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[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2008 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE FRIDAY 2-29-2008, 12:00:06 am. PST, 08:00:06 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 45 BC, Julius Caesar changed the length of a year to 365 days and six hours, with an extra day thrown in every four years to make things come out right (and under the Roman calendar, the last day of February was the last day of the year); in 1288, the Scottish parliament, acting on an old Irish tradition, designated February 29 as a date when women could propose marriage to men (men who refused were fined); in 1690, in the Victor Hugo novel The Man Who Laughs, the disfigured Gwynplaine is abandoned by a group of men anxious to be rid of him, setting in motion the tragic events the novel recounts; in 1692, Tituba (an Arawak Native American kidnapped from South America and sold into slavery) was charged with witchcraft in Salem after being beaten into confessing, providing precedent for the Bush administration at Guantanamo; in 1704, Abenaki tribal warriors and French soldiers captured Deerfield, Massachusetts, during the War of the Spanish Succession, taking prisoners, some of whom died and others who eventually chose to stay with the tribe; in 1860, a water company was organized in Carson City, Nevada; in 1888, the Committee on Territories of the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to keep Idaho intact rather than splitting it between Washington and Nevada (the idea had been promoted by Nevada Senator William Stewart in an effort to gain some population for human-poor Nevada); in 1896, movie director William Wellman was born in Brookline, Massachusetts (in 1954, Wellman achieved one of his creative goals, of shooting a black and white movie on color film, when he filmed Walter Van Tilburg Clark's allegorical snow-bound Nevada ranch novel The Track of the Cat); in 1936, in a little noticed ceremony atop Boulder Dam, Bureau of Reclamation engineer Ralph Lowry accepted the completed dam from Frank Crowe of Six Companies Inc., the conglomerate formed to build the dam; in 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award; in 1968, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (aka The Kerner Commission) reported that the United States was "moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal"(see below) and that the ghetto was not produced by African-Americans, that "white institutions created it, white institutions maintain, and white society condones it" findings President Johnson rejected, along with the commission's recommendations; in 1968, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band won the album of the year Grammy; in 1972, columnist Jack Anderson disclosed the existence of an ATT memorandum saying that the Nixon administration had agreed to drop antitrust charges in exchange for $400,000; in 1972, South Korea began withdrawing its troops from Vietnam; in 1988, New York City's Democratic mayor Ed Koch, trying to sound tougher on drugs than President Reagan, called Reagan a "wimp".
From the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
February 29, 1968
The summer of 1967 again brought racial disorders to American cities, and with them shock, fear and bewilderment to the nation.
The worst came during a two-week period in July, first in Newark and then in Detroit. Each set off a chain reaction in neighboring communities.
On July 28, 1967, the President of the United States established this Commission and directed us to answer three basic questions: What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again?
To respond to these questions, we have undertaken a broad range of studies and investigations. We have visited the riot cities; we have heard many witnesses; we have sought the counsel of experts across the country.
This is our basic conclusion: Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white separate and unequal.
Reaction to last summer's disorders has quickened the movement and deepened the division. Discrimination and segregation have long permeated much of American life; they now threaten the future of every American.
This deepening racial division is not inevitable. The movement apart can be reversed. Choice is still possible. Our principal task is to define that choice and to press for a national resolution.
To pursue our present course will involve the continuing polarization of the American community and, ultimately, the destruction of basic democratic values.
The alternative is not blind repression or capitulation to lawlessness. It is the realization of common opportunities for all within a single society.
This alternative will require a commitment to national action compassionate, massive and sustained, backed by the resources of the most powerful and the richest nation on this earth. From every American it will require new attitudes, new understanding, and, above all, new will.
The vital needs of the nation must be met; hard choices must be made, and, if necessary, new taxes enacted.
Violence cannot build a better society. Disruption and disorder nourish repression, not justice. They strike at the freedom of every citizen. The community cannot it will not tolerate coercion and mob rule.
Violence and destruction must be ended in the streets of the ghetto and in the lives of people.
Segregation and poverty have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans.
What white Americans have never fully understood, but what the Negro can never forget, is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain, and white society condones it.
It is time now to turn with all the purpose at our command to the major unfinished business of this nation. It is time to adopt strategies for action that will produce quick and visible progress. It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens urban and rural, white and black, Spanish-surname, American Indian, and every minority group.
Our recommendations embrace three basic principles:
- To mount programs on a scale equal to the dimension of the problems;
- To aim these programs for high impact in the immediate future in order to close the gap between promise and performance;
- To undertake new initiatives and experiments that can change the system of failure and frustration that now dominates the ghetto and weakens our society.
These programs will require unprecedented levels of funding and performance, but they neither probe deeper nor demand more than the problems which called them forth. There can be no higher priority for national action and no higher claim on the nation's conscience.
UPDATE THURSDAY 2-28-2008, 10:59a.m. PST, 18:59 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1844, with 200 guests including Acting President John Tyler on board, a cannon being tested on the steam warship USS Princeton exploded and killed the secretary of state, secretary of the navy, the Belgian charge d'affaires, the father of Julia Gardner (who at the time was considering a proposal of marriage from Tyler) and two others; in 1861, the gold rush to the Rockies prompted Congress to create the Territory of Colorado; in 1898, Hugh O'Flaherty, an Irish Catholic priest who organized an operation that rescued and secreted at least 3925 Allied prisoners and Jews in Nazi-occupied Rome, was born in Cahersiveen, Ireland (O'Flaherty received the Order of the British Empire and the U.S. Medal of Freedom, but in his native Ireland is remembered only with a grove of trees in Killarney National Park; see below); in 1905, a Carson and Colorado train wreck in Mound House piled up seven cars, one of them filled with dynamite, nitroglycerine and blasting caps, but no explosion occurred; in 1906, mobster Benjamin Siegel was born in Brooklyn; in 1943, the federal war relocation center in Topaz, Utah, notified Nevada Governor Edward Carville that it would provide 100 Japanese Americans evacuated from the west coast to assist Moapa farmers with their tomato crop, but Carville, to the farmers' consternation, objected to the entry of the evacuees into Nevada; in 1947, an anti-government uprising in Taiwan (Formosa) was suppressed with sadistic violence by the Chiang Kai-shek regime and led to a long period of brutal repression during which tens of thousands disappeared, went to prison or were murdered; in 1951, the Senate Select Committee To Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, which was supposed to submit its final report on this date, instead issued interim reports in which Nevada figured prominently; in 1955, a group of Israeli commandos attacked and destroyed an Egyptian military camp near the town of Gaza on the Gaza strip, an unprovoked attack (in an area that rarely saw violence) that Danish, Belgian and Swedish investigators later condemned as a "shocking outrage of extreme gravity and a clear provocation to the Egyptian military forces" and that set off an arms race between Egypt and Israel; in 1983, the final episode of M*A*S*H attracted a record audience of 105 million viewers; in 1987, In a breakthrough announcement, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said his government was prepared to promptly sign a treaty to eliminate U.S. and Soviet medium range missiles in Europe, leading to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the end of the year; in 1989, the Nevada/Semipalatinsk Movement to Stop All Nuclear Testing was started in Russia, inspired by 1980s anti-nuclear protests at the Nevada Test Site; in 1992, the National Air and Space Museum in D.C. opened an exhibit honoring the first Star Trek series, which has produced four spinoffs, endless novels (in many languages), nine movies.
Hugh O'Flaherty's Trees
by Brendan Kennelly
There is a tree called freedom and it grows
Somewhere in the hearts of men,
Rain falls, ice freezes, wind blows,
The tree shivers, steadies itself again,
Steadies itself like Hugh O'Flaherty's hand,
Guiding trapped and hunted people, day and night,
To what all hearts love and understand,
The tree of freedom upright in the light.
Mediterranean Palm, Italian Cypress, Holm Oak, Stone Pine;
A peaceful grove in honour of that man,
Commemorates all who struggle to be free.
The hurried world is a slave of time,
Wise men are victims of their shrewdest plans.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 2-27-2008, 8:16 a.m. PST, 16:16 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1534, Anabaptists turned to force to try to establish a theocracy in the city of Muenster, Germany, exiling Catholics and Lutherans, making the wrong faith a death penalty offense, and holding the city for a year; in 1883, Piutes at the Fort McDermitt reservation wrote to Winnemucca's Silver State to say that while they had been told by the Indian agent to go to Wadsworth for food supplies, "Our answer, after talking with all the heads of families, has been that though we are in great need of food, we would rather stay here and be hungry than go to Wadsworth and take chances of getting rations; for if we went there we would be among strangers, and perhaps fare worse than we do here, where we are acquainted with the whites, who all treat us well, and from whom we can always get work in Summer. Please let the Agent know we don't want to go."; in 1908, the sacrifice fly rule (no time at bat is charged if a run scores after the catch of a fly ball) was adopted for baseball; in 1914, a man brought into Reno police court on a disorderly conduct charge denied consorting with Native Americans; in 1915, Al Jennings, an actual old west gunfighter and outlaw (as well as lawyer and prosecutor he had trouble picking a side and sticking to it) appeared at Reno's Majestic Theater to introduce a movie, Beating Back, about his life ("A Bandit Story for ReSpectable Audiences WHICH EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA SHOULD SEE"); in 1933, there was a fire in Germany's Reichstag (parliament) building which the Nazis blamed on communists and used as a pretext for suspending civil liberties; in 1933, a press photo of actress Clara Bow and her husband Rex Bell of Nevada with her twin niece and nephew was published from Brooklyn, with Bow saying she might adopt the children; in 1934, Ralph Nader, named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, was born in Connecticut; in 1937, AFL President William Green was facing expulsion from the United Mine Workers (and thus from the AFL) after he called the auto workers' victory in the General Motors sit-down strike a "surrender" by CIO leader John L. Lewis; in 1937, it was announced that the workforce of the U.S. Forest Service work camp funded by the Works Progress Administration at Galena Creek south of Reno would be cut from 206 men to 78; in 1937, an emergency Works Progress Administration project authorized by state WPA director Gilbert Ross was underway in Goldfield to relieve a severe water crisis in the town by connecting mains to a water supply in Rabbit Springs; in 1960, the Soviet Union lost in ice hockey to the U.S. team at the Squaw Valley Olympics; in 1968, Walter Cronkite returned from Vietnam and editorialized against the war on the CBS Evening Newsprompting President Johnson to say "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America"; in 1969, in testimony at a legislative hearing calling for toughter drug laws, Clark County District Attorney George Franklin said he knew of a case of a person who smoked a joint "and then reach[ed] out an 18th story window to pick a dandelion off the ground" (he neglected to identify the man); in 1969, University of Nevada-Reno radio/television services manager Wendell Dodds announced that the campus would begin providing National Educational Television Network programs on community antenna channel 6 and would also begin producing a nightly newscast staffed by journalism students; in 1973, Native Americans took control of a richly symbolic settlement at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota to protest federal treatment of Native Americans and alliances between federal officials and entrenched tribal leaders; in 1992, a McDonald's restaurant that had been repeatedly warned about the temperature of its coffee by the local burn treatment center served a cup of its molten coffee to 79 year-old Stella Liebeck, who removed the cover from the cup while the car was parked, spilling the coffee and scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin with third degree burns, causing her hospitalization and skin grafts and a jury award of $2.86 million (later reduced to $480,000) which the jurors said was principally not for the medical expenses (Liebeck was docked some of the compensatory medical award for her share of responsibility) but to discourage similar corporate conduct because evidence showed 700 other McDonald's burn cases and McDonald's testimony indicated its intention to continue the same policies; in 2000, Texas Governor George Bush apologized in writing to New York Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor for appearing at Bob Jones University with anti-Catholic campus officials; in 2003, Paul McCarthy surprised diners at the Moody's Bistro restaurant in the small Sierra Nevada lumber town of Truckee, California, when he got up on stage and performed with a local jazz group, playing, among others, a song called Truckee Blues (McCartney did the same thing at Moody's a year later, on March 29, 2004); in 2007, acting without a warrant at the request of U.S. army officers impersonating Canadian police, local police in Nelson, British Columbia, arrested U.S. army combat engineer Kyle Snyder, who fled to Canada in protest against the Iraq war, but he was released after the midconduct of U.S. officials was disclosed and members of Parliament called for an investigation.
