Frederick Douglass: American
February 28, 2011

A Truly Great American With a Life that Stands on Its Own

Dr. Woodson Ultimately Is Responsible for Black History Month and Started It Partly With Douglass In Mind

Black History Month:  Some time ago, February was designated as Black History Month.   I have mixed emotions about that particular designation.  I think it’s always a good thing to focus attention on history, particularly American history since so many Americans really don’t know a lot about their nation.  I suppose the whole idea rose from the notion that the school system in this country didn’t really mention much about African-Americans except in the context of slavery.  However, I have a problem with a focus on a particular group of Americans. I am not saying that it’s wrong to have such a month; I guess I really think that its too bad that it was a necessity.  You see,  those individuals who are discussed in February are part of American history and I believe that they should be seen simply as Americans because all citizens, past and present are, in my view, my American brother and sister and my fellow American.  Race, religion or ethnicity does not add or dimish their position as an American.  Another thing that bothers me is the a grand oversight.  I’ve gone to some Black History Month presentations and they always quite properly include Dr. Martin Luther  King, Jr.  Sometimes they talk about the contributions of George Washington Carver at the events of which I have attended.  Typically following the discussion of such well-known luminaries, they go off into some modern rappers or sports stars.  If it’s a good presentation, then it will rightfully include Jackie Robinson, but Mr. Robinson sometimes loses out to other Americans whose acheivements really don’t measure up to that of Robinson or Carver and certainly not even in the same neighborhood as Dr. King.  But, almost every time, they leave out someone whom I believe to be one of the most important Americans in our history.  His name is Frederick Douglass and all Americans should know about the man.

Slave Cabin probably not unlike one Douglass shared with his grandmother for a few short years

Even though Douglass often is left out of the Black History month discussion, his life was actually part of the reason why February has the designation.  The foundation of Black History Month dates back to the 1920’s when a Harvard doctoral graduate and former slave chose the month of focus since both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born in February and Douglass also died then as well.  Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in February 1818.    Douglass often suggested that his mother, Harriet Bailey, conceived Douglass following the advances of white man who was not his mother’s husband.  It may be for that reason that Douglass did not live with his mother but instead was put in the cabin of his grandmother Besty Bailey by owner, Captain Aaron Anthony.  Even though he lived with his grandmother, it didn’t take long for Douglass to be hired out and so his familial ties were not strong.  In 1826, he went to Baltimore to work and live in the household of Hugh and Sophia Auld.  Sophia was Capt Anthony’s daughter and Douglass lived with the couple for 7 years from 1826 to 1833.  During that time, he watched the Auld’s young son and also was taught to read and write by Sophia…that is until Hugh told her to stop.  But, the seeds were already sewn.

Frederick Douglass Broke the Chains and Headed into History

Douglass continued to teach himself to read and write on his own.   He secretly helped organized schools for slaves.  He resisted his position as a slave.  He tried to escape and was imprisoned for awhile and was sent to a plantation where slaves who needed to be “broken” were sent.  But, he never bowed.  In 1838, he broke his bonds and escaped to New York.  He got married and had children.  He fell in with abolitionists.  He had read books related to oratory and taught himself to make public speeches.  At the age of 23, he gave a speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society convention and caught the attention of many abolitionists included renown abolitionist William Garrison.  Now, Douglass given name was really Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey but he realized that if he were to go on the speaking circuit, then he’d have to change his name to Frederick Douglass.  Afterall, he was officially a fugitive slave and could be returned to slavery.  So, he adopted the last name of Douglass. 

Click on Image For Information Regarding Book that details relationship between Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

On two occasions, Douglass fled to Europe to avoid recapture.  On one of his trips, sympathetic Europeans who heard Douglass speak raised money and bought his freedom.  By the time of the Civil War, Frederick Douglass finally was safe in the land of the free and home of the brave.  His autobiography that detailed his life in slavery was a huge hit and the words  he wrote and the words he spoke were significant contributors to the ultimate destruction of slavery.  Not only for the general public, but also for President Abraham Lincoln who consulted with Douglass regarding Lincoln’s policies and thoughts concerning slavery and the emancipation issue.  That included an idea Lincoln had about creating a colony in South America where freed  slaves could live.  Lincoln for a time had  the notion that Blacks and Whites were never intended to live together nor was it possible.  While he did  not believe in equality of the races, Lincoln also felt it was morally wrong for take what was earned from “the sweat of another man’s brow.”  Douglass impressed him as a tremendous mind and thinker and also took into consideration Douglass’ admonition that America was as much his country as it was the President’s.  Remember, Lincoln was born in the country just 9 years prior to Douglass.  Lincoln knew that Douglass had a very good and strong point.

Douglass' marriage to Helen (sitting) Was Not Popular with White or Black late 19th century America

Frederick Douglass was a proud man.  He was a tough man.  He was a smart, self taught man and great thinker.  He was bold and fearless.  Not only did he contribute to the rights of  Blacks, he also lent his name and effort to the equality of women.  He even was on the ticket for an early feminist presidential candidate.  Age did not diminish his courage though.  After his first wife died, he married a white, feminist woman and that, he said, brought condemnation and scorn from both Blacks and Whites alike.  His story is absolutely remarkable and one that every American should know and be proud to be able to say that Frederick Douglass was our American brother.  So, as Black History month comes to a close  just remember that the legacy and life of a great American, Frederick Douglass,  deserves as much recognition and acknowledgement as any American.  In my view, there is no other adjective beside “American” is needed to describe Frederick Douglass.  As he did in life, he can stand on his own for  the ages.

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Abraham Lincoln Authorized the Largest Mass Execution in US History
December 26, 2010

Largest Mass Execution in US History Was Authorized by Abraham Lincoln and it had little to do with the Civil War

On This Date in History: The conflict between the American Indians (aka Native Americans) and European (White) settlers goes back to the original landing of Europeans at Roanoke Island and Jamestown. Just about every time the Indians tried to flip a deal, that deal was broken, most often by the Whites. Sometimes it was by design. Other times, it was not from a formal governmental policy but instead from the fact that White settlers just ignored the treaties. When the British won the French and Indian War, a policy was implemented that prohibited settlements west of the Appalachians. Settlers went into the Ohio Valley anyway. Whether it be British or later American governments, they either had no ability or no desire to enforce the treaties. Many times, it was a combination of government policy, government indifference and settler behaviour that resulted in the fracture of any given treaty. In the end, the result was the same: the Indians got screwed.

