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Tag: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day, we celebrate the death of St. Patrick who brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle, Ireland. We celebrate this event by parades, wearing of the green and drinking green beer while eating corned beef & cabbage. This day also witnessed one of the first victories of the American patriots against the British in the Battle of Dorchester Heights where Col. Henry Knox performed his seemingly miraculous feat of moving cannons and powder from the captured Fort Ticonderoga to Boston almost overnight. The British, when confronted with these armaments, withdrew from Boston to New York.

The_first_meeting_of_the_Israeli_3rd_government

This was also a day of several naval accomplishments in submarine warfare; the first practical submarine (USS Holland) was launched on this day and the first of a new class (USS Skate) broke through the North Pole’s Ice Pack. It was also the day that saw the launch, by NASA, of the Vanguard 1 solar-powered satellite. In addition, Theodore Roosevelt recognized the effectiveness of investigative journalism by the "Muckrakers" in a speech to the Gridiron Club in Washington, D.C. Finally, this day witnessed the assumption of the position of Prime Minister by Golda Meir in Israel, the first woman in such a position in the world. So, let’s see these events in a little more detail…

History Details…

Irish_cloverOf course, the most notable event of today is the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. How did this become a much-celebrated holiday? By the dispersion, borne of necessity, of the Irish around the world. But a substantial of that number settled in New York City and Boston. This day, the celebration of the death of the fabled saint in 461, St. Patrick, who ministered to the needs of the Irish for three decades in the fifth century. It is said that on this day, everyone is an Irishman!

At the beginning the Revolutionary War, the American patriots set up their lines on the high ground of Dorchester Heights in 1776. The problem, the British not only had greater numbers of trained troops, but they also had artillery. The American troops couldn’t compete with these cannons! One of the leaders of the patriots, in addition to Benedict Arnold, there was Col. Henry Knox who suggested that the cannons at Fort Ticonderoga could be captured and brought back to Cambridge to help the colonist soldiers defend the city of Boston. He led an expedition that easily captured the fort and brought back those cannons and powder to Boston. The British awoke to see lines of cannons facing them. The British would withdraw from Boston to New York City. This was the first victory for the Colonists; the British would defeat General George Washington in the Battle of New York shortly thereafter. The ability of the American soldiers to stand up against their British overlords was verified. The rebellion would continue!

Siege of boston artillery

On this day in 1969, the world witnessed the first woman assume the top position in a democratic country, Israel. On this date, Mrs. Golda Meir would assume the position of Prime Minister of Israel and lead the country through some turbulent times. She would distinguish herself in that position and take her seat among the family of nations. She was well prepared for the responsibilities to guide this small country surrounded by nations that wanted to wipe her little nation off the map. But, because of her leadership skills, they would not be able to wipe out Israel. Our country has had a pro-Israel position since the small country emerged following a United Nations resolution that established the nation within the Arab-dominated land of Palestine; Israel would become a haven for those Jews dislocated by the Nazis during World War II and SURVIVED the death camps! Hooray for Israel, and hooray for the female leadership of that feisty little nation that, like the scorpion, is small but has a big stinger.

TheJungleSinclair

In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt described for the first time the investigative journalist. These journalist, the "muckrakers," sought to reveal in the press the excesses of the "robber barons" of the day. This group included Ida M. Tarbell ("The History of Standard Oil"), Lincoln Steffens ("The Shame of Minneapolis") and Ray Stannard Baker ("The Right to Work"), simultaneously published famous works in that single issue (see Wikipedia article); Upton Sinclare (The Jungle) exposed the excessive abuses in the meat-packing industry. This group also included some of the major newspaper publishers of the day who used these stories to increase advertising and circulation revenues; included in this group of publishers were Edwin Lawrence Godkin of the New York Evening Post, Joseph Pulitzer (after whom the annual prize is named) of the New York World, and William Randolph Hearst of the San Francisco Examiner. Yellow Journalism is still alive and well, just watch your evening news!

The U.S. Navy celebrates two events in the submarine warfare department on this day during the past 100+ years. In 1898, the first practical submarine (actually the third one built) commissioned by the U.S. Navy; the USS Holland would complete its first trials on this day. In 1959, the U.S. Navy launched the USS Skate, the first of a new class of nuclear submarines that would be deployed during the Cold War. The Skate was the first to make the voyage across the Atlantic underwater and the first submarine to break through the polar ice cap at the North Pole. This submarine class was a major advance over the original Nautilus launched a few years before. It would be succeeded by the Polaris class of nuclear missile subs launched later.

