Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Robert Alphonso Taft

Robert Alphonso Taft (September 8, 1889 – July 31, 1953), of the Taft political family of Cincinnati and the son of President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft, was a Republican Senator and a prominent conservative statesman and presidential hopeful. As the leading opponent of the New Deal in the Senate from 1939 to 1953, he led the successful effort by the conservative coalition to curb the power of labor unions, and was a major proponent of the foreign policy of non-interventionism. However, he failed in his quest to win the presidential nomination of the Republican Party in 1940, 1948 and 1952. From 1940 to 1952 he battled New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the leader of the GOP's moderate "Eastern Establishment" for control of the Republican Party. In 1957, a Senate committee named Taft as one of the five greatest senators in American history, along with Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Robert La Follette.

“I cultivated corn today.  I think it will finish the corn.”
Leesah

Monday, July 30, 2012

Henry spencer Moore

West Wind, 1928–29; Moore's first public commission was carved from Portland stone and shows the influence of Michelangelo's figures for the Medici Chapel and the Chac Mool figure

Henry Spencer Moore (30 July 1898 – 31 August 1986) was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art.
His forms are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures. Moore's works are usually suggestive of the female body, apart from a phase in the 1950s when he sculpted family groups. His forms are generally pierced or contain hollow spaces. Many interpreters liken the undulating form of his reclining figures to the landscape and hills of his birthplace, Yorkshire.
Moore was born in Castleford, the son of a coal miner. He became well-known through his carved marble and larger-scale abstract cast bronze sculptures, and was instrumental in introducing a particular form of modernism to the United Kingdom. His ability in later life to fulfill large-scale commissions made him exceptionally wealthy. Yet he lived frugally and most of the money he earned went towards endowing the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education and promotion of the arts.

“We cut our barley today.  We cut with the binder this forenoon.  The rest was so short we had to mow it.  Finished cutting it this afternoon.  Pleasant day.”
Leesah

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Umberto I of Italy

Umberto I or Humbert I (Umberto Ranieri Carlo Emanuele Giovanni Maria Ferdinando Eugenio di Savoia, English: Humbert Ranier Charles Emmanuel John Mary Ferdinand Eugene of Savoy; 14 March 1844 – 29 July 1900), nicknamed the Good (in Italian il Buono), was the King of Italy from 9 January 1878 until his death. He was deeply loathed in far-left circles, especially among anarchists, because of his conservatism and support of the Bava-Beccaris massacre in Milan. He was killed by anarchist Gaetano Bresci two years after the incident.
Crowned in 1878, King Umberto became increasingly authoritarian in the late 19th century. He enacted a program of suppression against the radical elements in Italian society, particularly members of the popular anarchist movements.
Gaetano Bresci, who was born into poverty in Tuscany, immigrated to America in the 1890s seeking a better life. Bresci settled with his family in Paterson, New Jersey, and was employed in a weaving mill. The city was a hotbed of Italian American radicalism at the time, and Bresci became a cofounder of an anarchist newspaper, La Questione Sociale. Sacrificing his free time and scarce extra money to the paper, Bresci was regarded by his political allies as a devoted anarchist. He never forgot his countrymen back in Italy, and he read with horror of the events that unfolded in 1898.
The crops were poor that year, and much of the peasantry was starving. Seeking a respite from their government, peasants and workers marched to Milan to petition the king for relief. King Umberto ordered the demonstrators to disperse, and when they did not, he ordered the Italian army under General Bava Beccaris to force them out of Milan. Beccaris' soldiers fired cannons and numerous rounds into the crowd, and hundreds were killed. When Umberto then decorated Beccaris for the military action, Bresci resolved that the king should die.
Taking money from the newspaper without explaining to his compatriots why, Bresci traveled to Italy and in July 1900 finally got close to the king, who was making a royal visit to Milan. Umberto had already survived two attempts on his life, but on July 29, 1900, Bresci hit his mark, felling the king with three bullets. Bresci was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to a life of hard labor at Santo Stefano Prison on Ventotene Island. On May 22, 1901, he was found dead in his cell, allegedly a victim of suicide.