UPDATE TUESDAY 2-26-2008, 8:44 a.m. PST, 16:44 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1732, the first mass was said at St. Joseph's Church in Philadelphia, the only Catholic church in the British colonies, where Catholics were victims of intense prejudice (in 1776 there were only six priests and no bishops in the colonies), in 1866, Lincoln County, Nevada, was created, after having previously been a part of Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah; in 1897 Nevada Assemblymember Frank Norcross said he had received a letter from Nevada mining school graduate Edward Hardack saying that he was employed in a mine in Johannesburg "having fifty white men and fifteen hundred negroes under his control" and that fellow Nevada graduate Fred Bristol also worked at the mine; in 1915, Industrial Workers of the World leader Patrick Quinlan was sentenced to two to seven years for things he said during the Paterson silk strike of 1913; in 1915, U.S. Senator Joseph Bristow of Kansas called for an investigation of senate elections in six states, including Nevada, before the senators from those states were seated; in 1919, Congress designated the Grand Canyon as a national park; in 1956, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath met; in 1951, the 22d amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the required number of states, limiting presidents to two terms; in 1969, Governor Paul Laxalt convinced the Nevada Board of Health to fire state health officer Edward Crippen for ending a years-long coverup of a public health menace in Fallon high arsenic levels in the water, which officials had concealed from the public in order to protect tourism; in 1969, health, education, and welfare secretary Robert Finch, supposedly the liberal in the Nixon cabinet, said the U.S. Supreme Court had outlawed racial discrimination, but that didn't mean it had outlawed segregation; in 1969, after a huge rainstorm poured water into the Spring Mountains, downstream southern Nevada communities were hit with heavy runoffs (the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran a photo of a station wagon towing a house trailer floating through Beatty); in 1969 at Pleiku, Private First Class Barry Wagner of Las Vegas received the combat infantryman's badge, generally given to soldiers who serve for thirty consecutive days under fire; in 1976 in Reno, former heavyweight contender Oscar Bonavena fought his last fight against Billy Joiner; in 1990, The Coasters' former lead singer Cornell Gunter was murdered in Las Vegas; in 2001, the government of Afghanistan ordered the destruction of Buddha images in the country, some of them dating back centuries.
UPDATE MONDAY 2-25-2008, 8:17 a.m. PST, 16:17 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1642, Dutch settlers in New Netherland (New York) massacred members of the Hudson Valley tribe who came to them for shelter against Mohawks; in 1866, Lincoln County, Nevada, was created; in 1870, Reverend Hiram Revels, former provost marshal of Vicksburg and Natchez alderman, became the first African-American U.S. Senator; in 1886, the National Education Association convention in D.C. heard an address from Charles Young of Nevada, the expected next president of the group, on "Co-Education of Races"; in 1910, Nevada District Judge Peters Somers, who served simultaneously as a judge and as Democratic Party state chair, wrote a letter denouncing the action in the Nevada Supreme Court that sought to halt Nevada's new state primary election; in 1910, the Goldfield Daily News carried a story headlined "BRUTISH NIGGER FLEES FROM A TEXAS MOB"; in 1957, The Crickets recorded That'll Be the Day; in 1967 at the Nation Institute in Los Angeles, Martin Luther King, Jr., broke with the Johnson administration on Vietnam, calling the war "an ominous expression of our lack of sympathy for the oppressed, our paranoid anti-Communism, our failure to feel the ache and anguish of the Have Nots. ... our willingness to continue participating in neo-colonialist adventures" (Lyndon Johnson promptly ordered stepped-up FBI activities against King)[FULL TEXT OF KING'S ADDRESS]; in 1969, after the Laxalt administration went out of its way to inform state legislators not to attend a legislative reception to be held by Governor Paul Laxalt and Lieutenant Governor Ed Fike at the governors mansion unless they were in tuxedos, some legislators started dropping off the guest list; in 1974, columnist Jack Anderson reported that the notorious Hoover files, records on the private lives of public figures, vanished after J. Edgar Hoover's death, including a file on John Kennedy's wartime affair with suspected German operative Inga Arvad (in testimony a year later to a U.S. House judiciary subcommittee, Attorney General Edward Levi reported that Hoover kept 48 such files on presidents and members of Congress in his office, but he did not say and no one on the committee asked what happened to them); in 2003, NBC cancelled one of its highest rated programs, Donahue, which had frequently provided alternative information to that provided by George Bush and his cronies in their claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, claiming low ratings (the website AllYourTV.com later produced an NBC corporate memo reading "Donahue presents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. At the same time our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity").
UPDATE SUNDAY 2-24-2008, 11:28 a.m. PST, 19:28 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1821, Mexico declared its independence from Spain, making it easier for the U.S. to later seize most of Mexico (525,000 square miles) by force; in 1836, U.S. Representative John Quincy Adams began his seven hour argument before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the African passengers of La Amistad, while in Texas, William Travis, leader of the pro-slavery Mexicans rebelling against the prohibition of slavery in the new Mexican constitution, sent a plea for help from the Alamo; in 1869, U.S. Representative Justin Morrill's 47 percent import duty was approved by Congress, driving prices sky high (the first buildng on the University of Nevada's Reno campus was named for Morrill); in 1912, Christian Wellesley and Josephine Callicott were married in New York City (Wellesley, an English lord, would go to Reno in 1933 for a divorce and stay to become a tax resident); in 1927, the Las Vegas chamber of commerce arranged with the telephone company for the installation of a pay phone at the Union Pacific station; in 1933, Senator Lindley Branson of White Pine County, elected as an independent, introduced legislation stripping the state of much of its authority over counties and giving counties the kind of home rule they have in most states; in 1937, the Nevada Assembly, after twice earlier in the year rejecting a state constitutional amendment authorizing a lottery, approved the amendment on a 21 to 17 vote (it had already been approved by the senate, but failed to win required second round legislative passage in 1939); in 1944, Soviet troops systematically rounded up 400,000 Ingush and Chechens and shipped them by rail to the east (about a third died on the way); in 1957, Reese River Reveille publisher Jock Taylor was elected president of the Nevada Press Association, succeeding the Las Vegas Sun's Hank Greenspun; in 1958, the original coin press used in the Carson City branch of the U.S. Mint in the 1800s was returned to the Nevada State Museum (the former mint building) after being rescued from being sold for scrap by the San Francisco branch mint; in 1966, The Doors began three months as the house band at Sunset Strip bar London Fog, after which the band moved to Whisky a Go Go; in 1969, United Press International ran a story asking "Is smoking so grave a health hazard that the government should take drastic steps to discourage it?"; in 1969, after being hit with a $22 a month rent hike, two hundred tenants on the west side in Las Vegas signed up to pay their rents into a trust fund until their landlord did something about poor maintenance and faulty construction of their rental units; in 1976, UNR student Michelle Mitchell was murdered in a garage near the college of agriculture; in 1983, the Reagan administration announced that it had classified three Canadian environmental documentaries (including the Oscar-winning If You Love This Planet) as "political propaganda" whose distribution in the United States would be "monitored" by the Justice Department; in 1992, Bob Denver and Miss Nevada 1959 Dawn Wells revived their roles as "Gilligan" and "Mary Ann" for an episode of Baywatch in which a character falls down, hits his head, and finds himself on Gilligan's Island; in 1993, Eric Clapton won Grammys for best album (Unplugged) and best male rock vocalist; in 2000, David and Mary Weyrich, publishers of three San Luis Obispo newspapers, ran a front page editorial announcing their intention to deny their pages to pro-abortion and gay activities and that the ban applied to both advertising and news ("The issue has everything to do with integrity and nothing to do with journalism ethics .... Call us old-fashioned, but it hasn't been too many years since our professed beliefs were the accepted norm in America. Society has changed to the detriment, we believe, of us all as people. Truth does not change... we have not changed."), prompting mass staff resignations, subscription cancellations, and a pullout of advertisers; in 2003, John Darren Smith of an undisclosed Nevada community died in Kuwait.
UPDATE SATURDAY 2-23-2008, 2:49 p.m. PST, 22:49 GMT/SUT/CUT Republicans invade Democratic Platform
RENO (UNews Exclusive) Proving that they still remember how to fight like Democrats, the Washoe County Democratic convention this afternoon is having a dandy floor flight over immigration. Somebody in the dumb-as-a-fern platform committee slipped in a plank calling for employer and employee sanctions in the hiring of undocumented workers. That's the position of all the Republican candidates for president.
The dingbattyness is not surprising. The platform committee earlier rejected one man/one vote, killing on a 3-3 tie a plank proposing direct election of the president rather than the electoral college sophistry which resulted in the 2000 coronation of Dubya by Clarence and the Supremes. (Proving once again why it comes as no surprise that the majority of Americans, when polled on the protections of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, oppose them. Sieg heil.)
One Democratic candidate was even passing out literature bashing immigrants.
More than 1,700 showed up, some 500 of whom were alternates to be credentialed in the afternoon. One hour of the morning session was spent allowing people who had committed to attend on behalf of one presidential candidate to switch allegiances to another.
Platform committee chair Susan Severt of Sun Valley, a former Sparks Tribune columnist, announced the official seatings in the morning session More than 650 pledged to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, 505 to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, and about 68 to former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC. A few delegates pledged to Rep. Dennis Kucinich (YAY!), D-OH, were reportedly also present. The Obama delegation will probably be the big winner of the 500+ alternates when they are seated.
WHO KNOWS the identity of the candidate who may file against Republican Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin? The Barbwire does and if he or she declares, Mr. Larkin is toast. I will be happy to inter Larkin's political career on whatever unpaved postage stamp of earth remains of the Ballardini Ranch.
Be well. Raise hell.
UPDATE MONDAY 2-25-2008, 5:24 p.m. PST, 01:24 2-26-2008 GMT/SUT/CUT The Washoe County Democratic Party platform plank on immigration now reads that the party supports "comprehensive immigration reform." Period.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY, 2-27-2008: On her Feb. 23 blog, Reno Gazette-Journal political writer Anjeanette Damon reported that the revised immigration plank also stated "we oppose criminalizing immigrants and their employers." Labor leaders disagree. The final document has not yet been posted at the Washoe County Democratic Party website. Stay tuned.
MORE HOT RUMORS DEPT. There was talk at the back of the bus section of the convention floor (always where the action is) that retiring Nevada Supreme Court Justice Bill Maupin may seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010. If so, that would set up a dandy primary with Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas. Looks like they'll be fighting like good Democrats as noted above.
GREEN REPORTERS BOTCH THE FACTS Sensationalizing is nothing new to TV. Two of three Reno major network television stations covering the Washoe Democratic convention reported "chaos" at the event. But it wasn't true. The credentials committee was quite busy due to the sheer number of people, but the event was very orderly and well managed. The weekend greenhorns apparently just wanted something hot like the Gomorrah South fiasco noted below. KOLO TV-8 was the worst, with three grotesque factual errors and two grammatical ones. (TV-8 even wrote that Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., "flew down" from Washington to fire up local Dems. The kids can't write. You "fly down" from someplace like Alaska. You "fly out" from DC. Check your GPS directions on your iPhone. As always in this day and age of slipshod journalism, malapropism is never having to say you're sorry especially if no one with experience, writing ability or devotion to the facts is editing your report.)
Clark County Democratic convention in chaos
LAS VEGAS 2-23-2008 (AP) The Clark County Democratic convention has devolved into chaos as party leaders try to juggle an unexpectedly large turnout with strict party rules for picking delegates.
More than 8,000 people showed up at Ballys Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, causing the fire marshal to shut down a ballroom. Party leaders say delegates entitled to participate were shut out and may not get the chance to support their candidate.
Representatives of the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns, along with party leaders, say they think the convention should recess and reconvene later at a later date.
The idea was loudly rejected by the room of rowdy Democrats. It is not immediately clear how party leaders plan to resolve the issue.
The county conventions are the second step toward dividing Nevadas 25 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention between Clinton and Obama.
In the past years, the meetings have been little more that rallies for the partys likely nominee. But with the presidential race so closely divided, campaigns were forced to work the convention to keep delegates from straying.
This encouraged large numbers of supporter to attend.
(Errors corrected by the site editor.)
UPDATE TUESDAY 3-11-2008, 10:59 A.m. PDT, 5:59 GMT/SUT/CUT No request for an injunction has yet been filed while the National Labor Relations Board investigates charges of hundreds of incidents of coercion in violation of the union contract extension. The company has apparently asserted that a bargaining impasse has been reached and the employer can thus impose any new policies it wants. NevadaLabor.com regrets mis-stating the situation, having been given information from credible sources that the filing in question had already been done. If the NLRB investigation substantiates the union claims, the feds can file for the injunction ordering GSR to cease and desist, another example of how the institutionalized delays built into U.S. labor law and regulation oppress workers.
UPDATE SATURDAY 2-23-2008, 2:49 p.m. PST, 22:49 GMT/SUT/CUT
GRAND SIERRA STRIKE LOOMS CLOSER
San Francisco (UNews Exclusive) Culinary Union Local 226 has filed for an injunction with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The ownership of the Reno Grand Sierra Resort has been forcing employees to accept drastically increased health care costs despite operating under an extension of a long-expired union contract. GSR ownership has long made health care cost the major issue. Contract negotiations have been dead in the water for months. Workers complain about being forced to sign documents allowing them to be docked for higher charges in violation of the union contract.