USS_Skate_(SSN-578)_surfaced_in_Arctic_-_1959

NASA, in 1958, launches the Vanguard 1 solar-powered satellite, the third to be launched by the United States. This satellite is still in orbit, although no longer functional, having completed its mission years ago. It was designed to test a new launch vehicle and to test the environmental effects of space on an artificial satellite. We had moved from responding to the Soviet launch of Sputnik I in 1957 to a programmed of planned space exploration that would reach its pinnacle in the first walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 flight in 1969, just eleven years after the launch of Vanguard 1!

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

[ 1814 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Saint Patrick:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/saint_patrick.html ]

    

“Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”
— Saint Patrick

“I am Patrick, a sinner, most uncultivated and least of all the faithful and despised in the eyes of many.”
— Saint Patrick

“If I be worthy, I live for my God to teach the heathen, even though they may despise me.”
— Saint Patrick

“If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.”
— Saint Patrick

“The Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins.”
— Saint Patrick

“Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall.”
— Saint Patrick

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day was a day of explorations. After the discovery of gold in California in 1948, the world witnessed a massive invasion of men from around the world attempting to find their claim on part of this treasure; these Forty-Niners used whatever transport that was available to reach San Francisco which became a large city almost overnight. We also reacted in awe in 1953 as two British scientists, Watson and Crick, discovered the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule that is the basis of life; they were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery. This day also witnessed the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Airman 1st Class John Levitow in 1969; he was the first Vietnam-era airman to be honored with this award.

Crick

This day also witnessed FDR appointing a woman, Francis Perkins, as Secretary of Labor making her the first woman to serve on the President’s cabinet in 1933. On a sadder note, we watched with horror as the ATF/FBI raid on the Waco, Texas, compound of the Branch Davidian cult in 1993; as the TV camera crews covered the event, fire swept through the compound killing all the members inside.

After watching the men and women of the 4077th Field Hospital play out their sub-dramas and treating the casualties of the Korean War, in 1983 we witnessed the final episode of the TV show, M*A*S*H; the final episode was “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” and was watched by the largest audience until the most recent Super Bowls. It was a night of television history.

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

[ 889 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to DNA:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/dna.html ]

    

“If you can write DNA, you’re no longer limited to ‘what is’ but to what you could make.”
— Drew Endy

“The O.J. Simpson case, they had no understanding of that DNA evidence, and didn’t want to.”
— Joseph Wambaugh

“It was very interesting for me because DNA made music without much technical knowledge at all.”
— Arto Lindsay

“He told me that Francis Crick and Jim Watson had solved the structure of DNA, so we decided to go across to Cambridge to see it. This was in April of 1953.”
— Sydney Brenner

“Diversity has been written into the DNA of American life; any institution that lacks a rainbow array has come to seem diminished, if not diseased.”
— Joe Klein

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day has seen numerous notable events since the mid-1930s. Why? The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution changed inauguration day for the President from March 4th to January 20th. Therefore, all the Presidential Inaugurations since that time have occurred on this day. The revised date of the Inauguration started with the Second Inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, which is notable only because of this change of date.

Jackie_Flattering Face

President Harry S. Truman was inaugurated on this day in 1949 after defeating John Dewey in an election that pointed out the shortcoming with political polling techniques. But Truman’s Inauguration was noteworthy for another reason; this was the first inauguration that was broadcast live for that new media device, the television. While only a limited number of families owned TV sets at that time, this would be the first opportunity to watch the inauguration from one’s own living room.

The 1961 inauguration of a new President, John F. Kennedy, would be noteworthy for several reasons. In the first place, it was a first for this country; JFK would be the first Roman Catholic President and he would also be the youngest man to occupy the Oval Office. But JFKs inauguration was significant for his speech so eloquently delivered after his swearing in ceremony. In that speech he included the now-famous words: “ask not what your country can do for you — as what you can do for your country.”

More to the point, the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan was significant for several reasons. Not only did it find a former Hollywood actor becoming President, but it followed a hard-fought election campaign with Jimmy Carter, the sitting President. And one of the biggest issues was due to a foreign power: Iran. In 1979, radical Islamic fundamentalist students occupied the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and 52 American citizens were held hostage. As of inauguration day, this hostage crisis had lasted 444 days. But after Ronald Reagan had been sworn in as the new President and before he finished his Inauguration Speech, the 52 hostages were released by Iran. Apparently, the Iranian government did not want to face the conservative new President.

