Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter


Leesah

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Battle of Paris

The Battle of Paris was fought during the Napoleonic Wars in 1814. The French defeat led directly to the abdication of Napoleon I.
In 1813 Napoleon I was retreating from his failed invasion of Russia. Coalition armies were joined together and defeated the French at the Battle of Leipzig. Austrian emperor Francis I was interested in seeking peace with the French, but both Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Frederick William III of Prussia wished to invade France. Just as Napoleon had entered Moscow, so did Tsar Alexander wish to enter Paris. Until this battle no foreign army had entered Paris in nearly 400 years.
The Austrian, Prussian and Russian armies were joined together and put under the command of Field Marshal Prince Karl von Schwarzenberg, but the driving force behind the army was the Russian Tsar and King of Prussia moving with the army. The Coalition army totaled about 100,000 troops. Napoleon had left his brother Joseph Bonaparte in defense of Paris with about 20,000 regular troops under Marshal Auguste Marmont along with an additional 30,000 National Guards and a small force of the Imperial Guard under Marshals Bon Adrien Jeannot de Moncey and Édouard Mortier.
The Coalition army arrived outside Paris in late March. Nearing the city, Russian troops broke rank and ran forwards to get their first glimpse of Paris. Camping outside the city on the 29th the Coalition forces were to assault next morning. Early in the morning of March 30 the Coalition attack began when the Russians attacked and drove back the Young Guard near Romainville in the center of the French lines. A few hours later the Prussians, under Blücher, attacked north of the city and carried the French position around Aubervilliers, but did not press their attack.
The Württemberg troops seized the positions at Saint-Maur to the southwest. The Russians attempted to press their attack but became caught up by trenches and artillery before falling back before a counterattack of the Imperial Guard. They continued to hold back the Russians in the center until the Prussian forces appeared to their rear.
The Russian forces then assailed the Montmartre Heights, where Joseph's headquarters had been at the beginning of the battle. Control of the heights was severely contested, and Joseph fled the city. Marmont contacted the Coalition and reached a secret agreement with them. Shortly afterwards, he marched his soldiers to a position, where they were quickly surrounded by Coalition troops; Marmont then surrendered, as had been agreed.
The Russian tsar sent an envoy to meet with the French to hasten the surrender. The tsar offered generous terms to the French and declared himself to be bringing peace to France rather than its destruction. On March 31 Talleyrand gave the key of the city to the tsar. Later that day the Coalition armies entered the city with the tsar at the head of the army followed by the king of Prussia and Schwarzenberg. Napoleon was outraged by the surrender of Paris. He was forced to abdicate on April 6. The terms of his abdication, which included his exile to the Isle of Elba, were settled in the Treaty of Fontainebleau on April 11. A reluctant Napoleon ratified it two days later.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Coercive Acts


This Patriot cartoon depicting the Coercive Acts as the rape of an American woman (a symbol of the American colonies) was copied and distributed in the Thirteen Colonies.
The Intolerable (Coercive) Acts was the Patriot name for a series of punitive laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to Massachusetts after the Boston Tea party. The acts stripped Massachusetts of self-government and historic rights, triggering outrage and resistance in the Thirteen Colonies. They were key developments in the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.
Four of the acts were issued in direct response to the Boston Tea Party of December 1773; the British Parliament hoped these punitive measures would, by making an example of Massachusetts, reverse the trend of colonial resistance to parliamentary authority that had begun with the 1765 Stamp Act. A fifth act, the Quebec Act, enlarged the boundaries of what was then the Province of Quebec and instituted reforms generally favorable to the French Catholic inhabitants of the region; although unrelated to the other four Acts, it was passed in the same legislative session and seen by the colonists as one of the Intolerable Acts.
The Patriots viewed the acts as an arbitrary violation of the rights of Massachusetts, and in September of 1774 they organized the First Continental Congress to coordinate a protest. As tensions escalated, the American Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, leading in July 1776 to the creation of an independent United States of America.