In 1851, the Dakota in what is now the northern plains states figured that their only chance for survival was to make peace. On July 23, 1851 the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux called for two bands of the Dakota to cede a big chunk of the southwestern part of the Minnesota Territory (including present day parts of South Dakota and Iowa) to the United States for $1.665 Million. A few months later, two more bands of Dakota gave up a big chunk of the southeastern part of the territory for $1.41 Million. That’s a lot of money today and was an enormous sum back then. Remember, Alaska was purchased for $7.2 Million and about 1/3 of the continental US was had for $15 Million with the Louisiana Purchase. The French and the Russians accepted a check from the US Treasury but the Indians were basically given a promise in the form of future payments and annuities. Hmmm….guess what happened?

White Refugees Escaping the Battles

The Dakota was removed from their lands to reservations but the payments were not as forthcoming. The US government decided it was best to disperse payments over time through Indian Agents. It’s hard for me to ascertain but it appears that those agents, more or less, sub-contracted out some of the work to traders. I believe that, as far as the government was concerned, payments were being made. But, the agents and traders tended to either pocket much of the money for themselves or use it for other purposes. Agents often used monies intended for the Indians to pay claims made against the Indians by White settlers. Over time, the poor guys on the reservations began to starve. As they say, the natives became restless. In 1857, a group of Dakota had an uprising that resulted in the deaths of 40 settlers in what was known as the “Spirit Lake Massacre.” A year later, the Indians tried to make nice by ceding part of their reservation lands to the settlers. That didn’t get them anything except a smaller reservation.

Harper's Weekly Somewhat Propagandized the Affair

By 1862, the Civil War was raging and the Dakota was starving. Confederate agitators were providing some supplies to the Indians and encouraging them to rise up. Johnny Reb wasn’t so much concerned with the plight of the Native Americans as much as they were hoping that they would cause such a problem that it would divert attention and resources from the Union War effort. In any event, I don’t think that the Dakota needed much encouragement. They were getting fed up and their families were starving. Rumors that the payments were not going to be made in gold due to the war really got them going. And the deceptions of the White men involved were numerous and had a long history. So, on August 18, 1862 they staged a huge uprising. Well, that’s what many histories call it. Ultimately, what the Indians were doing to leaving the reservation in search of food and if some Whites got in the way, well that was too bad. At least one group went to a settlers chicken coop and grabbed some eggs.

To make a long story short (er), the Indians were defeated and several hundred Indian males were captured.  They had military trials and were sentenced to death.  The trials weren’t exactly fair but it also wasn’t the total case for murder that some sources cite.  See, if the crimes of violence were indeed violations of the law, then punishment was justified.  BUT…the trials were considered to be part of a military commission and the commanders decided that the defendants therefore were not afforded counsel.  Then, the level of criminality suitable for the death sentence seems to have been pretty liberal.  If someone were to have been shown to have provided ammunition, or fired a single shot or done anything to help, the sentence was death.  And the evidence provided even for those types of charges was pretty thin in many cases.  No doubt, some of the accused had done acts of violence that resulted  in death of combatants or innocent victims.  But, the standards for trial would not have come close to passing muster in a modern courtroom; military or civil.  They took the word of some Indians and “half-breeds” who turned states evidence in return for lenient sentences, but they refused to consider testimony related to those who were said to have prevented murder and rape.  So, 303 men faced the gallows.

Lincoln's order authorizing the execution of 39 men

Well, President Lincoln had a dilemma.  If he allowed the executions, then European nations may take a dim view of the Union and in 1862 things weren’t going so well for the North and there was a real fear that France, England and Russia might come to support the South.  So, Lincoln made a compromise.  He reviewed some cases and determined that 39 executions could take placeOn this date in 1862, the largest mass hanging in US history took place when 38 Dakota Indians were hanged for their “crimes.”  One lucky soul at the last moment was given a reprieve by the military commander.  It’s a little known and sad episode in America and one that is often lost in the historiography of Abraham Lincoln.  It seems to contradict the notion as “Father Abraham” being the “Great Emancipator.”  In fact, it is somewhat ironic that Lincoln had already announced his Emancipation Proclamation that would take effect just 6 days after the execution of the Dakota.  But, it’s difficult to make judgements using present day sensibilities and try to transport them back to the 19th Century.  It was  different time.

 Also, Lincoln’s main objective was preserving the Union and so he probably didn’t take the time to review the situation as much as he might have otherwise.  But, the story itself is an interesting example in how the injustices done to the Native Americans of this nation seem to take a back seat to the injustices done to African-Americans or other minorities or immigrants.  Even today, as the Indians figured out how to take advantage of their status and open up Casinos beyond the reach of the IRS, state governments have tried to use courts to force them to break the treaties of the past and force them to pay taxes.  Some things don’t change…then again…some do because the courts of the late 20th century have told the state and federal governments that they cannot get their hands on the pocketbooks of the sovereign nation.  But, that’s little consolation for the 38 who swung at the end of the rope.

Weather Bottom Line:  The cold stretch is about to come to an end for awhile.  I see most forecasts call for temps to get to the 50’s as we head to the new year.  But, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out because I’ve seen some modeling data that wants to create a huge ridge that takes warm, moist gulf air all the way to the Great Lakes and Louisville pushing 70 degrees on New Years Day with a line of very strong storms approaching.  Hmmmm….probably wont be 70 but don’t be surprised to ring in the new year with some thunderstorms,which I suppose at this point is a nice break from rain.  I think we could do without the severe stuff though but we’ve had tornadoes in January in the past few years.  Not predicting that, but it’s not totally out of the question.  After that (I hate long-term forecasts) but it looks like we fall back to seasonal levels but nothing overly brutal temperature wise but again, i”m talking 10 days out and the models tend to trend toward climatology that far out so we’ll see.  Nevertheless, expect a thaw to end 2010.

Abraham Lincoln Was But An Afterthought to the Organizers of the Gettysburg Battlefield Dedication
November 19, 2010

Not Many Photos Exist From Gettysburg

Not Many Photos Exist From Gettysburg

Closer Look at only photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg

Close up of above photo with only known image of Lincoln at Gettysburg

On This Date in History: I have a few words concerning the events of November 19. 1863 but anything that I could say would pale in comparison to the speech reprinted below. It is the the Gettysburg Address and it was delivered 146 years ago today. The president was not invited until about two weeks prior to the ceremony. He was not the main speaker. Edward Everett, a noted statesman from Boston and Harvard President, was given two months notice to work on his speech, which took about two hours to deliver. Mr. Lincoln’s speech was but 270 words. It has been accepted that Lincoln wrote the address on a scrap of paper while on the train to Pennsylvania because it was reported that way in a novel. However, historian Stephen B. Oates points out in his biography, With Malice Toward None, A Life of Abraham Lincoln that the train was too crowded and noisy for him to work on it. Instead, Oates says that he wrote part of it on White House stationery before he left and finished the rest on the morning of the event in Gettysburg.

