.  How could Nazi minions not know their time was limited, and oppression ultimately futile?

Germany surrendered in May 1945.  In nine months, the Frank family would not need to hide.  Anne died in March 1945, less than eight weeks before the surrender of Germany.

More:

Photos from the liberation of Amsterdam, which occurred on May 6, 1945:

This is an encore post.

This is an encore post.


You won’t believe this double rainbow at Crater Lake National Park

August 4, 2014

U.S. Department of Interior said: Our most popular photo on social media last week: this pic of a double #rainbow over @CraterLakeNPS.

Technically a rainbow can form anytime there are water droplets in the air, and sunlight to shine through them. Pragmatically, there’s a better chance of the sunlight getting the right angle in the earlier morning and late afternoon.  Since most summer rainstorms happen in the afternoon, most rainbows probably get formed in the afternoon, too.

If the field of droplets is thick enough, a vantage point may get more than one rainbow.

So there’s a good deal of chance in this photo.  A good photographer is ready, when the chance presents itself.

Did you notice the colors are reversed in the secondary rainbow?

More:


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