Monthly Archives: June 2014

A True Visionary….

…….in more ways than one.

Who is the woman who started an international cable TV and radio network that reaches nearly 300 million households and is in over 140 countries? Not to mention this empire started out of a garage and a couple of hundred bucks to start it all.

Who is this woman?

She’s Mother Angelica.

Mother Angelica would be hailed as a trailblazer for women in the media if she weren’t a Catholic religious sister in a full habit. The international media presence she founded, Eternal Word Television Network, filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court and then found itself receiving a temporary injunction from the 11th circuit keeping them from having to be subject to the abortion-drug, contraception, sterilization mandate. More about the case here.
Here’s a  video  about Mother Angelica:


Today in History….June 30

1097 – The Crusaders defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum.

1841 – The Erie Railroad rolled out its first passenger train.

1859 – Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1894 – Korea declared independence from China and asked for Japanese aid.

1908 – A meteor explosion in Siberia knocked down trees in a 40-mile radius and struck people unconscious some 40 miles away.

1912 – Belgian workers went on strike to demand universal suffrage.

1913 – Fighting broke out between Bulgaria and Greece and Spain. It was the beginning of the Second Balkan War.

1915 – During World War I, the Second Battle Artois ended when the French failed to take Vimy Ridge.

U.S. President Warren G. Harding appointed former President William Howard Taft chief justice of the United States.

1922 – Irish rebels in London assassinate Sir Henry Wilson, the British deputy for Northern Ireland.

1930 – France pulled its troops out of Germany’s Rhineland.

1934 – Adolf Hitler purged the Nazi Party by destroying the SA and bringing to power the SS in the “Night of the Long Knives.”

1935 – Fascists caused an uproar at the League of Nations when Haile Selassie of Ethiopia speaks.

1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s book, “Gone with the Wind,” was published.

1950 – U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. troops into Korea and authorizes the draft.

1951 – On orders from Washington, General Matthew Ridgeway broadcasts that the United Nations was willing to discuss an armistice with North Korea.

1952 – CBS-TV debuted “The Guiding Light.”

1953 – The first Corvette rolled off the Chevrolet assembly line in Flint, MI. It sold for $3,250.

1955 – The U.S. began funding West Germany’s rearmament.

1957 – The American occupation headquarters in Japan was dissolved.

1958 – The U.S. Congress passed a law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the Union.

1960 – The Katanga province seceded from Congo (upon Congo’s independence from Belgium).

1962 – Los Angeles Dodger Sandy Koufax pitched his first no-hitter in a game with the New York Mets.

1964 – The last of U.N. troops left Congo after a four-year effort to bring stability to the country.

1970 – The Cincinnati Reds moved to their new home at Riverfront Stadium.

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government could not prevent the Washington Post or the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers.

1971 – The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 11 returned to Earth. The three cosmonauts were found dead inside.

1971 – The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified when Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18.

1974 – Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defected in Toronto, Canada.

1974 – The July 4th scene from the Steven Spielberg movie “Jaws” was filmed.

1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced his opposition to the B-1 bomber.

1984 – The longest professional football game took place in the United States Football League (USFL). The Los Angeles Express beat the Michigan Panthers 27-21 after 93 minutes and 33 seconds.

1985 – Yul Brynner left his role as the King of Siam after 4,600 performances in “The King and I.”

1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

1994 – The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.

1998 – Officials confirmed that the remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.

2000 – U.S. President Clinton signed the E-Signature bill to give the same legal validity to an electronic signature as a signature in pen and ink.

2004 – The international Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn’s orbit. The craft had been on a nearly seven-year journey.


Etched In Memory – 19 Heroes Perished 1 Year Ago This Weekend

yarnell19

One year ago this weekend, just north here of Phoenix in Yarnell, 19 firefighters climbed a ridge on  a Sunday to take on what would be their final fire together. They were known in their home city, Prescott, AZ, as the men who sawed brush and saved towns, ran hard, laughed together, told the truth. Beyond there , beyond their home and their world of fire, they were known hardly at all. Yet by Monday, the state and the world knew the names of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

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Scott Craven from The Arizona Republic writes:

PRESCOTT – A year ago they arrived with heads bowed, hands held. The air was silent because no one knew what to say.

They parked their pickups, their SUVs, their sedans outside Mile High Middle School, and when every last space was occupied, they parked along narrow side streets and vacant lots.