Verbiage in Invitation to Lincoln Very Interesting

It has been reported that the president was sick. While I find nothing to confirm that he was ill during the proceedings, I suspect that people have made the assumption, perhaps accurate, because after he returned to the White House, he was diagnosed with varioloid, which has been described as a mild for of smallpox. I’m not sure about that one because it seems to me that a “mild form of smallpox” is akin to being “a little pregnant.” Also, it is widely reported that his speech was panned in newspapers across the land. The Chicago Times and paper from Harrisburg, PA certainly show that there were some. However, not all papers were non-plussed by his remarks. In fact, the Chicago Tribune was sharply in contrast to its rival and even Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune recognized the greatness of the speech. I believe I recall a quote from Edward Everett who remarked afterward, “Mr President, you were able to say in a few minutes what I could not in two hours.” This is probably not a direct quote but something reasonably close.

Last Lincoln Portrait Apr 4, 1865

Words of Nov 19, 1863 Long Remembered

Harrisburg Patriot and Union: “We pass over the silly remarks of the President; for the credit of the Nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of.”

Chicago Times: “The cheeks of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dishwatery utterances.”

Chicago Tribune: “The dedicatory remarks by President Lincoln will live among the annals of man.”

Horace Greeley: “I doubt that our national literature contains a finer gem than that little speech at the Gettysburg celebration, November 19, 1863… after the close of Mr. Everett’s classic but frigid oration.”

Leaving Gettysburg For the Cemetery

Leaving Gettysburg For the Cemetery

I think what may be lost regarding the speech is what it shows. It is an early indication of where Mr. Lincoln was heading in terms of after the war. Even on a battlefield well north of Washington, Lincoln was confident of victory. What often gets overlooked is that on the same day, US Grant had forced the capitulation of Vicksburg which essentially gave the Union full control of the Mississippi River and effective cut the Confederacy in two. The victory at Vicksburg arguably sealed the deal for the outcome of the war. Mr. Lincoln was aware of that that and if you read carefully, you can see the hints of what his notions were regarding his intentions. He does not give a rah-rah victory speech with talk of retribution. He does not discriminate between the allegiances of the soldiers and speaks of the “unfinished business” and a “new birth of freedom.” Clearly he is talking about concluding the war but he is also referencing a nation of freedom for all. This speech is not just one of honor but also one of reconciliation. It has always eluded me of how differently our nation’s history might have been had the 16th president been allowed to conclude the “unfinished business.” How would he have handled Reconstruction and the reconciliation of the former enemies. John Wilkes Booth lives in infamy as the man who deprived the nation of “what might have been.” There are 5 known drafts of the Gettysburg Address. Each seems to have some variance. Here is a version of the Gettysburg Address:

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Unfortunately, it seems that the youth of America seems to be as uninspired by Mr. Lincoln as did the organizers of the dedication at Gettysburg or some scribes who critiqued the President’s message.  Recently, I was at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC and I spotted several student groups.  It appeared as if the students thought that they were at some social gathering. Most were not paying attention to the tour guides, instead generally talking and cutting up while playing what my old football coaches used to call “grabass.”  There was no sense of reflection or respect for the memorial or the man to whom it was built.  It was only older visitors who took the time to read the words of the Gettysburg Address and the text of the President’s second inaugural speech which are etched forever in the marble.  Maybe I’m getting old, but that ain’t right.

Weather Bottom Line:  After a rather dreary and damp day, look for early fog to give way to loads of sunshine that will persist through the weekend..save for periods of darkness.  Conditions will be quite pleasant so get out and enjoy the great weekend weather.

From Abraham Lincoln to Sputnik to the B-52s
October 4, 2010

Today's Recon, Weather and Communication Satellites are descendents of Sputnik

Lincoln liked Lowe's Balloon But Some of his Generals Did Not

On This Date in History:  President Abraham Lincoln observed a balloon demonstration near Washington DC on this date in 1861 which was intended to show the value of using balloons to gain military intelligence on the battlefield. Both sides tried them for awhile but abandoned the practice after a few years when it was decided that they were too dangerous and unreliable. An advocate was Thaddeus S C Lowe who was in charge of the Union balloon corps. But he resigned after his pay was cut 40% when Union Commanders Joe Hooker and Ambrose Burnside were convinced that balloons gave inaccurate information. Bright guys, those Union Commanders. In the 20th century, aerial reconnaissance became a staple of military intelligence information.

Explorer I

In an ironic twist…On This Date in 1957…the Soviet Union put the first satellite into orbit. It was called Sputnik I but also was known as a “baby moon.” This was because it was a small round sphere that orbited around the earth putting out a little beeping noise via radio waves. Americans being as they are turned it into a political football and Democrats charged the Republican Eisenhower administration with allowing the Soviets to get ahead in technology. It was fearsome because it showed that they had missle technology to deliver nuclear weapons or even build space platfoms from which they could drop bombs on the US!   There also was the question of using a satellite as aerial reconnaissance…something Union generals Joseph “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker (For whom inaccurtely say the slang for prostitute is named)  and Ambrose E. Burnside (for whom sideburns are named)  had tossed aside nearly 100 years before.  So, President Eisenhower started leaning on the space program and by January 31,1958, the US successfully launched its own satellite, Explorer I and the space race was on.

Hmmmm....A Sputnik/B-52's connection?

This all really went back to 1952 when the International Council of Scientific Unions established July 31, 1957 to December 31, 1958 as the International Geophysical Year since scientists knew that solar activity would be at its height during that time. They used the opportunity to promote putting up artificial satellites around the earth. The Americans started off with their Vanguard program which was to put a 3.5 pound object into orbit. But the Soviets beat the Yanks to the punch with the beachball size, 184 pound Sputnik. Now I’m not sure what Sputnik did except scare people and get the Americans off their keesters and prove that the theory of satellites was practical. They turned to Werner Von Braun to develop the Explorer program. Unlike the Soviets and their mini radio station, the Americans included a small data collection system and Explorer I not only showed that “anything you can do, I can do better,” but also discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the earth, which took the name of its primary investigator, James Van Allen. The Van Allen Belt later was displayed prominently in “there’s a moon in the sky (called the moon)” by the B-52’s. Now that is progress…Sputnik to Explorer to the B-52’s.

Weather Bottom Line:  We have a weather pattern that looks simliar to the winter.  There is a big fat low spinning around to our Northeast.  Think of it as having spokes on a wheel.  These spokes I refer to as Vortlobes, or lobes of disturbed weather resulting from a pool of cold air aloft.  As these lobes rotate around, they tend to produce clouds as they proceed, particularly in the daytime.  In the winter, this often results in snow showers.  As it stands, our air is so dry at the surface, we don’t get much rain from the passing disturbances but the temperatures do get chilly with the cloud cover but the mercury jumps in the dry air when sunshine is added.  This pattern will slowly change this week as the upper low moves east and a surface high to our west moves eastward.  Toward the end of the week, we will get into a more southerly flow and temperatures will respond by still having relatively cool to mild nights but afternoon highs will get into the low 80’s.