Labor oldtimers recognize the tactic: push the union to the wall, precipitate a strike, lock out the strikers, then fire them. (The polite term is "permanently replaced." U.S. labor law is a disaster. Workers can't be fired for striking but can be permanently replaced. What's the difference? If you can find one, lemme know. George Orwell and Franz Kafka live!)
Ironically, the only silver lining lies with the hotel's shaky financial condition. Insiders know that bankers have been running the place for months.
Major Nevada properties are almost never allowed to shut down. The law says they must be actively marketed. In the interim, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is empowered to come in without notice, oust the owners and place interim managers in charge. The most notorious incident of just such an action came in 1983 when the mob-infested management of the Stardust on the Las Vegas Strip was replaced by state regulators.
From remodeling rooms with imported Chinese furniture which has sliced guests bloody to turning the casino into a black-and-brown tinted funeral parlor, the successors to Hilton have provided a textbook example of how to take a license to steal and pick your own pocket while thinking you are picking the pockets of others.
Bartenders looking for work hear on the grapevine to avoid the GSR because the tips are so bad due to the way management has run off business. What an outfit.
[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2008 Dennis Myers.]]
On Feb. 23, 1778, the colonial army, which had deteriorated under Washington at Valley Forge during a warmer-than-normal winter, began a revival with the arrival of Prussian military officer Friedrich Wilhelm Rudolf Gerhard August, Freiherr von Steuben, who trained the force into ready-to-fight units with greater self confidence and also imposed hygiene and organizational regimes on the camp (in subsequent decades the story of Valley Forge was rewritten as a tale of a bitterly cold winter to help rehabilitate Washington's reputation); in 1847, U.S. General Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna in the Battle of Buena Vista, effectively winning the U.S. war of territorial conquest against Mexico; in 1847, Sylvester Churchill, former journalist (publisher of the Vermont Republican) and inspector general of the Army after whom Nevada's Fort Churchill was later named, was promoted to brevet brigadier general following the battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican War; in 1868, reporter, editor, author, teacher, sociologist, NAACP founder, United Nations consultant, father of Pan-Africanism W.E.B. DuBois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; in 1873, with $15,000 in embezzled funds and a married woman not his wife, Seattle Mayor Corliss Stone left town and headed for San Francisco; in 1898, Emile Zola was imprisoned for publishing his famed J'accuse (I Accuse) article accusing the French government of wrongfully convicting and imprisoning Alfred Dreyfus on Devil's Island for giving military secrets to the Germans (Zola escaped to England and returned to France after Dreyfus was cleared); in 1910, supporters of the convention nominating system filed an action in the Supreme Court of Nevada to stop Nevada's new primary election process; in 1937, as an "experiment in school management", St. George's public school in England began broadcasting whippings of crying children over the school public address system, sending children in classrooms into hysterics and infuriating parents; in 1942, a Japanese submarine designated I-17 shelled Goleta, California, in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy an oil refinery; in 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt signed executive order 9426 authorizing the secretary of war to take possession of plants and facilities of the Los Angeles department of water and power in California and Nevada; in 1949, the Merci Train, a train hauling 49 boxcars around the United States delivering one to each state in thanks for wartime help, pulled into Carson City where ceremonies were held in the Nevada Assembly hall where San Francisco French consulate representative T.R. Trocme addressed the legislature and Governor Vail Pittman: "The car and its contents bring this message from the French people: We thank you, friends of Nevada, for the help you have given us. We cannot give you material goods commensurate with what you have given us, but we can show our gratitude in this manner." (The car contained a black antique onyx and gilt clock from a Mme Bonnaire of Calvados, a U.S. flag used in liberation celebrations and handmade by Rene Vedy of Francoville, a cradle from an Avignon convent, a chocolate pot sent by 71- year old Robert Poucher of Paris (the pot was originally owned by the Marquis de Sevigne in 1640), a rosary sent by parents who used it in the christening of their four year old daughter, a silk crepe wedding gown from Lyon, a vase from the president of France, novelties made by school children in Meutrhe-er-Moselle, war medals including a Legion of Honor and a Croix de Guerre received by young men killed in the first world war and sent by their family members, a hand-worked copper kettle sent by a survivor of Dachau, scarves, many ceramic items, chests, lithographs and etchings, maps, stamp collections, paintings, books, photographs and many other items. The boxcar has recently been restored by the Nevada Railroad Museum); in 1955, the council of the Southeast Treaty Organization (SEATO), organized by U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to create a legal pretext for U.S. intervention in southeast Asia, held its first council meeting of member states; in 1966, the U.S. announced that 13 percent of the South Vietnamese army had deserted in the previous calendar year; in 1969, Gary Dean Judd of Las Vegas died in Quang Nam province, Vietnam; in 1978, Fleetwood Mac won the best album Grammy for Rumours; in 1998, rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard (Russell Jones) was recording in a Brooklyn studio when a car accident occurred outside and he and other musicians ran outdoors and organized onlookers to lift a 1996 Mustang off a four year-old girl; in 2001, a federal appeals court upheld rulings that the U.S. government has mismanaged funds held in trust for Native American tribes; in 2002, Colombian Green Party presidential candidate and former senator Íngrid Betancourt Pulecio was kidnapped by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia guerilla group and remains their captive to this day (a photograph of her was released on November 30, 2007).
Martin Luther King. Jr.: History cannot ignore W.E.B. DuBois because history has to reflect truth and Dr. DuBois was a tireless explorer and a gifted discoverer of social truths. His singular greatness lay in his quest for truth about his own people. There were very few scholars who concerned themselves with honest study of the black man and he sought to fill this immense void. The degree to which he succeeded disclosed the great dimensions of the man.
UPDATE FRIDAY 2-22-2008, 7:31 a.m. PST, 15:31 GMT/SUT/CUT
Galveston Daily News / February 22, 1897: It is said the Nevada legislature has under consideration a bill making it a felony for one to have in his possession a deck of cards containing five aces. This offense has usually been punished with death in the west.
On this date in 1860, a shoemakers strike began in the U.S., eventually spreading to 20,000 shoemakers; in 1868, the Reese River Reveille in Austin, Nevada, reported "E. Pickett brought into the city yesterday from the Humboldt River, some 400 pounds of fish. The fish were mainly chubs, but in the lot there was a few trout" ; in 1910, at a meeting of fight promoter outsider Tex Rickard and others at the Grand Hotel in San Francisco, it was decided that the Johnson/Jeffries "great white hope" fight would be held at the city's Broadway Athletic Club after city board of supervisors chair John Herget withdrew his objection to "outsiders" being permitted to arrange the fight, thus opening the way for outsider Rickard to stage the contest; in 1917, in a training accident on the eastern end of the Italian Front near the Isonzo River, four Italian soldiers were killed by a mortar bomb but Sgt. Benito Mussolini survived and was eventually discharged after which he started a newspaper that attacked antiwar activists; in 1918, there was telling evidence that the old west was dead: The Montana Legislature enacted fascist legislation making it illegal to criticize the federal government or the military, which Congress used as a model for a sedition law that was used to crack down on labor unions and antiwar activists; in 1918 as the Wilson administration's Palmer raids on political leftists were about to begin, Cronaca Sovversiva, an influential political newspaper published in Lynn, Massachusetts, was raided and shut down, its files seized, its supporters (including Sacco and Vanzetti) arrested and in some cases deported, its editors deported; in 1937, U.S. Ambassador William Bullitt told Premier Leon Blum and other French officials that France was on its own in any war, that the U.S. would stay out of foreign wars "as long as God permits"; in 1942, President Roosevelt ordered General Douglas MacArthur, who had bungled the defense of the Philippines by failing to follow U.S war department plans, to leave the Philippines for Australia, and MacArthur again refused to obey orders (he yielded in March); in 1944 near Padiglione, Italy, Lt. Jack Montgomery, a Cherokee from Oklahoma, single handedly attacked three enemy positions that were firing on his unit, took prisoners, and received the Medal of Honor; in 1946, U.S. chargés d'affaires in the Moscow embassy George Kennan sent an eight-thousand-word telegram to the Department of State that helped lead to the Truman administration's policy of containment and belligerence toward the Soviet Union that was maintained by most later administrations and that Kennan himself came to regret; in 1956 Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel entered the top ten; in 1999, Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn appointed Valorie Vega to be a district court judge, the first Latina to serve in that capacity in Nevada history.
UPDATE THURSDAY 2-21-2008, 2:56 p.m. PST, 22:56 GMT/SUT/CUT Crystal Springs Water informed us earlier today that Sue Toland passed away this morning at 9:30. Watch ReSurge.TV for additional information. Now free from pain, may dear sweet Sue rest in peace.
UPDATE THURSDAY 2-21-2008, 12 noon PST, 19:00 GMT/SUT/CUT 50th Anniversary of the peace symbol
On this date in 1821, the first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix appeared, published in a new written form of the tribe's language that was created over a period of 12 years by Sequoyah, a disabled Georgia Cherokee silversmith (the newspaper was published until 1834, was later revived and is still published today); in 1893, the Nevada Assembly ways and means committee reported a resolution calling on Congress to take the Walker River Reservation away from Native Americans "on the ground that the Pyramid reservation is sufficient for the Indians, and Walker reservation is mostly mining country, such as the Indians have no use for"; in 1912, former president Theodore Roosevelt, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination against incumbent William Howard Taft, endorsed judicial recall (empowering voters to overturn court rulings) in a speech before the Ohio constitutional convention, crippling his candidacy Elihu Root and Henry Cabot Lodge withdrew their support, the stock market fell and he was roundly denounced by the left and right press; in 1933, Congress sent a constitutional amendment repealing alcohol prohibition to the states for ratification, and the states began racing to be the first to ratify, slowed by the first and still only instance of Congress requiring that the states ratify by conventions instead of legislatures; in 1937, Virginia City native John Cavanagh, once a telegrapher for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad at Gold Hill and later an electrician and substation attendant with the Comstock's electicity company, died in San Francisco; in 1940, freedom rider, SNCC chair, March on Washington speaker, Atlanta city councilmember, and U.S. Representative John Lewis was born in Troy, Alabama; in 1945, 218 men lost their lives in the sinking, by several dozen kamikazes, of the Bismarck Sea, the last U.S. aircraft carrier lost in World War Two; in 1951, during the Nevada legislative session, Assembly Speaker pro tempore Archie Cross, a Washoe County Democrat, resigned and was replaced (as an assemblymember) by Oscar Jepson and (as speaker pro tem) by Louise Aloys Smith; in 1958, the peace symbol, designed for Britain's nuclear disarmament movement by artist Gerald Holtom as a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters N and D, was displayed in public for the first time (Holtom also noted additional inspiration for it: "I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya's peasant before the firing squad. I formalized the drawing into a line and put a circle round it."); in 1964, reflecting the growing interest in folk music, a folk concert by several groups was held at the State Building in Reno; in 1964, a record 60,000 students were predicted for the next school year in Clark County, Nevada, with a $26.8 million schools budget; in 1967, Bernard Fall, French Resistance fighter, Nuremberg war crimes tribunal analyst, and Indochina scholar whose books (The Viet-Minh Regime 1954, Street Without Joy 1961, The Two Vietnams 1963, Viet-Nam Witness 1953-66 1966, Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu 1966) were devoured by the activist young in the 1960s, was killed when he stepped on a mine along the coast north of Hue, the same area he had made famous as the "street without joy"; in 2002, Kerry Frith of Las Vegas was killed in the Philippines in what the Bush administration claimed was the battle against terrorism a crackdown on internal opposition to the Philippine government.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 2-20-2008, 8:23 a.m. PST, 16:23 GMT/SUT/CUT
Albert Einstein / February 20, 1954: In talking about human rights today, we are referring primarily to the following demands: protection of the individual against arbitray infringement by other individuals or by the government; the right to work and to adequate earnings from work; freedom of discussion and teaching; adequate participation of the individual in the formation of his government. These human rights are nowadays recognized theoretically, although, by abundant use of formalistic, legal maneuvers, they are being violated to a much greater extent than even a generation ago.
