Tag Archives: history

40 Years Ago: August 26, 1972 – Ceremony

After my arrest at IBM in May 1972, and her parents’ ultimatum about me, my girlfriend the Okie, inexplicably in retrospect, ended up living at my parents’ home. Sometime during my freshman year in college, my parents and sisters had moved from the tiny house on Gaines Street in Binghamton, to the much more roomy house on Ackley Avenue in Johnson City, the next municipality over. She stayed in my sister Leslie’s room while Leslie spent six weeks with our great aunt Charlotte and some of Charlotte’s siblings. Continue reading 40 Years Ago: August 26, 1972 – Ceremony

Obama v. Romney


Answering more Ask Roger Anything questions:

Tom the Mayor, who I know personally, pondered:
Here is a hard one Roger! Who do you think will win the presidential election?

I went to 270towin.com. The map there suggests that Obama has 217 likely electoral votes, and Romney with 191 electoral votes, with 130 electoral votes listed as a tossup. Three states in that latter category are hugely important – Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), and Ohio (18). I suspect that whoever wins at least 2 out of 3 will probably win the White House.

Some statistical piece – I can’t find it presently – states that the Republicans were far better Continue reading Obama v. Romney

O is for Old, Out-of-date, Obsolete?

“Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin, Librarian of Congress (1973-85) on the computerization of libraries, 1983.

One of the things I learned in my first year in library school was that information disappears over time for a number of reasons, but that three are foremost: war, when the other side wins; commerce, when there is not enough of a perceived market for the cost; and technology, when the newer methodology renders a previous iteration obsolete.

I remember seeing pictures of these massive computers back in the 1960s, storing all sorts of seemingly important information. Unless ALL of it got transferred to a later technology, and then the one after that, one must assume that some of that data are lost and irretrievable. How many of you had files on 5 1/4″ floppy discs, or even 3 1/2″ discs, but your current computer has no place for them? Continue reading O is for Old, Out-of-date, Obsolete?

J for Jewish History Museum

I saw a segment on CBS Sunday Morning earlier this year about the National Museum of American Jewish History, which opened in November 2010. I was unfamiliar with the facility, but I assumed it was somewhere in New York; I assumed incorrectly.

It is in fact located in Philadelphia, not far from the Independence Hall. This was deliberate, a reflection of, initially, a “tiny minority [who] sought, defended, and tested freedom—in political affairs, in relations with Christian neighbors, and in their own understanding of what it meant to be Jewish.” Then “the migration of millions of immigrants who came to the United States beginning in the late 19th century and who profoundly reshaped the American Jewish community and the nation as a whole.”
Continue reading J for Jewish History Museum

Freedom Riders: An Appreciation

While praising New York state lawmakers as they debated legalizing gay marriage, President Barack Obama stopped short of embracing it. Instead he asked gay and lesbian donors for patience. “I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country,” the president said at a Manhattan fundraiser [last Thursday], his first geared specifically to the gay community.

Last week, my Internet buddy Arthur posited the question: Has President Obama done enough for gay rights? He included a news video. “Let me be clear: President Obama is dead wrong on marriage equality: Civil unions are not a substitute for real marriage. It’s time for the president to stop “evolving” and get there and support full equality for GLBT people.

“However, Dan Choi is also wrong, possibly because he doesn’t know history. As Brian Ellner of the Human Rights Campaign says, this president has done more than any other president for GLBT equality than any other president in history.”

And this reminded me of a program I watched on PBS last month called Freedom Riders.

FREEDOM RIDERS is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. Harrowing is right; it took me at least four sittings to get through the whole thing, not because it was boring, but because it was so intense. Just watch the two-minute Freedom Riders trailer.

From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.
Continue reading Freedom Riders: An Appreciation

Black History Month

Back in December (or maybe mid-November), I had called a meeting for people at my church interested in working on Black History Month to come to a meeting; no one came. So decided just to do it (largely) myself.

One of the pastors had recommended this series A History of Racism in the United States from an entity called the Thoughtful Christian way back in May of last year, and it looked OK to jumpstart a discussion.

The Adult Education Committee, which I’m on, decided to try an experiment with two different offerings in January. On January 30, it would be my BHM part 1 v. the last piece of a study of the gospel of Mark. People wanted to do both, but ultimately, Mark won out and I had three or four people. My ego wasn’t affected, of course. Continue reading Black History Month