Tag Archives: Massachusetts

today’s holiday: Appleseed Festival


Appleseed Festival

A legend in his own time, John Chapman—better known as “Johnny Appleseed“—was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774. It was supposedly in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that he died in 1845, and Chapman has been commemorated there since 1974 with a two-day fall festival at Johnny Appleseed Park. The festival includes traditional music and entertainment, demonstrations of pioneer arts and crafts, and discussions with “The Living Lincoln,” who talks with visitors about the social issues of the period in history he shared with Johnny Appleseed. More… Discuss

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Tanglewood


Tanglewood

Tanglewood is an estate and music venue in Lenox and Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and is the home of the annual summer Tanglewood Music Festival and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival. It has been the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home since 1937. Its summer school is one of the world’s preeminent training grounds for composers, conductors, instrumentalists, and vocalists. The name “Tanglewood” pays homage to what American author who spent time in the region? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Oldest Free Public School Opened in the US (1635)


 

Oldest Free Public School Opened in the US (1635)

The Boston Latin School in Massachusetts, originally a school for boys that had just a handful of students, is now a coeducational institution serving more than 2,000 youngsters. It has the distinction of being the oldest public school in the US and claims many influential Bostonians as alumni, including four Harvard University presidents, four Massachusetts governors, and five signers of the Declaration of Independence. Who are the school’s most famous dropouts? More… Discuss

 

Salem Witch Trials Begin (1692)


Salem Witch Trials Begin (1692)

Viewed by many to be the result of a period of factional infighting and religious hysteria, the witch trials of Puritanical Salem Village, Massachusetts, led to the executions of 20 people—15 women and five men—and the imprisonment of approximately 150 accused witches. Even after the trials ended, people who had previously been found not guilty of witchcraft remained in prison, held until they paid their jail fees. What is “spectral evidence,” and how did it play a role in the witch trials? More… Discuss

picture of the day: W.E.B. Du Bois



W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. W.E.B. Du Bois was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. As a sociologist, he focused on the problem of race for blacks in the United States. He became an influential leader of black Americans, presenting an alternative to Booker T. Washington, whose policies Du Bois considered too conservative and too accommodating to whites. Du Bois, believing that blacks could achieve progress only through protest, encouraged black nationalism and supported Pan-Africanism. Du Bois also founded the Niagara Movement, served as the NAACP’s director of research and editor of its magazine Crisis, and taught and published his philosophy at Atlanta University. W.E.B. Du Bois died at the age of 95 in 1963.

Image: Library of Congress

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.RFxc4pyE.dpuf

this day in the yesteryear: William G. Morgan Invents Volleyball (1895)


William G. Morgan Invents Volleyball (1895)

William G. Morgan invented volleyball in Holyoke, Massachusetts, just four years after basketball was invented in the neighboring town of Springfield. Morgan, a physical education director, created “Mintonette” for older athletes who wanted to play indoor sports but deemed basketball too rough. The name volleyball came from the nature of the game: “volleying” a ball back and forth over a net. Players can also “spike” the ball and drive it downward into the opponents’ court. What is a “pancake”? More… Discuss

quotation: Louisa May Alcott


Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) Discuss

quotation: You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Henry David Thoreau


You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

quotation: Nathaniel Hawthorne


Great men need to be lifted upon the shoulders of the whole world, in order to conceive their great ideas or perform their great deeds. That is, there must be an atmosphere of greatness round about them. A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world.Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) Discuss

today’s birthday: Louis Braille (1809)


Louis Braille (1809)

Having lost his sight at the age of three following an accident, Braille went on to attend the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris.

Braille

Braille (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While there, he began developing a system of raised dots representing letters to facilitate reading and writing among the visually impaired. This evolved into Braille, a writing system for the blind, which was later extended to include notations for mathematics and music. Braille’s invention was inspired by another writing system designed for what purpose? More… Discuss

photograaph of the day: Photographers Frances and Mary Allen



Photographers Frances and Mary Allen
Sisters Frances and Mary Allen of Deerfield, Massachusetts, began their careers as schoolteachers, but when deafness forced a change of profession, they turned to photography. Their work shows everyday activities in a rural community, like this photo of Margaret Tombs Jones churning butter. Self-taught in their craft, the Allen sisters achieved remarkable success. During their photography career from 1885 to 1920, their work appeared in numerous books and magazines as covers, illustrations and frontispieces.