February 12th Significant For More than Lincoln
February 12, 2010

Abe Shares His Birthday with other notables, including Nit and Wit

Nit and Wit have a Full Bag of tricks for their 14th birthday

On This Date in History:  Everyone should know that today my two cats, Nit and Wit, turned 14 today and that the day marks the 201st anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.    In years past, this would have been a holiday but Congress decided that we had too  many holidays and so when they decided to give everyone the day off for Rev.  Martin Luther King’s birthday,  they felt like that they had to eliminate one.  So, they took Abe’s birthday and General Washington’s birthday of February 22nd and combined them to form President’s day which falls between Abe’s and George’s birthdays.  But, February 12th not only marks Abe’s birthday and Nit and Wit’s birthday, but also a couple of other notables were born on this date.

All thumbs up for Bill on February 12th

President Clinton got a rebirth of sorts on this date in 1999 and again this year.  The former president is recovering very nicely after going home on  February 12, 2010 following a scare.  On the previous day, he was rushed to the hospital after suffering from chest pains.  Doctors discovered a heart problem and quickly inserted a couple of stints.  Everyone keeps saying that our healthcare system needs to be fixed but, the fact that this procedure is relatively routine and Mr. Clinton went home the next day illustrates that the health care in this country is top shelf.  It’s the payment system that has flaws.  Anyway, it’s hard to say if Mr. Clinton is more grateful today or on this date in 1999, when his impeachment proceedings ended in an acquittal following a Senate trial and subsequent acquittal.  Remember, impeachment is the charge, not removal from office and, like Andrew Johnson before him, President Clinton lived to fight another day in the White House, much as he is doing now as a goodwill ambassador teaming with George W. Bush to help bring relief to Haiti.

Fierce Rivals Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain

On this date in 1934, basketball great Bill Russell was born in Monroe,Louisiana.  Bill Russell played for the Boston Celtics for 13 years and won 11 championships.  He even won as player-coach.  He was a 5 time league  MVP.  He is credited with changing the game with his defense so his offensive statistics,while impressive, will not be found at the top of too many all-time categories.  The league did not count blocked shots when he played but there is little doubt that, if they had, he very well may have been the all-time leader, even today.  His defense was so great that he was able to be more than a match for the great Wilt Chamberlain.  But, a little recognized fact regarding Russell is that he was not the number one pick in the NBA draft.  The Rochester Royals had the first pick but chose another player because the owner wouldn’t pay the $25,000 signing bonus that Russell was demanding.  Boston’s pick was way down the list so they traded two very good players to the St. Louis Hawks for the second draft pick.  The Hawks went on to win the NBA championship that year but they handed the Celtics a dynasty that would last more than a decade. 

Then there is an old favorite, Ben Cartwright.  He was the patriarch of the family that featured 3 sons from different mothers.  When Adam left to travel the world, a hired hand took his place, Candy.  Of course this is all fiction as I”m speaking of the TV show Bonanza that aired on NBC from 1959 to 1973.  If I recall, Bonanza was promoted heavily because,in the early days, it was one of (if not the first) prime time show in color and NBC wanted to promote NBC color in conjunction with its new peacock symbol.  Canadian born actor Lorne Greene was born on this date in 1915 and, while his character was ficticious, Greene said that he based the character on a real person: his father. 

Roy Hoping Ben Will Come to the Rescue

While Greene was a star in Earthquake with Chuck Heston and later starred  in Battlestar Galactica, which was a far stretch from his days roaming about the Ponderosa, it was a vehicle to introduce him to a whole new generation of young Ameircans.  Personally, I always liked the way that he, Hoss, Little Joe, Adam and later Candy always seemed to be in Virginia City bailing out Sheriff Roy Coffee, whom I think is tied with Sheriff Micah Torrance of Northfork as the worst sheriff in the old west. In Micah’s case, it was always Lucas McCain who was coming to the rescue.  Where would Micah be without “Lucas-boy” or Virginia City be without the Cartwrights?  Where would America be without “Pa” who lived in our living rooms as the stern but kind, Ben Cartwright on Bonanza.

National Weather Service Correctly Not Tipping It's Hand Just Yet

Fri 18Z GFS Bullish with 6-8 Inches Louisville and South Thru Midday Wed

Weather Bottom Line:  We are going to get snow.  The question is how much?  That’s a good question.  I’ve seen on TV anywhere from 2 inches to 8 inches.  I would say that the former is more likely than the latter but the truth will probably be somewhere in between.  Now, I must say, I don’t see how we did it, but we nudged to 33 for a few minutes on Friday.  The sun should be absent on Saturday and Sunday and Monday so I don’t see how we get above freezing on those days, but like before, if we do it won’t be by much or for long.  Early Saturday morning there may be some light snow showers or flurries. No big deal but it may be enough in some areas to create some slick spots Saturday morning. 

12Z Fri NAM Had 3-5 inches by Monday Evening but...

Now, this next guy is a little clipper system.  Typically, an “Alberta Clipper” is an area of low pressure that forms in Alberta, Canada and then moves pretty quickly down through the flow.  It usually moves quickly and since it originates over the land, doesn’t have a huge amount of moisture to work with.  The heaviest snow associated with a clipper is in a relatively narrow band just to the left of the track of the low.    So, the trick will be the track.  There are no models that take this low north of Louisville so that is why I know we will get some snow.  But, if it tracks too far south, then we get a little.  If it comes just right, then we get heavier snow.  There is no way to know for certain.  Some models want to have the narrow band of 4-6 inch totals down around E-town.  Others put it over Louisville.  I’ve seen some try to bring up to 8 inches by the time this is all over with on Tuesday or early Wednesday but its tough to get that much snow out of a system like this.   

Fri 18Z NAM Shifted Heaviest Snow Well South

The idea for  the bigger totals would be an inch on Saturday, 1-2 inches on Sunday and 4-6 on Monday.  I say nonsense to that.  We will probably get well below an inch on Saturday and the snow doesn’t get going again with the clipper until Sunday night.  I would think the most anyone gets would be 3-4 inches on Monday with perhaps a total of an inch for Monday night through Tuesday into Wednesday morning in the form of snow showers or flurries.  I don’t see how we get above freezing again until Thursday in advance of another system that may bring some messy rain/ice/snow for the end of next week.   But, we’ll deal with that later.