“I cut wood all day”


“I took the sow to Will McEwen’s boar  this morning.  Cut wood rest of the day.  Pleasant day.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jonas Salk

Jonas Edward Salk (October 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995) was an American medical researcher and virologist, best known for his discovery and development of the first successful polio vaccine. He was born in New York City to Jewish parents. Although they had little formal education, his parents were determined to see their children succeed. While attending New York University School of Medicine, Salk stood out from his peers not just because of his academic prowess, but because he went into medical research instead of becoming a practicing physician.
Until 1955, when the Salk vaccine was introduced, polio was considered the most frightening public health problem of the post-war United States. Annual epidemics were increasingly devastating. The 1952 epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation's history. Of nearly 58,000 cases reported that year, 3,145 people died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis, with most of its victims being children. The "public reaction was to a plague," said historian William O'Neill. "Citizens of urban areas were to be terrified every summer when this frightful visitor returned." According to a 2009 PBS documentary, "Apart from the atomic bomb, America's greatest fear was polio." As a result, scientists were in a frantic race to find a way to prevent or cure the disease. U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt was the world's most recognized victim of the disease and founded the organization that would fund the development of a vaccine.
In 1947, Salk accepted an appointment to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In 1948, he undertook a project funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis to determine the number of different types of polio virus. Salk saw an opportunity to extend this project towards developing a vaccine against polio, and, together with the skilled research team he assembled, devoted himself to this work for the next seven years. The field trial set up to test the Salk vaccine was, according to O'Neill, "the most elaborate program of its kind in history, involving 20,000 physicians and public health officers, 64,000 school personnel, and 220,000 volunteers." Over 1,800,000 school children took part in the trial. When news of the vaccine's success was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a "miracle worker," and the day "almost became a national holiday." His sole focus had been to develop a safe and effective vaccine as rapidly as possible, with no interest in personal profit. When he was asked in a televised interview who owned the patent to the vaccine, Salk replied: "There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
In 1960, he founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, which is today a center for medical and scientific research. He continued to conduct research and publish books, including Man Unfolding (1972), The Survival of the Wisest (1973), World Population and Human Values: A New Reality (1981), and Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason (1983). Salk's last years were spent searching for a vaccine against HIV.

“Snowed quite a good deal today by squalls.  I went up to the village this forenoon.  The Stowell cow calved last night.”

Leesah

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. It was also the second deadliest disaster in New York City – after the burning of the General Slocum on June 15, 1904 – until the destruction of the World Trade Center 90 years later. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three; of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was Providenza Panno at 43, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate Leone and "Sara" Rosaria Maltese.
Because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits – a common practice at the time to prevent pilferage and unauthorized breaks – many of the workers who could not escape the burning building jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors to the streets below. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.
The factory was located in the Asch Building, at 23–29 Washington Place, now known as the Brown Building, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.

“I helped Lettie wash this forenoon.  Cut a little wood this afternoon but it snowed and rained towards night so that I could not work our doors.”
Leesah

Sunday, March 24, 2013

John Wesley Powell

John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois State University, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.
Powell served as second director of the US Geological Survey (1881–1894) and proposed policies for development of the arid West which were prescient for his accurate evaluation of conditions. He was director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, where he supported linguistic and sociological research and publications. Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River, was named in his honor


“I took six of the pigs to town this morning we sold them on foot at .04 cents per pound.  Father and I drove down to Joe Williams this afternoon.  After that, I went up o Prentice's mill and got 500 # bran.  Very pleasant day.”

Leesah

Friday, March 22, 2013

Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock," the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Aboriginal Peoples from San Francisco who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972 Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Today, the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco. Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Alcatraz Cruises, is the official ferry provider to and from the island. Hornblower launched the nation's first hybrid propulsion ferry in 2008, the Hornblower Hybrid, which now serves the island, docking at the Alcatraz Wharf.
It is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony (mostly Western Gulls, cormorants, and egrets). According to a 1971 documentary on the History of Alcatraz, the island measures 1,675 feet (511 m) by 590 feet (180 m) and is 135 feet (41 m) at highest point during mean tide. However, the total area of the island is reported to be 22 acres (8.9 ha).
Landmarks on the island include the Main Cellhouse, Dining Hall, Library, Lighthouse, the ruins of the Warden's House and Officers Club, Parade Grounds, Building 64, Water Tower, New Industries Building, Model Industries Building, and the Recreation Yard.