Lights blazed from the auditorium, a beacon to those who wanted to be anywhere else.

A few hours earlier on a day that soon would appear on marquees, banners and T-shirts — June 30, 2013 — friends and loved ones of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew gathered to hear the worst news possible.

More: The families the hotshots left behind

Nineteen had perished at the Yarnell Hill Fire, trapped by flames that moved so quickly several of them had not even deployed their fire shelters.

The grief began there, and spread through the city, to the vigil sites, to the public square where the hearses passed by, to the arena where thousands would gather to say goodbye.

Nearly a year later, the scenes that contained the drama of those days largely are devoid of reminders of those early days.

But the number 19 still has only one meaning in Prescott, and it reverberates as strongly today as it did then.

Mile High Middle School

Parents arrive one after another, dropping kids off for another day of a three-week summer program at Mile High Middle School. On a mid-June day, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders will tour downtown, stopping at City Hall and the courthouse.

The electronic marquee in front scrolls through a programmed announcement, reminding sixth-graders to get their necessary shots, and to “Learn a lot, have fun, give back.”

David Kaiser, a math tutor and summer-camp chaperone, is on his way to meet the students in the cafeteria, making sure they have water and snacks.

A year ago, he was in much the same place. The summer program had ended a week before tragedy redefined a community. But after that night, he was back at the school.

It was shortly before 10 p.m. on June 30 when a fire engine crossed Montezuma Street and followed Carleton Street as it curled toward a narrow concrete bridge leading to Mile High Middle School.

It pulled up next to the cafeteria, the firefighters emerging to hug others wearing the dark-blue T-shirt of the Prescott Fire Department.

Hours earlier, phones across the area lit up with calls and text messages. There was a fatal event involving the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Nineteen men had perished. Please come to Mile High Middle School for details.

Some heard the news on the TV and radio. Others were told by friends and family members. Not long after getting word, they arrived at Mile High Middle School, nestled against a hillside just a few blocks from downtown Prescott.

The media assembled outside amid a handful of TV trucks, a hint of the worldwide attention arriving uncomfortably soon. Prescott police positioned a patrol car in front of the bridge, allowing only those invited to pass.

It began in a valley in Yarnell, but it sank in here. Hundreds of people tried to grasp what had happened, helped by counselors and clergy members. But there was only so much that could be done that night, and by 1 a.m. on July 1, most had returned home having no idea what to do next.

Kaiser, the tutor, was back at the school as a volunteer the next day. He ran errands, served meals and did any chore asked of him. Like much of Prescott at the time, he just wanted to help.

In the year since, life has fallen back onto routine, but Kaiser’s memories of that day often surface.

“It hasn’t seemed like a year,” he says. “You come to a certain point where you have to move on, but I don’t know if we’ve reached that point. This is a small community and people remember. Especially something so hard to forget.”

Station 7

The entrance to the working station is off-limits after the newest members of the fuels-management crew finished stripping and waxing the floor.

Letters formed with black tiles glisten under a liquid sheen, initials that forever remind occupants which fire team was here first.

When the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew moved in, team rookies were not allowed to step on the G, M, I, H and C that made the entryway a minefield for newcomers.

The team is gone, but the tradition remains. New members of fuel management — workers primarily responsible for clearing brush — must drop and give 50 push-ups if caught putting foot to black tile.

Station 7 has undergone few changes since the day the hotshots left. Rearranged furniture gives offices and meeting rooms a fresh look. The gym sports a cleaner, more organized look, the sign proclaiming it as “Steed’s dojo” (after fitness fanatic and crew captain Jesse Steed) hanging from the ceiling rather than perching on a weight rack.

The whiteboard listing each hotshot and his relative fitness level — an inside joke among crew members — has been replaced. The original is stored off-site, perhaps one day to be displayed as part of a permanent memorial.

The chain-link fence topped with barbed-wire serves just one purpose, to keep out trespassers. But on July 1, it served a much greater purpose.

At about 1 a.m. July 1, a bouquet of flowers was placed at the padlocked gate. A short time later, 19 roses were threaded through the chain link. As sunlight spilled over the horizon, two men hopped from the back of a pickup and wired to the fence a homemade sign containing one word: “Heroes.”

Much more was added before the first member of the national media arrived. Several times each day, the growing memorial fence appeared behind reporters from CNN, NBC, Fox and more; the satellite trucks choked the parking lot of the propane store across E Z Street.

