Wyatt Earp- Boxing referee. Wait, what?

earp

It was  billed as a contest for the heavyweight championship of the world. And yet, by noon on Dec. 2, 1896, with the fight slated to take place that same evening in San Francisco’s Mechanics’ Pavilion, they had the boxers, they had the venue but they didn’t have a referee.

It was the problem promoters J.J. Groom and John Gibbs faced.

The fight was between Fitzsimmons vs. Sharkey it was held to settle a three-year question as to the rightful holder of the gloved (Marquess of Queensberry rules) heavyweight title. Boxing was illegal in San Francisco but that didn’t really matter to  the city officials and police commissioners . they even embraced the bout, Mechanics Pavilion was secured as a venue and more than 10,000 tickets were sold.

venue

Both boxers had an Irish background, Fitzsimmons parents were Irish and Sharkey was a native from Dundalk.

Earp had refereed 30 or so matches in earlier days, though not under the Marquess of Queensbury rules, and he had never refereed a match of national prominence. He was actually hired by The Hearst family, owners of the San Francisco Examiner,  to provide security to their family.  The Examiner, had suggested Earp to Gibbs , he reluctantly agreed because the Fitzsimmons camp had reservations about Earp as referee.  But with no alternative, they finally agreed for Earp to be the referee, knowing that 15,000 people had paid between $2 and $10 for tickets.

Almost immediately after agreeing to Earp, Fitzsimmons’s people heard rumors that Earp had agreed to fix the fight ,with its $10,000 prize for Sharkey, who was a heavy underdog.

Earp had  entered the ring carrying his customary .45 caliber pistol in his coat pocket. Police Captain Charles Whitman, who was at the  ringside, climbed into the ring and demanded Earp hand over his pistol, which Earp promptly complied.

Wyatt Earp awarded the match to Sharkey after Fitzsimmons knocked Sharkey to the mat. Earp ruled that Fitzsimmons had hit Sharkey when he was down, but very few witnessed the purported foul.

The angry  crowd pelted Earp with boos and taunts. He rapidly left the ring and exited the Mechanics Pavilion. But his troubles were far from over

.For weeks, fans and sportswriters who said they had never seen a below belt punch mocked the decision. Fitzsimmons’s attorney, HL Kowalsky, told the San Francisco Call that Earp’s ruling was: “Clear and dirty theft.”

boxer

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Sources

ESPN

The Guardian

The Veteran Boxer

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SPAM

spam ori

I am going to Spam this blog and I won’t even apologize for it.

But wait before you delete the post.

On this day in 1937 the Hormel Foods Corporation,  head quartered in Austin- Minnesota, USA,  first introduced the product SPAM The square can of pork, salt, water, sugar, potato starch and sodium nitrite that first rolled off the assembly lines 82 years ago during the late depression era. it was invented .as a way to capitalize on  the then-unprofitable pork shoulder.

According to Hormel ,SPAM stands for ‘spiced ham’ and not “something posing as meat”

The product became very popular during WWII.

SPAM WWII

It is actually said that SPAM helped win the war. It went global during World War II, when the US shipped out over 100 million cans to the Pacific, where it made an inexpensive yet filling meal for U.S. troops Millions of cans of SPAM were also  sent to the Soviets and they loved it.

Khrushchev once said “SPAM was a godsend for another hungry group—Russian soldiers in World War II.”

SPAM SOVIET

But how did get SPAM such a bad name when it comes to IT?

We have Monty Python to thank for that. in the 1970s Monty Python’s Flying Circus had a sketch , which is the pop culture Spam reference most people will remember.

The sketch is about a  customer in a restaurant  who desperately tries to order something that doesn’t contain SPAM, only to find that  everything on the menu features it. In the course of his disastrous  dinner, a nearby party of Vikings( It is Monty Python)breaks into song: “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!”

 

spam spam

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White House Prom

prom

We sometimes forget that the White House is not only the residence of the President of the USA , but also the residence of the President’s family.

In 1975 Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford, was in her final year at Holton-Arms School.Her classmates, petitioned headmaster James Lewis to ask Susan if she could arrange for them to use the White House for the senior prom.Susan Ford asked  White House Chief Usher Rex Scouten that they be permitted to hold that year’s senior class prom at the White House. 

The request was granted, however there were a few terms and conditions connected to it.

  • No expenses associated with the dance could be borne by the United States Government.
  • All participants to the prom  were required to provide their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers to the United States Secret Service a minimum of thirty days prior to the event.
  • Members of the band, ‘The Outerspace Band’, selected to perform at the prom could not have any outstanding drug charges against them.

 

ourespace

The Class of ’75,  paid $1,300 for the prom out of class funds.

