Coal!

Today in History, February 11, 1808:

Judge Jesse Fell of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is the first to successfully burn anthracite coal, on a grate so it had a vent source underneath, in his fireplace to heat his home. Soon the coal industry in America would take off, heating homes and being used for commercial applications, fueling the Industrial Revolution.

The Dawes Severalty Act…”We’re from the Government, and We’re Here to Help…”

Today in History, February, 1887:

President Grover Cleveland signs the Dawes Severalty Act into law.

Massachusetts Senator Henry Laurens Dawes authored the bill with the intent of facilitating the integration of native Americans into the white society.

Dawes and others felt this was the only way to “protect” the Indians, by forcing them to cease their communal way of living. The law broke up the tribal holdings, giving individuals the land.

Married men were given 160 acres of land, single men 80 acres, boys 40 acres and women no land.

The thought was that by forcing the native American families into individual units, as whites lived, they would be assimilated.

As seems to have happened with all acts to “benefit” the Indians, hidden within the law was a land grab. The law provided that after the lands had been apportioned, any land that was left could be sold to non-Indians. The result was that by the 1930’s, when Congress reversed the act and gave the tribes back their rights as nations, the tribes had lost fully 3/4 of their previous land holdings on the reservations.

Initially the 5 Civilized Tribes in Indian and Oklahoma Territories were exempt, but eventually policies were initiated that effected them also. Much of the land that wasn’t sold outright to non-Indians was eventually sold by the Indian owners when they were down on their luck, reducing tribal holdings even more.

The act also had other negative effects on the Native American community, as it forced changes in the community dynamic; the traditional roles for men and women in the tribal leadership were changed.

The Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934 repealed the Dawes Act, but much of the damage was irreparable.

Today in History, February 6, 1952:

Treetops Hotel, Kenya.

While on a tour of colonial assets, Princess Elizabeth is notified that her father, King George VI, had passed, ascending her to the throne. She chose to keep her name, becoming Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, including England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Commonwealth. At that time the Empire included many other nations that have since become independent.

Queen Elizabeth, who had been the heir apparent since 1936, still reigns after 68 years, making her the longest reigning sovereign of the British Empire.

Joseph Hunt…Sports Star

Today in History, February 2, 1945:

Joe Hunt won the U.S. Boy’s Tennis Championship.

Joe Hunt won the U.S. Junior’s Tennis Championship.

Joe Hunt won the U.S. Collegiate Tennis Championship.

Joe Hunt won the U.S. Men’s Singles Tennis Championship.

Joe Hunt won the 21st Annual Bayview Park Tennis Championship.

He was the only person ever to achieve all of these titles.

Why have you not heard of Joe’s name alongside Arthur Ashe, Billy Jean King, John McEnroe, and Serena Williams?

Because at the height of his career in 1938, Joe Hunt transferred from the University of Southern California to another prestigious college…the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Joe wanted to serve his country. He continued to excel at Tennis, and at Football for the USNA.

When war broke out Lieutenant Hunt served in destroyers in the Pacific and the Atlantic.

He won the US Men’s Championship while home on leave.

But destroyer duty, escorting convoys in the Atlantic wasn’t enough for the aggressive athlete…after several requests he finally got the opportunity to earn his wings and take the fight to the enemy in the air…what he really wanted to do.

Joe won his last championship against other former champions serving in the military at a match held near the Pensacola Naval Air Station where he was training.

And on this date in 1945, Joe’s F6F Hellcat fighter crashed into the Atlantic during a training accident. He never got to take the fight to the enemy from a carrier. His meteoric rise in Tennis was cut short.

How much potential did we lost during our nation’s wars? How can we possibly repay such sacrifice? Of course we cannot.

But in 2019, the U.S. Tennis Association demonstrated THEY have not forgotten. They named their Military Appreciation Day in honor of Lieutenant Joseph Hunt, USN.

For as Long as the Rivers Run and the Grass Grows…I Wonder if our Native American Ancestors Rolled Their Eyes?

Today in History, January 27, 1825:

Congress designates a portion of the Louisiana Purchase as “Indian Territory” where Indian tribe could exist undisturbed, stretching from present day Texas to the Canadian border.

Over time the area would be reduced to the borders of current day Oklahoma. Which, in the end, would be taken as a state also.

Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, William Seward, Henry Kissinger and CONDOLEEZZA RICE…

TODAY IN HISTORY, JANUARY 26, 2005:

Condoleezza Rice is appointed the 66th United States Secretary of State, the first African-American woman to hold the position, the first to hold such a high office in within a Presidential administration.

President George W. Bush knew her well; she had served in the Reagan administration and in Bush’s father’s administration, availing them of her extensive expertise in Soviet affairs.

Condoleezza Rice grew up in the segregated South. She tells the story of living in Birmingham, Alabama when girls her age lost their lives in an infamous church bombing.

She has spent a good deal of her career at Stanford University when not serving her country in the government. One of her dream jobs is to be the leader of the NFL.

I could definitely vote for Condoleezza Rice were she to run for President…but she affirms our faith in her by being to smart to run for that office.

One Man…Many Lives

Today in History, January 24, 1965:

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill died at the age of 90 in London, England.

I normally try to avoid posting people’s birth and natural cause death dates. These are natural events in their lives, which we all experience. Normally not something they “accomplished.” However as I did my standard research for today’s date, my mind was changed.

Most of the individuals I post about led significant lives…and finding their connections through time is one of my favorite subjects. Yet as I read over several events that I might post about for just this single date, I kept seeing major events which I recognized for having one thing in common…or one person…the remarkable Winston Churchill.

So. Keeping in mind these events are only a microcosm of the influence he had during his 90 years on this Earth:

January 24, 1900. 26-year-old Winston Churchill was a correspondent covering the Boer War in South Africa when he was made a Lieutenant for his exploits. On today’s date he covered the Battle of Spion Kop during the Siege of Ladysmith. During the war he would manage to distinguish himself in combat.

January 24, 1915. The Royal Navy engages the German Navy at the famous Battle of Dogger Bank due to intelligence gained by the Admiralty. In charge of the Admiralty was a 41-year-old First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. He would leave the office somewhat in disgrace after failed efforts in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli…but the indefatigable man would reinvent himself, serving in the government in several posts, including Lord of the Admiralty again.

January 24, 1943. After having done his time in “the wilderness” when he was nearly the sole voice shouting against appeasement of the Nazi regime, now Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Britain. On this date he concluded a landmark conference with American President Franklin Roosevelt at Casablanca, Morocco, during which the Allied leaders set the course for the second world war.

There is so much more to cover that Churchill was involved in; what an amazing life!