Iran_hostages_return

This day also marked the day almost a decade later, when the British hostage negotiator, Terry Waite, was taken hostage in Biruit in 1987. He would spend most of his confinement in solitary until his release in 1991. It would appear that hostage-taking would become a key element of the Islamic militants over the next couple of decades.

Almost lost in this set of significant events is the appointment of John Marshall was appointed by Thomas Jefferson to the post  of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1801, He would be the second Chief Justice of that court in the young history of this country. And, oh yes, this was the day in 1892 that would see the first basketball game played in the YMCA gym in Springfield, Massachusetts.

So, has this day been eventful? You bet it was and it has been filled with events of significance since the founding of this country. It has seen us move from a primarily rural, agrarian society (yes, I know that these terms are redundant!) to today’s primarily urban, commercial society. I use the term commercial advisedly. By and large, we are now less of an industrial or manufacturing society than a service-based, commercial one. Most of our manufacturing jobs have been shipped “off-shore” to countries like India, Indonesia, Korea, and China. Let us hope that our society can remain strong and educated so that our innovation and creativity can once again put us into the forefront of the industrial world.

But now it is time to jump into our brief overview of the events of today, January 20th… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1159 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Hostages:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/hostages.html ]

    

“In fact, this is a blackmail of the terrorists at the expense of the suffering of the hostages.”
— Alberto Fujimori

“You must avoid giving hostages to fortune, like getting an expensive wife, an expensive house, and a style of living that never lets you aford [sic] the time to take the chance to write what you wish.”
— Irwin Shaw

“If people are informed they will do the right thing. It’s when they are not informed that they become hostages to prejudice.”
— Charlayne Hunter-Gault

“He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.”
— Francis Bacon

“Freeing hostages is like putting up a stage set, which you do with the captors, agreeing on each piece as you slowly put it together; then you leave an exit through which both the captor and the captive can walk with sincerity and dignity.”
— Terry Waite

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbHenry Ford sits amongst those luminous inventors and innovators of the last part of the 19th century. Around him are Thomas Edison, known for the light bulb, direct current, the phonograph, movie technology, and Alexander Graham Bell, known for the telephone. These men were the giants. They brought light, entertainment, and communication to the lives of a nation. But Henry Ford’s contribution was much more profound — he gave the nation mobility! No longer were the common man living in American cities, towns, and villages would be restricted to their locales if they could afford the few hundred dollars for a used Model T.

AssemblyLine

The major contribution of Henry Ford was the design of an innovative manufacturing production techniques — the assembly line. Automobiles prior to Henry Ford were produced the same way that luxurious means of transportation had been made for decades, if not centuries. A single craftsman or a small group of skilled craftsmen worked on a single vehicle through its construction. This was the technique used on coaches, railroad cars, and automobile with notable nameplates such as Pullman (railroad coaches). But this craftsman-based approach made each unit expensive to create and, therefore, expensive to buy. The common man was excluded from this new transportation opportunity. Henry Ford’s Model T was created on an assembly line where each worker did only one part of the manufacturing process; this made automobiles inexpensive and available to a wider audience!

The revolution of the automobile had a profound effect upon American society. Not only did it provide mobility beyond a farmer’s local village, but he could now use a tractor to tend his fields. Americans and foreign immigrants were put to work building roads to replace the carriage tracks had previously existed. And the nation was on the move. Eventually, a national web of highways tried together the nation like no railroad had been able to do. This was formalized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the mid-1950s signed legislation that created the Interstate Highway System.

Not all the changes produced by the automobile were positive. These vehicles were adapted as transports and ambulances during World War I. But cars were also used to transport illegal alcohol during Prohibition. Gangsters used the car to carry their terror and death around large cities in our country. Also, the automobile is said to have contributed to the breakdown of morals in young people, providing them with a mobile “passion pits” in which to loose themselves in the moment.

Bonnie_Clyde_Car

Today, we suffer with air pollution from vehicle exhaust. But on the bright side, new technologies have been developed in recent years to provide mobility with clean air. That is progress.

