June 23, 2012 archive

On This Day In History June 23

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 191 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin. Hopes for better U.S.-Soviet relations run high as U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, for a three-day summit. The meeting ended inconclusively, however, as issues such as Vietnam and the Middle East continued to divide the two superpowers.


With the United States gradually losing ground in the Vietnam War, the administration was looking for other solutions to the conflict.

On 5 June 1967 the Six-Day War began between Israel and the Arab states. The war led to an increase in Soviet-US diplomatic contact and cooperation; there were some who hoped this could continue to help the US solve the Vietnam war and other pressing international issues. Several days later the Soviet Union sent Premier Alexei Kosygin to New York to hold a speech on the then-ongoing Middle Eastern crisis at the United Nations headquarters. When the United States government was informed of this the Americans gladly welcomed Kosygin to a meeting between him and President Lyndon B. Johnson. On 13 June 1967 Johnson sought out J. William Fulbright, a Senator, at a White House reception. Llewellyn Thompson, then US ambassador to the USSR, believed that a conference could “start the process of moving toward an understanding with the Soviets”. Fulbright even believed that Johnson was reconsidering his Vietnam strategy. Later Fulbright wrote two letters to Johnson about the importance of a summit between the two nations. Johnson agreed, and wrote a letter in return, which said they were waiting for a Soviet response for US invitation. Walt Rostow, the National Security Adviser at the time, said it was a 20 percent chance of the summit having a good effect on Soviet-US relations, and only a 10 percent chance of the summit going awry.

The Soviet Political Bureau (Politburo) were divided over the usefulness of the summit. Andrei Gromyko, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time and still not a member of the Politburo, was able to win support for it. Gromyko noted that Soviet-US dialogue which had been suspended in 1963 should be reactivated, despite the Vietnam War putting a great deal strain on the two countries’ relations.

Kosygin agreed to address the United Nations wished to conduct the summit in New York. Johnson, wary of encountering protesters against the war in Vietnam, preferred to meet in Washington, D.C.. Roughly equidistant, Hollybush was selected as a compromise. The summit took place at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) in Glassboro, New Jersey.


Hare Do

Popular Culture (Music) 20120622: More Moody Blues – Octave

Last time we discussed the peak and decline of The Moody Blues and in particular the studio part of the album Caught Live + 5.  I was going to stop with their studio material at that point, but several readers asked me to complete the Mark II band by including the music and my critique of Octave, Mark II’s eighth studio album.

For details about the production, release, and artwork on this record, please use the link just provided.  I think that you can already tell that I am not wild about this record, but it does have its moments.

I do find it to be exceedingly weak in comparison with their canonical material, and the passing of the Mellotron and Chamberlin leaves it without the signature, hauntingly beautiful sound of The Moody Blues.  Another thing that really bothers me is that they had a studio musician to sit in, and to me that is the antithesis to the canonical albums.  His name was R. A. Martin, and he played the exceedingly annoying saxophone parts and some less annoying horns.  In any event, we should just jump into the music.

Transgender Rocker interviews

On the one hand when celebrities come out, it has generally been good for their communities.  But not always.  There are times when we just want to be thought of as regular people…and celebrities are by definition not “regular people”.

In the past year a couple of rock starts have begun very public transitions.  And we find them in the news of the past couple of weeks.

Laura Jane Grace of the band Against Me! has done her first interview since coming out as a transwoman and doing her first performance under her new name.  The interview was conducted by James Montgomery of MTV News (@positivnegativ).

A Life Unburdened

This is me.  If you have a problem with it, then get out of my life.