Appomattox and Marian Anderson: Symbolic Irony of History
April 9, 2011

Don't Buy Real Estate From This Man!

Don't Buy Real Estate From This Man!

On This Date in History: Wilmer McLean was a Virginia grocer. He probably did fairly well at his craft. But, he didn’t have much luck when it came to real estate. See, he had a patch of land not too far from the nation’s capital. The first major conflict of the Civil War was known as the Battle of Bull run and it took place on McLean’s land. Not only that, but Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard thought that the McLean house would make a good headquarters, so he comandeered it. The land was ravaged by the warfare and the house took a beating as a Union cannonball came crashing through the kitchen.

Lee's Table Not as Valuable as Grant's

Lee's Table Not as Valuable as Grant's

After the battle, which was also called the Battle of Manassas,  McLean hung on but gave up a year later when the entire episode was repeated during the Second Battle of Bull Run. Following the second episode of his home being turned inside out,  McLean picked up his family and moved to a small town some miles away in an effort to find some peace and quiet from the war.

McLean's Manassas Home No Longer His Castle After Bull Run

After a couple of years, McLean thought he’d made a good move until this date in 1865. See, Generaly Ulysses S. Grant had gotten General Robert E. Lee to abandon Petersburg and Lee’s army was on the run until finally, Lee sent Colonel Charles Marshall to find an appropriate site for a conference between the two army’s commanders near the small town of Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia which was some miles from the old McLean house. The first person that Marshall came upon was none other than Wilmer McLean. McLean first steered the colonel to an abandoned house with no furniture in it. Colonel Marshall quickly dismissed the idea. McLean felt like it was all but inevitable that the war had reached out and grabbed him again so he offered his home.

Parlor In Lower Left Hand Room

Parlor In Lower Left Hand Room

On that afternoon, General Robert E. Lee signed the articles of surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant in the front parlor of the McLean home and effectively ended the Civil War, though some skirmishes would go on for several days. Now, this was a pretty historic occasion and the soldiers on hand knew it. They wanted a piece of history. Union General Edward O.C. Ord gave McLean $40 for the table at which Grant had sat. Another Union General, either Philip Sheridan or George A. Custer, got a good deal by acquiring the table at which Lee sat for just $25. At that point, McLean figured he needed his furniture and brought an end to the impromtu rummage sale. But, less honorable individuals would have none of it. Chairs were broken up, upholstery ripped and the parlor was torn to pieces as if another cannonball had ripped through. Once again, Wilmer McLean had been touched by Civil War history…and his house took a beating. Maybe he should have moved to Texas.

Bear More Valuable Than Jesus?

Bear More Valuable Than Jesus?

The selling of the Grant table for more than the Lee table reminds me of when I lived in Birmingham. I once went into an art store. On some shelves were busts. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest went for $500. Robert E. Lee and Jesus Christ went for $550. Bear Bryant? He went for $600! Yes indeed, it’s the bible belt and they love Robert E. Lee and Jesus, but you better not schedule a church social when Alabama football has a game!

Who knew the 1 year old girl would later sing for kings

Some 32 years after the close of the Civil War, a little girl was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  By the age of six, this young lady became known in her church as the “baby contralto.”  Recognizing her musical talent, her father bought a piano but was unable to afford lessons so the young budding prodigy simply taught herself.  In her early teens, she began accepting invitations to sing until she finally got the courage to ask for $5 per performance.  Groups were eager to pay.  Around that same time, the Philadelphia Choral Society held a benefit concert that raised $500 so that she might be able to afford voice lessons with a leading contralto of the day.  Following her high school graduation, her principal introduced her to the highly sought after vocal teacher Guiseppe Boghetti and her audition brought the man to tears.

23 years old looking as good as she sounded

Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s, her career exploded.  She performed all over Europe at great stages such as those found in London and Berlin.  When Arturo Toscanini heard her in Salzburg at the Mozarteum international festival, the prestigious conductor told her, “Yours is a voice such as one hears once in a hundred years.”  She even performed before the King of both Sweden and Denmark.  By the late 1930’s, she was performing some 70 concerts a year in Europe, Latin America and in the United States, including at Carnegie Hall.  Wherever she went, she was welcomed to great acclaim…that is until she attempted to perform in the capital of the United States of America.  You see, Marian Anderson was one of the greatest contraltos the nation has ever produced but she was rebuffed by some who were not deaf but still could not hear.  Although a bloody Civil War had been fought that was thought to have brought freedom for all, African-Americans were not living on a level playing field in many parts of the country, including the nation’s capital.

