On March 7th, 1965, the historic Selma to Montgomery March took place. Hundreds of marched in support of civil rights for all Americans, and expressly for the rights of African-Americans subjected to institutionalized segregation and bigotry.
The march was blocked by Alabama state troopers and aborted. A second march on March 18th was cancelled due to a court order.
Over 25,000 gathered on March 21st, and with the help of federal troops and law enforcement, they completed the 54 mile trek to the state capital in Montgomery.
While the reality of who Doctor King was and what is actual legacy has been. There is no question that assassinated leader stands today as a martyr to social justice in America. And the Selma March remains one of the most tangible symbols of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was introduced in Congress during the Selma March, and once passed became among the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history.
…the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
Thus Englishman Thomas Paine.
Painting on view at Ft. Lee, New Jersey Visitors Center
“On this date in 1776, General Cornwallis crossed the Hudson River from Manhattan with 5,000 British and Hessian troops to attack the Continental Army at Fort Lee, New Jersey. General Washington ordered a general retreat of 2,000 colonial troops stationed there.
Washington’s army then retreated in a southwest direction through New Jersey, passing through Englewood, Teaneck, Morristown, Princeton, and Trenton. With Cornwallis on his heels, it took Washington 12 days to reach the Delaware River and cross over to the Pennsylvania side.
During the retreat, Thomas Paine wrote those immortal words, rendered above.
“Paine’s pamphlet was read aloud to Continental Army troops on the evening of December 23rd. In the early morning of December 26th, Washington crossed the Delaware to the New Jersey side and attacked Hessian troops stationed at Trenton.”
The rest is history of the United States of America.
July 1, 1968 the band called the Band released Music from Big Pink
They changed American music forever
But not just American music was widely influenced by this scraggly group of Americans and Canadians. Eric Clapton heard the record and decided to quite what he was doing and go do something else. He even considered moving to Woodstock, NY to meet these guys and talk them into letting him join the Band.
Here’s the Band 30 years later, joined by the Staple Singers, performing the most iconic song from that first record.
Pancho Villa and others at the very first Fiesta de la tarro vacía
Rare photo recently discovered
A contemplative Villa (left) and a glum Zapata (2nd from right) face an uncertain future
In Mexico during the time of the Revolution, mayonnaise was a national obsession. More of the condiment was consumed there than any other one place on earth, with Hong Kong a distant second.
In fact, leaders on both sides of the conflict were crazy for the stuff. But it was Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata circa 1910, who spread the spread among the common people, as it were, so that its popularity soared.
In those days, England was the mayonnaise capital of the world, with Cross & Blackwell’s, and Hellmann’s as the most popular brands, and the largest shipment of all time, some tens of thousands of jars, set out from Southampton by steamship on April 10, 1912, bound for Vera Cruz, by way of Cherbourg, New York, Charleston, and Havana.
But as history showed, the vessel was none other than the ill-fated H.M.S. Titanic, which struck an iceberg and sank on April 15th.
When news arrived in Mexico twenty days later, the war-torn people were devastated. Their anguish was so great that a truce was declared between the Federales and the rebel factions, for one day of mourning. And thus was held the very first Fiesta de la tarro vacía (Feast of the Empty Jar.)
(photo: Museos de México)
It has been observed ever since, on this very day, now known colloquially as Sinko de Mayo.
This photo of Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour is courtesy of TripAdvisor
It’s been a long time since we had a Republican President who actually meant what he said and who gave a tinker’s cuss for non-wealthy Americans, minorities, and justice for all.
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Acrid truths that cut through the bubble gum and rose colored glasses
In September of 1965 the top charts of hit singles were full of young persons’ love songs, like Yesterday, I Got You Babe, Track of My Tears, California Girls, when Bob Dylan released Positively 4th Street…
“You got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend, when I was down you just stood there grinning…”
50 years later it is still an incredibly powerful song.
You got a lotta nerve To say you are my friend When I was down You just stood there grinning
You got a lotta nerve To say you got a helping hand to lend You just want to be on The side that’s winning
You say I let you down You know it’s not like that If you’re so hurt Why then don’t you show it
You say you lost your faith But that’s not where it’s at You had no faith to lose And you know it
I know the reason That you talk behind my back I used to be among the crowd You’re in with
Do you take me for such a fool To think I’d make contact With the one who tries to hide What he don’t know to begin with
You see me on the street You always act surprised You say, “How are you?” “Good luck” But you don’t mean it
When you know as well as me You’d rather see me paralyzed Why don’t you just come out once And scream it
No, I do not feel that good When I see the heartbreaks you embrace If I was a master thief Perhaps I’d rob them
And now I know you’re dissatisfied With your position and your place Don’t you understand It’s not my problem
I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes You’d know what a drag it is To see you
As only the Onion would have covered the Moon Landing
To the moon with you!
Some 20 years ago, I was in a rehearsal hall in midtown Manhattan, surrounded by some 8 cast members and the stage manager of the play I was directing, as we discussed age differences in relationships.
I had mentioned there was a time when I told myself I would not date anyone who was born before the Moon Walk – a stipulation that was abandoned in later years.
On actress perked up to say, “I remember that! My mother got me out of bed to watch it on TV.”
She was referring to Michael Jackson’s performing his backwards shuffle on the MTV Awards.
EVERY person in the room assumed I was referring to the same incident.
The one that stands, oh, alongside the invention of the wheel and writing, as one of the greatest achievements in the history of human civilization seems to have been overlooked. And it continues to be taken for granted every since.
It seems the wrong Moon Walk has taken over the consciousness of Americans, if you can call it consciousness.
Complete with relief photos and elevation tables, the actual maps from the Normandy Invasion still inspire awe.
Classified as “Bigot,” the highest top secret security level possible, a very few persons even knew of the existence of this and other maps prepared for the assault on Hitler’s Fortress Europe.
Half of Omaha Beach
June Gloom and a Full Moon
June has come with gloom under low, unseasonably cool skies over New York City, mirroring the climate in Northwest Europe at the opening of the most monumental June in human history. [Now June 6, 2017, and it is 56 degrees and with a intermittent sea mist rain that makes this 73rd anniversary’s weather all the more like the 6th of June in Normandy in 1944, than when this was originally posted in 2015.]
The weather was so bad in the spring of 1944 that D-Day was postponed at the last minute, for 24 hours. So the first courageous airborne troops dropped from the sky a few minutes after midnight on June 6, to begin operations prior to the full scale assault that slammed into five beaches, as dawn lit the Normandy coastline west of Caen.
These maps give some indication of the enormity of the invasion, and the amount of detailed planning that went into it.
Some are taken from painstaking copies of original Bigot maps created for the D-Day landings, and available for sale at Alan Godfrey Reproductions.
The Full Invasion Area
Half of Utah Beach
American Navel Operations (Operation Neptune)
British Empire Operations
Canadian Assault on Juno Beach
British Main Assault at Sword Beach
Detail from Bigot map of Sword Operations (English and Free French Commandos)
Detail of British Bigot Map Legends
Britannica’s D-Day site was created years ago, so it has some bad links, but it is full of interesting oral histories by veterans, as well as detailed charts and maps, and other information of interest.
U.S. Army official report on the action at and around Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944. This was prepared and provided to veterans at the 50th Anniversary commemoration in 1994, and based closely on the official report by the War Department, 20 September 1945