On this date in 1867, prostitute Julia Bulette was found murdered in her one room crib in Virginia City, Nevada; in 1882, John Muir wrote to Joseph Hooker, director of England's Kew Gardens and author of major works on plant life, seeking help in saving the redwoods; in 1891, newly configured Catholic dioceses in California and Utah put seven eastern Nevada counties into the Diocese of Utah and nine western Nevada counties into the Diocese of Sacramento, a configuration that (with the addition of Pershing County to the Sacramento diocese in 1919) lasted until the creation of the Diocese of Reno in 1931; in 1895, escaped slave, abolitionist, author and diplomat Frederick Douglass died while attending a women's suffrage convention in Washington D.C.; in 1902, Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco; in 1913, Senator Horace Coryell of Elko County introduced legislation to abolish the Nevada Bureau of Industry, Agriculture, and Irrigation, as the state tourism and economic development department was then known (a similar measure had already been introduced by Assemblymember W. M. Gardiner of Washoe County); in 1913, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment to assure that federal anti-trust law would not be used against farmers or labor unions; in 1915, the Panama Pacific International Exposition opened in San Francisco, marking the opening of the Panama Canal; in 1933, five days after he attempted to shoot President-elect Franklin Roosevelt but instead hit five people surrounding FDR, Guiseppe Zangara was sentenced to eighty years in prison on four counts of assault (later, after one of the five, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, died from his wounds, Zangara was tried again and executed); in 1933, Nevada Governor Fred Balzar criticized U.S. Representative Samuel Arentz of Nevada and U.S. Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona for sponsoring legislation creating a park in the Hoover Dam federal reservation because it would be exempt from state taxation; in 1933, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce had an electric sign installed at Fourth and Front streets in Kingman, Arizona, directing tourists to the site of the Hoover Dam construction; in 1937, the Nevada State Journal ran a photograph of the head of a corpse a photograph made of a dead man found in Portola who was suspected of being a kidnap-murderer and whose photograph was taken before he was buried in a potter's field; in 1964 at the University of California in Berkeley "coeds" who complained about having to sign out from their dorms in logbooks, including filling out a space telling where they were going, were given a time clock instead; in 1964, after an allegation by former U.S. Senate operative Bobby Baker that his telephone calls to Las Vegas casino figure Edward Levinson had been tapped, Nevada Governor Grant Sawyer said anyone, including federal agents, found to be engaged in wiretapping would be prosecuted; in 2008, there will be a showing of the 20th Century Fox film Apartment for Peggy (filmed in Reno in 1948) starring Jeanne Crain and William Holden at the Sands Regency at 7:oo p.m. to benefit the Historic Reno Preservation Society.
UPDATE TUESDAY 2-19-2008, 8:34 a.m. PST, 16:34 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1807, former U.S. vice-president Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama on a charge of treason (and later found not guilty); in 1858, in the first recorded instance of a death penalty in Washington, Nisqually Chief Leschi was hanged at Fort Steilacoom in spite of widespread opposition to the action in both the white and tribal community (in 2004, a Historical Court of Inquiry and Justice headed by Washington Chief Justice Gerry Alexander tried and exonerated Chief Leschi and both houses of the Washington Legislature took similar actions); in 1876, a meeting was scheduled for the state capital to consider Charles Stevenson's proposal for erecting a quartz mill as Nevada's exhibit at the U.S. centennial exposition in Philadelphia and the Nevada State Journal published an attack on the idea and Stevenson (later governor); in 1890, an order was issued to Pyramid Lake tribal members prohibiting them from fishing on their reservation between January 15th and March 15th; in 1915, British troops executed Winston Churchill's amateurish plan for an invasion of Turkey on Gallipoli peninsula, a campaign that left Allied forces pinned down on the beaches for eight pointless months while officers kept feeding more soldiers into the futile battle and combat deaths and disease swept the force, resulting in 33,532 deaths, damage to the careers of Churchill and many military officers, and alienation of Australia from Britain (8,587 of the deaths were Aussies; see below); in 1939, British olympic skier Sonja McCaskie was born (she skied in the alpine skiing and giant slalom events in the 1960 olympics at Squaw Valley and remained in the host city of Reno until her murder in 1963); in 1942, though ten weeks had passed since Pearl Harbor with no hint of Japanese-American disloyalty, President Roosevelt signed an executive order providing for their internment in concentration camps (General John DeWitt had argued "The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken" and Walter Lippman used similar reasoning in arguing that the lack of sabotage was "a sign that the blow is well organized and held back until it can be struck with maximum effect"); in 1963, Nevada Attorney General Harvey Dickerson issued an opinion to the public employees retirement system advising that the widow of a school teacher be denied his pension because he died before he finished filling out the forms naming her as a beneficiary; in 1964, Gray Reid's department store in Reno was selling a line of Nevada centennial jewelry; in 1964, U.S. Mint director Eva Adams said she would not run for the U.S. Senate against Howard Cannon ("As long as the men do a good job I'm not about to run."); in 1970, after a seriocomic trial that was a political radical's dream, five members of the Chicago Seven were convicted of inciting riot as a compromise verdict after jurors could not find them guilty of conspiracy to riot, and they and their attorneys were also found by judge's edict to be guilty of 175 counts of contempt (all convictions and contempt sentences were later overturned on appeal or thrown out); in 1970, Nevada gambling regulator Frank Johnson said organized crime had "infiltrated" the Las Vegas casino junket business; in 1970, National Congress of American Indians director Bruce Wilkey testified before the Pyramid Lake Task Force (established by U.S. Interior Secretary Walter Hickel and governors Ronald Reagan and Paul Laxalt) in Reno, arguing that the U.S. Department of the Interior handling of Pyramid Lake was "a crime being perpetrated" on tribal members through "deceit" and "calculated misrepresentation", that water was seized and wasted by the creation of the Newlands desert irrigation project without compensation and that the Washoe Project (involving construction of Truckee River upstream dams and reservoirs) would further damage the Pyramid tribe; in 1971, with Clark County commissioners considering licensing a brothel (to be operated by Joe Conforte) about ten miles from the Las Vegas strip, the Nevada Assembly's agriculture committee approved an "emergency" measure to strip that authority from the commission and sent it to the full house; in 1972, the British Broadcasting Corporation banned airplay of Paul McCartney's Give Ireland Back to the Irish; in 1977, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac was released; in 1986, the U.S. Senate finally ratified the 1947 Genocide Convention, 39 years after its December 9, 1947, adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations and 37 years after its June 16, 1949, submission to the senate by President Truman, one of eight consecutive presidents who asked for its ratification; in 2004, with conservative groups going to court to overturn 2,700 marriages performed in San Francisco for same sex couples over the previous week, City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued the state of California to protect the validity of the marriages.
And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
by Eric Bogle
When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli
How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again
Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
In a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
For no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me
So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then turned all their faces away
And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll go a waltzing Matilda with me
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
Who'll go a waltzing Matilda with me?
UPDATE MONDAY 2-18-2008, 11:23 a.m. PST, 19:23 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1546, Martin Luther died; in 1787, Austrian Emperor Josef 2d prohibited the use of children under eight years old as laborers; in 1856, a previously secret society, the Know Nothings, a racist and nativist organization, met in convention in Philadelphia to nominate former president Millard Fillmore for president; in 1861, under pressure from federal officials, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal leaders agreed to surrender much of Colorado that was guaranteed to them by an 1851 treaty, only to face the fierce opposition of their tribes to the land cession; in 1869, a run of the five-act play Under the Gaslight by Augustin Daly began at the Carson Theatre in Carson City, Nevada; in 1873, the U.S. House of Representatives censured U.S. Representative Oakes Ames instead of expelling him because of fear that stronger action would expose more of the involvement of other members in the Credit Mobilier scandal (Credit Mobilier was the name of the corporation Ames had formed to build the transcontinental railroad and to obtain massive favorable terms including large tracts of land not needed for the railroads. Ames bribed numerous members of Congress and Vice-President Schuyler Colfax); in 1878, the murder of rancher John Tunstall causes old grievances to explode into the notorious Lincoln County war in New Mexico that helped make William Bonney famous; in 1885, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published; in 1894, Paul Revere Williams, a renowned early African-American architect who did a lot of work in Reno, was born in Los Angeles; in 1929, Wings, the 1927 movie about class warfare between two fliers in the world war that was directed by William Wellman and starred Buddy Rogers and Clara Bow, won the first Academy Award for best picture; in 1930, Clyde Tombaugh, a 24-year-old high school graduate, discovered the planet Pluto; in 1937, U.S. Representative Everett Dirksen of Illinois called for repeal of the "silly and fallacious" Silver Purchase Act of 1934: "We started buying silver at 44 cents per ounce. The world market price is about 45 cents now. But Uncle Sam continues to pay 78 cents for newly mined silver that a dentist can buy for 45 cents. What kind of policy is this?" (The purchase act had been enacted by Congress at the demand of U.S. Senator Key Pittman of Nevada, chair of the senate foreign relations committee, before Pittman would process FDR's foreign policy legislation); in 1937, employees of the irrigation service of the Owyhee tribal reservation were on furlough until Congress approved funding to complete the Wild Horse Dam project (the dam in Elko County was complete, but Congress had not appropriated money for the diversion dams and canals); in 1937, legislation for a sharply graduated tax on chain stores ($5 on the first store, $25 on the second, up to $500 for each store over five, $25 in 1937 being equivalent to about $317 in 2003) was being considered by the Nevada Legislature; in 1940, the mummified remains of a man were found in a cave in Black Canyon a few miles below Hoover Dam and were identified as the mysterious, never-captured early 20th century Native American outlaw Queho; in 1956, Rock and Roll Waltz by Kay Starr, an instance of traditional MOR singers trying to tap into the growing rock market, hit number one on the Billboard chart; in 1959, Ray Charles recorded What'd I Say? (which was later sung by Elvis in Viva Las Vegas); in 1960, the U.S. Post Office began sale of a new Winter Olympics stamp; in 1964, the U.S. government cut off military assistance to France, Yugoslavia and Britain to punish them for trading with Cuba, but the three nations continued their trade; in 1964, the Atomic Energy Commission invited utilities to submit proposals for a nuclear power plant in Nevada, and U.S. Senator Alan Bible said Sierra Pacific Power Company had acquired land in Lyon County for a nuclear facility capable of generating 150,000 kilowatts; in 1964, California Assemblymember Phillip Burton of San Franciso won a special U.S. House election, winning more than half the vote against seven opponents and avoiding a runoff; in 1972, in the 405th episode of Bonanza, "Hoss" hires a clairvoyant to help locate a lost child, an episode that became one of several episodes Pat Robertson refused to carry on the air when he owned The Family Channel because they clashed with his beliefs or (in one case) because he considered it too erotic; in 1995, Myrlie Evers Williams became president of the NAACP; in 1999, Richard Bryan announced he would not run for another term as U.S. senator from Nevada, closing out a public career that included service as the state's first public defender, in both houses of the legislature, as attorney general, and governor.
[[EDITOR'S NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, historical items appear courtesy of longtime Nevada reporter Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac. [PDA] Items highlighted in blue are of interest to labor in particular and seekers of justice in general. Copyright © 2008 Dennis Myers.]]
UPDATE SUNDAY 2-17-2008, 10:37 a.m. PST, 18:37 GMT/SUT/CUT
February 17, 1966 / U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing:
U.S. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon: You know we are engaged in historic debate in this country where there are honest differences of opinion. I happen to hold to the point of view that it isn't going to be too long before the American people as a people will repudiate our war in Southeast Asia.
General Maxwell Taylor: That, of course, is good news to Hanoi, Senator.
Morse: I know that that is the smear that you militarists give to those of us who have honest differences of opinion with you, but I don't intend to get down in the gutter with you and engage in that kind of debate, General. I am simply saying that in my judgment the President of the United States is already losing the people of this country by the millions in connection with this war in Southeast Asia. All I am asking is, if the people decide that this war should be stopped in Southeast Asia, are you going ot take the position that is weakness on the home front in a democracy?