Marian Filled the Mall After the Snub for Constitutional Hall

Washington’s Constitutional Hall was the city’s foremost venue but the city was segregated and the hall itself had separate seating based on race.  I bet I know who got the front seats.  Anyway, when Marian’s agent attempted the book the hall, he was told that it was unavailable.  It seems that, in 1935, those who ran the hall created a rule that called for only white performers.  So, while it was supposed the be the greatest venue in the city, the greatest contralto in the nation, if not the world, was not allowed in.  Marian Anderson was good enough for the crowned heads of Europe, but not Constitutional Hall.  How can such a place be considered the best when it won’t allow the best?  The First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt was so incensed that she resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution which just so happened to be the owner of Constitutional Hall.  Musicians protested and much of the public was in an uproar.  I’m not sure if President Roosevelt ever commented but, I’m sure he gave his blessing to Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes when he arranged a free open air concert for Easter Sunday.  On this date in 1939, 74 years to the day after The Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Union forces under the command of Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant, Marian Anderson stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and performed before 75,000 adoring onlookers.  Millions more listened at home on their radios. 

I Bet Old Abe Smiled Over Marian's Shoulder

Relating to her performance, Anderson said that at first, she was reluctant to accept the invitation because she didn’t like a lot of show and that “one could not tell in advance what direction the affair would take. I studied my conscience. …. As I thought further, I could see that my significance as an individual was small in this affair. I had become, whether I like it or not, a symbol, representing my people.”  A few weeks later, Anderson performed at the White House for President Roosevelt the visiting King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain.  Finally, in 1943, at the height of World War II, Marian Anderson performed at Constitutional Hall under the condition that the Daughter’s of the American Revolution suspend their segregationist seating policy.

Marian Anderson at New York's Metropolitan Opera 1955

While history justifiably remembers Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Marian Anderson is largely forgotten.  In a city filled with monuments that elicit great symbolism, I think it is quite fitting to remember the contralto who performed on the steps of the monument, made largely of marble from former Confederate States, to the man remembered for his  leadership in a great struggle the resulted in freedom for African Americans on the day that struggle effectively came to an end.  It’s folly to try and play the “what if” game but I do wonder for a moment that, if Marian Anderson had not performed in 1939, would Dr. King have been able to stand in literally the same spot 25 years later?  Her career flourished and she lived to see great change prior to her death in 1993 at the age of 96.  But, certainly, as her voice was one heard once in a lifetime, her legacy should be etched in the American conscience for eternity as one rarely seen in a nation’s history.

 

The Factual Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Flowed Like an Orchestra
December 5, 2010

Rosa Parks Was More Than a Simple Seamstress Who Wanted to Ride the Bus

Real story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott is Lost in Many Historical Narratives

On This Date in History:  Often times, when history becomes part of the popular lexicon, facts get obscurred in a sanitized or abbreviated version.  In some cases, the blurring of facts is done intentionally.  In other instances, it is a result of lazy or ignorant members of the media or simply from an effort at brevity.  Most of the time, the ultimate storyline remains true at the expense of accuracy.  The process often concludes with the creation of a mythology that raises some figures to great heights while diminishing the efforts of others that history may otherwise lift to the champion pedestal.  The story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 provides an example of a historical events that involve all of the elements mentioned.  Many narratives incorrectly mark the start of the 381 day boycott heard round the world.

Robinson May Have Been the Original Force Behind the Boycott

The general story is that a seamstress, Rosa Parks, got on a public Montgomery bus and sat in a seat toward the front and was arrested for doing so and that sparked the boycott that many people point to be the initiation of the Civil Rights Movement that culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  But, there was much more to the story that really had its roots many years before.  You see, all the way back in 1943, Rosa Parks had an issue with the bus service when she paid her fare only to see the bus drive away before she could board through the back entrance as the  driver had instructed her to do.  However, there was another incident in the 1940’s that involved a woman who has been lost to history but whom Dr. Martin Luther King described in his 1958 book Stride Toward Freedom  as “indefatigable”  and whom he acknowledged was “perhaps more than any other person, was active on every level of the protest.”   The person of whom King referred was Alabama State College professor Jo Ann Robinson who in 1949 boarded a sparsely occupied bus and inadvertently sat in the front seat.  The driver unmercilessly screamed at her until she fled the vehicle in tears.  Her response was to attempt to start a protest boycott.  But, when she approached her fellow members of the Woman’s Political Council with her story and proposal, she was told that it was “a fact of life in Montgomery.”  A year later, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church pastor Rev. Vernon Johns, whom is referred by some as the “father of the Civil Rights movement,” refused to give up his seat for a white passenger and was subsequently evicted from the bus.  He asked other African-American riders on the bus to leave with him in protest.  The other passengers rebuffed his urging by  telling him that he should have known better.  It’s worth noting that Jo Ann Robinson was part of Vernon Johns’ Dexter Avenue Baptist Church congregation.