Gaetano Bresci, the killer of Umberto I

Leesah

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron. The novelist Mary Shelley (née Godwin) was his second wife.
He is most famous for such classic anthology verse works as "Ozymandias", Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, Music, When Soft Voices Die, The Cloud and The Masque of Anarchy, which are among the most popular and critically acclaimed poems in the English language. His major works, however, are long visionary poems which included Queen Mab (later reworked as The Daemon of the World), Alastor, The Revolt of Islam, Adonaïs and the unfinished work The Triumph of Life. The Cenci (1819) and Prometheus Unbound (1820) were dramatic plays in five and four acts respectively. Although he has typically been figured as a "reluctant dramatist", he was passionate about the theatre, and his plays continue to be performed today. He wrote the Gothic novels Zastrozzi (1810) and St. Irvyne (1811) and the short prose works "The Assassins" (1814), "The Coliseum" (1817) and "Una Favola" (1819). In 2008, he was credited as the co-author of the novel Frankenstein (1818) in a new edition by the Bodleian Library in Oxford and Random House in the U.S. entitled The Original Frankenstein, edited by Charles E. Robinson.
Shelley's unconventional life, alongside a common perception of his thought as uncompromising idealism, combined with his strong disapproving voice, made him a marginalized figure during his life, important in a fairly small circle of admirers, and opened him to criticism as well as praise afterward. Long after Shelley's death, Mark Twain took particular aim at Shelley in In Defense of Harriet Shelley, where he lambasted the 22-year-old Shelley for abandoning his pregnant 18-year-old wife and child to run off with the 16-year-old Mary Godwin. Shelley never lived to see the extent of his success and influence; although some of his works were published, they were often suppressed upon publication.
He became an idol of the next three or four generations of poets, including important Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets. He was admired by Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, William Butler Yeats, Upton Sinclair and Isadora Duncan. Henry David Thoreau's civil disobedience and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's passive resistance were apparently influenced and inspired by Shelley's non-violence in protest and political action, although Gandhi does not include him in his list of mentors.

“We finished Will’s wheat stack this forenoon and got in our rakings.  This afternoon we got in eight loads of their barley and cut the balance of their piece of barley.”
Leesah

Friday, July 27, 2012

Silas Deane

Deane 1766, painting by William Johnston
Silas Deane (December 24, 1737 – September 23, 1789) was an American merchant, politician and diplomat. Originally a supporter of American independence Deane served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and then as the United States' first foreign diplomat when he travelled to France to lobby the French government for aid. Deane was drawn into a major political row over his actions in Paris, and subsequently endorsed Loyalist criticisms of American independence and lived on a modest charity provided him in London. Deane later lived in the Dutch Republic and Great Britain where he died.
Early in 1776, he was sent to France by Congress in a semi-official capacity, as a secret agent to induce the French government to lend its financial aid to the colonies. Subsequently he became, with Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee, one of the regularly accredited commissioners to France from Congress.
On arriving in Paris, Deane at once opened negotiations with the Comte de Vergennes who was the French Foreign Minister. With the assistance of the playwright and outspoken support of American independence, Beaumarchais, Deane organised shipment of many shiploads of arms and munitions of war to America helping finance the Battle of Ticonderoga. He also enlisted the services of a number of Continental soldiers of fortune, among whom were Lafayette, Baron Johann de Kalb, Thomas Conway, Casimir Pulaski, and Baron von Steuben. Many of these officers soon made themselves unpopular once they reached America for a variety of reasons. As Deane had signed the contracts hiring them, he was given the blame by politicians in Philadelphia.
His carelessness in keeping account of his receipts and expenditures, and the differences between himself and Arthur Lee regarding the contracts with Beaumarchais, eventually led to his recall and replacement by John Adams as ambassador to France on November 21, 1777 and was expected to face charges based on Lee's complaints and on his having promised the foreign officers commissions outranking American officers. Before returning to America, however, he signed on February 6, 1778 the treaties of amity and commerce and of alliance with France, which he and the other commissioners had successfully negotiated. It was also in Paris that Deane formally approved of Scotsman James Aitken's (John the Painter) plot to destroy Royal Navy stores in Portsmouth, England on behalf of the Continental cause.
As a mark of approval for Deane's conduct in Paris, the French government agreed that he should travel back to the United States aboard a warship carrying out the first French ambassador to the United States. Louis XVI presented Deane with a portrait framed with diamonds and both Vergennes and Franklin wrote letters commending Deane.

