School Closing Numbers Pass Into History — All things must pass. KYW has stopped broadcasting school closing numbers on snow days, which it had been doing since the 1960s. Listening for them was a well-remembered part of childhood for several generations. That’s right sonny, we had to listen to the radio to find out if we didn’t have school.
Happy Birthday William Penn
By Leo Knepper
On Oct. 14, 1644, Pennsylvania’s founder William Penn was born in London, England. Penn had a rebellious streak and was a man who was ahead of his time. Ivan Martin’s introduction to Penn’s book No Cross, No Crown provides a brief account of his life. By limiting himself to the highlights, Martin manages to condense Penn’s life to a mere seventeen pages.
Despite being born into an aristocratic family, Penn was kicked out of Oxford at the age of 17. At the age of 24, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Penn was imprisoned for his writings, which attacked the doctrines of the Church of England. The Bishop of London ordered Penn’s indefinite imprisonment until he recanted his previous statements in writing. Instead, he used the supply of paper and ink to write No Cross, No Crown. Penn spent eight months in the Tower before he was released; without recanting. Essentially, Penn spent eight months in an unheated cell in solitary confinement for his religious beliefs. One of his more famous quotes neatly encapsulates his personal philosophy, “Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”
Penn’s numerous encounters with the courts and persecution by English authorities inspired many of the innovations he included in Pennsylvania’s first Constitution. Penn used the Constitution to limit the power of government, a novel idea at the time. He was the progenitor for many of the liberties enumerated in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights including a free press, trial by jury, religious tolerance, and the amendment process itself. Penn also insisted on low taxes. His focus on freedom and free enterprise led to an explosion of growth for Penn’s Woods.
William Penn’s guiding principles and dedication to his “Holy Experiment” paid dividends for Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers and American’s today.
Happy Birthday William Penn
Hiroshima Nanking Manila Apologies –President Barack Obama kicked off the Memorial Day weekend for 2016 by apologizing for ending World War II.
So when are the Japanese going to apologize — at least in a way that seems sincere — for starting it? And for the vile things they did which would be unimaginable if they had not actually done them?
Consider the Nanking Massacre. Up to 300,000 civilians including women and children were murdered face to face after suffering sexual abuse and torture.
How about the Manila Massacre in which between 100,000 and 500,000 Filipinos were murdered on the verge of the city’s liberation. Yes, this also included raping and torturing children.
How about subjecting people — including U.S. POWs — to twisted scientific experiments?
They almost make the Nazis look good.
Most people who lived through World War II figured Hiroshima and Nagasaki were small time payback and that Japan really didn’t get anything close to what it actually deserved.
Hiroshima Nanking Manila Apologies
We were remiss this year in giving Martin Luther King Day the recognition it deserves. While we didn’t forget Monday entirely, our remembrance was in code.
So here is a belated tribute.
Here is the text of his wonderful “I Have A Dream” speech given, Aug. 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial. Note the phrases praising God, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”¹
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Remember Martin Luther King Jr.
Christmas Pagan? Nope — Conventional wisdom has become that the holiday celebrating the birth of Christ is something the early Christians co-opted from a pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice.
A Muhlenberg College history professor says that is completely backwards.
William J. Tighe, an associate professor at the college in Allentown, says that Christmas really was thought to be the date of the Lord Jesus’ birth.
The thinking then was that great Jewish prophets died on the date of their birth or conception.
The date of Jesus’ death can be calculated from Gospel accounts.
The faction using the Latin calendar wound up placing the Crucifixion at March 25, according to Tighe. This was the faction that became dominant in the West.
The Latin church determined that was also date that the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary was with child. Nine months later, on Dec. 25, would be the Lord’s birth.
March 25 is still celebrated as the Feast of the Annunciation.
Tighe notes that Rome didn’t celebrate Dec. 25 as a pagan holiday until the anti-Christian Emperor Aurelian declared it to be the festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” in 274. By then, Christianity was already making its impact well felt on the Empire.
Tighe is also a faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry and a member of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem.
Christmas Pagan? Nope
Christmas Pagan? Nope
Hat tip Bob Guzzardi
This video describing how Argentina fell from one of the world’s strongest economies — the video actually lists it as second behind Britain — to its present miserable state in a century is an ill portent for America.
The reasons can be summed up as greed, cronyism, corruption and progressivism.