At 15, Colvin Could Have Been Parks Before Parks

So, you see, many historians suggest that the Montgomery Bus Boycott had its origins well before 1955 and it actually involved persons of some prominence.  The circumstance also was not just happenstance.  After the US Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 that struck down the concept of “separate but equal” in public education, Robinson, who had ascended to the position of president of the Women’s Political Council,  informed the mayor of Montgomery that some 25 local organizations were considering a bus boycott to protest the city bus system policies.  The following year, the same Women’s Political Council that told Robinson in 1949 to forget about a bus boycott,  decided to listen to the call of their president and determined that  such a protest was in order.  But, leadership in the African-American community recognized that they needed a catalyst that would outrage Black bus riders enough to the point that they would respond affirmatively.  They wanted to find a person who was “above reproach” and who would agree to challenge the segregation laws in court.  They thought that they had found their person when 15 year-old Claudette Colvin was arrested in early 1955 for refusing to give up her seat.   Miss Colvin was active with the NAACP Youth Council and  NAACP Montgomery Chapter President Edgar D. Nixon thought that Ms. Colvin would be the perfect person to get a boycott plan started.  His hopes were dashed, however, when it was learned the teenager was pregnant.  That brings us back to Rosa Parks. 

Photo Part of Effort to Portray Parks as a Simple Seamstress When In Reality She was Very Involved With the Organizers of the Boycott

Miss Parks was not just a simple seamstress.  In reality, she was a well-respected, educated woman with an unassailable record who had attended the laboratory school at Alabama State College; the same college for whom Jo Ann Robinson was a professor.  Parks was a seamstress but only because she could not find a job that fit her skill set.  However, for many years, Miss Parks was also working for the NAACP, serving as the volunteer secretary for President Edgar Nixon since December 1943.  She and her husband became members of the Voters League in 1944 and, for a brief time, she held a job at Maxwell Air Force Base where there was prohibited.  She often rode a desegregated Trolly on the base and she told her biographer that “Maxwell opened my eyes up.”    By the end of 1955, she had returned from Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, TN where she completed a workshop on race relations.   That trip was encouraged and sponsored by a politically liberal white couple, Clifford and Virginia Durr,  for whom Parks worked as a seamstress and housekeeper.  When the young Colvert was arrested early in 1955, Parks took a keen interest in her case.

Nixon Also Was Arrested During the Boycott

Many narratives suggest that, since it was known (and Parks had experienced first hand) that the bus driver on Park’s chosen route had strong racist tendencies and used harsh measures to enforce Montgomery segregation policy, Parks was encouraged to create an incident that would serve as a catalyst for a planned boycott.  Other narratives imply it was simply a coincidence that it was Parks who got arrested.  In any event, on Thursday, December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks found herself on the 5th row of a crowded bus.  The rules were that Blacks and Whites could not share a seat and that Blacks could only sit from the 5th row to the back of the bus.  The first 4 rows became crowded with Whites and a white man was left standing in the aisle.  The driver instructed the Blacks on the 5th row to move to the back of the bus.  The other riders on Parks’ row complied but Rosa did not.  She was arrested and NAACP President Nixon called to find out on what charge his secretary was being held.  After has was told to mind his own business, Nixon called a white lawyer who was sympathetic to the plight of African-Americans in the hope that the Civil Liberties lawyer would help.  Nixon probably knew that the lawyer would give his assistance since the lawyer was none other than Clifford Durr, Rosa Parks employer and benefactor. 

Parks' Arrest May Have Been Part of the Plan All Along

Professor Jo Ann Robinson that night pushed for a one day bus boycott on the following Monday to protest the arrest of Parks.  She persuaded her students to distribute flyers on Friday announcing the boycott  all over town.   A group of ministers and Civil Rights leaders met to discuss the boycott but the meeting quickly fell apart and many attendees left.  Those who remained decided to spread the word of the planned boycott through word of mouth and from the pulpit.  Initially, it was thought that the boycott would be a one-day affair but they decided to meet again on Monday night to determine the effectiveness of the protest and to determine what their next move would be.  So, on this date in 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began.  Dr. Martin Luther King, who by that time had succeeded Vernon Johns as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, determined that a 60% participation in the boycott by African-Americans would be considered a success.  To his surprise and that of others, the busses on Monday that  rolled by his house were nearly empty.  King wrote in Stride Toward Freedom that it was a miracle and that “The once dormant and quiescent Negro community was now fully awake.”  Many leaders wanted to end the boycott and declare victory but Nixon addressed the crowd at the Monday night gathering quite forcefully.  The vote was unanimous to continue the strike. 