Abraham Lincoln: No Signature Required
February 1, 2010

No Signature Required

Famous Alexander Gardner Photo of Dead Soldiers at Antietam

On This Date in History:   Many people mistakenly think that the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the United States.  It did not.  The presidential proclamation was announced on September 22, 1862 following the Battle of Antietam.  President Lincoln was a very astute politician and knew, at the outset of the Civil War,  that he could not get support for the war in the North if he said that his goal was to abolish slavery.  He campaigned on a platform of limiting the “peculiar institution” to the states that already allowed it and preventing its inclusion in any new states that were formed in the western territories.  In this way, he knew that the system would “whither on the vine” as it would be impossible for it to continue in just a handful of states.  The slavocracy knew this as well and was the reason why they were willing to secede and go to war, if necessary, with Lincoln’s election.  Lincoln’s war aims were to preserve the Union.

President Lincoln Visited Antietam 2 weeks after announcing Emancipation Proclamation

Old Abe was a pretty smart guy because he knew, using his power as Commander In Chief under Article II section 2 of the Constitution, he could eradicate slavery in the rebellious states as a war measure by saying that since slavery was so prevalent in the Southern economy that it was aiding in the Confederacy’s ability to make war.  But, the early stages of the war didn’t go well for the Union and he felt that he needed to wait for a decisive Union victory before he could make such a proclamation or the public might think it was a desperate, rather than necessary, measure.  While Antietam wasn’t a decisive victory on September 17, 1862, Lincoln figured he better take what he could get because there was no telling when another battle could at least in some way be construed as a Union Victory.  Five days following the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln announced his intention to execute his Executive Order on January 1, 1863.  In this way, it would not be a surprise to anyone. 

Lincoln Skillfully Managed Destruction of Slavery

While the slaves in the rebellious states were declared free, that left the states that remained in the Union that allowed slavery.  But, the stage had been set for the ultimate destruction of slavery.  It would be unthinkable to free the slaves for the war and then enslave them again after the war.  But, that required a constitutional amendment.  The US Senate easily passed the amendment  in April 1864 but the House was being stubborn and after pressure from Lincoln and the Radical Republicans, enough Congressmen were convinced it was in their best interest to vote for passage of the 13th Amendment  that it was adopted by the House on January 31, 1865.  

Note Lincoln's Signature and "approved" In Middle of Amendment

From there it went on to the states for ratification and became the law of the land on December 6 1865.  But, when it went to the state legislatures it had a little something extra…a little lagniappe as they say in Cajun Country.  On This Date in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln for some reason affixed his signature to the amendment next to the word “approved” and the date, February 1, 1865.  What is wrong with this picture?  What’s wrong is that the Constitution does to ask for nor require a presidential signature nor approval for amendments.   Article V merely says that, if Congress wishes to propose and amendment, that 2/3 of both houses of Congress must pass the amendment and then 3/4 of the state legislatures must follow suit.  If presidential approval was needed, then conceivably a president might stand in the way of the will of the people and that’s not good.  It’s unclear why Lincoln chose to approve the amendment except for perhaps the political purpose of making it clear that he fully approved and, since he had just won re-election, that might help persuade legislatures to approve the amendment.  So, Lincoln never lived to see the slavery ended, but he had to have known with the Union victory, that goal had been fulfilled. 

KY Legislative 1837 Resolution Asking For Return of Slaves

Oh, by the way…all the states eventually ratified the 13th Amendment.  Georgia’s ratification on December 6, 1865 secured the 3/4 states needed.  But, Oregon, California and Florida all got it done later in the month and Iowa and New Jersey both did so in January 1866, after New Jersey had rejected it in March of the previous year.  Think that is a surprise…New Jersey first rejected the amendment that ended slavery?  Well, they aren’t the only Union state to reject the 13th amendment.  Delaware and and Kentucky both nixed the idea in February and March of 1865.  Delaware decided to pass it in 1901.  Former Confederate state Texas never rejected it but also didn’t get around to passing it until 1870.   

Law Makers Ponder Tough Decision to Ratify 13th Amendment in 1995

What about Kentucky?  Well, yes…Kentucky did pass the 13th Amendment…in 1976!!  Not to be outdone, the Magnolia State of Mississippi refused to vote for the amendment on December 5, 1865 which, if it had, would have been the vote to put it over the top.  No…Mississippi didn’t want that distinction.  So,  Mississippi waited and waited, until 1995!  Abe didn’t have to sign it but did so over 130 years before Mississippi thought that, even though it didn’t have to pass it, it might be a good idea.  Though, maybe not that good of an idea.    Seems that the “Legislative Highlights” of  the 1995 Mississippi legislature, prepared by the House information office considered it more of a low light as it was listed second to last on the list of accomplishments

Weather Bottom Line:  Generally seasonally chilly conditions this week.  The jetstream flow really doesn’t do anything too dramatic one way or the other.  A little system on Tuesday scoots by to our north.  It’s pretty tough for us to get any snow from a low passing north.  Late in the week into next weekend, there is a some disagreement as a low comes about.  Earlier model runs were showing an upper low back over our area after the parent low scoots by to our east, thus dragging down cold air and giving us a decent chance for some action.  Saw a few inches being kicked out by the GFS earlier.  Most public forecasts are cautious now and not going out on that limb.  Several days out so we’ll have to see how it shakes out.  Not really a slam dunk either way but I betcha we end up with a little something something for Saturday and the highs are colder than most public forecasts.  But, we’ll see.  NWS finally got around to putting out a snowfall graphic from this weekend so I attached it above.  If you like it, call John Gordon at the NWS and tell him you like his artwork!

Large Hadron Collider Up and Running-No Black Hole Yet; Mrs. Bixby’s Letter to Lincoln
November 21, 2009

A Black Hole, the Future Earth?

A New Cathedral

It’s Back! The Large Hadron Collider is up and running again with no apparent adverse affects.  If you recall, the world’s largest supercollider is located along the French-Swiss border.  It was much ballyhooed as a key tool in the study of subatomic particles.  It was all set and ready to go and it was fired up only to suffer a calamity 9 days later.  About 50 of the magnets were damaged severely and had to be replaced.  Last August, a physicist wrote a paper that supported claims the collider could create a black hole.   Now, the fear isn’t a giant black hole but instead the assertion is that a small black hole could be created and then…well…I dunno what happens then especially if the created black holes are so small that they cannot easily be detected.  There is still an official site for citizens against the Large Hadron Collider.  But, UC Santa Barbara Professor Steve Giddings claims that, even if it did create a small black hole, it would only last for a “nano-nano-nanosecond” and wouldn’t be a big deal.  I guess the professor doesn’t buy into the Barbara Streisand song from Hello Dolly, It only takes a Moment.

Bixby Letter Fascimile of 1891 Sold By New York Huber Museum for $1

Bixby Letter Fascimile of 1891 Sold By New York Huber Museum for $1

On This Date in History: The story goes like this. A widow, Lydia Bixby was said to have lost 5 sonsLydia Bixby fighting for the Union in the Civil War and Massachusetts Governor John Andrew asked the president to write a letter of condolence. On this date in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln composed a letter to Mrs. Bixby. The letter was published in the Boston Evening Transcript on November 25, 1864. That letter, noted for its compassion and prose, has been hailed since that time and even made its way into Stephen Spielberg’s 1998 Saving Private Ryan with General Marshall reading from the letter and using the letter as the reason why they were going to find Private Ryan.