Now, let’s get started with our exploration of Henry Ford, the Ford Motor Company, and the low-cost automobile… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4472 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Henry Ford:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/henry_ford.html ]

    

“A bore is a person who opens his mouth and puts his feats in it.”
— Henry Ford

“An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.”
— Henry Ford

“Any colour – so long as it’s black.”
— Henry Ford

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day includes only one international event of note, but it is one that is of the upmost importance to this country. Numerous events involved with America itself have also occurred on this day. But let’s start out with a consideration of the international event, the ratification of the Treaty of Paris by the Continental Congress in 1784. But how is this an international event, you might ask. The Treaty of Paris formally ended the Revolutionary War between Britain and its American colonies — now that is a major international event. This treaty gave the new colony a set of borders that would define the new country. These borders were the Great Lakes to the North, the Spanish territory of Florida on the South, the Mississippi River on the West and the Atlantic Ocean on the East. Only the lands east of the Appalachian mountains had been extensively settled, so this new country had a great deal of land to explore and settle.

Dixie Clipper_Boeing-314_1

On the home front, we had three Connecticut towns adopt “The Fundamental Orders” in 1639. This was one of the earliest democratic constitutions in the colonies along with the Mayflower Compact. Most of the American colonies were settled under decrees from the King granting settlement rights to a few wealthy patrons. More recently, this day saw the start of NBCs Today Show hosted by Dave Garroway in 1952. This was the grand-daddy of the morning news and talk shows; its format was copied by the other TV networks. It was also on this day in 1954 that Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe. It was also the day in 1985 that saw Martina Navratilova join Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors as the only tennis players to win 100 professional tennis tournaments.

But this day saw two major innovations introduced into this country. In 1914, Henry Ford introduced a manufacturing innovation in its new Model T plant in Highland Park, Michigan. With this assembly line, each worker performed a single task as the car passed by their station. This was in contrast with the traditional manufacturing process that saw a small team of craftsmen building an automobile by performing all tasks required. The new assembly line enabled more productivity and enabled the price of the auto to be dropped to that affordable by the average worker. It would also enable our manufacturing facilities to produce war materiel for World War II in order for the U.S. to become the “Arsenal of Democracy”, as FDR put it.

Ford Model T Military Field Ambulance

The other major innovation was the development of passenger aircraft from the early open air seats to an aircraft that enabled passengers to travel over long distances in comfort. During World War II, FDR was a passenger on the “Dixie Clipper”, Pan American’s flying seaplane (a Boeing 314 seaplane), on his trip to the Casablanca Conference to meet with Winston Churchill in 1943. FDR was the first sitting President to use an airplane to make such a trip. It was probably a wise decision due to the continued presence of German U-Boats patrolling the Atlantic during the Battle of the Atlantic. This helped to give the population confidence to fly to their destinations after the war rather than travelling by train or steamship. Our technology had come of age!

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

[ 1101 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Casablanca:

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“If it’s December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?”
— Howard Koch

“Well everybody in Casablanca has problems. Yours may work out.”
— Humphrey Bogart

“Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.”
— Winston Churchill

“Most people would rather stay home and watch Casablanca for the fourth time or the 10th time on Turner Classic Movies than go see Matrix 12 or whatever the hell the flavor of the month is.”
— Joseph Bologna

“Churchill knew the importance of peace, and he also knew the price of it. Churchill finally got his voice, of course. He stressed strategy, but it was his voice that armed England at last with the old-fashioned moral concepts of honor and duty, justice and mercy.”
— Suzanne Fields

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbThe 1960s was a groundbreaking era on many fronts. It saw a major push for women’s rights in all areas of life, especially the workplace and in the control of their bodies. Students were pushing for more say in their college education, especially curriculum. The United States was fighting an unpopular war in Southeast Asia — Vietnam. And, of course, there was the demand of African Americans and Hispanics for equal rights in fact, not just in theory. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marches throughout the South against the KKK and Jim Crow Laws. In California, Caesar Chavez was leading Hispanic marchers in the Table Grape Boycott to win better working conditions for California’s migrant field workers..

Kennedy_Giving_Historic_Speech_to_Congress_-_GPN-2000-001658

A new, young president, John F. Kennedy, came on the scene with a new vision for our country. He called for our people to contribute to the betterment of the needy in other countries through Service by Peace Corp volunteers. He called on our science and engineering community to put a man on the moon, and return him safely to earth, by the end of the decade of the 1960s. But he also wanted to help improve the lot of those living in the oft-neglected urban areas of our country. To this end, he proposed a new, cabinet-level Department of Housing and Urban Development. But the Congress dominated by Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats blocked him on this move.

