Before the Trail of Tears

June 26, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The beginning of the end of sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation and her people was set in motion by the Treaty of Hopewell in the fall of 1785. This treaty stated that the Cherokee people be, “under the protection of the United States of America and of no other sovereign whatsoever,”.

Old Tassel, also known as Corn Tassel, was the venerable Chief of the Upper Town Cherokees. According To Hoig’s work, The Cherokees and Their Chiefs, Old Tassel was described as “a stout, mild-mannered but resolute man with a round face and a pleasant countenance.” (See Stan Hoig, The Cherokees and Their Chiefs, p.62). He was also known to be wise and honest, as one person noted that, “through a long and useful life, he was never known to stoop to a falsehood.” (Hoig, p. 62)

Congressional approval of the treaty occurred November 18, 1785. The treaty ignored the concerns of the State of North Carolina as that state objected on the grounds that her rights had been violated as land provided to Revolutionary solders now fell within the limits of the Cherokee Nation. The treaty also contained a stern provision that stated, “any settler who fails to remove within six months from the lands guaranteed to the Indians shall forfeit the protection of the Untied States, and the Cherokees may punish him or not as they please.” (See “A Brief History of the Cherokees 1540-1906, by Mary Evelyn Rogers, p.65)

Though the Cherokee Nation did cede land under the treaty, it did create animosity of some of the of Cherokees. Shortly after the treaty was concluded, several members removed from the nation resettling along the St. Francis River in what was then Spanish Louisiana. (Rogers, p. 65)

Within a short time, bloodshed occured by both whites and Cherokees. The most notable militant of the Cherokees was Dragging Canoe (Tsiyugunsini) son of Chief Attakullakulla.

By early 1786, Dragging Canoe and his warriors would attack any white settler found within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation most notably the settlement of Muscle Shoals which led to the abandonment of the site due to constant attacks by Cherokee warriors.

To be continued………….

Battle of Little Bighorn

June 25, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 
Jun 25, 1876: 

Comanche-Survivor

“Comanche,” the only survivor of the Custer Massacre, 1876

Battle of Little Bighorn. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 9:41, June 25, 2011, from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-little-bighorn.

On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americanshad gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River–which they called the Greasy Grass–in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.

In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.

At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.

The Battle of Little Bighorn–also called Custer’s Last Stand–marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.

 

Greater Glory: Why Scott Let Amundsen Win the Race to the South Pole

June 24, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

In the race to the South Pole, explorer Robert F. Scott refused to sacrifice his ambitious science agenda

By Edward J. Larson | Friday, May 27, 2011 | 2

Permanent Address: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=greater-glory

greater-glory

SIDE TRIP: One of Scott’s 32 expedition members sleds past a massive ice structure named Castle Berg, off the shore of Ross Island, Antarctica. Image: Corbis

The history books say that Roald Amundsen beat Robert F. Scott in a race to the South Pole in 1911. Less widely known is that Scott had big scientific ambitions for his trip, which he largely fulfilled.

Scott’s team made several side trips to search for fossils and other scientific evidence, despite com­petition from Amundsen.

One of Scott’s most significant finds was fossils of an ancient plant, Glossopteris, that proved to be important evidence in support of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

One hundred years ago, in June 1911, Robert Falcon Scott and 32 explorers—most of them British scientists, naval officers or seafarers—were huddled in the darkness of the Antarctic winter, when the sun never rises above the horizon and up to eight feet of ice seals the surrounding sea. Winter temperatures on Ross Island, the southernmost piece of exposed land reached by Scott’s ship, can plunge below –50 degrees Fahrenheit. Blizzards rise up often. Lacking wireless communication and totally cut off from the outside world, the explorers waited for the longer, warmer days of spring, in October, when some of them would set out to cross nearly 900 miles of ice shelf, mountains and the Polar Plateau to arrive at a spot of no particular interest to anybody except for its location at the bottom of the earth.