“Cut wood all day.”

“Cut wood all day.  Pleasant all the week, but wind has been in the north all the time and most of the time it has been raw and cold.”
Leesah

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

James Packard

James W. Packard driving his first Packard in 1898
James Ward Packard (5 November 1863 – 20 March 1928) was an American automobile manufacturer who founded the Packard Motor Car Company and Packard Electric Company with his brother William Doud Packard.
Born in Warren, Ohio, James Ward Packard attended Lehigh University and with his brother founded Packard Electric Company there in 1890 and manufactured incandescent carbon arc lamps. The brothers then formed a partnership with Winton Motor Carriage Company investor George L. Weiss called Packard & Weiss in 1893. The first Packard automobile was released in 1899.  In 1900, the company incorporated as the Ohio Automobile Company and was renamed the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902. The company relocated to Detroit in 1903. The company eventually merged with the Studebaker Corporation in 1954, and the last Packard was made in 1958.
Following the company relocation to Detroit, the Packard brothers focused on making automotive electrical systems via the Packard Electric Company. General Motors acquired the company in 1932, renaming it Delphi Packard Electric Systems in 1995. The company was spun off and became independent of GM in 1999.
Packard fell ill three years before his death and spent his last 16 months at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital.

“I cut wood all day.  Very pleasant.”

“Cut wood all day.”
Leesah

Monday, March 18, 2013

Otmar Von Verschuer

Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer (16 July 1896 – 8 August 1969) was a German human biologist and eugenicist concerned primarily with "racial hygiene" and twin research. He was the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Anthropologie, menschliche Erblehre, und Eugenik; KWIfA) in Berlin and the Institute for Genetic Biology and Racial Hygiene (Institut für Erbbiologie und Rassenhygiene).
He received Heinrich Himmler's permission to work in Auschwitz from 1944 on. One of Verschuer's best known assistants was Josef Mengele, who, as one of the SS physicians at the Auschwitz death camp, later became known as the "Angel of Death".
Verschuer was never tried for war crimes despite many indications that he not only was fully cognizant of Mengele's work at Auschwitz, but even encouraged and collaborated with Mengele in some of his most grisly research. In a report to the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; DFG) from 1944, Verschuer talked about Mengele's assistance in supplying the KWIfA with some "scientific materials" from Auschwitz:
My assistant, Dr. Mengele (M.D., Ph.D.) has joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as Hauptsturmführer and camp physician in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Anthropological investigations on the most diverse racial groups of this concentration camp are being carried out with permission of the SS Reichsführer [Himmler]; the blood samples are being sent to my laboratory for analysis.
Verschuer also noted in the report that the war conditions had made it difficult for the KWIfA to procure "twin materials" for study, and that Mengele's unique position at Auschwitz offered a special opportunity in this respect. In the summer of 1944, Mengele and his Jewish slave assistant Dr. Miklos Nyiszli sent other "scientific materials" to the KWIfA, including the bodies of murdered Gypsies, internal organs of dead children, skeletons of two murdered Jews, and blood samples of twins infected by Mengele with typhus.
However solid evidence of Verschuer's willing collaboration could not be established, much to the disappointment of the principal post-war Allied investigator, Leo Alexander, assigned to his case. In a letter to his wife from 1946, Alexander wrote:
It sometimes seems as if the Nazis had taken special pains in making practically every nightmare come true. Some new evidence has come in where two doctors in Berlin, one a man and the other a woman, collected eyes of different colour. It seems that the concentration camps were combed for people whose one eye had a slightly different color than the other. Who ever [sic] was unlucky enough to possess such a pair of slightly unequal eyes had them cut out and was killed, the eyes being sent to Berlin. This is the carrying out into reality of an old gruesome German fairy tale which is included in the Tales of Hoffmann, where Dr Coppelius posing as a sandman comes at night and cuts out children's eyes when they are tired. The grim part of the story is that Doctors von Verschuer and [Karin] Magnussen in Berlin did prefer children and particularly twins. There is no end to this nightmare, at least 23 are being tried now and, I trust, the others will follow later.
Alexander initiated investigations into the location of the incriminating collection but could not locate it—it had been sent to an unknown destination in Berlin and from there vanished out of sight; Alexander ruefully concluded that Verschuer had destroyed it.
Later investigators had difficulty getting hard evidence of the gruesome position they felt Verschuer had in the Holocaust. In his denazification hearing, he was eventually judged as a Nazi fellow traveler (Mitläufer) (a relatively mild categorization), fined 600 Reichmark, and released from custody.
As the war was drawing to a close in 1945, Verschuer moved the files of the KWIfA into the Western part of Germany, hoping for a more favorable response from the advancing Allied armies than from the advancing Soviet Army. In late 1945 or early 1946 he petitioned the mayor of Frankfurt to allow him to reestablish the KWIfA. However the commission in charge of rebuilding the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft decreed that "Verschuer should be considered not as a collaborator, but one of the most dangerous Nazi activists of the Third Reich." The KWIfA was not reestablished.
In 1951, Verschuer was awarded the prestigious professorship of human genetics at the University of Münster, where he established one of the largest centers of genetics research in West Germany. Like many "racial hygienists" of the Nazi period, and many American eugenicists, Verschuer was successful in redefining himself as a genetics researcher after the war, and avoided the taint of his work with Nazi eugenics. Many of his wartime students were similarly appointed to top positions in universities of Erlangen, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, and Münster. Karin Magnussen, a biologist whom he worked with, who ended up using the eyeballs taken from still-living prisoners at Auschwitz by Dr Josef Mengele for experiments on the pigmentation of the human iris.
He was accepted during the war as a member of the American Eugenics Society, a position he kept until his death.
When Verschuer died in 1969 (in an automobile accident), obituaries in German scientific journals made no mention of his Nazi involvement.
 