The idea of a separate department to provide better housing to urban dwellers was not dead. The torch was picked up and carried by President Lyndon B. Johnson following the assassination of JFK. Johnson pushed multiple pieces of Civil Rights legislation through the Congress, including the Voting Rights Act. In 1965, he was able to achieve passage of a bill to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As the new cabinet-level Secretary of the department, he appointed the long time urban affairs expert and administrator — Robert C. Weaver. Weaver was confirmed by the Senate and became the first African American Cabinet Member. He paved the way for other African Americans and Hispanics to make their rightful contributions to the government of this great country.

P091009CK-0040.jpg

But now, let’s get started with our exploration of the first Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who, by the way, was an African American. Weaver was well qualified for the post by his education and experience in government from the time of the Black Cabinet created by FDR during the years of the New Deal. So, let us begin… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2670 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Urban:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/urban.html ]

    

“Companies operating in urban communities have a tremendous ripple effect.”
— Michael Porter

“Everyone’s looking to the urban scene for inspiration now.”
— Robin Gibb

“How does he support Clinton’s urban agenda? He doesn’t know what it is.”
— Maxine Waters

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbMany of our featured postings for today focus upon the subject of war. These battles range from the needless, to the unjust, to the idealistic. And the final one is the one that actually brought Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation a reality of a huge portion of our citizens. We have been fighting these wars ever since we won our independence from the British in 1783 when we signed the Treaty of Paris.

CrazyHFight

In most of these cases, these battles created American heroes. General Andrew Jackson became an instant folk hero following his heroics during the Battle of New Orleans; this battle, ironically, was unnecessary since it occurred after the Treaty of Trent had been signed that ended the War of 1812. One of the sad points in American history was our treatment of the Native American tribes, as exemplified by the defeat of Crazy Horse at the Battle of Wolf Mountain. But we do not remember the leaders of that U.S. Cavalry unit, but we do remember Crazy Horse as a hero of Native American rights!

More recently, we have to remember the attempt of Woodrow Wilson to create a new world order following World War I through his Fourteen Points. These points created a framework for a just peace that remove the need for more wars — the War to End Wars. As a result of the isolationist mood of the U.S. Congress and the imperial ambitions of the British and French leadership, these Fourteen Points were bypassed to impose a vindictive, punitive settlement upon Germany in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. This treaty called for the creation of the League of Nations, as a forum for the peaceful settlement of disputes; our own Senate failed to ratify this treaty and therefore did not join the League of Nations. Win a little, lose a lot!

The event that is the high point of these posts is the “War on Poverty” program proposed by President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) in his State of the Union speech in 1964. This proposal created the Great Society set of programs that brought about the realization of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 100 years ago. This program would provide rights to all Americans, including Voting Rights, Equal Treatment under the Law, the Ending of Segregation in the South, etc. It was probably one of the most significant programs since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Fair Deal of Harry S. Truman.

NAACP Turns 100

So let us take a look at these notable events that occurred on this day, including some that we have not highlighted… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 961 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Lyndon B. Johnson:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lyndon_b_johnson.html ]

    

“A man without a vote is man without protection.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“A President’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“I am a freeman, an American, a United States Senator, and a Democrat, in that order.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“I am concerned about the whole man. I am concerned about what the people, using their government as an instrument and a tool, can do toward building the whole man, which will mean a better society and a better world.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbTruman was well-known for his desk sign, “The Buck Stops Here.” But the relatively inexperienced haberdasher turned politician from Missouri. He was elected as vice-president in the 1944 election with FDR. With the war approaching completion in Europe, FDR left Truman out of the “loop.” When FDR died suddenly, Truman was thrust upon the world scene to negotiate with the experienced world leader, Churchill and Stalin. He is outmatched, but being from Missouri, he rises to the occasion to hold his own.

In the post-war turmoil with Stalin occupying eastern Europe and spreading his communist doctrine, Truman put forward a number of diplomatic initiatives to help Europe get through those trying times. He put forward the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, implemented the Berlin Airlift to help the West Berliners survive Stalin’s blockade, and supported the United Nations. But it was on the home from where he probably made the greatest difference.