Historians though have doubts as to the authorship. Many suspect that it was really Lincoln’s secretary, John Hay, who wrote the letter. No original letter has ever been produced. Further, Mrs. Bixby 5 sons weren’t all killed in the war. Two lost their lives in the fighting, another was honorably discharged, another was dishonorably thrown from the ranks and the fifth’s fate is unknown, though some suggest that this means that he either deserted or died in a Confederate prisoner of war camp. How they come to those to limitations is beyond my own limited comprehension.

If Gen. Marshall in "Ryan" Had the Lincoln Letter, It was not an Original

If Gen. Marshall in

Ironically, on November 17, 2008 a report surfaced that the original Bixby letter may have been found. But, when you read this story, you find that is not necessarily the case and even suggests that analysis reveals that the signature on the new letter is not that of Lincoln. But, could it be the handwriting of Hay? I want to know how it found its way to Texas if it is…and why do they suggest that it is the original when at the top it says “copy.”

It is interesting to me, however, that in The Living Lincoln: The Man and His Times, in His Own Words by Paul M. Angle and Earl Schenck Miers, that they do not mention any question as to Lincoln being the author. They simply say, “Superbly eloquent as the letter that Lincoln wrote to Mr. Lydia Bixby of Boston. This message, published in the Boston Transcript, appealed to the heart of the nation.” I’m not sure if they are suggesting that it was written as a political piece of prose with that purpose in mind, or if its publication resulted in appealing to the heart of the nation. Either way, whoever was the author, it is quite a remarkable letter.

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,–

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

Gettysburg Address Example of How Less is More and Lasts Longer
November 19, 2009

Not Many Photos Exist From Gettysburg

Not Many Photos Exist From Gettysburg

Closer Look at only photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg

Close up of above photo with only known image of Lincoln at Gettysburg

On This Date in History: I have a few words concerning the events of November 19. 1863 but anything that I could say would pale in comparison to the speech reprinted below. It is the the Gettysburg Address and it was delivered 145 years ago today. The president was not invited until about two weeks prior to the ceremony. He was not the main speaker. Edward Everett, a noted statesman from Boston and Harvard President, was given two months notice to work on his speech, which took about two hours to deliver. Mr. Lincoln’s speech was but 270 words. It has been accepted that Lincoln wrote the address on a scrap of paper while on the train to Pennsylvania because it was reported that way in a novel. However, historian Stephen B. Oates points out in his biography, With Malice Toward None, A Life of Abraham Lincoln that the train was too crowded and noisy for him to work on it. Instead, Oates says that he wrote part of it on White House stationery before he left and finished the rest on the morning of the event in Gettysburg.

Verbiage in Invitation to Lincoln Very Interesting

It has been reported that the president was sick. While I find nothing to confirm that he was ill during the proceedings, I suspect that people have made the assumption, perhaps accurate, because after he returned to the White House, he was diagnosed with varioloid, which has been described as a mild for of smallpox. I’m not sure about that one because it seems to me that a “mild form of smallpox” is akin to being “a little pregnant.” Also, it is widely reported that his speech was panned in newspapers across the land. The Chicago Times and paper from Harrisburg, PA certainly show that there were some. However, not all papers were non-plussed by his remarks. In fact, the Chicago Tribune was sharply in contrast to its rival and even Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune recognized the greatness of the speech. I believe I recall a quote from Edward Everett who remarked afterward, “Mr President, you were able to say in a few minutes what I could not in two hours.” This is probably not a direct quote but something reasonably close.

Last Lincoln Portrait Apr 4, 1865

Words of Nov 19, 1863 Long Remembered

Harrisburg Patriot and Union: “We pass over the silly remarks of the President; for the credit of the Nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of.”

Chicago Times: “The cheeks of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dishwatery utterances.”

Chicago Tribune: “The dedicatory remarks by President Lincoln will live among the annals of man.”

Horace Greeley: “I doubt that our national literature contains a finer gem than that little speech at the Gettysburg celebration, November 19, 1863… after the close of Mr. Everett’s classic but frigid oration.”

Leaving Gettysburg For the Cemetery

Leaving Gettysburg For the Cemetery

I think what may be lost regarding the speech is what it shows. It is an early indication of where Mr. Lincoln was heading in terms of after the war. Even on a battlefield well north of Washington, Lincoln was confident of victory. What often gets overlooked is that on the same day, US Grant had forced the capitulation of Vicksburg which essentially gave the Union full control of the Mississippi River and effective cut the Confederacy in two. The victory at Vicksburg arguably sealed the deal for the outcome of the war. Mr. Lincoln was aware of that that and if you read carefully, you can see the hints of what his notions were regarding his intentions. He does not give a rah-rah victory speech with talk of retribution. He does not discriminate between the allegiances of the soldiers and speaks of the “unfinished business” and a “new birth of freedom.”  Clearly he is talking about concluding the war but he is also referencing a nation of freedom for all. This speech is not just one of honor but also one of reconciliation.  It has always eluded me of how differently our nation’s history might have been had the 16th president been allowed to conclude the “unfinished business.”  How would he have handled Reconstruction and the reconciliation of the former enemies.  John Wilkes Booth lives in infamy as the man who deprived the nation of “what might have been.”  There are 5 known drafts of the Gettysburg Address. Each seems to have some variance.  Here is a version of the Gettysburg Address:

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Weather Bottom Line:  The bottom line is that the crappy weather is coming to an end.  That dry slot I had mentioned for Wednesday ended up being pretty decent because we ended up with some nice afternoon sunshine but the gloom returns all day today. Friday through Sunday though, as the pesky cut off low finally gets booted, look for a lot of sunshine seasonally cool conditions with lows in the upper 30’s and low 40’s and highs in the 50’s.

How a Master Politician Leads from the White House
August 20, 2009

Master Politician in the White House

Master Politician in the White House

Greeley: Bad Timing-Nice Chin Whiskers?

Greeley: Bad Timing-Nice Chin Whiskers?

On this date in History:  This little tale has to do with politicians doing their job well and in this case, by perhaps the greatest politician in US history.  The Civil War had been blowing and going since the first shots were fired at Fort Sumnter in April 1861.  From the outset, there were a number of abolitionists in the North who wanted President Lincoln to openly claim that the war was about slavery.  In a practical sense, it was, but the president did not want to publically say so and instead said the aim of the war was to maintain the Union.  But, that wasn’t enough for New York Tribune publisher Horace Greeley.

