A giant American flag is unfurled at Wrigley Field before World Series Game 3, October 28, 2016 (Cubs won the Series, remember?) Will 2017’s World Series push into November for the first time? Wikimedia Commons image
Nine events spread over seven different days come with urgings to fly the U.S. flag in November: Six states celebrate statehood, Veterans Day falls as always on November 11, and Thanksgiving Day on November 23.
Did I say eight? 2017 is an election year in many states, like Texas; we fly flags at polling places on election day, so that makes nine events. You may fly your flag at home on election day, too.
Two states, North Dakota and South Dakota, celebrate their statehood on the same date. Washington’s statehood day falls on Veterans Day, November 11 — so there are only seven days covering eight events.
In calendar order for 2017, these are the seven days:
North Dakota statehood day, November 2 (1889, 39th or 40th state)
South Dakota statehood day, November 2 (1889, 39th or 40th state) (shared with North Dakota)
Election day, November 7 (several states)
Montana statehood day, November 8 (1889, 41st state)
Veterans Day, November 11
Washington statehood day, November 11 (1889, 42nd state) (shared with Veterans Day)
Oklahoma statehood day, November 16 (1907, 46th state)
North Carolina statehood day, November 21 (1789, 12th state)
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November (November 24 in 2016)
Most Americans will concern themselves only with Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. Is flying the U.S. flag for statehood day a dying tradition?
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.
The Statue of Liberty has been a fixture in the U.S. and American psyche, too. Excuse me, or join me, in wondering whether we have not lost something of our former dedication to the Statue of Liberty, and the reasons France and Americans joined to build it.
Poem-a-Day sent Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus” out this morning (Poem-a-Day is a wonderful service of the American Academy of Poets — you may subscribe and I recommend it). There it was, waiting for me in e-mail. My students generally have not heard nor read the poem, I discover year after year — some sort of Texas-wide failure in enculturation prompted by too-specific requirements of federal law and state law, combining to make a slatwork of culture taught in our classrooms with too many cracks into which culture actually falls, out of sight, out of mind; out of memory. I fear it may be a nationwide failure as well.
Have you read the poem lately? It once encouraged American school children to send pennies to build a home for the statue. Today it wouldn’t get a majority of U.S. Congressmen to sign on to consponsor a reading of it. Glenn Beck would contest its history, Rush Limbaugh would discount the politics of the “giveaways” in the poem, John Boehner would scoriate the victims in the poem for having missed his meeting of lobbyists (‘they just missed the right boat’), and Sarah Palin would complain about “an air-bridge to nowhere,” or complain that masses who huddle are probably up to no good (they might touch, you know).
Have you read it lately?
The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus
Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde – Wikimedia Commons image
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Is the Academy of American Poets playing politics here? In much of America, there is an active movement to nail shut the “golden door,” to turn out a sign that would say “No tired, no poor nor huddled masses yearning to breathe free; especially no wretched refuse, no homeless, and let the tempest-tost stay in Guatemala and Pakistan.”
Does that lamp still shine beside the golden door?
Stereoscopic image of the arm and torch of Liberty, at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia; Robert N. Dennis Collection, New York Public Library. The arm was displayed to encourage contributions to the fund to build a pedestal for the statue, from private donations.
* I’m calculating Liberty’s gaze at about 40 feet below the tip of the torch, which is just over 305 feet above the base of the statue on the ground. The base is probably 20 feet higher than the water, but this isn’t exact science we’re talking about here.
NORFOLK – Sailors assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) lower the ensign as the ship shifts colors from the fantail to the mast in preparation to get underway. (U.S. Navy file photo and caption)
A reminder to fly your U.S. flags today in honor of the U.S. Navy.
We celebrate Navy Day each year on October 27, one of the score of dates designated in the U.S. Flag Code to fly Old Glory. Navy Day honors everyone who serves or served in the U.S. Navy.
Navy Day may be eclipsed by Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day in modern life, but it’s still in the law and the Navy still notes it.
So should we.
You get an idea of the celebrations from some of the old Navy Day posters. (If you can put a year on posters undesignated, please tell us in comments; if you know of a poster not shown here, please give a link in comments.)