“We helped Will today and we drew in a stack.  Will take about four loads to finish it.  Very warm day.”
Leesah

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The United States Postal Service

The first stamp issues were authorized by an act of Congress and approved on March 3, 1847 The earliest known use of the Franklin 5c is July 7, 1847, while the earliest known use of the Washington 10c is July 2, 1847. Remaining in postal circulation for only a few years, these issues were declared invalid for Postage on July 1, 185.1
The United States Postal Service (USPS), also known as the Post Office and U.S. Mail, is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, where Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The cabinet-level Post Office Department was created in 1792 from Franklin's operation and transformed into its current form in 1971 under the Postal Reorganization Act.
The USPS employs over 574,000 workers and operates over 218,000 vehicles. The USPS is the operator of the largest vehicle fleet in the world. The USPS is legally obligated to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality. 
The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. However, it does receive tens to hundreds of millions per year in "implicit subsidies", such as breaks on property tax, vehicle registration, and sales tax, in addition to subsidized government loans.

“Bert went away this morning and I carried him and his and Mary’s trunks to the Depot.  Then I raked wheat stubble until noon.  Helped Will cut barley and draw wheat this afternoon.  Very pleasant day after about nine o’clock this morning.”

“Albert and I drew wheat all day for Will.  Very fine day.”
Leesah

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Machu Picchu

Man sitting on ruins, hand-colored glass slide by Harry Ward Foote, who accompanied Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu, 1911

Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, South America. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as the "City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca World.
The Incas started building the "estate" around 1400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.
Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. In September 2007, Peru and Yale University almost reached an agreement regarding the return of artifacts which Yale has held since Hiram Bingham removed them from Machu Picchu in the early 20th century. In November 2010, a Yale University representative agreed to return the artifacts to a Peruvian university.

“Rained a good share of the night and it was to wet to do any cultivating this forenoon.  This afternoon I cultivated corn and Albert helped Rob Hearman thrash wheat.  Is quite pleasant tonight.”
Leesah

Monday, July 23, 2012

Black Bart

Charles Earl Bowles (b.1829; d.after 1888), better known as Black Bart, was an English-born American Old West outlaw noted for his poetic messages left after two of his robberies. Also known as Charles Bolton, C.E. Bolton and Black Bart the Po8, he was a gentleman bandit, and one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in and around Northern California and southern Oregon during the 1870s and 1880s.  He had a great reputation for style and sophistication.
Boles, as Black Bart, committed 28 robberies of Wells Fargo stagecoaches across northern California between 1875 and 1883, including a number of robberies along the historic Siskiyou Trail between California and Oregon. Although he only left two poems, at the fourth and fifth robbery sites, it became his signature and his biggest claim to fame. Black Bart was very successful and made off with thousands of dollars a year.
Boles was terrified of horses and committed all of his robberies on foot. This, together with his poems, earned him notoriety. Through all his years as highwayman, he never fired a gunshot.
Boles was always courteous and used no foul language (except for in poems). He wore a long linen duster coat and a bowler hat. His head was covered with a flour sack with eye holes, and he brandished a shotgun. These distinguishing features became his trademarks.
Boles, like many of his contemporaries, read "dime novel"–style serial adventure stories which appeared in local newspapers. In the early 1870s, the Sacramento Union ran a story called The Case of Summerfield by Caxton (a pseudonym of William Henry Rhodes). In the story, the villain dressed in black and had long unruly black hair, a large black beard, and wild grey eyes. The villain robbed Wells Fargo stagecoaches and brought great fear into those who were unlucky enough to cross him. The character's name was Black Bart.
Boles may have read the Sacramento Union story. He told a Wells Fargo detective that the name popped into his head when he was writing the first poem and he used it.
Boles left only two authenticated verses. The first was at the scene of the August 3, 1877, holdup on a stage traveling from Point Arena to Duncan's Mills:

I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor, and for riches,
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons of bitches
Black Bart, 1877
The second verse was left at the site of his July 25, 1878, holdup of a stage traveling from Quincy to Oroville. It read:

Here I lay me down to sleep
To wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat,
And everlasting sorrow.
Let come what will, I'll try it on,
My condition can't be worse;
And if there's money in that box
'Tis munny in my purse.
Black Bart
PO8


 

“I cut barley for Will this forenoon and Albert helped set up wheat and barley.  This afternoon we helped them draw wheat.  Looks like rain tonight.”
Leesah

