Some things actually do change…

July 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the things that struck me while discussing the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution with my children earlier this month was the insight of the American forefather’s demonstrated in their framing of the foundation of this new experiment in self-rule. While some might point to the flaws found within many of the founding documents, procedures, underlying beliefs, and early practices to poke holes in our current state of government, truth be told the seeds of change were sewn throughout the fabric of this new society – avenues which have allowed for peaceful and rightful adjustments to be made over time. Sure, there were times when peaceful change took a backseat, however, many changes have occurred through the prescribed method for making country-wide adjustments: the amendment process. This truth came to light recently when I came across a headline (Los Angeles Times, June 11, 1979) announcing a Supreme Court decision regarding the rights of the handicapped (see images). Was their prior decision regarding the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 correct? How about this related-decision? How were the rights of the handicapped perceived prior to the 1973 decision? Now? Sometimes the changes made over time are quite dramatic. At other times, the adjustments have as much to do with how we describe things, such as the 1990 Amendment which replaced all appearances of the word “handicapped” with “disabled.” Things really can and do change over time.

As a side note, I also happened to notice that on the same day, The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Madalyn Murry O’Hair aimed at having the inscription, “In God We Trust” eliminated from all U. S. coins. Wikipedia notes: “”In God We Trust” as a national motto and on U.S. currency has been the subject of numerous unsuccessful lawsuits. The motto was first challenged in Aronow v. United States in 1970, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.” Yes, somethings do change, but others, at least for now, remain the same. However, thanks to the wisdom of those who have gone before us, “We, the People” have a given means for expressing our views and may continue to do so until those who wish to silence dissent rule the day.

The Traveler… the first admission… “black is beautiful” 1st coined…

February 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-2-2-2015-John-RockToday I traveled to New York City by the means of two different titles… The New York Times of February 2, 1865 and the Harper’s Weekly of February 25, 1865. In the New York Times I found “J. S. Rock (Colored,) of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, was to-day, on motion of Senator Sumner, admitted an Attorney and Counselor in the Supreme Court of the United States.”

The Harper’s Weekly includes a nice illustration of “John R. Rock, Colored Counselor”.  Within the article reads “…Mr. Rock is known in Boston as a first-class lawyer. This even, following two days after the passage by Congress of the proposition to amend the Constitution so as to abolish slavery in the United States, will be regarded by the future historian as a remarkable indication of the revolution which is going on in the sentiment of a great people. Mr. Rock has never been a slave. He represents the colored freeman, as Mr. Douglass represents the freeman. This extraordinary reversal of the Dred Scott decision is an act almost sublime…”

In doing further research on Mr. Rock, he is also credited with coining the phrase “black is beautiful” while giving a speech in Boston in March of 1858 as a refutation of the western idea that the physical features of African Americans were unattractive. However, further research has found that he did not say those exact words but did in essence about the beauty of the black people.

~The Traveler

The Traveler… the monolopy is ended… hoping for better sailing ahead…

December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to San Francisco, California, by way of The Call dated December 17, 1912.  There I found that the Federal Supreme Court had ruled to destroy the monopoly that was created by six railroad owned coal companies in the Pennsylvania anthracite fields which had purchased the output for all time of “independent” mines. They were shown to be in “undisputed control”.  This was the first time the Supreme Court successfully used the “Essential Facility Doctrine”, and resulted in significant restraint on monopolies.

The sports page had boxer Frank Moran preparing for upcoming matches, against Gunboat Smith, Luther McCarty and Al Palzer. Frank Moran retired ten years later after 66 bouts and then entered the career of acting in which he played many roles of gangsters, bartenders, guards, cops, bouncers, etc.. He retired from that in 1957 at the age of 70 and died ten years later from a heart attack.

Did you ever read a novel about all the mysterious and unusual murders on a ship at sea? This issue has a report of “Death Stalks On The Korea’s Trip” which would read right out of a novel. This would be one cruise that this traveler would not wish to participate in! Check it out!! (see report)

~The Traveler

The Traveler… Standard Oil dissolved… now that makes sense…

May 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled into The Christian Science Monitor dated May 16, 1911 and found that after being in court cases for over four and a half years, the Standard Oil case had been ruled on by the U. S. Supreme Court with the decision being for the dissolving of the company due to anti-trust practices.   This issue includes a photo of the Supreme Court justices and a text block with the charges against the company.

Another article in the issue dealt with need for new street lamps in Florence, New Jersey. The election for the gas commissioners and appropriation for the lamps were to be held in May, however, there was no board to conduct the election. How’s that for politics?

~ The Traveler

The Traveler… election time of the year… Standard Oil anti-trust case…

May 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As I began to venture into my travels, I remembered that we are also heading into a lot of the preliminary voting times. This led me to The Woman’s Journal which, as stated underneath the title, was the “Official Organ of the National American Woman Suffrage Association” founded by Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell in 1870. The issue I selected was not for today’s date, but for May 27, 1911 when they announced that they would be hold their National Suffrage Convention in October. It was not until 1920 that women received the right to vote. Fifty years of persistence paid off!!

Also within the issue is an article pertaining to the recent ruling of the Standard Oil anti-trust case which dissolved Standard Oil. An interesting statement was.. “The Standard Oil trust, nominally dissolved, will no doubt recombine in a slightly different form and continue to do business at the old stand, and will raise the price of oil enough to cover its law expenses.” Shocking, right?!?!

~The Traveler