Many visitors drawn to the site placed items symbolic or meaningful, crosses and candles, flowers and flags. Firefighters from across the country took the shirts off their backs, literally, and clipped them to a fence that was running out of empty space.

Over the next few weeks, Station 7 sat at the center of grief and healing. Long after the satellite trucks departed for other stories, visitors continued to walk along the fence in respectful silence.

Months later, trinkets continued to arrive. By the time volunteers removed and stored the thousands of items in September, the memorial had completely covered the fence on three sides, wrapping the station in reverence.

The fence has since returned to its original state. And inside a large shed behind the station where two buggies are parked, it’s as if time has stood still.

The buggies face toward the door as if needed at any second. Names printed on white paper remain affixed to the windows, marking each crew member’s seat. The chore sheets hanging in back read as they did on June 30.

White magnetic strips run along the top of each buggy, hiding a distinctive and perhaps still painful name. Fire officials thought best to cover the Granite Mountain name of the seldom-used buggies.

While the fence appears as it did the morning of June 30, those who look closely will spot two differences.

The first is a heart-shaped chain padlocked to the gate. Donated by an artist, officials decided to leave it in place rather than cut it.

The second is the 19 purple ribbons tied to the fence by the owner of A Shade Beyond, an awning store that has been the station’s next-door neighbor for years. Almost a year later, the owner says she cannot bring herself to talk about June 30, her bottom lip trembling as soon as “19” is mentioned.

Gary Nasch, who builds awnings, recalls seeing the hotshots almost every day. He’d nod at them, exchange small talk and watch mesmerized as they trained.

“They worked out in ways I couldn’t even imagine,” Nasch says. “All of them were in great shape.”

As he reminisces, another memory rises to the top.

“I watched them getting under those protective blankets, doing it as fast as they could,” he said. “And they were real fast. But I read later they never had a chance. The fire moved too quickly.

“They were so young. It’s such a tragedy.”

Prescott High School

A month after Prescott’s schools have let out for summer, 13-year-old Isiah Kaitschuck practices standing broad jumps in an otherwise empty Prescott High stadium.

Earlier the teen raced over the six hurdles placed along the track, his track coach asking him to put in some extra work on his form. Isiah was happy to, since he joined the summer track program to improve his skills.

During a break, the Prescott resident had no trouble remembering how he heard about the fire that took 19 lives. He’d been in his room listening to music when his uncle interrupted to tell him the news.

Isiah soon witnessed the impact it had on the community. As a member of Heights Church, attended by several of the hotshots, he saw the sorrow reflected in everyone’s faces.

That sorrow was palpable a year ago in this very stadium where hundreds gathered to mourn the hotshots.

Flames had stolen the 19 lives just two days before when the high school hosted a hastily prepared candlelight vigil.

In the late afternoon hours of July 2, volunteers gathered near the stage straddling the 50-yard line. They took care not to jostle the bouquets piled high near the front or touch the hundreds of folding chairs placed in perfect rows.

As the coordinator described the night’s duties — manning the gates, handing out electric candles, distributing bottles of water — hands shot up to claim them.

By the time the sun slipped below the horizon and the stadium lights erased the shadows, more than 1,700 people crowded into the home-side bleachers, there to honor and remember the hotshots.

They came to mourn, perhaps even understand. The hushed crowd remained still as families as well as hotshots from across the state filed in to fill every folding chair in front of the stage.

Hours earlier in the high school’s gym, fire officials conducted a press conference that drew a press skeptical of the way the fire was attacked and community members hostile to the press.

None of that mattered during the candlelight vigil. Names were read, bravery celebrated, efforts extolled. All rose to their feet as one when Brendan McDonough, the only Granite Mountain Hotshot who was not with the 19 when the fire overtook them, was introduced.

By the time the crowd switched on and lifted hundreds of flickering battery-powered candles, there were still no answers. But for a few moments, there was peace.

As people in the folding chairs prepared to leave, the announcer asked everyone to form a gantlet from the stage to the parking lot, protecting friends and loved ones from reporters.

So they did, forming two lines that were three and four people deep, creating an aisle roughly 10 feet wide through the end zone, allowing all to disappear into the night.

The tragedy hasn’t lessened its grip on residents almost a year later, Isiah says.

