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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1st Female Pres. Candidate Victoria Woodhull Advocated “Free Love”
May 10, 2010

Victoria Woodhull's Legacy?

On This Date In History: This obviously wasn’t Mother’s Day because it wasn’t officially established until 1914. But, this woman was seen by many as the antithesis of motherhood. On this date in 1872 Victoria Woodhull began her campaign for President. Her running mate was abolitionist, former slave and intellectual Frederick Douglass.    At that time, women weren’t even allowed to vote yet, she was running for president. Her platform was as a “free-thinking reformer” and supported free love, abortion, divorce, legalized prostitution and, of course, the women’s right to vote. One of the photos above is a portrait while the other is a cartoon showing her as the Devil. As part of her campaign, she sent out an article congratulating preacher Henry Ward Beecher for having an affair with a married woman in his congregation. But, she chastised him for not advocating the free love that she said he obviously practiced. On election day, she was in jail. The charge was for sending obscene material through the mail in violation of the Comstock Act. The offensive material was the Beecher article. Reports of her personal practices of free love did not help her at the polls. An opponent of hers didn’t learn from her mistake.

Woodhull Covorting With Satan!

Also on the ballot was George Francis Train who ran for President as the self proclaimed “Champion Crank of America.”   He was a millionaire with nothing else to do except to try and break speed records and advocate what he saw as struggles for freedom. Jules Verne is said to have based his novel Around the World In 80 Days on a trip that Train once took. But, Train didn’t count the days he spent in prison in France against his 80 days. He got involved in an attempted revolution and barely escaped a firing squad before he continued his global journey. He later beat his own record by going around the world in 67 1/2 days. No word on if he cheated on that one too.   Neither he nor Woodhull were elected President. In fact, I bet you won’t find them on any 1872 election tally boards.

George Francis Train

But, Train had a penchant for making money because his campaign proved to be a money making venture for him. He charged money for people to hear his speeches and he spoke over 1000 times to more than 2,000,000 people. He may have been the only presidential candidate to make a profit in the venture.  When Woodhull got in trouble, he tried to help her cause by publishing a collection of biblical quotations that he said were much more obscene than anything Woodhull had written.  They slapped the old bracelets on him too and he was whisked off to jail.

Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin drive the bulls and bears on Wall Street, Evening Telegram, February 18, 1870

Here’s a funny thing about this story. The Equal Rights party platform  was generally that of Ms. Woodhull.  If you care to search you can find numerous links that unravel the whole thing, but rest assured,   it was quite scandalous in 1872.  While it did not specify abortion and divorce, I suppose that Ms. Woodhull extracted that from the calls for protection of women from abuses of men and other forms of what they called equality.  This document supports the contention and inference of the concept of “free love,” divorce and abortion rights.  (note how it says “Children come into this world undesired and unprovided for…”)  It is interesting that they were vehemently against the death penalty but favored abortion.  Anyway, the specifics outlined regarding the platform talk about taxing the rich, a graduated tax, term limits for the President, Vice-President and Senators and the issuing of paper currency.  They also were against any land grants to railroads and thought that disagreements among nations should be settled by a “congress of nations” instead of armed conflict.   

Woodhull for President!

Today, we have a currency backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States,”  the United Nations and a graduated tax scale.  There are increasing calls to tax the rich and movements to try and limit governmental aid to corporations.  Divorce is certainly a part of society and prostitution is legal in parts of Nevada.  The US Supreme Court issued its famous (or infamous) Roe V Wade decision in 1973.  The platform actually went further as it wished to have government regulation of labor and also referred to children and the poor to be seen as “wards of the state” with the government taking responsibility for their care and eduction.  I bet that if you told someone in 1872 that many of the calls of Victoria Woodhull would be legal and/or accepted in 2010, they’d probably fall over. Then again, they’d probably also collapse if you told them that man had walked on the moon, cured any number of diseases and that baseball players were making millions of dollars a year.  I’ve heard a saying that illustrates an aspect of human nature: The people of Venice did nothing about the flooding problem until sewage was coming in their homes.  Perhaps the roots of the Tea Party movement were set long ago.

By the way….US Grant won re-election in the 1872 presidential race.