Navy Day poster, after World War I
This may have been used as a Navy Day poster after the death of Theodore Roosevelt, a former, popular Secretary of the Navy. Crash MacDuff blog
Navy Day poster, post World War I, pre-World War II
Navy Day poster, 1931; Crash MacDuff blog
Navy Day poster, early 1940s, featuring the battleship USS New Jersey. Illustration by Matt Murphey
Navy Day poster, 1940s
Two more 1940s Navy Day posters
Navy Day poster, 1944
Billboard showing art similar to the poster, Navy Day 1944. History 101 image
Navy Day Poster, 1945
Navy Day Poster from after World War II (?)
Navy Day poster, 1947, Crash MacDuff blog. “Issued September 1947. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 78860.”
Yes, this is mostly an encore post. Fighting ignorance requires patience.
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
Bill Watterson’s Calvin, on the impossibility of getting homework to do itself. Copyright Bill Watterson. As Ms. Ashenhurst describes it: “SCH 4U is a university preparation course. As such some independent work is required for success.”
Do you ever get the feeling that President Donald Trump is speaking a foreign language? Or that he’s speaking what he thinks might sound like a foreign language, to cover for his not having done his homework?
Looking back now, we can see whatever it was he said about talking to families of fallen soldiers, he probably needed someone to translate it to himself.
Verge caption: A woman holds a jar of undrinkable water from her well in Ohio in 1973. She filed a damage suit against the Hanna Coal Company, which owned the land around her house. Photo by Erik Calonius / US National Archives. From EPA’s Documerica project.
The BSA Expands Programs to Welcome Girls from Cub Scouts to Highest Rank of Eagle Scout
October 11, 2017
Research reinforces interest expressed by families and girls nationwide as organization looks to offer programs that meet the needs of today’s families
Irving, Texas – October 11, 2017 – Today, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls, the organization evaluated the results of numerous research efforts, gaining input from current members and leaders, as well as parents and girls who’ve never been involved in Scouting – to understand how to offer families an important additional choice in meeting the character development needs of all their children.
“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”
Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before , making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family. Recent surveys  of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.
“The BSA’s record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing” said Randall Stephenson, BSA’s national board chairman. “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization. It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”
Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts. Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.
This decision expands the programs that the Boy Scouts of America offers for both boys and girls. Although known for its iconic programs for boys, the BSA has offered co-ed programs since 1971 through Exploring and the Venturing program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018. The STEM Scout pilot program is also available for both boys and girls.
For more information about the expanded opportunities for family Scouting, please visit the family Scouting page.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.
 PEW Research Center survey conducted Sept. 15 – Oct. 13, 2015 among 1,807 U.S. parents with children younger than 18.
 BSA surveys included two external surveys and four internal surveys conducted from April to September 2017. Surveys were conducted online.
Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer for Bill Browder, whose murder in 2007 invited economic sanctions against Russia, and especially Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his money-moving colleagues. Those sanctions angered Putin so much, he worked to swing the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton.
Campaign for human rights in Russia rolled through Canada yesterday.
Canada’s parliament passed a bill authorizing trade and other sanctions against Russia, partly over Russia’s actions in killing human rights acitivists in Russia.
U.S. businessman Bill Browder was the client of Sergei Magnitsky. Browder works tirelessly to see that Magnitsky’s murder is not forgotten. Browder, with a huge assist from Hillary Clinton’s State Department, put sanctions on money transactions for Vladimir Putin, suspected of being the person who ordered Magnitsky’s murder. Those sanctions worked, and crippled Putin’s ability to move and launder money, and the ability of his ally oligarchs in Russia. Stopping Clinton, and getting those sanctions lifted, is the chief reason Putin interfered in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 (and it explains all the meetings Trump campaign officials and administration officials have had with Russian officials and lobbyists and minions).
Contrary to complaints from President Donald Trump, there is a lot of dirt around Russian dealings and sanctions under the U.S. Magnitsky Act.
Yesterday, Canada agreed to support the memory of Sergei Magnitsky, and justice.
Watch those spaces.
Here’s a Twitter Moment with news of the new Canadian law.