“You still see Granite Mountain stickers everywhere, on cars and in windows,” he says. “My barber has one on his mirror. People still talk about it and, when they do, they can still start to cry.

“There’s been some recovery, but it’s going to be a long time before anybody gets back to their happy place.”

Downtown Prescott

The red, white and blue pallet stands out amid the antiques in the front window. At first glance it appears to be folk art, the piece resembling an American flag.

A closer look reveals its meaning. Nineteen names appear along its stripes. A date stands out below the stars.

The flag is prominently displayed in the window of the Cortez Street Emporium, one of the town’s many antiques shops. Those who made their way to the back, just under the lighted Prescott sign, saw a door covered with 19 faces, their names matching those on the flag.

It is one of the few reminders that are scattered around downtown Prescott. An occasional Granite Mountain sticker pops up on a store window or inside a display case or behind a bar.

Handmade signs wishing families well have disappeared, and marquees urging all to remember the 19 once again feature business-related messages.

On July 7, hundreds came downtown to welcome the 19 home.

That morning, 19 white hearses wound through Phoenix before heading north on Interstate 17 to Carefree Highway and eventually through Wickenburg and Yarnell.

The motorcycle escort came into view first, descending into Prescott. That was followed by a convoy of white hearses that was far too long.

In Courthouse Plaza, firefighters stood side by side with citizens. As hearses rolled by, there were tears and stoic stares. Glasses were raised along Whiskey Row, and respects paid.

MORE ON THE YARNELL HILL FIRE

This was not how it was supposed to be. The men should have walked off Yarnell Hill and climbed back into white buggies. They were to pull into Station 7 still reeking of ash, preparing their vehicles for the next inevitable call.

But there would be no next call.

The procession finally pulled in to the Yavapai County Fairgrounds, the last stop. Not far away, a plane lifted off, carrying members of the Gila Smokejumpers from Silver City, N.M. They carried with them streamers, each with the name of a Granite Mountain hotshot.

A short time later those streamers fell from the sky, landing near the place 19 men lost their lives.

At the time, photos of 19 men filled the front window of the Cortez Street Emporium. Today those photos cover the door at the back of the shop.

Shop owner Laura Hughes could not bear to place those photos in storage. She wants to remember, and she wants her customers to do the same.

“In this day and age, with so many things going on, it seems we forget so easily,” Hughes says. “I don’t want anyone to forget these men. These guys died heroically. They deserve to be remembered forever.”

The wooden flag in her shop’s window is also meant to remind. As long as she owns the emporium, the piece of folk art will appear each year as the anniversary approaches.

People who see the flag may notice one thing missing. A price tag.

It is not for sale.

Tim’s Toyota Center

On a rapidly warming spring day, two men muscle metal poles from a box truck outside Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, placing them around a large rectangle of bright yellow nylon. In another hour, one of the last midway tents will be assembled and anchored to the asphalt.

They are surrounded by the colorful trappings of a traveling carnival. Two fun houses — Crystal Lils Glass House and the Wacky Shack — stand two stories tall and are easily seen from a busy street fronting the center.

The fried-food trailer, lined with yellow and orange flags flapping in the steady breeze, is missing only the distinctive scent of bubbling oil. Other attractions are scattered across the asphalt in various states of assembly.

In two days the carnival opens for business, just as it did on the same weekend a year ago, not long before the arena hosted an event at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum.

On July 9, a lengthy convoy of buggies motored below an American flag suspended between extended ladders of fire trucks, each pulled up alongside Tim’s Toyota Center, engines switched off.

Hundreds of hotshots from across the West silently disembarked, about to walk past photos of 19 men they would recognize best with soot on their faces and ash in the air.

The vast majority of the thousands who descended July 9 on Tim’s Toyota Center did so in uniform, whether the T-shirt of fellow hotshots or the dress blues of fire departments across the nation.

The memorial service drew politicians as well, including Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Jan Brewer. Each of the 5,000 seats inside the Prescott Valley arena was occupied by invitees, the public watching on Jumbotrons in the parking lot.

Nineteen names were read, the final bell rung 19 times.

Today the arena is back to business as usual, hosting concerts and sporting events and gun shows.

And for the next four days, a traveling carnival will attract families and thrill-seekers alike, its flashing lights erasing the night’s shadows, the music brightening moods.

In less than a week’s time it will vanish, headed for the next town, leaving behind no trace it was ever here.