(Edit: You will find a somewhat militant sounding response below from someone who claims absolutely that it is false that Ms. Woodhull was in favor of abortion.  My source said otherwise without explanation.  The commenter left several quotes from Ms. Woodhull that seems to support the view.  I have examined the quotations and it does appear that Ms. Woodhull believed that abortion was murder.  However, the commenter has left out some key quotes.  For instance from Woodhull’s and Claffin’s Weekly (September 23, 1871: ” Abortion is only a symptom of a more deep-seated disorder of the social state. It cannot be put down by law.”  Also, from the same edition:  “Who proposes to disturb Madame Restel [underground abortion practitioner]? Who really wants that there should be no opportunity to secure an abortion under peculiarly trying circumstances?”  The stance seems a bit at odds with her “abortion is murder” contention.  But, from my analysis, Ms. Woodhull makes the argument that she wished to eradicate the situation caused women to want to have an abortion.  She blaimed the male dominated societal atmosphere.  In the same Sept. 23, 1871 article she concluded that, “Nearly every child born is an unwelcome guest. Abortion is the choice of evils for such women.”  She seemed to be saying the pregnancy was more often than not forced on women and therefore it was unpleasant and left them with a very difficult ordeal.  So, while the commenter is correct that she thought abortion was murder, it does not appear that she wished to make it illegal.  I attempted to contact the commenter by email but the person declined to reply.  She made some comment that the statement of her support for abortion was “utterly false” and then added a link to “someone who has actually done their homework.”  It is feministforlife.org.  When researching history, it is important to note exactly who is doing the research as they may have an agenda.  Often, when one has a point of view that they wish to push on any given subject, they may play up some positions and low key others to such an extent that they omit anything that may detract from the thesis.  I went to the primary source and I believe that my secondary source was justified in the position that Woodhull was in favor of abortion in the sense that she did not want to criminalize it.  There is no getting around the fact though, that on a number of occasions, she did equate it to murder.  BTW…the commentor also failed to point out that Ms. Woodhull’s publication was the first in the US to publish Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto in 1872.  My guess is that little fact may sway a reader’s sympathies, eh?   Nor  was it pointed out that Woodhull later married a rich UK Banker, John B. Martin, after which she apparently disavowed her previous position on free love, though I’m not sure if that included an alteration of her abortion view.    See…the truth is not always the whole truth. If you want more details, you need to secure a complete historiography; not just this blog, websites or single sources. 

SPC Severe Risk Tuesday AM to Wednesday AM

SPC Severe Probability Tuesday AM to Wed. AM

Weather Bottom Line:  This week will prove quite a challenge.  First off there will a warm front coming back through our area.  The NAM wants to bring some showers around here by midnight and then cuts it off by day break but then reintroduces showers late morning.  The RUC has rain from midnight to 5AM but the data ends there.  The GFS brings rain by about 3 AM and then carries it through the morning.  None of of the models advertises a rain total of much significance.  Now, I don’t see that the NAM severe parameters really going bananas while it calls for rain late Tuesday into Wednesday but the energy fields do rise markedly, which makes sense because the warm front comes through.  Early Wednesday morning, the dynamic fields start getting into the interesting territory.  Now, the GFS is similiar except that it has rain along with the rising dyanmic parameters late Tuesday into early Wednesday.  After that, the models both bring rain at varying times.

Tuesday Evening

The issue down the line will be periodic bits of energy being tossed out through the flow throughout the week.  That is what is prompting week-long forecasts having a chance of rain every day.  The truth is, no one can really time the impulses nor the exact route; so put in a chance of rain to CYA.  It is probable for rain as the warm front comes through on Tuesday.  The SPC has varying reasons for concern regarding strong storms on Tuesday so they put in a slight risk for our area but it doesn’t really have anything to hang your hat on conclusively except that a cold front is approachin.  The SPC does not mention late night Tuesday night but the GFS data supports that possibility as the cold front approaches, perhaps a shade behind the NAM. Either way, the slight risk area goes from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning so the GFS solution is still covered.  If the cold front does come through, it won’t be for long as it will retreat rapidly back to the north in advance of another system coming through the flow.

Bottom line is that we get warmer and more humid by Tuesday afternoon through Friday at least with rain chances popping up now and then.  We’ll have to see how the severe potential actually shakes out.