On this date in 1782, twenty one French and English ships engaged in the first of several battles in the Indian Ocean over the American war of independence with neither side winning a conclusive victory; in 1801, Thomas Jefferson won enough votes in the House of Representatives to become president, ending John Adams' despotic presidency (electors had failed to reach a majority, throwing the election to the House); in 1864, President Lincoln fired Edward Beale, U.S. surveyor general of California and Nevada, because of mishandling of Native American funds; in 1872, the Nevada State Journal denounced the introduction of bills in the Nevada Legislature to provide funding for religious purposes in violation of the state constitution; in 1892, as part of the program at McKissick's Opera House in Reno, a dozen Washo tribe members performed "the celebrated snake dance"; in 1906, several movie studios agreed in the face of competing audio systems to delay production of talkies until they could agree on a common system (Warner Brothers, not a party to the agreement, went ahead and made The Jazz Singer); in 1909, Geronimo died at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma; in 1919, African-American veterans, not permitted to march in the main New York parade for veterans returned from the World War, held their own parade; in 1932, Carson Indian School superintendent Frederick Snyder said if the Swing/Johnson bill, allowing states to take over federal Native American health care and education facilities, was approved by Congress, Nevada would probably be unaffected because the state didnt have the resources to do the job and so would let it remain in the hands of the feds; in 1933, U.S. Senator Tasker Oddie of Nevada introduced legislation to name the lake that would be created behind Hoover Dam "Lake Nevada" and said he expected action on the measure by the end of the year's Congress; in 1934, four Oklahoma national guard companies and miscellaneous law officers constituting a posse a thousand strong surrounded and then invaded the storied Cookson Hills where outlaws since the days of Jesse James and Henry Starr had hidden, seeking Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow and Charles "Choc" Floyd (called "Pretty Boy" by police and reporters) and bearing shoot-to-kill orders (Parker and Barrow slipped away and Floyd was probably in Buffalo, New York); in 1942, the U.S.S. Nevada was prepared for dry dock after being refloated, so that its December 7 damage could be repaired; in 1960, Elvis received his first gold album, for Elvis; in 1961, the Vegas Heights town board cancelled its meeting when no one could get the meeting room unlocked; in 1972, magazine publisher Ralph Ginsburg began serving a three year sentence for distributing through the mails publications regarded as obscene by the Kennedy administration; in 1972, Beverly Harrell defended her decision not to admit an African-American man to her brothel at Lida Junction in Esmeralda County ("A bordello should have a choice of who they entertain.") but Nevada Equal Rights Commission director Tony McCormick said a formal complaint would be filed against her; in 1977, after Governor Mike O'Callaghan claimed that the Pyramid Lake fishery was wasting huge amounts of water and thus reducing power during the energy crisis, tribal attorney Robert Stitser said O'Callaghan was "full of hot air" and that O'Callaghan and Attorney General Robert List had declined to meet with the tribe and federal officials on the matter the previous year; in 1979, China invaded Vietnam and within two weeks declared victory and fled the country (China had returned to its traditional hostile relationship with the Vietnamese after the end of the U.S/Vietnam war); in 1979, Prairie Home Companion premiered on National Public Radio, though it had been running in Minnesota for five years; in 1994, the distinguished journalist Randy Shilts, author of And The Band Played On and Conduct Unbecoming, died; in 1997, special prosecutor Ken Starr announced he would resign to become dean of Pepperdine Law School (Clintonites taunted him for cutting and running on the Clinton investigation, prompting him to withdraw his resignation and remain as special prosecutor).
UPDATE SATURDAY 2-16-2008, 5:38 p.m. PST, 01:38 2-17-2008 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1741, the General Magazine, the second magazine in the colonies (Benjamin Franklin was publisher), appeared for the first time, lasting six issues; in 1760, a group of Cherokee held hostage in Fort St. George, South Carolina, were executed in retaliation for Indian raids (the Cherokee then killed thirty of their prisoners, whereupon the settlers retaliated again, and so on, and on); in 1804, a 74-person force of U.S. sailors slipped into Tripoli harbor in a small boat and destroyed the captured U.S. frigate Philadelphia so it could not be used by Tripolitania; in 1812, Jeremiah Jones Colbath was born in Farmington, New Hampshire (when he was 20 he had the state legislature change his name to Henry Wilson and under that name became vice president of the United States); in 1863, Congress enacted a law providing that treaties with the "Sisseton, Wahpaton, Medawakanton, and Wahpakoota Bands of Sioux of Dakota are abrogated and annulled"; in 1864, Nye County, Territory of Nevada, was created (today it is the second largest county in the United States); in 1878, the Nevada State Journal reported "Mining men say that the Sutro tunnel could reach the Savage in fifteen days if so desired."; in 1878, Congress approved the Bland/Allison Act, providing for government silver purchases of $2 million to $4 million a month at market prices with the ore to be used for minting coins at a ratio of 16 to one (16 ounces of silver equivalent to one ounce of gold, regardless of market prices), a godsend for western silver interests; in 1885, the Nevada board of examiners (governor, attorney general and secretary of state) was processing "war claims" by Nevada "veterans" who had joined in battles against the Paiutes; in 1904, seven students at the Nevada State University in Reno were suspended for holding a social gathering in the mechanical department during working hours; in 1911, Joaquin Miller, "poet of the Sierra" who had ridden with the Pony Express and lived for a year with a Native American tribe, was critically ill at Fabiola Hospital in Oakland and his physician said death might come in a matter of hours (he lived until February 13 or 17 1913); in 1918, Steamship S.N.A. 4, manufactured by the Great Lakes Engineering Works in Detroit was commissioned a navy ship as the U.S.S. Lake Tahoe; in 1919, state water engineer Frank Nicholas arrived in Las Vegas to review two applications for thousands of acres of land under the U.S. Desert Land Act; in 1918 in the historical capital of Vilnius, the First Lithuania Council declared the independence of Lithuania (independence was restated by a resolution passed by the Constituent Seimas on May 15, 1920); in 1934, after three years of independence and 79 years of self rule, Newfoundland was forced by its desperate situation during the Depression to rejoin Canada and England; in 1943, Mildred Fish Harnack of Wisconsin was beheaded for her role as a member of the Rote Kapelle (Red Orchestra) anti-Nazi resistance group, her last words reportedly "Und ich hatte Deutschland so geliebt" ("And I had loved Germany so much"); in 1944, Lt. Woodrow Ellertson of Reno, a 22 year-old assistant manager of Walgreen's Drug Store when he was drafted, was killed in action during a bombing mission over Drehm (he received the Air Medal postumously for five missions over Europe and it was given to his father, Louis Ellertson of Carson City, in a ceremony at the Reno Army Air Base on June 17); in 1953, an earthquake occurred in Pipe Spring, Arizona, an area that experienced earthquakes in suspicious correlation with Nevada atomic bomb tests; in 1959, attorney Fidel Castro was sworn into office as prime minister, replacing José Miró Cardona, who had been installed by post-Batista Cuban elites and recognized by the United States; in 1961, a day after a Republican state committee criticized Governor Grant Sawyer's travels, GOP Senator Rene Lemaire of Lander County called for closer scrutiny of the governor's travel budget; in 1968, Elvis received a gold record for his album How Great Thou Art, for which he would later also receive his only Grammy; in 2004, the daytime television program The View began a week of programs from Las Vegas.
UPDATE FRIDAY 2-15-2008, 8:16 a.m. PST, 16:16 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1862, the westernmost battle of the Civil War was fought at Pichaco Pass, Arizona (one day after the state was admitted to the Confederacy) and ended in a Confederate victory; in 1879, President Hayes signed legislation allowing female attorneys to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court; in 1898, the battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor and the Hearst press claimed the ship was sabotaged by "an enemy", leading to war with Spain (a 1976 inquiry conducted by Admiral Hyman Rickover concluded that the ship explosion was an accident caused by a fire in a coal bunker adjacent to an ammo magazine); in 1904, former Nevada governor Reinhold Sadler announced his candidacy for United States senator on the Silver Party line; in 1905, General Lew Wallace, author of Ben Hur and governor of New Mexico Territory, died; in 1913, the Armory Show, the first show of modern art in the U.S., opened at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City with display of 1,300 works by Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Duchamp and others, generating wide controversy and advancing the acceptance of modern art; in 1914, actor Kevin McCarthy, whose character was divorced from Marilyn Monroe's character in the Nevada movie The Misfits, was born in Seattle; in 1917, the main branch of the San Francisco Library was dedicated; in 1937 on a 19 to 11 vote that failed to reach the required two-thirds, the Nevada Assembly defeated a state constitutional amendment, endorsed by Governor Richard Kirman, to abolish the state surveyor general's office (an elective post); in 1937, the Nevada State Journal ran an editorial on a proposed federal press shield law without ever taking a stand on the measure; in 1937, a letter from the Pyramid Lake tribe to U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran of Nevada was publicly released and suggested that McCarran's support for handing tribal land over to five white squatter families was a betrayal of Franklin Roosevelt's promised new deal for Indians; in 1937 on the southeast corner of Reno's Second and Virginia streets, KOH radio's "Inquiring Reporter" program asked people on the street "How do you think television will affect you when it comes?"; in 1966, Dick Gregory was arrested and jailed in Washington for fishing illegally near Tacoma (he was in company with Nisqually tribal members and trying to focus attention on their fishing claims), Chubby Checker was arrested in Chicago for contributing to the delinquency of a 17 year-old college student and department store clerk, and Ahmad Jamal was cleared of child support charges after proving he had overpaid his ex-wife support for their daughter; in 1966, the Nevada Gaming Commission refused to permit Broadway producer David Merrick (Gypsy, Oliver, Hello Dolly) to transfer his interest in the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas to a New York corporation; in 2003 in what is believed to have been the largest protest in human history, millions of people in Barcelona, Madrid, Manila, Berlin, London, Glasgow, Andalusia, Paris, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Ontario, Buenos Aires, Stuttgart, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Bangkok, Berne, Helsinki, Jakarta, Athens, Nova Scotia, Hong Kong, Canary Islands, Malta, Cyprus, Belgium, Austria, New Zealand, Bosnia, South Africa, Honduras, New Zealand, Hungary, Netherlands, Antarctica, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Equador, Brazil, Ireland, South Korea, Lebanon, Russia, Japan, India, Ukraine, Croatia, Singapore, Slovenia, Norway, Portugal, Brazil, Basque Country, Iceland, Poland and 600 U.S. communities (including September 11 targets New York and Washington) protested Bush administration plans to invade Iraq.
UPDATE THURSDAY 2-14-2008, 1:53 p.m. PST, 21:53 GMT/SUT/CUT Happy St. Valentine's Day!
Launch of Barbwire cable/web trimulcast postponed until June (see below)
Dear Readers: As Bobby Burns once wrote, the best laid plans of mice and men aftimes gang agley.
Alas and alack, today the burn's on me and I'm feeling mousy as a result.
I was assured that we could go hot on Valentine's Day, but the engineering for the cable/web trimulcast is not complete. I hope that The Media Center can sort out the rat's nest of wires so that both mice and men can have access to a killer news and talk source.
And I was planning to have such fun comparing the ignition of this little light with the military-industrial complex's thinly veiled venture into star wars. Obviously, Gen. Bucky Baby Turgidson is alive and well in the bowels of the Pentagon and Dr. Strangelove has advised the security apparat that we have to do something to compete with them dirty commies who shot down a satellite last year.
My personal apologies to anyone who has been inconvenienced by what turned out to be a premature announcement and a shootdown of another sort.
I'll let you know when we're finally ready to test-fly this critter.
Be well. Raise hell.
ps: On the bright side, the frosty sun of this day convinced the first jonquils of spring to burst out of the ground. (They're daffodils to some, but Betty called 'em jonquils and so forevermore will I. Hope springs eternal.)
Barbwire.TV launches week of June 1, 2008
On Feb. 14, 270, Christian leader Valentine was beheaded on the road between Gaul and Rome (the date is traditional); in 1843, a performance was held in Rochdale, England, immortalized more than a century later in the lyrics of For the Benefit of Mr. Kite (John Lennon, seeing a copy of a poster promoting the original performance in an antique store, was inspired to write the song); in 1848, James Polk became the first president photographed while in office; in 1862, after Tucson residents celebrated the southern victory at Fort Sumter, Confederate President Jefferson Davis signed legislation making Arizona a Confederate state; in 1864, Union General William Sherman began a five-day campaign to wipe Meridian, Mississippi (civilian and military aspects) from the face of the earth in an effort to break the southern will: "Meridian, with its depots, storehouses, arsenals, hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments no longer exists," Sherman wrote afterward; in 1903, the Western Federation of Miners struck for an eight-hour day in Cripple Creek, Colorado; in 1910, in one of Nevada's most sensational cases of high grading, Goldfield Constable Bart Knight and several other leading citizens were arrested on charges of stealing gold bearing amalgam from the Goldfield Consolidated mine; in 1912, exactly 50 years after it was admitted to the Confederacy, Arizona was admitted to the Union (its southern sympathies during the civil war are believed to have delayed its admission); in 1920, the League of Women Voters was founded; in 1931, Lewis Construction Company manager and chief engineer Raymond Lewis arrived in Las Vegas to begin work on construction of the railroad from the Boulder City site to the Hoover Dam project; in 1944, Lake Tahoe residents marked this as the centennial of the white discovery of Lake Tahoe; in 1955 in Florida, Dade County Republicans walked out of the Miami downtown Urmey Hotel and later threatened legal action after hotel president E. N. Claughton ordered 24 African-American guests at the dinner out of the hotel because "this place is for whites only"; in 1962, Jacqueline Kennedy and CBS reporter Charles Collingwood conducted a televised tour of the White House; in 1965, the home of Malcolm X was firebombed; in 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded Respect; in 1970, Marianne Reddick, owner of the Academy Personnel Agency, testified before the Nevada Equal Rights Commission that she had "White Only" printed on work referrals because she didn't want to embarrass African-Americans, apparently by sending them to jobs where businesspeople wanted only whites (she said a local businessperson had chewed out one of her job counselors for sending a black applicant on a job referral); [UPDATE 9-10-2013 > Ms. Reddick's very unfortunate Reno Gazette-Journal obituary made international news and will be the subject of the 12 Sept. 2013 Barbwire in the Sparks Tribune and at this website. May she rest in peace. For more, see the Campaign Against Forcibly Paid Obituaries.]
in 1971, Richard Nixon's taping system was installed in the White House; in 1994, Jerry Garcia married Deborah Koons.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 2-13-2008, 8:21 a.m. PST, 16:21 GMT/SUT/CUT
Curtis Bok / February 13, 1954: In the whole history of law and order the longest step was taken by primitive man when, as if by common consent, the tribe sat down in a circle and allowed only one man to speak at a time. An accused who is shouted down has no rights whatever.