Arizona Pioneers’ Home Cemetery

Two weeks before the one-year anniversary, there are still paving stones to be laid and brass plaques to be installed, but everyone agrees on one thing — the memorial erected to the Granite Mountain Hotshots does justice to the crew.

Nineteen plots — 13 of them with remains — are laid out in two rows of nine, with a lone plot at the top of the memorial, placed near the base of the American flag. An expanse of deep-green artificial turf covers the graves. Paving stones provide a walkway, and the 18-inch retaining wall enclosing the memorial offers a resting spot for those who want to reflect.

The memorial slopes gently from the three flagpoles erected late last year, put up shortly after firefighters from Prescott and Phoenix visited to find a single and tattered flag tied to a dead tree.

The 105-year-old cemetery seemed the ideal site for the crew’s final resting place. It was chosen in the days following the June 30 fire.

Pioneers’ Home spreads across a hillside northwest of downtown Prescott. Thumb Butte looms in the distance, its summit visited regularly by hotshots as part of their physical training.

As families struggled with their losses, Butch Hampton volunteered the services of his Prescott funeral home, picking up all expenses related to burying the elite team. He chose the Arizona Pioneers’ Home Cemetery because of its location.

No one questioned his judgment. At the time, the majority of the families were most interested in one thing — making sure the team was laid to rest together. The decision of where to bury them was a burden lifted from their shoulders.

Many firefighters, however, were disappointed the first time they saw the barren hillside dotted with plaques, where many grave sites were outlined in rocks while a handful of others were covered with artificial turf.

Danny Parker was saddened when he found out his son Wade was to be buried there.

“When I was a kid, we’d walk past this place (Pioneers’ Home Cemetery) all the time. We thought it was abandoned.”

Still, Parker never thought twice about interring Wade with the rest of the Granite Mountain team. It wasn’t where his son was buried, but with whom.

“It was an honor to have him buried among these heroes,” Parker says.

The memorial’s completion was almost stymied by cemetery officials, who argued it had not been built to the agreed specifications. But construction was allowed to continue when designers agreed to narrow the memorial by 12 inches on each side so it would not overlap future plots.

On Monday, June 30, friends and loved ones of the Granite Mountain hotshots will gather at the memorial, joined by firefighters from across the state. They will share stories and memories of men who lived together, worked together and faced their final fire together.


Today in History….June 29

1236 – Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon took Cordoba in Spain.

1652 – Massachusetts declared itself an independent commonwealth.

1767 – The British Parliament approved the Townshend Revenue Acts. The acts imposed import duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea shipped to America.

1776 – The Virginia constitution was adopted and Patrick Henry was made governor.

1804 – Privates John Collins and Hugh Hall of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were found guilty by a court-martial consisting of members of the Corps of Discovery for getting drunk on duty. Collins received 100 lashes on his back and Hall received 50.

1860 – The first iron-pile lighthouse was completed at Minot’s Ledge, MA.

1880 – France annexed Tahiti.

1888 – Professor Frederick Treves performed the first appendectomy in England.

1897 – The Chicago Cubs scored 36 runs in a game against Louisville, setting a record for runs scored by a team in a single game.

1901 – The first edition of “Editor & Publisher” was issued.

1903 – The British government officially protested Belgian atrocities in the Congo.

1905 – Russian troops intervened as riots erupted in ports all over the country. Many ships were looted.

1917 – The Ukraine proclaimed independence from Russia.

1925 – Marvin Pipkin filed for a patent for the frosted electric light bulb.

1926 – Fascists in Rome added an hour to the work day in an economic efficiency measure.

1932 – Siam’s army seized Bangkok and announced an end to the absolute monarchy.

1932 – “Vic and Sade” debuted on NBC radio.

1941 – Joe DiMaggio got a base hit in his 42nd consecutive game. He broke George Sisler’s record from 1922.

1946 – British authorities arrested more than 2,700 Jews in Palestine in an attempt to end alleged terrorism.

1950 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman authorized a sea blockade of Korea.

1951 – The United States invited the Soviet Union to the Korean peace talks on a ship in Wonson Harbor.

1953 – The Federal Highway Act authorized the construction of 42,500 miles of freeway from coast to coast.

1954 – The Atomic Energy Commission voted against reinstating Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s access to classified information.

1955 – The Soviet Union sent tanks to Poznan, Poland, to put down anti-Communist demonstrations.