You Don’t Know Uncle Tom-He Was the Opposite of What Many Americans Think
September 27, 2009

 

This Image of Uncle Tom More Closely Resembles Stowe's Tom Than Modern Convention

This Image of Uncle Tom More Closely Resembles Stowe's Tom Than Modern Convention

 

Stowe: Anti-Slavery

Stowe: Anti-Slavery

On This Date in History: On this date in 1852, the first successful stage dramatization of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin took place in Troy, NY. The key word here is “successful.” Stowe herself had tried to bring the novel to the stage but it failed. How could that be? The book sold over 300,000 copies in the first year. Well, if you have read the novel, then you know that it was a huge attack on the slave culture. President Lincoln, upon meeting Stowe said, “so this is the little woman who made this big war.” Obviously that was a bit of an overstatement and unfair to put that war on her head. But, it did play a role. While she had only seen one plantation, Stowe went to former slave Frederick Douglass for help in detailing slave life. Stowe was inspired by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed for slaves who had escaped to non-slave states in the north to be returned to slavery. Hers was the first glimpse of what slave life was really like. It brought to the attention of northerners of the brutality of many plantations and the inhuman condition brought to the slaves. This stands in sharp contrast to modern ideas.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass Consulted With Stowe

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass Consulted With Stowe

Often in popular culture you hear the phrase “I’m no Uncle Tom” or a reference to someone as “an Uncle Tom” in derisive terms alluding to someone who knuckles under and does the white man’s bidding. But, the character of Uncle Tom in Stowe’s novel was anything but the modern vision. He was a strong figure described by many reviewers as a “Christlike figure” who was actually killed by his owner, Simon LeGree. So, how did we get such a different, opposite view of Uncle Tom? I am speculating here but I suspect that the reason Stowe’s version of Uncle Tom failed is because it followed her novel. Uncle Tom was portrayed as the strong, proud man that she had created. But the versions of the book that came to stage, and later film, that were successful presented a Tom who was a shuffling, subservient old man. My guess is that audiences, even those who opposed slavery, did not want to see a strong black man opposing and standing up to authority. That feeling remained prevalent well into the early 20th century and thus, films followed the same recipe. So, when someone is called an “Uncle Tom” it should signify characterstics of strength of characater, integrity and self-worth. Instead, due to stage and film adaptations, being called an “Uncle Tom” holds an extremely negative connotation.

Novel's Meaning Destroyed by Stage/Film

Novel's Meaning Destroyed by Stage/Film

It’s a shame because the novel held such significance. Stowe was attacked in print and vilified by the pro-slavery crowd and received “mountains of threatening mail.” One package was sent to her containing the severed ear of a slave! But, it’s nothing new. Today films that are supposedly based on history are often fudged, altered and fictionalized. There are other movies that make one think that they are historical when, in fact, they are largely nonsense. Do not depend on popular culture, films, TV or even the internet for your history. Read published works instead. Go to the primary source. The sad story of the evolution of Uncle Tom is a great example of how popular culture can distort or even destroy the truth.

Louisville NWS Sunday Night Forecast

Louisville NWS Sunday Night Forecast

Weather Bottom Line:  The humid, wet pattern we’ve been in all week is gone.  If you are looking for fall, your wait is over.  The bulk of the heaviest rain Saturday night showed up in Central Kentucky causing some serious flooding.  All in all, the HPC forecast outlined in previous days was on the money.   Now, we have a secondary front coming through.  After a pretty nice day on Sunday, we’ll have a chance for rain and t’storms overnight, though nothing serious.  The wind will pick up though as the main batch of high pressure builds in. Temperatures will fall to the 50’s.  As I’ve been saying for days now, it will be tough for us to get to the 70’s over the next 3 days.  Look for mid to upper 60’s through Wednesday with overnight lows in the 40’s.  I would not be surprised to see some upper 30’s on Tuesday morning and maybe Wednesday morning in the extreme northern parts of the viewing area about half way between Louisville and Indianapolis.

Happy Birthday Nit & Wit…and Abe Too! Finally Quiet
February 12, 2009

If you Haven't Been to the Lincoln Memorial, You Need To
If you Haven’t Been to the Lincoln Memorial, You Need To
Another Good Excuse For This Photo
Another Good Excuse For This Photo

Hike Nude if you Dare: 

Recently, I posted a follow up to a post I had on nude hikers and climbers in Switzerland.  The follow up is that the Swiss are apparently more conservative than I thought and have put in laws to fine people who want to frolic in the buff.  But, you don’t need to go to Europe to climb about, we’ve got plenty of mountains right here in the Good Old USA.  Some of the nicest areas in the east are in the Smoky Mountains.  I ran into some nice folks on Wednesday and introduced them hiking-the-smokysto http://alphainventions.com/ where they can get more eyeballs onto their site.  It’s called http://hikinginthesmokys.com/ and has all sorts of stuff on there about trails and cool places to stay.  They even have a weather report…but you can check with me for the accuracy.  And I suppose you’ll have to take your chances if you want to wander about naked.  I don’t know if there are any fines.  Give it a looksee and plan a nice vacation.