Two British expeditions had tried to reach the South Pole before. Scott led one himself from 1901 to 1904, and Ernest Shackleton led another from 1907 to 1909. They had fallen short. This time, though, Scott was brimming with confidence. Drawing on those earlier experiences, he had methodically planned this expedition not merely to be the first to reach the South Pole but also to advance an ambitious scientific agenda. He had already put in place several teams that would fan out across the Ross Sea basin, collecting fossils, data and other things of scientific…

 

 

Friday the 13th Superstitions Rooted in Bible and More

June 24, 2011 · Posted in Church History, Friday the 13th · Comment 

This year Friday the 13th superstitions get a break—luckily for triskaidekaphobes.

friday 13th 2010 last supper

Legendary traitor Judas (fourth from left) is said to have been the 13th guest at Jesus’ Last Supper.

Painting by Leonardo da Vinci via Getty Images

John Roach

for National Geographic News

Updated May 13, 2011

They date back to at least ancient Roman times, but Friday the 13th superstitions won’t be getting much of a workout this year. Luckily for triskaidekaphobia sufferers, 2011—like 2010 before it—has only one Friday the 13th.

By contrast, 2009 boasted three Friday the 13ths—the maximum possible in a year, at least as long as we continue to mark time with the Gregorian calendar, which Pope Gregory XIII ordered the Catholic Church to adopt in 1582.

“You can’t have any [years] with none, and you can’t have any with four, because of our funny calendar,” said Underwood Dudley, a professor emeritus of mathematics at DePauw University in Indiana, and author of Numerology: Or, What Pythagoras Wrought.

The calendar works just as its predecessor, the Julian calendar, did, with a leap year every four years. But the Gregorian calendar skips leap years on century years except those divisible by 400. For example, there was no leap year in 1900, but there was one in 2000. This trick keeps the calendar in tune with the seasons.

The result is an ordering of days and dates that repeats itself every 400 years, Dudley noted. As time marches through the order, some years appear with three Friday the 13ths. Other years have two or, like 2011, one.

Curious Calendar Encourages Friday the 13th Superstitions

“It’s just that curious way our calendar is constructed, with 28 days in February and all those 30s and 31s,” Dudley said.

(Related: “Leap Year: How the World Makes Up for Lost Time”.)

When the 400-year order is laid out, another revelation occurs: The 13th falls on Friday more often than any other day of the week. “It’s just a funny coincidence,” Dudley said.

Richard Beveridge, a mathematics instructor at Clatsop Community College in Oregon, authored a 2003 paper in the journal Mathematical Connections on the mathematics of Friday the 13th.

He noted the 400-year cycle is further broken down into periods of either 28 or 40 years.

“At the end of every cycle you get a year with three Friday the 13ths the year before the last year in the cycle … and you also get one on the tenth year of all the cycles,” he said.

2009, for example, was the tenth year of the cycle that started in 2000.

Friday the 13th Superstitions Linked to Triskaidekaphobia

Friday the 13th superstitions are rooted in ancient bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday, said Donald Dossey, a folklore historian and author of Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun.

The two unlucky entities ultimately combined to make one superunlucky day.

Dossey traces the fear of the number 13—aka, triskaidekaphobia—to a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, Norse mythology’s heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous god Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow.

“Balder died, and the whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day,” Dossey said.

There is also a biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper. (See “Lost Gospel Revealed; Says Jesus Asked Judas to Betray Him.”)

As for Friday, it’s well known among Christians as the day Jesus was crucified. Also, some biblical scholars believe Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on Friday. Perhaps most significant is a belief that Abel was slain by his brother Cain on Friday the 13th.

Meanwhile, in ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.

In modern times, many triskaidekaphobes point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.

Thomas Fernsler, an associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, said the number 13 suffers because of its position after 12.

According to Fernsler, numerologists consider 12 a “complete” number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus, he pointed out.

Thirteen’s association with bad luck, he said, “has to do with just being a little beyond completeness. The number becomes restless or squirmy”—not unlike some folks with triskaidekaphobia today.

Paralyzed by Friday the 13th Superstitions

Some people are so paralyzed by Friday the 13th superstitions that they refuse to fly, buy a house, or act on a stock tip, for example.