“I helped Lettie wash this forenoon.  Shoveled out the wood pile and cut a little wood this afternoon. Very pleasant but cold north wind.”
Leesah

Saturday, March 16, 2013

W. C. Fields

William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler and writer. Fields was known for his comic persona as a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs, children and women.
The characterization he portrayed in films and on radio was so strong it became generally identified with Fields himself. It was maintained by the movie-studio publicity departments at Fields's studios (Paramount and Universal) and further established by Robert Lewis Taylor's 1949 biography W.C. Fields, His Follies and Fortunes. Beginning in 1973, with the publication of Fields's letters, photos, and personal notes in grandson Ronald Fields's book W.C. Fields by Himself, it has been shown that Fields was married (and subsequently estranged from his wife), and he financially supported their son and loved his grandchildren.
However, Madge Evans, a friend and actress, told a visitor in 1972 that Fields so deeply resented intrusions on his privacy by curious tourists walking up the driveway to his Los Angeles home that he would hide in the shrubs by his house and fire BB pellets at the trespassers' legs. Several years later Groucho Marx told a similar story on his live performance album, An Evening with Groucho.

Leesah

Friday, March 15, 2013

FBI's 10 Most Wanted List

The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives is a most wanted list maintained by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service (the predecessor of the United Press International) Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the FBI's "toughest guys". This discussion turned into a published article, which received so much positive publicity that on March 14, 1950, the FBI officially announced the list to increase law enforcement's ability to capture dangerous fugitives.
Individuals are generally only removed from the list if the fugitive is captured, dies, or if the charges against them are dropped; they are then replaced by a new entry selected by the FBI. In six cases, the FBI removed individuals from the list after deciding that they were no longer a "particularly dangerous menace to society". Víctor Manuel Gerena, added to the list in 1984, has been on the list longer than anyone, at 29 years. Billie Austin Bryant spent the shortest amount of time on the list, being listed for two hours in 1969. Fidel Urbina is the person most recently listed. On rare occasions, the FBI will add a "Number Eleven" if that individual is extremely dangerous but the Bureau does not feel any of the current ten should be removed.
The list is commonly posted in public places such as post offices. In some cases, fugitives on the list have turned themselves in on becoming aware of their listing. As of June 5, 2012, 497 fugitives have been listed, eight of them women, and 466 (94%) captured or located, 154 (31%) of them due to public assistance. On May 19, 1996, Leslie Ibsen Rogge became the first person on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list to be apprehended due to the internet. The FBI maintains other lists of individuals, including the Most Wanted Terrorists, along with crime alerts, missing persons, and other fugitive lists.