Greeley had started the Tribune in 1841 as a platform for his reformist ideas.  He advocated westward expansion, temperance,  support for the labor movement and opposition to land monopoly and capital punishment.  If you think about it, in some form or another, all of these “reforms” became part of the national landscape, though capital punishment has returned over the last 30 years to become more common again with some restraint.  Greeley actually got elected to Congress for a short time and one of his ideas eventually became the Homestead Act in 1862.  But, it was in that year that Greeley was really chomping at the bit for the president to take action.  On this date in 1862, Greeley wrote a sharp editorial in his newspaper that called on the president to declare free all slaves in the border states of Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and Delware.  Lincoln had resisted such calls in the past because he wanted to make sure those 4 slave states that featured the “peculiar institution” remained with the Union.  He needed them as they all were in strategic locations.  Missouri was needed to control the Mississippi.  Kentucky was needed to control the Ohio.  If Delaware and Maryland turned, then Washington DC would be surrounded. 

Lincoln's Response to Greeley

Lincoln's Response to Greeley

Now, Congress had passed the Confiscation Act of 1861 and of 1862.  This allowed the Union Army to seize Confederate property as part of the war effort.  This included slaves.  But Union commanders were reluctant to do so and Lincoln did nothing to encourage them to do so.  Now remember, the “liberal” or reform party of the time was the Republican Party and Greeley had been an organizer from the outset.  He could not understand how a Union victory could come about without destroying slavery and said, “the Union Cause has suffered from a mistaken deference to Rebel slavery.”  Lincoln responded immediately in a letter to the New York Times, referencing Greeley’s article written on the 19th, but published on the 20th.  If it had been the 20th century, Abe would have no doubt hit the tube.  Even then, Lincoln knew the adage that an attack unanswered is an attack capable of persuading.

Final Version of Emancipation Proclamation

Final Version of Emancipation Proclamation

Now, it was true that Lincoln had never publically indicated any preference for Greeley’s views.  But, he had abhored slavery since he was a young man and publically stated his opposition to the practice on numerous occasions.  Nevertheless, he knew it was delecate matter and so he waited.  Greeley could have saved his ink because just a month after Greeley’s thunderous editorial, because a month before, Abraham Lincoln had read a preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation to Secretary of State William H. Seward and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.  After a few changes, Lincoln then waited for a Union victory.  It wasn’t a  great victory but the Battle of Antiem was good enough.  Following that dubious victory, Lincoln presented his preliminary version of the proclamation that announced that all slaves held in rebellious states to be forever free.  Now, that probably didn’t suit Greeley because it left the men, women and children in servitude in the 4 northern states.  But, Lincoln knew that as a practical matter, the eradication of slavery as a war measure in the Confederacy necessarily meant that, after the war, slavery would end elsewhere.  He had always argued that he did not have the Consitutional authority to get rid of slavery in the states.  But, as Commander in Chief, he could.  So, at the right time, he took what he could get when the public would support him as a way to win the war.  The final version of the Emancipation Proclamation took effect January 1, 1863.   Afterward, there was no way after a bloody Civil War and all but four states free that those 4 states could remain as a slave culture.  Greeley, while noble in cause, had no ability in the art of politics and is probably why President Lincoln goes down in history as one of America’s greatest statesman while Greeley’s time in Congress didn’t last long and is little remembered.

Keep this in mind whenyou hear of politicians taking what they can get today with an eye for the future when they think that they can get the whole pie. Also, be wary of those who try to compare themselves to the master politician from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln.

SPC Severe Weather Outlook Thu 8am to Fri 8am

SPC Severe Weather Outlook Thu 8am to Fri 8am

SPC Tornado Probability Thu 8am to Fri 8am

SPC Tornado Probability Thu 8am to Fri 8am

Weather Bottom Line:  We had some shower activity in the morning hours and conventional wisdom would suggest that this will suppress rain chances until the atmosphere has a chance to become more unstable.  Afternoon heating should do the trick.   The 6Z model runs have come more into agreement and follow pretty much what I had suggested previously which was we’d end up somewhere in between the rather menacing outlook by previous GFS runs and the pedestrian solution by the earlier NAM.  It looks like prime time for the risk of strong  t’storms will be in the early evening…say 5pm to 8pm.  The severe parameters have come down on the GFS and gone up on the NAM with the NAM actually having a SWEAT index higher than the GFS, but its not totally clear because the GFS does not have a specific set of data for the 6pm time..it doesn’t come out hourly so it’s possible that indeed the SWEAT index of the GFS is as high or higher than the NAM but you can’t tell because its in between the reporting times.  Anyway, look for t’storms this

Severe Hail Probability Thu 8am to Fri 8am

Severe Wind Probability Thu 8am to Fri 8am

afternoon, some could be strong. The biggest threat of stronger winds and potential tornadic activity is northeast of Louisville toward the Great Lakes in assocation with the parent low.  I think this scenario bodes well for the east coast and the track of Hurricane Bill.  The front is not quite as pokey as previous suggestions and therefore should make it the coast in time to keep Bill away.  The models also more or less agree on an inch or so of rain but the GFS seems more interested in having some over-running rain into Friday morning and that makes some sense.  I would  think rain totals of something over an inch would probably be realistic.  Afterward, this strong trof will still lower temperatures through the weekend below seasonal averages with highs around 80 with some folks not getting out of the 70’s on Saturday and maybe Sunday.

DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK  
 

Severe Hail Probability Thu 8am to Fri 8am

Severe Hail Probability Thu 8am to Fri 8am

  NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0717 AM CDT THU AUG 20 2009
  
   VALID 201300Z – 211200Z
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS RED RIVER/LOWER MS RIVER VALLEY
   INTO THE NORTHEAST…
  
   …SYNOPSIS…
   ANOTHER DIFFICULT SEVERE TSTM FORECAST TODAY AS LARGE AREA OF VERY
   MOIST AIR REMAINS ESTABLISHED FROM THE SRN PLAINS/DEEP SOUTH INTO
   THE NORTHEAST…WHICH WILL BE OVERSPREAD BY SEASONABLY STRONG
   MID/UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC FLOW.  A SERIES OF WEAK IMPULSES AND
   ASSOCIATED SURFACE WIND SHIFTS/FRONTS WILL LIKEWISE ROTATE ACROSS
   MUCH OF THE CENTRAL/NERN U.S. AND CONCENTRATE AREAS OF STRONG/SEVERE
   THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH THE PERIOD.
  