1956 – Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were married. They were divorced on January 20, 1961.

1966 – The U.S. bombed fuel storage facilities near the North Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong.

1967 – Israel removed barricades, re-unifying Jerusalem.

1972 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty could constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.” The ruling prompted states to revise their capital punishment laws.

1982 – Israel invaded Lebanon.

1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s “Le Pont de Trinquetaille” was bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London, England.

1995 – The shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.

1998 – With negotiations on a new labor agreement at a standstill, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that a lockout would be imposed at midnight.

2000 – In Santa Rosa, CA, the official groundbreaking ceremony took place for the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

2007 – The Apple iPhone went on sale.


Today in History….June 28

1635 – The French colony of Guadeloupe was established in the Caribbean.

1675 – Frederick William of Brandenburg crushed the Swedes.

1709 – The Russians defeated the Swedes and Cossacks at the Battle of Poltava.

1776 – American Colonists repulsed a British sea attack on Charleston, SC.

1778 – Mary “Molly Pitcher” Hays McCauley, wife of an American artilleryman, carried water to the soldiers during the Battle of Monmouth and, supposedly, took her husband’s place at his gun after he was overcome with heat.

1869 – R. W. Wood was appointed as the first Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy.

1894 – The U.S. Congress made Labor Day a U.S. national holiday.

1902 – The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner bill, it authorized a canal to be built across the isthmus of Panama.

1911 – Samuel J. Battle became the first African-American policeman in New York City.

1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo along with his wife, Duchess Sophie.

1919 – The Treaty of Versailles was signed ending World War I exactly five years after it began. The treaty also established the League of Nations.

1921 – A coal strike in Great Britain was settled after three months.

1930 – More than 1,000 communists were routed during an assault on the British consulate in London.

1939 – Pan American Airways began the first transatlantic passenger service.

1938 – The U.S. Congress created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure construction loans.

1940 – The “Quiz Kids” was heard on NBC radio for the first time.

1942 – German troops launched an offensive to seize Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus and the city of Stalingrad.

1943 – “The Dreft Star Playhouse” debuted on NBC radio.

1944 – “The Alan Young Show” debuted on NBC radio.

1945 – U.S. General Douglas MacArthur announced the end of Japanese resistance in the Philippines.

1949 – The last U.S. combat troops were called home from Korea, leaving only 500 advisers.

1950 – North Korean forces captured Seoul, South Korea.

1951 – “Amos ’n’ Andy” moved to CBS-TV from radio.

1954 – French troops began to pull out of Vietnam’s Tonkin Province.

1960 – In Cuba, Fidel Castro confiscated American-owned oil refineries without compensation.

1964 – Malcolm X founded the Organization for Afro American Unity to seek independence for blacks in the Western Hemisphere.

1965 – The first commercial satellite began communications service. It was Early Bird (Intelsat I).

1967 – Israel formally declared Jerusalem reunified under its sovereignty following its capture of the Arab sector in the June 1967 war.

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali.

1972 – U.S. President Nixon announced that no new draftees would be sent to Vietnam.

1976 – The first women entered the U.S. Air Force Academy.

1978 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the medical school at the University of California at Davis to admit Allan Bakke. Bakke, a white man, argued he had been a victim of reverse racial discrimination.

1996 – The Citadel voted to admit women, ending a 153-year-old men-only policy at the South Carolina military school.

1996 – Charles M. Schulz got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1997 – Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear after three rounds of their WBA heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, NV.

1998 – Poland, due to shortage of funds, is allowed to lease, U.S. aircraft to bring military force up to NATO standards.

1998 – The Cincinnati Enquirer apologized to Chiquita banana company and retracted their stories that questioned company’s business practices. They also agreed to pay more than $10 million to settle legal claims.

2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court declared that a Nebraska law that outlawed “partial birth abortions” was unconstitutional. About 30 U.S. states had similar laws at the time of the ruling.

2000 – Darva Conger announced that she had done a layout for Playboy magazine. Conger had married Rick Rockwell on Fox-TV’s “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire.”

2000 – The European Commission announced that they had blocked the planned merger between the U.S. companies WorldCom Inc. and Sprint due to competition concerns.

2000 – Six-year-old Elián González returned to Cuba from the U.S. with his father. The child had been the center of an international custody dispute.