While the President and first lady  were thousands of miles away on a historic European diplomatic mission,  Susan Ford was making some modest history on her own back home. She played host to the first . and thus far only, high school senior prom ever held in the White House. It was held on May 31, 1975, and  it was generally well-received by those who attended.

News

style

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Sources

Washington Post

Vanity Fair

People Magazine

Ford Library Museum

 

US registered patent No. 6,469

PATENT

On March 10,1849, a 40 year old inventor filed  an application for a patent relating to an invention to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river.

The patent was registered today 170 years ago on May 22,1849. The inventor was none other than Abraham Lincoln.

abe

“Be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield, in the county of Sangamon, in the state of Illinois, have invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steam boat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars, or through shallow water, without discharging their cargoes;”

Lincoln’s patent ends with this claim,

“What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by letters patent is the combination of expansible buoyant chambers placed at the sides of a vessel with the main shaft or shafts C by means of the sliding spars or shafts D which pass down through the buoyant chambers and are made fast to their bottoms and the series of ropes and pullies or their equivalents in such a manner that by turning the main shaft or shafts in one direction the buoyant chambers will be forced downwards into the water and at the same time expanded and filled with air for buoying up the vessel by the displacement of water and by turning the shaft in an opposite direction the buoyant chambers will be contracted into a small space and secured against injury.”

signature

The invention was never produced for practical use.There were doubts it would have actually worked.

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The opinions after the Pearl Harbor attack.

pearl harbor

There is not much I can add to the narrative of the Pearl Harbor attack. So much haS already been written about it.

But something we didn’t get to hear a lot of, was the reactions of the ordinary US citizen after the attack. Following are some recordings of interviews of a few civilians either being interviewed in the street or directing their interview directly to the President.

Also included are parts of the transcripts of the inteRviews. I do apologize for some of the sound quality.

The difference of opinions are intriguing though.

“Man-on-the-Street”, Bloomington, Indiana, December 10, 1941″

“Paul Martin: This is Wednesday, December 10th, 1941. Last Sunday, December 7th, the United States
of America was attacked by armed forces of the Japanese Empire. The Radio Department of Indiana
University, in cooperation with the Library of Congress of the United States has arranged to record
some of the opinions of four people concerning the war at this point. They believe that these four
people represent a well-balanced cross-section of the citizenry at our disposal.
First, Mr. Merritt A. Calvert, a merchant. Mr. Calvert, could you tell us just as nearly as possible, what
your immediate mental reaction was when hearing of the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
Merritt A. Calvert: Well, Mr. Martin it seemed here in the Middle West, that we couldn’t quite realize
the . . . the greatness of this project that the Japs had started. We all felt that there was maybe
propaganda, newspaper talk. After all, when we heard of the bombing, the reaction we can hardly
express. Everyone in this locality and around the university with as many young people as we have,
was first depressed and then disgusted and now it seems that we are ready to do anything that is
necessary to stop this Japanese invasion.”….(click on link below for full interview)

 

War

“Man-on-the-Street,” Austin, Texas, December 9, 1941″

“John Henry Faulk: Mr. Jirosik, what do you think about Japan’s action last Sunday?
Joe Jirosik: I think they were all wrong.
John Henry Faulk: Well, for what reason? Do you think it was any justification whatever on the part of
Japan in making that attack?
Joe Jirosik: I don’t think there’s any.
John Henry Faulk: What do you think the United States should have done then?
Joe Jirosik: Declare war on them.
John Henry Faulk: In other words, you’re behind Roosevelt’s resolution?
Joe Jirosik: Hundred percent.”…..(click on link below for full interview)

harbor

“Dear Mr. President,” Nashville, Tennessee, January or February 1942″

“A. J. Steel: Dear Mr. President, this is A. J. Steel, a salesman from Nashville, Tennessee. Now that we
are at war we are very anxious to do our part for the defense of democracy. We’re anxious to serve
where we can do the most good. In my opinion, we can do this best by holding government positions
that our training fits us best for. There are many efficient Negroes who could do so much for their
country in these capacities. Such would not only help the United States directly, but indirectly as well
by showing the world that we have a democratic government with all of its people living together,
working together, and willing to die together if need be for the common good. Then we can truly
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity.”…(click on link below for full interview)

FDR

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Sources

Library of Congress

https://www.loc.gov/collections/interviews-following-the-attack-on-pearl-harbor/about-this-collection/

George Takei and Executive Order 9066.

9066

I am not saying I agree with Executive Order 9066, in fact I strongly disagree with it. It was a breach of basic human rights.However it is also very easy for people nowadays to judge about things retrospectively and for people who never found themselves in the unprecedented times like WWII.

Executive Order 9066 was a US presidential executive order signed and issued during World War II by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942,less then 2 months after the Pearl Harbor attacks which dragged the US into WWII.

The order authorized the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones, clearing the way for the incarceration of Japanese Americans, German Americans, and Italian Americans in U.S. internment camps.