“I went to mill this forenoon.  This afternoon, I took Lettie up to the village.  We spent the evening at Geo. McEwen’s.  Cold, but not as cold as yesterday.”
Leesah

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.
Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father. When Mary was four, Godwin married his neighbor, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.
In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm in the Bay of La Spezia. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53.
Until the 1970s, Mary Shelley was known mainly for her efforts to publish Percy Shelley's works and for her novel Frankenstein, which remains widely read and has inspired many theatrical and film adaptations. Recent scholarship has yielded a more comprehensive view of Mary Shelley’s achievements. Scholars have shown increasing interest in her literary output, particularly in her novels, which include the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), the apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826), and her final two novels, Lodore (1835) and Falkner (1837). Studies of her lesser-known works such as the travel book Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844) and the biographical articles for Dionysius Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–46) support the growing view that Mary Shelley remained a political radical throughout her life. Mary Shelley's works often argue that cooperation and sympathy, particularly as practised by women in the family, were the ways to reform civil society. This view was a direct challenge to the individualistic Romantic ethos promoted by Percy Shelley and the Enlightenment political theories articulated by her father, William Godwin

“I went and got Dr. Taylor this afternoon and we measured the pine logs.  Very fine day.”

“I draw a jag of straw to W. H. Barrows this afternoon.  Warm day with little drizzles of rain occasionally.”

 Leesah

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jan Masaryk

Jan Garrigue Masaryk (14 September 1886 – 10 March 1948) was a Czech diplomat and politician and Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia from 1940 to 1948.
Masaryk remained Foreign Minister following the liberation of Czechoslovakia as part of the multi-party, communist-dominated National Front government. The Communists under Klement Gottwald saw their position strengthened after the 1946 elections but Masaryk stayed on as Foreign Minister. He was concerned with retaining the friendship of the Soviet Union, but was dismayed by the veto they put on Czechoslovak participation in the Marshall Plan. In February 1948 the majority of the non-communist cabinet members resigned, hoping to force new elections, but instead a communist government under Gottwald was formed in what became known as the Czech coup (Victorious February in the Eastern Bloc). Masaryk remained Foreign Minister, and was the only prominent minister in the new government who wasn't either a Communist or a fellow traveler. However, he was apparently uncertain about his decision and possibly regretted his decision not to oppose the communist coup by broadcasting to the Czech people on national radio, where he was a much loved celebrity.
On March 10, 1948 Masaryk was found dead, dressed only in his pajamas, in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry (the Czernin palace in Prague) below his bathroom window. The initial investigation by the Ministry of the Interior stated that he had committed suicide by jumping out of the window, although for a long time it has been believed by some that he was murdered by the nascent Communist government. (There were others in the country who put it thus: "Jan Masaryk was a very tidy man. He was such a tidy man that when he jumped he shut the window after himself") In a second investigation taken in 1968 during the Prague Spring, Masaryk's death was ruled an accident, not excluding a murder and a third investigation in the early 1990s after the Velvet Revolution concluded that it had been a murder.
Discussions about the mysterious circumstances of his death continued for some time. Those who believe that Masaryk was murdered called it the Third Defenestration of Prague, and point to the presence of nail marks on the window sill from which Masaryk fell, as well as smearings of feces and Masaryk's stated intention to leave Prague the next day for London. Members of Masaryk's family—including his former wife, Frances Crane Leatherbee, a former in-law named Sylvia E. Crane, and his sister Alice Masaryková —stated their belief that he had indeed killed himself, according to a letter written by Sylvia E. Crane to The New York Times, and considered the possibility of murder a "cold war cliché". A Prague police report in 2004 concluded after forensic research that Masaryk had indeed been thrown out the window to his death. This report was seemingly corroborated in 2006 when a Russian journalist claimed that his mother knew the Russian intelligence officer who threw Masaryk out the window.
The highest-ranking Soviet Bloc intelligence defector, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, described his conversation with Nicolae Ceauşescu, who told him about "ten international leaders the Kremlin killed or tried to kill". Jan Masaryk was one of them.