2001 – Slobodan Milosevic was taken into custody and was handed over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. The indictment charged Milosevic and four other senior officials, with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war in Kosovo.

2001 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set aside an order that would break up Microsoft for antitrust violations. However, the judges did agree that the company was in violation of antitrust laws.

2004 – The U.S. turned over official sovereignty to Iraq’s interim leadership. The event took place two days earlier than previously announced to thwart insurgents’ attempts at undermining the transfer.

2004 – The U.S. resumed diplomatic ties with Libya after a 24-year break.

2004 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that enemy combatants could challenge their detention in U.S. Courts.

2007 – The American bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list.

2010 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Americans have the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live.


Today in History….June 27

12 years ago today, our beautiful daughter Daniella Fernanda was born. Happy Birthday Daniella, I love you!

0363 – The death of Roman Emperor Julian brought an end to the Pagan Revival.

1693 – “The Ladies’ Mercury” was published by John Dunton in London. It was the first women’s magazine and contained a “question and answer” column that became known as a “problem page.”

1743 – King George II of England defeated the French at Dettingen, Bavaria, in the War of the Austrian Succession.

1787 – Edward Gibbon completed “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” It was published the following May.

1801 – British forces defeated the French and took control of Cairo, Egypt.

1847 – New York and Boston were linked by telegraph wires.

1871 – The yen became the new form of currency in Japan.

1885 – Chichester Bell and Charles S. Tainter applied for a patent for the gramophone. It was granted on May 4, 1886.

1893 – The New York stock market crashed. By the end of the year 600 banks and 74 railroads had gone out of business.

1905 – The battleship Potemkin succumbed to a mutiny on the Black Sea.

1918 – Two German pilots were saved by parachutes for the first time.

1923 – Yugoslav Premier Nikola Pachitch was wounded by Serb attackers in Belgrade.

1924 – Democrats offered Mrs. Leroy Springs for vice presidential nomination. She was the first woman considered for the job.

1927 – The U.S. Marines adopted the English bulldog as their mascot.

1929 – Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting television pictures.

1931 – Igor Sikorsky filed U.S. Patent 1,994,488, which marked the breakthrough in helicopter technology.

1940 – Robert Pershing Wadlow was measured by Dr. Cyril MacBryde and Dr. C. M. Charles. They recorded his height at 8′ 11.1.” He was only 22 at the time of his death on July 15, 1940.

1942 – The FBI announced the capture of eight Nazi saboteurs who had been put ashore from a submarine on New York’s Long Island.

1944 – During World War II, American forces completed their capture of the French port of Cherbourg from the German army.

1949 – “Captain Video and His Video Rangers” premiered on the Dumont Television Network.

1950 – Two days after North Korea invaded South Korea, U.S. President Truman ordered the Air Force and Navy into the Korean conflict. The United Nations Security Council had asked for member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.

1954 – The world’s first atomic power station opened at Obninsk, near Moscow.

1955 – The first “Wide Wide World” was broadcast on NBC-TV.

1955 – The state of Illinois enacted the first automobile seat belt legislation.

1958 – NBC’s “Matinee Theatre” was seen for the final time.

1959 – The play, “West Side Story,” with music by Leonard Bernstein, closed after 734 performances on Broadway.

1961 – Arthur Michael Ramsey was enthroned as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury.

1964 – Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman were married. It only lasted 38 days.

1966 – “Dark Shadows” began running on ABC-TV.

1967 – The world’s first cash dispenser was installed at Barclays Bank in Enfield, England. The device was invented by John Sheppard-Barron. The machine operated on a voucher system and the maximum withdrawal was $28.

1967 – Two hundred people were arrested during a race riot in Buffalo, NY.

1969 – Patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, clashed with police. This incident is considered to be the birth of the homosexual rights movement.

1972 – Bobby Hull signed a 10-year hockey contract for $2,500,000. He became a player and coach of the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association.

1973 – Former White House counsel John W. Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an “enemies list” that was kept by the Nixon White House.

1973 – Nixon vetoed a Senate ban on bombing Cambodia.

1980 – U.S. President Carter signed legislation reviving draft registration.

1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individual colleges could make their own TV package deals.

1984 – The Federal Communications Commission moved to deregulate U.S. commercial TV by lifting most programming requirements and ending day-part restrictions on advertising.

1985 – Route 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System.

1985 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted to limit the use of combat troops in Nicaragua.