Rohwehr

Over the years the US has received a lot of negative commentary about these camps, but they were not the only countries to have internment camps for citizens perceived to be as potential enemies. Canada, Great Britain  also had these type of camps and some had worse living conditions then the American camps.

George Takei, from  Star Trek fame , spent his formative years detained with his family in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

In 1942 aged 5 he and his family spent 3 months in a converted Horse race track called Santa Anita Park.

st anna

After 3 months the Takei family was transferred to the Rohwer War Relocation Center for internment in Rohwer, Arkansas.The family was later sent  to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California.

tule

George and his family remained interned until the end of the war.

Life was very hard in the internment camps but they were a far cry from the European concentration camps, therefore comparing them would be completely inaccurate.. People in the internment camps had no threat of death.

In total about 120,000 Japanese Americans ended up in the internment camps as per Executive Order 9066.

Takei had a number  relatives living in Japan during World War II. Among them were an aunt and infant cousin who lived in Hiroshima and who were both killed by the atomic bomb attack.

At the end of World War II, Takei and his family returned to Los Angeles.

Star trek

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Source

Variety

IMDb

The Verge

CNN

Owlcation

 

Typhoid Mary

mary

How could a seemingly healthy woman spread a potentially deadly disease?

Typhoid or Typhoid fever fever is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body, affecting many organs. Without prompt treatment, it can cause serious complications and can be fatal.If typhoid fever isn’t treated, it’s estimated that up to 1 in 5 people with the condition will die. However at the start of the 20th century that number would have been greater.

The main symptoms of typhoid fever are:

  • a high temperature that can reach 39 to 40C
  • headache
  • general aches and pains
  • cough
  • constipation

Additionally it can cause diarrhea and a rash.Typhoid fever is caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella typhi. It is basically spread by poor hygiene.

Mary Mallon was an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. This means although she was infected she didn’t have any signs of the symptoms. Although she herself did not have the symptoms, she was a carrier and could infect others around her.

She  was born in 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, in what is now Northern Ireland.Orphaned as a child, Mary lived with her grandmother. Her Grandmother taught Mary how to scrounge for food and cook with what they had, making potato cakes and nettles over a peat fire.

In 1883 or 1884, Mary immigrated  to the US  where she lived with her Aunt and Uncle.In 1900  , she found employment in Mamaroneck, New York, as a cook.

Mary ccok

Soon a number of residents of the houses where she worked developed fever and diarrhea.

In 1901, she moved 18 miles to Manhattan, where members of the family for whom she worked developed fevers and diarrhea, and the laundress died. Mallon then went to work for a lawyer and left after seven of the eight people in that household became ill.

In 1906 she moved to  Oyster Bay ,Long Island.Where again she got a job as a cook. Within two weeks, 10 of the 11 family members were diagnosed with typhoid and hospitalized. Mary moved jobs again, this time for a wealthy New York banker, Charles Henry Warren. The Warrens had rented a house in Oyster Bay for the summer of 1906, Mallon went along too ,where she infected  six of the 11 people in the family.

Eventually one of the families Mary had worked for hired George Soper, a typhoid researcher

soper

After his investigation Soper released his  results on June 15, 1907, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He had the believe that Mary Mallon could be the source of the outbreak.He wrote:

“It was found that the family changed cooks in August 4. This was about three weeks before the typhoid epidemic broke out. The new cook, Mallon, remained in the family only a short time, and left about three weeks after the outbreak occurred. Mallon was described as an Irish woman about 40 years of age, tall, heavy, single. She seemed to be in perfect health.”

Soper looked into the employment agencies which staffed private kitchens and retrieved the name of Mary’s employers from 1900 to 1907. He found out that typhoid had struck seven of the last eight families where she worked. He also discovered, , that in all the stricken households she had lovingly iced and nursed the victims ,even receiving a tip of $50 from  one employer.

Soper tracked Mary Mallon to a house on Park Avenue,home of Walter Bowen, where a daughter and maid had already come down with typhoid. When Soper  approached  Mary about her possible role in spreading typhoid, she was furious.

Soper reported this to the authorities  and eventually, the New York City Department of Health arranged for Mallon to be taken into custody. Doctors found typhoid bacteria in her gallbladder, but she refused to have it removed as she didn’t believe she carried the disease. Mallon was held in isolation for three years at a clinic located on North Brother Island.

hospital

In 1910 it was agreed that Mallon could be released from the Hospital if she agreed to stop working as a cook, and take precautions to ensure that she didn’t infect more people with  typhoid. She returned to the mainland and got a job as a laundress. But Sbecause this was a low paid job  she changed her name to Mary Brown and resumed working as a cook.