One critique. This is the song they should have picked:
Hat tip Judy McGrane
Argentina History And USA Future
Bob Small sent a link to a fascinating article in the Huffington Post concerning The Swamp Ghost, a B-17 bomber that crash-landing in the jungles of New Guinea after being damaged in a World War II bombing raid.
It has been salvaged and is now on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor.
FYI, the crew of nine survived and made it back to safety after a six-week trek through the jungle. They were given a week’s rest and then a new plane.
Swamp Ghost Untouched B-17
Let us today, this Columbus Day ignore Howard Zinn, who was after all a very bad historian, and celebrate the guy who, for all intents and purposes, discovered America.
Vinland, after all, never really took.
Howard Zinn was a socialist who wrote “A People’s History of the United States” which used to be able to be read for free at a site, appropriately enough regarding Zinn, called HistoryIsAWeapon.com. It no longer seems to be available there, however.
Zinn claims that America has always been ruled by oppressors — the 1 percenters who own a third of the wealth and keep control by fermenting dissent among the 99 percent who are the rest of us — and starts his claim with Columbus who he says committed genocide on the residents of the West Indies.
It seems to be the theme pushed by the hipster crowd in the twenty-teens.
Well, the truth is the Spanish were pretty rough on the native peoples of the Caribbean, something we know from Spanish sources, but the cruelty was obviously not done at the direction of Spanish authorities as steps were taken to stop it when complaints reached them. Further, the native peoples of the Caribbean were not without their flaws either. The name for the Caribbean comes from the Carib tribe, from whence we also get the word cannibal.
And while Columbus was far from perfect he does not appear to be the gratuitously cruel tyrant Zinn and our hipster friends claim him to be. In Columbus’ own words this is what he says about the Lucayan peoples of the Bahamas who Zinn et al alleges he mutilated and slaughtered: “They are very gentle and without knowledge of what is evil; nor do they murder or steal… . Your Highness may believe that in all the world there can be no better people … they have the sweetest talk in the world, and are always laughing.”
It seems the revisionists are getting their signals crossed, which is understandable as Zinn is a rather bad historian.
America is a place that allowed tens of millions of Europeans and Asians to escape the feudalism that infected their homelands and her discovery only deserves to be celebrated. Even Africans should celebrate. Slavery existed in Africa — it wasn’t Europeans doing the slave catching — before the trans-Atlantic slave trade and it was only after the founding of the United States did the push begin to end it. Pennsylvania was one of the first recognized governments in in history, to ban slavery which happened in 1780 in the middle of the Revolutionary War.
Hipsters ironically want a day named for Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas and there is a point to that as the Bishop is one of history’s good guys. On the other hand, he was the one who suggested that the labor lost due to the death of Indians be replaced by Africans and some credit him with the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
History is a bit more nuanced than Zinn and the hipster crowd make it out to be.
One more bit of irony: Zinn’s work was popularized by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck who grew up near Zinn and were family friends. Damon and Affleck are now part of the one-percenter crowd. They have yet to give most of their money to the rest of us, and certainly have not led any crusades to end the tax breaks for performing artists who receive mega millions per film.
Celebrate Columbus, Ignore Zinn
Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.
Here are the facts… The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of “GOD BLESS AMERICA”. But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.
The time was 1940. (Ed Note: Wikipedia has its first public singing occurring in 1938 on Kate Smith’s radio show.) America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.
This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.
Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”. Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time.
Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring . She had hope for America , and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.
He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way back in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America . Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.
This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re In The Army Now.” At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it’s Ronald Reagan.
To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry….. and for many generations of Americans to follow.
Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you’ll enjoy it and treasure it even more.
Many people don’t know there’s a lead in to the song since it usually starts with “God Bless America …..” So here’s the entire song as originally sung….. ENJOY!
Hat tip Bob Small
Today, Aug. 14, 2015 is being called the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II as that was when Americans heard that Japan, inspired by the atomic bombings of two of its cities, announced it would surrender.
That the war ended without an invasion of the islands spared the lives of millions, mostly Japanese and other Asians, but many young Americans, British, Australians and New Zealanders as well.
It should be noted that the United States commemorates the war’s end — as does China — on Sept. 2 when Emperor Hirohito signed the surrender papers on the USS Missouri but this was the day Japan announced it would quit.
The Brits celebrate it Aug. 15 as that was the date upon which they heard the announcement due to time zone differences.
It should be further noted that the Soviets did not end their assaults on Japanese occupied Manchuria and Korea until Sept. 2.
VJ Day 70th Anniversary