Mrs. Rosa Parks asked a question of the policeman who arrested her for refusing to move to the back of the bus on December 1, 1955. In 2022, it is again, and still, a chilling question, to which we have no good answer.
Mrs. Parks being fingerprinted in Montgomery, Alabama; photo from New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Library of Congress
Rosa Parks: “Why do you push us around?”
Officer: “I don’t know but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.”
From Rosa Parks with Gregory J. Reed, Quiet Strength (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1994), page 23.
On the evening of December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, an African American, was arrested for disobeying an Alabama law requiring black passengers to relinquish seats to white passengers when the bus was full. Blacks were also required to sit at the back of the bus. Her arrest sparked a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system and led to a 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public transportation.
Often lost in the retelling of the story are the threads that tie together the events of the civil rights movement through the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. As noted, Parks was a trained civil rights activist. Such training in peaceful and nonviolent protest provided a moral power to the movement probably unattainable any other way. Parks’ arrest was not planned, however. Parks wrote that as she sat on the bus, she was thinking of the tragedy of Emmet Till, the young African American man from Chicago, brutally murdered in Mississippi early in 1955. She was thinking that someone had to take a stand for civil rights, at about the time the bus driver told her to move to allow a white man to take her seat. To take a stand, she kept her seat.
African Americans in Montgomery organized a boycott of the Montgomery bus system. This was also not unique, but earlier bus boycotts are unremembered. A bus boycott in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earlier in 1955 did not produce nearly the same results.
The boycott organizers needed a place to meet, a large hall. The biggest building in town with such a room was the Dexter Street Baptist Church. At the first meeting on December 5, it made sense to make the pastor of that church the focal point of the boycott organizing, and so the fresh, young pastor, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was thrust into civil rights organizing as president, with Ralph Abernathy as program director. They called their group the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). When their organizing stretched beyond the city limits of Montgomery, the group became the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Litigation on the boycott went all the way to the Supreme Court (Browder v. Gale). The boycotters won. The 381-day boycott was ended on December 21, 1956, with the desegregation of the Montgomery bus system.
Solidarity with the United States: “Tel Aviv city hall, lit up in the colors of the American flag to honor the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, on October 2, 2017. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)” – From the Times of Israel
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 10 — 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 2022, October 10 is the second Monday of the month.
Fourth grade students practice U.S. flag etiquette with the help of National Park Service Rangers at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in New York. Sagamore Hill, at Oyster Bay, was the home of Theodore Roosevelt and his family. National Park Service Photo
Yes, this is an encore post. Defeating ignorance takes patience and perseverance.
We can be quite sure Fox did not intend to give air to a complimentary and good view of President Joe Biden’s months in office, but they did invite Jessica Tarlov (@JessicaTarlov) on to talk on August 20, 2022.
Talk she did. She told the truth, and didn’t let the hosts shut her up.
It’s unfair to reduce a thing that is unequivocally a good thing to just ‘oh it’s one good thing.’ There are a bunch of good things in there. Just because it’s not your politics doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
It’s about green energy. It’s about saving people’s lives; it’s making sure they have health care — oh yes, health care saves people’s lives.
When history looks back at the first two years of the Biden term, they will see the American Rescue Act. They will see bipartisan Infrastructure, the PACT Act, the CHIPS Act, the Inflation Reduction Act.
They will see that al Zawahiri is dead.
They will see record jobs numbers and they will see low unemployment. And I’m not saying they will think that Joe Biden was God’s gift to the presidency. But do not reduce what has been accomplished in this term. And Democrats got that done with the slimmest of majorities.
If you see a Democrat like this go on Fox news and just destroy them all take a moment and thank them by giving them a follow and retweet. This is @JessicaTarlov and she humiliated an entire network tonight. We need more of this in our Party. pic.twitter.com/3aT19wWlv7
Why is the Environmental Protection Agency and its powers to order and end to and cleanup of pollution important to America?
Consider America before EPA.
Twitterer Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) took some EPA file photos to show what things used to look like, before EPA really got going. This is a small sample of the good work EPA has done, and does.
“SCOTUS just limited the authority of the EPA. Here’s a brief thread that gives everyone an idea of what America looked like before pollution was regulated.”
If you visit those sites in 2022, you will not be met by the awful smell of sewage or industrial waste. You will not need to wear a mask to protect your lungs from the air pollution including carcinogens that give you equivalent to a pack of cigarettes smoked in a day.
The cleanups may not be perfect, but they make America great.