Nit and Wit Don't Have A Bag of Tricks Like Felix

Nit and Wit Don't Have A Bag of Tricks Like Felix

Happy Birthday!  Okay…it’s someone’s 200th birthday today but in our house…its the birthday of the real queens of the castle, Nit and Wit.  I also call them Barfette and Poopalot, Kitty Cat and Fatso as well as Tubby and Miss Piss.  You can figure out the reasons for some of those names.  Their orginal names are Mary Todd and Abee.  Now, why would I name my cats that?  Well, they were born on this date in history in 1996 in Cajun Country.  I can’t recall the exact town but it was somewhere near Abbeville, LA….thats southeast of Lafayette.  They are sisters and are black and white with mainly white faces and little black beards.  I couldn’t name one Abe so she became Abee and the nutty one who chases her own tale is Mary Todd.  They run the house and Snow White and I are fortunate they allow us to live here and we are free to stay as long as Snow White feeds them and I clean the litter box.  Happy Birthday Girls.

                                                                                                                                                            Happy Birthday Abe

On This Date in History:  In what is now La Rue County in Kentucky, a poor family had a baby boy on this date in 1809.  They called him Abraham after the boy’s grandfather.  He was self educated and self made.  He became the 16th President of the United States and more has been written about Abraham Lincoln than anyone in US history.  Some say the only person who has been written about more is Jesus of Nazareth.  He’s an interesting study and, with his 200th birthday, there have been all sorts of “new” things that have come out.  Some of it is good, written by trained scholars.  But, much is nonsense written by “history buffs” or people with an agenda.  In Louisville, a good place to go to find out about Lincoln is at Farmington House.  Lincoln spent several weeks there visiting his friend Joshua Speed in the late summer of 1841.  I was honored to be able to do some of the research for the display there.  The trip holds significance in that it was on his steamboat ride home that he saw slaves in chains.  In a letter he wrote to Mary Speed in 1855, he recalled that trip and that sight and pointed to it as the beginnings of his notion that the “peculiar institution” was immoral.

Now, there is nonsense out there such as those who claim that he was gay.  People point to his sharing a bed with a man.  Today,  that may seem odd but in those days, it was quite common.  Just  like it would be odd for a mother of infants to nurse the infants of a neighbor.  Mary Todd Lincoln did just that when the neighbor mother was sick.  I’ve seen psychological profiles and such and people who have written that Mary Todd Lincoln was a victim of an anti-woman establishment or something.  You cannot take today’s societal notions and transport them to the 19th century.  Its two different worlds.  But, people still try.

Great Man Fred May Have Changed Great Emancipator's Mind

Great Man Fred May Have Changed Great Emancipator's Mind

Here’s one guy who tries to say that Lincoln was a racist  .  Most of this type of thing comes from amateurs. I’ve seen other articles recently that cited Lincoln’s use of emancipation simply as a war measure intended to help preserve the Union.  Most of this sort of stuff shows up in newspapers from columnists.  They either are unwilling or unable to look at the historiography.    However, you do get arguments among historian.  Eric Foner is a top-shelf historian who reviews this book that deals with the subject.  Then there is a Time reviewer of a book by a noted African American’s take on Lincoln and the fact that the book was largely ignored. I have no idea what credentials this Time reviewer has but who does he quote? Foner.  Foner is cited as saying the book’s arguments were pretty lame but that white historians had been pretty quiet on some of old Abe’s racial attitudes.  This guy suggests that we’d be better off if we read the book.  Not a very helpful review. 

Anyway, in my mind the truth is, Abraham Lincoln was a master politician.   He knew it was impossible for him to run for president and win on an abolitionist platform.  People were against slavery in the North for a number of reasons. There were the true abolitionists whose opposition came from moral principals.  But there were others who were “free-soilers” who wanted to get the immigrants out of the east and move them to the west and without jobs, they wouldn’t leave.  Slavery kept jobs from other folks who could do the labor.  There were lots of other reasons why people opposed slavery so Lincoln took the position that was acceptable to all.  He wished to contain slavery in the states that it was in.  Do not argue the Constitution with the South.  Instead, let them keep their system and the rest of the country would develop free which would necessarily end the system…it would “whither on the vine.”  

