Sep 252017
 

The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

U.S. Supreme Court Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 347 U.S. 483, on May 17, 1954. Tied to the 14th Amendment, the decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation.  After the decision, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attempted to register black students in previously all-white schools in cities throughout the South. In Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, the Little Rock School Board agreed to comply with the high court’s ruling. Virgil Blossom, the Superintendent of Schools, submitted a plan of gradual integration to the school board on May 24, 1955, which the board unanimously approved. The plan would be implemented during the fall of the 1957 school year, which would begin in September 1957.

The Little Rock Nine

The NAACP had registered nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High, selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance. Called the “Little Rock Nine”, they were Ernest Green (b. 1941), Elizabeth Eckford (b. 1941), Jefferson Thomas (1942–2010), Terrence Roberts (b. 1941), Carlotta Walls LaNier (b. 1942), Minnijean Brown (b. 1941), Gloria Ray Karlmark (b. 1942), Thelma Mothershed (b. 1940), and Melba Pattillo Beals(b. 1941). Ernest Green was the first African American to graduate from Central High School.

1-By SgerbicOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

2-By DafoosOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Aug 252017
 

The city of Thermopylae is famous for many reasons, mainly the Battle of Thermopylae during the Persian wars. It’s name actually means “hot springs” or “hot gates,” because of the hot sulfur springs in the area. The city lies to the north and west of Athens, and it contains a coastal pass between the mountains and the Gulf of Malia that connects Thessaly and Lokris. Much of the information that we have concerning Thermopylae, and especially the Battle of Thermopylae, comes from the author Herodotus. His work called The Histories includes the research he conducted about the battle (mostly contained within Book 7), along with some of his own opinions about what happened.

The city of Thermopylae is connected to several mythological tales. According to some, Thermopylae was believed to be one of the entrances to Hades. In the story of Heracles, he received a cloak infused with hydra poison that he could not take off. It was supposedly the river at the base of Thermopylae where Heracles jumped in to remove the poison on his cloak, after which the river became hot and stayed that way ever since.

hot-springs

 What You Can See There

After the famous Battle of Thermopylae, there were several monuments constructed to honor those who died. The epitaph of Simonides was constructed on top of the burial site of the Spartans, on the hill in which the Spartans and Thespians made their last stand. The Leonidas Monument is a bronze statue of the Spartan king, with a marble frieze underneath honoring the heroes that were distinguished in the battle and those who were recorded by Herodotus. Their names and the city-states that they were from are also recorded with them. There is a monument dedicated to the Thespians as well, which features the god Eros, whom the Thespians revered most. Underneath this statue is a stone plate that explains all of the symbolism of the figure.

There are other sights to see in Thermopylae besides these memorials. For example, the hot springs for which the city gets its name still reside at the foot of the hill by the city. Additionally, the pass through which the Spartans battled the Persians is still there, now with a main highway cutting through the center.

thespian-monument

Thespian Monument

 

thermopylae-leonidas-monument2

Leonidas Monument

The Battle of Thermopylae

The Battle of Thermopylae is one of the most renowned battles in Greek history. Like the Battle of the Alamo, it became an example of heroic resistance against numbers far greater than their own. The battle has inspired a metaphor of the resilience of the Greeks, and it has become famous as a testament to Greek pride, despite the fact that the Spartans lost against the Persians. And even though they did lose the battle, they did a good job of fending off the Persians for as long as they did. This brief success was mainly due to two reasons: the first being the topography (the pass where they fought was only about 100 meters wide), and the second being the amount of military training that the Spartans had.

battle_thermopylae

Map of Persian Movements Through the Pass of Thermopylae

During this battle in the Persian War, Xerxes and his Persian forces faced off against Leonidas and his Spartan forces, with help from Thebes, Thespiae, and several other Greek city-states. They struggled to defend Attica and Boeotia while the Greeks at Artemisium defended against the Persian navy. They managed to hold their own against the Persian forces for three days, despite being extremely outnumbered, before they were overtaken; Leonidas ended up releasing the majority of his army to defend other parts of Greece, leaving only 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, and 400 Thebans to stay at the pass of Thermopylae. Every single one of these Greeks were killed, but the Persians in turn suffered tremendous casualties. After the battle, the Persians proceeded to move throughout Boeotia and sack the city of Athens, though many of its citizens were able to escape.

Aug 082017
 

Clara Adams (born Clara Grabau; 1884 – 1971), known as the “first flighter” and the “maiden of maiden flights,” was an aviator who set a variety of flying records. She helped popularize air travel and is known for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger aboard the Graf Zeppelin.

Amelia Mary Earhart, born July 24, 1897; disappeared July 2, 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students. She was also a member of the National Woman’s Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.

During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day.

Aug 042017
 

The girl with the tattooed face, Olive Oatman, became something of a legend, but she started out as an ordinary girl.

Olive Oatman and her younger sister, Mary Ann, were kidnapped by Indians in 1851. They eventually ended up living with a tribe of the Mojave, where they were both tattooed with distinctive blue markings on their chins.

Mary Ann died during a famine (along with many of the Mojave). Olive survived, though, and eventually returned to live among her own people again. There she told her remarkable story that started when her parents, Royce and Mary Oatman, packed up their seven kids in 1850 and left their Illinois farm for Missouri, where they joined a wagon train headed to California. Olive was 14 and Mary Ann was 7.

When some of the travelers splintered off, the Oatmans found themselves traveling without the safety of the group. They continued on and were spending a night on the banks of the swollen Gila River, in what is now Arizona, when they were attacked by Indians. (Olive later identified them as Apaches, but some think they may have been a branch of the Yavapai.)