For the following five years, everywhere she went, typhoid followed. In 1915 she set off a major outbreak in New York in which 25 people were infected and two died. She was arrested and on March 27,1915 the health authorities  returned her to quarantine on North Brother Island,where she remained for the rest of her life.

isolation

Despite her isolation she became a minor celebrity and was occasionally interviewed by the media.Visitors  were  strongly urged warned not to accept even a glass of water from her . On November 11,1938, died of pneumonia at the age of 69.

poster

 

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Sources

Irish Times

Irish America

 

Somewhere in Corsica

Telegram 1

In order to understand the true horrors of WWII it is important to read the accounts of survivors, or listen to the stories of those who fought on the battlefields and saw the horrors first hand. Although they survived they would have been scarred forever either physically or mentally or both.

However sometimes it takes a simple telegram to truly see the impact the war had on those who stayed behind, we often forget they were victims too.

Like the telegram above of a sister of Sgt Arthur W. Studyvin, where she asks a simple but also poignant question to her Pastor. “Please say a prayer?”

Where some see a simple telegram ,I see a birthday present but also so much pain for not only did her parents die, she did not know the exact whereabouts of her brother. All she knew he was somewhere in Corsica. I doubt also if she knew if he was still alive but clearly she hoped so ,because the prayer she asked for was the only thing she could give her brother for his birthday.

I don’t know what happened to Sgt Arthur W. Studyvin, I too hope he survived, but the telegram by his sister is a stark reminder what war does to a family.

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Jeremy spoke in class today.

jermy

The title of this blog is a line from the Pearl Jam song “Jeremy” it is one of my favourite Rock tracks and by far the best track of the album “Ten”. Although I have listened to the song hundreds of times I never really paid to much attention to the history of the song.

I assumed it was a made up tale of a made up boy in a made up school, but I was wrong. The Jeremy in the song was a real boy, who tragically committed suicide on January 8, 1991.

Jeremy Delle attended Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas

He was 15 at the time. On the fateful day he was late for his second period English class.Because of this tardiness the teacher urged Jeremy to go down to the office and get an attendance slip. However Jeremy did not go to the office, he went to his locker. Took out a with a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and returned to the classroom . He turned to his teacher and said “Miss, I got what I really went for,” and then shot himself in front of his classmates.

metro

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder read about the suicide in a newspaper article and decided to write a song about it, in a way as an ode to the troubled teenager.

Even though the song was well intended it does not portray an accurate picture of the situation.

One line of the song talks about a father who didn’t pay attention and a mother who didn’t care. This is however not true. Jeremy  was living with his father, his parents were divorced and he had been in counseling at the school which he was also new to. In the video of the song it is also suggested that he was struggling with his sexuality but according a friend that was not the case at all, in fact most of the video is totally inaccurate. Why Pearl Jam decided on this direction of the video, I don’t know.

king

He was a quiet boy but there wasn’t any real evidence of bullying. The fact is the teenage years in anyone’s life are complex years, Stuck between childhood and adulthood, hormones flying of the charts. If you add an uncertain future to that and new surroundings it can easily lead to bigger problems. It is not a coincidence that a a great percentage of suicides are committed by teenage boys.

His mother said in a recent interview she said ‘That day that he died did not define his life. He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a friend. He was talented,’ she said.

My heart goes out to her and the family. Each time I will hear the song now, I will say a quick prayer for a poor troubled boy and his family.

Ending the blog with Pearl Jam’s video.

 

 

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America First

1st

The slogan America First was not first used by Donald J Trump but by President Woodrow Wilson, and also by Warren G. Harding during the 1920 US Presidential elections.

On September 4th 1940 R. Douglas Stuart Jr., who was a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, founded the America First Committee. It would become the foremost United States  pressure group ensuring the US’s neutrality and against the American entry into World War II.

Its spokes person was Charles Lindbergh.

2018-11-12

President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to intervene to help the British in the fight against Germany, but Lindbergh championed the isolationist cause.

Although Lindbergh was unashamedly pro-German and an anti-Semite, historians agree that he wasn’t Pro Nazi.

2018-11-12 (1)

Two future US Presidents, John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford initially supported the AFC.

At the outbreak of the war in Europe ,the America First Committee started  a petition with the goal to enforce the 1939 Neutrality Act and reminding and forcing President Franklin D. Roosevelt to maintain his pledge to keep America out of the war. The AFC had very little trust in Roosevelt and argued that he was untrue to the American people.

usa

Although the AFC was reasonably popular and had the backing of several wealthy business men, there were also some who were very cynical about the AFC movement.

Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr Seuss was a political cartoonist for the New York tabloid PM at the time. In early October 1941 he drew a series of  cartoons criticizing the nation of America First.

af seuss

December 7,1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor which drew the USA into the war therefore heralding the end of the America First Committee. Three days later after the attack on December 10,1941, the AFC was dissolved.

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Sources

BBC

Library of National Congress.