There Were Many Players in the Montgomery Bus Boycott

The rest, as the saying goes, is history.  It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t clean.  There was violence and bogus arrests.  Edgar Nixon’s home was bombed, dozens of Blacks were arrested under on old city ordinance that prohibited boycotts.  Blacks who rode the bus suffered threats of violence and violence from other African-Americans.  But, on November 13, 1956 the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down the desegregation laws of the Montgomery Alabama bus system and on December 21, 1956, African-Americans in Montgomery, Alabama returned to the city busses.  While the Supreme Court ruling actually stemmed from Colvin’s arrest,  the story of Rosa Parks was born and soon hers would be elevated to mythical levels and while the myth perpetrated in popular culture got the end correct, the created perceptions leave the uninitiated to believe the story was something that it was not.  The truth is that the story surrounding Rosa Parks revolved around the NAACP, the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, the Women’s Political Council and the Voters League and the principals were all connected through these organizations.  It’s pretty clear  that the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the story of Rosa Parks was largely orchestrated and not a case of a simple woman refusing to give up her seat on a bus.   Nevertheless, I suppose the outcome is all that really matters.

Snowfall through 8pm 12.4.10

Louisville Weather Bottom Line:  It would appear that I was pretty prophetic.  Over in Frankfort, snow totals ran over 4 inches while around Louisville it was more like 1-2 inches and in Southern Indiana it was more like 1 inch.  Now comes the cold, which will be the story for the rest of the week.  We may not get above 40 until the end of the week with wind chills wreaking havoc through Sunday.  By next weekend, we could be talking snow again because the pattern will be generally the same and another system should be diving down from the northwest.

Althea Gibson: American; First US effort battling Air Pollution was a nice start, but the job’s not done
July 6, 2009

althea_gibson_fp1On This Date in 1957: American Althea Gibson won the women’s championship at London’s All English Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. It is known as the Wimbledon Championship. She was the first American of African heritage to do so. In the 1940’s she had won the national black women’s championship twice. Tennis was largely segregated but National champion Alice Marble lobbied on Gibson’s behalf and in 1950 she was invited to play at the US Open. In 1956 she won the French singles and doubles title. After winning Wimbledon, she went on to win the US Open in September of 1957. In 1958, she won Wimbledon and the US Open again. She was the AP Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958.   She went on to become the first African American woman to be on the LPGA tour. 

Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947 and has his place in the annals of the Civil Rights movement. However, the achievements of Althea Gibson should not be overlooked.   Gibson was a product of the tough streets of  Harlem and went on to be a guest at the Royal courts of Europe.  Like Robinson, she was an inspiration to many, overcoming the racial prejudice of the time and paving the way for the likes of Venus and Serena Williams.  Her humility was exemplified by a famous quote (s) that she made:  “No matter what accomplishments you make, someone helped you. ” She was a true American Champion on many levels.

Victorian London Smog

Victorian London Smog

On This Date in 1955,  the US began investigating cleaner air.

The first air pollution control efforts began in 1306 when England’s Edward I banned the use of sea-coal in craftsman’s furnaces because of the noxious smoke emissions. In the early 20th century, the automobile was seen as an environmental savior because it eliminated the need for animal power. Animals produce wastes that piled up in cities and created a health hazard. But, as I’ve talked about often on these here pages, there were unintended consequences. Air pollution was largely seen as a nuisance not a health problem until 1952 when London suffered some 4000 fatalities when it was shrouded in what was called the “killer fog.” Analysis revealed it was caused by the reaction of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons with ultraviolet radiation. The result was the formation of low level ozone…or 3 oxygens clinging together. On July 6, 1955 the US the first Air Pollution Control Act in an effort to study the effects of auto emissions. Obviously, it wasn’t enough because they amended that act then others followed in 1963, 1970 and 1990. I think it’s safe to say that more can be expected. This American Meteorological Society doucument tracks the evolution of air pollution legislation

City of Angels Shrouded in Pollution

City of Angels Shrouded in Pollution

The EPA tracks the evolution of modern air pollution and regulation. It’s interesting to me that it says that the idea of air pollution control evolved from the need for water pollution control. That water pollution problems as a health hazard has been known since the early Middle Ages, yet, we continue to poison ourselves through our rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. We get all worked up over a potential problem that would alter civilization yet ignore one that is actually killing life on earth as we speak.

