I’m New Here: Weeks Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three…

July 26, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Time seems to be advancing at an ever-increasing pace.  Each day is crammed with more tasks than can possibly be accomplished; I think this means I am beginning to get the hang of things.  But Monday brought me up short a bit as I searched titles tracing a particular story which initially diverted to the Freedom Ride.  As intriguing as the tone in those accumulating reports of bus rides through the South was, the heading on a neighboring column wrested my eyes and my thoughts.  I had to know the reason that divorcees (such a fancy and outmoded term) spent a night in jail.  At least that’s what I believed at the time.  However, since it has been four days since I read the report and I am still ready to sound forth at a moment’s reflection, it might have been better if I stuck to the familiar angst over bus seats allocated by color of skin.

In case accompanying photographs do not tell enough story, women went to jail because deadbeat dads (such a crass and modern term) did not pay court-ordered child support.  Just that.  The year was 1963, and I suppose I am not meant to expect much else from the era — particularly that the freedom to assemble could possibly, legally, be constrained to a total of four persons.

Because, that was the crux of the charges — the reason for the headline:  Night in Jail Makes Divorcees Contrite.  “They promised that if they ever picket the County Building again to protest lagging support payments they will keep within the legal limit of four.”  Fifty-six years ago a woman who was not receiving justice promised by the legal system had to promise to forego rights granted in 1791 by the First Amendment, even as she attempted to bring pressure to bear on the powers that be.  Of course, I’m not foolish enough to think that this tiny fragment that sparks my ire is as important than any of the other Civil Rights /liberties that seem to have too limited of a citizenry to whom they are applied.  And I am fiercely glad that the group of four swelled to an angry mob of twelve, bringing so much havoc upon the town that these single mothers had to be jailed in order to preserve the peace.  Perhaps they were granddaughters of those who marched for Suffrage .  It may be that they were inspired by other heroes that brought about change. Because things are not the same today. Here it helps me to take in the 1963 newspaper as a whole, reading again of the laws that were eventually impacted by two different groups.  In 2019, wearied with seemingly insurmountable conflict, offense, discrimination and outright hatred, the neighboring headline, “11 Riders Quietly Leave for Mississippi Test Run” provides some perspective.  Multiple barriers to equality remain, but many have been knocked down.  Many barriers have been knocked down, but perhaps some have been worn away through the centuries by those whose stories are woven through old newspaper pages, those who find their own, quiet, persistent way to push back.

The Traveler… Squelching conspiracy to the bitter end…

January 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-1-2-2017-jack-rubyToday I traveled to Parsons, Kansas, by means of The Parsons Sun dated January 3, 1967 where the headline read: “Cancer Victim – Death Takes Ruby; Slayer of Oswald”. “Jack Ruby, insisting to his final day that he acted along as Lee Harvey Oswald’s slayer, died today of cancer in Parkland Memorial Hospital…” This was the same hospital in which President Kennedy was pronounced dead.” Soon after Ruby’s killing of Oswald, conspiracy theories were stoked as news spread focusing on the point that Ruby knew Oswald. However, he attempted to debunk these stories as is described within the coverage: “…over the last weekend, it was revealed that one of Ruby’s last acts was to record another statement denying any conspiracy… a small recorder into the hospital room for Jack to use and tell his story — the story he died with…”

~The Traveler

They put it in print… Interesting Kennedy obituary…

May 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the more desired of the newspapers reporting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has always been the “Dallas Morning News“, published in the city where he was killed. Blog-7-13-2015-JFK-ObitUnbeknownst to most–including us for many years–is the curious obituary found on page 6 of the last section. Inconspicuously listed among the 33 entries in the “Deaths & Funerals” section is the one shown in the photo. It is a paid obituary notice inserted by a private funeral home announcing the death of an American president.  The O’Neal Funeral Home handled President Kennedy’s remains in Dallas and furnished the casket in which he was sent to Washington. Although certainly not a local funeral, I suspect the funeral home sought the opportunity to gain some stature & credibility by letting all know they handled the remains of a  President of the United States.

Has anyone else discovered this obituary notice?

And of note as well, relating to the Kennedy assassination, is the death notice of “J.D. Tibbit”, the police officer killed by Oswald shortly after the Kennedy assassination. In fact it was for Tibbit’s death that Oswald was initially arrested, the connection to Kennedy’s assassination discovered afterwards.

Great Headlines Speak For Themselves… But In This Case…???

July 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The best headlines need no commentary – they speak for themselves. However, sometimes they communicate the wrong message. Let’s hope the LOS ANGELES TIMES – EXTRA for November 22, 1963 was such an instance and not wishful thinking: “ASSASSINATE KENNEDYAssassinate Kennedy

What about three wrongs making a right?

December 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Death of Jack RubyFinishing out our month-long tribute to the memory of John F. Kennedy, today we look at what may have been the closing chapter of the tragic death-sequence which began on November 22, 1963 with the assassination of JFK, advanced to November 23, 1963 with the shooting and death of Lee Harvey Oswald, and culminated on January 3, 1967 with the passing of death-row inmate, Jack Ruby. Many to this day are convinced that all three deaths are rife with conspiracy. Perhaps time will prove them to be correct.

Finding newspapers on the death of Ruby are quite difficult as the event was not deemed significant by most, and many institutions were no longer saving their newspapers for year-end binding – choosing instead to store them on microfiche to conserve precious storage space. However, every now and then one turns up. Please enjoy (?) the January 3, 1967 report as it appeared in The Parsons Sun (Kansas): The Death of Jack Ruby

The Traveler… the nation mourns…

November 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This week I traveled to Dallas, Texas, via The Dallas Morning News (November 23, 1963). There I found the headline that saddened this great nation, “Kennedy Slain On Dallas Street”. One article headline reads “Gray clouds went away – Day Began as Auspiciously As Any in Kennedy’s Career” but at half past noon, lives would be forever changed when the first shot from the book depository rang out.

I was in first grade when this occurred, and still remember our custodian, Ralph, knocking on our window and telling my teacher, Miss Snyder, that the President had just been shot. He was on the way to the flagpole to lower it to half mast. Some events will stay vividly with you for a lifetime.

~The Traveler
AS a sidebar… Over the years various lists have circulated comparing Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. The response to the uncanny similarities provided by Snopes is worth reading:  Snopes on Lincoln/Kennedy Comparison

The Traveler… Birmingham church bombings… and baby makes how many?

September 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to New York City through The New York Times (dated September 16, 1963). There I found the headlines “Birmingham Bomb Kills 4 Negro Girls in Church; Boy Slain in Protest Riot”. This bombing occurred five days after the desegregation of three previously all-white schools in Birmingham, in which President Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and the Federal Courts issued a sweeping order again Governor Wallace due to his defiance. This church was the same one which was used as the staging point for anti-segregation demonstrations led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in May of that year. Dr. King was reported to be coming to Birmingham to “plead with my people to remain non-violent in the face of this terrible provocation”.

The front page also was providing an update on a special birth that was reported the previous day. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Fischer delivered quintuplets, four girls and one boy. They had five children at home, ages 3 1/2 to 7 years! I did a little research on them and found that they also had one more child after the quints too.  The quints were the second surviving set to be born in the Western Hemisphere and the first to be born in the United States.

~The Traveler