Is your flag waving?
What will we do when libraries are gone?
Way back in the Eisenhower administration, some Thinkers of Great Thoughts pondered what life would be like in America after a nuclear “exchange” with the Soviet Union. In other words, how would Americans carry on, get on with life, and, it was hoped, re-create civilization?
Realizing most major cities could be wiped out, the Thinkers determined it would be a good idea if information to make civilization were decentralized. They proposed the Eisenhower Library Program, legislation that provided money and assistance to be certain every county, borough and parish in America had at least one library, and a well stocked one. When New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles were snuffed out, any local citizen could go to her local library and get access to all the information necessary to rebuild, technical information, and human information (humanities).
In the first year of the Eisenhower Libraries (1957 if I recall correctly), $100 million was appropriated to build and stock libraries.
Designers thought it would be a one-time appropriation, but it worked so well, by the Reagan administration, it was $100 million a year, to aid at least 3,143 county/borough/parish libraries. In 2016, there are more than 119,000 libraries of all kinds across the U.S.
The Reagan administration was a turning point. Books for civilization were deemed superfluous, and the program was killed to “save money,” letting civilization save itself if it needed to.
Once a year in America, we celebrate National Library Week, April 10 through 16 in 2016.
In Britain, it’s National Libraries Day. That day is today, February 6, 2016.
Twitter is all atwitter about it. See how they celebrate in Britain? Steal some of these ideas, librarians, and hold them for U.S. National Library Week. I especially like the cake idea.
All you Boy Scouts working on the Citizenship in the Community merit badge, nota bene:
This one is a great thought:
Is the trend equally bad in the U.S.?
Did Einstein actually say this? Good on him, if he did.
Well, hee haw! and Buffalo Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight!
Good heavens. At #NationalLibrariesDay, there are a thousand of ’em!
Flag etiquette guides and the U.S. Flag Code urge residents of Massachusetts to fly U.S. flags today, to honor Massachusetts’s joining the Union.
Massachusetts’s statehood is figured as the date the colony ratified the U.S. Constitution. A convention ratified the document on February 6, 1788. Massachusetts was the 6th colony to ratify.
The next flag-flying date is February 12, in honor of Lincoln’s birthday.
The letter to the editor of the late Boston Herald that sparked Rachel Carson to write Silent Spring.
Oddly, the Tweet from American Scientist doesn’t link to the letter at all. Instead it links to a timeline of events regarding the magazine’s changing treatment of DDT as a subject, since 1944. It’s a useful timeline, but it leaves us wondering about that 1958 letter to the editor.
I’d like to have an original image, but have not found one. Instead, I found a retyped copy of the text of the letter, looking as though it came from a 1958 typewriter.
Do you know where we might find an image of the original letter as published — preferably on the internet?
It also occurs to me that this could be a key piece for a short lesson on the value of citizen involvement, for a class in civics and government, or in a class for Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts on one of the citizenship merit badges.
Mrs. Huckins’s letter is a fine example of the citizen acorns from which grow the oaks of political drives for better communities, and a better world.
You may fly your flag on state holidays, too — which of those dates do we see in February? Is there a good list?
Though we don’t mark it usually, February 14 is the anniversary of the first recognition of the Stars and Stripes by a foreign government, in 1778. The French fleet recognized the ensign carried by Capt. John Paul Jones, at Quiberon Bay — painting of the event is at the top of this post.
February 23 is the anniversary of the raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima, in 1945 — 71 years ago. We should probably watch for proclamations to fly the flag on that date, an anniversary made more important simply because so few survivors of from among the veterans of that war and that fight can be expected to live to see the 80th anniversary. Regardless any official, formal proclamation to fly the flag for the Iwo Jima events, you may always fly your flag.
Please visit earlier posts at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, on the death of Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who took the widely-released iconic photo; on the death of Charles Lindberg, pictured in the first flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi; on the death of Raymond Jacobs, the last-surviving veteran from the flag raisings; and on my visit to the Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima-themed U.S. Marine Memorial overlooking Washington, D.C.
A Youtube poster edited a part of the Army’s documentary, “To the Shores of Iwo Jima,” showing the flag raising on film, and added in some other images for a less-than-three-minute look.
Any parades planned in your town? Are your neighbors flying flags to celebrate today, February 1?
If not, do you know why that would matter to anyone?
February 1 is National Freedom Day in the U.S.
Text courtesy of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University, 36 U.S. Code § 124 reads:
The President may issue each year a proclamation designating February 1 as National Freedom Day to commemorate the signing by Abraham Lincoln on February 1, 1865, of the joint resolution adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives that proposed the 13th amendment to the Constitution.
Did anyone notice, this year?
You’d think Iowa would have made it a holiday for Republicans and caucus members.
The Library of Congress collects original documents teachers and students can use to study the 13th Amendment; here’s the full page, copied in case they change it:
13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
The Teachers Page
Kansas celebrates 155 years of statehood, though still mired in the worst budget situation of any state in quite a while.
Fitting, perhaps, for a state whose admission brought the nation to the brink of civil war — which the nation subsequently plunged into.
Regardless the circumstances of its statehood, the U.S. Flag Code urges Americans to fly the U.S. flag on the date their state was admitted into the Union. Kansans, unfurl those colors!
Teachers, take note: Historical records from the National Archives and Records Administration, on Kansas statehood. Good DBQ material for AP history classes, maybe good material for projects:
Located in the historical records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate at the Center for Legislative Archives are many documents that illustrate the important role Congress plays in the statehood process. On January 29, 1861 Kansas became the 34th state; 2011 marks its 150th anniversary. Here is a small sampling of the many congressional records that tell the story of Kansas’s tumultuous path to statehood.
- “Stars at night leave bright trails at Kansas home on the range,” Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, January 29, 2015
- A ball celebrating Kansas statehood a good idea? Typical Kansans, they did it last Saturday; why wait?
- “Happy birthday, Kansas!” Margaret Hays in the Louisburg Herald.
[excerpt] We have many “firsts” to prove the ingenuity and lasting power of Kansans. Where else would you find another state that can claim so many innovations? Kansas people are responsible for (in no particular order) the Slurpee, the bumper sticker, the bulldozer, the Oh, Henry! candy bar, the helicopter, dial telephone, Mentholatum, time-release medicine capsules and even the autopilot. I’ll be working on this list when you see me tomorrow. I’ll be the one in the sunflower shirt, proclaiming that “there’s no place like home.”
- “As Kansas turns 154, five events that shaped our history,” Beccy Tanner, of the Wichita Eagle, in the Hays Daily News
- “Why is Kansas called ‘The Wheat State?'” Nicole Lane in the High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
- “Senate bill proposes naming a Home on the Range Memorial Highway,” Beccy Tanner (again!) in the Wichita Eagle
- “Kansas, a study in absurdity,” Henry J. Waters III, Columbia Daily Tribune
[excerpt] Consumed by the mythical idea a state can perform the essential duties of statehood without public revenue, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback led his arch-conservative Republican colleagues down a primrose path, slashing taxes with the dream the economy would be stimulated so much tax revenue would increase. After a season of this foolishness, the state budget is in shambles and Brownback scrambles for a budget-saving retreat.
- Photos from Kansas at the Pinterest board, Kansas – Home Sweet Home