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wiley Post

Wiley Hardeman Post (November 22, 1898 – August 15, 1935) was a famed American aviator, the first pilot to fly solo around the world. Also known for his work in high altitude flying, Post helped develop one of the first pressure suits. On August 15, 1935, Post and American humorist Will Rogers were killed when Post's aircraft crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Point Barrow in the Territory of Alaska.
In 1930 the record for Flying around the world was not held by a fixed-wing aircraft, but by the Graf Zeppelin, piloted by Hugo Eckener in 1929 with a time of 21 days. On June 23, 1931, Post and his navigator, Harold Gatty, left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York in the Winnie Mae with a flight plan that would take them around the world, stopping at Harbour Grace, Flintshire, Hanover twice, Berlin, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Blagoveshchensk, Khabarovsk, Nome where his propeller had to be repaired, Fairbanks where the propeller was replaced, Edmonton, and Cleveland before returning to Roosevelt Field. They arrived back on July 1, after traveling 15,474 miles (24,903 km) in the record time of 8 days and 15 hours and 51 minutes. The reception they received rivaled Charles Lindbergh's everywhere they went. They had lunch at the White House on July 6, rode in a ticker-tape parade the next day in New York City, and were honored at a banquet given by the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America at the Hotel Astor. After the flight, Post acquired the Winnie Mae from F.C. Hall, and he and Gatty published an account of their journey titled, Around the World in Eight Days, with an introduction by Will Rogers.
Königsberg to replace some forgotten maps, Moscow for more repairs to his autopilot, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk for final repairs to the autopilot, Rukhlovo, Khabarovsk, Flat where his propeller had to be replaced, Fairbanks, Edmonton, and back to Floyd Bennett Field. Fifty thousand people greeted him on his return on July 22 after 7 days, 19 hours - 21 hours less than his previous record, and he was given a second ticker-tape parade in New York.


“Beautiful Day”
Leesah

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Natalie Wood

Wood as Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street (1947).


Natalie Wood (born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko;July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) was an American film and television actress best known for her screen roles in Miracle on 34th Street, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without a Cause, and West Side Story. After first working in films as a child, Wood became a successful Hollywood star as a young adult, receiving three Academy Award nominations before she was 25 years old.

Wood began acting in movies at the age of four and at age eight was given a co-starring role in the classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street. As a teenager, her performance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred in the musical films West Side Story (1961) and Gypsy (1962), and received Academy Award for Best Actress nominations for her performances in Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Love with the Proper Stranger (1963).

Her career continued with films such as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969). After this she took a break from acting and had two children, appearing in only two theatrical films during the 1970s. She was married to actor Robert Wagner twice, and to producer Richard Gregson in between the marriages to Wagner. She had one daughter by each: Natasha Gregson and Courtney Wagner. Her younger sister, Lana Wood, is also an actress.

Wood starred in several television productions, including a remake of the film From Here to Eternity (1979) for which she won a Golden Globe Award. During her career, from child actress to adult star, her films represented a "coming of age" for both her and Hollywood films in general.

At age 43, Wood drowned near Santa Catalina Island, California at the time her last film, Brainstorm (1983), was in production with co-star Christopher Walken. Her death was declared an accident for 31 years; in 2012 after a new investigation it was reclassified as "undetermined



With husband Robert Wagner in 1975

“Rained all the forenoon.  Very fine rain.  Look like fair weather tonight.”
Leesah

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull in 1885
Sitting Bull (Lakota: Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake in Standard Lakota Orthography, also nicknamed Slon-he or "Slow"; c. 1831 – December 15, 1890) was a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. Born near the Grand River in Dakota Territory, he was killed by Indian agency police on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation during an attempt to arrest him and prevent him from supporting the Ghost Dance movement.
He had a premonition of defeating the cavalry, which motivated his Native American people to a major victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn against Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry on June 25, 1876. Months after the battle, Sitting Bull and his group left the United States to Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan, where he remained until 1881, at which time he surrendered to U.S. forces. A small remnant of his band under Chief Waŋblí Ǧí decided to stay at Wood Mountain. After his return to the United States, he briefly toured as a performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, earning $50 a week.
After working as a performer, Sitting Bull returned to the Standing Rock Agency in South Dakota. Because of fears that he would use his influence to support the Ghost Dance movement, Indian Service agent James McLaughlin at Fort Yates ordered his arrest. During an ensuing struggle between Sitting Bull's followers and the agency police, Sitting Bull was shot in the side and head by Standing Rock policemen Lieutenant Bull Head (Tatankapah) and Red Tomahawk (Marcelus Chankpidutah) after the police were fired upon by Sitting Bull's supporters. His body was taken to nearby Fort Yates for burial, but in 1953, his remains were possibly exhumed and reburied near Mobridge, South Dakota, by his Lakota family, who wanted his body to be nearer to his birthplace.

