Edited by Gerald Boerner
Today we find a number of significant events in the history of our nation. We also find a couple of major events in the personal lives of a some of our public heroes. And finally, we find a couple events of terrorism in both this country and the United Kingdom. As usual, these events provided a cascade of subsidiary events that helped to create this country as it is now. I hope that we take time on this first day of the new month to contemplate and consider the rich filigree that makes our country a unique blend of peoples, lands, and ideas.
In terms of our national history, this day in 1781 found the Articles of Confederation become the first constitution of the new nation forged out of the thirteen American colonies following the Revolutionary War. But the real story is the rich land in which these original colonies, now states, would become a nation of fifty states ranging from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and include the frozen north of Alaska and Pacific paradise of Hawaii. Jefferson started this process with the Louisiana Purchase, but continued to the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States in 1845. President Tyler did not acquire this land through treaty, like most of the rest of the west, but through annexation; this did not recognize the right of the Texans to claim that they were legally an independent entity!
This process continued as these lands were explored during the latter part of the 19th century. As the natural beauty of this land became apparent. There was Yellowstone with its geysers, deep canyons, and wildlife. There was the Yosemite Valley in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains in California with its waterfalls and great natural beauty. And, of course, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in the Arizona Territory. These natural wonders would be desecrated like the natural wonders of Niagara Falls had been if not protected. This protection was afforded in 1872 by the Yellowstone Act of 1872 signed on this day by President Ulysses S. Grant that would protect the natural wonder that was Yellowstone.
This protection was continued during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt who used his power to designate National Monuments to protect some of the other wonders of the west. This was used to protect the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and various Indian relics throughout the west. And, of course, these protections were formalized in 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the law that created the National Parks Service. This agency would help protect wild and scenic regions across this great land of ours. Without this protection, we would not be able to look forward to vacations to see these examples of “eye-candy” on our family vacations!
Other significant events on this day included the creation of the Peace Corps in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy by executive order, the kidnapping of the infant son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh in 1932, and the retirement of Baseball great Mickey Mantle from the New York Yankees in 1969. These events affected us in various ways. The Peace Corps provided an alternative to the “Ugly American” image of many post-war interactions with the third world nation while at the same time providing our young people with an unprecedented opportunity to serve their nation. From this experience, we have reaped many educators, businessmen, and others dedicated to the service of others. The Lindbergh case, the “Crime of the Century,” resulted in a number of laws designed to protect our population, albeit at the expense of the right of many immigrant groups. And we again realized the role of sports heroes in our national life. Mickey Mantle was the personification of the baseball hero who was, indeed, a nice guy. We need more of his kind in our present day atmosphere of greed exhibited by many of our present sports stars.
We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 1382 Words ]
Quotations Related to Texas:
“Calling a taxi in Texas is like calling a rabbi in Iraq.”
— Fran Lebowitz
“But I’m a citizen of Texas and try to spend most of my time there.”
— Thomas Haden Church
“I got beat up up in Texas because my bootlaces were the wrong color.”
— Fairuza Balk
“After I left Texas and went to California, I had a hard time getting anyone to play anything that I was writing, so I had to end up playing them myself. And that’s how I ended up just being a saxophone player.”
— Ornette Coleman
“According to a study by Achieve Incorporated, Texas is the first state to make a college-prep curriculum the standard coursework in high school, starting with this year’s ninth grade class.”
— Rick Perry
“All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men.”
— Sam Houston