Here is the EPA Origins of Modern Air Pollution Regulations

Weather Bottom Line:  High pressure will continue to build in from the northwest.  With a slight northerly flow, we will remain relatively dry with a warm afternoon in the low to mid 80’s.  The northerly component will persist somewhat over the next couple of days so, while we get to the upper 80’s, humidity levels will still be subdued.   However, by Wednesday afternoon, the high drifts to the east and we begin getting a southerly component to the winds.  Temperatures will ease to the low 90’s and humidity will become an issue by the end of the week.

US Citizen Jailed For Publically Reading Bill of Rights in Los Angeles; 2009 Preakness Stakes Weather
May 15, 2009

On This Date In History:  On this date in 1923, novelist and “muckraker” Upton Sinclair went to jail in Los Angeles, Cailifornia.  The charge against him?  He was charged by the LAPD of expressing ideas that were “calculated to cause hatred ann contempt” for the Federal government.   Sounds pretty bad.  What ideas did he express?  Why the dastardly skalawag Sinclair  spoke to a group of striking transportation workers and read the Bill of Rights!!! 

Young Rabblerouser Sinclair Guilty of Reading the Constitution! Such Sedition!  Too Bad He didn't read it to our current Government

Young Rabblerouser Sinclair Guilty of Reading the Constitution! Such Sedition! Too Bad He didn't read it to our current Government

That’s right….well…sorta….see, he never made it through all ten amendments.  He didn’t even make it through the first one.  He read part of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America which guarantees freedom of speech, of religion, of the press and when he got to the part about the right “of the people peaceably to assemble,” that’s when the men in blue swept in and hustled him off to the pokey.   Not only was  he in jail for 22 hours, it was 22 hours without being allowed to speak to anyone.  The police chief wanted to hold him even longer.  But, there was an insider.

An underling to the chief called Sinclair’s wife, who called a lawyer who subsequently gained Sinclair’s release.  As for the police chief, he got fired. Oh…not for violating Sinclair’s Constitutional rights or anything….at least officially.  Nope…the chief got fired  after he was found at night in a parked car with a  woman and bottle of whiskey!!!  Now that is criminal mischief if I’ve ever heard it before. He’s lucky they didn’t lock him up and throw the keys away.

Just another example of how the police in this country have gone beyond their duties or beyond the law…in this case violating a basis for our Republic and the country didn’t fall apart. The issue got dealt with and so did those involved and the world didn’t stop spinning, nor was Presidnet  Warren G. Harding called a liar or blamed.  It happens.  We are still trying to build a more perfect union but we have yet to have perfect people in every level of government.

NAM Midday Sat...Scat/Iso Stuff Over Baltimore

NAM Midday Sat...Scat/Iso Stuff Over Baltimore

 

 

2009 Preakness Favorite Rachel Alexandra

2009 Preakness Favorite Rachel Alexandra

2009 Preakness Infield Favorite

2009 Preakness Infield Favorite

Preakness Stakes Weather at Pimlico: 

It’s pretty humid in Baltimore on Friday and that will continue into Saturday. Look for a morning start on Preakness Day in the upper 50’s. Guess is that there will be a fairly heavy dew.  At first post time, it will be in the low 70’s at Pimlico.  Now, a frontal boundary will be approaching by Saturday afternoon. While the front itself won’t come through until after the Run for the Black Eyed Susans, there will be sufficient instability with afternoon heating into the low 80’s and fairly high dewpoints to trigger wandering afternoon showers and t’storms.  My guess is that if you do find yourself under a thundershower, there is a fair chance of it being  a fairly heavy downpour.  Handicappers are advised to hold their bets until as close to the race as possible to see if one of those storms has come to or is heading toward the track.  Don’t look for a lot of rain over a period of time like at the Derby, but a roaming t’storm could make a difference should it come and drop a decent little downpour right before the race.  I don’t know how Pimlico drains to suggest how the track will react.

SPC Severe Threat Fri AM to Sat AM

SPC Severe Threat Fri AM to Sat AM

Weather Bottom Line:  A cold front will move through around midday to early afternoon on Saturday.  Given the time of day and lack of dynamics, a wide spread severe event is not anticipated but heavy down pours and t’storms are a fair bet with maybe some gusty winds and small hail.  Rain chances should tail off by mid to late afternoon.  Cooler dryer air moves in for Sunday and we go through a dry stretch for the first half of next week with temperatures at or slightly below seasonal averages. 