Cleaning up carbon pollution from our air is necessary to keep America great, and to save the planet — again.
Please ask your Congressional representatives to strengthen the law so EPA can get on with its work.
Tip of the old scrub brush to 50 Shades of Whey (@davenewworld) on Twitter.
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
July 4. Surely everyone knows to fly the flag on Independence Day, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.*
In the month of the grand patriotic celebration, what other dates do we fly the U.S. flag? July 4 is the only date designated in the Flag Code for all Americans to fly the flag. Three states joined the union in July, days on which citizens of those states should show the colors, New York, Idaho and Wyoming.
Plus, there is one date many veterans think we should still fly the flag, Korean War Veterans Armistice Day on July 27. Oddly, the law designating that date urges flying the flag only until 2003, the 50th anniversary of the still-standing truce in that war. But the law still exists. What’s a patriot to do?
Patriots may watch to see whether the president issues a proclamation for the date.
Generally we don’t note state holidays or state-designated flag-flying events, such as Utah’s Pioneer Day, July 24, which marks the day in 1847 that the Mormon pioneers in the party of Brigham Young exited what is now Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake Valley. But it’s a big day in Utah, where I spent a number of years and still have family. And I still have memories, not all pleasant, of that five-mile march for the Days of ’47 Parade, in that wool, long-sleeved uniform and hat, carrying the Sousaphone. Pardon my partisan exception. Utahns will fly their flags on July 24.
* July 4? But didn’t John Adams say it should be July 2? And, yes, the staff at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub sadly noted that, at most July 4 parades, it appears no one salutes the U.S. flag as it passes, as the Flag Code recommends — though there were several people properly saluting the leading flags at the Duncanville Independence Day parade in 2021. MFB’s been fighting flag etiquette ignorance since 2006. It’s taking much, much longer than we wished.
Yes, this is an encore post. Defeating ignorance takes patience and perseverance.
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” — John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776
Surely John Adams knew that July 4 would be Independence Day, didn’t he?
In writing to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, John Adams committed one of those grand errors even he would laugh at afterward. We’ll forgive him when the fireworks start firing.
Two days later, that same Congress approved the wording of the document Thomas Jefferson had drafted to announce Lee’s resolution to the world.
Today, we celebrate the date of the document Jefferson wrote, and Richard Henry Lee is often a reduced to a footnote, if not erased from history altogether.
Who can predict the future?
(You know, of course, that Adams and Jefferson both died 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826. In the 50 intervening years, Adams and Jefferson were comrades in arms and diplomacy in Europe, officers of the new government in America, opposing candidates for the presidency, President and Vice President, ex-President and President, bitter enemies, then long-distance friends writing almost daily about how to make a great new nation. Read David McCullough‘s version of the story, if you can find it.)
“Flag Day, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.” 1942 photo by John Vachon (1914-1975) for the U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. Image from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Fathers Day, third Sunday in June (June 19 in 2022)
Several states celebrate statehood. New Hampshire, Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia celebrate statehood; Kentucky and Tennessee share the same date.
Kentucky, June 1 (1792, 15th state)
Tennessee, June 1 (1796, 16th state)
Arkansas, June 15 (1836, 25th state)
West Virginia, June 20 (1863, 35th state)
New Hampshire, June 21 (1788, 9th state), and
Virginia, June 25 (1788, 10th state)
Additionally, Congress passed a resolution designating the week in which June 14th falls as National Flag Week, and urging that citizens fly the flag each day of that week. In 2022 that would be the week of June 12, which falls on Sunday, through June 18.
The resolution naming Juneteenth National Independence Day a holiday was signed into law last year by President Joe Biden. Juneteenth is June 19 — same as Fathers Day in 2022.
Flag-flying days for June, listed chronologically:
Kentucky and Tennessee statehood, June 1
Flag Day, June 14; National Flag week, June 12 to 18
Arkansas statehood, June 15 (duplicating a day in National Flag Week)
Fathers Day, June 19 (shared with Juneteenth in 2022)
Juneteenth National Independence Day, June 19
West Virginia statehood, June 20
New Hampshire statehood, June 21
Virginia statehood, June 25
As you know, any resident may fly the flag any day of the year, under the etiquette provided in the Flag Code.
National Archives caption: This illustration entitled, “Flag Day – 1900”, by cartoonist Clifford Berryman, which appeared in the Washington Post on June 14, 1900, depicts the growth of American influence in the world as the European powers watch in the background as new century is ushered in.