“Drew wheat all day for myself.  Will helped me with three men and a team.  We got our wheat all in except the rakings.  Has been a very warm day but pleasant except a very light shower about 4 o’clock.  Looks like rain tonight.”
Leesah

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paris Green

Paris Green pigment
Paris Green is an inorganic compound more precisely known as copper(II) acetoarsenite. It is a highly toxic emerald-green crystalline powder that has been used as a rodenticide and insecticide, and also as a pigment, despite its toxicity. It is also used as a blue colorant for fireworks. The color of Paris Green is said to range from a pale, but vivid, blue green when very finely ground, to a deeper true green when coarsely ground.
Paris Green was once used to kill rats in Parisian sewers, hence the common name. It was also used in America and elsewhere as an insecticide for produce, such as apples, around 1900, where it was blended with lead arsenate. This quite toxic mixture is said "to have burned the trees and the grass around the trees". Paris green was heavily sprayed by airplane in Italy, Sardinia, and Corsica during 1944 and in Italy in 1945 to control malaria.
Paris Green was once a popular pigment used in artists' paints

“We finished Will’s wheat cutting about half past nine this morning.  Albert helped them set up until nearly noon.  He cultivated corn this afternoon.  I Paris Greened some of the potatoes.”
Leesah

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Chappaquiddick Incident

1962 college yearbook portrait of Kopechne
On July 18, 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island, off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The celebration was in honor of the dedicated work of the Boiler Room Girls, and was the fourth such reunion of the Robert F. Kennedy campaign workers. Kopechne reportedly left the party at 11:15 p.m. with Robert's brother Ted, after he — according to his own account — offered to drive her to catch the last ferry back to Edgartown, where she was staying. She did not tell her close friends at the party that she was leaving, and she left her purse and keys behind. Kennedy drove the 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 off a narrow, unlit bridge, which was without guardrails and was not on the route to Edgartown. The Oldsmobile landed in Poucha Pond and overturned in the water; Kennedy extricated himself from the vehicle and survived, but Kopechne did not.
Kennedy failed to report the incident to the authorities until the car and Kopechne's body were discovered the next morning. Kopechne's parents said that they learned of their daughter's death from Kennedy himself, before he informed authorities of his involvement. However, they learned Kennedy had been the driver from wire press releases some time later. A private funeral for Kopechne was held on July 22, 1969, at St. Vincent's Roman Catholic Church in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, attended by Kennedy. She is buried in the parish cemetery on the side of Larksville Mountain.
A week after the incident, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. He received a two-month suspended sentence. On a national television broadcast that night, Kennedy said that he had not been driving "under the influence of liquor" nor had he ever had a "private relationship" with Kopechne. The Chappaquiddick incident and Kopechne's death became the topic of at least fifteen books, as well as a fictionalized treatment by Joyce Carol Oates. Questions remained about Kennedy's timeline of events that night, specifically his actions following the incident. The quality of the investigation has been scrutinized, particularly whether official deference was given to a powerful and influential politician, and his family. The events surrounding Kopechne's death damaged Kennedy's reputation and are regarded as a major reason that he was never able to mount a successful campaign for President of the United States. Kennedy expressed remorse over his role in her death, in his posthumously-published memoir, True Compass.

“I cut wheat all day for Will and we got along nicely.  About three hours work will finish their cutting.  Has been very hot today.”
Leesah

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Erle Stanley Gardner

Gardner in 1966
Erle Stanley Gardner (July 17, 1889 – March 11, 1970), creator of crime-solving attorney Perry Mason, is born on this day in Madlen, Massachusetts.
Gardner attended college in Indiana but dropped out and moved to Southern California. He worked as a typist in a law firm for three years, then became an attorney himself. As a trial lawyer in Ventura, he started turning his law practice experience into short stories, which he successfully submitted to pulp magazines. His stories included detailed descriptions of court and the antics of trial attorneys, based on his own experience.
In 1933, he created his alter ego, Perry Mason, the hero of two stories published that year, "The Case of the Velvet Claws" and "The Case of the Sultry Girl." Soon after, he quit law to write full time and completed more than 80 Perry Mason novels, as well as writing two other detective series.
Perry Mason became a radio serial in 1943. The series, part crime show, part soap opera, ran until 1955. Perry Mason then moved to television in 1957 and starred Raymond Burr; the soap opera portion of the radio series was spun off into a series, The Edge of Night, which ran on daytime television until 1984. Perry Mason ran on television until 1966 and was later revived as a series of TV movies from 1985 to 1993.
Gardner died on March 11, 1970, at age 80.