Tornado Probability Fri AM to Sat AM

Tornado Probability Fri AM to Sat AM

DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK 
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   0258 PM CDT FRI MAY 15 2009
  
   VALID 152000Z – 161200Z
  
   …THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER PORTIONS OF W-CNTRL MO INTO
   ERN AND S-CNTRL KS…
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM W TX INTO THE PARTS OF THE
   OH VALLEY AND SRN GREAT LAKES…
  
   …THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER THE UPPER MS VALLEY…
   
  

SPC Fri am to Sat am Hail Probability

SPC Fri am to Sat am Hail Probability

 …LOWER MO VALLEY INTO OH VALLEY/SRN GREAT LAKES THROUGH TONIGHT…
  
  
   LATEST MESOANALYSIS SUGGESTS THAT MCS CURRENTLY EVOLVING N OF MKC IS
   NEARLY COINCIDENT WITH SURFACE LOW SITUATED AT INTERSECTION OF WARM
   AND COLD FRONTAL BOUNDARIES.  MODIFICATION OF 18Z SGF SOUNDING FOR
   IMMEDIATE INFLOW AIR MASS SUGGESTS THAT ENVIRONMENT IS ALREADY
   MODERATELY UNSTABLE WITH MLCAPE OF 1000-2000 J/KG.  EWD MIGRATION OF
   40-45 KT LLJ ACROSS THE LOWER MO VALLEY THIS AFTERNOON WILL

SPC Fri am to Sat am severe wind probability

SPC Fri am to Sat am severe wind probability

MAINTAIN
   A ZONE OF ENHANCED MOISTURE FLUX INTO MCS WHICH SHOULD SERVE TO
   STRENGTHEN SYSTEM WITH AN INCREASING DAMAGING WIND…HAIL AND
   ISOLATED TORNADO THREAT DEVELOPING ESEWD TOWARD THE STL AREA.
  
   FARTHER E…ADDITIONAL MORE CELLULAR STORMS ARE ATTEMPTING TO BECOME
   SUSTAINED OVER NERN MO INTO W-CNTRL IL…NEAR SYNOPTIC WARM FRONT
   WHICH EXTENDS FROM NEAR MKC TO S OF UIN TO NEAR DEC AS OF 18Z.
   LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS ENVIRONMENT FROM NERN MO INTO
   CNTRL/NRN IL WILL UNDERGO CONSIDERABLE MODIFICATION THROUGH THIS
   EVENING WITH NWD MOVEMENT OF SURFACE WARM FRONT AND DEVELOPMENT OF
   40-50 KT SWLY LLJ INTO REGION.  THIS WILL RESULT IN CONTINUED AIR
   MASS DESTABILIZATION IN ADDITION TO STRENGTHENING LOW-LEVEL SHEAR IN
   ADVANCE OF SURFACE LOW DEVELOPING NEWD TOWARD THE QUAD CITIES.  AS
   SUCH…ONGOING STORMS SHOULD CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY…POTENTIALLY
   EVOLVING INTO A SECONDARY BOWING SYSTEM AND/OR SUPERCELLS WITH THE
   THREAT FOR DAMAGING WINDS…HAIL AND PERHAPS A FEW TORNADOES.
  
   THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP EWD/NEWD INTO
   PORTIONS OF NRN IND/SRN LOWER MI TONIGHT IN ADVANCE OF SURFACE LOW
   AND ALONG LLJ AXIS.
  
   …CNTRL/SRN PLAINS THROUGH TONIGHT…
  
   AS OF 18Z…COLD FRONT TRAILING SURFACE LOW NEAR MKC EXTENDED SWWD
   THROUGH CNTRL KS INTO THE NRN TX PNHDL WITH VISIBLE SATELLITE AND
   RADAR IMAGERY INDICATING A STEADY SWD MOVEMENT OF BOUNDARY.  18Z
   SUPPLEMENTAL SOUNDINGS FROM OUN…AMA AND S-CNTRL KS INDICATE THE
   PRESENCE OF NEARLY DRY ADIABATIC LAPSE RATES IN THE
   MIDLEVELS…WHICH WHEN COUPLED WITH DEWPOINTS IN THE MID/UPPER 60S
   IS RESULTING IN A MODERATE TO STRONGLY UNSTABLE AIR MASS WITH MLCAPE
   OF 2000-3500 J/KG.  ENVIRONMENT REMAINS CAPPED…BUT COMBINATION OF
   FRONTAL CONVERGENCE AND DAYTIME HEATING SHOULD EVENTUALLY SUPPORT
   THE DEVELOPMENT OF TSTMS ALONG FRONT BY LATE AFTERNOON.
  
