Another legend has passed. Astronaut, the last of the Mercury 7, and former Senator John Glenn died this afternoon at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. This is just a portion of the tribute to Sen. Glenn’s life from The Columbus Dispatch: Glenn lived a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! life. As …
Jun 10 2016
Last week, during the period of sparse posting, I attended the funeral of a friend’s great uncle. I never met Grant Haist, who passed away at 93 in Naples, Florida, but I feel like I have known him all my life. Grant held a PhD in chemical engineering, and worked for 33 years at Eastman …
Jun 09 2016
The world lost an icon on Friday June 3 with the death of boxing champion and legend Mohammad Ali. He died at the age of 74 from septic shock due to a respiratory illness in a Phoenix, Arizona hospital. He was buried today in Louisville, Kentucky. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17, 1942 …
Apr 21 2016
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016), known by his stage name Prince, died at his Paisley Park studio in Minnesota, the state where he was born and raised. He was well known for his innovation and eclectic, flamboyant stage presence and wrote hundreds of songs for himself and other artists. He …
Feb 13 2016
Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died this morning at a ranch in West Texas. He was 79. Scalia was appointed to the court in 1986, by President Ronald Reagan, as the first Italian American to serve on the high court. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1936 and brought up in New York City. …
Jan 11 2016
David Bowie, 69, died Sunday in New York City after a very private eighteen month battle with cancer. David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter and actor. He was a figure in popular music for over four …
Sep 23 2015
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra has left the stadium for the last time. The iconic Yankees catcher passed away early this morning.
He retired after 2,120 major league games with a batting average of .285, and hit 358 home runs in his career. He played in more World Series games than any other Major League Baseball player, was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
He won 10 World Series with the Yankees, and a further three after his playing career finished in coaching roles.
Berra also became well known for an array of colourful quotes, such as: “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else”; “When you come to a fork in the road … take it”; “It’s like deja vu, all over again”; and, reflecting on his reputation: “I never said most of the things I said.”
His “Yogi-isms” were repeated by presidents, businessmen, celebrities and anyone else who wanted to sound wise, funny, folksy, or all three. The cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after him, something he did not appreciate. “I don’t know why I say these things,” he once told Reuters. “But people understand me.” [..]
Berra, survived by three sons – Larry, Tim and Dale – as well as 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, was once asked by Carmen: “Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?”
Berra replied: “I don’t know, surprise me.”
Sep 14 2015
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.
September 14 is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 108 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this Day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
President and Mrs. McKinley attended the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He delivered a speech about his positions on tariffs and foreign trade on September 5, 1901. The following morning, McKinley visited Niagara Falls before returning to the Exposition. That afternoon McKinley had an engagement to greet the public at the Temple of Music. Standing in line, Leon Frank Czolgosz waited with a pistol in his right hand concealed by a handkerchief. At 4:07 p.m. Czolgosz fired twice at the president. The first bullet grazed the president’s shoulder. The second, however, went through McKinley’s stomach, pancreas, and kidney, and finally lodged in the muscles of his back. The president whispered to his secretary, George Cortelyou “My wife, Cortelyou, be careful how you tell her, oh be careful.” Czolgosz would have fired again, but he was struck by a bystander and then subdued by an enraged crowd. The wounded McKinley even called out “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!” because the angry crowd beat Czolgosz so severely it looked as if they might kill him on the spot.
One bullet was easily found and extracted, but doctors were unable to locate the second bullet. It was feared that the search for the bullet might cause more harm than good. In addition, McKinley appeared to be recovering, so doctors decided to leave the bullet where it was.
The newly developed x-ray machine was displayed at the fair, but doctors were reluctant to use it on McKinley to search for the bullet because they did not know what side effects it might have on him. The operating room at the exposition’s emergency hospital did not have any electric lighting, even though the exteriors of many of the buildings at the extravagant exposition were covered with thousands of light bulbs. The surgeons were unable to operate by candlelight because of the danger created by the flammable ether used to keep the president unconscious, so doctors were forced to use pans instead to reflect sunlight onto the operating table while they treated McKinley’s wounds.