Royce and Mary Oatman were killed, along with four of their seven children. At the end of it all, only Olive, Mary Ann, and their brother Lorenzo, age 15, were still alive.

Lorenzo had been clubbed and left for dead, but he eventually came to and found his way to a settlement, where his wounds were treated. Then he retraced his steps and found and buried his family’s bodies. In 1954, a marker was erected at their burial site by the Arizona society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It reads, “In memory of the Oatman Family, Six members of this pioneer family massacred by Indians in March 1851.”

Lorenzo found no trace of Olive and Mary Ann, but he kept looking.

The girls had been taken by the Indians who killed their parents, and according to Olive, they were mistreated as slaves for about a year. Then they were traded to a group of Mojave, who treated the girls better. The Mojave chief and his wife may even have adopted the girls.

While living with the Mojave, Olive and her sister got the distinctive tattoo markings on their chins. Westerners who study the tribe say this is a fairly common tattoo among the Mojave that is done ritualistically to ensure a good afterlife. Olive said it was done to mark them as slaves.

It was probably the drought and famine of 1855 that took Mary Ann’s life. She was 12 that year, and Olive was 19. Around that time, the white communities in the region began to hear about a white woman living among the Mojave. One sent a messenger asking for Olive’s return, and intense negotiations took place. Olive was eventually sent to Fort Yuma, where she learned that her brother Lorenzo had been searching for her and Mary Ann.

Ancestry tells us where she went from there: In the 1860 U.S. Census, you see Olive living in the household of the Stratton family. In fact, the head of household, a pastor named Royal B. Stratton, wrote a book about Olive’s (and Mary Ann’s) experiences. Royalties from the biography he titled “Life Among the Indians,” which was a bestseller, paid for Olive’s and Lorenzo’s education at the University of the Pacific. Olive lectured and spoke on her “life among the Indians” extensively to promote the book.

In 1865, Olive married cattleman John B. Fairchild, listed in census records as a money broker and later a banker. In 1870, when Olive was 32 and John was 40, he owned real estate worth $2,500 and had a personal estate valued at $10,000, which was off the charts compared to others in their neighborhood (it’s amazing what you can learn from the census). In 1880, their daughter, Mary, was seven. In the 1900 census, still in Texas, their daughter is 26, and a 30-year-old cook lives with them, as well a 4-year-old boy with a different last name, perhaps the cook’s son.

Olive suffered from depression and once spent three months in a “medical spa.” She died from a heart attack in 1903, and her husband passed away in 1907; both are buried in Sherman, Texas. The town of Oatman, Arizona, was named for her family. So they — along with Olive’s amazing story — live on.

Jun 172017
 

Regret was a famous American thoroughbred racehorse and the first of three fillies to ever win the Kentucky Derby .

PD-US, Link

Apr 252017
 

Wyatt & Josephine

Wyatt & Josephine

Apr 192017
 

Kilroy Was Here

Kilroy Was Here

Engraving of Kilroy on the WWII Memorial in Washington DC

Feb 032017
 

Three of The Best

  • The Day the Music Died
  • On February 3, 1959, rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson.
Feb 012017
 

New Suffolk Long Island, NY Home of the First USA Submarine Base



Attribution\Description

New Suffolk Today:

A United States Submarine Veterans designated

USSVI National Memorial Site

The New Suffolk Memorial is in New Suffolk, LI, NY and is on a grassy knoll, in the sand, facing Peconic Bay.

It is within a stones’ throw of the original “Holland Torpedo Boat” docks and is within the original boatyard.

The inscription reads:

  • “Be it known by all that this monument marks the location of the first United States Submarine Base and commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the United States Submarine Service which had it’s birthplace here on this point of land in the hamlet of New Suffolk, Long Island on 11 April 1900.
  • This Monument is a testimony to all the gallant men who have served on submarines of the United States Navy”

Memorial was dedicated 8 April 2000
United States Submarine Veterans Long Island Base.

Information provided by
John R. Saeli    USSVI Long Island Base
fevroute@worldnet.att.net



Attribution\Description

  • © Sid Harrison – USSVI WebMaster
  • From the late Floyd D. Houston’s memoribilia, the four historical images shown immediately above were submitted by the grandson of Floyd D. Houston . Mr. Houston was one of the latter owners of the New Suffolk Boatyard.
Jan 302017
 

Cimitero dei Cappuccini: The Capuchin Crypt

What you are now, we used to be. What we are now, you will be.

  • The crypt is located just under the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione in Rome, a church commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in 1626. The pope’s brother, Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who was of the Capuchin Order, in 1631 ordered the remains of thousands of Capuchin friars exhumed and transferred from the friary on the Via dei Lucchesi to the crypt. The bones were arranged along the walls in varied designs, and the friars began to bury their own dead here, as well as the bodies of poor Romans, whose tomb was under the floor of the present Mass chapel. Here the Capuchins would come to pray and reflect each evening before retiring for the night.
  • The crypt, or ossuary, now contains the remains of 4,000 friars buried between 1500–1870, during which time the Roman Catholic Church permitted burial in and under churches. The underground crypt is divided into five chapels, lit only by dim natural light seeping in through cracks, and small fluorescent lamps. The crypt walls are decorated extensively with the remains, depicting various religious themes. Some of the skeletons are intact and draped with Franciscan habits, but for the most part, individual bones are used to create the elaborate ornamental designs.