   PLAN VIEW VWP/PROFILER DATA INDICATE A NARROW CORRIDOR OF MODESTLY
   STRONG /I.E. 30-40 KT/ MID AND HIGH-LEVEL FLOW ACROSS CNTRL/SRN KS
   INTO FAR NRN OK WITH A NOTABLE DECREASE WITH SWD EXTENT.  GIVEN THE
   STRONG INSTABILITY IN PLACE…IT APPEARS THAT THE POTENTIAL WILL
   EXIST FOR A FEW SUPERCELLS WITH THE INITIAL STORM DEVELOPMENT WITHIN
   THIS ZONE OF HIGHER MOMENTUM FLOW.  WHILE VERY LARGE HAIL WILL BE
   THE PRIMARY SEVERE HAZARD…THE THREAT WILL EXIST FOR A BRIEF
   TORNADO OR TWO IN ADDITION TO DAMAGING WINDS.  WITH TIME STORMS MAY
   ATTEMPT TO GROW UPSCALE INTO CLUSTERS OR AN MCS ACROSS OK WITH THE
   WIND/HAIL THREAT CONTINUING OVERNIGHT.
  
   FOR ADDITIONAL NEAR TERM GUIDANCE…SEE MCD 835.
  
   FARTHER S…ISOLATED STORMS NOW DEVELOPING ALONG DRYLINE IN WRN TX
   SHOULD INCREASE IN COVERAGE THIS AFTERNOON WITHIN STEEP LAPSE RATE
   AND MODERATELY UNSTABLE ENVIRONMENT.  WIND FIELDS WILL REMAIN QUITE
   WEAK…LEADING TO OUTFLOW-DOMINANT STORMS WHICH WILL BE CAPABLE OF
   DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL THROUGH THIS EVENING.
  
   FOR ADDITIONAL NEAR TERM GUIDANCE…SEE MCD 834.
  
   …UPPER MS VALLEY THROUGH THIS EVENING…
  
   1630Z DISCUSSION FOR THIS REGION REMAINS VALID WITH ONLY SLIGHT
   MODIFICATIONS MADE TO WRN EDGE OF SLIGHT RISK.
  
   ..MEAD.. 05/15/2009
  
   .PREV DISCUSSION… /ISSUED 1130 AM CDT FRI MAY 15 2009/
  
   …LOWER MO ACROSS THE MID MS RIVER VALLEYS…
   SURFACE WARM FRONT IS BECOMING BETTER DEFINED FROM NERN KS INTO NRN
   MO AND SRN/CENTRAL IL AT MID MORNING.  MODEST SWLY LLJ AT 12Z OVER
   THE CENTRAL PLAINS IS FORECAST TO SHIFT/DEVELOP NEWD ACROSS THE
   LOWER MO RIVER VALLEY THROUGH THE AFTERNOON AND VEER TO A MORE WSWLY
   DIRECTION.  THIS IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD ONGOING CLUSTER OF
   STRONG/SEVERE STORMS…ELEVATED NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT THROUGH
   16Z…ENEWD AS WELL.  TRAILING CLUSTER OF STORMS REMAINS MORE ROBUST
   NEAR THE MO/NE/KS TRI-STATE REGION WHICH MAY BECOME MORE SURFACE
   BASED INTO NRN MO INTO THE EARLY AFTERNOON.  SHOULD THIS
   OCCUR…TRANSITION TO A WIND/ISOLATED TORNADO THREAT MAY EVOLVE WITH
   00Z HIGH-RES WRF SOLUTIONS SUGGESTING A BOW ECHO/HP-SUPERCELL
   EVOLUTION NEAR THE WARM FRONT ACROSS NRN MO BY THE MID AFTERNOON.
   OVERALL SEVERE THREAT SHOULD EXPAND INTO MORE OF IL AND THE SRN
   GREAT LAKES REGION INTO THE EVENING AS LLJ AND SURFACE WARM FRONT
   LIFT NEWD.  INCREASED ASCENT AHEAD OF MAIN MID/UPPER TROUGH
   DEVELOPING ACROSS THE NRN PLAINS WILL OVERSPREAD MODEST INSTABILITY
   AND SUPPORT A THREAT OF DAMAGING WINDS/ISOLATED LARGE HAIL INTO
   TONIGHT OVER THIS REGION.
  