While he did not believe that there was an intellectual equality between the races, one again must consider the time.  He had no contact with anything but uneducated African-Americans.  He knew in his heart that slavery was wrong…that one man should not profit from the sweat of another man’s brow.  That is a principal, not a position.  And, though he did have attitudes that are considred abhorrant today, I believe one could argue though that his views changed toward the end of his life after meeting Frederick Douglass and others.  He was really taken back and I suspect that his views may have changed had he lived longer.  He also believed that it was impossible for the two races to live together and it was never part of the larger plan of God.  So, his solution was to help folks get back to Africa as he thought it would be best for everyone.  But, he did not figure that many of these people had backgrounds that had them in America longer than his own family tree and they considered it their country as much, if not more than he did.  So, he had what we may call racist today, but again, one must consider the times. 

When he issued his Emancipation Proclamation, he did say it was a war measure and it was only for the states in rebellion.  It was not a haphazard thing, it was calculated.  He waited for the right time to issue it and he announced it many weeks before it actually went into effect at the first of the year.  That was brilliant because by saying it was a war necessity, it found some acceptance as everyone wanted to win the war.  He prepared everyone for it and held fast.  I don’t know this to be the case but I would not be surprised if at some point when he knew it was going to be a long war, that he was going to take the opportunity to do what he wanted to do regarding slavery…the right thing and get rid of it….and all he needed was the proper timing.  He knew that once he freed some of the slaves, he could and would not and the nation would not put them back in chains after the war, particularly when he had African American troops fighting and dying for freedom. 

Scotty May Have Transported Lincoln to the 23rd Century in Star Trek But You Can't Evaluate History That Way

Scotty May Have Transported Lincoln to the 23rd Century in Star Trek But You Can't Evaluate History That Way

I’m not going to run on any more but, when one looks at history, one must look at all angles to make an assessment.  One must look at the culture and traditions of the time.  You can’t take today’s sensibilities and transport them back to another time like Mr. Scott on the Starship Enterprise and expect to get an honest assessment.   And you certainly cannot get your history from a newspaper or the movies, which routinely alter things to fit a story line.  One must read…not the internet…but books.  Get the full historiography and read all views and angles as you can before reaching a conclusion.  In the meantime, give thanks today for Abraham Lincoln and his birth 200 years ago.  Many presidents in the 19th century were truly do-nothings and largely not too significant.  But, Abraham Lincoln really changed things in this nation.  I’ve always wondered what would have been different had he lived as I’m sure that Reconstruction would have turned out differently and perhaps the next 100 years might have been better in many regards.  Then again, maybe not.  So, lets not speculate….be thankful for what we have. 

Peak Wind Gusts Feb 11, 2009

Peak Wind Gusts Feb 11, 2009

Weather Bottom Line:  Told you it would be windy.  The storms did pretty much what I expected.  When the squall line moved through, the storms were racing NE at about 50 mph.  There were a couple of radar indicated tornados on the edge of the line.  One in Pulaski county was moving at 75 mph…those high upper level winds scooting it right along.  After the boundary moved through, we got some sunshine.  The winds aloft were still howling.  Sunshine helped to mix up the atmosphere a bit to bring some of those winds to the ground.  There were some post-frontal showers in the late afternoon that were sufficient to bring down even more wind and so in those areas, mainly west and northwest of Louisville, wind gusts of some 70 mph were reported. Snow White’s sister in Charlestown called frantic after her roof was blown off the barn.  The horses were fine but she was frazzled.  She said the dogs went to the basement just before it happens.  Pretty smart weather dogs.  I bet that my favorite black chow led the way.  Greatest dog in the world.   What she got was probably winds being drawn down by the shower that hit around 70 mph.  They went up and over the roof, which is similar in shape to an airplane wing.   The Bernouli principal took over  and the roof came off, just like an airplane takes off.  Its why whenever there is high wind, whether it be from a storm, a tornado or a hurricane, the roof always comes off first.  Anyway, most of the rest of the area had sustained winds of some 20-40 mph with gusts of 55-60 mph.

As I said yesterday…most of the weak limbs were taken down by the ice storm.  There were some weakened limbs that hung on then and the wind took care of them today.  Had there been leaves on the tree, the power outages and damage would have been worse.  Well, its going to be quiet for a while.  Not too enthused about worthless snow chances for the weekend.  Cooler but still above average temps for the rest of the week.  Seasonal temperatures through the weekend with perhaps some showers….probably Saturday rather than Sunday.