McKinley’s doctors believed he would recover, and the President convalesced for more than a week in Buffalo at the home of the exposition’s director. On the morning of September 12, he felt strong enough to receive his first food orally since the shooting-toast and a small cup of coffee. However, by afternoon he began to experience discomfort and his condition rapidly worsened. McKinley began to go into shock. At 2:15 a.m. on September 14, 1901, eight days after he was shot, he died from gangrene surrounding his wounds. He was 58. His last words were “It is God’s way; His will be done, not ours.” He was originally buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, in the receiving vault. His remains were later reinterred in the McKinley Memorial, also in Canton.
Czolgosz was tried and found guilty of murder, and was executed by electric chair at Auburn Prison on October 29, 1901.
Aug 19 2015
Civil Rights activist died August 15 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida due to complications of cardiovascular disease. He was 75. Mr. Bond is survived by his wife, Pam Horowitz; sons Horace Mann Bond II, Jeffrey and Michael Bond; daughters Phyllis Jane Bond McMillan and Julia Louise Bond; sister Jane; brother James; and eight grandchildren.
His family announced that he will be buried at sea according to his wishes:
“We are honoring his wishes that his body be cremated and his ashes be committed to the Gulf of Mexico,” the family said in a statement Tuesday. “This will be a private, family only service. The final request will be carried out at sea on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time.”
The statement went on to express that the family understands that many “loved and admired” Bond and invited the public to share in the ceremony.
“We invite you to gather at a body of water near your home and precisely at 2:00 p.m., CDT, spread flower petals on the water and join us in bidding farewell to Horace Julian Bond. This gesture will mean a great deal to us as a family and also provide some comfort in knowing that you share our loss.”
Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman was joined by Taylor Branch, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Benjamin Jealous and Richard Cohen to remember Mr. Bond.
Transcript can be read here
Nov 30 2014
In is with a heavy heart that we bring the saddest news that our dear friend and editor Edger passed away on November 28 after a brief illness. As one friend noted Edger was caring, passionate and compassionate and with a strong sense of justice.
Rest in Peace, my friend
May 28 2014
Author, poet, singer, dancer, actress, but most of all, Civil Rights Activist, Maya Angelou died this morning at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86 years young.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Mar 16 2014
The slogan “Don’t Mourn, Organise!” was written in a telegram from Joe Hill to Bill Haywood before Hill’s execution on trumped up charges in Utah. Joe Hill wrote “Goodbye, Bill, I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time mourning. Organize!”
This slogan is not a call for us to be beyond human and not grieve or mourn. What it is instead is a call not to get so caught up in grief and mourning that we give up the struggle out of despair; it is a call to remind us what we are fighting for and that the struggle continues irrespective of our losses. It takes the loss and puts it in the past (and of course part of our present) and brings to the forefront what those who have passed on have spent their lives fighting for! Presente Bob Crow and Tony Benn!
This week Britain’s left has seen the loss of two stalwarts, two great fighters for economic, political and social justice. Two men from different class backgrounds who spent their lives fighting in different arenas; one as a member of Parliament in the Labour Party and the other as a giant of the trade union movement, a militant trade union organiser. Both men were thorns in the sides of the ruling class and mainstream politicians … both men not only fought in their chosen arenas but were part and parcel of the general movement for socialism, for democracy, and worked alongside, not as an elevated leadership, those struggling against the not only the excesses of capitalism, but in favour of the creation of a better future for all.
Rather than speak for these men, I will let you have the pleasure of listening to them speak for themselves and am including speeches made by them. Both great orators in their own way, the comparison between Bob Crow’s east London working class accent and Tony Benn’s crisp Oxbridge accent in itself is a pleasure; what they are saying exemplifies their different approaches to the struggle for socialism.