On this date in 1633, Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial by the Inquisition for supporting the Copernican theory; in 1822, Missouri Lieutenant Governor William Ashley and his business partner Andrew Henry published a St. Louis newspaper ad seeking fur trappers "to ascend the river Missouri to its source, there to be employed for one, two, or three years", a important step in the subsequent fate of the west (Ashley later sold the fur business to Jedediah Smith, the first known Euro-American to enter the Great Basin); in 1861, Colonel Bernard Irwin, an army surgeon, began a trek to rescue a unit of infantry that was beseiged by the Chiricahua Apaches, an action that (33 years later) received the first Medal of Honor citation; in 1904, Abbie Danielson was buried in Fallon, supposedly (according to the Carson City News) the first funeral in that area (the newspaper also claimed Danielson and her husband were the first couple married there as well); in 1905, President Roosevelt, speaking to the New York City Republican Club, gave a patronizing analysis of race relations in the U.S. that urged "that the backward race [African-Americans] be trained so that it may enter into possession of true freedom while the forward race [whites] enabled to preserve unharmed the high civilization wrought out by its forefathers"; in 1930, former first son John Coolidge, unhappy with his wife's pilot training, elicited a promise from her that she would quit (sign of the times: his wife's name was never given in The New York Times account); in 1937, two Reno men were hospitalized in Las Vegas after being snowbound for four days in the Groom mining district (now Area 51); in 1939, George Cukor (The Philadelphia Story, Adam's Rib, A Star Is Born) was fired as director of Gone With the Wind by David Selznick and replaced by Victor Fleming (The Wizard of Oz, When the Clouds Roll By); in 1963, the Reno Evening Gazette ran a cartoon of Cassius Clay (as Muhammed Ali was then known) captioned "HIM AND HIS BIG MOUTH" and showing the boxer with his wide open mouth filled with the word "CLAY"; in 1970, the topping off ceremony at the new Kings Castle Hotel Casino in Incline Village at Lake Tahoe took place in a blizzard; in 1975, members of the Nevada Senate budget committee scrutinizing the athletic funding of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said they worried that "the tail is wagging the dog" with academics becoming secondary to athletics; in 1977, Ipi Tombi closed at New York City's Harkness Theatre; in 1987 in Moscow, CNN reporter Peter Arnett, covering a protest by Jewish dissidents, was beaten by KGB agents and dumped in an alley, his camerawoman knocked to the ground and kicked; in 2002, Jason Disney of Fallon died in Afghanistan; in 2006, twelve year-old New Tampa student Jasmine Roberts submitted a science project in which she gathered ice and toilet water (after flushing once) from fast food restaurants, tested the samples at a lab at the Moffitt Cancer Center, and found higher levels of bacteria in the ice (she later received first place and an $800 prize in a regional science fair); in 2008 at 8:14 in the morning PST, the cost of the Iraq war reached $494,029,452,199 (on this same date one year ago it was $366,069,655,984); $4,425,595,126 for Nevada taxpayers, $1,047,431,939 for Las Vegans, $363,392,778 for Renoites.
UPDATE TUESDAY 2-12-2008, 10:50 a.m. PST, 18:50 GMT/SUT/CUT NEW Barbwire.TV
This Valentine's Day, after a brief 15-year hiatus, the Barbwire returns to This Valentine's Day, after a brief 15-year hiatus, the Barbwire returns with a TV and web simulcast. Tune in, turn on and tell a friend. Today, we tech-test our trial balloon and other mixed metaphors. Click on the link above for details.
UPDATE 2-14-2008: Launch of Barbwire cable/web trimulcast postponed
On Feb. 12, 1599, rebellious members of the Querechos tribe in what is now New Mexico were sentenced for their rebellion against Spanish authority and Catholic missionaries (see below); in 1793, the Fugitive Slave Law was enacted, empowering slave owners to reclaim "their property"; in 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky; in 1900, Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson, considered the black national anthem, was performed for the first time by a choir composed of schoolchildren at segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville, where Johnson was principal; in 1904, the Carson City Barber's Union threw its support to Japan in the Russo/Japanese war because "Japanese shave while the Russians surround their physiogonomics with luxuriant thickets of unkempt whiskers."; in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded; in 1909, at a cornerstone ceremony for a memorial to Abraham Lincoln at his birthplace of Hodgenville, Kentucky, attended by President Theodore Roosevelt, press reports said there was "a notable lack of negroes" in attendance; in 1910, after eight Round Mountain, Nevada, miners advertised in the Los Angeles Times seeking wives, the Goldfield Daily News received a letter from a woman saying "I would like to hear more directly from some of the lonely Round Mountain bachelors, providing some of them are still serious about the matrimony problem."; in 1937, in a ceremony in the Nevada Assembly hall on Abraham Lincoln's 128th birthday, the Nevada chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization for civil war vets) folded; in 1953, Atomic Energy Commission chair Gordon Dean denied the widespread belief that atomic testing in Nevada was causing changes in the weather; in 1953, Jeanette Flack, daughter of a Las Vegas school official, was found guilty in federal court of marijuana possession; in 1962, Reverend Robert Spike, general secretary of the Board of Home Missions of the United Church of Christ, stated "There are times when I see the city of Las Vegas as a preview of the future of civilization, and if that isn't horrifying, I don't know what is. Las Vegas could be the of the horrible future of a nation that owes its existence to self-indulgence, which can only survive by spending more and more to pamper itself." (Reverend Tally Jarrett of Las Vegas's Christ Church Episcopal: 'A churchman's job is to bring men to Christ. And if he [Spike] spent the time doing this he wouldn't have time to condemn others."); in 1971, two hundred Native Americans in Bishop, California, in town for a basketball tournament, began three nights of rain dances in an effort to break a drought; in 1972, the U.S. negotiating team at the Paris peace talks refused to attend the negotiating session to protest a 75-nation assembly at Versailles held to protest U.S. involvement in Vietnam; in 1999, President Clinton was acquitted in his trial in the U.S. senate.
The sentence imposed on the Querechos: "Males over age 21: One foot cut off and 20 years of personal servitude. Males 12 to 21: 20 years of personal servitude. Women over 12: 20 years of personal servitude. Children under 12: To be handed over to the priests for a Christian upbringing." Two Hopis captured at Acoma had their right hands cut off and were released to carry word back to their villages.
UPDATE MONDAY 2-11-2008, 9:01 a.m. PST, 17:01 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1715, the Tuscarora tribe signed a peace treaty with North Carolina settlers; in 1861, Abraham Lincoln, departing for the District of Columbia to become president, spoke in Springfield to say goodbye to the people of Illinois, and later in the day spoke at Indianapolis from the balcony of the Bates House; in 1910, a court challenge was being prepared to try to overturn Nevada's new primary election, and U.S. Senator George Nixon was rumored to be supporting the challenge; in 1916, Reno's Twentieth Century Club heard Jean Morris Ellis speak on eugenics; in 1929, the Vatican and Benito Mussolini signed the Lateran treaty, recognizing each other as governments and ending the self-imposed "imprisonment" of popes in Vatican City that had lasted for 59 years (on February 10, 2005, La Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, contended that the Lateran treaty obligated European Union nations to deal with the Vatican as a government); in 1937, Amelia Earhart announced she was tired of flying the Atlantic and would take an around the world flight starting from the west coast; in 1937, the last assets of the Bank of Sparks were auctioned off in justice court, reportedly making it the first bank in the state to be completely liquidated; in 1960, sixty members of the NAACP appeared at the doors of the whites-only Hawthorne casino, the El Capitan, and were refused entry; in 1960, Jack Paar tearfully walked off the Tonight show after NBC censored a juvenile story he told about a bathroom; in 1962, former Nevada assemblymember and senator Newt Crumley, who brought big name entertainment to the Commercial Hotel in Elko in 1941 and later owned the Holiday Hotel in Reno, died in a plane crash; in 1964, The Beatles appeared in their first U.S. concert at the Washington Sports Arena in D.C., with The Chiffons, Tommy Roe and The Caravelles as the opening acts; in 1990, as people around the world watched on live television, Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster Prison in Paarl after 27 years of imprisonment, drove to Cape Town 50 miles south, and spoke to the world; in 1999, the distinguished Latter Day Saints historian Leonard Arrington (Great Basin Kingdom) died.
UPDATE SUNDAY 2-10-2008, 12:15 a.m. PST, 00:15 GMT/SUT/CUT
This Valentine's Day, after a brief 15-year hiatus, the Barbwire returns to telecast with webcast simulcast. Tune in, turn on and tell a friend.
On Feb. 10, 1763, the Seven Years War, a world war known in the British north American colonies as the French and Indian war, ended with the Treaty of Paris; in 1874, U.S. Senator John Jones of Nevada introduced Senate Bill 468, providing for the minting of a twenty cent piece (after the bill was enacted and minting began, dime novel publishers Beadle and Adams introduced "double dime" novels); in 1890, eleven million acres that the Sioux had been forced to surrender were opened for white settlement; in 1897,The New York Times added the slogan "All the news that's fit to print" to its front page (a contest for a replacement slogan was later held, with "All the world's news, but not a school for scandal" the winner, but it was not used and the old slogan was still kept in place); in 1904, it was announced that the "co-eds" at the state university in Reno would get to edit one issue of the Student Record (forerunner of Sagebrush) during the semester; in 1910, Nevada District Judge Theran Stevens refused to grant a divorce to a Goldfield couple on the ground that people resort to divorce too quickly and told the couple to "make up"; in 1911, Mineral County, Nevada, was created, carved out of the northern portion of Esmeralda County; in 1933, the singing telegram was offered for the first time, by the Postal Telegram Company in New York; in 1937, the Pyramid Lake tribe was circulating a petition to be sent to the Nevada congressional delegation, asking for the defeat of U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran's bill directing the secretary of the interior to grant title to land inside the Pyramid Lake reservation to five families of white squatters; in 1949, Death of a Salesman debuted on Broadway; in 1965, the Nevada Legislature ratified the 25th amendment to the United States Constitution, providing for presidential disability and vice presidential appointment (the Nevada and Minnesota ratifications on this date put the amendment into the constitution); in 1967, Laura Dern was born in Los Angeles; in 1970, President Nixon appointed Nevada Assemblymember Leslie Mack Fry of Reno to the American Battle Monuments Commission; in 1965, Tapestry by Carole King was released; in 1968, Paul Mauriat and his orchestra's L'Amour est bleu (Love is Blue) became the only French recording to hit number one on the U.S. charts; in 1971, Larry Burrows of Life, Nenri Huett of the Associated Press, Kent Potter of United Press International, and Keisaburo Shimamoto of Newsweek died in a Saigon helicopter while they were covering Saigon's invasion of Laos; in 1976, Doonesbury character "Andy Lippincott" became the first gay character in a mainstream comic strip; in 1977, after holding mortgage company executive Richard Hall hostage for three days in his allegedly booby-trapped apartment in Indianapolis, Anthony Kiritisis walked out with a sawed-off shotgun wired to Hall's neck where he also effectively took two local television stations hostage, as they carried his diatribe live for more than 20 minutes (a third station bailed out after 10 minutes, believing that "He was controlling us, manipulating us"); in 1986, backed by a Mt. Rushmore-lineup of the state's Democratic leaders in the old Assembly hall in Nevada's capitol, U.S. Representative Harry Reid announced he would run again for the U.S. senate seat being vacated by Republican Paul Laxalt, who defeated Reid for the seat by 624 votes in 1974; in 2003, Iraq agreed to a key U.N. demand by allowing U-2 overflights to search for weapons facilities, but George Bush dismissed the concession and continued preparations for war.