I’m an advocate of public schools. I graduated from public schools, I attended two state universities, Universities of Utah and Arizona, graduating from one. My law degree came from a private institution, George Washington University’s National Law Center. I’ve taught at public and private schools.
Public schools are better, on the whole. Public schools form a pillar of U.S. national life that we should protect, and build on, I find.
That’s not a popular view among elected officials, who generally seem hell bent on privatizing every aspect of education. We would do that at our peril, I believe.
We can argue statistics, we can argue funding and philosophy — believe me, I’ve been through it all as a student, student leader, parent, U.S. Senate staffer (to the committee that deals with education, no less), teacher and college instructor. I find fair analysis favors the public schools over private schools in almost ever circumstance.
Though I admit, it’s nice to have private schools available to meet needs of some students who cannot be fit into education any other way. Those students are few in any locality, I find.
There is one area where the quality of U.S. public schools shines like the Sun: Nobel prizes. In the 100+ years Nobels have been around, students out of U.S. public schools have been awarded a lot of those prizes. Public school alumni make up the single largest bloc of Nobel winners in most years, and perhaps for the entire period of Nobels.
I think someone should track those statistics. Most years, I’m the only one interested, and in many years I’m too deeply involved in other work to do this little hobby.
2017 seems to be off to a great start, spotlighting U.S. public school education.
Comes this Tweet from J. N. Pearce, editor of the Salt Lake Tribune:
Thorne, we already know, was born in Logan, Utah, and graduated from Logan High School. Rainer Weiss was born in Berlin, so it is unlikely he attended U.S. public schools — but I haven’t found a definitive answer to that question. All three of the Physiology or Medicine winners were born in the U.S. Michael Young was born in Miami, but attended high school in Dallas. Oddly, Dallas media haven’t picked up on that yet. Dallas has some good private schools, and some of the nation’s best public schools.
Nobels in Chemistry will be announced Wednesday, October 4; Literature will be announced Thursday, October 5 (this category award often goes to non-Americans); Peace will be announced Friday, October 6 (another category where U.S. kids win rarely); and the Nobel Memorial prize for Economics will be announced next Monday, October 9.
If you know where any of these winners attended primary and secondary education, would you let us know in comments? Let’s track to see if my hypothesis holds water in 2017. My hypothesis is that the biggest bloc of Nobel winners will be products of U.S. public schools.
As I post this, the Chemistry prize announcement is just a half-hour away. Good night!
A video about the work of Kip Thorne, from CalTech:
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
October is not a big month for dates to fly the U.S. flag. Only one state joined the union in October, and only two other dates received Congress’s designation for flag-flying.
Here are October’s three flag-flying days, in chronological order:
Columbus Day, October 8 — tradition puts Columbus Day on October 12, but in law it is designated as the second Monday in October (to make a three-day weekend for workers who get a holiday); in 2017, October 8 is the second Monday of the month.
The photograph by Senior Airman Dennis Sloan, above, may suggest a suitably spooky theme for flying Old Glory on Halloween. While you are free to fly your flag on any day, Halloween, a religious or holy day for Christians, Celts and perhaps a few others, is not designated by Congress as a day to fly the flag. If you fly it at night, it must be lighted, as is the flag in the photograph.
Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.
We've been soaking in the Bathtub for several months, long enough that some of the links we've used have gone to the Great Internet in the Sky.
If you find a dead link, please leave a comment to that post, and tell us what link has expired.
Retired teacher of law, economics, history, AP government, psychology and science. Former speechwriter, press guy and legislative aide in U.S. Senate. Former Department of Education. Former airline real estate, telecom towers, Big 6 (that old!) consultant. Lab and field research in air pollution control.
My blog, Millard Fillmore's Bathtub, is a continuing experiment to test how to use blogs to improve and speed up learning processes for students, perhaps by making some of the courses actually interesting. It is a blog for teachers, to see if we can use blogs. It is for people interested in social studies and social studies education, to see if we can learn to get it right. It's a blog for science fans, to promote good science and good science policy. It's a blog for people interested in good government and how to achieve it.
BS in Mass Communication, University of Utah
Graduate study in Rhetoric and Speech Communication, University of Arizona
JD from the National Law Center, George Washington University