*****Image: Memorial Hall Museum Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Deerfield, Mass.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.Tp1IEXmJ.dpuf

see more also at:  http://scua.library.umass.edu/ead/muph001.html:

Photographers Frances and Mary Allen

Artistic Photography:  Photographers Frances and Mary Allen

SLEIGH RIDE John Williams & The Boston Pops (Live): Happy Christmas! (great compositions/performances) Learn more about Leroy Anderson here at euzicasa


SLEIGH RIDE John Williams & The Boston Pops (Live)

Emil Gilels – Schumann – Symphonic Etudes, Op 13: Great compositions/performances


Emil Gilels – Schumann – Symphonic Etudes, Op 13

Boston Could Someday Be the Venice of North America


Boston Could Someday Be the Venice of North America

Sinking land and rising sea levels have cities along the US east coast facing an uncertain future. Planners in Boston, Massachusetts, are so concerned that they are considering flooding the city intentionally. Well, not quite flooding so much as creating a system of canals that would crisscross the low-lying Back Bay area. While it seems unlikely that officials will elect such a drastic approach over simply shoring up foundations and raising infrastructure in anticipation of potential flooding, the plan to bring canal systems to North America has raised awareness of the challenges Boston and cities like it will face in the coming decades. More… Discuss

this pressed: Thousands of undocumented immigrants skipped mandated follow-up appointments



Thousands of undocumented immigrants skipped mandated follow-up appointments

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this pressed (read it please): Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites – NYTimes.com


Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites – NYTimes.com.

Excepts:  “The details of Scotland’s grievances are almost the diametrical opposite of those of, say, the Tea Party or Swedish right-wingers. They want more social welfare spending rather than less, and have a strongly pro-green, antinuclear environmental streak. (Scotland’s threatened secession is less the equivalent of Texas pulling out of the United States, in that sense, than of Massachusetts or Oregon doing the same.) But there are always people who have disagreements with the direction of policy in their nation; the whole point of a state is to have an apparatus that channels disparate preferences into one sound set of policy choices.

What distinguishes the current moment is that discontent with the way things have been going is so high as to test many people’s tolerance for the governing institutions as they currently exist…
“Power is not a right; it is a responsibility. The choice that Scotland is making on Thursday is of whether the men and women who rule Britain messed things up so badly that they would rather go it alone. And so the results will ripple through world capitals from Athens to Washington: The way things are going currently isn’t good enough, and voters are getting angry enough to want to do something about it.

today’s holiday: Eastern States Exposition


Eastern States Exposition

Also known as The Big E, the Eastern States Exposition is an agricultural and industrial fair in West Springfield, Massachusetts, sponsored by all six New England states. The exposition is known for its Avenue of the States, where each New England state has erected a permanent replica of its original State House. The livestock show is the largest in the East, and the Eastern States Horse Show is one of the oldest and most prestigious equestrian events in the country. The exposition also features a parade, a circus, and international exhibits. More… Discuss

quotation: James Fenimore Cooper


America owes most of its social prejudices to the exaggerated religious opinions of the different sects which were so instrumental in establishing the colonies.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) Discuss

Phillips Exeter Academy


Phillips Exeter Academy

Exeter is one of the preeminent boarding schools in the world, along with Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and Eton College in England. Famous for its demanding and rigorous academics, Exeter also boasts one of the largest endowments of any secondary school in the US. Graduates typically matriculate to elite colleges, a tradition that has solidified the school’s long-standing relationships with Ivy League and other prestigious universities. Who are some of the academy’s famous alumni? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Bunker Hill Day


Bunker Hill Day

Observed primarily in Boston, Massachusetts, Bunker Hill Day commemorates the Revolutionary War battle of June 1775 between 2,200 British troops and half that number of Americans. It was, in fact, Breed’s Hill that was fortified, not nearby Bunker Hill, and that is where the British attacked the rebels three times. Although the Americans were driven from their fortification and lost some 450 men, it has always been looked upon as one of the great heroic battles of the Revolution. A 221-foot granite obelisk in Charlestown, north of Boston, marks the site of battle. More… Discuss

NEWS: MOBILE DEVICES DISTRACTING PARENTS AT MEALTIMES


Mobile Devices Distracting Parents at Mealtimes

Face-to-face interactions with their caregivers are crucial to children’s cognitive, linguistic, and emotional development, yet the allure of mobile devices is increasingly pulling parents’ attention away from their kids at valuable bonding times, like meals. Researchers observed a number of families dining at fast food restaurants in various Boston, Massachusetts, neighborhoods and found that nearly three-quarters of the adults used a mobile device during the meal, with about a third using the device throughout. More… Discuss