   …MID SOUTH/OH RIVER VALLEY INTO THE ERN LAKES/MID ATLANTIC…
   APPEARS IMPULSE SUPPORTING BROKEN LINE OF TSTMS MOVING ACROSS IND
   EARLY THIS MORNING WILL CONTINUE ENEWD THROUGH THE DAY…WITH
   PRECEEDING AIRMASS BECOMING MARGINALLY TO MODERATELY UNSTABLE BY THE
    EARLY AFTERNOON.  WITH MODEST SWLY FLOW ALOFT STRENGTHENING THROUGH
   THE DAY…DEEP LAYER SHEAR SHOULD BECOME MORE THAN ADEQUATE FOR
   SMALL LINES/CLUSTERS OF STORMS CONTINUING INTO THE EARLY TO MID
   EVENING.  PRIMARY NEGATIVE ACROSS THIS REGION IS FORECAST WEAK LAPSE
   RATES WHICH WILL LIMIT AVAILABLE INSTABILITY.  HOWEVER…FORECAST
   SOUNDINGS SUGGEST PARAMETERS WILL BE SUFFICIENT FOR ISOLATED WIND
   DAMAGE AND HAVE ADJUSTED PROBABILITIES/SLGT RISK EWD ACCORDINGLY
   NEWD TOWARDS SURFACE WARM FRONT LIFTING NWD ACROSS NY THIS
   AFTERNOON.
  
   FARTHER SW…SVR RISK REMAINS MORE CONDITIONAL ON RECOVERY OF
   AIRMASS AHEAD OF SSEWD MOVING SURFACE COLD FRONT/OUTFLOW INTO THE
   MID-SOUTH/MID MS RIVER VALLEY. GFS IS THE MOST AGGRESSIVE IN
   REDEVELOPMENT…WHILE NAM/HIGH-RES WRF SUGGEST LESS COVERAGE OF TSTM
   ACTIVITY LATER TODAY.  SHEAR OVER THIS REGION WILL REMAIN SUFFICIENT
   FOR ORGANIZATION OF STRONG STORMS…AND WILL THEREFORE MAINTAIN SLGT
   RISK AS ANY ENSUING DEVELOPMENT WOULD SUSTAIN A RISK OF WIND
   DAMAGE/ISOLATED LARGE HAIL INTO THE EVENING.
  
   …SRN PLAINS/LOWER MS RIVER…
   EXTENSIVE AREA OF TSTMS HAS PERSISTED MAINLY NORTH OF A SURGING
   SURFACE OUTFLOW EARLY THIS MORNING MOVING ACROSS THE MID-SOUTH INTO
   CENTRAL OK.  APPEARS AN ISOLATED THREAT OF LARGE HAIL AND STRONG
   WINDS REMAINS POSSIBLE WITH THE MORE ROBUST ACTIVITY THROUGH THE
   MORNING OVER OK INTO CENTRAL AR.  WHAT DEVELOPS LATER TODAY…AND
   WHERE…REMAINS A QUESTION ATTM.  THE FARTHER SOUTH THE SURFACE
   OUTFLOW/EFFECTIVE FRONT SETTLES…THE WEAKER THE LARGE SCALE WLY
   FLOW WILL BE.  ALTHOUGH A MODERATE TO STRONGLY UNSTABLE AIRMASS
   SHOULD EVOLVE WITHIN THE WARM SECTOR FROM THE TN VALLEY INTO
   TX…WEAK SHEAR AND ONLY MODEST LAPSE RATES SHOULD TEMPER OVERALL
   ORGANIZED SEVERE THREAT.  REGARDLESS…THREAT OF ISOLATED LARGE
   HAIL/DAMAGING WINDS FROM WEAKLY ORGANIZED CLUSTERS/LINES MAY WARRANT
   MAINTAINING CATEGORICAL SLGT RISK ACROSS MUCH OF THIS REGION.
  
   …UPPER MS RIVER VALLEY AND VICINITY…
   DESPITE BROAD AREA OF WNWLY WINDS THROUGH THE TROPOSPHERE AND
   RESULTANT WEAK LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE…MODELS GENERATE MARGINAL
   SBCAPE AND SHALLOW MOIST CONVECTION UNDER MID LEVEL POCKET THIS
   AFTERNOON.  APPEARS LOW PROBABILITIES OF HAIL/WIND NEAR SEVERE
   LEVELS IS WARRANTED WITH THE STRONGER CORES THIS AFTERNOON.
  
   ..EVANS/JEWELL.. 08/20/2009

An Eye on a Tragic Day
April 14, 2009

 

pinkerton_eye

Night To Remember

Night To Remember

NY Times Titanic Headline

NY Times Titanic Headline

On This Date In History:  Two of the biggest disasters in US history, or perhaps even world history, happened on this date.  On this date in 1912 the HMS Titanic struck and iceberg and sank and on this date  in 1865 President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth.   Now…if that’s not enough of an oddity for you..how about this?  One of President Lincoln’s final acts of office was to form the United States Secret Service on this date in 1865, just hours before his own assassination.  The Secret Service was officially commissioned in July of that year but it’s job was not to protect the President.  It was formed in an attempt to thwart counterfeiting operations that plagued the Union during and after the Civil War.  That is why until 2003 it was under the United States Department of Treasury.  Today it falls under the Department of Homeland Security.

Allen Pinkerton (left) America's First "Private Eye" Keeps Tabs on Abe

Allen Pinkerton (left) America's First "Private Eye" Keeps Tabs on Abe

Allen Pinkerton’s detective agency was hired by the US government to be the main unit of espionage and counterespionage for the United States during the Civil War and he is credited with helping to spoil an assassination attempt on President Lincoln at the outset of his first term.  The Pinkerton’s claim that their founder was the first to organize the nation’s first secret service, but the Secret Service itself was not established until 1865 with its sole purpose to combat counterfeiting.  The above symbol adorned his agency and is widely thought to have been the influence for the term “private eye” for private detectives.  I believe it was Pinkerton who urged then President-Elect Lincoln to come into Washington under the cover of darkness to avoid potential assassination attempts in 1861.  It was at that time that Lincoln grew the beard that we now find so familiar, which also may have been part of his disguise but then decided to keep the beard because he liked it.  It was not until the assassination of President McKinley in 1901 that the Secret Service was requested by Congress to provide protection for the President.  The Secret Service is part of the Department of Treasury.

The Pinkerton Agency was around until 2003 when it was acquired along with one of its biggest competitors and folded into an organization that became Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., which is now one of the largest security companies in the world.

Weather Bottom Line:  Things went pretty much as expected.  The only real slam dunk was that the SPC would put out a Tornado Watch for our area and that was the case.  There were several tornado warnings in Southern Indiana but as far as I know there were no reported touchdowns.  There were several hail reports and also several Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.  The low that caused it all is pokey and so look for some shower activity on Tuesday and pretty cool conditions as we will probably be in the low to mid 50’s.  We start to come out of the bucket and by Friday we’re up to near 70 and low to mid 70’s on Saturday.  The bulk of Thunder Saturday will be pretty good though late Saturday the rain chances go up.  Guess is that at this point the rain would be after the fireworks. Let’s hope that holds true.  Rain is more likely on Sunday.

http://alphainventions.com/

alphainventions