“It’s been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day, because people will not fly or do business they would normally do,” said Dossey, the historian, who is also the founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina.

Among other services, Dossey’s organization counsels clients on how to conquer Friday the 13th superstitions, which fuel a phobia that he estimates afflicts 17 to 21 million people in the United States.

Symptoms range from mild anxiety to full-blown panic attacks. The latter may cause people to reshuffle schedules or miss an entire day’s work.

When it comes to bad luck of any kind, Richard Wiseman—a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, England—has found that people who consider themselves unfortunate are more likely to believe in superstitions associated with bad luck.

Supersitious people’s “beliefs and behavior are likely to be part of a much bigger worldview,” he said. “They will believe [both] that luck is a magical force and that it can ruin their lives.”

Triskaidekaphobia’s Architectural Effects

Triskaidekaphobia can be seen even in how societies are built. More than 80 percent of high-rise buildings lack a 13th floor. Many airports skip the 13th gate. Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.

On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 1/2. In France socialites known as the quatorziens(“fourteeners”) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.

DePauw University’s Dudley said nobody really knows why Friday the 13th has spawned so many superstitions.

“You’ve got to have something that is unlucky, and somehow they hit on 13,” he said. “But all these explanations are just moonshine.”

 

 

History buffs gather as Gettysburg prepares for Civil War anniversary

June 24, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Simon Mann
June 25, 2011 – 12:14AM

GETTYSBURG is not where you expect to find Adolf Hitler’s monogrammed, silver grooming set – brush, comb and hand-held mirror. Nor Eva Braun’s chemise.
art wide kennedy

Nor, for that matter, a shrine to John F. Kennedy that includes a cane rocking chair, made to order for a commander-in-chief with a crook back.

But there they are on display in the little Museum of History on Baltimore Street, along with thousands of Civil War artefacts – weapons, shrapnel, bullets, uniforms and manuscripts, even Abraham Lincoln’s wallet – that provide a reassuring geographical reference.

The eclectic hoard evolved from proprietor Erik Dorr’s early fascination with history.

At age eight, he saved $50 during a summer mowing lawns and, instead of buying baseball cards like his peers, he acquired a trunkload of mementoes taken from captured German soldiers in World War II by his school’s cleaner.

”My parents thought I was off my rocker,” he says, sheepishly.

But Dorr’s destiny was marked: he became a collector and then dealer, finally managing to lay his hands on some of the trove famously looted by US soldiers from Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s lair in the Bavarian Alps.

In the heart of this Civil War precinct, the 43-year-old’s collection – displayed in the home that once belonged to his great-grandparents – might seem incongruous, especially as America commemorates the sesquicentenary of those bloodied and brutal 19th-century hostilities.

But history is the currency of Gettysburg, where the business of collecting and commemoration comes in various guises, from the intriguing to the classy and the kitsch, and where Lincoln’s face features on everything from plaques to baseballs, to packs of candy.

Yet for the town that is the most synonymous with the war, Gettysburg’s big moment is still two years away as events marking the 150th anniversary unfold to the timetable of the war, plotting a course from the first engagement of the war at Fort Sumter to the final battle at Appomattox.

Gettysburg’s turn comes in 2013, although those fateful first three days of July fall this year on a weekend, adding a buzz to the 148th anniversary re-enactments.

Preparations are apparent: footpaths are being relaid in the main street and workers tend the battlefield surrounds in the muggy early summer as tour groups navigate the 1300 monuments and memorials in buses, on horseback, bikes and Segways.

”It’s just starting to build,” says a bartender of the annual influx, a sepia-toned battlefield photograph displayed behind her that is actually the door to a wide fridge. ”It’s been busy but it’s gonna get a helluva lot busier,” she adds.

At the nearby American History Store, where generals Ulysses Grant and Robert E. Lee are kings on a Civil War chess board, a sales assistant has detected an upswing, too. ”I’ve noticed a lot more people already this year, so 2013 is going to be crazy.”