 

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This Day in the Yesteryear: THE COCOANUT GROVE NIGHTCLUB FIRE (1942)


The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire (1942)

The deadliest nightclub fire in US history, the Cocoanut Grove fire claimed 492 lives. When the fire broke out, the Boston, Massachusetts, club was packed well beyond capacity. About 1,000 people were inside, with limited avenues of escape. Side doors had been locked to prevent patrons from skipping out on tabs, and the main entrance, a revolving door, was rendered useless by the crush of the crowd, as were other unlocked doors that opened inward. What is one theory as to what sparked the fire? More…Discuss

Today’s Birthday: JAMES NAISMITH (1861)


James Naismith (1861)

While teaching physical education in 1891, Naismith was tasked with creating a safe and inexpensive indoor sport to occupy his students during the Massachusetts winter. His game involved throwing a soccer ball through suspended half-bushel peach baskets, hence the name “basketball”—though “Naismith Ball” was briefly considered before the inventor rejected it. The game took off on campus and quickly spread across the US and around the globe. What other sports invention is credited to Naismith? More… Discuss

 

Quotation: Nathaniel Hawthorne


In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) Discuss

 

John Kerry


 

 
 
For the sixteenth-century English politician, see John Kerry (MP).
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John Kerry
John Kerry official Secretary of State portrait.jpg
68th United States Secretary of State
Incumbent
Assumed office
February 1, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy William Joseph Burns
Preceded by Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
January 3, 1985 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Paul Tsongas
Succeeded by Mo Cowan
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
In office
January 6, 2009 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Joe Biden
Succeeded by Bob Menendez
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
In office
January 4, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Olympia Snowe
Succeeded by Mary Landrieu
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Olympia Snowe
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Kit Bond
66th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In office
March 6, 1983 – January 2, 1985
Governor Michael Dukakis
Preceded by Thomas O’Neill
Succeeded by Evelyn Murphy
Personal details
Born John Forbes Kerry
December 11, 1943 (age 69)
AuroraColorado, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Julia Thorne (1970–1988)
Teresa Heinz (1995–present)
Children Alexandra
Vanessa
John (Stepson)
André (Stepson)
Christopher (Stepson)
Alma mater Yale University
Boston College
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature
Website http://state.gov/secretary
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1966–1978
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Lieutenant
Unit USS Gridley (DLG-21)
Coastal Squadron 1
Commands PCF-44
PCF-94
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart (3)

John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election but lost to incumbent George W. Bush.

The son of an Army Air Corps veteran, Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado. He attended boarding school inMassachusetts and New Hampshire and went on to graduate from Yale University class of 1966, where he majored inpolitical science and became a member of the Skull and Bones secret society. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966, and during 1968–1969 served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge (OIC) of aSwift Boat. For that service, he was awarded combat medals that include the Silver StarBronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Securing an early return to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. He appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he deemed United States war policy in Vietnam to be the cause of “war crimes.”

After receiving his J.D. from Boston College Law School, Kerry worked as an Assistant District Attorney and co-founded a private firm. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985, where he worked on an early forerunner to the national Clean Air Act. He won a tight Democratic primary in 1984 for the U.S. Senate and was sworn in the following January. On the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he led a series of hearingsfrom 1987 to 1989 which were a precursor to the Iran–Contra affair.

In 2002, Kerry voted to authorize the President “to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein“, but warned that the administration should exhaust its diplomatic avenues before launching war. Kerry based his 2004 presidential campaign on opposition to the Iraq War. He and his running mate Senator John Edwards lost the race, finishing 35electoral votes behind the Republican ticket headed by President George W. Bush (just 19 short of the 270 required for election). Subsequently, he established the Keeping America’s Promise PAC.

Kerry became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, and in 2011 he was appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Having been nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and then confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 94–3 on January 29, 2013, Kerry assumed the office on February 1, 2013

Sumptuary Laws – the Antipode of “Ab Aspera Ad Astra”, Yet More Realistic!


Sumptuary Laws

Sumptuary laws are laws directed against overindulgence or extravagance in diet, drink, and dress based on social, religious, or moral grounds. Historically, these statutes often varied according to rank and were mainly used to mark class distinctions and prevent people from assuming the appearance of a superior class. They were also used to stigmatize disfavored groups, who could be required to wear identifying apparel. How rich did one need to be to wear a belt in the Massachusetts Bay Colony? More… Discuss