   …CENTRAL/SRN PLAINS…
   OVERALL FORECAST/12Z MODEL GUIDANCE REMAINS SIMILAR TO PREVIOUS
   OUTLOOKS ACROSS THIS REGION.  MODEST CAPPING IS EXPECTED TO BREAK
   NEAR SEWD MOVING SURFACE TROUGH/COLD FRONT FROM NWRN MO/NERN KS INTO
   CENTRAL KS BY 21Z…WITH DEVELOPMENT NEARER DRY LINE OVER WRN TX
   INTO SWRN KS LIKELY BETWEEN 21-00Z.  AIR MASS WILL BE EXTREMELY
   UNSTABLE ACROSS OK/SRN KS AND LIKELY SUPPORT RAPID SEVERE
   THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT ONCE CAP BREAKS.  WITH WEAK SURFACE WAVE
   EXPECTED TO DEVELOP INTO NERN KS LATER TODAY ALONG INFLECTION OF E-W
   WARM FRONT AND SEWD MOVING COLD FRONT…A MORE PERSISTENT SUPERCELL
   THREAT WITH POSSIBLE TORNADOES MAY EVOLVE INTO CENTRAL/ERN KS AND
   WRN MO THROUGH THE EARLY EVENING.  ALTHOUGH GRADUAL VEERING OF LOW
   LEVEL WINDS SHOULD AID IN TRANSITION TO OUTFLOW DOMINATED
   STORMS/SMALL BOW STRUCTURES THIS EVENING. THERE REMAINS LESS
   CONFIDENCE ATTM IN PERSISTENCE OF INITIAL SUPERCELLS ELSEWHERE INTO
   SWRN KS AND SWD INTO WRN TX GIVEN THE WEAKER OVERALL DEEP LAYER
   SHEAR…WITH GENERAL EVOLUTION INTO CLUSTERS OR LINES.
   REGARDLESS…VERY LARGE HAIL SHOULD ACCOMPANY THESE STORMS…WITH
   GRADUAL EVOLUTION INTO A LARGER LINEAR MCS THROUGH THE EVENING WHICH
   WILL PROGRESS ESEWD ACROSS MUCH OF OK OVERNIGHT. 
  
   …UPPER MS RIVER VALLEY…
   VERY STRONG DEEP ASCENT COINCIDENT WITH N-S ORIENTED SURFACE COLD
   FRONT WILL PUSH EWD ACROSS MN THROUGH THE DAY.  SHEAR WILL BE QUITE
   STRONG ACROSS THIS REGION…ALTHOUGH INSTABILITY WILL REMAIN
   MARGINAL WITHIN 45-50F SURFACE DEW POINTS.  EXPECT STORMS WILL
   INCREASE IN BOTH COVERAGE AND STRENGTH THROUGH THE AFTERNOON OVER
   THIS REGION…WITH ISOLATED SEVERE HAIL/WIND LIKELY WITH THE
   STRONGER STORMS.  OVERALL THREAT SHOULD WANE THROUGH THE EVENING
   INTO THE WRN GREAT LAKES.
  
   CLICK TO GET
WUUS01 PTSDY1 PRODUCT

Althea Gibson: American Champion;Air Pollution: Global Problem
July 6, 2008

On This Date in 1957: American Althea Gibson won the women’s championship at London’s All English Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. It is known as the Wimbledon Championship. She was the first American of African heritage to do so. In the 1940’s she had won the national black women’s championship twice. Tennis was largely segregated but National champion Alice Marble lobbied on Gibson’s behalf and in 1950 she was invited to play at the US Open. In 1956 she won the French singles and doubles title. After winning Wimbledon, she went on to win the US Open in September of 1957. In 1958, she won Wimbledon and the US Open again. She was the AP Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947 and has his place in the annals of the Civil Rights movement. However, the achievements of Althea Gibson should not be overlooked. She was a true American Champion on many levels.

On This Date in 1955, the US began investigating cleaner air. The first air pollution control efforts began in 1306 when England’s Edward I banned the use of sea-coal in craftsman’s furnaces because of the noxious smoke emissions. In the early 20th century, the automobile was seen as an environmental savior because it eliminated the need for animal power. Animals produce wastes that piled up in cities and created a health hazard. But, as I’ve talked about often on these here pages, there were unintended consequences. Air pollution was largely seen as a nuisance not a health problem until 1952 when London suffered some 4000 fatalities when it was shrouded in what was called the “killer fog.” Analysis revealed it was caused by the reaction of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons with ultraviolet radiation. The result was the formation of low level ozone…or 3 oxygens clinging together. On July 6, 1955 the US the first Air Pollution Control Act in an effort to study the effects of auto emissions. Obviously, it wasn’t enough because they amended that act then others followed in 1963, 1970 and 1990. I think it’s safe to say that more can be expected. The American Meteorological Society tracks the evolution of air pollution legislation:

AMS Air Pollution Legislation synopsis

The EPA tracks the evolution of modern air pollution and regulation. It’s interesting to me that it says that the idea of air pollution control evolved from the need for water pollution control. That water pollution problems as a health hazard has been known since the early Middle Ages, yet, we continue to poison ourselves through our rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. We get all worked up over a potential problem that would alter civilization yet ignore one that is actually killing life on earth as we speak.

Here is the

EPA Origins of Modern Air Pollution Regulations