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-9-2008, 1:30 p.m. PST, 21:30 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1619, Italian philosopher and freethinker Lucilio Vanini, after being persecuted from nation to nation across Europe, had his tongue amputated and then was burned at the stake in France; in 1825, the U.S. House of Representatives appointed the loser in the 1924 election, John Quincy Adams, to be president after electors failed to produce a majority; in 1864, Union prisoners escaped through a tunnel from Richmond's Libby Prison; in 1877, the Nevada State Journal denounced the state's capital city: "This village is the beggar of Nevada. It is forever crying for the State to locate all of its public buildings within its limits. It wants everything. Let a new institution be mentioned and lo, the brazen-faced village asks it with all the effrontery which long begging has given it. Still, after all, we can hardly wonder at its solicitude, for its very existence depends upon the pap it receives from the State and National Governments. Why, were it not for the Mint and the State Capitol, the sagebrush grown streets of Carson and the few shanties erected there would no be the roving places of coyotes and the homes of bats and lizards."; in 1886, President Cleveland declared a state of emergency in Seattle because of anti-Chinese riots; in 1888, Walt Whitman wrote to his publisher to complain about numerous typos in his poem Oh Captain! My Captain! in Leaves of Grass (the poem was written to memorialize the assassinated Abraham Lincoln); in 1893, Nevada Assemblymember S.G. Boston, a Lyon County Republican, introduced "An act to prohibit the manufacture and sale or wearing of hoop skirts and methods of detection, etc." (though the assembly had a trades and manufactures committee and a public morals committee, the hoop skirts measure was sent to the internal improvements committee and never heard of again); in 1917, Tom Mooney , labor leader and publisher of the socialist newspaper The Revolt, was convicted of fatal bombing, a conviction later shown by a U.S. Department of Labor investigation to have been a frame by the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the San Francisco district attorney (Mooney was pardoned after two decades in prison); in 1937, boys on the Stewart Indian School boxing team arrived back in Nevada from a Pacific Association boxing tournament angry over judging, which San Francisco sportswriters also reportedly deplored as unfair; in 1953, Governor Charles Russell's executive secretary Chester Smith said he would resign to take a job in D.C. with U.S. Senator Patrick McCarran while he attended law school and expected eventually to join an investigating committee headed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin; in 1960, Adolph Coors III vanished in a botched kidnapping attempt (his body was found eight months later); in 1970, a committee appointed by Reno Mayor Roy Bankofier reported back with a recommendation that the city's red line district (limiting casinos to a downtown area) be abolished; in 1971, eighty-five years after the Seattle anti-Chinese riots (above, 1886) protests by the Oriental Student Union shut down Seattle Central Community College; in 1982, Vice-President George Bush denied ever using the term "voodoo economics" to describe the policies of Ronald Reagan, challenging anyone to produce taped proof, which NBC's Ken Bode did in an on-air report (Bush conceded defeat in a note to Bode); in 2002, ten thousand Israelis marched in Tel Aviv to protest brutal treatment of Palestians.
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-8-2008, 11:03 a.m. PST, 19:03 a.m. GMT/SUT/CUT
William Hazlitt / The Atlas / February 8, 1829: The majority, compose them how you will, are a herd, and not a nice one.
On this date in 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded; in 1865, Martin Delany, founder of one of the first African-American newspapers (the Mystery), physician, and colleague of Frederick Douglass, was appointed the first black major in the U.S. Army; in 1887, Congress enacted the Dawes Severalty Act to strip tribes of their land held in common by tribal members and distribute the land to individual members, with an upper limit on distributions that resulted in massive land loss for Native Americans; in 1912, Elko Free Press editor E.M. Steninger called on Governor Oddie to add to the special session call the question of prohibiting prize fights in order to prevent a Jack Johnson/Jim Flynn fight from taking place in Elko County; in 1918, the army newspaper Stars and Stripes, previously published for servicepeople in the civil war, was revived for two years to serve servicepeople in the world war (a front page story said Allied prisoners of war were being made to clean the latrine of the Austrian Crown Prince.); in 1924, the first lethal gas execution in U.S. history was carried out in Carson City against inmate Gee Jon, convicted of killing a rival in a tong war in Mina, Nevada; in 1928, a television image was sent across the Atlantic for the first time (to mark the 75th anniversary in 2003 amateur radio operators in England and the U.S. repeated the experiment); in 1937, in an editorial, the Elko Free Press recommended that Tennessee not be judged by "freak" happenings like the evolution trial in Dayton and the February 4 marriage of 22-year-old Charles Johns and 9-year-old Eunice Winstead of Sneedville; in 1960, Teen Angel by one-hit wonder Mark Dinning, about a couple that fled their car parked on the railroad tracks after which she "went running back" to get her going-steady ring only to be flattened by a train, hit number one on the Billboard chart (it is one of the best known, and possibly the first, of a string of teen tragedy songs featuring motorcycle crashes, car wrecks, plane crashes, suicides, and so on); in 1962, a U.S. Military Assistance Command (MACV) was set up in Saigon to oversee the growing U.S. military commitment; in 1968, the first student protest deaths occurred when South Carolina highway patrol officers killed four students and wounded 27 by firing into an Orangeburg crowd of 300 on the campus of South Carolina State that was protesting a segregated bowling alley (in 1998, the state legislature passed a resolution expressing "profound gratitude" to the dead students whose statues now stand on the campus for their fight for justice); in 1971, troops of the Saigon regime, backed by U.S. artillery and air power, invaded Laos (the invasion never reached twenty miles into Laos and seven weeks later the troops were chased hastily back to Vietnam in disarray, some of them clinging desperately to the skids of U.S. helicopters); in 1973, Max Yasgur, owner of the Bethel, New York farm where the Woodstock festival was held, died in Florida; in 1977, in what was probably part of an effort to win support for the Equal Rights Amendment, President Carter telephoned Clark County senators Floyd Lamb and Eugene Echols and small counties Senator Norm Glaser, but was only able to reach Echols, who still voted against the ERA; in 2007, in Mecca in a power sharing arrangement brokered by Saudi Arabia, Hamas and Fatah agreed on a national unity government for Palestine, generating a wave of relief across the world except in Israel and the U.S., which went to work seeding divisions between the two factions, including U.S. shipments of weapons to Fatah in Gaza and maintaining crippling sanctions on the Hamas government).
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-7-2008, 9:39 a.m. PST, 17:39 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1603, Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare's anti-war and anti-imperial play, was registered at the Stationers Company in London; in 1912, John Otis and Jack McKinney fought a duel in National in Humboldt County and Otis ended up shot and McKinney in jail; in 1941, Nevada consumer activist Betty Barbano was born in Enid, Oklahoma; in 1945, Lutheran theologian and resistance leader Dietrich Bonhoeffer was sent to Buchenwald, where he died; in 1956, African-American student Autherine Lucy was expelled from the University of Alabama after mobs interfered with her attending classes (24 years later, the university lifted the expulsion and Lucy graduated in 1992); in 1963, Nevada banking institutions appealed to the public in newspaper advertisements for cooperation in complying with a new federal law requiring customers to surrender their social security numbers to financial institutions; in 1964, The Beatles arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York on Pan Am Yankee Clipper flight 101 and on the same day Baskin and Robbins added a flavor: "Beatle Nut"; in 1966, testifying in his lawsuit against former Clark County sheriff W.E. Leypoldt and two deputies, Louis Dragna, who was listed in Nevada's casino "List of Excluded Persons", said he was embarrassed when he was arrested in Las Vegas (Dragna's lawyer contended that his client had been arrested in the past but never convicted, and "he was arrested just because of his arrest record"); in 1968 at the battle of Ben Tre, a U.S. major told Associated Press reporter Peter Arnett "They are our friends out there, we waited until we had no choice. The Vietnamese chief of staff had to bring in an air strike on the house of his neighbor because the communists had occupied it. Our own positions were threatened, the government center nearly overrun. It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."; in 1979, Nazi "doctor" Josef Mengele is believed to have suffered a stroke and died while swimming, and his family kept the fugitive's death secret; in 1980, Pink Floyd performed The Wall live onstage for the first time at the Los Angeles Sports Arena; in 1986, Phillippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos claimed victory against Corazon Aquino after the vote count showing Aquino ahead was suspiciously stopped, causing Filipinos to go into the streets in massive "people power" protests; in 1990, President Mikhail Gorbachev's recommendation that the Communist Party end its monopoly control of the political system was adopted by the party Central Committee, allowing other parties to enter political action; in 2002, George Bush announced his plan for the federal government to subsidize religion with contributions of federal funds to their charity programs; in 2006, the CBS Evening News in its coverage of the funeral of Coretta Scott King failed to report the comments of Reverend Joseph Lowery and other speakers calling George Bush to account.
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-6-2008, 2:06 a.m. PST, 10:06 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1820, the U.S. census reported that just under two out of every ten citizens was black though under Article One, Section Two of the U.S. Constitution, each black counted as only three-fifths of a citizen; in 1843, thirty-four year-old Kit Carson married 15 year old Josepha Jaramillo in Taos; in 1864, former Nevada Territorial Supreme Court Justice Gordon Mott wrote to President Lincoln seeking a brigadier general's rank for his brother Samuel Mott; in 1936, the fourth winter olympics began in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, with opening ceremonies conducted by Adolf Hitler; in 1939, officials of the Spanish Republic fled to France, where a government in exile was formed; in 1945, Bob Marley was born in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica; in 1955, during the Nevada legislative session, Pershing County Senate Harry Munk died; in 1958, George Harrison probably met John Lennon and Paul McCartney for the first time at an appearance of the Lennon band, The Quarry Men, at Wilson Hall in Liverpool; in 1966, rich people living southwest of Reno objected to having the new Highway 395 put through their neighborhoods; in 1968, the 19th winter olympics began in Grenoble, with opening ceremonies conducted by Charles deGaulle; in 1971, first U.S. astronaut and fifth person on the moon Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the moon; in 1976, the George Harrison recording of The Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying) was released; in 2003, an interAfrican conference called for commemoration of February 6 as an annual day of opposition to the practice of female genital mutilation.
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-5-2008, 8:19 a.m. PST, 16:19 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1846, the Oregon Spectator, the first Pacific coast newspaper, began publication; in 1897, the Indiana House of Representatives approved a measure declaring the value of pi is not 3.14; in 1900, Illinois governor and Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson was born; in 1902, stamps at Comstock ore mills on the Carson River were hanging up because of extreme cold; in 1912, U.S. Attorney for Nevada Samuel Platt denied reports that charges would be dropped against U.S Representative William Kent of California and his Golconda Cattle Company for closing the public's land to the public in the Golconda area; in 1917, two newspaper reporters arrived in Carson City after crossing the Sierra with a message for Nevada Governor Emmet Boyle from California Governor Hiram Johnson, and Boyle received it while at the desk of the presiding officer in a joint session of the Nevada Assembly and Senate and immediately informed the legislators that the message called for construction of an all-weather California/Nevada highway and asked for Nevada's assistance in lobbying the feds for funding; in 1920, Nevada Attorney General Leonard Fowler, arguing that "We must thwart the Japanese menace", asked Governor Emmet Boyle to expand the call to state legislature into special session to allow them to prohibit property ownership in Nevada by "Asiatics"; in 1937, Nevada Highway Department Director Robert Allen called for a force of six highway patrol officers to patrol state highways; in 1940, the Glenn Miller Orchestra recorded Tuxedo Junction; in 1947, on the basis of six months of interviews of major league baseball players, City College of New York researchers reported that the reputed danger of players in southern states quitting the game if it was integrated was overstated ("Southern players, despite their hostile attitude, would do little more than grumble silently if they had to play on teams hiring Negroes because of fear of losing popularity in a game where there are a large number of applicants for major league berths") and that the attitude of fans and northern players was not an obstacle to integration; in 1966, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara said he would testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the committee's hearings on Vietnam if it was a closed session but refused to testify before the public; in 1966, Tony Hatch's My Love by English movie star Petula Clark hit number one on the Billboard chart, the second of 15 number one hits she had in the United States; in 1969, ABC broadcast the biggest, shortest-lived turkey in television history Turn On, a spin off of Laugh In that was so boring and tasteless that some local affiliates refused to air it and sponsor Bristol Myers dropped it (it was cancelled after a single show); in 1973, the funeral of Lt. Col William Nolde, believed to be the last U.S. soldier killed in Vietnam, was held at Arlington; in 1985, Australia refused to allow use of U.S. bases there to monitor a U.S. MX missile test; in 1994, Byron de la Beckwith was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination three decades earlier of civil rights leader Medgar Evers; in 2001, in the middle of the night, Canadian students with an annual tradition of dangling old Volkswagens from buildings in Vancouver hung an old red Volkswagen from the Golden Gate Bridge; in 2003, at the United Nations, a gullible U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell made the case for an armed and dangerous Iraq using false intelligence, a performance Powell later called "a blot" on his record though the testimony remains posted to this day on the White House web site (the occasion also provided classic evidence of the way mainstream journalism shapes the news to support the establishment the networks carried Powell's testimony live but cut away from testimony of a better informed U.N. arms inspector).