“I helped Lettie wash this forenoon.  This afternoon, I went and helped Frank XXXXXX move his sawmill from Will Harris to the Village.  Very pleasant day but zero weather this morning.”
Leesah

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pancho Villa

José Doroteo Arango Arámbula (5 June 1878 – 20 July 1923) – better known by his pseudonym Francisco Villa or his nickname Pancho Villa – was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals.
As commander of the División del Norte (Division of the North), he was the veritable caudillo of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua which, given its size, mineral wealth, and proximity to the United States of America, provided him with extensive resources. Villa was also provisional Governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914. Although he was prevented from being accepted into the "panteón" of national heroes until some 20 years after his death, today his memory is honored by Mexicans. In addition, numerous streets and neighborhoods in Mexico are named in his honor.
Villa and his supporters seized hacienda land for distribution to peasants and soldiers. He robbed and commandeered trains, and, like the other revolutionary generals, printed fiat money to pay for his cause. Villa's men and supporters became known as Villistas during the revolution from 1910 to roughly 1920.
Villa's dominance in northern Mexico was broken in 1915 through a series of defeats he suffered at Celaya and Agua Prieta at the hands of Álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elías Calles. After Villa's famous raid on Columbus, New Mexico in 1916, U.S. Army General John J. Pershing tried unsuccessfully to capture Villa in a nine-month pursuit that ended when the United States entered into World War I and Pershing was called back. Villa retired in 1920 and was given a large estate which he turned into a "military colony" for his former soldiers. In 1923, he decided to re-involve himself in Mexican politics and as a result was assassinated, most likely on the orders of Obregón.

“I helped Will Holmes butcher their pigs this forenoon.  This afternoon. I melted snow enough for a kettle full of water.”

“I drew the last load of wood this forenoon.  This afternoon, I drove over to Will Harris to see if the boys had finished sawing. Pleasant day.”
Leesah

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dred Scott

Dred Scott (1795 – September 17, 1858), was an African-American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as "the Dred Scott Decision." The case was based on the fact that although he and his wife Harriet Scott were slaves, they had lived with his master Dr. John Emerson in states and territories where slavery was illegal according to both state laws and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, including Illinois and Minnesota (which was then part of the Wisconsin Territory). The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott's temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would improperly deprive Scott's owner of his legal property.
While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage and deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern U.S. states. President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil war Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision.

“Arch Stewart went down and cut some wood today and I drew two loads.  One for him and one for Clark.  Very fine day.”

“I drew two loads of wood home this forenoon.  Drew one to the boys this afternoon.  Have one more load to draw home which will finish the job.  Has thawed quite a good deal today and the sleighing is getting rather thin.”
Leesah

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Hula Hoop

The hula hoop is a toy hoop that is twirled around the waist, limbs or neck. Invented in 1958 by Ken Vezina and Paul Iria, children and adults around the world have played with hoops, twirling, rolling and throwing them throughout history. Hula hoops for children generally measure approximately 71 centimetres (28 in) in diameter, and those for adults around 1.02 metres (40 in). Traditional materials for hoops include willow, rattan (a flexible and strong vine), grapevines and stiff grasses. Today, they are usually made of plastic tubing. Plastic hula hoops are often filled with rocks or materials which serve as weights to carry the hoop around the body.
Native American Hoop Dance was and is a form of storytelling dance incorporating anywhere from one to 30 hoops as props, which are used to create both static and dynamic shapes, or formations, representing various animals, symbols, and storytelling elements. It is generally performed by a solo dancer with many hoops.
Hula hooping has been a type of exercise and play from as early as the 5th century in ancient Greece. Before it was known and recognized as the common colorful plastic toy (sometimes with water inside the actual hoop), it used to be made of dried up willow, rattan, grapevines, or stiff grasses. Even though the toy has existed for thousands of years, it is often misunderstood as being invented in the 1950s.
In the 13th century in Scotland, hoops were later extended to adult audiences and were popular for recreation and religious ceremonies. According to their medical records from that era, doctors treated and encouraged patients with dislocated backs and heart attack victims to use this winding exercise. Then in the early 19th century, the term “hula” was added to the toy name due to the experiences of some British soldiers who travelled to the Hawaiian Islands. During their stay, the soldiers noticed and realized the resemblance of the movement of the hips with the traditional hula dances to the movements of people that go hooping.
The hoop gained international popularity in the late 1950s when a plastic version was successfully marketed by California's Wham-O toy company. In 1957, Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin, starting with the idea of Australian bamboo "exercise hoops", manufactured 1.06 metre (42 in) hoops with Marlex plastic. With give-aways and national marketing and retailing, a fad was started in July, 1958; twenty-five million plastic hoops were sold in less than four months, and in two years sales reached more than 100 million units. Carlon Products Corporation was one of the first manufacturers of the hula hoop. During the 1950s, when the hula hoop craze swept the country, Carlon was producing more than 50,000 hula hoops per day. The hoop was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York, in 1999.