Flag Day, 1918, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Photo by Miles F. Weaver (1879-1932), from the collection of the National Archives (NARA).
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
Like faces in clouds, some people claimed to see a link. The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, coincided with Lenin’s birthday. There was no link — Earth Day was scheduled for a spring Wednesday, when the greatest number of college students would be on campus.
Now, years later, with almost-annual repeats of the claim from the braying right wing, it’s just a cruel hoax. It’s as much a hoax on the ill-informed of the right, as anyone else. Many of them believe it.
No, there’s no link between Earth Day and the birthday of V. I. Lenin:
One surefire way to tell an Earth Day post is done by an Earth Day denialist: They’ll note that the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was an anniversary of the birth of Lenin.
Coincidentally, yes, Lenin was born on April 22, on the new style calendar; it was April 10 on the calendar when he was born — one might accurately note that Lenin’s mother always said he was born on April 10.
It’s a hoax. There is no meaning to the first Earth Day’s falling on Lenin’s birthday — Lenin was not prescient enough to plan his birthday to fall in the middle of Earth Week, a hundred years before Earth Week was even planned.
Does Earth Day Promote Communism?
Earth Day 1970 was initially conceived as a teach-in, modeled on the teach-ins used successfully by Vietnam War protesters to spread their message and generate support on U.S. college campuses. It is generally believed that April 22 was chosen for Earth Day because it was a Wednesday that fell between spring break and final exams—a day when a majority of college students would be able to participate.
U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the guy who dreamed up the nationwide teach-in that became Earth Day, once tried to put the whole “Earth Day as communist plot” idea into perspective.
“On any given day, a lot of both good and bad people were born,” Nelson said. “A person many consider the world’s first environmentalist, Saint Francis of Assisi, was born on April 22. So was Queen Isabella. More importantly, so was my Aunt Tillie.”
April 22 is also the birthday of J. Sterling Morton, the Nebraska newspaper editor who founded Arbor Day (a national holiday devoted to planting trees) on April 22, 1872, when Lenin was still in diapers. Maybe April 22 was chosen to honor Morton and nobody knew. Maybe environmentalists were trying to send a subliminal message to the national subconscious that would transform people into tree-planting zombies. One birthday “plot” seems just about as likely as the other. What’s the chance that one person in a thousand could tell you when either of these guys were born.
My guess is that only a few really wacko conservatives know that April 22 is Lenin’s birthday (was it ever celebrated in the Soviet Union?). No one else bothers to think about it, or say anything about it, nor especially, to celebrate it.
Certainly, the Soviet Union never celebrated Earth Day. Nor was Lenin any great friend of the environment. He stood instead with the oil-drillers-without-clean-up, with the strip-miners-without-reclamation, with the dirty-smokestack guys. You’d think someone with a bit of logic and a rudimentary knowledge of history could put that together.
Senator Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an “environmental teach-in.” He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet; it did not fall during exams or spring breaks, did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22.
After President Kennedy’s [conservation] tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called “teach-ins,” had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me – why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?
I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.
At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air – and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.
Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:
“Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation’s campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam…a national day of observance of environmental problems…is being planned for next spring…when a nationwide environmental ‘teach-in’…coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned….”
Nelson, a veteran of the U.S. armed services (Okinawa campaign), flag-waving ex-governor of Wisconsin (Sen. Joe McCarthy’s home state, but also the home of Aldo Leopold and birthplace of John Muir), was working to raise America’s consciousness and conscience about environmental issues.
Humor at The ObamaCrat: “Time reported that some suspected the date was not a coincidence, but a clue that the event was ‘a Communist trick,’ and quoted a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution as saying, ‘subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them.'” God forbid!
About.com, “Is Earth Day a communist plot?”; “U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the guy who dreamed up the nationwide teach-in that became Earth Day, once tried to put the whole “Earth Day as communist plot” idea into perspective.”On any given day, a lot of both good and bad people were born,” Nelson said. “A person many consider the world’s first environmentalist, Saint Francis of Assisi, was born on April 22. So was Queen Isabella. More importantly, so was my Aunt Tillie.”
Rich Kozlovich at Paradigms and Demographic; Kozlovich repeats these fantastic lies, without even bothering to hint at any backup: “There is one factor that is known. This whole green stuff was imposed in Nazi Germany and in Soviet Russia and their views are virtually identical to the views of modern greenies and it is a reasonable assumption to think they were inspirational to the green movement of today; who have morphed into the step child of socialism. I think it is fair to question any denials on their part, in that their denials can be being likened to cow flatulence. Back to today.” [Editor’s note: Complete and utter balderdash.]