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-4-2008, 12:01 a.m. PST, 08:01 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1795, France abolished slavery; in 1818, John Keats, Leigh Hunt and Percy Shelley spent an evening competing to write the best sonnet on the subject of the Nile; in 1822, freed U.S. slaves landed in Africa and founded the nation of Liberia, naming the capital of Monrovia for U.S. President James Monroe; in 1889, Harry Longbaugh was released from Wyoming's Sundance Prison; in 1902, a man named William Woods brought 83-year-old L. Vary, reportedly the first person to file a mining claim that was worked to any extent in what is now Nevada, to Winnemucca from Varyville in northern Humboldt County and he was hospitalized (the mining claim for which he was known was filed in 1856 near Humboldt House, later a meal station); in 1927, after a Las Vegas glee club trip to Bunkerville was cancelled and the Tonopah basketball team cancelled its game with Bunkerville, reports of a quarantine of Bunkerville were exposed as a hoax; in 1938, Thornton Wilder's Our Town opened on Broadway; in 1946, Garson Kanin's Born Yesterday opened on Broadway; in 1965, Malcolm X and Coretta Scott King spoke to civil rights supporters at Brown Chapel in Selma; in 1966, a Soviet space station made the first soft landing on the moon and began sending photos back to earth (Jodrell Bank in England intercepted the signals and called them "the most sensational pictures we have ever had at Jodrell Bank"); in 1966, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened televised hearings on the Vietnam war, and U.S. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon was seeking repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which President Johnson claimed was the functional equivalent of a declaration of war; in 1966, former New York newspaperman and Territorial Enterprise owner Lucius Beebe died in Hillsborough, California; in 1966, four pro-war effigies were hung from a Nevada Southern University balcony, carrying labels with the names of three teachers and the Nevada Committee for Peace in Vietnam; in 1966, the Reno Sparks Association of Evangelicals endorsed a gambling tax increase initiative petition opposed by the casino industry and Governor Sawyer; in 1966, three federal "war on poverty" grants to aid the elderly poor were provided to the Washoe and Clark county economic opportunity boards and the Intertribal Council of Nevada; in 1966, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into a Yellow cab at the Thunderbird Hotel on the Las Vegas strip during a cab strike; in 1970, Gray Reid Wright, one of Reno's oldest department stores (and a locally owned one), filed for bankruptcy; in 1974, Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley; in 1977, a great one-night band made up of Gregg Allman, Donald Byrd, Charlie Daniels, Chuck Berry, Chuck Mangione, Les McCann, the Pointer Sisters, Johnny Rivers, Seals & Crofts, Doc Severinson, Junior Walker, and several members of Booker T and the MGs performed on ABC; in 1985, a port visit request by the U.S.S. Buchanan to New Zealand was refused because of objections to U.S. nuclear policies and belligerence by the Reagan administration in dealings with the Soviet Union; in 1987, Congress overrode President Reagan's veto of the Clean Air Act; in 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Colville, Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakama and other tribes had not met the requirement of showing an anthropological link between Kennewick Man and their tribes and authorized scientific examination of the remains.
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-3-2008, 12:06 a.m. PST, 08:06 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1377, Robert of Geneva, a representative of Pope Gregory 11th, used mercenary troops to destroy the Italian town of Cesena and massacre much of the population; in 1821, Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman physician in the United States, was born in Bristol, England; in 1863, in Nevada's Territorial Enterprise, Samuel Clemens made his first known use of the pen name Mark Twain; in 1865, in a conference arranged by newspaper publisher Horace Greeley, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and C.S. Vice President Alexander Stephens met on a steamboat in Virginia to try to negotiate an end to the Civil War, but the conference promptly broke down when Lincoln refused to negotiate unless the south first surrendered, and refused to make any concessions such as recognition of the Confederacy; in 1879, the Nevada State Journal editorialized on proposed legislation in Congress to establish reservations for African-Americans: "It lacks practicality."; in 1909, U.S. Senator George Nixon sent a telegram to the Nevada Legislature on behalf of President Theodore Roosevelt, asking state lawmakers not to enact anti-Japanese resolutions (Speaker J.B. Giffen responded by introducing resolution censuring Roosevelt); in 1920, Governor Emmet Boyle praised Nevada's criminal syndicalism statute that was used against labor organizations but said he was leaning against an American Legion proposal to expand his special session call to the Nevada Legislature to include amendment of the syndicalism law; in 1933, Hopi Chief Joseph Secakuku of Oriahi Mesa said members of his tribe were "totally ignorant of the economic depression" "My people recognize the advantage of the white man's civilization, but they also see the value of their own heritage. Simple In tastes and want, they are living now as comfortably as at any time in the past. They don't know what depression is and can't understand the lamentations of the white man."; in 1937, western Nevada was snowbound, skiers were taking supplies to stranded parties and isolated families, the Lake Tahoe mail boat Marion B was driven ashore by the force of a storm, all roads north, west, and south of Reno were blocked, and assemblymembers Frank Bacigalupi and J.E. Sweatt, both of Washoe County, reached the legislature by traveling east to Leeteville and then west to Carson City; in 1947, Percival Prattis became the first African-American reporter admitted to the congressional press galleries; in 1956, after the NAACP obtained a court order against her being rejected and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the order after a five-year legal battle, Autherine Lucy enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Alabama (on her third day of classes, a mob prevented her attendance, which the university used as a pretext for her suspension and then expulsion, which was reversed a quarter century later, followed by her graduation in 1992); in 1959, a small plane carrying Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper crashed in a field near Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard (Waylon Jennings and guitarist Tommy Allsup had given up their seats to Valens and the Bopper and Dion chose not to spend the $36 for the flight); in 1961, Bob Dylan recorded San Francisco Bay Blues, his first recording; in 1962, actress Michelle Greene (L.A. Law) was born in Las Vegas; in 1968, The Beatles recorded Lady Madonna; in 1970, brothel owner Joe Conforte became the only bidder to operate a Reno city bus line after all other contenders dropped out; in 1998, joyriding U.S. Marine pilots flew between the upper and lower lines of an Italian cable car service, severing a line and sending a gondola crashing to the ground, killing 20 (the U.S. refused to recognize Italian law and sneaked the four crew members out of the country and back to the U.S. where the pilot was tried and acquitted by a Marine tribunal).
UPDATE: SATURDAY 2-2-2008, 11:03 a.m. PST, 19:03 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, concluding the U.S. war of aggression against Mexico, which was forced to turn over a third of its territory, including Nevada; in 1867, the final issue of Unionville, Nevada's Humboldt Register was published; in 1912, Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination while ill, made a speech before the Periodical Publishers Association banquet in Philadelphia that was so rambling and repetitious that it raised questions about his sanity and knocked him out of the race (however, his speech to the publishers was an attack on the press, so it's entirely possible that the resulting news coverage reflected their distress); in 1920, forty-eight women social justice leaders around the U.S., including Nevada's Anne Martin, reported in New York that families of alleged political radicals arrested by the Wilson administration and held at Ellis Island for deportation were desperately in need; in 1920, a revolt by members of the New York Legislature against their leaders' successful effort to unseat five socialist members of the Assembly collapsed when the supposed insurgent leader, Theodore Roosevelt, failed to act; in 1920, Nevada District Judge Edward Lunsford ruled that the entire estate of the late U.S. Senator Francis Newlands was subject to a Nevada inheritance tax; in 1942, an article in the Los Angeles Times contended that a Japanese American "grows up to be a Japanese, not an American"; in 1954, an unusual snow fell on Gibraltar and Algeciras; in 1954, the U.S. Senate voted funding for U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigating committee for another year with every Republican and every Democrat except William Fulbright supporting the appropriation; in 1961, The New York Times reviewed The Misfits, filmed in Nevada: "As William Saroyan put it, 'There's no foundation all the way down the line.' Characters and theme do not congeal. There is a lot of absorbing detail in it, but it doesnt add up to a point."; in 1961, the Nevada Legislature ratified the 23d amendment to the U.S. Constitution (giving residents of the District of Columbia the right to vote in presidential elections); in 1962, eighteen days after President Kennedy gave a flat "No" answer to a news conference question about whether U.S. forces were involved in combat in Vietnam, a U.S. Air Force C-123 crashed while spraying defoliant on a Vietnamese ambush site; in 1966, Eureka County Senator Jack Bay was acting governor while Governor Grant Sawyer and Lieutenant Governor Paul Laxalt were in the District of Columbia; in 1975, Dorothy Hamill won the U.S. female figure skating championship; in 1981, Guy Louis Rocha became Nevada State Archivist; in 2003, Vaclav Havel stepped down as president of the Czech Republic.
UPDATE:FRIDAY 2-1-2008, 7:51 a.m. PST, 15:51 GMT/SUT/CUT On this date in 1834, the process of seizing Cherokee land and giving it to white winners of a lottery got underway in Georgia; in 1857, Nevada's second known handwritten newspaper, the Scorpion, was issued by Stephen Kinsey in Genoa (the February 1 date is assumed by historians); in 1885, Mormon Church President John Taylor went underground to avoid federal arrest for polygamy, running the church from a series of hideouts for the next two years; in 1893, the Black Maria, a movie studio that rotated so the open skylight could always face the sun, was constructed in West Orange, New Jersey by Thomas Edison; in 1894, a meteor came down between the Nevada mining camps of Candelaria and Bellville; in 1919, wartime price fixing of gasoline by state and federal governments was ended; in 1929, The Broadway Melody, the first original movie musical, premiered at Grauman's Chinese in Los Angeles, going on to become the first sound film to win a best picture Academy Award; in 1958 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, Elvis had what was expected to be his last recording session before induction into the army, but efforts at My Wish Came True, Don'cha Think It's Time, Your Cheatin' Heart and especially Wear My Ring Around Your Neck did not go well and he returned to the studio on February 26 to continue work on Wear My Ring; in 1960, a new technique unfolded in the civil rights movement when four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (Ezell Blair, Jr., now Jibreel Khazan, David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil) sat in at a Woolworth's whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro in an effort to get service (the manager closed the counter rather than serve them, but word of their unusual protest crackled across the south and the next day they were joined by more students and soon sit-ins were underway in 54 cities and the Greensboro Woolworth's desegregated during the summer); in 1960, Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts addressed a joint session of the Nevada Legislature with a saber-rattling speech about the "singleminded advance" of communism, using several themes that would become familiar later in the year: "Can a nation organized and governed such as ours endure? We travel along a knife edged path which requires leadership better equipped than any since Lincoln's day to make clear to our people the vast spectrum of our challenges." (Reno Mayor Bud Baker traveled to Carson City to give Kennedy the key to Reno and Reno chamber of commerce president Frank Bender attacked JFK for meeting with labor leaders but not the chamber); in 1962, on an episode of The Donna Reed Show titled Donna's Prima Donna, Shelley Fabares backed by Darlene Love and the Blossoms sang Johnny Angel, which was released on the Colpix label and spent 15 weeks on the Billboard chart, hitting number one on April 7.; in 1964, U.S. and Saigon naval units began implementing Op Plan 34a, secret offensive raids against northern Vietnamese coast and island installations that helped provoke Vietnamese attacks on a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Tonkin that was characterized by President Johnson as an attack instead of a retaliation and used as a pretext for war; in 1964, Indiana Governor Matthew Welsh, acting on a complaint from a teenager that the lyrics of Louie Louie are obscene, asked the state's radio stations not to play the Kingsmen hit (the governor said the song made his ears "tingle"); in 1968, David Leroy Collins of Carson City, Nevada, died in Vietnam (panel 36e, line 47 of the Vietnam wall); in 1968, eight years after losing the presidency and six years after losing the governorship of California, Richard Nixon announced he would run again for president; in 1970, the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe dedicated new buildings at Wadsworth and Nixon; in 1994, The New Republic reported that the Clinton health plan would "prevent you from going outside the system", a claim that was immediately seized upon by George Will, Rush Limbaugh and innumerable others, dominated the debate over the plan, and won the author of the article a National Association of Magazine Editors award, even though the claim was false, as The New Republic itself admitted (but the magazine waited more than a year to correct the record, until the plan was dead); in 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas as it was reentering the atmosphere after two weeks in orbit.
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