“We finished cutting our wheat about five o’clock and I took the binder over and commenced helping Will in theirs.  Has been very warm today.”
Leesah

Monday, July 16, 2012

New York City Draft Riots

The New York City draft riots (July 13 to July 16, 1863; known at the time as Draft Week) were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of working-class discontent with new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history.
President Abraham Lincoln diverted several regiments of militia and volunteer troops from following up after the Battle of Gettysburg to control the city. The rioters were overwhelmingly working-class men, primarily ethnic Irish. They resented that the draft spared wealthier men, who could afford to pay a $300 commutation fee to hire a substitute.
Initially intended to express anger at the draft, the protests turned ugly. At least 100 black people were estimated to have been killed. The conditions in the city were such that Major General John E. Wool, commander of the Department of the East, stated on July 16, "Martial law ought to be proclaimed, but I have not a sufficient force to enforce it." The military did not reach the city until after the first day of rioting, when mobs had already ransacked or destroyed numerous buildings, including public buildings and homes of abolitionist sympathizers, many black homes, and the Colored Orphan Asylum at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was burned to the ground. The children were not harmed.

The exact death toll during the New York Draft Riots is unknown, but according to historian James M. McPherson (2001), at least 120 civilians were killed. At least eleven black men were lynched.  Violence by longshoremen against black men was especially fierce in the docks area.
The most reliable estimates indicate that at least 2,000 people were injured. Herbert Asbury, the author of the 1928 book Gangs of New York, upon which the 2002 film was based, puts the figure much higher, at 2,000 killed and 8,000 wounded  but this figure is not widely accepted and is considered myth. Total property damage was about $1–5 million ($15 - $75 million in 2011, adjusted for inflation). The city treasury later indemnified one-quarter of the amount. The historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that the riots were "equivalent to a Confederate victory". Fifty buildings, including two Protestant churches and the Colored Orphan Asylum, burned to the ground.

“We drew in a load of raking this morning which finished our hay and then commenced cutting wheat.  We cut what rest of the day. Has been a very fine day.”
Leesah

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Velvet Tango Room

Looking for an evening in the 1930s?  check out the Velvet Tango Room in Cleveland Ohio.  Where cocktails are made the way they were in bygone era.

http://www.velvettangoroom.com/

Leesah

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Johnny Ringo


John Peters "Johnny" Ringo (May 3, 1850 – July 13, 1882) was an outlaw Cowboy of the American Old West who was affiliated with Ike Clanton and Frank Stilwell in Cochise County, Arizona Territory during 1881-1882

Romanticized in both life and death, John Ringo was supposedly a Shakespeare-quoting gentleman whose wit was as quick as his gun. Some believed he was college educated, and his sense of honor and courage was sometimes compared to that of a British lord. In truth, Ringo was not a formally educated man, and he came from a struggling working-class Indiana family that gave him few advantages. Yet, he does appear to have been better read than most of his associates, and he clearly cultivated an image as a refined gentleman.

By the time he was 12, Ringo was already a crack shot with either a pistol or rifle. He left home when he was 19, eventually ending up in Texas, where in 1875 he became involved in a local feud known as the "Hoodoo War." He killed at least two men, but seems to have either escaped prosecution, or when arrested, escaped his jail cell. By 1878, he was described as "one of the most desperate men in the frontier counties" of Texas, and he decided it was time to leave the state.

In 1879, Ringo resurfaced in southeastern Arizona, where he joined the motley ranks of outlaws and gunslingers hanging around the booming mining town of Tombstone. Nicknamed "Dutch," Ringo had a reputation for being a reserved loner who was dangerous with a gun. He haunted the saloons of Tombstone and was probably an alcoholic. Not long after he arrived, Ringo shot a man dead for refusing to join him in a drink. Somehow, he again managed to avoid imprisonment by temporarily leaving town. He was not involved in the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881, but he did later challenge Doc Holliday (one of the survivors of the O.K. Corral fight) to a shootout. Holliday declined and citizens disarmed both men.