It’s cruel to people who want to fly U.S. flags often, but only on designated flag-flying dates. (April is also National Poetry Month, so it’s a good time to look up poetry references we should have committed to heart).
For 2022, these are the three dates for flying the U.S. flag; Easter is a national date, the other two are dates suggested for residents of the states involved.
One date, nationally, to fly the flag. That beats March, which has none (in a year with Easter in April and not March). But March has five statehood days, to April’s two.
Take heart! You may fly your U.S. flag any day you choose, or everyday as many people do in Texas (though, too many do not retire their flags every evening . . .).
April usually sees the opening of Major League Baseball’s season — some teams jumped into March in 2018. In this photo, U.S. Navy sailors assigned to the USS Bonhomme Richard practice for the San Diego Padres’ opening day flag ceremony in San Diego on April 5, 2011. The ship sent nearly 300 volunteers to unfurl an 800-pound U.S. flag that covered the entire field. The Bonhomme Richard was in dry-dock for maintenance and upgrades. Defense Department photo via Wikimedia.
A museum display DFW school kids should get out to see, “The Green Book,” at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
Press release from Texas Christian University tells the story well.
Gooding Works to Make History Accessible
February 10, 2022
TCU professor is curator of The Green Book, an exhibit launching this month at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
One of the ultimate freedoms is that of the open road – the simple act of driving a car when or wherever you want to go. But in Jim Crow America, a road trip for Black travelers was far from liberating. In fact, a drive outside of the neighborhood was dangerous, especially in the South.
“Imagine that it’s the 1950s. You are Black and your children are in the back seat of your car and you’re going on a trip,” said Frederick Gooding Jr., Dr. Ronald E. Moore Honors Professor of Humanities. “Think how much of a threat it was to find a safe place to eat and sleep in terms of avoiding humiliation or violence. Even a gas station could be a risky proposition. You needed a resource for your family’s safety and protection because the stakes were so high.”
That resource was the Negro Motorist Green Book, published from the 1930s until 1966, a mere two years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act financially penalized racial segregation for the first time. The handbook provided a state-by-state list of hotels, service stations, restaurants and other establishments considered safe for Black travelers.
The associate professor of African-American studies and chair of TCU’s Race & Reconciliation Initiative, Gooding is now helping to share the story about the book and its originator, Victor Hugo Green. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History approached Gooding to be chief curator of its new exhibition, “Fort Worth and the Green Book: Black Travelers Navigating Racism in Mid-Century Texas,” opening Feb. 11.
While the 2018 Academy Award-winning movie Green Book may have introduced the same title to many Americans, Gooding notes that the exhibit certainly takes a different path.
“Whether you’re 6 or 60, this exhibit will help set the tone for how bizarre and befuddling it was for African Americans to have to navigate a Jim Crow society and to heighten awareness of our relative progress,” Gooding said. “It’s been a treat to be part of the creation process as well as provide an opportunity for exposure.”
Morgan Rehnberg, the museum’s project leader, said it was clear that Gooding would be an ideal partner.
“His scholarship on race and culture, as well as his leadership at TCU in addressing the university’s history with race, has given him a unique perspective on Fort Worth,” Rehnberg said. “It’s been tremendously fun to see his enthusiasm shine into every aspect of the exhibition.”
After receiving a grant, the museum acquired the materials for the exhibit. As a historian, Gooding looked for ways to make it accessible.
“We started from scratch in creating a balanced exhibit that has many layers. That helps to bring The Green Book to life, and there’s something for everyone,” he said “It’s been an interesting ride looking to reconcile introducing people to a topic while providing them with enough tools to discover the truth for themselves.”
The exhibit is expected to be seen by close to 300,000, including many school groups, before it’s taken down in August. In conjunction with the exhibit, Gooding will present as part of the museum’s lecture series Feb. 21. His “Navigating the Road to Reconciliation” talk will explore how to leverage a multiplicity of voices and support the principles of reconciliation. For visitor information, visit Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
Beinecke Library at Yale is a repository for Rachel Carson’s papers, and much more.
Including this beguiling photo of Rachel Carson’s cat investigating the typewriter on which she wrote Silent Spring.
Maybe the cat is trying to find where all those beautifully-crafted words came from. Even decades before the internet, cats tortured their humans in the humans’ offices. Royal Typewriter in Rachel Carson’s Maryland house.
Researchers into Rachel Carson should check the on-line holdings of the Beinecke Library.
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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