Medicare

Truman put forth his 21 Points for the reshaping America to become more equitable and provide civil rights to all. While he could not get most of these points through the very conservative, contrary Congress, he created the Marines and Air Force as separate services within the military. More importantly, he ordered the desegregation of the military; the entire country would not realize the benefits of desegregation until the mid-1960s under LBJ’s Great Society. His Fair Deal program of social reforms was an attempt to carry on the New Deal started by FDR and would reach realization under the Great Society of LBJ.

This post is an attempt to tie together these programs of social reform over the span of three democratic administrations. These programs obtained some success that survived the attack of conservative republican administrations that worked to undo those changes that did not require changes in major laws. They were more or less picked apart. Once again, the Obama administration is attempting to finish the reform job, at least on universal health care. This is a goal that has eluded many, many administrations over the last century!

So, let’s get on with our exploration of Harry Truman’s “Fair Deal” program of social reforms. It will be up to the reader to read the details of these reforms due to space limitations… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4215 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Harry S. Truman:

    

“A President cannot always be popular.”
— Harry S. Truman

“The President is always abused. If he isn’t, he isn’t doing anything.”
— Harry S. Truman

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
— Harry S. Truman

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbOver the past half century, we have seen some of the greatest scourges of history reach the point of virtual eradication. Smallpox, Polio, and Rubella have all but disappeared from the developed countries and most of the third world countries. These crippling and deadly diseases are no longer a worry for most parents. In recent years, there has been been some rebound of these diseases following an increasing numbers of more affluent parents withholding the early childhood vaccinations due to their fear of autism. Yes, AIDS is still resistant to elimination, but we hold out hope that a cure for that malady will soon be found.

Iron_lung_CDC

But that was not the case during the first half of the 20th century. Smallpox was still a killer. But the most feared malady was the incapacitating threat to young children. Our wartime president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was stricken with it in the 1920s, leaving his legs crippled. This threat was Infantile Paralysis (Polio) and its effects could range from mild to severe disfigurement and/or death. It forced those whose lungs were effected to be placed in “Iron Lungs” to enable them to breath. I grew up in Downey and that was the location of a large hospital dedicated to the treatment of polio — Rancho Los Amigos Hospital.

Hope came during the early 1950s when Jonas Salk developed a Polio Vaccine. Children were protected and polio became a rare occurrence. After a few years, Rancho Los Amigos was re-tasked to serve as a mental hospital.

And who do we have to thank for these advances in fighting polio and other communicable diseases? The March of Dimes. It all got started when children in the late 1930s were asked to send in their spare dimes to President Roosevelt. By 1938, sufficient funds had arrived that prompted FDR to create the group that became the March of Dimes. To borrow the words of another: “Thank you Mr. President!”.

But, let’s get on with our exploration of the history and work of the March of Dimes… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3632 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Polio:

    

“Having children made us look differently at all these things that we take for granted, like taking your child to get a vaccine against measles or polio.”
— Melinda Gates

“Nature [is] that lovely lady to whom we owe polio, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, cancer.”
— Anonymous

“When I worked on the polio vaccine, I had a theory. I guided each [experiment] by imagining myself in the phenomenon in which I was interested. The intuitive realm … the realm of the imagination guides my thinking.”
— Jonas Salk

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

    
Commentary:

JerryPhotoAlbert Einstein, the Swiss patent clerk, rose to fame to become the “Father of Modern Physics” through many tough years. Even after he earned his University degree, he had difficulty obtaining a teaching position. But as a researcher, he discovered the piezoelectric effect in 1905, which was the nominal basis for his 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. However, during the World War I years, he developed both his Specific Theory of Relativity and then his General Theory of Relativity. These theories were verified by measurements taken during a full eclipse of the moon by Sir Arthur Eddington in 1919.

He continued his work in Berlin through the 1920s and early 1930s, but correctly saw the coming persecution of the Jews by the new German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, when he came to power in 1933. He and his second wife, Elsa, escaped first to England and then to the United States. Upon arriving in the U.S., Einstein taught at CalTech before assuming a position with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey. He remained in this position until his death.

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Einstein was a true genius. He sets a standard that has been met by few thinkers, both past and present. Let’s proceed with our examination of his early life and emigration to the United States. Previous posts have presented his work on the Theories of Relativity and related to the Manhattan Project. So let’s GO…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

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Quotations Related to Albert Einstein:

    

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”
— Albert Einstein

“One may say the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”
— Albert Einstein

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
— Albert Einstein

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