“I helped Lettie wash this forenoon.  This afternoon, I fixed a set of dump boards on the wagon.  Quite cold today.  Stood at 130 above zero this morning.  Yesterday it thawed a good deal.  This afternoon has been squally.”

“I went to town meeting this forenoon.  This afternoon I finished my dump boards.  Has been a very pleasant day.”
Leesah

Sunday, March 3, 2013

David Dunbar Buick

David Dunbar Buick (September 17, 1854 – March 5, 1929) was a Scottish-born Detroit inventor, best known for founding the Buick Motor Company. He headed this company and its predecessor from 1902 until 1906, thereby helping to create one of the most successful nameplates in United States motor vehicle history.
During the 1890s, Buick developed an interest in internal combustion engines and began experimenting with them. He was spending little time on the plumbing business, and his business partner became impatient with him. The partnership was dissolved and the company was sold.
Buick now had the time and capital to work on engines full time, and he set up a new company, the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company, in 1899 to do so. The stated aim of the company was to market engines for agricultural use. Buick soon turned to the development of a complete car, rather than just an engine. He also concentrated on research and development at the expense of manufacturing and sales. The result was that he consumed his capital by early 1902 without generating any significant return, other than a single car.
In early 1902, he set up a second company, the Buick Manufacturing Company, with the twin aims of marketing engines to other car companies and of manufacturing and selling its own cars. Once again manufacturing and development problems meant that by the end of 1902, Buick had run out of money with only one car to show for his work. The concentration on development had produced the revolutionary "Valve-in-Head" overhead valve engine. This method of engine construction produces a much more powerful engine than the rival side valve engine design which all other manufacturers used at the time. Overhead valve engines are used by most car manufacturers but now only GM and Chrysler produce the "push-rod" variant with any great regularity. Since overhead cam engines are design variants of OHV engines, it is fair to classify virtually all modern engines as derivatives of Buick's invention.
The money ran out again and in 1903 Buick was forced to raise more money via a $5,000 loan from a friend and fellow car enthusiast, Benjamin Briscoe. With this financial help from Briscoe, Buick formed the Buick Motor Company which would eventually become the cornerstone of the General Motors empire.
In 1906, Buick accepted a severance package and left the company that he had founded. After unsuccessful investments in California oil and Florida land, and an attempt (with his son Tom) to manufacture carburetors, Buick made a brief return to the automotive business in 1921, as president of the short-lived Lorraine Motors, and in 1923 with the design of the Dunbar, an automobile prototype. In an interview with historian Bruce Catton in 1928, Buick admitted that he was almost completely broke, unable to even afford a telephone, and an instructor at the Detroit School of Trades. The following year, he died from colon cancer on March 5, 1929 at the age of 74.

“I went to shovel out some drifts so that wagon could be used on this road.  Did that this forenoon.  I went up town this afternoon.  Quite a pleasant day.”

Leesah

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Jag of Hay

Typically a "Good jag of hay" is a full load, as much as your trailer or log sled could handle.

“I drew a small Jag of hay to Oliver Rogers this morning.  This afternoon, I went to the sale at Fred Graytons.  Very warm day and the snow is going very fast.”

“I went down to the woods and got the last load of logs this forenoon.  Rained a good share of the time.  The sleighing is used up.  Colder tonight.”
Leesah