Just how ”crazy” is difficult to fathom, because already at the new Visitor Centre and Museum, busloads of tourists swarm the gift shop like locusts, stripping it of Gettysburg key-rings, Gettysburg cups, Gettysburg playing cards, Gettysburg teddies and T-shirts … pens, peanuts, prints and paraphernalia, as the Battle Hymn of the Republic is piped through the sound system.

The town centre, meanwhile, seems more suited to genuine history buffs, where relics are stocked by various dealerships, including one on Steinwehr Avenue where the vendor is retelling with gusto the moment when a Russian tourist slapped roubles on the counter and tried to make off with a $3000 revolver.

Here a rusty cannon ball, still in one piece, is selling for $US475, bayonets for $US750 and an 1861 Enfield rifle for $US5500.

The good burghers of Gettysburg have harvested tonnes of munitions from the battlefield in the decades since the two armies collided there, putting the Pennsylvania town forever on the map.

The combatants fired more than 600 tonnes of metal over the three days, as they soaked the battlefield with the blood of 10,000 dead and another 30,000 wounded.

Some had died instantly, wrote a Union soldier from Wisconsin. ”Others had struggled fiercely with death, tearing the earth with their hands, dying at last with expressions of the most horrible agony lingering on their distorted features.”

Months later, America’s first National Cemetery would be consecrated on six hectares of land in the middle of Gettysburg.

The president attended but was not billed as the main speaker. Instead, Lincoln was invited to make ”a few appropriate remarks”. Which he did, for just two minutes.

And the rest is history.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/world/history-buffs-gather-as-gettysburg-prepares-for-civil-war-anniversary-20110624-1gjl4.html

 

Census Shows Whites Lose US Majority Among Babies

June 23, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

By HOPE YEN Associated Press
WASHINGTON June 23, 2011 (AP)
census_babies

For the first time, minorities make up a majority of babies in the U.S., part of a sweeping race change and growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and predominantly minority youths that could reshape government policies.

Preliminary census estimates also show the share of African-American households headed by women — made up of mostly single mothers — now exceeds African-American households with married couples, a sign of declining U.S. marriages overall but also continuing challenges for black youths without involved fathers.

The findings, based on the latest government data, offer a preview of final 2010 census results being released this summer that provide detailed breakdowns by age, race and householder relationships such as same-sex couples.

Demographers say the numbers provide the clearest confirmation yet of a changing social order, one in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the U.S. majority by midcentury.

“We’re moving toward an acknowledgment that we’re living in a different world than the 1950s, where married or two-parent heterosexual couples are now no longer the norm for a lot of kids, especially kids of color,” said Laura Speer, coordinator of the Kids Count project for the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Results Are in From the Census Bureau Watch Video

Census Goes Under the Sea Watch Video

Census Worker Arrested for Rape Watch Video

“It’s clear the younger generation is very demographically different from the elderly, something to keep in mind as politics plays out on how programs for the elderly get supported,” she said. “It’s critical that children are able to grow to compete internationally and keep state economies rolling.”

Currently, non-Hispanic whites make up just under half of all children 3 years old, which is the youngest age group shown in the Census Bureau’s October 2009 annual survey, its most recent. In 1990, more than 60 percent of children in that age group were white.

William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who analyzed the data, said figures in the 2009 survey can sometimes be inexact compared with the 2010 census, which queries the entire nation. But he said when factoring in the 2010 data released so far, minorities outnumber whites among babies under age 2.

The preliminary figures are based on an analysis of the Current Population Survey as well as the 2009 American Community Survey, which sampled 3 million U.S. households to determine that whites made up 51 percent of babies younger than 2. After taking into account a larger-than-expected jump in the minority child population in the 2010 census, the share of white babies falls below 50 percent.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia now have white populations below 50 percent among children under age 5 — Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Maryland, Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Mississippi. That’s up from six states and the District of Columbia in 2000.

At current growth rates, seven more states could flip to “minority-majority” status among small children in the next decade: Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, South Carolina and Delaware.

By contrast, whites make up the vast majority of older Americans — 80 percent of seniors 65 and older and roughly 73 percent of people ages 45-64. Many states with high percentages of white seniors also have particularly large shares of minority children, including Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas and Florida.

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