1986 – The World Court ruled that the U.S. had broken international law by aiding Nicaraguan rebels.

1991 – Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall resigned from the U.S. Supreme Court. He had been appointed in 1967 by President Lyndon Johnson.

1995 – Qatar’s Crown Prince Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani ousted his father in a bloodless palace coup.

1998 – An English woman was impregnated with her dead husband’s sperm after two-year legal battle over her right to the sperm.

1998 – In a live joint news conference in China U.S. President Clinton and President Jiang Zemin offered an uncensored airing of differences on human rights, freedom, trade and Tibet.

2002 – In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission required companies with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion to submit sworn statements backing up the accuracy of their financial reports.

2005 – In Alaska’s Denali National Park, a roughly 70-million year old dinosaur track was discovered. The track was form a three-toed Cretaceous period dinosaur.


Cut the Strings of All the GOP’s Puppets

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
— Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time

 

Erick Erickson positively steams in this RedState article:

The problem for those who call themselves Republicans is that it is harder and harder to say exactly what a Republican is these days. The great lesson from Mississippi is that Republican means, more or less, that if elected the party will reward its major donors, who are just different than the Democrats’ major donors. Policy differences are about different donors, not an actual agenda to shift the country in a different direction.The Republicans have become the party of lobbyists, most of whom were on twitter celebrating their purchase.


[T]his becomes a longer term problem for the Republican Party. Its core activists hate its leadership more and more. But its leadership are dependent more and more on large check writers to keep their power. Those large check writers are further and further removed from the interests of both the base of the party and Main Street. So to keep power, the GOP focuses more and more on a smaller and smaller band of puppeteers to keep their marionettes upright. At some point there will be more people with knives out to cut the strings than there will be puppeteers with checkbooks. And at some point those people with knives become more intent on cutting the strings than taking the place of the marionettes.

The establishment plays for keeps. Their income is dependent on doing so.

 

Conservatism passed the “becomes a business” of Hoffer’s formulation some time ago — probably in the 1990s — and is now firmly in the “degenerates into a racket” phase.

Erickson is quite right: The Establishment’s interest in government is not chiefly ideological, just as a plumber’s interest in pipes is not chiefly ideological. The plumber’s interest in piping is chiefly about income, and so too the interest of the Establishment in government.

The difference between the two parties is the difference between Android and Apple phones. They’re both selling the same product — More Government Solutions! — they just have different branding. They just target different segments of the market with somewhat different aspirational pitches — Apple targets people who think owning Apple products makes them better and more complete people, and Android targets people who think Apple people are silly.

The exact mechanisms of the software and logic differs, but they both deliver the same service. Either way, you’re getting a phone, a camera, a videoplayer, and a map.

Apparently the parties have decided the great ideological struggle of our time is whether the new social services building shall be called the John Murtha Social Wellness Center or the Thad Cochran Freedom & Independence Pavilion.

This is inevitable. And the solution is as inevitable as well. The professional political class must be displaced in favor of an amateur political class, which — for its first several years, at least — will in fact be more interested in revolution than racket.

As I’ve written several times, amateurs have their own weaknesses. But this process of renewal — the replacement of old, complacent, self-interested spirits with fresh ones — is vital.

Without it, a movement dies.

When I was younger, I always thought political conventions were silly, with people wearing silly hats and mingling with falling balloons. The people at the Democratic National Convention looked exactly like the people at the Republican National Convention. And they all made the same silly boasts about the same silly states. (“The great state of Missouri, the Show-Me state, casts its ballots for…”)

They just seemed to be zealous sports fans of the silliest, nastiest, dirtiest, and dumbest, and boringest sport imaginable.

And so it was, largely. The Reagan Revolution substantially changed that — after Reagan, the two parties were no longer arguing about which of the two wings of the Dominant Social Class would get the management jobs of the same Expanding Welfare State — but only for a time.

Because what begins as a revolution becomes a business and ultimately degenerates into a racket.

This process will continue until the end of time. But we need a revolution, now. We can keep our eyes wide open about it, knowing that our revolution will, as it must, ultimately become a racket. By staying vigilant about that, perhaps we can delay that sad metamorphosis for a few years.

But we do need a revolution, now. Thad Cochran ran on Higher Government Spending, and the Establishment cheered him every inch of the way.

They’re not in this for the principle, but for the paycheck.

They must go.