The manner of Ringo's demise remains something of a mystery. He seems to have become despondent in 1882, perhaps because his family had treated him coldly when he had earlier visited them in San Jose. Witnesses reported that he began drinking even more heavily than usual. On this day in 1882, he was found dead in Turkey Creek Canyon outside of Tombstone. It looked as if Ringo had shot himself in the head and the official ruling was that he had committed suicide. Some believed, however, that he had been murdered either by his drinking friend Frank "Buckskin" Leslie or a young gambler named "Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce." To complicate matters further, Wyatt Earp later claimed that he had killed Ringo. The truth remains obscure to this day


“Was Cloudy and unpleasant this morning but cleared off about 9 o’clock and I went over and cut Ad Lawrence’s wheat.  Albert came and worked in the potatoes from about 9 until noon.  After dinner he helped them with their hay.”
Leesah

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Northwest Ordinance


The territories northwest and southwest of the Ohio River are depicted on this map of the early United States (1783–1803).
The Northwest Ordinance (formally An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio, and also known as the Freedom Ordinance or "The Ordinance of 1787") was an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787. The primary effect of the ordinance was the creation of the Northwest Territory as the first organized territory of the United States out of the region south of the Great Lakes, north and west of the Ohio River, and east of the Mississippi River.
On August 7, 1789, President George Washington signed the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 into law after the newly created U.S. Congress reaffirmed the Ordinance with slight modifications under the Constitution. The Ordinance purported to be not merely legislation that could later be amended by Congress, but rather "the following articles shall be considered as Articles of compact between the original States and the people and states in the said territory, and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent...."
Arguably the single most important piece of legislation passed by members of the earlier Continental Congresses other than the Declaration of Independence, it established the precedent by which the federal government would be sovereign and expand westward across North America with the admission of new states, rather than with the expansion of existing states and their established sovereignty under the Articles of Confederation. It is the most important legislation that Congress has passed with regard to American public domain lands. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the authority of the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 within the applicable Northwest Territory as constitutional in Strader v. Graham, 51 U.S. 82, 96, 97 (1851), but did not extend the Ordinance to cover the respective states once they were admitted to the Union.
The prohibition of slavery in the territory had the practical effect of establishing the Ohio River as the boundary between free and slave territory in the region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. This division helped set the stage for national competition over admitting free and slave states, the basis of a critical question in American politics in the 19th century until the Civil War.

“I helped Will with their hay until about 4 o’clock when it rained and we had to quit drawing.  Albert and I took a load up to Will McEwens to pay some that I borrowed of him before haying.”
 Leesah

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cocking Up Hay

A threshing crew with their machinery. In the earlier years of the 1800s, farm neighborhoods would cooperate in large scale tasks such as building and threshing. Later, as power machinery came into use, neighbors would combine to pay the costs of hiring crews and machinery to do the threshing.


Cock up is a verb that means: to raise.  The use of cock up as a verb today is very rare.

“We finished drawing the hay that was fit and cocked up the balance of ours this forenoon.  After dinner, we all went up and cocked up 8 or 10 loads for Will.  Then we drew in five loads of ours.   Pleasant day.”

“Rained this morning so that we did not draw any hay or do anything with it.  After dinner, we finished ours and cocked up the balance of Will’s and cut a road through their wheat with our binder so that they could come out with their hay.  Pleasant and very windy this afternoon.”
Leesah

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Scopes Monkey Trial

John T Scopes - 1925
John Thomas Scopes (August 3, 1900 – October 21, 1970) was a teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who was charged on May 5, 1925 for violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools. He was tried in a case known as the Scopes Trial.
The Scopes Trial, formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was a landmark American legal case in 1925 in which high school science teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach evolution in any state-funded school.
Scopes was found guilty, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality and he went free. The trial drew intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, to cover the big-name lawyers representing each side. William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate for the Democrats, argued for the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney, spoke for Scopes. The trial set modernists, who said evolution was consistent with religion, against fundamentalists who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge. The trial was thus both a theological contest, and a trial on the veracity of modern science regarding the creation-evolution controversy. The teaching of evolution expanded, as fundamentalist efforts to use state laws to reverse the trend had failed in the court of public opinion


“Will helped me mow this morning and we mowed down the balance of our hay.  We got it done about 10 o’clock and went and drew in the rest of theirs on the hill before dinner.  After dinner we all drew here and got in 11 loads.  Has been a very fine day.”
Leesah